Eleven horses die at Wheatland corral; BLM says strangles impacting about half of 2,750 animals
By Brendan LaChance | Oil City News | 12th May 2022
CASPER, Wyo. — Eleven horses have died of Streptococcus equi, also called strangles or equine distemper, at the Wheatland Off-Range Corral that houses about 2,750 horses and burros, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
About half of the animals at the facility have shown signs of strangles and the BLM said in a press release Thursday that it is pausing wild horse and burro adoption events at the facility until further notice.
No foals have died as a result of strangles at the Wheatland facility, according to the BLM. “Foaling mares and newborn foals have shown to be the least impacted by the infection,” the agency says. “Additionally, all of the mares at the facility have been vaccinated for strangles and their foals are born with some immunity.”
The BLM previously announced a temporary closure of the corral and postponed adoptions due to strangles affecting horses at the facility in March. No animals have been shipped from or received at the facility since the last load of wild horses gathered in fall 2021 were delivered in January 2022, according to the BLM.
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“The Wheatland Off-Range Corral [in Wyoming] is a privately owned, BLM contracted, more than 100-acre facility dedicated to the housing of between 500 and 3,500 wild horses and burros. It serves as a preparation center for wild horses and burros gathered from overpopulated herd management areas.”
Most wild horses in Wyoming are located in the southwestern quarter of the state.
Death toll hits 142 wild horses held captive in Colorado after BLM fails to vaccinate. Feds promise probe — and more roundups.
By Bruce Finley | Denver Post | 12th May 2022
CANON CITY, Colo. — A rising death toll of captive wild horses in fenced pens has hit 142 after federal caretakers failed to provide vaccinations in the latest breakdown of the government’s controversial holding system. The debacle has piqued concerns about humane treatment as the Bureau of Land Management ramps up roundups to reduce mushrooming Mustang herds that roam free — along with cattle and sheep — on increasingly arid public lands.
BLM officials told the Denver Post they’ll investigate why 445 horses hauled from northwestern Colorado to Cañon City last summer weren’t fully vaccinated against equine flu.
Surviving chestnut, bay and painted Mustangs this week wandered about the pens, which cover about 50 acres within a 120-acre holding facility next to a state prison — 2,550 horses in all. The respiratory sickness has infected primarily the unvaccinated horses and they are the ones dying.
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Featured Image: Photographer not cited.
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