Owhyee roundup: Three wild horses euthanized, Nov. 22, 2016

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Wild horses captured in the ongoing Owyhee roundup photographed last week at the Palomino Valley National Wild Horse and Burro Center last week.


Sign RTF’s anti-roundup petition here. Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

Three blind wild horses were euthanized on Monday, bringing to 16 the number of wild horses that have died since the Owyhee Complex roundup in Northern Nevada began on Nov. 2.

Of those that have died, the Bureau of Land Management has listed 13 as having chronic or pre-existing conditions. In most cases, no detail has been provided.

Helicopter trapping was postponed on Monday due to poor weather conditions, but 130 wild horses (54 studs, 44 mares, 32 foals) were trucked from temporary holding to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center near Reno, Nevada.

The public has not been allowed to view the roundup since this phase began last Friday. The BLM has said that this is because of “private land access issues,” and that the land owner will allow access on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.

Altogether, 1,210 wild horses captured (466 studs, 515 mares and 194 foals), so far. Of those, 198 wild horses have been returned to the range — including 94 mares treated with PZP-22 fertility control vaccine.

During the second phase of the roundup, BLM plans to capture 920 wild horses and remove 650 from the range. During the first phase, 770 wild horses (297 studs, 329 mares, 144 foals) were captured.

Horses that are not adopted will later be taken to BLM off-range pastures.

BLM justifies the roundup as an effort to “remove excess wild horses in order to prevent further deterioration of Greater Sage grouse habitat within the Sagebrush Focal Area (in northern Elko and Humboldt Counties. Overpopulation of wild horses leads to the degradation of rangeland resources, which adversely impacts habitat for other species as well as the horses themselves.”