RENO, Nev. — Federal land managers say a lawsuit by Nevada ranchers and others demanding acceleration of wild horse roundups doesn't pass legal muster, but even if it did, they don't have the money or the room at U.S. corrals to gather more mustangs.
Interior Department lawyers filed a motion in federal court in Reno Tuesday to dismiss the suit by the Nevada Association of Counties and Nevada Farm Bureau Federation.
It comes on the heels of a separate motion to dismiss filed by horse advocates, but for very different reasons.
Government lawyers agree with the ranchers' contention current herds are overpopulated but they say the Bureau of Land Management is hamstrung by budget cuts. They also say a congressional ban on the sale of excess horses for slaughter has pushed their holding facilities to the brink of their capacity.