On Thursday, October 21, a federal judge ruled against the ASPCA when he declined to issue an injunction preventing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from continuing its inhumane and illegal roundup of wild horses from Colorado's North Piceance herd area. The ASPCA, along with Habitat for Horses, the Cloud Foundation, Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore, brought the case against U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and other officials. The suit alleged that the BLM's actions violate the National Environmental Protection Act and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
In spite of his ultimate decision, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley did acknowledge that Dr. Don Moore, a Colorado veterinarian who has known the Piceance-North Douglas Herd for decades, and Toni Moore would suffer irreparable harm from the roundup of the herd.
"While we are disappointed by Thursday's ruling, we are encouraged by the Court's acknowledgment that the removal of these iconic horses impacts all Americans," says Matt Bershadker, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty. Jerry Finch, founder and president of Habitat for Horses, elaborates: "Although we did not get the win that we were aiming for, we stood fast and got the court to agree that damage is done to American citizens when the BLM pulls our wild mustangs from their rightful land. That is huge."
The day after the ruling, the BLM announced that it had completed the contested Colorado roundup and gathered 73 wild horses, most of whom will be up for adoption.
For more information on the BLM's mismanagement of America's wild horses, please visit ASPCA.org.