Nevada Advocacy Group Files to STOP Covert Wild Horse Removal
RENO, (Wild Horse Education) – ) The wild horse and burro advocacy group, Wild Horse Education (WHE) filed today in Reno federal court to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from hiding their actions from the public during a removal operation in Western Nevada that could begin any day. Wild Horse Education (WHE) founder and President Laura Leigh has an ongoing case in federal court against inhumane conduct by BLM toward wild horses at Triple B Complex, the very area that BLM now intends to remove horses in what can only be described as a total press blackout and prohibition of public observation.
In August 2011 at Triple B Complex roundup, Leigh, who is also the principle researcher for Wild Horse Education (WHE), observed a BLM contractor make contact with an exhausted horse using the skid of a flying helicopter. The contractor repeatedly operated helicopters dangerously close to horses on multiple occasions, unnecessarily chased wild horses in the wrong direction from traps, repeatedly broke up family bands of horses, repeatedly and unnecessarily chased horses over miles of terrain, deprived captured horses of sufficient amounts of water, and drove young, unweaned foals miles beyond what is healthy for the newborn horses among other conduct. The court granted a temporary restraining order, and later, a preliminary injunction related to the pilot’s inhumane conduct, the first such injunction in the history of federal management of wild horses by the BLM.
In the ongoing case against BLM by Wild Horse Education (WHE), BLM is refusing to disclose documents requested by Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno, that show exact numbers of animal deaths (including foals), veterinary reports on injuries, reports on disposition of animals, and documents associated with BLM’s own internal “Triple B Review” where BLM admitted to the alleged conduct. Now BLM plans to hide all capture, handling and transport of wild horse, in an unprecedented bait and water trap operation in the Triple B Complex. Furthermore BLM has added the Antelope Valley to the operation where BLM removed animals in winter 2011 and fall of 2012. This area is intended to be part of an “eco sanctuary” project, and BLM has not even completed public review of this area.
“The BLM can not be allowed to avoid public scrutiny in an area that is already under intense scrutiny by stripping the public’s First Amendment rights,” stated Leigh “This is an absolute outrage.”
In addition to the lack of public observation, BLM’s own personnel are expected to view only 25 percent of all operations. Yet BLM continues to maintain that humane care and transparency are a priority for their program.
Todays filing included a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) that asks the court to halt activities in the area until the underlying case, that has already been in the courts for two years, can be heard.
Owyhee hearing coming in July!
Categories: Wild Horse Education