Wild horses are a treasured asset — but also a subject for political debate in Nevada. We all agree wild horses should remain a vital part of Nevada’s landscape, but the reality is we’re never going to totally agree on how wild horses should be managed in this state. We’ll just say the reality is it’s going to take a collaborative effort from all sides with different views when it comes to the management of wild horses — and the reality is also nobody is likely going to receive 100 percent of what they desire when it comes to the management of wild horses.
One thing we can do, though, is follow the law. No matter what you think when it comes to the management of wild horses, there are laws on the books which protect the wild horses we do have in this state and one of our readers, Bonnie Matton, presented us with the 2010 statute, NRS 504.490, which protects wild horses. When it comes to what’s unlawful, it reads as follows:
1. Any person, not authorized to do so, who: (a) Removes or attempts to remove a wild horse from the public lands; (b) Converts a wild horse to private use; (c) Harasses a wild horse or, except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, kills a wild horse.
(d) Uses an aircraft or a motor vehicle to hunt any wild horse; (e) Pollutes or causes the pollution of a watering hole on public land to trap, wound, kill or maim a wild horse; (f) Makes or causes the remains of a wild horse to be made into any commercial product; (g) Sells a wild horse which strays onto private property; or (h) Willfully violates a regulation adopted by the Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
2. A person who willfully and maliciously kills a wild horse is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.
That’s the long-winded legalistic way of saying leave the wild horses alone.