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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Misfit Management Continued — When Will It End?

Published 07/16/10
By Susan Trout, Program Assistant

12 more wild horses die during a recent Nevada roundup!

News arrived yesterday afternoon that Judge Larry Hicks of the US District Court in Nevada issued a restraining order immediately stopping the gather of wild horses for the three herds of Owyhee, Little Humboldt, and Rocky Creek located on 455,000 acres in northwest Elko County. A hearing is scheduled for today.

This recent roundup by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) resulted in more tragic wild horse deaths. The BLM claims the roundup was necessary due to an emergency situation created by drought conditions. About 400 horses congregated around a dry reservoir and made no attempt to move to other areas. What this article fails to mention is that the horses must navigate extensive livestock fences and closed gates in order to find water.

BLM contractors used a helicopter to chase the horses in desert heat, forcing them to run fast and long over rough terrain. Having free access to water after their capture placed the horses in serious jeopardy. When horses are hot, exhausted and thirsty, they often drink large amounts of water which can cause colic and brain swelling. Any person with a modicum of basic knowledge about horses knows that running horses in high temperatures places them at great risk. Three mares, three colts and five stallions died. Another mare who broke her leg was humanely euthanized.

According to Laura Leigh, a writer, artist and coordinator The Cloud Foundation, the BLM violated its own policy to not conduct helicopter roundups until at least six weeks after peak foaling season ends. Mares are still foaling. Leigh argues that the BLM's temporary closure of more than 42 square miles where the Mustang gathers take place amounts to restraint of free speech, denying people the right to observe the roundup operations in a watchdog role.

Crucial legislation that would address these deadly roundups is pending in Congress. While it's understandable that our elected officials are struggling with many pressing issues, we need to remind them we care about wild horses and will no longer tolerate such inhumane and inept methods to manage wild horse herds.

Continuing to remove these iconic animals from their native rangelands is not the answer to helping them to thrive in manageable numbers.

Please take a moment and gently prod your congressional representatives and remind them of how important wild horses are to America and that the BLM needs to institute more humane ways of management. Ask your representatives to co-sponsor S. 1579 to Save America's Wild Horses. The late Senator Robert Byrd introduced this legislation. Ask your own legislator to honor this great statesman by supporting this legislation.

Thank you for your dedication and support. Let's make sure the wild horses are not only born free, but get to live free, just like Elsa, the famous lioness who was the reason that Born Free exists today!

Til next time,


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