US Judge Clears Way for Tribe's Mustang Sale

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A federal judge has cleared the way for a Nevada tribe to sell 149 mustangs over the objection of critics who claim the unbranded animals are federally protected wild horses that should not be auctioned off for possible slaughter.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du lifted an emergency restraining order she put in place last week temporarily blocking the sale of any adult horses without brands among more than 400 recently gathered near the Nevada-Oregon line.

Du heard conflicting testimony in Reno Wednesday about whether the mustangs exhibited wild behavior before she ruled the U.S. Forest Service acted appropriately in determining the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe is the animals' rightful owner and can't be stopped from selling them.