BLM faces yet another lawsuit in its wild horse capture plan

Attorney Bill Spriggs to File Second Lawsuit to Stop Inhumane Horse Roundups

Cross-posted from Horseback Magazine via The Desert Independent

By Robert WINKLER | The Desert Independent | February 5, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC plans to file a lawsuit on Monday, February 8, to keep the Bureau of Land Management from implementing its Eagle Herd Management Area Wild Horse Capture Plan (DOI-BLM-NV-L020-2009-0051-EA), currently scheduled to begin this month. The plan proposes to capture 495 wild horses by using helicopters to indiscriminately gather the horses – whether they are old, sick or lame – into short term holding pens.

According to Bill Spriggs, co-chair of Buchanan’s Government Contracts Practice and lead attorney in this case, “the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed plan fails to comply with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.” This is the second lawsuit Spriggs has filed within the past three months that seeks to enjoin the inhumane roundup of wild horses.

Spriggs adds, “in regard to the first lawsuit (see In Defense of Animals vs. Dept. of Interior), which is exactly the same as this one, the December 23, 2009 opinion, rendered by Judge Paul L. Friedman of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, supports our claim that the relocation of horses for indefinite holding periods violates the plain language of Section 1339.” He further cites the opinion, stating that the roundups violate the ‘minimal feasible level’ of management language in Section 1333(a). He adds that “the opinion also rejects the defendants’ argument that Congress has authorized long term holding facilities through the appropriations process.” Judge Friedman has set a court date for April 30 to hear the case, with a final opinion by May 26, to hear the case.

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2 thoughts on “BLM faces yet another lawsuit in its wild horse capture plan”

  1. This is what was needed long ago, only now I think it will be too late for many horses. Too bad the greed will win out, new pipeline, more cattle leases. The saddest part is the inhumane treatment. A bunch of snipers would have been much kinder in my opinion. Something else to add to the history books. I just wish it didn’t make me sick to my stomach whenever I think about it , which is pretty much constantly lately. If you don’t believe me check out some video of the calico wild horse roundup. My only hope is that there is truly “another side” for these beautiful horses and the ones who love them. Enlightenment is too painfully slow.


    1. For a very long time, wild horse advocates believed that the facts, common sense and a call for compassion would persuade the government to do the right thing by America’s wild horses and burros, and demand the BLM do its job properly. The BLM Wild Horses and Burro program is wildly out of control, with BLM employees and contractors responding to everyone with what is a now typically arrogant “up yours” attitude.

      Since the BLM has already ignored a Federal Judge’s advice and are admittedly transferring the horses gathered to long-term holding facilities, committing an illegal act as warned by that same Judge, it will be interesting to see what lawsuits can accomplish.

      This is not a criticism by any means; we agree with you, and applaud them, but wonder if it may be too late.

      Legal actions take a long time, and every last wild horse and burro on public lands could be gone by them, any remaining languishing tragically in pens or perishing cruelly in slaughterhouses.

      It is difficult to appeal to Ken Salazar, who seems manipulated by Harry Reid and cohorts. And also by the fact his fax line is down and webmail facility hardly if ever available.

      The only person for concerned Americans to appeal to is President Obama, who like presidents before him, seemingly does not care or willingly sacrificing our wild horses and burros to pet projects of the mega rich, that looks like they will accomplish little more than increasing their riches, and certainly NOT worth the loss of this irreplaceable icon of the American West.

      Shame on this government, and the American people who look the other way and let it all happen.

      How I wish every single American watching the Super Bowl Sunday would call or email the President Monday and ask him to call an immediate halt to wild horses and burro roundups and order a full scale investigation into how the BLM is conducting the Wild Horses & Burro Program.

      The message is that simple. Here’s the link for contacting the President.


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