Horse News

Update on wild horses of Fort Polk and Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana

We received this update on wild horses of Fort Polk and Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana from our friend Amy Hanchey of Pegasus Equine Guardian Association:

Objections Filed in Case to Project Louisiana’s Free Roaming Wild Horses

Objections to the March 9th Report and Recommendation were filed on March 23rd, 2018

Link to Objections here

Link to Report and Recommendation here

On Friday, March 9, on narrow grounds a Western District U.S. Magistrate Judge chose not to recommend that the Court stop the elimination of wild and free roaming horses at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

However the Court denied the Army’s two motions attempting to block Pegasus’s evidence on the issue and accepted the evidence on the record of the preliminary injunction.

The Magistrate Judge relied on two factors to find that harm to the plaintiff is not “irreparable”: Pegasus had not proven that the Army will eliminate all of the horses before the Court could rule on the merits. And Army clarified on the record that it will not remove any horses from the surrounding Kisatchie Forest land (including the land used by the Army for training). Because of this, the Magistrate Judge would not recommend the “extraordinary remedy” of a preliminary injunction against the Army at this time.

It should be noted that the Court did not find that Pegasus failed to prove the other three elements of the Preliminary Injunction: likelihood to prevail on the merits, public interest, and balance of harms.

Additionally, the Court has not yet ruled on the merits or on which extra-record evidence will be allowed in the record on the merits.

A few items of consideration: While it is true that volumes of horses have already been removed from areas near or from elaborate catch pen and corral system on army drop zone land (that borders Kisatchie National Forest), it should be understood that like other migratory grazing wildlife, wild horses do not stay in one area on tens of thousands of acres. Rather, they migrate between foraging areas, water sources and tree cover of Kisatchie National Forest and army land. Because the wild and free roaming horses don’t know where unfenced boundaries between Kisatchie National Forest and army drop zone areas are, they could continue to be removed, as long as the migratory horses are in the area.The majority of the general public is against the systematic removal of Louisiana’s Wild and Free Roaming Horses, from these wildlife areas, tracing their existence back decades, in this historic region of precolonial Louisiana.

It is vital that the public CONTINUE to engage State and Federal Officials ( contact info below)

Take action by ALDF

Mike Strain
(225) 771-8942
File a Complaint: 225-922-1234
Buying/Selling/Transport without certificate
Livestock: 800-558-9741

Bill Cassidy
(202) 224-5824

John Kennedy
(318) 445-2892
(337) 436-6255
(202) 224-4623

John Bel Edwards
(844) 860-1413
(866) 366-1121

Jeff Landry
(225) 326-6079
(225) 326-6200

Billy Nungesser, Lieutenant Governor
(225) 342-7009
(504) 433-1200

Advocates Urge Court to Immediately Stop Army’s Illegal Seizure of Horses, Slaughter Plan 

Pegasus Equine Guardian Association files preliminary injunction motion to protect Ft. Polk horses

January 9, 2018


New Orleans — This week animal advocates filed a motion for a preliminary injunction asking a federal court to take immediate steps to stop the Army’s illegal roundup and sale of Louisiana’s wild horses pending their lawsuit’s resolution.

In 2016, Pegasus Equine Guardian Association (PEGA), led by attorneys with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, sued the Army over plans to evict roughly 700 wild horses from a western Louisiana Army base and national forest areas that are used in trainings. The lawsuit alleges the Army violated laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, by asserting it did not need to prepare an environmental impact statement for the removal of the horses. The Army also omitted other requirements, such as ensuring nonprofit organizations could put groups of horses up for adoption, rather than the horses being sold for slaughter.

The plaintiffs filed today’s motion in an attempt to restrict the Army from moving forward with its plan, pending the lawsuit’s resolution. The Army has recently ramped up its efforts to evict the horses, leading to speculation it will try to moot the lawsuit by completing its plan before the issues can he heard.

For decades the horses have been living on, and part of, historic Fort Polk and Kisatchie National Forest areas. Horses have ranged free on this property long before Fort Polk existed. Animal advocates fear that the Army’s current, controversial plan will result in the slaughter of the majority — if not all — the wild horses due to the difficulty in rehoming horses who have been wild for generations.

“There are several unique herds of truly wild horses in Louisiana, that are of value both environmentally and culturally, especially to the inhabitants of the area, but also to all Americans,” says Amy Hanchey of Pegasus Equine Guardian Association. “The horses should be preserved and protected. Regardless if they have been abandoned, generationally wild or otherwise wild, their welfare is at stake.”

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works with law schools across the country to expand their curriculum of animal law related classes and clinics. The organization’s expert animal law attorneys provide support and advice to programs, such as Tulane Environmental Law Clinic.

Link to Press Release Here:

6 replies »

  1. If the issue simply lies in the horses entering the base, can fencing be installed around the base? Sure, it will cost money, but so would capturing and destroying the horses and finding a way to dispose the carcasses afterward. Plus, compared to all of the useless crap our government funds, putting up a fence isn’t the most expensive thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Have to say – fencing off the base would certainly be cheaper than building a wall, right? Sorry – couldn’t resist that one.
      And yes, this government sure does fund a lot of useless crap!
      The whole “fence out” strategy seems to be a difficult concept – especially where wild horses are concerned – no matter where the “problem” is. Could it be that the entire government doesn’t understand? Seems that way.


    • True our govt gives away, uses, abuses, our tax dollars in so many ways specially for ship and slaughter of Wild Horses, seems we are always put in
      this sad+senseless situation, so if a fence was the solutions it would be much less cost+waste of manpower to round up and kill wild horses, but it seems that our elected officials always use the priceist and most cruel methods to deal with problems, look at all the warsskirmishes our gov’t is currently involved in, then sadly to see our soldiers at Fort Bliss missing legs+arms its all just too much, so sad to see our horses being abused and sent to slaughter as well, knowing our president approves of it is just too much.


  2. These Wild Horses are an important part of Louisiana’s history and as such should be preserved and protected.

    The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was passed primarily to acknowledge the importance of protecting our nation’s heritage from rampant federal development. It was the triumph of more than a century of struggle by a grassroots movement of committed preservationists.


  3. The Military’s Purpose is Not to Kill People and Break Things
    ML Cavanaugh

    The purpose of the military is not to kill people and break things.
    While sometimes it must break, it must always guard.
    While sometimes it must kill, it must always keep. In all things, in all tasks,

    Major Matt Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army Strategist, has served in assignments from Iraq to the Pentagon and New York to New Zealand.


  4. On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 6:56 PM, Straight from the Horse’s Heart wrote:

    > debbiecoffey posted: “We received this update on wild horses of Fort Polk > and Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana from our friend Amy Hanchey of > Pegasus Equine Guardian Association: Source: Pegasus Equine Guardian > Association Objections Filed in Case to Project Lou” >


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