Judge throws out restraining order; BLM continues wild horse relocation

Judge throws out restraining order; BLM continues wild horse relocation

Jul 20, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Reno, Nev. -- A U.S. District Judge rescinded a restraining order on the Tuscarora wild-horse gather in Nevada, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), sending contractors back out to the field, where more than 600 horses have been gathered.

All the horses are receiving food, water and veterinary care after living for months in drought conditions.

BLM had temporarily halted the gather last week after dehydrated horses died in collection stables. An equine welfare group won a temporary restraining order until July 16, when U.S. District Court Judge Larry Hicks rescinded it. Eighteen horses have died so far, but BLM officials say the deaths were unrelated to the gather -- instead being the result of physical injuries, congenital deformities, or severe dehydration and starvation because of drought conditions in the area.

The drought is the reason for the current wild-horse gather, according to the BLM. Government officials say water and food resources in Nevada's Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt herd management areas cannot sustain the current horse population.

A BLM spokesperson says the gather will continue as conditions permit, and airplanes will monitor the condition of wild horses remaining outside the gather stables. The BLM also is trucking in water for bands of horses still ungathered.

Many gathered horses whose conditions have stabilized with water, food, and veterinary treatment have already been relocated without incident, according to the BLM.