The rounding up wild horses and leading them to their new destination, howbeit, for the slaughter or sales, has created a rift of an US (i.e. particularly; citizens of Nevada) and THEM (i.e. Federal Government, BLM) mentality. The animal activist is citing cruelty to animals and stifling the “First Amendment, Freedom of the Press”, on the part of BLM. The following article was quoted from USA Today:
[A federal roundup of wild horses in Nevada was scheduled to resume Thursday and to continue through this weekend despite nearly two dozen animal deaths since it began.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says three of the deaths were due to injury and 18 due to severe dehydration following a drought. Horse activist Laura Leigh, whose lawsuit put a temporary halt to the roundup July 14, blames the deaths on the BLM, which she says allowed the horses to become dehydrated and held the roundup during the hottest season of the year. "This is foaling season, it could have been done earlier, it could have been done last fall," Leigh says. "This is not following the mandate to manage and protect our horses. It's just wrong." She and other activists also complain that the BLM has blocked them from observing the roundups to control the flow of images and public opinion. The BLM will escort up to 20 members of the media and the public to observe roundup operation today and Saturday for the first time since the roundup began July 10. The BLM says the roundup of wild horses is a necessity because the mustang population is growing so fast that horses are running out of food and harming the native land and wildlife. Agency estimates show 38,000 mustangs and burros roam 10 Western states; half are in Nevada. Leigh and other activists say the agency is moving the animals to clear the way for livestock grazing and energy interests. Elliot Katz, founder of In Defense of Animals, which filed a separate lawsuit, says wild horses are a low priority nationally because they don't produce a profit. "They're just in the way of corporations who have cattle interests or want to do mining," Katz says. "There's been a gradual continuing effort to get rid of them."] (Dorell, 7/29)
BLM’s stands its ground by stating they are “required by law to balance the needs of multiple interests on public lands, including wild horses, wildlife, mining and livestock. Wild horses, which have few predators and double their population every four years, can damage habitat shared by endangered and threatened species such as the pygmy rabbit and the lahontan cutthroat trout, says Heather Emmons, a spokeswoman for the BLM in Nevada.” (Dorell, 7/29)
One of the many law suits that have been filed comes out of New Mexico and has gone to the Supreme Court. KLEPPE v. NEW MEXICO, 426 U.S. 529 (1976)
426 U.S. 529
KLEPPE, SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR v. NEW MEXICO ET AL.
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
Argued March 23, 1976
Decided June 17, 1976
The Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act (Act) was enacted to protect "all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States" from "capture, branding, harassment, or death," to accomplish which "they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands." The Act provides that all such animals on the public lands administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or by the Secretary of Agriculture through the Forest Service are committed to the jurisdiction of the respective Secretaries, who are "directed to protect and manage [the animals] as components of the public lands . . . in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands," and if the animals stray from those lands onto privately owned land, the private landowners may inform federal...