Comparison of BLM wild horse roundups at Jackie Butte and Triple B


Most States in July to August experience extreme weather conditions with heat often above 85°F. The Bureau of Land Management Handbook of standard operating procedures says horses are not to be run above 85°F. Most foals are born between March 1 and June 30 said to be “foaling season.” So in July to August they are 4 weeks, 8 weeks, or 12 with fragile bodies and spindly, weak legs.

In the Vale District in Oregon, a gather commenced on August 2nd in Jackie’s Butte. The well-known Cattoors are the helicopter contractors. It has been reported by the BLM that horses are being driven into the trap site, but the gathers have stopped when temperatures hit 85°F. The foals, as they come in, are being given water in a bucket sufficient to suit their size. Afterwards they are being matched through tagging with their wet mares. They are not being given fertility control treatment as it is not appropriate this time of year. Few deaths are reported.

In contrast, in the Ely-Elko Districts in Nevada, a gather was initiated on July 20th in Triple B. Sun-J with Josh Hellyer is the helicopter contractor. It has been reported by independent observers that horses are being driven as much as 15 to 20 miles in a zigzag fashion into the trap site, but the gathers are not stopped when the temperature reaches 85°F. Rather, roundups continue as high as 94°F.

The foals, as they come in — if they come in — are not given water. Jody, who works for the company says, “It’s not in our contract.” The foals are left to stand in the pens after their grueling run for as long as 6 hours without water before they are transported to temporary facilities. Foals are not matched with the mares, so the horses are stressed with foals kicked as they try to find and match up with their moms.

It is suspected that some of the foals are left on the range to die, while others who limp are roped to be brought in where possible. Under these fraught conditions, their soundness will highly likely be compromised for the rest of their lives, and some die from what the BLM terms as “pre-existing conditions”.

The horses are poked with sticks to load them into gooseneck trailers and transport vehicles, forcing them into twisted body positions that threatens their bones with breakage. Then they are driven at 60 mph over dirt pocketed roads to temporary holding facilities.

Triple B in contrast to Jackie’s Butte is clearly “animal abuse,” but nobody in the BLM documents and corrects the “abuse” of Sun-J, saying in the words of Donald Trump, “You’re fired.”

The wild horse advocate community documents the handling of the horses in the Triple B as much as possible, but they are put in a position where they are at a distance from the trap site, where they can’t easily see the horses moving or coming into the trap. Mostly all they can see is the helicopter zigzagging in the sky. Earbuds are provided to the BLM employees so they can listen to the radio reports on the range, however, the public are not allowed access. This is a new “Nevada protocol.” The advocates must rely on their own modern equipment and technology.

Violence toward harp seals by seamen in Canada is well-documented. Violence toward chimpanzee by poachers in Africa is also well-documented. It is a sad time in America when its own government allows federal contractors to commit acts of cruelty against the country’s iconic Mustangs and takes no measures to stop it.

7 thoughts on “Comparison of BLM wild horse roundups at Jackie Butte and Triple B”



    1. The BLM corruption issue literally goes much deeper than ranchers. The Big Ag lobby has lots of dollars to spend, but their influence is pales compared to oil, gas, and mining lobbys. And then there’s water … the REAL gold in the American West, our country, and the world. If we aren’t careful, water (which should be a basic human right) will become a “commodity” we’ll be forced to buy from not only U.S., but also foreign-owned corporations.


  2. Wouldn’t it be worth renting or borrowing a 4 wheel drive. Surely one of our horse advocates or friends have one?


  3. The Triple B roundup is an outrage! I tried to stop this as a plaintiff before the federal court but the Judge McKibben was bought and paid for by the wild horse enemies, only feigning interest in the issue of justice at hand. Something also got to the 9th district court of appeals, though this appeal still goes ahead and it is possible the roundup could be stopped this Friday as the case is being heard again then. I wish I had a 4WD to go out to the roundup in Triple B.


  4. Vivian, thanks for posting this very telling comparison.

    What Sun J is doing and not doing at Triple B is OUTRAGEOUS!!! Proper watering “… not in our contract.”?!? I want to read the WHOLE damned contract, not just the “summary” you can sometimes find online. If Steve Santoro wrote it or approved it, both he and Sun J are violating BLM Policies & Procedures. If the contact contained the usual protocols, then Steve and others at the BLM need to know Sun J is in violation, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT besides a slap on the wrist!

    From Laura Leigh’s latest post, traps and loading at that site were not up to BLM specs. Sorting procedures and animal welfare are being ignored, and horses are being maimed and dying. If this is the “New Normal” Bob Abbey touted, then the “New Normal” is CRIMINAL!!!

    From Laura Leigh’s latest post, traps and loading at that site were not up to BLM specs.


  5. There is nothing new about BLM and thier acts of cruelty and abuse to our treasured wild horse. This has been standard operating procedure from them for as long as they have been trying to drive our Wild Horses to extinction. And they don’t even get a slap on the hand while they torture these inocent animals.

    While they spend millions and millions of tax payer dollars to torture the wild horses and burros as well, there are millions of people out of work. States are cutting unemployment benefits, children are going hungrey, elderly go without necessary medications and medical care, people are losing thier homes and people desperately try to stay alive, these idiots just keep throwing money away with unnecessary roundups.

    They should be charged with animal abuse, gross negligence and lose thier jobs.. They should be imprisoned in a cell without air conditioning, water, alone without anyone to depend on or talk too for the rest of thier lives.


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