Federal Appeals Court Denies Wyoming's Request to Round up Wild Horses

Posted by Stacey Venzel

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act doesn't support population control roundup of wild horses, according to the U.S. government.

Wyoming appealed to federal court to corral free-roaming horses based on the assertion that their wild numbers have become overpopulated.

The claim was filed back in 2014, seeking federal assistance from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to halt the damaging effects of wild horses on farm acreage. While the BLM recognizes these effects--such as resource competition with livestock and land degradation--the organization seeks to simultaneously protect both equines and ranches.

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A similar Denver court case set precedent for the ruling last year. According to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, law does not dictate what number the wild equine census reaches overpopulation.

BLM does state, however, that the current numbers in Wyoming exceed the population goals.

"Wyoming wildlife, including wild horses, are treasured assets. Mismanagement adversely affects all species and the rangelands necessary for their health and survival," said Wyoming's Governor Matt Mead.

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Wild horses collected through roundup go through behavioral training in an attempt to garner adoptive parents. Many live out the remainder of their lives on sanctuaries. Prison foster programs are also utilized to socialize the horses that are rounded up by the BLM.

Spokeswoman Kristen Lenhardt assured that the BLM "will continue to manage Wyoming's wild horses for the health of both the horses and rangelands."

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Federal Appeals Court Denies Wyoming's Request to Round up Wild Horses