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Cattlemen Respond to "Ill-Conceived" Endangered Species Act Lawsuit

Cattlemen Respond to "Ill-Conceived" Endangered Species Act Lawsuit

4/6/2018 9:45:00 AM/Categories: Popular Posts, General News, Today's Top 5, People in Ag, Livestock, National News, International

WASHINGTON (April 6, 2018) – Earlier this week, an organization called Friends for Animals launched a misguided lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, asking for the agency to give a herd of non-native, feral horses in Montana protection under the Endangered Species Act. Friends for Animals is proceeding with the lawsuit despite the fact that rapidly exploding feral horse populations are starving on the range, damaging Western landscapes, and causing irreparable harm to native flora and fauna.  
"The organizations pushing ill-conceived actions on feral horses are willfully ignoring the facts,” said Dave Eliason, President of the Public Lands Council. “The science is crystal clear: There are no wild horses in North America, and haven't been for 10,000 years. If we continue to allow the least informed among us to lead the debate, the plight facing these feral horses will worsen and the health of our rangelands could be lost beyond repair.” 

On April 3, 2018 Friends of Animals filed a complaint against Ryan Zinke and Greg Sheehan in their official capacities, challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for declaratory and injunctive relief by failing to list the Pryor Mountain wild horse population as threatened or endangered. 
According to the Associated Press:
o "Attorneys for Friends of Animals argued in the lawsuit that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated federal law by failing to act on a petition filed last June seeking protections for the animals. The petition was rejected on a technicality because the group submitted it to the federal agency without first notifying Montana officials as was required."
o "The move comes two years after federal wildlife officials rejected a proposal from the group for protections for tens of thousands of mustangs on federal lands across 10 western states. In that case, officials determined there were no marked behavioral differences between wild horses and their domestic cousins."
While Przewalksi horses have historically been thought to be decedents of wild horse herds, research comparing 46 published ancient and modern horse genomes indicated that Przewalski horses were in fact feral, descending from domesticated horses brought to the U.S. by Spaniards. 


Photo: BLM


4 comments on article "Cattlemen Respond to "Ill-Conceived" Endangered Species Act Lawsuit"


Tara Slatton

4/7/2018 8:18 AM

Please fact check your article. Prezwalski’s horse is NOT descended from Spanish horses brought to America. Mustangs are descended from Spanish horses brought to America. Prezwalski’s horses only live in zoos in America. They are wild horses in Mongolia and there is a herd in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.


Robert P Rhoads

4/9/2018 9:14 PM

Tara... Please help us here...

I'm missing your point.



Kristin Darnell

4/10/2018 10:49 PM

Tera is correct. Here is some clarification.

"When researchers tested their DNA and compared it to the bones of ancient horses, they found the Przewalskis were not wild as previously believed, but feral, meaning they descended from domesticated horses that later returned to the wild."

- Mustangs are descendants of Spanish, or Iberian, horses that were brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 16th century.


Kristin Darnell

4/10/2018 11:17 PM

More clarification: All horses under BLM are designated as wild which the Prior Mountain horses are.

A quote from BLM website:

'The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is unique in both its setting and for the wild horses that inhabit it. Many of the horses have primitive striping on their backs, withers and legs, and are reputed to be descendants of "colonial" Spanish horses."

The dorsal stripes on back and legs gives an impression to the similar markings of the Przewalski horse markings but the horse you have posted is descended from Spanish Colonial horses. The dorsal stripe would indicate DNA from further back

and perhaps distantly influenced by the Przewalski Horse.

The order of horses:

Wild-pre10-13,000 yrs ago

Przwewalski-the horses descended from one of the earliest known groups of domesticated horses, called Botai horses, found in northern Kazakhstan 5,500 years ago.

Mustangs-Domestic horses brought over by Spaniards 450ish years ago that became feral and some of which are now Federally protected and labelled as Wild Horses.

There is no singular definition of wild or feral horses in this country. It depends on history and the law which varies from State to State.

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