Wild horse controversy heads back to federal court

Cross-posted from The Daily Record | March 8, 2010

WASHINGTON – Americans were outraged two years ago when federal officials threatened to kill more than 10,000 wild mustangs running free throughout the West.

So when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last fall that the Obama administration had no intention of carrying out the Bush administration’s proposal to slaughter the “living legends,” horse lovers across the nation cheered.

Since then, the applause has died down as Salazar has continued the controversial practice of rounding up mustangs and putting them in corrals and pastures hundreds of miles from their rangelands.

The ongoing debate underscores the challenges of managing rapidly growing herds and finding a lasting solution to a problem that is costing American taxpayers millions more each year.

The conflict is set to come to a head April 30, when a federal court will hear arguments from wild-horse advocates that the Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management are violating the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act by rounding up horses and putting them in expensive holding facilities.

A final decision in the case, brought against the government by a California-based nonprofit group called In Defense of Animals, is expected May 26. Read full article >>

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