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More Utah horses to be removed by bureau

December 2, 2010

Nearly 250 wild horses are about to be removed in Utah, just days after the completion of the muster in the Conger complex, west of Delta.

The Bureau of Land Management says it is targeting about 210 horses this month in the North Hills herd area, near Enterprise. Another 30 are to be removed from the Sulphur herd area, near Milford.

"These two gathers will help us maintain healthy conditions for the wild horses on the range," said acting Cedar City field office manager Randy Trujillo.

Trujillo confirmed long-term contraception would be used on some of the mares in the herd in a bid to slow population growth.

The operation is scheduled to begin on Thursday (Utah time).

The bureau will begin by gathering about 210 horses in the North Hills herd area. An estimated 250 wild horses live in the area. The appropriate herd management size for the area is 40-60 animals.

The BLM plans to gather about 250 wild horses from the Sulphur herd area from December 13. The majority, about 220 animals, will be released back to the range after the gather.

Of these, about 90 would be mares vaccinated with a fertility control vaccine to slow population growth.

The appropriate management level for the area is 165 to 250 wild horses. The current estimated population of wild horses within the Sulphur HMA is 276.

The bureau says it is planning to provide public observation of gather operations so long as the safety of the animals, staff, and observers is not jeopardised and operations are not disrupted.

Animals removed from the North Hills and Sulphur areas will be available for adoption.

Horses from North Hills will be shipped to the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison and horses gathered from the Sulphur HMA will be shipped to the Delta Wild Horse Corrals.

Animals that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their "wild" status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.



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