Wild Horse Education

STOP Roundups During Foaling Season!

Did you know the Secretary of the Interior has the power to stop roundups that happen during foaling season with one letter?

Yes, she does.

Triple B, July 2022

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program has many flaws, complexities and layers. From severe deficits in basic on-range management to an obscene lack of oversight that allows wild horses and burros to slip into the slaughter pipeline, advocacy for wild horses and burros can feel like a fast-paced juggling act… with sharp objects … on fire.

However, the one thing we hope everyone can agree on is that roundups, the way they are done today, are not humane. Just take a look at the Buffalo Hills roundup that just ended (380 captured, 10 died onsite): collisions with barbed wire, a horse dragged by the neck, chaotic flying and even a baby slammed to the ground and tied to an ATV.


It is actually foaling season, right now, on our western landscapes. If you are not a “horse person” we did an article that describes why it is so wrong to be capturing wild horses (and burros) during foaling season HERE. 

BLM set a “foaling season” back in the 1980’s based on contractor availability and colloquial statements. BLM has not set any herd-by-herd foaling season, as required in the law and handbook. Foaling seasons are also showing signs of shifting with climate change. Not only has BLM never bothered to gather data, that data could already be shifting.

BLM sets no foaling season for wild burros at all. They claim they can do a helicopter any time of year for burros. In fact, the last few years we have seen burros hit in May.

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Above: Blue Wing Burros, taken yesterday.

The Secretary of the Interior is the person that has the responsibility to implement the law and broad discretionary powers to do it. The Secretary sends out directives that create the parameters for all proposed actions and how they are to be carried out. She can send a Memorandum that requires a site-by-site determination of everything… including foaling season (and she can include burros in the Memorandum).

Can we see the Secretary take action against (at least) one of the most egregious things BLM does? Stampeding herds during foaling season can cause spontaneous abortion, health issues for life and leave foals abandoned on the range. 

The horses and burros on this page will be hit with helicopter capture within the next few days and weeks.

We will be delivering this simple letter to Sec. Haaland.

Science-Based Foaling Season 
Secretary of the Interior,
The 1971 Act requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage wild horses and burros humanely. To that end, the agency determined that running heavily pregnant females and newborn foals was not humane. Using the available information back in 1980, the agency created a west-wide “March 1- June 30” as “foaling season.” In the case of burros, the agency simply states no such foaling season exists. 
Since the 1980’s the ability to make a science based determination has increased. BLM has failed to change the dates according to the best available science. 
Foaling season has variations from herd-to-herd and appears to be shifting slightly with climate change. Both wild horse and wild burro herds have a peak foaling season. 
We ask that you immediately create a Memorandum that requires field office to begin Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP) that include site-specific data on foaling season. Running heavily pregnant mares and new foals is not acceptable. Using outdated and colloquial information to base parameters on is also not acceptable.
Please, send an Internal Memorandum (IM) today that rectifies this egregious and unacceptable error.
Thank you. 

Join us by adding your name, Click HERE.

Reminder: If you do go out onto public lands, be careful. Our team goes through an off-road training that includes many of the tips you can find in our wildfire piece HERE.

The Becky Peak fire has burned about 6000 acres in the Antelope Complex, an area that had a large removal of wild horses last year. This fire is only 25% contained and was human caused. (Inciweb)

Help keep us in the fight.


Categories: Wild Horse Education