Wild Horse Education

Antelope (Week 1) UPDATE

Three yearlings from the Antelope Complex roundup arrive at Palomino Valley Center north of Reno.

The first week of the Antelope Complex roundup has ended. 

During the first week, BLM and their contractor captured 404 wild horses (155 Studs, 175 Mares, and 74 Foals), killed 2 (a 2 week old colt and 8 year old mare) and shipped 300 to Palomino Valley Center north of Reno. The agency has targeted 2,200 wild horses claiming a drought emergency. The first 800 captured will ship to PVC and the rest to Delta in Utah.

Week 2 has begun with 52 additional wild horses captured and 2 more deaths. Our representative has been the only member of the public the last two days. We are editing images and video and will post the update soon.

The Antelope Complex consists of four Herd Management Areas (HMA) which consist of Goshute, Spruce-Pequop, Antelope Valley, Antelope HMAs and encompasses over 1,608,350 acres of public land. The combined Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 435-789 wild horses. (AML is the number of wild horses the BLM says can live in an HMA after giving away most of the resources to livestock and mining; what they call “fair multiple use.” An HMA is a designated area wild horses and burros can live and it consists of about 12% of all public lands and inside those areas wild horse habitat is not protected from industry.)

You can follow the day-to-day updates by week one  HERE. 

You can follow week 2 roundup updates here.

The roundup schedule has truly accelerated to levels we have not seen in a decade. Multiple roundups in multiple states will be taking place at the same time. Many of these operations wont have much notice and the schedule will continue to change rapidly.Help keep us in the field and in the courts.. Thank you. 

Below is a collection of images and short video clips from week 1 of the Antelope roundup.

Every roundup has a collection of video and images that is always far too large to convey each story and upload every image each day. Some days there is barely enough time to wake up well before dawn, meet the BLM, drive to trap, spend the day at trap, drive back, offload and edit something to share with a daily report and then get some sleep and charge camera batteries before the next day begins.

Below: a valiant stallion had evaded the chopper and his entire family had been captured. He tried to interfere with the capture of another band and lead them away. Both bands were captured and he came in toward the trap and then disappeared.

Below: Every day the chaos of capture, and the proximity to actual foaling season, foals are separated from their bands. Multiple foals have been roped, brought to the trailer over the saddle and even brought to the trap by chopper. This youngster was separated as the chopper chased the family and was later roped.

There have been multiple concerns with this operation including aspects of trap configuration, the number of foals needing to be roped (indicating an unacceptable speed at this time of year) and proximity of the chopper to wild horses. The BLM representatives in charge of the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) even approved this configuration that included using a barbed wire fence covered in jute as a “wing.”

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If this operation is being done, as the agency claims, due to drought that has reached the “emergency stage” where wild horse health has been severely impacted, why is the BLM Incident Commander (IC) onsite allowing pursuits of wild horse bands for over an hour at a full run fracturing families and leaving foals behind? Is this an “emergency” where moving “extra careful” would be appropriate or is this just the status quo for a roundup in this district? What we are witnessing is status quo, no additional safety measures are being taken.

Ran for over an hour.

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Fast clip of two stallions that had fought in the alley, obvious rivals, loaded on the same trailer as their mares and they continue to fight. BLM does not offload and transport the fighting rivals separately (as they should have done in the first place). They leave them in the “box” and transport over an hour to temporary holding. This does not seem like something done by people carrying out a roundup for “wild horse welfare,” it sounds like a bit like a back-alley animal fighting event, (insert sarcasm).

Our representative at the trap is working hard with support from our entire team. Our legal representative is hard at work preparing our next leg of the battle to gain an enforced and effective humane handling policy. Our litigation drove the creation of the policy we have today. The agency stated they would do reviews and include public participation in revision.

Over the last few years the agency has failed to review, revise and, often, even follow the CAWP policy. We will update you as the Antelope roundup moves forward on our fight against abuse. We will hold BLM accountable.

Week 2 has begun with 52 additional wild horses captured and 2 more deaths. Our representative has been the only member of the public the last two days. We are editing images and video and will post the update soon.

Update coming soon.

Help keep us in the field and in the courts.

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_Learn More:

Ongoing Roundup

CAWP (welfare policy)

Categories: Wild Horse Education