371 wild horses captured, 9 dead at Spruce-Pequop HMA (Nevada)

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Wild horses on the Antelope Complex, of which the Spruce-Pequop Herd Management Area is a part. Bureau of Land Management photo.

The Bureau of Land Management captured 371 wild horses from Aug. 8-Sept. 8 from the Boone Spring area of the Spruce-Pequop Herd Management Area in northeast Nevada.

The agency conducted the “emergency” bait-and-trap roundup due to what it said was a lack of water and forage.

Nine wild horses died during the roundup. Two were listed as resulting from acute injuries: a 7-year old grey stud put down after breaking its leg and a 4-year-old pinto mare that died after breaking its neck against a panel.

The other seven deaths were wild horses put down, five for blindness and two for emaciation, according to BLM’s gather report.

The 138,000-acre Spruce-Pequop Herd Management Area was home to an estimated 1,523 wild horses before the roundup began. The BLM-set Appropriate Management Level is 57-82 wild horses.

According to a BLM environmental assessment prepared in 2017, the Boone Springs allotment has a permitted sheep use of 2,947 Animal Unit Months from late fall to early spring. One AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow-calf combination, one horse, or five sheep for a month. Ten-year average sheep use there was 1,026 AUM.

The wild horses removed are being transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon, Nevada, where they will be prepared to be offered for adoption, according to BLM.

Take Action

Wild horses and burros captured by BLM during this roundup and others now face an increased risk of being shipped to slaughter because BLM in May changed its sale policy to allow a single buyer to purchase 24 wild horses or burros with no waiting period, no oversight and no questions asked. Previously, sales were limited to four wild horses every six months unless a buyer received special permission. Please click here to send a message to your members of Congress urging them to demand BLM revoke the sale policy change.

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