Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Page 3


Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Wild-Horse Roundup


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected, as moot, an appeal of a district judge’s decision allowing the state to round up and remove wild horses and burros from the range in the northern part of the state.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. of the Eastern District of California last year denied a request by two nonprofit organizations for an injunction halting the roundup, and a motions panel of the Ninth Circuit denied an emergency motion for an injunction.

The roundup took place, which renders the issue moot, Judges Mary M. Schroeder and Carlos T. Bea concluded in a per curiam opinion. The judges declined to express and opinion as to whether the entire action, which remains pending before England, is moot.

Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson dissented.

“This would be a different case if the horses [that] were rounded up had all been dispersed,” Rawlinson argued. “But that is not what happened. The horses ... are currently being kept in various holding areas throughout the southwestern United States. As easily as the horses were transported out of their natural habitat, they can be returned.”

The lawsuit, spearheaded by In Defense of Animals and Dreamcatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary, is aimed at permanently stopping the U. S. Bureau of Land Management from rounding up, destroying and auctioning off wild horses and burros.

The case is In Defense of Animals v. United States Department of the Interior, 10-16715.


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