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Great News! World-Famous Pryor Wild Horses Spared Temporarily!

Great News! World-Famous Pryor Wild Horses Spared Temporarily!

Recently we told you of the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to decimate the genetic viability of the unique Pryor Spanish Mustang herd, made world-famous by a series of PBS documentaries. This removal would have destroyed the genetic balance of the herd. A temporary restraining order (TRO) was granted to temporarily stop the planned removals which were to begin September 2.

Representatives of The Cloud Foundation had previously met with the Billings BLM Field Office in Montana and had felt like their concerns and recommendations had been heard. Were they deliberately given a false sense of security to not allow enough time for protest? It appears that way, so Ginger Kathrens, the videographer who filmed and directed the three documentaries which made up The Adventures of Cloud for the Nature series on PBS, and The Cloud Foundation filed a lawsuit to halt the scheduled removals. Because the removals were imminent, they also filed a TRO asking to postpone them until the case could be heard.   

Because TROs are often difficult to achieve, it is a great victory that it was granted. In her decision, United States District Judge Susan P. Watters stated: “BLM argues that one removal action will not result in the permanent loss of genetic diversity of the Pryor Herd. … This conclusion is contrary to the evidence before the court. Extinction of a bloodline or phenotype is, by its nature, loss of genetic diversity. And extinction, meaning forever, is certainly a long duration. This court finds that Plaintiffs have established a likelihood of irreparable harm absent a TRO.”

In Defense of Animals and animal advocates everywhere thank Judge Watters and all who called and contacted on the behalf of this historic herd their own legislators, the BLM, and the Department of the Interior. We can make a difference! However, the final ruling has not yet been made. Advocates are hopeful that the decision will become permanent when the hearing for the lawsuit is heard in Billings, Montana on September 28, 2018.

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