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January 14, 2010

Reward Offer Increased in Washoe County, Nev. Wild Horse Killings

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are increasing the reward to $12,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing a band of six wild horses found in northern Washoe County, Nev., in early December. The HSUS is adding $2,500 to the $10,000 reward the Bureau of Land Management initially offered, in the hopes that the substantial increase will encourage those with information to come forward.

The Case:

A BLM press release and news reports give the following account: On Dec. 5, 2009, a helicopter crew conducting a wild-horse gather saw five mustang carcasses in one area and a sixth, dead mustang about a half-mile away from the others. BLM officials from the Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, Calif., recognized the dead mustangs as belonging to a clan of horses known to roam the Buckhorn Herd Management Area. 

"This wanton killing of six wild mustangs, one of America's greatest natural treasures, must not go unpunished," said The HSUS' Nevada State Director Beverlee McGrath. "This tragic case is an excellent example of the need for the state law that currently makes it a felony to maliciously kill a wild horse."

Federal/State Wild Horse Protection Laws:

The federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 mandates the BLM to protect and manage wild horses in the United States. In addition, under state regulations adopted by the Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses: "A person who willfully and maliciously kills a wild horse is guilty of a category C felony (NRS 504.490 Unlawful acts) (Added to NRS by 1985, 1889; A 1999, 2516).

The Investigators:

The BLM is conducting the investigation in cooperation with the Washoe County Sheriff's Department and the California Department of Fish & Game. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact BLM Special Agent William Taylor at (530) 601-6689.

The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse and animal cruelty across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

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