RENO, Nev. (AP) - Citing the hardship of the government shutdown, Justice Department lawyers are asking a federal judge in Reno for a stay in a legal battle with wild horse advocates over hundreds of mustangs gathered from a wildlife refuge on the Nevada-Oregon line.
The horse advocates said Wednesday it's a ploy to keep them from securing an emergency court order to stop the shipment of animals to a contractor they say has a history of reselling them for slaughter.
About half of the 400 horses that once roamed the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge are scheduled to be shipped to a contractor in Mississippi beginning Friday.
The Justice Department acting on behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Service asked Judge Miranda Du to postpone any proceedings until Congress restores both agencies' appropriations.
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