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Wild Horse Roundup On Hold
Wild Horse Roundup On Hold

AIR DATE: January 16, 2013

This week a federal judge in Nevada will hear arguments regarding the Bureau of Land Management's roundups of wild Mustangs. Wild Horse Education is the advocacy group fighting to change this practice. Laura Leigh, founder of the group, has video taped thousands of hours of footage showing abuse at these round ups. The BLM has admitted that electrict prods were used, but within the pre-established guidelines. What will this week's hearing mean for the future of mustangs?
Laura Leigh, president of Wild Horse Education
Pete Goicoechea, Republican, District 19 Nevada State Senate


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    We must educate people and make them aware of this situation. It is never acceptable to intentionally cause harm to a living creature especially when you have been given the responsibility to be it's guardian
    Sheri AllisonApr 28, 2013 23:11:47 PM
    im so glad someone else knows whats happeing to these beautiful animals it is just creul to chase horses through fences and letting foals dieing
    Stormy Mar 21, 2013 17:38:32 PM
    In 2001, Pete Goicoechia received $575,000 from BLM wild horse removal program. How can we expect an impartial comment from one who profits so greatly from the process of removing wild horses from public lands? Mr. Goicoechia sponsored the infamous NV-AB329, which sought to declassify wild horses as "wildlife", and opened the door to excluding them from access to water on the open range.
    ARLAJan 27, 2013 17:33:56 PM
    Happy tears for our wild horses thanks to Laura Leigh and Attorney Gordon Cowan!!
    Leslie PeeplesJan 10, 2013 17:20:32 PM
    WOOHOO! Sadly the Temporary Restraining Order was lifted, but it's a WIN on the judge recognizing inhumane treatment!!!! Finally! Hon. Judge Miranda Du cited that Plaintiff, Laura Leigh President of Wild Horse Education, showed a likelihood of success on the merits of her claim that the horses of the Owyhee Complex have been treated inhumanely. Judge Du said she will issue an order that has her expectations for conduct by tomorrow morning, no hotshots will be used tomorrow. Tomorrow I will see an Order that will show true recognition that our wild horses have been treated inhumanely, stated Leigh maybe this is truly the start to the BLM actually treating this important symbol of our American heritage with the respect it deserves? Thank you Laura Leigh and Gordon Cowan for your valiant efforts!
    Leslie PeeplesJan 10, 2013 16:34:12 PM
    The TRO is done and the roundup will now finish at Owyhee. Look at all the hulabaloo over what Ms Leigh did and it has not helped the wild ones one bit. She raised thousands of dollars for this. Will she send it back? US judge lifts ban on wild horse roundup in Nev. The Idaho Statesman RENO, Nev.  A federal judge in Las Vegas has agreed to let the U.S. Bureau of Land Management resume the roundup of dozens of wild mustangs in northern Nevada but says she remains concerned about critics' complaints the agency is treating the ... See all stories on this topic ยป
    Mar WargoJan 10, 2013 15:00:01 PM
    @ Mar Wargo, Do all or any of the wild horse advocates/organizations refund any/all money raised for their individual causes/projects that are not successful, I highly doubt it. Judge Du said she will issue an order that has her expectations for conduct by tomorrow morning. Attorney for BLM, Erik Peterson, said BLM wanted to resume full operations at first light. The Judge gave warning that if they resume full operation that their conduct might run contrary to the Order and the BLM may violate the terms. Wild Horse Education has another active case to inhumane handling heading for hearing early this year as well as a first amendment claim. How can you in fair conscience discredit these court actions?
    connie j cunninghamJan 10, 2013 15:36:40 PM
    The TRO is in no way "done" served the purpose, necessary because BLM WILL NOT respond to the public, of creating the FIRST enforceable humane care standard ever required of the BLM with regard to wild horses and burros. It means ladies and gentleman, that BLM does not get to hotshot the foals they plan to move tomorrow morning. That is simply not going to be allowed. How amazing historic fantastic and important is that?! If you didnt see the recent BLM foal hot shot fest filmed by Laura Leigh, go visit the website at The people who donated money are going to be thrilled that at last BLM has to act humanely. Laura Leigh's expertise and dedication over the past three years and the incredible effort of attorney Godan Cowan and the volunteers and supporters of Wild Horse Education are what made this possible... With the additional federal cases they have active they may be able to get humane care thelaw of the land for all the wild horses and burros for and let the public get access to BLM holding facilties, which is now denied. They do all this on a tiny budget, no one could do this for the amount they work is simply an amazing accomplishment.
    Marta WilliamsJan 10, 2013 15:48:10 PM
    Thank you NPR for shedding some light on this important story. The story of our federally protected wild horses has gone unseen, under the radar for far to long. wild Horses are the "canary in the coal mine" of public lands issues. Everyone should be paying attention and be quite concerned as our public lands are abused and mismanaged for corporate interests, wild horses deserve better and are just the tip of the iceberg. A big thank you to Laura Leigh and attorney Gordon Cowan for the dedication, caring and persistence in the fight for our rights to know and for the treatment of wild horses and burros on public land. NPR, Please continue the coverage of this ever changing and evolving atrocity, thank you, Leslie
    Leslie PeeplesJan 10, 2013 13:29:03 PM
    When Ms. Leigh says she has assessed some part of Diamond HMA or any other HMA I need to point out that she does not have the information on where and when the cattle have been grazing over that particular year from the owner nor does she have the education and expertise to do an assessment that would utilize this and other information she lacks the exposure to. Saying she saw the results of over grazing is too simple for a complex evaluation that needs a great deal of boots on the ground identification and background knowledge on plants, water and the topography to make. She is not a trained scientist and her observations are not valid beyond her under developed observations at roundups where she has consistently failed to develop data by proper daily record keeping! This is what is needed to know what you have been seeing and to have a grasp of the real activity and interaction of BLM with the wild ones at roundups. She is an amateur and her former persistence and presence at roundups was at one time useful to all of us but this has diminished with time and so has her learning curve!
    Mar WargoJan 10, 2013 12:01:46 PM
    @ Mar Wargo, your claims are far reaching with a definite derogatory tone... are you a credible source of this information -- what do you have to back up your "claims"? why should anyone believe your defamation of an advocate who spends time out on the range and at roundups and has standing in court and several court cases pending?
    connie j cunninghamJan 10, 2013 15:48:56 PM
    Well, since Laura Leigh (wild Horse Education) assessed the Diamond range in conjunction with BLM officials, I'd say she she is boots on the ground and is armed with credible information.
    Leslie PeeplesJan 10, 2013 16:16:58 PM
    Mar Wargo, I am shocked by the wrong information you are giving out about Laura Leigh. You have no idea of the work records that are kept, the documentation that is kept, at and after all the BLM gathers that Laura Leigh attends. However everyone at WHE does, Laura has a large organisation working freely to help save and protect the mustang and burros. All you are doing is trying to ruin the hard work everyone is trying to achieve due to your personal malice against Laura Leigh. All you will do is kill the mustangs with this behaviour . I believe if the law courts of America, respect, receive and rule against its own government department, the BLM on her evidence , then she's doing exactly what the rest if us are trying so hard to achieve ! Help save the mustangs and burros Mar or leave it alone, but don't destroy them. Thank you.
    Michelle Freshteh BrownJan 10, 2013 16:47:20 PM
    The Wild Mustang is on the Nevada State Quarter. The BLM is removing our state treasure so they don't interfere with commercial cattle grazing. Sad! Leave them ALONE! They are doing just fine thank you.
    JacquelineJan 9, 2013 22:14:59 PM
    Get for-profit cattle off our public land. Go vegan/vegetarian.
    Roy RendahlJan 9, 2013 21:38:44 PM
    Ol' Pete is still at it. Looks like the BLM is only managing 'the people' so the money machine can make money off the mustangs. It's our tax money in the billions from the Dept of Interior with several agencies getting the bucks. And if you think it is easy to adopt a horse...think again. They make it as hard as possible requiring travel to places they house them. These horses are self sufficient. It's really about water and cattle and gas, oil, and non-renewables. When they house them they eventually are run down and sold. They have been doing concentrated roundups for 4 years now and there are hardly any horses left. So it isn't just about the abuse given these animals by cattle people and their 'units counted for cattle' ....its about money. Study the budgets...
    Roz FayetteJan 9, 2013 16:49:44 PM
    Pete Goicoechea did the Wild Horse advocates a huge service by admitting that the wild horses are WILD animals. Given that statement from one of our elected officials than the horses need to be treated as wild animals and given the same protections as deer, elk, antelope. Otherwise lets start rounding up excess deer and elk.
    Peter HussmannJan 9, 2013 15:55:34 PM
    In reference to the end of your paragraph, deer and elk are sold to people that have guns, and pay to kill them. In other words there is nothing wild that is safe.....sad.
    DianaJan 10, 2013 07:51:14 AM
    Having witnessed and photographed round ups myself, seen the abuse, brutality and cruelty with my own eyes... I applaud Laura Leigh for her bravery & commitment to documenting the plight of America's wild horses. It ain't easy to watch what goes on. The BLM must change their "management" methods. There are better, kinder ways to manage the horses on public land- bait & trap, birth control etc. It's time to stop the round ups and look at the cow/horse uses on public land. If you don't care about the wild horses, you should care about cost to taxpayers! There is a huge public outcry that is consistently being ignored. Keep speaking out, people!
    Elissa KlineJan 9, 2013 15:00:55 PM
    The whole process of the round up, and auctioned horses going to slaughterhouses, is a travesty. These beautiful symbols of the American west are terrorized, herds broken up, mistreated, and then slaughtered. All for money. I cannot believe how this can go on. How can the American government do this? Where is their conscious?
    Elaine HolderlyJan 9, 2013 10:20:39 AM
    If ABC, CBS and NBC would air these issues and inform the American public people around the nation would know how the horses are being abused!
    Laura ChargualafJan 9, 2013 11:07:57 AM
    this is an absolute disgrace that our nation behaves in this manner. since when did we become a nation that stands for and promotes abuse- and no longer protects those that our govt is PAID to protect. that's right- the tax payer pays for this and we want our horses and burros protected - domestic or wild/indigenous - ALL of them. the BLM has long been a rogue agency acting in a criminal and inhumane manner and it has got to stop - the american public will not stand for our horses/burros being abused. they must implement humane policies NOW and enforce these rules on their contractors - i.e. sun J. the BLM must stop these round-ups and stop lying to american public - there are not too many horses and they need to go back to using PZP and PZP only for population control.
    rachelleJan 9, 2013 09:51:52 AM
    Why don't you add a function to live-stream your show?
    Jean Hehn-BradleyJan 9, 2013 09:41:20 AM
    Why is the public not allowed to view the wild horses once they are in holding pens and pastures, especially after a round up so a 3rd party can witness the condition and welfare of the horses?
    Annie BakerJan 9, 2013 09:28:27 AM
    I am located in So.Lake Tahoe,Ca and watch the news out of Reno daily.It is now a known fact that the BLM uses hot shots on the Wildhorses and duly noted on all the footage..why is it that the News Stations..never show the footage of that happeing when they can clearly see it? And I think that the Nevada public should see all sides of what has been happening to the horses and not just show them in old footage peacefully walking around..I would like to see fair and balanced coverage at all times..and thank God that we were able to see videos of what is truley happening..that is cruel and unjust.
    Patricia CoffmanJan 9, 2013 09:14:26 AM
    Hi Patricia. It is good to hear that there is someone else in South Lake Tahoe who supports our wild horses. I own Lake of the Sky Outfitters at the "Y" and I sell Craig Downer's book "The Wild Horse Conspiracy" which is a very enlightining book about the whole tragic history of our governments campaign against our wild horses.
    Peter HussmannJan 9, 2013 15:59:38 PM
    1-10-2013 BLM and its contractors have been using electric cow prods at their round-ups for years. I have photos of this. When I attended the BLM captures in mid Nevada several years ago, their female PR person from FLorida denied such objects were being used. I then took her over to where the contractors (Catoor) had been loading the wild ones. I showed her a prods that was propped against the trailer. Betty Kelly, long time WHB advocate/rescurer. PS: THANKS and much energy to you, Laura L, for revealing the cruelty of BLM (andNVDOA) "humane" captures.
    Betty KellyJan 10, 2013 11:30:48 AM
    The reason the courts are listening and taking action is due to the fact that the BLM has NO humane policy in place that is carried out and adhered to by the BLM nor the contractors the BLM hires to round up the horses. The contractors are paid PER head...between $300 and $700 per mustang rounded up. This is greed oriented and a nasty business with no regard for the wild mustangs and their families.
    Roy HobbsJan 9, 2013 09:07:02 AM
    It is clear to me when watching the videos and seeing the pictures from the round ups that the BLM does NOT have the mustangs welfare in mind with the way they use the helicopter, flags, prods, and loading methods. This MUST STOP!
    Stephanie GrahamJan 9, 2013 09:02:50 AM
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