BLM extends Cold Creek roundup after killing 28 emaciated horses

The BLM keeps promising to save the wild horses of the West…why aren’t they doing that? The killing of 28 horses needs to be looked into. Extremely starved horses can at times be brought back to health with proper care. Habitat for Horses has brought horses with similar body scores back to full health. Simply to choose to euthanize them all … no words can be said… ~ HfH

By Henry Brean
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Less than a week after 28 emaciated wild horses were rounded up and put down, Bureau of Land Management officials announced plans to collect more animals they say are at risk of starvation in the mountains outside Las Vegas.

Karla Norris, assistant manager for the BLM’s Southern Nevada district, said the agency spotted 57 more horses “in really poor shape” during a helicopter survey Tuesday morning in the Spring Mountains about 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

She said the horses were “so lethargic” they didn’t even move when the helicopter flew overhead.

The BLM will attempt to capture the animals and nurse them back to health starting Wednesday morning by setting up a corral and baiting it with hay and water.

The agency just concluded an emergency roundup on Sept. 2 that netted 201 horses from the area around the tiny community of Cold Creek. Twenty-eight of those horses — 22 mares and six studs — were later euthanized due to “poor prognosis for recovery or improvement,” according to a BLM report.

The decision was made by a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, who examined the once-wild horses at the BLM-owned Oliver Ranch, along state Route 159 in Red Rock Canyon.

“We really did try to save them,” Norris said.

Now she fears there could be as many as 150 more horses still out on the range “that are just as bad as the ones we gathered.”

“We had no idea we had that many,” Norris said.

The BLM launched the initial roundup Aug. 29 near Cold Creek after officials said drought and overpopulation had left some animals at risk of starvation.

In May, the bureau counted about 470 adult horses in 102,000 acres around Cold Creek, roughly 400 more than the agency’s own “appropriate management level” for the area.

According to the BLM, the 28 horses that were destroyed were in poor to very thin condition, with scores of 1.5 or less on a standardized, 9-point system widely used to determine equine health.

BLM officials said the entire herd was showing signs of starvation.

Most of the horses gathered during the roundup had a body condition score of 2, defined as emaciated, with only slight tissue coverage and vertebrae, ribs, shoulder, neck and other bones visible. None of the animals were scored above 3, which is considered thin. The ideal score for a healthy horse is between 4 and 6.

According to BLM reports, 170 of the surviving horses have been transported to a privately owned contract holding facility in Axtell, Utah, to be fattened up and cared for.

Three foals deemed too small for transport are being fostered in the Las Vegas area, Norris said.

The horses gathered from the Cold Creek area eventually will be transferred to a BLM facility where they will be offered for adoption or purchase.

Those that do not find homes will live out their lives at off-range holding pastures in the Midwest that are now home to tens of thousands of once-wild horses.

The government’s actions have drawn criticism from wild horse advocates.

California-based preservation group Protect Mustangs is calling for a full investigation by the Inspector General into the management, roundup, feeding and veterinary care of the 28 horses that were put down.

“The BLM roundup was supposed to save wild horses not kill them,” said Anne Novak, the group’s executive director.

Arlene Gawne, president of Las Vegas-based America’s Wild Horse Advocates, called the situation “a BLM-created crisis on the range.”

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • It is not only wild horses that consume forage on this range; there may be too many elk, deer and rabbits for current conditions. These three are controlled by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Indeed locals believe the rabbit population is out of control due to possible over-trapping of their predator, coyote, on this range.

    September 9, 2015
  • Daniel Cordero

    《The decision was made by a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service》

    APHIS… what else could be expected from a slaughter plant / killer feedlot inspector?

    A lady offered private property where they could be nursed back to health in a semi-wild environment and she was told NO. What’s wrong with that?

    At the end this is just an excuse to remove and kill as many as they can. I would not be surprised if BLM has a goal bonus program for employees that remove or kill as many horses as possible.

    September 9, 2015
  • Ronnie

    In western states, to see a coyote is to kill a coyote. This is the norm.

    As we know, the BLM is as corrupt as can be & cares NOT for the wild horses. The BLM calls them “feral” & shi**ers.” And listening to the BLM Advisory Board meetings over the years, stated outright or by innuendo, *slaughter is the answer for the wild horses.

    The West has been experiencing horrendous hot, dry weather these past few years. The BLM is supposed to care for our wild horses. So in such emergency situations, one would think simple lean-to shelters & WATER could be provided in different locations. But NO. And forage too.

    For as we know, wild horses are resilient & can withstand much. And they do travel for food & water…but are blocked by BLM fencing…

    The BLM are horse killers that takes many forms. Oh, how the wild horses suffer.

    Thank you.

    September 9, 2015
  • MS

    This is my question — a truly genuine question — It seems to me that those who rule at the BLM have been there for decades with their own values, leanings and philosophies! ? I’m trying to figure them out! True or not? I would think with every new administration, there would be reassignments!

    Once again, we MUST STOP this BLM! They truly do NOT have the right to do this — what’s more, rescue groups are coming forward to take in these horses and the BLM refuses! This does NOT make any sense! WHAT IS GOING ON! They remind me of a drug cartel — they’re scary and dangerous.

    How can we allow this in the U.S. of A.? This is OUR government! We MUST be able to do something!

    September 10, 2015