Antelope Valley, Goshute roundup ends: 902 wild horses captured, 15 dead

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Wild horses stand in temporary holding pens after being captured during the Sulphur Herd Management Area (Utah) helicopter roundup in 2017. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

 

The Bureau of Land Management recently concluded an “emergency” bait-and-trap roundup at the Antelope Valley and Goshute Herd Management Areas in Nevada. A total of 902 wild horses were captured from Sept. 19-Oct. 2.

Twelve wild horses were killed for “pre-existing conditions” and three as a direct result of the roundup.

BLM reported that 10 of those wild horses suffered from starvation, emaciation and severe weakness. All had body condition scores of 1.0 to 2.5 on the 10-point scale used by the agency. Two more were put down for blindness.

Three wild horses died from breaking their necks on their panels after being captured.

The roundup was conducted “due to deteriorating animal health from lack of water and forage on the range,” according to a press release. BLM says that because of limited water on the HMAs, wild horses were seeking water at Dolly Varden Springs, which is located on private land.

As of March 2018, the estimated population of 502,909-acre Antelope Valley was 1,755 wild horses compared to an agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 155-259, or as low as one horse for every 3,245 acres.

All of the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area is open to the grazing of private cattle, with a maximum allotment of 5,376 Animal Unit Months. One Animal Unit Month is defined as a month’s forage for one horse, one cow / calf pair or five sheep. Actual livestock grazing use over the past 10 years averaged 883 AUM, or 16% of the maximum.

At 267,277-acre Goshute, the population was 1,429 wild horses compared to an agency-set AML of 74-123. Permitted livestock use at Goshute is 465 AUM. No 10-year use numbers were provided in BLM planning documents.

Wild horses removed from the herd management areas will be separated from their family bands, sorted by age and gender, then transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Fallon, Nev., where they will be readied for BLM’s adoption program.

Gather reports and more information are posted on BLM’s website at https://go.usa.gov/xP4mv.

Take Action

Call your members of Congress at (202) 225-3121 (to find direct numbers, go to https://www.callmycongress.com).

Urge your senators to:

* 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 for a list of members: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/about/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.

* 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;

* 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 lobbying, grassroots advocacy, selective litigation and on-range monitoring of roundups.

 

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