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US judge denies bid for court order to block NV horse roundups; tells critics ‘Go to Congress’

Cross-posted from Washington Post via the Associated Press

Mustang Mare and Foal
'This court is really not in a position to be the overseer of the BLM' states Judge Howard McKibben as he refuses to help the Mustang.
    RENO, Nev. — (Jan. 27 2012) A federal judge in Nevada who handed horse protection advocates a rare victory last fall has rejected their latest request to block government roundups of free-roaming mustangs in the West, saying they’ll have to go to Congress if they think the animals are being treated inhumanely and need more protection.

    U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben granted a temporary restraining order on Aug. 30 that cut short by a day a roundup near the Nevada-Utah line after he determined a helicopter flew too close to a horse in violation of the law.

    But he said during a hearing in Reno Thursday that he was denying a new injunction request from the Texas-based Wild Horse Freedom Federation partly because the Bureau of Land Management has made some positive changes since then. He also said he can’t issue injunctions based on speculation about future abuses.

    In the AP article McKibben is quoted as saying,

    “This court is really not in a position to be the overseer of the BLM,” McKibben said. “This court is not going to police all gathers in the U.S. or even all gathers in the district of northern Nevada.”

    “This Court is not Congress, not an administrative agency. We are not the first branch of government. We are not the second branch. We’re here to consider grievances,” he said.

    Am I wrong in thinking that other advocates have been successful in the Courts for the protection of wildlife and natural preserves? If I am right, why do our wild horses always seem to be the exception to every rule when it comes to their protection and preservation?

    Read full article >>

26 thoughts on “US judge denies bid for court order to block NV horse roundups; tells critics ‘Go to Congress’”

  1. There is so much proof already documented of misuse of taxpayer dollars in these roundups — not just the abuse — but in knowingly relying faulty data, manipulating data to suit their purposes, and on and on — that a class action lawsuit must be a slam dunk. Get a couple hundred tax paying citizens and game on. IDA seem to be the ones with the best lawyers for wild horse lawsuits; I wish they would consider it at least.


  2. I have contacted Columbia University Law School to see if they would litigate a Class Action Law suit against the BLM, Forrest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Parks Service. I know we have standing to sue and the Class would include American taxpayers at large as when suing for animals one must show ‘material’ harm in addition to two other prongs which I know we satisfy. I will be hearing from them on Monday.




    1. There has been talk over past few years about the seemingly intrinsic ‘rightness’ of a Class Action suit — however, did you hear from Columbia University yet? I had heard it wasn’t possible. As you said, only by showing ‘standing’ can a loss be shown. For this reason I think that the original ideas of Adopt-a-Herd and Herd Watch, though Herd Watch (the data gathering, recordkeeping etc., — non roundup portions) seems to be languishing in this area for whatever reasons, unless I am totally uninformed.


      1. As far as I know, Laure Leigh seems to be the only one gathering data, and she concentrates on the “gathers.” It’s so hard to find enough dedicated people when many of us live half a continent away.


  3. All politicians are crooked and his hands are probably being fed by local ranchers and other political figures. These people are too big for their britches. I am still waiting for the official count of how many mustangs are out there….doesn’t anyone seem to care that this is part of the law? These people will burn in hell, because they certainly will never make it to heaven hurting God’s creatures….disgusting pigs….


    1. Diane, I could not agree with you more. Obama’s record on this is abysmal and he reneged on his campaign promise to issue an Executive Order banning horse slaughter. However, if a Republican like Romney gets elected he is even worse. He was driving over the summer with his dog in a carrier tied to the roof of his vehicle. The dog was stressed and messed in the carrier. Romney gets the dog out, washes him down with a fire hose and puts him back in the carrier. The dog died.

      There is nobody in the Government with few exceptions that are supportive of animal issues. We are just screwed.



      1. Unbelievable.

        I assume he was not penalized for the abuse of this poor dog.

        It sickens me the kinds of people that walk this earth!!!!!


        1. If that had happened in New York, he would have been arrested poste haste! New York has some of the hardest animal laws in the Country. There are plenty of people that want to ban the carriage horse trade there. I don’t agree. The reason is if you take their livelihood away from them those horses will go directly to kill. The trade needs to be reformed, Mayor Bloomberg could easily construct stables for the 230 or so carriage horses on the Sheeps Meadow, which was originally where the wealthy Upper Eastsiders stabled their horses. Keeping them in the Park would be in line with the Central Park Conservancy and the horses should never leave the Park, ever.

          They must have carriage drivers that actually know how to drive a carriage. Carriage Driving is an Olympic Sport so that says something right there! The larger carriages should be pulled by teams. Despite what the Carriage owners say, the larger carriages are not light when you have 8-10 passengers.

          So, yes, Romney sucks. Newt may be better! I can’t believe I am saying this, but he may actually be better.



          1. Newt is a old school politician that thinks just like all of them do. He was kicked out as speaker of the House for ethics violations. He talks the talk but turn him loose in the White House and you will see a very different person than the one you voted for just like Obama. He just got caught womanizing is what happened to him. Something he has always done through out the 3 decades in DC. It’s people like him and many others doing closed door deals is why the country is in the shape it’s in.


  4. It is VERY CLEAR until we find a federal judge with the COONIES to stand up to this obama administration (or any potus admin that supports the round ups) and the big greedy cattle companies WE WILL NEVER WIN THIS WAR THE DIPLOMATIC WAY!!!!! I say STAND UP and let’s take the fight to them there is two ways to do that:

    1. We gather together a lot of horse advocates and go to these round ups and stop them physically and/or block the pins from allowing any Mustangs in the pins and/or open the pins and let the captured ones go free!


    We all go to these holding pins in OK, CO, NV etc etc and buy or take ALL the Mustangs and take them back out west and set the free!

    ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH, these are OUR MUSTANGS, THE AMERICA PEOPLE’S PROPERTY, NOT THE GOVERNMENTS, According to the Constitution the government owns NOTHING!! So these Mustangs are OURS!

    When you are at these round ups STOP allowing the BLM to tell you you can not go to these round ups, this is PUBLIC LAND and the ONLY way the government can tell you to stay off the land is if it closed is in an EMERGENCY.

    WE MUST BECOME BRAVER THAN WE ARE RIGHT NOW! WE HAVE BEEN FIGHTING THIS WAR FOR 40 + YEARS and it is CRYSTAL CLEAR to anyone who knows the situation with our wild equines we are not any closer to stopping the gov then we were 40 years ago!! TIME TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL and NO I am not advocating violence here but it is time to get physical about it instead of sitting up on a hill side and watching and allowing the round ups to take place!

    THIS IS THE UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA not russia, china, england, france, canada, etc, etc,,,,,,,, WE THE PEOPLE RUN THIS COUNTRY NOT THE GOVERNMENT, THE CONSTITUTION DEMANDS THIS AND THE CONSTITUTION IS THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND!!!! For 40 + years the America people have spoken and have said we want our Mustangs to roam free on OUR lands!

    “The ultimate authority resides in the people, and that if the federal government got too powerful and overstepped its authority, then the people would develop plans of resistance and resort to arms” – James Madison (again not advocating violence with “arms” but with RESISTANCE)

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests” – Patrick Henry


    1. I am thinking a Class Action Lawsuit. With thousands of Members of the class, and there is a precedent set in the 3rd Circuit Court that would give us standing to sue. That is my thought as there is nothing else that has stopped it,



      1. You are preaching to the choir here Elle. As you know, I have been telling any wild horse advocate willing to listen that a class action lawsuit citing misuse of taxpayer dollars, which we can prove — it is all stated in the impeachment papers and provable — and we would win. Plus, no need to worry about that old ballyhoo when defending animals in Court: standing.

        No money; no roundups. No doubt some would go to jail too. But no one believes me. I wonder if any of the organizations who asked my advice on this even pitched it to their lawyers.


    2. A class action may be the only way to stop the roundups, the BLM has no intention of stopping until the horses are extinct. There is some reason why the BLM will not allow anyone to see the mustangs at the the so- called private ranches in the Midwest claiming the ranch owners don’t want the public coming around. As I have said before I don’t think the horses are there, they have been funneled out the back door to slaughter. And in that class action the address of the ranches and access to the ranches by the tax paying public should be demanded.


      1. That is my thinking, I think that we could get a Law Professor from Columbia University to litigate. They have an Animal Law program which was financed by Bob Barker. The students could assist as it would be fabulous training for them. I KNOW we have standing to sue. Also, there is a precedent set by the Third Circuit Court to back us up.

        I will contact the Law School and see if they are interested. I think they may be. I don’t want word of this to get out before I perform my due diligence,




    3. Things are becoming out-of-hand for the American Taxpayer. Recently, in Missouri, a “Public/Private” deal was announced. It will make the stretch of Highway 70 between St. Louis and KC a TOLL ROAD. It will cost the American Taxpayer $20 – $30 to transit the state on this road. Can they do this? Yes. Can they do it without a vote? Yes. After highway improvements are made by this private corporation involved here, will it once again cease to be a toll road? No. It will remain a toll road into perpetuity. I thought MO wanted to be some kind of big agricultural ‘CORRIDOR.’ Our legislature here is as bad as that in Washington (ex: Missouri’s ‘finest:’ Roy Blunt). They even managed to take Missouri off the primary map in any viable way by failing to rescind a change (over two sessions) they made in the procedures.

      If the nightmare scenario of the “Public/Private” enterprises has its way, then assets belonging to the American taxpayer — PAID FOR ORIGINALLY BY THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, will become completely off-limits to the vote.

      You can’t really say this is government seizure of private property. It is the opposite — it is private seizure of an enterprise (the highway) which takes it out of the public voting domain.


        1. Hey Janet, we love your comments. To keep it flowing the way you want, did you know you can click the reply button on other people’s comments. That way you will be sure they see your remarks on their remarks. Thanks!


          1. Thank you — I thought I had done that, but must have ‘missed.’

            PS What impeachment papers (I know — this ain’t gonna flow) do you refer to in your response to Elle?

            Thanks. . .

            going with the flow……..


  5. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has all of the Wild Horse and Burros listed as ‘critical’ on their watch list. Dr. Phil Sponenberg is a Geneticist so he is qualified beyond refute when he makes that statement. The trouble is, the Endangered Species List is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. They have delisted the Polar Bears, and Wolves. If anyone is familiar with Wolves, they are solitary animals even when they are in a Pack. They do not seek to be close to humans, and they do not raid farms for their dinner. Their diet is mainly field mice! I own a Timber Wolf and he is an ‘Omega’ Wolf, which means he is the member of the pack that gets ‘picked on’. Omega wolves have to wait to eat and they are only allowed left overs. If they hunt on their own, their catch is taken away from them. My Wolf is afraid of everything. He will not go outdoors unless he is with another dog. Of course this is all considered ‘Junk’ science like ‘Global Warming’ which does exist. The Earth goes through cycles and humans exacerbate it with factory farming, which is the biggest contributor to Greenhouse Gases. It all comes down to the Beef Industry.



  6. While I’m sure Judge McKibben may believe the BLM has ‘made some positive changes’, we need DEEDS not WORDS.
    Any fool can draft a list; it’s implementation of that list we’d like to see. (Also, maybe, the list itself? Where are these mythical guidelines? Are they policy or simply suggestions?)
    It is astonishing how successful most wildlife or environmental advocates are compared to how poorly wild equine advocates fare – and with better documentation.
    The WH&BA was one of the last Acts of a unanimous Congress; I don’t think that climate could ever be reproduced. With the total polarity between the two major parties, I think they’d cancel each other out for sheer spite.


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