Wild Horse Education

Owyhee (phase 1 over and 4 more have died)

Above: Colt roped after being driven off public lands and brought to the trap on private property on 10/26. The last horses offloaded as darkness was falling. 

Our observer was not permitted to attend 10/27 and went to holding. BLM did not set trap down the road, and through the maze of barbed wire, on public lands. BLM set trap on private property, drove wild horses through the maze, and entered into an agreement with the permittee to limit public observation to 2, and then 1, days a week.

Video: Our team member went to temporary holding to see the wild horses captured the day before. No shipping to the off-limits-to-public-view facility in Sutherland was taking place. However, there was activity in one corner of the pens. A stock trailer was pulled in and then a hay truck blocked the view.

The Wild Horse and Burro Specialist came over and stated that a mare had slipped in the mud the night before and went down (the night off-loading completed at dark) and was down when they came. They had moved the hay truck to “spare her” from seeing them put that mare down and get her on the trailer.

4 died yesterday.

On the last day of trapping on the West side of the Owyhee Complex BLM captured 21 (12 Stallions, 6 Mares, and 3 Foals) wild horses. This was the 6th day at the single trap used on the south side of the 719 square mile Little Owyhee HMA. The northern corner is 40+ miles from this trap location.

We were told that no release would happen yesterday; the release would be on Thursday and we could not attend because BLM was releasing horses onto private property and they made a verbal agreement with the permittee. (BLM removes horses from private land, they do not put them on private land. Our team is still trying to address serious infringements on the First Amendment ongoing at Owyhee.)

A release did happen yesterday with no notice or observation given to the public. BLM released 14 stallions. We have no idea which ones. (The only way to find out might be to FOIA the cell phone videos of the wranglers? They were, after all, taken on “paid by the taxpayer” time with the taxpayer public excluded from witnessing. )

Below: Wild horses captured on 10/26 that were in the pens. We have not seen a single “starving” wild horses come off the HMA. BLm even stated these horses are in great shape.

We do not know which wild horses have died. We do not know which of the studs were released yesterday.

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Died 10/27: 20+ year-old Sorrel mare BLM said “due to chronic injury (poor body condition: starvation/malnourished) with no prognosis for recovery;” 15+ year-old Buckskin mare BLM said “due to chronic injury (poor body condition: starvation/malnourished and broken fetlocks) with no prognosis for recovery;” 9-year-old Roan mare BLM said “chronic injury (poor body condition: starvation/malnourished) with no prognosis for recovery;” 3-month-old Bay foal  BLM said “chronic injury (hernia: developmental).”

This brings the totals for the first phase of the Owyhee Complex roundup to date as:

Captured: 552 (235 Stallions, 219 Mares, and 98 Foals)

Shipped: 331 (125 Stallions, 123 Mares, and 83 Foals) shipped to the off-limits-to-the-public facility in Sutherland, Utah. 2 domestics were shipped to the brand inspector in NV, if unclaimed they will go to auction.

Released: 69 (46 Stallions, 20 Mares, and 3 Foals), the 20 mares treated with PZP-22.

Deaths: 12

The BLM does not consider any of the deaths as related to the trapping operation, even though the same wild horses would be alive if not for the trapping. BLM admits that these wild horses are in great shape. This is an “AML maintenance/fertility control” operation. BLM has increased the number of mares being released with PZP; including the largest release of mares back to Little Owyhee happening today (we still do not know if our observer will be let in; she showed up and our off-site team is busy addressing legal framework). This is the type ofd operation the “$11 million extra in the budget for immunocontraception” funds for 2022 and was funded in 2021. (more on the budget buzz)

Our team is back on-site again today.

You can view our ongoing report from Owyhee HERE. 

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Categories: Wild Horse Education