RENO, Nev. (CBS/AP) -- Wild horse advocates have scored a victory in Nevada in an ongoing legal battle with rural interests who they say want to round up federally protected mustangs across the West and sell them for slaughter.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied an appeal on Monday by the Nevada Association of Counties and Nevada Farm Bureau Federation.
Ranchers in Nevada say the badly overpopulated horse herds are damaging the range and robbing their livestock of forage.
The appellate court's decision upholds an earlier ruling by a federal judge in Reno who dismissed their lawsuit demanding the U.S. Bureau of Land Management expedite widespread roundups across Nevada.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a similar ruling in favor of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign in Wyoming in October.
Wild horse advocates like Protect Mustangs insist past roundups, removals and birth control methods have "decimated America's wild herds on public land."
They insist "wild horses are in danger of dying out because they lack genetic diversity, population and strength."
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