Lady Freethinker has filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought by Wild Horse Education against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that seeks to immediately end the gathering of wild horses during excessive heat and under other inhumane conditions in the Antelope Complex.

We decided to pursue the amicus brief after our first-hand observer, stationed at the Antelope Complex-North, documented a captured wild stallion broke his leg while escaping from the temporary holding corral, only to be chased by wranglers and helicopters for nearly an hour, in sweltering heat and over nearly four miles, before being shot to death.

“America’s iconic wild horses don’t deserve to be chased down in extreme heat, separated from their beloved families, and tragically killed,” said Nina Jackel, founder and president of Lady Freethinker. “The time is long overdue for the BLM to do what we – and countless others across the country – have been asking them to do for years: end cruel wild horse helicopter roundups now.”


The brief, filed Aug. 2 in the U.S. District Court of Nevada, alleges that the BLM’s roundup of iconic wild horses with helicopters in the sprawling Nevada desert during excessive heat — as well as in a manner that causes them to break their legs and snap their necks, leading to deaths by gunshot — is a violation of the mandate in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act that horses be “humanely captured and removed.”

The brief also alleges that flying helicopters in dangerously high temperatures and altitudes poses human health risks for pilots.

Finally, the brief alleges that the BLM is conducting the gathering in the Antelope Complex in violation of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) for relying on a 6-year-old finding of “no significant impact,” rather than conducting a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that should have taken new factors, including climate change, into consideration.

As of today, 27 horses have lost their lives between the Antelope Complex’s North and South Operations — including seven wild horses who have broken their necks or legs during the roundup.

Meanwhile, six other horses have been killed after being chased because they were blind, and 10 foals have been shot to death as well.

“Unquestionably, this is not humane treatment of animals with which we otherwise enjoy a human-animal bond and which form part of our national heritage,” the brief notes.

The brief implores that the court support the prayers for relief requested in the lawsuit filed by Wild Horse Education, filed on July 26, and immediately grant a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to halt the Antelope Complex roundup.

Lady Freethinker is being represented by Attorneys Myanna Dellinger and P. Sterling Kerr, of Kerr Simpson Attorneys at Law.

In addition to the amicus brief, Lady Freethinker has stationed observers at the Antelope Complex-North roundup this year and during the Triple B Complex roundup in 2022, sent a letter to officials demanding that they stop the Antelope Complex roundup, and published a petition — which has since been signed by more than 62,900 people — urging Congress to pass legislation prohibiting cruel helicopter roundups. 

If you haven’t already, please sign up for and participate in our Week of Action, starting Aug. 7, for the horses still being rounded up in the Antelope Complex! Please also make sure you’ve signed our petition, demanding an end to cruel helicopter roundups nationwide!

SIGN: Stop Cruel Helicopter Roundups That Are Killing Wild Horses