Captive wild horses being euthanized at an alarming rate

Cross-posted from Equine Advocacy Examiner


While the fatalities at the trap sites of the ongoing wild horse roundups in Nevada seem to have temporarily abated, the number of horses who are being summarily killed for cosmetic defects has spiked alarmingly in the last week.

From January 1st through 7th, 2011, nine horses died or were euthanized at the BLM’s Indian Lakes Road facility near Fallon, Nevada, which is currently holding wild horses captured during the Callaghan and Eagle/Chokeberry roundups, as well as some from previous “gathers.”

Four of the horses who were put down were killed not because they were sick or unhealthy or failing to thrive, but because they had “club feet.” Other than this minor and certainly not fatal flaw, they were just fine. Read more >>

5 thoughts on “Captive wild horses being euthanized at an alarming rate”

  1. These are terrible, irresponsible actions, especially with clubfooted wild horses.

    I believe the BLM considers clubfooted horses unadoptable from the outset. It may even be policy to kill them. I think some folks would be willing – even eager – to adopt them to save their lives. If they’re killed before a potential adopter has the opportunity to see them, how can anyone ever know? When horses, clubfooted or not, come in lame, do they consider the chase and give them a chance to recover on their own (the rest cure)?

    I’d like to see the extent of clubfoot, because there are many successful corrective procedures. It takes time and money, but the payoff can be a sound horse with good quality of life. Correction works best on horses under 4 – the age all horses “set bone”. Any savvy trainer with a horse under 4 would be spending time on gentling and light groundwork anyway. The older horses obviously survived on the range. Even if there was no correction, they could still be happy “pasture pals”.

    I remember a BLM contractor/trainer (Steve Mantle?) gentled a young, club-footed Mustang. He was honest about the condition, but considered it could be successfully overcome and the horse would be fit for riding.

    Again, how can anyone know the potential of these wild horses if they aren’t given a chance at life?


  2. 245,000,000 acres of public land under the jurisdiction of the BLM

    Current on-the-land wild horse and burrow herd population 38,400 ~ 1 horse per 6500 acres

    BLM claims that is 12,000 too many meaning that they figure each horse requires about 9300 acres.

    Livestock (i.e. cattle) grazing land area = 157,000,000 acres

    Total number of cattle 2010 in the US = 93,000,000 of which approximately 2% graze on public land ~ 1,900,000 head of cattle on 157,000,000 acres

    This equates to about 1 steer for every 82 acres.

    Horses are native to the land; cattle are not, nor are man-made pipelines, mining operations or the like.

    Since cattle are non-natives, their impact on the environment is greater than native species. Whereas the wild horses and indigenous wildlife are highly mobile foragers, cattle are stagnant foragers meaning that horses do not overgraze an area or cause soil damage.

    Therein lies the puzzle for me. Given this simple statement, shouldn’t the numbers be reversed. Shouldn’t the cattle require more acreage per head than the horses in order to preserve the environmental health of the land?

    No, according to the US government and the BLM.

    Why? The underlying motive is clearly $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    The Dominant Social Paradigm (DSP) dictates that physical growth is always good, and human benefits supersede all other benefits. This usually means economic or human welfare benefits. The government obviously subscribes to the DSP. Economics above most other values, and almost certainly above environmental values.

    This is in total contradiction to what the US government’s supposed goals are from an ethical and goodwill perspective in the global context. They are not willing to sacrifice other values for the environment, the health of species diversification and quality of life for the people that support them.

    Truly ugly! And this from a country that prides itself on altruism.


    1. Wow, I didn’t notice the discrepancy in my calculated estimate of the cattle on the BLM lands compared to Shari’s number of 13 million.

      If that is the case, then this is even worse…..a mere 15 acres per head for cattle compared to a suggested 9300 acres per horse. That’s like a contaminant level in food products or worse.


  3. My this sounds familiar, BLM’s deranged, evil plan obtained by the Freedom of Information Act to murder as many horses as possible,
    I will be reporting BLM to the FBI, OIG, U.S. ATTORNEYS OFFICE STATE to demand prosecutions of BLM for murdering wild horses and burros. Please everyone do the same ! And of of contacting all in Congress, Senate and the President !I also will be putting out this information in every way possible, thank God we now have social media to let the world know what the corrupt lying murders, BLM are doing to our wild horses and burros. The CORRUPT BLM & WELFARE CATTLE BUDDIES/ROLEX RANCHERS ON AMERICAS PUBLIC LANDS PUT 13 MILLION PRIVATELY OWNED WELFARE CATTLE on our land cost us 1 BILLION $ PER YEAR in addition their welfare cattle/sheep destroy of Americas water, wildlife, soil, fish, native plants , causes noxious weed explosion & desesrtification ( remember the dust bowl ? ) in addition to spending millions killing American wildlife, wild horses, burros, wolves, buffalos, mountain lion, coyotes and more !


  4. This is very alarming in the recent light of Bob Abbey stating at the Summit that he does not believe in Slaughter, now he just shots them without good reason, this farce has continued without any concrete ramifications either to BOB ABBEY or Ken Salazar,or The BLM how long is this going to continually be allowed to happen………………………… I wonder if he would have shot one of his children for having a club foot, i dont believe this is an unjust comparison, anything living or breathing deserves consideration, Dudley Moore, Lawrence Sherry, Gary Berghoff, Mia Hamm, Troy Aikman, Sir Walter Scott and many more all were born with a club foot just imagine I am ever so happy that Mr. Abbey didnt play a part in the decision making, who is BOB ABBEY or the BLM any way ??? Maybe its not right to compare a horse with a human but, all contributed to society and so do the horses Club foot or not within their realm they function very well!!!!!!


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