Sale of unbranded horses delayed by judge's order

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 8/17/2013 6:06 pm
FALLON, Nev. (KRNV & -- A horse auction in Fallon Saturday was delayed after a judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop the sale of some of the horses.

Several wild horse advocacy and conservation groups filed a suit to stop the sale of nearly 500 horses rounded up on and around the Fort McDermitt tribal lands near the Nevada-Oregon border.

They said some of them could be federally-protected wild horses.

"Reportedly at least 120 of these horses are unbranded horses," said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

Roy said she believes at least some of the horses at the Fallon Livestock Exchange are wild.

"Because these public lands are in close proximity to a federally dedicated wild horse habitat area, it is highly likely that many of these unbranded horses are wild horses," Roy said.

Which means rounding them up for sale would be against the law. So they had to separate the branded from the unbranded before the sale could start.

"Wild horses are protected by an act of Congress," Roy said.

"That's supposed to protect our wild horses on public land from capture, branding, harrassment and death," said Laura Leigh.

Leigh runs Wild Horse Education a northern Nevada-based organization.

She said many of these horses will be slaughtered by their buyers, and she won't let that happen to the ones Congress has protected.

"I'm here to make sure that we don't fail the horses," Leigh said.

Both Leigh and Roy said these horses are more than just animals.

"Congress recognized their historic and cultural importance to our nation," Roy said.

"These horses represent the spirit of the American West and Nevada has more than anyone else,"
Leigh said.

For now, these horses won't be sold, but the final decision will come in a hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
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Paladin - 8/20/2013 9:50 AM
1 Vote
WOW WOW WOW. I wish the rabid horsey zealots would put half this much effort in bettering the human condition. The horses are JUST animals and right now animals that are overpopulated on land where they are a nuisance. The tribal leaders have a right to round them up and move them off their land if they want. And what's with this stupid move to pass laws that make horses a "sacred" creature. STUPID! Again they are just an animal. Several cultures eat horse and dog and it doesn't make them any more or less enlightened or advanced than us. MOVE ON TO SOMETHING IMPORTANT!

morgansinkc - 8/19/2013 10:20 AM
0 Votes
WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES - Demand that Congress pass the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 1094/S. 541) to prevent horse slaughter from resuming in our country and to permanently stop the shipment of our wild and domestic horses to slaughter for other countries. Use S. 541 for your U.S. Senators and H.R. 1094 for your House of Representatives. Contact your elected officials here:

Bubbles - 8/18/2013 12:31 PM
0 Votes
All of the horses that might be returned as result of the injunction will be branded as soon as they are unloaded and then returned to the auction to be sold to the killers.

my horse sky14 - 8/18/2013 11:49 AM
1 Vote
What sad heartbreaking times for our American horses that worked their hearts out for us and they have to be treated with such disrespect, people are so heatless anymore when it comes to animals its scarry, what is this world coming too. Congress needs to get to work and pass The S.A.F.E. Act to stop this awful war on our American horses. What is happening to Wild Hose Annies accomplishments for the American mustang. All of us who love and admire mustangs and horses in general owe this courageous woman a great debt of gratitude for exposing the plight and possible extension of this breed, just because she is gone the public today has to stay involved in helping these horses stay free and on the public land that they belong on. We just have too. These horses deserve a life to live not being slaughtered for food!!

Bubbles - 8/18/2013 10:53 AM
0 Votes
As a side note. The tribe treats these horses as though they are piles of manure. I worked in Fallon across from the livestock sale yard. The indians were always bringing in horses that were sold to the killers. One August morning a stock trailer meant for ~8 head of cattle was unloaded in the isle. They unloaded about 15 horses. Two had gone done and were under the rest of the group. One horse they managed to hit, kick and whip enough to get him on his feet, but he was obviously injured. The second horse was unable to stand. These pieces of slime drug him off the trailer. The horse tried several times to stand but couldn't. It was painfully obvious his leg or shoulder was broken. After spending quite a while whipping, beating, kicking and hitting him to try and make him get up long enough to get weighed and run through so the killers could buy him they gave up. A backhoe was brought over and he was dragged out of the alley way so other trucks and trailers could unload. This was at 10:00 A.M. They left him there with no shade, water or food in the 100+ degree temperate. No one would or could do anything. He was still laying there at 5:00 P.M. when I left. I would image they drug him back into the trailer then took him somewhere and dumped him. Time to get this welfare culture that do not nor have to abide by rules off the government leach payroll.

Teresa - 8/18/2013 10:33 AM
3 Votes
The horses rounded up are in for the most part in great health. Some were injured in the round up. And of course there will always be some old horses, and some born with defects. The problem isn't skinny or unwatered horses, the problem is everyone wants them off the lands. Slaughter and kill buyers should stop. The issue is America doesn't want horses to be subjected to cruel circumstances and then butchered for meat. They want protection for ALL horses. The BLM should protect all horses especially the unbranded ones from harm within 100 miles of federal lands. The slaughter and greed from kill buyers should be banned, permanently.

Lakebeachspa - 8/18/2013 9:02 AM
1 Vote
Kathy Kinnon I spoke to the manager of the auction house for about 1/2hr. I also spoke to the Vice Chief of the tribe involved. We talked for almost 2 hrs. I'm convinced after learning of the over population of horses EVERYWHERE, that an open mind needs to be brought to this problem. Horses everywhere are suffering from lack of water & food. Instead of putting down the Tribes people, look for a solution to help. If people don't want these beautiful horses to go to slaughter in Mexico & Canada, then help find a solution. Dogs & cats have spay & neuter clinics to go to, how about horses? How about our government, not look the other way. I understand the horse groups are trying to protect the horses. I understand the Tribes are trying to find a solution & need help. The Vice Chief is coming up with ways to get this over population under control, but it takes time, money & cooperation from all. I admire both sides & pray for them & the horses. The question for me is....What can I do to help with my limits? I challenge all who care to look into your hearts & ask the same of yourselves. You can make a difference, in a positive way. :)19

blpaints - 8/18/2013 8:12 AM
1 Vote
What is wrong with this government? US taxpayers do NOT want US horses, wild or domestic, going to slaughter. And this Fallon sale, just another illegal act by this government to try and get around the law. Shame on this country and shame on the Indians.

glory63 - 8/17/2013 9:37 PM
0 Votes
Completely disgusted with our government for allowing this disgrace to native Americans Indian tribe to sell our unbranded wild horses for slaughter. If they cannot prove ownership of these horses and make it public then they should not be able to sell them. We MUST pass the Safe act to ensure no more of our America's symbol of freedom are ripped from there homes where they are supposed to be protected. Shame on our government and especially shame on the slimey, sneaky BLM!!!!!

amommy4life - 8/17/2013 9:29 PM
1 Vote
Thank you for sharing this story. It has been a long nightmare which is not even close to being over. There were approximately 200 horses (mares, foals, branded, unbranded) that were sold and are now on their way to their horrendous fate. However, we will not allow these magnificent creatures die in vain, for we will continue to fight to assure that this ordeal will soon end! Please join us in saving our American Wild Horses!

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