RENO, Nev. (CN) – A children’s book author wants to stop the federal government from rounding up 400 wild horses in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and shipping them to private entities. Laura Leigh says there are no assurances that the Department of the Interior will not simply send the horses to slaughter.
Even if the horses are not slaughtered, Leigh says, the plan to control the population of wild horses in northern Nevada would be “brutal to the health and welfare of horses, where they endure multiple days of transportation while crammed together in an overpopulated van-type trailer, traveling 30 to 40 hours or more.”
In her federal complaint, Leigh says she has spent “countless time” in the past two years researching the feral horses for a children’s book.
The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge on the Nevada-Oregon border. It protects more than 500,000 acres of high desert.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Web site, the horses are not native to the refuge, but are descended from domestic stock turned loose around the turn of the 20th century.
“Periodic horse and burro roundups are required to keep their numbers in check and reduce their impacts on native wildlife,” the Fish & Wildlife Service says.
Leigh wants the plans to round up and move the animals stopped.
Leigh is represented by Gordan Cowan.
This is the second lawsuit filed in the past week to protect wild horses. Environmentalists sued the Bureau of Land Management in Missoula Federal Court to protect horses on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Montana.