LAS VEGAS -- A federal judge will allow the Bureau of Land Management to begin its wild horse roundup operation in northern Nevada Friday.
Judge Miranda Du lifted a temporary restraining order that had put a hold on wild horse gatherings going on at the Owyhee Complex until the court had a chance to hear the lawsuit filed by a wild horse advocate.
The advocate is Laura Leigh, the founder of Wild Horse Education. According to Leigh, she witnessed offensive conduct by the people working on the roundup.
Du ruled that the horse advocates do not have a likelihood of success in their lawsuit.
"I am very happy that Judge Du made the decision to lift the TRO," BLM Director Alan Shepherd said.
But Du placed conditions on lifting the temporary restraining order, something activists said is a first and a victory for their efforts.
Conditions include prohibiting the wild horse gatherers from using electric prods on weanlings and limited use of hot prods on adult horses during the gather and transport. The only time the horse handlers may use the prod is to protect themselves, according to the judge's order.
Horses are also not to be driven through barbed wire fences, or be rushed on trucks from their so-called trap sites. Trap site must also be located in safe areas, the judge ruled.
The gathering started in November. The bureau had planned to gather 186 horses. Forty-seven excess animals would be removed and the rest would be released back to the range, the BLM said.