Nearly 500 wild horses will go on the block Saturday, August 17, 2013, at the Fallon Livestock Auction, which is frequented by slaughterhouse buyers
WILD HORSE EDUCATION PRESS RELEASE
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.
WildHorseEducation.org 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.