Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BLM Pilot Conduct Ruled Inhumane at Triple B Wild Horse Hearing, Judge Issue TRO

Horseback Magazine

August 31, 2011

Federal Judge “Deeply Concerned” Over BLM Defense
HOUSTON, (WHFF) – Reno Nevada Federal Judge Howard McKibben  has granted a temporary restraining order against the continuation of documented helicopter pilot conduct at the Bureau of Land Management’s Triple B wild horse roundup in Eastern Nevada. Citing his authority to enjoin an agency’s conduct where their actions have been demonstrated to be “in violation of an Act.”
“I am deeply concerned,” Judge Mckibben stated to Eric Petersen, the BLM legal counsel, “that declarations presented to the Court by the agency do not address the issue, but simply deny wrong doing.”
Judge Mckibben went on to recite the only declaration of the four presented to the Court, that addressed an instance where video taken by Plaintiff Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education (WHE) and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) shows a BLM contract pilot coming dangerously close to an exhausted horse apparently making contact with the animal was in direct contrast to what was recorded. He stated that the declaration by “defendant was not what he observed in the video as he could see an exhausted animal and the pilot apparently making contact. He said he did not appreciate the ‘blame the horse’ direction of the defendant’s statements.
Although McKibben did not rule in plaintiff’s favor on other  alleged violations, he did verbally address the defendants. For example in the insufficient water assertion McKIbben said that if the horses drain the water they should simply be given more.
“I was honored to have the opportunity to bring these issues into the Courtroom,” stated Leigh’s attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno. “This is a beginning to addressing this most basic premise of an Act of Congress that still has significant public interest.”
Mckibben also noted that if the BLM brings a helicopter contractor back to Triple B, as stated in Alan Shepherd’s (BLM) declaration, “this Court will be watching

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