Nevada Mustangs Given 28-Day Reprieve ~ Lawsuit Postpones Huge Wild Horse Roundup

Nevada Mustangs Given 28-Day Reprieve

IDA Lawsuit Postpones Huge Wild Horse Roundup

Washington, DC (November 24, 2009) – The U.S. Department of Justice announced tonight that the massive roundup and removal of thousands of horses from public land in northwestern Nevada will be delayed until December 28 as a direct result of the filing of a lawsuit by In Defense of Animals and renowned ecologist Craig Downer on November 23.

Tomorrow, IDA and Mr. Downer plan to file a motion for a permanent injunction, with supporting affidavits from horse experts and eyewitnesses to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundups. The motion will ask Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop the roundup altogether.

The roundup and removal of 80-90 percent of the estimated 3,055 wild horses living in the BLM’s Calico Mountain Complex was originally scheduled to begin December 1.  The BLM has received over 10,000 public comments in opposition to the roundup.

“We welcome this moratorium on the capture and inhumane treatment of the Calico horses,” said William Spriggs, Esq. of Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, pro bono attorney for IDA and Mr. Downer. “The BLM plan for a massive helicopter roundup of these horses is entirely illegal.”

“We are confident that the court will agree that America’s wild horses are protected by law from BLM’s plan to indiscriminately chase and stampede them into corrals for indeterminate warehousing away from their established habitat,” he said. “The magnificent wild horses and burros of the American West are an important part of our national heritage and must be preserved.”

The Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, passed unanimously by Congress in 1971, designated America’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” specifying they “shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death … [and that] to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.”

Since 1971, the BLM has removed over 270,000 horses from their Western home ranges and taken away nearly 20 million acres of wild horse habitat.  Only 37,000 wild horses and burros remain on public lands in the West. By contrast, millions of cattle graze our public lands. Thirty-two thousand wild horses who have been removed from the range are already held in government holding facilities, and the BLM intends to round up 12,000 more horses in FY 2010.


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization located in San Rafael, Calif. dedicated to protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitat through education, outreach, and our hands-on rescue facilities in Mumbai, India, Cameroon, Africa, and rural Mississippi.

IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS  3010 KERNER BLVD.   SAN RAFAEL, CA 94901  415-448-0048


38 Responses to “Nevada Mustangs Given 28-Day Reprieve ~ Lawsuit Postpones Huge Wild Horse Roundup”

  1. kas0859ohio Says:


  2. Louie Cocroft Says:


  3. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Renowned Ecologist!! Yes and every one who has helped. This must last. Lay on the pressure, people. The White House can give us what we seek for Christmas! Freedom for wild horses and burros on their range! Mar

  4. Morgan Williams Says:

    Glory hallelujah! Thank you Father God! Thank you Craig, Defense of Animals, all the attorneys and every single Mustang or Burro advocate on the planet!

    Yipeeeeeee! This is just the break we have been aching for! So much can be done and so much can happen in 28 days!

    Forward march everyone! The enemy may be sounding the call to retreat!

  5. pnickoles Says:

    Some very good, much needed news. Kudos to all involved.

  6. Joanna Lea Says:

    I’m soooooooooooooooooooo happy! I hope this insanity can be stopped permanently! Thank you IDA!

  7. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Lordy, Lordy, Lordy!

  8. Donna Moore Says:

    Now the REAL work begins.
    Call, write, email.
    Keep telling Washington that this needs to stop.
    Keep working.
    The BLM isn’t going to stop without a fight.

  9. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    It is sweet to have a day of celebration and reflection. The day after we will come back at DOI/BLM like the fighting family of wild horse advocates we have become! Mar

  10. Christine Says:

    Oh come on! My comments are STILL being moderated??

    • Christine Says:

      Okay, looks like if I use just ‘Christine’ still despite the possibility of being mixed up with Christine at the Foundation office my comments aren’t moderated…

  11. Roxy Says:

    Lets give them so many phone messages, e-mails, letters, and faxes this weekend that they are chin deep in them come Monday!

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Is the Dec 7 meeting still on or does this put the K-BOSH on that?

      • Barbara Steele Says:

        I am sure the BLM Advisory Meeting for Dec 7 is still on. I remember at the September meeting they were commenting among themselves about the Colorado judge’s decision to shut them down and they “felt confident” that their appeal would overturn that decision. Let’s destroy their “confidence”! Has anybody found the Sept meeting comments posted anywhere? The BLM has never responded to any email that I have sent them–not surprising.
        Anyway off to baste the turkey–Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  12. Kim Kloeppel Says:

    This is great news. I found out through Face Book. Janet has been wonderful at keeping us all informed.
    Keep spreading the word. People need to know.

  13. Karen L. Says:

    I’ve been out all day and only just read the news! Tomorrow will be a joyous Thanksgiving indeed!

  14. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Just back from BLM website — for those of you who are trying to overcome turkey poisoning, I offer this small paragraph from last October’s press release when Salazar’s new ideas were being trotted out:

    “In four decades under the BLM’s protection, wild horses that were fast disappearing from the American scene have returned to rapid growth. Secretary Salazar noted that some 37,000 wild horses and burros, which have virtually no natural predators, roam in 10 Western states, where arid rangelands and watersheds “cannot support a population this large without significant damage to the environment.””

    Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to shake those pie crumbs off and get back into fighting weight.

  15. jan eaker Says:

    “The cruel wild beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He stands in front of it.”
    Axel Munthe

    “Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
    Margaret Mead

  16. Louie Cocroft Says:


  17. Louie Cocroft Says:


  18. Louie Cocroft Says:


  19. Louie Cocroft Says:


  20. Julie (france) Says:

    I just followed this story (so far) and i’m glad to read that horses are saved (sorry for my unperfect english..).
    The most beautiful thing that i would enjoy to see is a freedom wild horse in his natural environment…
    How can we destroy all beautiful things on earth…Human is a good creator and also destructor…
    Lot of support from France!!!!

  21. Robert W Crosby Says:

    I would like to personally thank Craig Downer for all his help and expertise in this. The last time I talked to him he said “we will win this”. I had so little hope after lobbying in the Government buildings in Carson City, where no one seemed to care. THANK YOU CRAIG DOWNER

  22. Barbara Ellen Ries Says:

    Written by Barbara Ellen Ries / Wild Horse Advocate
    Sent to Terry Farley to read at the BLM meeting for me

    As a social worker I must speak up for those who can not speak for themselves and their families.
    The wild horse is not an underdog in my eyes. They are beautiful pristine creations from the GOD.
    I endorse and agree with the views of Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and the legal efforts of the moratoriums of all gathers now and into the future.
    The wild horses need to be preserved with quality and treated in a humane a fashion.
    ~ During the Stone Age our Treasured equines were free to ROAM in freedom as a symbol of beauty for all to relish. We appreciate natural beauty and ethical values as true altruistic love.
    ~ Equines in nature’s glory are our birth right we enter their family unit noticing care and dedication. They are as gentle as deer and scared for their lives with human managing their lives into extinction.
    ~ My continued assistance to the Wild Horse will be provided by my volunteer hours and will not seace until all horses are returned to live another day free of chemical birth control living their natural lives out on there western plains.
    ~ I don’t understand in my research why government cannot recognize equine/scientist DNA and that prove the wild horses and humans have an ancient bond with the dawn horses and early man.
    Wild Horses are our companions and bore our weight our families throughout history. Our ancient bond to our spirits horses exits as unconditional love. I truly hope NOT! I know I will not ever give up to support this good friend in need. We are all part of chain of life and after all the large mammals are gone, ur destruction will be next in line to go extinct. Will man break their ancient bond with history ~ time will only tell the future.
    I don’t understand why we always neglect wild horses, and re-locate them, this causes live long trauma and lower’s their quality of life. We (as humans) all and anything tower over the world, then to later wish we were still connected. We don’t want to kill the spirit of the Western destroying our companion that carried and built our lives, families through courage.
    Our Wild Horses are just to be looked at to uphold as a value being in our trust, recognized natures pride and the freedom of independent thinking. We can allow wild horses to set the pace for ethical values, rather humans our weaknesses destruction and greed.
    Stand up to acknowledge, Wild Horses not as hobby horses to be tossed in a cart when done playing. Destroying our companion who carried us on their strength, these friends deserve the best of treatment and care. I say stand up for friend, Stand up now and I’m not going to sit down until our message is heard.
    If we zero out wild horses we are the next large mammals in the food chain, our we next? Let’s not shot our chain of life in the heads or the foot. Sterilizing love is no way to keep Wild horses a native species alive this manages wild horses into extinction. We will lose and we can’t buy them back. They will be long GONE.
    We are all connected in the chain of life ~ if harm wild horses we simple also harm ourselves. We need to do better than this. Sincerely. wild horse advocate
    Barbara Ellen Ries

    also include this reference~ please read
    web site location ~~ (diagram quote to point out our connection to cattle grazing and all life) Drawing by Karen Klitz
    note any edits are fine
    Barbara Ellen Ries, LSW, LICDC, Author,Horse Advocate
    Web: http: /

  23. DeDeborah Simpson Says:

    The horse act in 1971 approved by our congress has not been honored in the West. The wild horses are slaughtered, shot & killed, and poisoned. This is a horbile act and BLM should be punished for these crimes. Horses should be free to roam as they are on the East and protected in there home enviroment. I can only hope that the congress will stop all the killing of Horses and protect them.
    Deborah Simpson

  24. Deborah Simpson Says:

    I am in favor of the law-suit against the movement of the wild horses in the West. Congress, needs to stop the killings, slaughter, and poison of these beautiful animals. Allow the horses to run FREE in there homeland with protection. Please let me be a voice to honor the horse act passed in 1971.
    Deborah Simpson

  25. suzanne berglind Says:

    We must protect our wild mustangs. Horses cannot run for great distances without serious health consequences or death. Stampeding them into terror ruins their chance of ever bonding with man. We must not forget about the burrows. We Americans must step up to the plate and save our American Heritage. SAVE OUR MUSTANGS and BURROWS.
    The mustangs must be allowed to run free in their homeland. Let us awaken to this horror and DO something about it.
    Suzanne Berglind

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