The article that follows this introduction is a most relevant report.
First of all, the Fund for Horses are strongly opposed to the removal of wild horses from the range by any means or device.
However, we have often been told by wild horse roundup experts that bait trapping is more humane than helicopter roundups. Perhaps it is, if such a thing is really possible. To me it is like saying there are better ways to slaughter horses than others. How can that be? It can’t. It is all diabolical.
However, is bait trapping wild horses less deadly than helicopter roundups. One reporter found that in Oregon bait trapping — percentage wise — is deadlier.
OPB Oregon Public Radio REPORT
WRITTEN BY VINCE PATTON
In the mountains outside John Day, Ore., a wild horse made a tasty find. Hay was strewn about on the forest floor. As she went to eat, the mare took one step too far, tripping a line that slammed a gate closed behind her. She had trapped herself.
On August 4, 2012, a government contractor backed his rig up to the passive trap, preparing to haul the wild horse to the Bureau of Land Management corral in Burns, Oregon.
The mare wanted nothing to do with it. As the contractor tried to load her into the trailer, the mare fled in fright, slammed into the metal bars of the trap and broke her neck.
Faced with a horse crippled and in pain, the horse trapper had just one option. He euthanized her.
Fatal injuries like this are more often associated in the public eye with helicopter roundups, which have led to substantial protests over the last few years. However, data shows passive traps have been even more lethal in Oregon.
And once they’ve made it to the corrals, records show that wild horses aren’t out of danger.
Records obtained from the BLM show that passive traps in Oregon have been more deadly than helicopter roundups were in the state.
Long time critics of BLM roundups have praised bait traps for being the most humane way to capture mustangs.
Once horses make it to the BLM’s short-term corrals or long-term holding pastures, it’s generally accepted that the horses will live longer than they likely would in the wild. They get hay and fresh water and face none of the competition they would on the range.
However, corral life is deadlier than many people realize.
BLM’s “Dead and Destroyed” reports, obtained by OPB through the Freedom of Information Act, show that 199 horses died in the Burns corral between 2010 and 2013.
Comparisons to survival of free roaming horses are nearly impossible. The BLM does not track how many horses die while living on the range.
RELATED OPB VIDEO
Captivity Deadly for Some Wild Horses