Equine Rescue

Federal Judge Blocks Sale of Wild Horses at Nevada Slaughter Auction

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

RENO, Nev  – 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 today 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 today’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.

“I wish we could save them all.”  Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “And I hope this ruling sends a message to the US Forest service that business as usual is a thing of the past.”  “I’d like to thank my caring colleagues and our our Attorneys for their tireless work to save our wild horses.”

“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.”

A total of 467 horses were captured by the tribe and delivered to the slaughter auction, where they await their fate. An undetermined number of these horses are unbranded and likely to be wild horses. The Forest Service has acknowledged that most of these horses will be purchased by kill buyers and trucked to slaughter plants in Canada or Mexico. Photographs of the horses show hundreds of mares and foals, along with yearlings and adults crammed into pens at the stockyard.

Other organizations are asking advocates and non-profits to attend today’s auction, should it proceed, to bid on any unbranded horses in an effort to save them from kill buyers and foreign slaughter plants.

19 replies »

  1. I have PROOF that many of the mustangs are stolen by the tribe. I have an email from the highest level within the tribe naming names of t he men who are stealing the horses. I also have info from a woman in the reservation who detailed HOW they are being stolen. I need to be put in contact with the lawyer handling this…PLEASE..contact me at honestkate1@yahoo.com immediately! Catherine Revell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm2P793sApQ

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    • OMG this is awesome, I hope to god you will be able to talk to someone I would think, YES…… unreal Catherine, lets us know…… Let the power of good verses evil prevail, finally……

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    • Keep us posted and do contact the advocacy groups with your information. Anything we have, we must use to save our wild ones. And the TRUTH will set our horses FREE!

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  2. Whoo hoo, Wild horse warriors win a battle in the WAR waged against our wild horses and burros. Hoping this action will save many of these wild ones. Underhanded USFS and what is wrong with that Indian TRIBE. Yes, it’s all about the proceeds from the sale. Follow the money, who profits?

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  3. Good work Catherine. I wish you the best and hope that you can get good results with your proof. These Indians should be prosecuted for what they are doing. Anyone doing this to our wild horses, for their own greed, and the rest of the cohorts involved, should all be stopped. Thank you.

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  4. Such great news! I am so very grateful to everyone who has taken part in making this possible. Good luck Catherine, in helping to expose those responsible.

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  5. This is just soooo AWESOME!!!!!!…..thank you for everyone involved in making this happen….now lets go get em for the horses sake!!!! so glad everyone worked together…teamwork!! way cool !!!

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  6. The Brand inspector, without any witnesses from the lawsuits such as a vet, have been sorted as to who goes to the sale and who does not. Shannon At Hidden Hills Sanctuary had a pen built last night for young horses she will be buying. Many individuals are attempting to buy the branded horses. With Indian Ponies with ‘brands’ being bought there may be some interesting developments in this case. Anne Novak is hoping to get people to help her buy a horse today, She has PayPal.
    It is my hope that Neda Demayo or others will help buy and care for some of these horses. I even asked Madeleine to buy them to save them from slaughter. They are beautiful horses if you have not seen Laura Bell’s Videos, see them at her Starlight Sanctuary FB page. Many people have chosen to stay out of this encounter with BLM,USFS and McDermitt folks. Just keep your ears open and we hope that advocate efforts will prevail.

    The sale of Branded horses begins at 1 pm West coast time… any minute

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  7. I read somewhere that some of the kill buyers may be from California, my question how are they going to get into California with the horses? You have to go thru agriculture checkpoints on the border from adjoining states…my understanding is it is illegal for wild horses to be slaughtered in California. Can someone clarify?

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  8. My understanding is no video or pictures allowed, all the local news stations have had it aired..just saw the report on KTVN Reno…they DID NOT show video of the facility…

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  9. Got this email …

    The BLM has no jurisdiction over these horses. If you have concerns about the tribe’s gather, please contact, Maxine Smart, Chairwoman of Tribal Council, at 775-532-8259. Thank you and have a nice day.

    Debbie Collins
    Bureau of Land Management
    National Wild Horse & Burro Program
    Information Center Coordinator
    866-468-7826

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