A total of 236 wild horses and burros have been captured in three ongoing Bureau of Land of Management “emergency” bait-and-trap roundups in Nevada.
One death has been reported, that of an 8-month-old colt euthanized after suffering a broken leg on the Triple B and Maverick-Medicine Herd Management Areas.
–Maverick-Medicine Herd Management Areas: Since the roundup began on July 28, 54 mares, 35 studs
–Montezuma Peak HMA: Since the start of the roundup on July 31, 32 burro jacks, nine jennies and one foal have been captured, along with one stallion and one mare. The BLM set out to removed 50 wild horses and 25 burros. For more information, click here.
–Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA: Since the roundup began on July 29, 28 mares, 23 studs and 19 foals have been captured. The BLM plans to remove 125 wild horses. For more information, click here.
The roundups are being conducted using corral panels stocked with water or hay, not helicopters.
The BLM has cited a “lack of water and declining health of the wild horses and burros associated with herd overpopulation” as reason for all four emergency roundups.
The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burros Management Handbook notes that “emergencies generally are unexpected events that threaten the health and welfare of a [wild horse and burro] population and/or their habitat. Examples of emergencies include fire, insect infestation, disease, or other events of a catastrophic and unanticipated nature. Immediate action is normally required.”
Under BLM policy, Environmental Assessments (EAs) for roundups are to be issued such that the public has 30 days to review and comment. Decisions to proceed are to be issued 14 days before a roundup commences. Declaring an emergency situation allows the agency to avoid those steps.
RTF recognizes that there will be emergency situations that threaten the health of wild horses and burros, especially as climate change accelerates in the West. However, it is incumbent upon BLM to work to anticipate the needs of the wild horses and burros under its management in order to comply with requirements for public transparency and the consideration of options under the National Environmental Policy Act. Thoughtful advance planning will also allow for the judicious implementation of proven, safe and humane fertility control that can reduce the need for roundups.
BLM has no plans to treat wild mares or burro jennies during any of the recently announced emergency roundups with save, proven and humane fertility control that would reduce calls for future roundups.
BLM also recently completed an emergency roundup on the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area in which 55 wild horses were captured and no mares treated with fertility control. For more information, click here.