Wild horse hullabaloo

Few horses have died during two-month roundup, BLM officials say

Photo By brittni zacher

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is facing scrutiny from animal-rights groups alarmed by the techniques used in a two-month roundup of wild mustangs that began in early December.

According to The Associated Press, a contractor has used two helicopters under the bureau’s supervision to drive wild horses in the Calico Mountain Complex into corrals, at which point officials truck them to a holding facility in Fallon, Nev. The horses are then placed for adoption or are transported to permanent corral facilities.

Spokespeople from San Rafael-based In Defense of Animals and the Colorado-based Cloud Foundation say that the helicopter stampedes violate federal requirements for humane management of wild horses. They claim that the roundup has killed horses, including a colt that was run so hard and long that its hoof walls fell off. The animal was eventually euthanized.

A lawsuit filed by In Defense of Animals to halt the roundup failed.