An actual photograph of a typical BLM helicopter roundup. Image courtesy of Animal Rights.about
Before I say anything, I will say that I am highly biased in this matter. This article will have a noticable slant. Apologies.
For those unfamiliar, horse in the United States have been herded via helicopter in an effort to reduce herds and clear land. I could write a large paragraph about the history of horse herding and my qualms with the BLM. However, I’d rather the trained professionals at the Cloud Foundation explain it in this informative (and admittedly biased) video.
So after watching that emotional video, you will be pleased to know that U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben has placed a temporary restraining order on the BLM, disallowing helicopter roundups during foaling season. Before, helicopter herding during the foaling season led to injuries and death of foals who could not keep up, or literally “ran their feet off” on their new softer hooves.This is the second temporary restraining order, after the previous summer, when a helicopter was caught on camera flying too close to the horses. Both orders were largely obtained by Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education who told The Deseret News that:
“…federally protected horses have more of a right to remain on the range than do sheep and cattle, which continue to feed in the area under the authority of federal grazing permits despite drought concerns.”–Laura Leigh, The Deseret News
The restraining order will disallow helicopters to fly in the 400 square miles east of the Black Rock Desert until foaling season ends on july 1, although they will still be allowed to fly in the southern half of the Jackson Mountains due to drought conditions.
A group of wild horses being herded into a tight pen. Image courtesy of Emily Murdoch.