Wild Horse Lawsuit Update

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Wild Horse Lawsuit Update

[Ed. Note: Please watch Mustang Conspiracy. The article below addresses a specific lawsuit that is challenging the BLM's approval and implementation of the 2010 Twin Peaks Gather Plan that approved the round-up and removal of close to 2,000 wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks HMA in northern California and western Nevada. We want our readers to know that there are two reasons for rounding up wild horses from OUR public lands: cattle ranchers claim that horses are "competing" with cattle for food and to eliminate the animals to make way for oil and/or gas pipelines. If you eat American-raised beef, you support the removal of wild horses from their land and their ultimate slaughter - for someone else's food. Oil and/or gas production causes total disregard for all animals who are native to a specific environment.]

From In Defense of Animals (IDA)
March 2011

Our lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues! We won't give up, and you're invited to attend the next hearing in Sacramento. We want the Judges to know that there is a large contingent of people who really care about protecting wild horses and burros. And we need you to balance out the BLM people who will be in the gallery, silently willing the Court to rule in their favor.

When: March 24, 2011, 2 p.m. (Note: you should check the Court's website listed below on March 23, or check with IDA, to confirm the hearing hasn't been postponed, which does happen occasionally.)

What: Next hearing in the case of IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS; DREAMCATCHER WILD HORSE AND BURRO SANCTUARY; BARBARA CLARKE; CHAD HANSON; LINDA HAY, Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT; KEN SALAZAR, Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior; ROBERT ABBEY, Director of the Bureau of Land Management; KEN COLLUM, Field Manager of Eagle Lake Field Office, Defendants.

Where: United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Federal Courthouse in downtown Sacramento, 500 "I" Street, across the street from the Amtrack station on the corner of 5th and I. The freeway exit would be J street off of I-5.

IDA Contact: Elliot M. Katz, DVM: emk@idausa.org, 415-448-0048.

More information about this lawsuit:

The lawsuit challenges the BLM's approval and implementation of the 2010 Twin Peaks Gather Plan - which approved the round-up and removal of close to 2,000 wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks HMA in northern California and western Nevada. The lawsuit seeks to set aside this decision for violations of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, including the transfer of wild horses to long-term holding facilities in the midwest, and the National Environmental Policy Act, for failure to adequately analyze the impacts of the round-up.

What is happening at this step, and why it's important:

The actual round-up took place in 2010. The helicopters stopped rounding up the horses on September 19, 2010. The government is arguing that because the round-up activities ceased on September 19, 2010 that the round-up is over and Plaintiffs' case should be dismissed because there is no longer a live case or controversy to be resolved (i.e., that the case is moot). The government is also arguing that the Plaintiffs have not established standing to challenge their practice of shipping wild horses to long-term holding facilities because they have not shown an injury in fact related to the action, that the injury was caused by the BLM's action, or that a favorable resolution on that claim (i.e., illegal to use long-term holding in the midwest) would result in fewer wild horses being removed from the range.

We of course are opposing this Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Case. If Defendants are successful, Plaintiffs' case would be dismissed (meaning no possibility for relief, either declaratory - on what the statute does and does not allow, or injunctive - putting the wild horses back on the range) and Plaintiffs would have to go to the Ninth Circuit to try and get this determination reversed.

How to confirm on March 23 that this hearing is still scheduled:

After March 21, visit the website for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California (www.caed.uscourts.gov). Once on the website click on the Court Calendar button on the menu on the left side of the home page. On the Court Calendar page you will click on the Judge, and choose Judge England Jr., then for the date select March 24, 2011, and look to see if our case is listed: Case No. 10-1852, In Defense of Animals, et al v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, et al.. Please note the calendar is only for one week - so you will not be able to check the March 24, 2011 date until March 21st. Also it is important to check the website on the afternoon of March 23, 2011 - because the Judge may cancel or postpone the hearing at the last minute.