This page looks different to our usual site because it is from our back catalogue. More recent articles are here.


Legal challenge to planned Nevada muster

February 5, 2010

A second lawsuit is planned in the US as wild horse advocates continue to challenge the Bureau of Land Management over the legality of its musters.

The latest target is a muster planned for the Eagle Herd Management Area in Nevada, where the bureau intends to remove 495 horses.

It will be the second legal challenge in three months against a Nevada muster.

The first was unsuccessful in stopping the Calico muster, which is targeting up to 2700 wild horses, but the judge saw merit in some arguments.

While refusing to stop the muster, Judge Paul Friedman, sitting in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, believed there was merit in the advocates' argument that the bureau was acting illegally in holding horses further east in long-term holding facilities, away from their natural rangelands.

The law firm intends filing its lawsuit against the latest muster on February 8.

Lead attorney Bill Sprigg said: "The Bureau of Land Management's proposed plan fails to comply with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act."

He said the lawsuit will be identical to the one that challenged the Calico muster.

"Judge Friedman ... supports our claim that the relocation of horses for indefinite holding periods violates the plain language of Section 1339."

He further cited the opinion, stating that the roundups violate the "minimal feasible level" of management language in Section 1333(a).

He adds that the opinion also rejected the bureau argument that Congress had authorised long-term holding facilities through the appropriations process. Judge Friedman has set a court date for April 30 to hear the case, with a final opinion by May 26.



Affiliate disclaimer