306 wild horses captured on Paisley HMA (Ore.), 6 dead

/ In The News, News, Roundups
A BLM contractor’s helicopter drives wild horses toward a trap site on the Paisley Desert Herd Management Area in 2012. BLM file photo.

The Bureau of Land Management has captured 306 wild horses through the first six days of an “emergency” helicopter roundup on the Paisley Desert Herd Management Area, 10 miles northeast of Paisley, Ore.

The BLM says the roundup was “needed due to the lack of water and the wild horses’ rapidly declining health associated with herd overpopulation,” according to a press release.

Five wild horses have died during the roundup:

–A 4-year-old pinto mare was humanely euthanized due to a pre-existing sway back condition;

–a 6-year-old sorrel stallion was euthanized due to a pre-existing lordosis condition;

–a 4-year-old cremello stallion was euthanized due to blindness in both eyes;

–both a 2-year-old black stallion and 15-year-old black stallion, each missing one eye, were euthanized.

In addition, a 6-month-old pinto filly was euthanized after being found on the range before the roundup began with a body condition score of 1, or poor, on a 9-point-scaleand unable to rise from her side, according to BLM.

The agency plans to capture and remove 750 wild horses during the roundup. 

BLM has no plans to treat additional mares with safe, proven and humane fertility control that would slow, not stop reproduction, and reduce future roundups.

A total of 1,050 wild horses, including foals, were estimated to be living on the Paisley Desert Herd Management Area before the roundup began. The agency-set Appropriate Management Level for the HMA, which is composed of 271,667 acres of public and private land, is 60-150 wild horses, or as low as one horse for every 4,528 acres.

By comparison, the BLM has allocated 10,151 Animal Unit Months to private livestock grazing on the Herd Management Area or about 846 cow-calf pairs annually. One AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow-calf combination, one horse, or five sheep for a month.

Captured horses will be transported to the BLM’s Wild Horse Corrals in Hines, Ore., to be prepared for adoption or sale.

Viewing the roundup: No viewing opportunities will be available on private land. To view the portions of the roundup taking place on public land, call (541) 947-6811. Viewing will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.