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Terri Farley
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Bill Spriggs: D.C. attorney speaks for wild horses

Dear Readers,
There are so many ways you can stand up for what you believe. I go out on the range and write books. Attorney Bill Spriggs fights for wild horses in the courtroom -- pro bono. That not only means for free; it also means, literally, for good.
Bill is a serious runner and a horse owner, and he wears the coolest cuff links. There's a lot to like about him and his beliefs, so I've indicated a few of my favorite quotes from him below, in an edited article.

Tax dollars "wasted" in current wild horse strategy

January 22, 2010

The lawyer at the center of a legal challenge to the Bureau of Land Management's holding of thousands of wild horses in facilities away from their natural habitat has hit out at cattle interests.
Attorney Bill Spriggs, who represented In Defense and Animals and wildlife ecologist Carig Downer in court action to stop the controversial Calico muster in northern Nevada, said the proposed national solution for future management of America's wild horse herds is a ruse that favours the interests of "Rolex cattlemen and well-heeled hunters".

"Not only are the actions of the bureau and Salazar against federal legislation, put in place in 1971 and amended over the years," says Spriggs, "it is imprudent and wasteful of taxpayer dollars, especially when citizens are trying to hold on to their jobs, houses, and to just survive.

"I've been involved in public procurement [contracts] for over 40 years and I know waste when I see it. This is waste."

Spriggs, co-chair of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Government Contracts Section, is working pro bono in pushing the case forward. He anticipates the court battle may reach the halls of Congress in the next several months.

Spriggs estimates that, over time, the cost to round up wild herds in Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming will total a half billion US dollars.

Then there is the $US50 million-a-year recurring cost to care for 35,000 horses already removed to Kansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

In Defense of Animals and other advocacy groups have a plan to reduce this expense with a combination of birth control and keeping the horses in their original habitat.

"Right now," says Spriggs, "we are subsidising the cattle industry by giving them rights to the land these wild horses once occupied, and taxpayers are footing the bill.

"The cattlemen are paying about one-tenth the going rate for grazing rights on public lands which are supposed to be occupied by wild horses."

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 11:01 AM

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Comments: I just read an article by somebody against wild horses and it quoted somebody (I can't remember who it was) as saying something like wild horses are only beneficial to little 13-year-old girls to stare at all day. Then later he said something like whenever a horse slaughter bill comes to Congress half of all 13-year-old girls will write to their Congressman saying, 'please don't kill the pretty horses!'

So as you might could imagine, I am mad. Insulted on behalf of myself (16 and a horse lover) and the 13-year-olds. They may be 13, but they aren't stupid, and they aren't five years old.:\

I am trying to do research about wild horses and the different political parties' views about them because in Gov't class we each have to write a fake bill. Guess what mine is about.:P But I'm not finding much. Except a bunch of articles about how horse activists are just trying to pull at your heartstrings and should be ignored for caring.:P Could you help me, Terri, if you have any information?:D

  I agree completely with this. I am praying and begging God to stop the roundups. I want to hear all the informantion possible, Mrs. Farley. I will do anything possible to help these creatures.
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