Press Release: Lawsuit filed to save wild horses from alleged slaughter

For immediate release

Alleged violations put iconic wild horses at risk of disappearing

Coalition against slaughter and for the protection of mustangs files lawsuit

RENO, NV. (August 16, 2013)–Protect Mustangs, the California-based conservation group, dedicated to protecting native wild horses and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES), the Oregon nonprofit, have filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service asking for an injunction on their intent to impound unauthorized livestock in conjunction with the Fort McDermitt Tribal Council on and in the vicinity of the Humboltd-Toiyabe National Forest. The coalition hopes to prevent wild horses from loosing their protections and going to probable slaughter.

“This may be the first time that protected mustangs are being auctioned off for alleged slaughter en masse and publicly with the tacit approval & cooperation of federal officials,” explains Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs.

Right now hundreds of wild horses are being fattened up at a Fallon, Nevada auction yard for the sale because the Forest Service allegedly rounded up wild free roaming horses in violation of the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act and in violation of National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

“Horse slaughter is cruel and inhumane and we need to stop it,” says Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM and president of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter. “This stealth roundup is a heinous act toward our icons of liberty.”

“The U.S. Forest Service needs to comply with the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act as well as NEPA before rounding up hundreds of potentially wild horses–especially when the BLM’s nearby Owyhee gather plan doesn’t authorize this action,” states Jordan Beckett, attorney for Plaintiffs Citizens Against Equine Slaughter and Protect Mustangs.

The Judge has not ruled on the complaint filed by Protect Mustangs and Citizens against Equine Slaughter as of this moment.

Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of America’s wild and domestic horses.

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Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454,

Patience O’Dowd, 505-610-7644,

Photos, interviews and video available upon request

Links of interest:

Read the complaint here: PM Complaint CAES Protect mustangs v USFS BLM

U.S. Judge refuses to block NV tribe’s mustang sale, The Associated Press,

Protect Mustangs

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter

Beckett Law Office, P.C.

Jones Law Firm

Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act


Roundup footage & abuse:


Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court:

1. Declare that the USFS and the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and their implementing regulation in implementing the Fort McDermitt Horse Gather;

2. Order the USFS and the BLM to withdraw the Notice and 2013 Horse Gather Agreement until such time as the agency demonstrates to this Court that it has adequately complied with the law, including but not limited to putting the 2013 Agreement through notice and comment procedures, ordering DNA testing to determine the origin of captured wild horses, ordering the BLM and USFS to comply with the law to determine ownership of the wild horses, and ordering the BLM and USFS return to public lands or the HMAs all seized or removed wild, free-roaming, and unbranded horses being held at Fallon Livestock Auction;

3. Enjoin the USFS, the BLM, and their agents from proceeding with the Fort McDermitt Horse Gather, or any portion thereof, unless and until the violations of federal law set forth herein have been corrected to the satisfaction of this court;

4. Award Plaintiffs their costs of suit and attorneys fees; and

5. Grant Plaintiffs such other and further relief as the Court deems just and equitable.


Requesting a 50 million dollar fund for Wyoming’s wild horses to mitigate environmental distress from fracking on the range

Photo © Cynthia Smalley


Bureau of Land Management

Attn:  Mark Ames

Rawlins Field Office

P.O. Box 2407 (1300 North Third Street)

Rawlins, WY 82301-2407


RE: Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project (CD-C Project)

Dear Mr. Ames,

We are against this massive fracking Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project (CD-C Project) and ask you to stop this project before it ruins the environment and endangers America’s native wild horses in Wyoming.

The drilling proposed will not only displace native wild horses but also threaten the wild herds with environmental dangers/disease.

If you choose to go forward with this during the environmentally risky CD-C Project then we ask that you do the following:

1.) We request you take immediate action to ensure native wild horses will live in their native habitat and not be rounded up for permanent removal.

2.) We request you prohibit drilling in native wild horse habitat.

3.) We ask that you work with the energy companies involved including BP American Production to create a 50 million dollar “Protect Wyoming Mustangs Fund” to mitigate the impacts to native wild horse habitat, air quality and water sources from the proposed Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project.

4.) We request you never grant NEPA waivers for any aspect of this project. Wild horses and other wildlife, the environment and air quality must be protected.

America’s wild horses are a native species and must be protected as such.

Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio, in the revised January 2010 edition of Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife states:

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”

The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.

Please respond directly to me with regards to our requests.

Thank you for your kind assistance to urgent this matter.


Anne Novak


Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

San Francisco Bay Area


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Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the native wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.


Outrageous! BLM Gives themselves permission to remove Desatoya wild horses for 10 years

Federal agency pushes ahead with Salazar Plan to wipe out mustangs despite several years of public and celebrity opposition

How many foals will die in another helicopter roundup?

After the helicopter stampedes and captures of Desatoya free roaming wild horses–the Bureau of Land Management will be allowed to bait trap for another 10 years.

Who will they hire for the bait trapping? The local land owners with blatant conflicts of interest? Will they trap America’s wild horses on private land to prevent advocates from watchdogging?

If you don’t like this then contact your elected officials and ask them for a moratorium on roundups, a Congressional investigation of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burros program because the BLM has a conflict of interest and should not be managing America’s indigenous horses.

You can spread awareness. Have a peaceful protest in your community to inform the public about what is happening on public land in the West.


Evening news interview: BLM Nevada jeopardizing public process, privacy and free speech

Stallion & Sweaty Mustangs Trapped at Calico Roundup (Photo © Cat Kindsfather)

Hear the report about the Nevada BLM jeopardizing public process, privacy and free speech and the call for the public to weigh in by faxing the BLM in Washington at 202-208-5242 .

The interview aired on KPFA, KPFB Evening News Berkeley, as well as on KFCF Fresno, KPFK Los Angeles, WBAI New York, KPFT Houston, WPFW Washington, DC.

Listen here:  at 22:35

Ask your friends to fax in requests for BLM to have a public helicopter hearing in Nevada with 30 days notice.

Thank you for doing what you can to save America’s wild horses and burros.

Congress considering terrible bills to speed up oil and gas destruction of public wildlands

Water for wildlife in Nevada (Photo © Anne Novak, all rights reserved.)

Cross-posted from National Resources Defense Council

By Amy Mall, Senior Policy Analyst, Washington, D.C.

May 15, 2012

A suite of bad bills is scheduled to be considered in the House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow, and NRDC opposes all of them. Here are the details from my colleague Bobby McEnaney on the four worst:

    • H.R. 4383 – This draconian bill is designed to eliminate the public’s right to have a say in the management of public lands–lands that belong to all Americans. The bill would abolish most avenues to protest oil and gas leasing decisions, mandates unrealistic timelines for challenging oil and gas leases, aims to limit the scope of federal courts, and imposes a $5,000 fee if anyone can still find a way to protest an agency’s oil and gas leasing decision. Further, this legislation would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to bypass proper environmental review, even though the oil and gas industry currently is sitting on thousands of unused leases.
    • H.R. 4382 – This sweeping legislation would mandate oil and gas leasing on public lands, even when it is not warranted. It would also eliminate the public’s right to participate in management processes associated with leasing decisions by severely curtailing the opportunity to protest inappropriate leasing decisions. Lastly, it would force the BLM to lease lands when oil and gas companies want, even when such a decision would destroy or damage sensitive lands and wildlife habitat, including wilderness quality lands. In essence, this bill would cede control of federal lands to oil and gas producers and remove safeguards that balance energy production with necessary conservation mandates.
    • H.R. 4381 – This bill would require the Department of Interior (DOI) to establish arbitrary targets for energy production on federal lands–even those under the jurisdiction of other agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service. The bill would require the agency to take all necessary actions to meet the targets, leading to extraction of coal, oil and gas, and other dirty fossil fuels at the expense of cleaner sources such as wind and solar.
    • H.R. 4402 – This legislation would nearly abolish the public’s right to participate in the management of mining claims on federal lands. H.R. 4402 would eliminate the few safeguards that are in place and turn the clock back to the 19th century by eliminating the public’s right to challenge inappropriate mineral leasing decisions.