Silver King roundup Day 7: 53 wild horses captured, 3 killed

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Wild horses confined in holding pens before sorting at a temporary holding facility during a 2016 helicopter roundup at the Owyhee Complex in Nevada. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

The Bureau of Land Management on Monday captured 53 wild horses during helicopter drive trapping at the Silver King Herd Management Area.

The removal of the 26 studs, 19 mares and eight foals brings the total number removed from their home range to 399 during the first week of the planned three-week roundup.

Three wild horses were put down on Monday, according to BLM:

  • A 15-year-old bay stud with one eye and a body condition score of 3 (thin) on a 10-point scale;
  • An 11-year-old bay mare that was “emaciated and weak” with a body condition score of 1 (poor);
  • A 20-year-old bay mare with “severe tooth loss” and a body condition score of 1.5 (poor-very thin).

The deaths bring the total number of wild horses killed to five since the roundup began.

BLM plans to remove 980 wild horses from their home range, located about 60 miles south of Ely, Nevada. About 244 wild horses will remain on the 606,000-acre HMA when the roundup is complete.

BLM’s stated reason for the roundup is “to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-uses relationship on public lands,” according to a press release.

The agency estimates that the wild horse population on the HMA to be 1,224 horses, including foals. The agency’s “Appropriate Management Level” for Silver King is 60-128 wild horses — or as low as one wild horse for every 10,100 acres.

By comparison, BLM allows up to 55,940 Animal Unit Months of private cattle and sheep grazing on six allotments that overlap the HMA by 24-100%. One AUM is enough forage for one cow-calf pair or five sheep per month.

Captured wild horses will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Dallon, Nevada, before being offered by adoption.

To view BLM’s planning documents, click here: https://go.usa.gov/xQmBN.

Viewing the roundup

Those who wish to view the roundup operation are asked to call (775) 289-1800 to be added to an attendee list and receiving specific meeting locations.

Take Action

Please keep calling U. S. Senators on the Conference Committee and urge them to continue standing up for wild horses and burros and opposing slaughter. Click here for suggested talking points and a list of phone numbers.

Please click here to send a letter to your members of Congress urging them to oppose the Bureau of Land Management sale policy, which allows any buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses with no waiting period, no oversight and no questions asked.

Sign RTF’s Wild on the Range Campaign petition in support of humane management of wild horses and burros.

Donate to the Wild Horse Defense Fund

 

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