A federal appeals court has issued a split decision upholding the government roundup of 1,600 wild horses along the Nevada-California line in 2010.
In the 2-1 ruling Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected an appeal by horse advocates accusing the Bureau of Land Management of gathering too many mustangs in violation of several laws, including the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Judge Carlos Bea concluded in the majority opinion the BLM completed the necessary environmental reviews for the Twin Peaks roundup and that the court must defer to the agency's expertise.
Judge Johnnie Rawlinson wrote in her dissent that such deference isn't warranted if the agency interprets part of a law inconsistently with its overall purpose. She argues BLM violated the "express purpose of Congress to protect the horses."
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.