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In Defense of Animals v. United States Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20265
Nos. No. 10-16715, (9th Cir., 08/15/2011)

The Ninth Circuit upheld the denial of animal rights groups' motion to preliminarily enjoin DOI from rounding up, destroying, or auctioning off wild horses and burros in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area on the California-Nevada border. The groups claimed that the large-scale removal of horses conflicts with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and that an EIS was required before any action could be implemented. Their motion for preliminary injunction, however, sought to enjoin only the effects of implementing the initial phase. Because the initial stage of the plan has concluded and the roundup has taken place, the groups' interlocutory appeal from the denial of a preliminary injunction is moot. The case, however, is not. In the event that the groups prevail on the merits of their claims, the district court should consider what relief is appropriate.