Silver King roundup ends with 996 wild horses captured, 19 dead

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A contractor’s helicopter drives wild horses into a trap site during the 2016 Owyhee Complex roundup in Nevada. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

The Bureau of Land Management ended its helicopter roundup at the Silver King Herd Management Area in Nevada with 996 total wild horses captured and 19 dead.

During the final three days of the roundup, Friday-Sunday, 106 wild horses were captured and six died. Of those, three were put down for what BLM says were pre-existing conditions and three following injuries suffered during the roundup:

  • A 4-year-old black made described in BLM’s gather report as “very weak and emaciated” with a body condition score of 1.0 on a 10-point scale;
  • A 4-year-old great stud that broke his leg;
  • A sorrel cold that suffered a “puncture wound in front of left hip”;
  • An 18-year-old sorrel mare, described as “emaciated and weak” with a body condition score of 1.5;
  • A 16-year-old palomino (no gender provided) with a body condition score of 1.5 and “infected and draining wound on right hip”;
  • A 3-year-old black mare with an “intermuscular tear in the right hip.”

BLM set out to remove 980 wild horses from their home range, located about 60 miles south of Ely, Nevada. About 228 wild horses remain on the 606,000-acre HMA now that the roundup 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.

Before the roundup, the agency estimated that the wild horse population on the HMA was 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 Fallon, 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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