(Reno, NV) Today at a hearing for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Hon. Judge Miranda Du has lifted the order halting operations at the Owyhee Complex with a restraint to inhumane conduct. The Judge cited that Plaintiff, Laura Leigh President of Wild Horse Education, showed a likelihood of success on the merits of her claim that the horses of the Owyhee Complex have been treated inhumanely.
Leigh witnessed the majority of operation days during the first phase of the plan. In court documents Leigh states that inappropriate conduct was observed repeatedly including: routine use of electric cattle prods, wild horses driven through barbed wire, operations in sub-freezing temperatures. In one instance wild horses were documented being driven into a barbed wire fence and four animals became entangled, two literally crashing onto their heads.
Judge Du said she will issue an order that has her expectations for conduct by tomorrow morning. Attorney for BLM, Erik Peterson, said BLM wanted to resume full operations at first light. The Judge gave warning that if they resumed that their conduct might run contrary to the Order and the BLM may violate the terms. Peterson then asked permission for BLM to transport 13 weanlings and PZP treat animals in the morning prior to the Order. Attorney for Plaintiff reminded the Court that hotshots are used during loading and at holding. BLM agreed that no hotshots would be used.
“After years and years of agonizing over this issue, and trying to find ways to address the issue, tomorrow I will see the in an Order that will show true recognition that our wild horses have been treated inhumanely,” stated Leigh “maybe this is truly the start to the BLM actually treating this important symbol of our American heritage with the respect it deserves?”
The court will order a hearing date on Injunctive Relief after briefs have been filed. The issues will be argued in more depth at this hearing.
Wild Horse Education has another active case to inhumane handling heading for hearing early this year as well as a first amendment claim going back to court in February after a Ninth Circuit victory last year.
These cases, investigations and supporting documentation, are supported solely by Wild Horse Education, a registered Nevada non-profit. http://wildhorseeducation.org/
The differences between BLM opinion and presentation and Ms. Leigh. Top video is BLM representation of a single incident, second is Ms. Leigh. We ask you does BLM give you an accurate picture?
Links of interest:
Current video of Owyhee wild horse roundup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK6WM1-xmv4
History of the legal battle for humane care: http://wildhorseeducation.org/the-humane-care-suit/short-history-of-the-humane-care-suit/