Citizens protest Feds NV wild horse roundup.

carrs-sheldon photo USFWS

September 5, 2013 by American Wild Horse Preservation

Roundup Scheduled for Monday in Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada

Denio, NV (September 5, 2013)….A national wild horse advocacy coalition– joined by thousands of American citizens – is making a last-minute plea to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to rein in her Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which plans to launch a massive roundup of wild horses on the Sheldon National blmroundup2012Wildlife Refuge in northwest Nevada on Monday. According to a letter sent to Jewell by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the roundup is Phase 1 of the FWS’ plan to eradicate wild horses and burros from Sheldon Refuge lands, despite their historic and cultural significance to the area.

“These are America’s War Horses – their ancestors were cavalry mounts who fought our overseas battles through World War I,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC director. “The Fish and Wildlife Service plan to wipe out these historic and publicly-cherished animals is a travesty, and the agency’s intent to dump hundreds of wild horses into a pipeline that leads to slaughter is unacceptable. Secretary Jewell must act immediately to stop this atrocity.”

Of particular concern is the FWS decision to pay over $1000 per horse to an “adoption” contractor that cannot account for at least 200 of the 262 captured Sheldon horses placed with him between 2010 and 2012. According to the FWS’ own investigation, “a bunch” of these horses were sold at a livestock auction. Most were likely sold for slaughter.

Faxes from outraged citizens have been pouring in to Secretary Jewel’s office over the past two days, urging her to halt the roundup. Jewell has received 10,000 faxes in less than 48 hours urging her immediate intervention.

The latest federal wild horse controversy comes just weeks after the U.S. Forest Service withdrew from a similar plan to roundup horses from public and tribal lands to the east of the Sheldon Refuge and ship them to a livestock auction. As with the Forest Service, the FWS is looking the other way as hundreds of wild horses are removed from federal lands and placed in jeopardy of being sold for slaughter. These actions by federal agencies directly contradict the Obama Administration’s stated position against the cruel practice of horse slaughter.

The Sheldon wild horses are descendants of military mounts and cavalry stock that fought in overseas wars through World War I. Their presence on the land in question pre-dates the 1931 creation of the Sheldon Refuge by over half a century. Despite public support for these horses and their historic significance, earlier this year, the FWS adopted a “Comprehensive Conservation Plan” that calls for elimination of all wild horses and burros from refuge lands over the next five years. This summer, the Refuge announced that it would get rid of all horses and burros within two years.

“The Sheldon Refuge plans to dump 400 wild horses per year onto an adoption market that is already saturated, in full knowledge that many of these horses will end up sold for slaughter,” said Neda DeMayo, President of Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary, the

Baby burro living on lands near the Sheldon Refuge, January 2012. Photo by Mike Lorden.

Baby burro living on lands near the Sheldon Refuge,
January 2012. Photo by Mike Lorden.

AWHPC’s founding organization. “On behalf of the entire AWHPC coalition, we call on Secretary Jewell to halt this misguided, inhumane and irresponsible plan. The historic wild horses and burros of the Sheldon Refuge should be protected and preserved on their rangelands. At minimum, these populations should be phased out over time to allow older, unadoptable horses and burros the chance to live out their lives wild and free on the lands of their birth.”

In another action, Reno attorney Gordon M. Cowan has sent a letter to Sheldon Refuge officials on behalf of Laura Leigh, president of Wild Horse Education warning that litigation will result if FWS officials do not address issues of transparency and adoption security related to the proposed roundup. Specifically, Leigh seeks to exercise her First Amendment right to observe any wild horse and burro roundups conducted at the Refuge, something that has previously been denied to the public, and objects to the FWS plan to use J&S Associates as an “adoption” contractor in light of past contractual violations. Leigh seeks assurance that “no Sheldon horses are sent to contractors that can not appropriately account for animals shipped to them in the past.”

“We stand ready to do anything and everything we can to prevent these amazing horses from landing in a sale yard,” stated Leigh “it would be a tremendous American tragedy if we as a nation forget the contribution these animals played in our history and betrayed them, again.”

Read More at American Wild Horse Preservation

AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • Why are they wasting taxpayers money for these round-ups…when we the taxpayers don’t want it….and are against it.. that’s right the cattle people want it and have the money to get it done…..this is total BS..

    September 6, 2013
  • Jan Schultz

    This is such a waste of time to have another laura leigh lawsuit filed. This roundup has been on the books for almost a year now and it comes down to this last ditch effort to do what? Go and watch it? Nice.

    When we get serious about engaging these decisions and go about them in a rational manner, we will see changes.

    September 6, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    I receivede a letter from Congressman Amodei stating that the Obama Admin. has reauthorized the slaughter of horses for meat in the United States. So what are we all getting misinformed about what is really going on in this country. I am going to the newspaper with this letter hopefully it will get printed!

    September 6, 2013
  • Jan Schultz

    The following is a note by BLM in opposition (actually a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on leigh’s motion to amend her Owyhee complaint. If you want to continue to waste the money of the advocacy, continue to support the kind of work that gets this kind of response. And if you think the judge’s are not paying attention to the slop work, don’t blink. In the quote below, BLM is referring to her added claim on the basis of violation of NEPA (something she must have copied after the McDermitt roundup from another more grounded group’s filing, whose name I will not mention in the same breath as this one.) I say, copied because she obviously did not learn how it is applied and how it controls. And really should technically stop referring to these cases as whe cases. They are ALL leigh cases. So donate your money to the so-called nonprofit so the money is turened around and supports her fame and fortune. (really? did anyone get a tax deductible account of their donations).

    This is a direct quote from the documents filed by BLM yesterday in her Owyhee case. It is embarrassing. They need to stop. They are providing precedent for failure. And making a mockery of the justice system. Sitting on a street corner complaining of a wrong with neither fact nor reference and asking for financial support to “play” in the court system is just begging in my book. Fanciful begging, yes.
    “We say “appears” because nowhere in her complaint does Plaintiff specifically identify the seemingly relevant statute – NEPA. Instead, Plaintiff vaguely alleges that BLM violated the law before finalizing the relevant Environmental Assessment – a document that is prepared in accordance with the requirements of NEPA. As a result, it is unclear whether Plaintiff has properly invoked this Court’s jurisdiction over such a claim.” (BLM’s Opposition Memorandum to Plaintiff’s Motion to Flle Second Amended Complaint.)

    September 6, 2013
  • Donna Moore

    These beautiful animals were born to be free. Who are humans to take their lives and their freedom away? People just don’t get it. . . These animals were born wild. . . For the wild. STOP THE MURDERING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2013
    • Robyn

      I have always felt Obama was behind and supported all the roundups and reintroduction of Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

      He’s the one who can stop it and hasn’t even blinked an eye on this!!! Why not??
      He’s been behind it all the way!!!

      I thought Victoria McCullough had sent a letter that went to Obama stating he would sign it to prevent slaughter? Where did that go??
      What that just blew up in the air??

      September 6, 2013
      • Robyn

        My response was to Nancy Albin…

        Thank you Nancy for your update..

        September 6, 2013
      • Arlene

        Where the Mustangs are concerned you can only count on is Lies and deception coming from all the horse haters !!!!! They are all so jealous of the Beauty and innocence, and power they possess, it can be only that, The Mustangs are Flawless and they just cannot stand it !!!!!!!!

        September 6, 2013
  • Please someone needs to stop this! These are beautiful wild beings that deserve happiness on this earth. This world does not only belong to humans!

    September 6, 2013
  • Arlene

    Get A Darn Clue Sally Jewell !!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2013
  • powwowgirl

    Your all being suckered by T Boon Pickens and his ex wife the property they bought as a so called wild horse sanctuary is very close to all the new hydrolic fracking that is being planned in Nevada. All Nevada wildlife is in jepordy. Do your research see if I am telling the truth, then write Brian Sandoval

    September 24, 2013