Judge Grants TRO to Stop Sale of Wild Horses At NV Slaughter Auction

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Horseback Magazine, August 16, 2013

Order could delay tomorrow’s sale of nearly 500 horses at Fallon Livestock Exchange

Unknown-4RENO, (Wild Horse Education) – A federal court judge in Reno, NV has granted a coalition of wild horse advocacy and conservation groups a Temporary Restraining Order to block the sale of unbranded horses at a slaughter auction tomorrow in Fallon, Nevada. The groups sued to stop the sale of unbranded horses who were captured last weekend on public and tribal lands in northern Nevada, alleging that unbranded horses were likely federally-protected wild horses originating from the nearby Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Little Owyhee Herd Management Area.

The order throws into question tomorrow’s auction at the Fallon Livestock Exchange, where nearly 500 horses are sitting in pens awaiting their fate. The horses in question were rounded up by the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone tribe with approval of the U.S. Forest Service and the BLM. In response to the lawsuit filed by the public interest firm Meyer, Gltizenstein & Crystal with local counsel Gordon B. Cowan on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, its founding organization Return to Freedom, The Cloud Foundation, the Western Watersheds Project and advocate Laura Leigh, U.S. District Court Judge Miranda M. Du found:

“Plaintiffs have shown serious questions …that wild horses were improperly rounded up during the gather from August 11-13, 2013. .. Plaintiffs have demonstrated an immediate threat of irreparable harm if the status quo is not maintained, that is the sale of wild horses and their possible slaughter. . . . The public interest is served when the Court maintains the status quo to ensure wild horses are not improperly removed and auctioned for sale to potentially be slaughtered because of an agency action.”

Du’s TRO prohibits the sale of all unbranded horses at tomorrow’s slaughter auction until the hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, August 21, 2013.

“Judge Du has stepped in to do what the federal government refused to do: act to prevent federally protected wild horses from being sold at a slaughter auction,” said Suzanne Roy, Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. “We are grateful for this federal court decision, but remain outraged by the federal government’s complicity in this dirty operation that has sentenced hundreds of horses to horrific deaths at slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico.”

“Like the nearly 170 horses that I rescued from this livestock auction three years ago, many of these horses are wild horses who were removed from federal lands. They were denied federal protection under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and the judge has taken a stand for all those mares, foals, yearlings and mature stallions who are a day away from being sold to kill buyers and sent to slaughter,” said Ellie Phipps Price, AWHPC supporter and owner of the renowned Durell Vineyard in Sonoma, California. “The tribes and the U.S. government need to choose birth control for wild horses over roundup and slaughter.”

“We want to get to the bottom of this and understand how wild horses may have been compromised through stealth negotiations between the federal government and the tribe,” said Neda DeMayo, President of Return to Freedom. “It is the legal responsibility of the Forest Service and the BLM to preserve and protect wild horses on our public lands. When wild horses roam outside of their designated Herd Management Areas, it should be the concern of these agencies to return them to their rangelands- not support covert horse trading deals sending wild horses to auction and slaughter.”

“Sometimes the fight to protect our wild horses is difficult and complex. This decision shows that when we all work together and stay the course, we can achieve our mutual goals,” said Laura Leigh, founder of Wild Horse Education. “I am proud to be part of this effort. Together, we can turn this around to save America’s mustangs on our public lands in the West.”

CONTINUED… Read the rest of the story at Horseback Magazine (and while you’re there, think about subscribing. This is one of the top magazines dedicated to horses that strongly believes horses should be treated with love and respect. – Jerry)




AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
14 Comments
  • Arlene

    Omg !! I am so Happy , didnt sleep all nite worrying about what was about to happen today to these magnificent Mustangs, Thank You thank You to all who worked so hard to STOP this horrible Sale !!!!!!! A Special Thank You to the Judge who saw fit to Step up for Justice for these awesome beings that i Love and respect , God Bless Judge Du !!!!!!!!!

    August 17, 2013
  • Robyn

    YEAH!!!! I was so worried!!.. But SAD for the remaining branded horses. Hopefully many will be on the rescue from others…PRAY!

    August 17, 2013
  • Connie Nelson

    wonderful news :)

    August 17, 2013
  • Nancy

    Thanks to all who helped stop this, at least for now. My heart still breaks for those beautiful horses with brands that may be sold and going into a living hell called slaughter.
    I keep praying the SAFE act will get passed but typical government has it going round and round.

    August 17, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    Yes I am so Happy to. But Laura emailed me yesterday that the judge Miranda didn’t go for it, then 46 min. ago AWHPC emails me to say a judge went for it & ok’d the TRO. So I am doing everything i can to help all these beautiful horses but i need to have my story straight. Because I m going for Obama’s throat about this (& that is a figure of speech)I mean I am being very “Harsh” Im not pulling any punches see it’s just the way i speak I am an ole biker from chatsworth & horse girl now in Nevada moved here because of the beauty & Wild Horses I guess I m sent here to save them & that is what i am trying to do but I do need the correct info befor i do anymore except for the Indian’s because Apache is my heritage & the Shoshone Paiute & Navajo have disrespected our elders & heritage & I won’t let that go.

    August 17, 2013
    • Arlene

      Well spoken with the Pride and Courage of a true spirit of your heritage !!!!! Bravo Nancy

      August 17, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    & those horses aren’t out of the water yet it says until the hearing wednesday the 21st but I know there are AWHPC guys there to make sure no unbranded horses are sold but don’t make no mistake the horses that are sold are sold to Kill Buyers for Slaughter that is why we have to contact Obama & all just mail & phone calls as much as you possibly can to end all HORSE SLAUGHTERHOUSES IN AMERICA maybe i should post pictures of what really goes on to the horses maybe then more people would see how seriouse this is I live here with the wild horses & they are gone not one is here they got them I just pray that the auction owner isn’t branding them as we speak that is how dirty these monsters are playing~

    August 17, 2013
    • Gracemarie Elliott

      You’re Right!!!

      August 18, 2013
  • Nancy Leake

    wow…I thought for sure this was going to happen today, I have emailed KTVN Reno to please keep up on this story,They have done great coverage on the local level here in Reno.
    http://www.ktvn.com
    please email them to keep on this.

    August 17, 2013
    • Robyn

      Nancy….you’re the go to gal for KTVN since you’ve established a relationship with them from your previous complaints..

      Thrilled you’re able to do this!!!!

      August 17, 2013
    • Gracemarie Elliott

      Miracle, Prayin’ as hard as I can

      Only God Can Change this

      August 18, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    ok i have alittle more clarity everybody keep hounding the white house!!! Stop round ups & horse slaughterhouses completely its hard to see the horses going through this i can’t shake the nightmares We love you Jfinch & all lets ride & be calm!

    August 17, 2013
    • Arlene

      i am the nite-mare on all levels of this American tragedy on the Presidents comment line, i call at least 5 times each day of the week, Giving the President all truths !!!!!!All the calls are graciously referred to the President !!!!!!!

      August 17, 2013
  • Sharon Jacobs-Salinas

    Great news, but what about the poor branded horses! Gr-rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !

    August 19, 2013