Animal Advocates Sue Bureau of Land Management Over Western Horses and Withheld Public Records

Posted on September 16, 2014

Roundups of Wild Horses on Public Lands Stir Controversy, Feature in Documentary Exposé

For immediate release:

Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed this month against the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for withholding public records from filmmaker James Kleinert. The BLM has been investigating Kleinert and his film company, presumably in retaliation for making documentary films Wild Horses & Renegades, Saving the American Wild Horse, and Wild Horse Spirit, which expose the BLM’s cruel roundups of wild horses on public land and allege corruption within the Department of the Interior. “Roundups” involve herding horses into corrals using helicopters and separating them from their families. The national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has reason to believe that wild horses corralled by the BLM end up for sale for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. The federal lawsuit was filed September 3, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. ALDF is providing consulting assistance to Kleinert’s attorney, Daniel J. Stotter.

The lawsuit, Kleinert v. Bureau of Land Management, alleges that the BLM violated its duty under FOIA to provide records documenting the BLM’s investigation of Kleinert and his film company as he filmed roundups over the last decade. The BLM was required to provide all records and respond to this FOIA request within 20 working days of receiving it. The BLM now has 30 days to file a response to Kleinert’s lawsuit.

“Rounding up wild horses from public lands for the sake of private ranchers who want to graze cattle and sheep is outrageous,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The Bureau of Land Management should be protecting wild horses, not virtually guaranteeing their slaughter or targeting filmmakers who expose what’s going on.”

Copies of the lawsuit are available upon request.


28 thoughts on “Animal Advocates Sue Bureau of Land Management Over Western Horses and Withheld Public Records

  1. Holly Storey says:

    That is absolutely ridiculous! They should be protecting the wild horses not killing them. The BLU is getting kick backs from the big cattle corporations. I say sue them and make it very public. The more people that know, the more angrier we get and the more we stand as one. It’s time we take back our country!!

    1. Elaine Cummings says:

      You’re right on giving this law suit lots of coverage. The public media is not doing its job in reporting all of the roundups and all of the killing, and the things we all know that go on. Why? It must become public information. People must become outraged that a federal agency is doing this … and not being stopped by its Director, or our own elected so-called representatives and senators. THe president should have issued an Executive Order long ago. Now, the Wyoming roundups are on, even though BLM did not comply with existing laws requiring public involvement and environmental impact statement; and, even after BLM announced that they would deliberately NOT follow those rules! As well, the US FWS turned the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge into the ‘killing fields!’ They brutally conducted their own ‘copter roundup of the studied Sheldon wild horse herd. These studied horses were the descendants of Gen. Pershing’s WW1 War Horses, and were living on a “refuge.” All of this has to stop. Now.

  2. patricia marr says:

    Stop the slaughter and safe the wild horses they are part of our heritage.

  3. Holly Storey says:

    I need to make a correction to my previous statement. I did not mean BLU I meant BLM. Thank You.

  4. debra heverly md facep says:

    amen to this and thank you for your efforts on these sad days of the wyoming horses losing their freedom – at the hands of the BLM and their partners in crime, the Catoors!-

    follow the money (our taxpayer dollars) to the sewers of the BLM and contractors who are making a living (a big living) off the backs of our wild horses and burros in stark contrast to the wishes of the majority of tax paying Americans

  5. Susan Call says:

    Stop using tax payer money to abuse horses, and do what the majority of americans want not just the rich corporations.

  6. Marjorie Caruso says:

    Thank God!

    The BLM needs to be brought up on animal cruelty charges for their helicopter roundups and the horses that died because of them.

    The BLM was supposed to protect the wild horses and instead they have destroyed them with our tax dollars!

  7. Mary Sexauer says:

    Thank you so much for your efforts!! These atrocities have to be stopped! #justice4mustangs

  8. Barbara Griffith says:

    The BLM now wants to start shipping wild burros and horses to third world countries to be working animals for the poor. We all know what a “working animal is in a third world country. They want to ship 100 burros to Guatemala and several hundred horses to some cattle ranch in Guyana of all places. This Crime Syndicate known as the BLM has boxed themselves into a expensive corner with rounding up these horses to near extinction in the wild, they have no where to store the horses and the price of feeding them is going up and up. So they think they just ship thousands of them out of the country to get them off of their neck.

  9. Louie C says:

    Since WHEN does BLM investigate private citizens?

    1. Elaine Taylor says:

      Louie C, The blm appears to believe that they are invincible and all powerful….they have been allowed to run roughshod over the very people that supply the $ for their wages (us) and over the precious souls that they are paid to protect (the wild Ones)for so long without retribution that they have become brazen and shameless, answering to no one except the big money interests that are lining their pockets. This is NOT a third world country that has to sit back and watch all of the government corruption, this is still the USA and we are going to kick some blm arses for what they are doing to the wild horses…and in turn, us. Maybe not this very moment, but the masses are rising and blm should be ready to tuck tail and run.

  10. Dianne St. Andre says:

    Disgusting display of cruelty, leaving horses injured, foals seperated from the mares. Terrorizing these beautiful animals and eventually them being sent to slaughter. Repeal the burns ammendment and restore our horses to the land that the taxpayer is charged for.

  11. Janet Curtis says:

    the point is it is a federal offense they are federally protected…if u harm one its jail and many will they kill have killed illegally? the POINT is why isnt there a way to prosecute them make them payback release these horses and burros immeadiatly and protect care for them instead of being horse theives!! I PRAY this stops them IT must!! no more anti-animal and pro-illegal reps in govt. no more!!!

  12. Diane Walls says:

    Just Stop, they are beautiful and deserve a peaceful life

  13. Jacqueline Daly says:

    It seems as though there is a government sanctioned war on animals. This is very disturbing because my tax money funds these disgusting programs and their administrators.

  14. sharon chang says:

    the next president(Hillary)needs to destroy the BLM and create a group that does nothing but protect all wild animals in this country!f**k the BLM and f**k the cruel ranchers!

  15. ANNA AREBALO says:

    Why would you do this to our beautiful wild horses ? WHY ? Whats wrong with our government. This makes me sick. we live in a evil world.

  16. cindy mendoza says:

    we need the bureau of land management to stop round-up our horses and quit playing pigs with our wild open spaces . it is not yours to give to these special interest of far away or here . Neither is just for cattle . It is not for your greed or anybody else’s . every living creature was just fine and living just right until man threw his hat in . They did not bother anyone.

  17. D Fariell says:

    It is about time something is being done to the BLM. This has been going a
    On way too long. Stop the round ups and the slaughtering of our wild horses! Stop using the tax payers money! There are other areas our tax money should go to. I hope the judge will do the right thing in this lawsuit

  18. Leah says:

    The BLM has failed horribly in managing and protecting our wildlife (wild horses and burros, wolves and buffalo). The government and special interest groups which they cater to should pay dearly for all of the non-human suffering/death they are responsible for.

    Wild horses have been sold by the BLM to buyer(s) who shipped them to Mexico for slaughter. Winter round-ups via helicopter resulted in broken legs. Foals were separated from their mothers, and pregnant mares aborted. Wild horses were locked up for months in crowded enclosures with no shelter from the harsh summer sun and extreme heat. These are just a few of the scenarios these beautiful animals encountered at the hands of the miserable BLM.

  19. Leah says:

    post thought… The BLM is not worthy of serving this country and it’s non-human inhabitants. Many politicians are abusing their “power” and no non-human species is safe from their reach.

  20. Dawn Dwyer says:

    The BLM should not have this much power. They are money hungry and greedy and have no interest in doing their job which is to protect these beautiful horses. What is the purpose of the BLM? None that I can see.

  21. I want to know how to get this to the president and Congress, to the news media, surely someone knows how to make this public in a big way! Ideas anyone?

  22. Priscilla says:

    You think that with all the prove of the neglect, abuse and even killing of our wild horses and burros, the blm would of come to some type closing them down. States, Nevada, don’t want them managing anything in our state. and there are other states with the same feeling. They completely ignore everyone. To get the word to Congress, that is like pulling teeth. So where do we go from here? Yes, Blm is to protect these animals, but they don’t care and they are doing a piss pore job of it.

  23. T Geiger says:

    We need people who are not connected to the cattle ranchers, oil, or any other money making threat to be put in charge of managing the wild horses.

    Why are we not doing Tours of the West to help support the economy the habitat, preserve the beauty of nature, the land and all that need it to survive.

  24. Jill mullet says:

    justice will be served! The BLM must be held accountable for their failure in protecting these horses from the devastation they face.

  25. Elaine Taylor says:

    This isn’t really about ranchers, I don’t believe the blm listens to them either. Its all about the millions, perhaps billions of dollars that the energy companies pay in leases for drilling on OUR public land. I’m sure there are some HEFTY bribes being paid out to the blm for their favor in who they allow to lease the land…

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