Group outlines wild horse muster concerns

February 5, 2012

A wild horse advocacy group has raised a series of concerns over Bureau of Land Management musters on the eve of another federal gather in Nevada.

Protect Mustangs, commenting before the start of the Tonopah roundup, said it was concerned about government transparency, fiscal responsibility, public access and accountability over the federal wild horse and burro program.

The preservation group awaits the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) response to the following questions:

The group said it was concerned that visitors were kept miles back from the trap site, saying it was unacceptable and highlighted a lack of transparency.

It asked that the canvas on the metal corral panels, which blocks the ability to see inside the trap site even from a distance, be taken down.

"It appears the BLM shrouds the mustang removals in secrecy and does not want the media or public to see what is going on when wild horses are captured," the group said in a statement.

"This protocol is very upsetting to members of the public."

It called for a burro expert to be on site the whole time when burros are being rounded up.

The group also said it wanted roundup-related deaths to be "counted correctly", saying horses euthanized due to problems of old age should still count as "roundup related".

"The horse would have continued to live for some time if the BLM had not rounded it up."

It wants the bureau to count all deaths from wild horses rounded up from 30 days of their capture as "roundup-related" deaths.

It called for better public and media access to all aspects of wild horse musters.