Slaughter auction of wild horses allowed by Federal Judge

Nearly 500 wild horses will go on the block Saturday, August 17, 2013, at the Fallon Livestock Auction, which is frequented by slaughterhouse buyers


Lady Liberty (c) Bill Frymire

Reno, NV (Aug. 16, 2013) — Today Wild Horse Education’s (WHE) President Laura Leigh and her attorney had an in In Chambers hearing today on a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed in Reno federal district court to halt an auction to be held this Saturday in Fallon Nevada of federally protected wild horses.

Judge Miranda Du heard arguments and ruled that Plaintiff did not have enough proof that the horses that will most likely go to slaughter were federally protected wild horses. A declaration, made by Shaynie Rockefeller, Vale district BLM Oregon that was filed within minutes of the hearing, stated that BLM had knowledge of the removal (even though it was originally denied) and that Shaynie informed the tribes where the horses were. The declaration further states that the Owyhee Complex boundaries are less than 20 miles from the area that tribal members removed horses off BLM land. Her observations were limited to holding. Yet the Judge had the opinion that Ms. Rockefeller’s assertion that “no wild horses were taken” was first hand knowledge. Plaintiff Leigh had no first hand knowledge of the removals because observation of operations was not permitted.

Even though both the original Complaint filed in January and the amended Complaint filed this month both address BLMs failure to identify true excess horses, BLMs lack of data on wild horse movement and BLMs failure to manage horses as intended under the Act the Judge appears to have had the opinion that BLM entering into a separate agreement with Tribal authorities to remove unidentified excess wild horses did not relate to the previous Complaints.

“BLM argues that a failure to act was not the same as an inappropriate act,” stated Leigh “a police officer can not turn his head if he sees a murder. It is my opinion that the court has allowed the policing agency to simply turn it’s head as wild horses are likely to be murdered. A simple DNA test would have proven one way or another if BLM failed to protect wild horses. I am literally beside myself knowing what those horses at auction will face.”

The case for the Owyhee Complex wild horses continues against the lack of data and inhumane treatment in the current operation plan. However after a TRO was filed last week against bait trapping at Snowstorm (Owyhee Complex) it appears that at this juncture BLM has cancelled that operation.

It is unknown at this time if the court will hear a second filing for a TRO against the Forest Service.

~~~ is a Nevada non-profit carrying three active federal cases against the BLM. Wild Horse Education stands ready to assist BLM to gain the information needed to create a sane and sensible management plan that does not rely on removal as its only strategy and that fails to treat wild horses and burros humanely.

9 thoughts on “Slaughter auction of wild horses allowed by Federal Judge”

  1. How curious that Shaney Rockefeller, a natural resource specialist assigned to the Vale, OREGON, BLM District Office, would be the party to file a last-minute declaration concerning a roundup of wild horses in NEVADA. How is it that she — rather than one of the many wild-horse-and-burro specialists that work in Nevada — would know “where the horses were” and that she would have been the one designated to inform the tribes where to find the horses?

    While judges usually defer to agency staff, trusting that truthful testimony will be provided, this case illustrates that BLM’s declarations should be treated with skepticism. It appears that BLM has deceived the Court.

    At the link below, read how Ms. Rockefeller conducted a wild-horse roundup in 2011. Note that the public observation area was sited half a mile away and behind a hill from the trap site, blocking advocates’ view. Note that the helicopter was allowed to fly dangerously close to the horses and to drive them relentlessly for miles on end. Note that Ms. Rockefeller flatly refused to disclose how many horses were caught or how many were released. In the accompanying video interview, learn what her position is with regard to the use of hot-shots on downed horses. (You will see only her jeans, however, because Ms. Rockefeller and her BLM colleagues are camera-shy.) Note her selective-breeding approach — culling wild horses that fought to escape while keeping horses whose traits were “what people want.” Note that she considers wild horses that exhibit wild behavior as suffering from “inbreeding” or from the ingestion of “locoweed.”


  2. I just left a voicemail for Shaney Rockefeller at 541-473-6221 asking that she explain her role with regard to the horses that are now in Fallon and likely headed for slaughter.

    This whole thing makes me ill.


  3. Let it be known the second TRO to which she alludes was filed by Western. Watersheds and her name was for some reason entered as her attorney was boRrowed to file the documents. We shall see. Just don’t let her get in there to act up.


  4. When will Laura learn that judges act on law and proof. Her sniveling attempt to stop this horror has diluted justice. And then proceeds to insult the court!

    There are others who may just pull this off and we better all be praying for a miracle. Laura can go sit down now and please step sending her legal monies.


    1. What is your problem? Laura has been to more roundups than any singular BLM employee the past almost three years. She’s sold everything she owned, lives in her truck for many days on end. And drives back and forth, north and south trying to be everything for everyone.

      Laura stated last night that she knew this was a long shot but she felt compelled to do something. How many of us are willing to put our money where our mouths are? It takes a lot of hormones to indirectly take a potshot at Mr. Cowan who does A LOT of this pro bono.

      I’m as upset as the next person over this. I don’t know if we can form up any kind of rescue–perhaps turning them out with the Deer Run Horses.

      I know you tried Laura and there must be an awful pit in your stomach. I know I can’t say anything to alleviate the pain. Know that I’m thinking of you.

      Laura’s friend



        1. I also agree !!!!! Laura has been with the Mustangs for years , her time and her life have always been with the Mustangs !!!!!!! ya gotta love and respect her !!!!!!!


    2. What the hell is wrong with you Ms Windsong. Have you completely gone brain dead from the white mans greed and boos. The Indians of this Country used to hold dear the old ways and traditions that made them the proud ones of the land. Now that respect and value of sacred beings is only true of the Lacota. You need to get that white man attitude out of your mind and return to your ancestry and honorable ways.


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