Owyhee roundup: 78 wild horses captured, Dec. 1, 2016

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A contractor's helicopter forces wild horses into the trap on Thanksgiving Day. File photo by Steve Paige.

A contractor’s helicopter forces wild horses into the trap on Thanksgiving Day. File photo by Steve Paige.


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.

Seventy-eight wild horses were captured during the ongoing Owyhee Complex helicopter roundup in Northern Nevada on Wednesday, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

The 38 mares, 24 studs and 16 foals bring the total number of wild horse captured since Nov. 2, when the roundup began, to 1,603. Seventeen horses have died.

Humane observers were not allowed to view Wednesday’s trapping, which took place on private land.

During this 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.

So far, 198 wild horses have been returned to the range, including 94 mares treated with fertility control vaccine, according to BLM. Twenty-nine mares were treated with fertility control on Wednesday, but they have not yet been released.

Captured wild horses — including 30 on Wednesday — are being transported from temporary holding to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center near Reno, Nevada. 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.”