Antelope Valley (Nev.) roundup ends: 258 wild horses captured, 6 dead

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Wild horses captured during the fall 2016 Bureau of Land Management roundup in Nevada’s Owyhee Complex. File photo by Steve Paige for RTF.

A total of 258 wild horses were captured and six killed during the Bureau of Land Management’s recently ended emergency bait-and-trap roundup from the Deep Spring area of the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area in Utah.

On July 27, according to BLM, a 10-year-old gray mare died when she hit a panel and broke her neck. Five other horses, including two foals, were put down during six days of trapping, for what the agency says were pre-existing conditions:

  • A 12-year-old stud because of blindness;
  • a 20-year-old grulla mare because of excessive tooth wear and a body condition of 1 (extremely emaciated) on a 10-point scale;
  • a 15-year-old bay mare with a “hopeless prognosis for recovery” due to water deprivation;
  • a 1-month-old red dun filly because of a broken shoulder;
  • a 2-month-old sorrel colt with a “hopeless prognosis for recovery” due to water deprivation.

A 259th horse, a domestic gelding, was also found in the trap and turned over to the State of Nevada as an astray. The captured wild horses will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon, Nevada, then offered for adoption.

BLM said it conducted the roundup on the 463,540-acre Antelope Valley Herd Management Area due to lack of water:

“The Deer Spring area within the Antelope Valley HMA is not capable of sustaining the excess wild horses which rely on this water source,” BLM said in a press release announcing the roundup. “Deer Spring produces approximately 15 gallons an hour, which cannot sustain the more than 200 wild horses that have been observed on a regular basis waiting for water at this location. The BLM is supplementing the water supply until the excess wild horses can be gathered.”

In June and July, the area received .13 inch of rain, compared to 1.02 inches normally. Temperatures in July averaged 97.1 degrees, about 7 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

The BLM-set “Appropriate Management Level” for Antelope Valley is 155-259 wild horses, or as few as one horse for every 2,991 acres. The current population is estimated by the agency as 1,775.

Permitted livestock use for Antelope Valley is 5,376 Animal Unit Months. BLM says actual 10-year average grazing use is 883 AUM, or 16% of what the agency set as its maximum livestock use. One AUM is forage for 1 horse, 1 cow/calf pair, or 5 sheep for one month.

Take Action

Call your members of Congress at (202) 225-3121 (to find direct numbers, click here).

Urge your senators to:

* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM policy increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;

* Stand strong in Conference committee on the Senate’s language protecting wild horses and burros and on defunding horse slaughter, if the senator sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee (click to see a list of members).

For senators not on the Senate Appropriations Committee: Ask them to tell members of the Conference committee that constituents do not want them to waiver either on protecting wild horses or defunding horse slaughter.

* Support the SAFE Act (S. 1706) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter.

Urge your congressional representative to:

* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;

* Oppose the House version of the FY19 Interior Appropriations bill because it contains an amendment allowing for the mass sterilization of wild horses and burros; instead, ask your representative to support Senate language on wild horses being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;

* Oppose the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill because it does not include the horse slaughter inspection defund language; instead, ask your representative to support the Senate language being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;

* Support the SAFE Act (H.R. 113) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter;

* Support the Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 4040) to ban hauling horses on double-deck trailers under all circumstances.

Donate to RTF’s Wild Horse Defense Fund, which fuels our advocacy, lobbying, selective litigation and on-range monitoring of roundups

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