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Feds found to be in violation of own humane standards
HOUSTON, (WHFF) - Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) filed a lawsuit and companion Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Federal Court in Reno Nevada on Wednesday, 8/24/2011. Through their Plaintiff, Laura Leigh, the issue of “humane treatment” will enter into a Courtroom.
The Wild Horse and Burro Act that passed unanimously in 1971 was done with the expressed intent of protecting the “living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the West.” Yet questions of humane treatment, including basic care like water and feed, often come into question during actual roundup operations.
Now 40 years later the question of “humane care” will have its “day in Court.”
“Day in, day out, roundup to roundup, I see the same issues,” said Leigh WHFF, VP and Founder of WHE (Wild Horse Education.org), “lack of water in holding, feed given inappropriately and a pilot that flies dangerously close, including contact with an exhausted animal. When you view these animals in their natural state and then witness the disregard given to our symbol of freedom, it is a direct blow to your soul.”
Leigh has witnessed more roundups than any government or public observer in the last 18 months. She has spent countless hours documenting wild herd behavior and the process these horses face once they are removed from the range.
BLM states it operates under regulation 43 CFR 4700, including the following definitions:
Humane treatment means handling compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community, without causing unnecessary stress or suffering to a wild horse or burro.
Inhumane treatment means any intentional or negligent action or failure to act that causes stress, injury, or undue suffering to a wild horse or burro and is not compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community.
“Accountability within the actual activities of the BLM has been an ongoing issue,” states WHFF President R.T. Fitch “actually finding an avenue to address the core intent of Legislation has been almost impossible. If this is an issue that needs to land in a Federal Court to actually begin a dialogue than that is exactly what we will do.”
Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with 501c3 status pending. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.