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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Anne Novak, 415-531-8454, Anne@ProtectMustangs.org
Patience O’Dowd, 505-610-7644, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/15/3565447/us-judge-in-nv-asked-to-block.html
Protect Mustangs www.ProtectMustangs.org
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter http://www.noequineslaughter.org/
Beckett Law Office, P.C. http://www.roguevalleylawyer.com/
Jones Law Firm http://cjoneslawfirm.com/
Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/92-195.htm
Roundup footage & abuse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF49csCB9qM
PLAINTIFFS’ PRAYER FOR RELIEF
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.