Alleged Inhumane Treatment Prompts Wild Horse Lawsuit

Now you know what I’ve been working on. I need your help to stay in the field and continue to develop a chain of documentation.

Donations can be made to support Litigation at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. You can mark your donation “HUmane Case” or donate to the general fund to help pay cost for other ongoing Litigation efforts.

Orphan at Triple B

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, “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.


NOTE: The lawsuits have been transferred to


20 thoughts on “Alleged Inhumane Treatment Prompts Wild Horse Lawsuit

  1. […] Alleged Inhumane Treatment Prompts Wild Horse Lawsuit […]

  2. Mar Wargo says:

    Fabulous work!! This gives a definition they cannot ignore or contest and it has opened up this issue across the board!! Wonderful work, Laura. This really hits home for all those who have seen your videos and pictures. Thank you for this!! Big hug, mar

  3. Sandi Gladding MacPherson says:

    Awesome job Laura!! Finally a reprive for these beautiful horses! Thank you for all your hard work, that is putting it mildly. All your long, tedious hours, and more often than not, painful to watch atrocities against these horses and burros, will pay off in court. Thanks goes out to R.T. Fitch too for your constant coverage of this.

  4. LynnIL says:

    One can tell by their fb page that the BLM supports loves to insist that the photos and videos are doctored. What idiots! I’m so glad that Laura could be there at these round ups. Can you imagine the carnage if she wasn’t there?
    Thank you Laura for giving up so much of your life to save these precious souls!

    • Laura Leigh says:

      One bad apple can spoil an awful lot of good ones.

    • Mar Wargo says:

      This is a cheap shot by BLM and it says they do not officially recognize Laura’s video and photographic work. She is a credentialed journalist and now has more experience than BLM in observing roundups. It is time they recognize her expertise and professionalism!

      • Laura Leigh says:

        It’s not my work they don’t recognize.
        My work gets colored by some of the things others have done.
        BLM “on camera” has recognized me as credible.

        • Mar Wargo says:

          Corrected… (I knew that!) then why do they keep saying, in general, that photos and videos are not considered reliable from the advocate camp??? I saw this just a couple days ago, again, at Nevada BLM FB page. Elyse mostly from last year. All of you are credible and amateurs do not know how to change a video image. It is just BLM smoke then, as usual.

  5. Mar Wargo says:

    Imagine Jury Selection must find people who are uncompromised and impartial!! To sit in judgement of BLM!. YES! CAn that be done in Nevada? Me thinks so….

  6. Pamela johnson says:

    Thank you for defending these horses. I have said many times that they needed a lawyer,this situation has been especially horrendous.

  7. savewildhorses says:

    Where are you filing this? What city will it be held in? Lots of ranchers out your way. But I support you 1000%.

  8. Louie Cocroft says:

    Laura, with the amount of footage you have taken, you would have had to spend more time “doctoring” that photographing. How do you “fake” a horse being hit with a hot shot?

  9. Louie Cocroft says:

    I’m pretty certain that CNN would know a “doctored” video if they saw one and they certainly would not have aired yours if there had been any doubts.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      I have not been to BLM’s page.

      But I have only heard about one photo that has created this accusation. It was not mine.

      I do not have the funds to be able to afford the computer software I would need to edit video in that manner and the photo software I own allows basically exposure and color correction.

      In order to even watermark a photo it would take a herculean effort…

  10. hoofhugs says:

    Thank you, Laura. The pictures of the Calico foals, the one lying on the ground with its hooves sloughed of seemingly waiting for something—hopefully help, relief, his mother, comfort of soft sort, but instead, he gets euthanized.

    The irony of euthanizing an animal that your bad policy maimed and crippled is a bitter one. I will never forget these images.

    You go girl.

  11. […] Alleged Inhumane Treatment Prompts Wild Horse Lawsuit ( […]

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