FWS must consider petition for wild horse’s protection – 9th Circuit

(REUTERS), by Sebastien Malo (17 May 2012) — A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) wrongly refused to review an animal advocacy group’s bid to include a wild horse on the country’s list of imperiled species because its refusal hinged on a rule that is inconsistent with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland said that, contrary to a lower court’s earlier ruling, the FWS violated the ESA when it rejected Friends of Animals’ petition to list the Pryor Mountain horse on grounds the group had not, per the 2016 “pre-file notice” rule, first notified states where the animal lives.

Spokespeople at the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice declined to comment.

Friends of Animals’ general counsel, Michael Harris, said that the court’s ruling provides a path for protecting the free-roaming horse “from years of mismanagement by the federal government.”

Writing for the panel, U.S. District Judge John Tunheim, who sat by designation, said Montana federal Judge Susan Watters got it wrong when she sided with the FWS in 2020. Read more »

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Related Reading: “Interior Secretary Haaland Urged to Put Brakes on Broken Wild Horse & Burro Program as Massive Roundups Loom“, The Cloud Foundation, Yubanet.com, 18 March, 2021

Featured Image: Unknown.

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