(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch
BLM Loses Bid to Move Law Suit
HOUSTON (SFTHH) – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) attempt to strong arm a Federal judge into moving a wild horse related law suit out of the New York Court system, prior to a hearing, has failed. In a detailed letter submitted to the Honorable Judge William Pauley on October 12th, the BLM struggled to support a case for “change of venue” to move a suit filed by Habitat for Horses (HfH), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and The Cloud Foundation (TCF) to a more BLM friendly court in either Colorado or Washington D.C.. Today, a Temporary Restraining Order was filed by the case’s plaintiffs against the BLM in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York and a hearing has been ordered in the same venue for October 20th. The BLM will be forced to defend it’s illegal wild horse roundups in New York City.
The well researched suit contends that the BLM uses faulty and out dated data in determining which wild horse herds on U.S. public lands will be completely and totally removed from their lawful homes (zeroing out). This suit focus on the illegal roundup of the Colorado Piceance-North Douglas Herd, one of America’s federally protected wild horse herds. Likewise the finely crafted suit brings to light a variety of federal laws that the BLM knowingly and willing violates as it unleashes it’s “Wild Horse Harvesting Machine” on the tens of millions of public acres in the U.S. western states.
“We are encouraged by the Court’s desire to move forward with a hearing regarding the BLM’s flagrant violation of federal law,” commented R.T. Fitch author and volunteer Executive Director of the suit’s co-funding organization HfH Advisory Council. “Some of the very first U.S. Humane Animal laws originated out of New York so it is only appropriate that this fine state comes to the aide of the American wild horse as these horses and burros belong to every American, not just to the BLM and their special interest cronies.”
The suit is filed in New York because one of the plaintiffs and co-funders for the case is the ASPCA. Over 140 years ago the ASPCA was founded to prevent the negligence and abuse suffered by the carriage horses of New York City.
“The BLM is systematically driving America’s wild horses to extinction,” said Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty. “They have continued to increase their efforts to remove these horses from public land legally designated for their use despite intense public outcry. The ASPCA decided to take legal action against the BLM’s inhumane and fiscally irresponsible policies before a national treasure is completely eradicated.”
The BLM, also, continues to violate the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which was passed to protect wild horses and burros from capture and preserve the land used by them. More than 19 million acres originally designated for their use have slowly been whittled away for cattle grazing, making them both the victim and target for removal. The use of helicopters to run the terrified horses over miles of scorching desert has resulted in serious injuries and several horse deaths throughout the summer, as well as one-half or more of the wild horse population languishing in long-term holding pens.
HfH Advisory Council, Habitat for Horses, ASPCA, The Cloud Foundation, and over 200 other organizations and tens of thousands of members of the public continue to call for an immediate moratorium on BLM wild horse and burro roundups. To date the BLM has not changed course and plans to roundup and remove a total of 3,295 wild horses and burros before the end of the year. Currently, nearly 40,000 wild horses and burros are held in pens and pastures at taxpayer expense.