BLM suspends NV horse gather after 7 die

Owyhee River Canyon (BLM Image)
The Owyhee River Canyon. This is the type of terrain the BLM are forcing Mustangs and their young offspring to run over at high speeds in extreme heat while being pursued by helicopters in its most recent Elko District roundup that was called off today after 7 died. (BLM Image)

CARSON CITY, Nev. — (Jul. 12, 2010) The U.S. Bureau of Land Management suspended a wild horse roundup in northeast Nevada on Monday after seven animals died of dehydration and another was shot when it broke its his leg in a holding pen.

Animal rights activists were outraged, saying the outcome was predicable given the sweltering temperatures and helicopters used to gather the animals.

The BLM said the animals appeared in otherwise good shape when two groups were herded by helicopter to holding pens in northern Elko County on Saturday. But the roundup was halted Sunday morning after four horses were found dead in the pens and others showed signs of colic and brain swelling.

In all, seven died of what the BLM called dehydration and complications from “water intoxication” that can occur when dehydrated animals drink excessive amounts of water. The condition causes colic and brain swelling, the BLM said.

BLM Director Bob Abbey said the agency was committed to treating the animals humanely and that the roundup was suspended so “options for minimizing mortality of horses weakened by dehydration can be assessed.”

Ginger Kathrens, executive director of The Cloud Foundation, a Colorado-based wild horse advocacy group, called the BLM’s actions “disgusting.”

The horses “were run over volcanic rock by helicopter for mile after mile,” she told The Associated Press.

“We’re talking about the hottest time of the year, the hottest month of the year. I’m not one bit surprised to hear that seven horses have died of dehydration. It’s what we’ve warned.” Read full report >>

Written by SANDRA CHEREB for the Associated Press
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>> See also BLM Press Release

4 thoughts on “BLM suspends NV horse gather after 7 die”

  1. The BLM and their employees should be charged with animal cruelty. Fire the whole lot of them & shut the BLM down.

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  2. I’d like to tie a couple wranglers behind a truck and run them (BAREFOOT) across that turrain until THEY were done

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  3. Bob Abby should be fired. He has no clue how animals should be humanely treated. He doesn’t even know the true meaning of humane. First of all the BLM broke their own policy (no gathers until 6 weeks after the foaling season which ended June 30) These foals have very tender feet and hooves and to run them with thier mothers for miles and miles in the excessive heat without water and on hard volcanic rock desert is shameful, cruel, the ultimate abuse. Then they give them all the water they could drink causing the colic and brain swelling. You cannot tell me they know anything about the care and management of horses. They should be shut down. If Sharon Angle wants to shut down a government department, here is one that should be shut down – Not the Department of Education, Energy or the EPA. Harry Reid needs to step up and do something for these horses. Where is the law with the authority to enforce the Wild Horse and Burro Act? Where is the Humane Society and the ASPCA with thier legal departments and lobbyists?

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  4. How many foals perished? Did they even bother to go back and check? Also, why are they gathering 228 horses in 2.5 hours? Is it a race?

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