Court Order Halts BLM Mustang Gather

A federal court judge has ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to stop gathering wild mustangs from the Owyhee Herd Management Area (HMA) in Northern Nevada, pending a hearing on a request to permanently halt the gather altogether.

In November, the BLM began gathering animals from the Owyhee Complex. Subsequently, Laura Leigh, president of the wild horse advocacy group Wild Horse Education, sought an injunction to halt the gather on grounds that gather was inhumane and put the animals at risk for injury or death. On Jan. 4, the BLM resumed that gather after observing a holiday season hiatus.

On Jan. 4, U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du issued temporary restraining order mandating the BLM to "immediately cease and halt all wild horse gathers at the Owyhee Complex." The order also prohibited the BLM from transporting horses from the Owyhee HMA until the court has had the opportunity to hear this matter."

No one from the BLM was available for comment.

Leigh said a court order was the only option for halting the gather that she believes is inhumane.

"I have tried everything I can think of to have a reasonable conversation about addressing these serious issues and the requests are ignored or dismissed," Leigh said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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