RENO -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management was given the green light Tuesday to round up horses in Nevada when a federal appeals court lifted a temporary injunction blocking the gathering of more than 1,700 wild horses.
An animal rights group, the Colorado-based Cloud Foundation, had sued to stop the roundup. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the group failed to show it likely could prove during future hearings that the roundup is illegal and that removal of horses from federally protected public rangeland would cause irreparable harm.
Critics said another loss in federal court suggested Congress might have to pass a law to protect the animals because the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act of 1971 isn't enforceable.
"We need a new law," said Rachel Fazio, a lawyer for the Cloud Foundation who had won the temporary restraining order from a judge based on claims the proposed roundup was illegal. "I think we really need to establish the fact that these animals need to be protected, need to be maintained unmolested by man. And that we mean it this time."
BLM spokeswoman Heather Emmons said the roundup that had been scheduled to begin last week would start today in northeast Nevada near the Utah line and continue for about six weeks.