Jackson Mountain Wild Horse Roundup Gathers Lawsuit
On June 8, 2012 the Bureau of Land Management began a helicopter roundup of wild horses in the Jackson Mountain area in Northern Nevada. This roundup is occurring during foaling season. The BLM handbook on wild horse and burro management prohibits such activity.
The handbook states in part: “The capture of wild horses by using a helicopter to herd the animals is prohibited during the foaling season, which is defined as six weeks on either side of the peak foaling to assure that young foals are mature enough to be able to remain with their band during gather activities.”
Plaintiff Laura Leigh, founder of Wild Horse Education, has been attempting to dialogue with the Agency prior to the start of the operation and on a daily basis to resolve issues. Attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno Nevada filed the suit yesterday.
“It is with a sad heart that this lawsuit is filed,” states Leigh “the idea that this is foaling season and that extreme care must be taken does not seem to be understood. I saw one of the most egregious unnecessary runs I have ever seen at any roundup occur at Jackson Mountain and the urgency for change in behavior is still not comprehended on the ground.”
Leigh brought suit to last years BLM roundup of the Triple B complex that resulted in the Courts taking action and shutting down the operation. The BLM then did a review of the roundup and found that the alleged misconduct had occurred and they would take corrective action. The agency has to date not implemented any standard of humane care for handling animals.
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva the ranking member of the House subcommittee of National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, in an interview with the Seattle PI, maintains the agency is conducting the roundup “under cover of an emergency,” but the situation facing horses around the Jackson Mountains does not meet the BLM’s own criteria for an emergency.
“All attempts to gain appropriate action through conversation are met with the statement that we are making baby steps,” said Leigh “but baby steps are not acceptable as the lives of these babies are continually placed in jeopardy.”
The legal action and documentation can be supported through contributions to Wild Horse Education http://wildhorseeducation.org
Links of interest:
Wild Horse Education: http://WildHorseEducation.org
Seattle PI piece on Jackson Roundup: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Congressman-criticizes-Nevada-wild-horse-roundup-3622153.php
New Zealand Horsetalk interview with Leigh on site: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/06/12/watching-these-babies-run-horrifying/
WHE analysis of BLM’s Triple B Review: http://wildhorseeducation.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/analysis_blm_revtb_2011_whe1.pdf