Feds euthanize 28 poorly mustangs after emergency muster

One of a series of images released by the Bureau of Land Management showing the mustered horses. Photos: BLM
One of a series of images released by the Bureau of Land Management showing the mustered horses. Photos: BLM

Twenty-eight wild horses have been euthanized during an emergency roundup in southern Nevada.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) organized the roundup due to a critical lack of forage in the Coal Creek area, part of the Wheeler Pass Herd Management Area.

The BLM said the herd had been stressed for four years due to ongoing drought. Water access had not been an issue for the animals, but they have been struggling to find enough to eat.

The agency’s assessment was that significant deaths would have occurred without intervention.

cold-creek-1The BLM launched the operation in the area last week, capturing 201 horses. Bait traps with hay and water were used to minimize stress on the animals.

Based on a veterinarian’s assessment, 28 of the horses were euthanized due to “poor or extremely emaciated body condition”. The animals were deemed to have had a poor prognosis for recovery or improvement. They were said to be in a severe state of starvation.

The BLM’s acting state director, John Ruhs, said his agency had since identified more horses in danger of starving in area.

cold-creek-3“These animals are in the same very poor condition as the horses we gathered last week.”

Further capture operations would be conducted in a bid to save the animals.

The wild horse advocacy group Protect Mustangs has demanded a full investigation into the management, roundup, feeding, veterinary care and euthanizing of the Cold Creek wild horses.

Its executive director, Anne Novak, said: “These federally protected wild horses were living on the range, not dropping dead. The BLM should know that feeding severely skinny wild horses takes special care to nurse them back to health . . . I wonder if they thought this was an easy way to dispose of them. The truth needs to come out.

“The BLM roundup was supposed to save wild horses, not kill them,” states Novak.

The group also wants immediate full disclosure of the reported deaths of more than 75 wild horses who were moved to a holding facility in Kansas last year.



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2 thoughts on “Feds euthanize 28 poorly mustangs after emergency muster

  • September 11, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Let them be free they said…

  • September 13, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Everyone one of these horses could have been brought back from the poor condition they were in. BLM took the easy way out. Makes me so sick!


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