Wild Horse Advocates Ask For Cooperation

RENO, NV - About 60 wild horse advocates showed up to the scheduled meeting of Nevada's agriculture board Wednesday morning.

They had their signs and their buttons and waited patiently for the public comment to start. At issue: the Department Of Agriculture's practice of trapping horses on private property, and then sending them to auction in Fallon.

"A poorly managed auction process is nothing more than a quick dirty solution that aims to recoup costs with little concern for the fate of the animals," testified Henry Kimbell from Spanish Springs.

"My 8 year old daughter has lovingly named one Rosie. And Rosie is gone," said Mary Ann Olsner from Steamboat..

Just two weeks ago, three wild horses were killed near Steamboat on old U-S 395 early in the morning after a convertible collided with them.

The driver got away with minor injuries, but the Agriculture Department and others believe this is just the first of many accidents as the horses work their way down from a parched Virginia Range.

While some in the area are actually feeding and encouraging the horses to stay in neighborhoods, other homeowners want the horses to leave because of property damage.

"I thought that the Virginia City Range horses were safe. The cooperation agreements before with the state and with the advocates were superior in every way," said Terri Farley, an author of wild horse books for children.

The agriculture department worked with wild horse groups until 2009.

That's when the director at the time Tony Lesperance believed the unions were non-productive.

The current director Jim Barbee has decided not to re-negotiate with the fewer than a dozen groups.

We don't know if Wednesday's testimony will make any difference.

The board was instructed to simply sit and listen, and with this controversial issue, some believe that may be a good start.