RENO — Horse protection advocates have claimed a rare legal victory as part of a larger effort to end federal roundups of free-roaming mustangs on public lands in the western United States.
A federal judge in Sacramento ruled Wednesday that In Defense of Animals and others can move forward with their lawsuit accusing the Bureau of Land Management of violating U.S. laws that protect the animals on the range.
Judge Morrison England Jr. denied the BLM's motion to dismiss the suit based on claims it is moot because the specific roundup in question was completed months ago in Nevada and California. He says if he ultimately finds the roundups illegal, he can order the horses returned to the range. He says he also can order the BLM to follow the law in future.
-- Scott Sonner, Associated Press
Photo: Wild horses are herded by helicopter in Skull Valley, Utah, in a 2000 photo. Credit: Jason Olson / Associated Press