BILLINGS, Mont. – A federal judge in Montana has temporarily stopped a planned mustang roundup on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in response to a lawsuit filed by wildlife advocates.
U.S. District Judge Susan Watters on Friday ordered the Bureau of Land Management not to conduct the roundup set for Sunday on the range along the Montana-Wyoming border.
Watters scheduled a Sept. 28 hearing to hear arguments.
Federal officials planned to remove 17 of the approximately 150 horses.
Colorado filmmaker Ginger Kathrens and advocacy group the Cloud Foundation filed the lawsuit on Thursday, arguing the roundup would eliminate some of the herd’s unique genetic qualities.
Officials say the herd is overgrazing portions of the 59-square-mile horse range. The animals would be baited into corrals and put up for adoption.