A Nevada woman who fears her missing horse could end up at the slaughterhouse has joined a lawsuit challenging state plans to transfer ownership of thousands of free-roaming mustangs to private hands.
Lawyers for the California-based American Wild Horse Campaign and Cynthia Ashe of Silver Springs filed the lawsuit Monday in state court in Carson City.
It seeks to block what plaintiffs say would be "a giveaway of a valuable and cherished Nevada asset."
The suit accuses Nevada's Department of Agriculture of breaching a contract that called for the wild horse group to manage the nearly 3,000 mustangs in the Virginia Range east and south of Reno under a joint agreement emphasizing fertility control.
The agreement comes under state law that dictates state ownership of stray or feral horses not entitled to U.S. protections on neighboring federal land.