Federal Court Dismisses Nevada Cattlemen's Anti-Mustang Lawsuit
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American Wild Horse Preservation
March 2015

 This ruling will STOP the removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands and the sale for slaughter of wild horses warehoused in government holding facilities.

wild horse roundups

Court Grants AWHPC Motion to Dismiss Legal Action Seeking Roundup & Slaughter of Wild Horses

Reno, NV (March 12, 2015) . . . Today, the U.S. District Court in Nevada Judge Miranda Du granted a motion by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), author Terri Farley and photographer Mark Terrell to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) and local ranchers against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands and the sale for slaughter of wild horses warehoused in government holding facilities.

The motion was granted “with prejudice,” which means it cannot be amended or refilled. Judge Du ordered the Clerk “to enter judgment in favor of Federal Defendants and Defendant-Intervenors American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Terri Farley, Mark Terrell, and Laura Leigh.”

“We are pleased that the Court declined to allow these grazing interests to use the judicial system to revamp the priorities of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burros Act – to protect wild horses on the public lands as much as possible,” said Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, which represented AWHPC, Ms. Farley and Mr. Terrell in the case.

“This frivolous bid by cattlemen to roundup and slaughter America’s iconic wild horses to clear the public lands for commercial livestock grazing has now been soundly rejected by the federal court,” said Suzanne Roy, director of AWHPC. “Public lands management must reflect American values for wild horse and burro protection. The days of preferential treatment of ranchers who receive taxpayer subsidies to graze private livestock on public lands must come to an end.”

Filed on behalf of Nevada ranchers, who graze their private cattle and sheep on American public lands that they lease at well-below market rates, the NACO lawsuit sought to compel the BLM to immediately round up and remove more than 6,000 wild horses from Nevada public lands, conduct wild horse and burro roundups every two months in the state, and to “auction, sell or otherwise dispose of” the 50,000 wild horses and burros currently stockpiled in government warehousing facilities.

According to AWHPC, the NACO lawsuit was part of a broader strategy by ranchers to use the courts to compel the BLM to remove an increasing number of wild horses from public lands and sell captured wild horses for slaughter. AWHPC has been granted the right to intervene in similar lawsuits in Utah and Wyoming.

National opinion polls indicate that 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter, 72 percent support protecting wild horses on public lands, while just 29 percent want public lands used for livestock grazing.

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