Planned roundup of 2500 wild horses in Nevada condemned

November 11, 2009


The wild stallion Cloud is pictured here actively engaged in trying to steal an entire band of mares from Mateo, another stallion. Picture from the PBS documentary on Cloud.

An animal welfare group is critical of a proposed muster of 2500 wild horses in Nevada, describing it as a devastating plan.

The Bureau of Land Management is targeting 2500 horses in herd areas in what is known as the Calico Complex in northwest Nevada.

The group, In Defense of Animals, says the plan would remove 80 per cent of the wild horses in the area "and stockpile them in long-term government holding facilities".

The group, which says it has 85,000 members and supporters, pointed to a General Accounting Office report which said that that removals were often not accompanied by reductions in livestock grazing levels or range management to increase the land's capacity.

"The Calico Complex roundup plan continues bureau policy of removing wild horses, which are supposed to be protected by an act of Congress, for the benefit of private ranchers who graze their livestock on our public lands at bargain-basement rates."


Two wild stallions vye for a mare, pictured at left. Picture from the PBS documentary on Cloud.
The Calico muster, it said, is an example of the bureau's gross mismanagement of wild horses and public lands.

"While the bureau intends to massively round up and remove thousands of horses purportedly over concerns about the health of the range, it refuses to even consider removing any of the more than 2000 head of cattle currently grazing in the same area.

"A more cost-effective and long-term solution to preserving range health must include buying back cattle leases on public lands like the Calico Complex, which have been designated to be for the primary benefit of wild horses."

The group urged people to make a submission on the plan to stop what it labelled the latest bureau atrocity.