For Immediate Release
Dec. 7, 2017
Jennifer Best, assistant legal director, FoA’s Wildlife Law Program 720.949.7791;
Mike Harris, director, Wildlife Law Program; 720.949.7791;

Friends of Animals wins victory for Idaho’s beloved wild horses

Following a legal challenge from the international non-profit animal advocacy group Friends of Animals, the Bureau of Land Management has withdrawn its Oct. 26, 2017 decision to roundup approximately 150 wild horses from the Challis Herd Management Area in Custer County, Idaho. The BLM planned to permanently remove at least 50 of them and to forcibly drug the mares with the fertility pesticide PZP.

“Without the help of Friends of Animals, it is likely that BLM would be rounding up the wild horses of Challis HMA at this very moment,” said Michael Harris, Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program Director. “Many of the horses would be facing a life of captivity while others would be subject to being dosed with an unproven and unsafe fertility control drug. But, because of our work, BLM has withdrawn its decision.”

The BLM tried to get away with not allowing the public to provide comment during the decision-making process, which is a violation of the National Environmental Protection Act.

“It seems it is becoming routine for BLM to seek to cut corners and knowingly violate the law when it comes to protecting America’s wild horses,” Harris said. “This atrocious behavior will not stand under the watchful eyes of Friends of Animals.

“This is a victory for wild horses and for Friends of Animals. BLM needs to know that its actions concerning wild horses will be heavily scrutinized by Friends of Animals and its members. If BLM continues to violate the law, Friends of Animals will be there to stop it.”

The Challis HMA, which is bordered by Salmon, Herd and Road Creeks, encompasses more than 154,000 acres of public land, but BLM only allows a measly 185 to 253 horses to live in this vast area. Despite a recent count of only 244 wild horses, BLM decided to take action to further reduce the population.

However, the BLM, which treats ranchers as clients, allows 2,239 cattle to graze in nearby allotments.

Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in New York in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals, free-living and domestic, around the world.