BREAKING NEWS: Judge temporarily blocks the roundup and forced drugging of beloved herd from THE MISFITS starring Marilyn Monroe

PM MArilyn © Eve Arnold Magnum Photos

PM PIne Nut Horses


For immediate release:

Anne Novak, Executive Director, Protect Mustangs; 415.531.8454;
Jenni Barnes, staff attorney, FoA’s Wildlife Law Program 720.949.7791;
Mike Harris, Director, Wildlife Law Program; 720.949.7791;

BREAKING NEWS: Judge temporarily blocks the roundup and forced drugging of beloved Nevada herd known from THE MISFITS

Government cannot rely on a five-year-old environmental analysis that ignores allegations of pesticide dangers

RENO, NV (February 11, 2015)—U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks has granted Protect Mustangs and Friends of Animals a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) roundup and permanent removal of 200 wild horses in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) and the roundup of another 132 wild horses so that an estimated 66 mares can be given the drug PZP, an EPA approved pesticide, as a form of birth control. These wild horses belong to the most famous horse herd in NV–the one featured in The Misfits starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe–which helped pave the way for the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971. This herd now faces possible obliteration, despite the Act and advocates are fighting to stop a travesty with attorneys Michael Harris and Jennifer Barnes from Friends of Animals Wildlife Law program and attorney Jennifer Spencer from Cavanaugh-Bill Law Offices in Elko, Nevada

“Today is a milestone for America’s wild horses who have been scapegoated for range damage and forcibly drugged with PZP in experiments for decades,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs based in San Francisco. “They should never live in zoo-like settings on public land. That’s not freedom. Wild horses are a native species who contribute to the ecosystem. They belong here.”

Hicks said that with the proposed Pine Nut roundup, which was slated to begin Feb. 20, 2015, the BLM has failed to satisfy the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and other federal laws that are applicable.

“Accordingly, the court finds that the public interest will be best served by enjoining the BLM’s proposed gather, at least until the court has an opportunity to fully consider the merits of plaintiffs’ claims,” Hicks said.

“We are delighted that the Court agreed with Friends of Animals and Protect Mustangs that BLM is obligated to fully evaluate under NEPA each and every proposed round-up,” said Michael Harris, director of Friends of Animals’ (FoA’s) Wildlife Law Program. “In relying upon a stale Environmental Assessment from 2010, BLM has not met its duty to fully inform the public about the impacts associated with its plan to permanently remove more than 200 wild horses from the Pine Nut Range, and to dose dozens of mares with the fertility drug PZP. It is time for BLM to evaluate the harsh reality that PZP has long-term detrimental effects on wild horses.”

“I would say this is a major victory for wild horses and reflects rising concerns about rounding up and drugging wild horses with PZP,” added Jennifer Barnes, staff attorney with FoA’s Wildlife Law Program.

“I’m grateful that the wild herd I’ve been studying for 50 years has received justice in federal court today.” Craig Downer, director of ecology and conservation at Protect Mustangs. “This is an opportunity to prove our case to restore the herds.”
Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

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 Links of interest™:

February 11th Court order granting preliminary injunction: PM Pine Nut Order Granting Preliminary Inj.

US judge temporarily blocks wild horse roundup in Nevada (Associated Press)

US judge “troubled” by mustang roundup planned in Nevada (Associated Press) went viral:

Lawsuit targets Nevada wild horse roundup (USA TODAY)

Latest suit to block Nevada mustang roundups targets drugs (Associated Press) went viral:

Jan. 26th Press release: Protect Mustangs & Friends of Animals file lawsuit to stop Pine Nut Mountains roundup:

Wild-horse activists kicked out of federal meeting in Nevada, (Associated Press) went viral:

Activists split on US agency”s plans to treat 250 mares with fertility-control drug in Nevada: (Associated Press) went viral:

Forum on PZP:

EPA Pesticide fact Sheet for PZP:

Protect Mustangs on Facebook:

ProtectMustangs on Twitter:

Anne Novak on Twitter:

A brief history of wild horses in the news:

11 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Judge temporarily blocks the roundup and forced drugging of beloved herd from THE MISFITS starring Marilyn Monroe

  1. Congratulations. This has been enlightening and inspirational. Keep the momentum going! The next stages are going to be very interesting and will keep gaining ground.

  2. PZP is another way of BLM’s annilation of these deserving horses.
    Thanks to Anne Novak, Priscilla Feral, and Craig Downer, for taking this heroic stand !!

  3. Thank you, PROTECT MUSTANGS, ANNE NOVAK, FoA, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks … THANK YOU FOR hearing the public outcry for these majestic symbols of America.

    These animals represent all that is free and good. THANK YOU.

  4. It’s time to stop the BLM and their agenda to wipe out our last icons of the wild west. Marilyn Monroe stood up for them once now it is our time to stand for the wild ones. Management into extinction is not what the act of 1971 was aiming for. Let’s rally around Protect Mustangs and Ann Novak and fight the good fight while there is still something to fight for. #justice4mustangs

  5. I am so encouraged by this ruling it makes me feel like our horses are actually going to get consideration and relief from these cruel
    Roundups.holding pens and PZP We all need to get behind Protect Mustangs and FOA this is a call to all of us fighting for the freedom of these magnificent animals to follow through
    with what they have started! We can only pray this judge will see what the BLM has done and is doing to eliminate the herds just for the benefit of a bunch of money hungry oil companies and freeloading ranchers. Just a note on the ranchers there are very few ranchers that live off the government, most are wantabe cartlemen. I was raised on a ranch and I consider us good people but we get a bad name because of them!! Let’s turn our Living Western Heritage Wild horses out to roam free again!!!!! Wild is in their blood folks they should never have to suffer the indignities that they are being forced to suffer. No man has the right to interfere in the natural nature of things as the horses have it handled, so leave them alone.

  6. This is the best news ever gor these wild horses of the Pine Nut herd. Hoprfully the beginning of sabing all our wilf horses. They made the ranchers and ran strongly for the Pony express. They are the icons of freedom in America. They dhould never have been slaughtered or run down with helicopters and and to usePZP on them was just another dlower way of getting rid of them. I am so proud of Judge Hicks for seeing this wrong. His eillingness to eork for the right way. THANKS TO ANNE Novak for never giving up and all the others who represented America’s horses so well. Thos is a day to be remembered.

  7. I was so delighted to hear this news! Anne Novak, Priscilla Feral & Craig Downer worked damn hard to accomplish this feat. Thank you! II think the hope of everyone concerned is that the Judge will grant a PERMANENT injunction against all round-ups. Our wild horses and burros deserve to live in peace with their herds & not terrorized by continual round-up & being terrorized with PZP darts. Thank you Judge Hicks for willing to the pro-horse & burros contingent & not just the BLM. Thank you.

  8. We will never give up the fight! We will see them roam free once more! We have the truth on our side and I was taught to believe that good wins out over evil!

  9. The Pine Nut wild horse herd is of modest size, a little over 300 horses in a 90,000 acre herd management area, one horse in about 270 acres. The BLM intends to remove the herd for non-transparent reasons, probably to please freeloaders now grazing cattle in this wild horse herd management area

  10. Thank you U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks, Protect Mustangs and Friends of Animals. This historic and famous wild horse herd deserves to live out on the land that is rightfully theirs in the wild.

  11. Our prayers have been answered for the Pine Nut wild horses and burros, and I’m overjoyed. Now that we have the legal system’s attention, we need to make them understand that PZP use is dangerous and will sterilize the horses permanently so they will not be able to breed. We don’t want that!! These historic creatures do not need to be rounded up. They have the right to roam free as per the ruling of 1971. Leave them on their home ground. Everyone who loves to see the wild horses wild needs to comment on this decision by writing how happy they are about the judge’s ruling. How zeroing them out is wrong, how damaging the round ups have been to the herds, how confining these beautiful animals in overcrowded, poorly managed holding pens is torture by separating families and stressing out all involved. How rounding up with helicopters kills foals and others, who can’t run fast enough, or maims them. They need to be free to roam as was promised in 1971. We will never let these Icons be phased out to extinction!! Speak up!! We want to see them running free. They’ve earned it.

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