Sale of wild horses from Nevada wildlife refuge moves ahead
(Years ago the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge tried to sell me all the horses I could take for $1 each, transportation included. Not having any facility to handle them, I had to declined. Instead they ended up in hands of some very bad people. The plea of “innocent” from the people that have taken these horses and say they never sold any to slaughter rings as false as the voice of the BLM who handles the roundup. Nothing changes and OUR horses keep dying at the hands of our elected officials. Why do we keep electing them? Why can’t someone stand up to the horsemeat industry and say, “Enough!” – Jerry)
The U.S. government can proceed with plans to sell more than 400 mustangs gathered at a national wildlife refuge to a private contractor that critics say has a history of reselling them for slaughter, a federal judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du refused to grant an emergency order blocking the sale because she said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has tightened restrictions on the Mississippi contractor, which has been unable to account for the current whereabouts of more than half of the 262 horses it has purchased from the agency since 2010.
However, Du said she’ll give horse advocates another chance next week to prove why the horses from the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge on the Nevada-Oregon line are of historical and cultural significance and deserve the same protection as those managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
She also set a hearing for Oct. 10 for advocates to argue why they think their First Amendment rights have been violated by restrictions the Fish and Wildlife Service has placed on public access to the holding facility where the animals have been stored since being rounded up earlier this month.
Du said advocates can file a new brief Monday, but she won’t in the meantime prevent the agency from moving forward with next week’s planned shipment of horses to contractors, including J&S Associates of Pelahatchie, Miss.
“The government can start that process,” Du said, adding that she believes agency officials have screened potential adopters and “have made reasonable efforts to prevent horses from going to slaughter.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a formal investigation of J&S Associates last year based on a complaint from one of the plaintiffs in the current case, California horse advocate Bonnie Kohleriter. But officials said the agency could not document any evidence horses were knowingly transferred to others for slaughter.
“There’s simply no evidence any horses have gone to slaughter,” Justice Department lawyer Travis Annatoyn told Du on Friday. CONTINUED… Read the rest of the article and COMMENT HERE