Federal Lawsuit Filed Against the United States Forest Service by Wild Horse Advocacy Groups

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RENO, NV - A federal lawsuit was filed by a coalition of wild horse advocacy groups and conservation groups against the United States Forest Service, in an effort to block the sale of wild horses at an auction in Fallon, Nevada.

The complaint was filed by the public interest law firm of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Return to Freedom, The Cloud Foundation, Western Watersheds Project and Laura Leigh, according to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

The complaint alleges that unbranded horses captured by the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe may be federally-protected, wild free-roaming horses.

The lawsuit states, “The Forest Service’s decision to authorize the roundup of horses on National Forest lands in close proximity to the Fort McDermott Paiute and Shoshone Reservation without taking any measures to ensure that the roundup did not include removing wild horses from the public lands violated the agency’s duties to protect such horses under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” according to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

A court order is being sought by the groups to ensure that the Forest Services takes “all necessary steps to ensure that all wild horses currently located at the Fallon Livestock Exchange sale yard are identified and returned to the public lands as soon and as humanely as possible.”

The auction was scheduled for Saturday, August 17, 2013.