Lawsuit tries to stop removal of wild horses in Nevada

Nov 25, 2009
By staff
Washington, D.C. -- A lawsuit filed Monday in federal court seeks to stop the removal of more than 2,700 wild horses in northwestern Nevada.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to "gather" thousands of horses and burros from public lands in Nevada in December and relocate them to short-term (corral) and long-term (pasture) housing nationwide or facilitate private adoptions.

Attorneys for the plaintiff -- an equine welfare organization called In Defense of Animals -- allege that helicopters used for herding traumatize and lead to the deaths of frightened animals, and violate the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, passed in 1971, that protect the horses and burros from "capture, branding, harassment, or death."

Representatives of BLM have argued in the past that public lands can't sustain the growing herds of wild horses and burros and that relocation and adoption are the only options.

The government has yet to respond to the lawsuit.