For Immediate Release
Sept. 20, 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 northwest Colorado wild horses

Friends of Animals has won a battle with the Bureau of Land Management to protect wild horses in northwest Colorado. The BLM has agreed not to undertake any further removals of wild horses without first completing additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Friends of Animals has taken away what amounted to a blank check to perform roundups without any environmental review or public notice and we will push to ensure that the BLM considers the true devastating impacts of wild horse roundups before it goes back to roundup horses again,” said Jennifer Best, assistant legal director for FoA’s Wildlife Law Program. “We are committed to fighting for these horses every step of the way.”

Friends of Animals initiated its lawsuit back in 2015 after a violent, frightening, inhumane helicopter roundup of up to 167 wild horses from the West Douglas Herd Area was already underway. Friends of Animals later adopted a three-month-old filly orphaned by that roundup. We call her Moxie and she is now thriving at our primate sanctuary in Texas with two other wild horses who have formed a band with her.)


BLM’s initial decision included language indicating that BLM could come back and roundup more horses for several years as part of its extinction plan. “This is significant because under the original decision, BLM had authorized round-ups as needed over the next five years,” said Michael Harris, director of FoA’s Wildlife Law Program.

The BLM has never really publically examined the emotional, physical or social impacts to wild horses subjected to helicopter roundups on federal public lands. The intricate physiological events that occur during a wild horses fight or flight reaction to a helicopter round up suggest that these are assaults against wild horses and are not humane as the BLM maintains, and Friends of Animals believes this violates the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

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