As the annual roundup of wild horses and burros continues south of the border, a wild horse advocacy group in Nevada has sued the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for violating its own safety standards and is seeking to halt the roundup in that state.
According to a report by CTV News, a Reno, Nevada judge decided against granting the August 1 request for a temporary restraining order to stop the roundup. But on August 4, US District Court Judge Larry Hicks informed the BLM that they had until August 7, at 4pm, to respond formally to the allegations. Further, Judge Hicks also set a hearing date for August 9 for any further arguments from both sides.
In related news, Nevada Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus has introduced a bill that seeks to ban the use of helicopters for the roundup of wild horses. This comes after an explicit and disturbing video went viral showing one wild mustang’s leg snap as it tried to flee the chopper. The bill, H.R. 3656 or the “Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 2023” was introduced in May. “The BLM is charged with humanely managing the wild horses and burros population. We have seen pictures lately and we know from longtime experience that humanely is dropped from their agenda. They chase horses down with helicopters which is just horrendous on the horses and many die and get crippled,” Titus told a local news outlet.
The state of Nevada is estimated to have nearly two-thirds of the 68,928 wild horses the BLM claimed were on federal lands across the continental USA. The BLM claims that the roundups are necessary due to the “damage” the herds cause to the range. Scientific evidence has been used by animal welfare advocacy groups to prove otherwise, and in fact it is the cattle and sheep belonging to local ranches that inflict the most damage. Ranchers are often in support of the roundups to lessen grazing competition for their livestock.