Wild-horse advocates are seeking an independent investigation into the deaths of nine mustangs that occurred during a government roundup in Nevada. The activists say one colt was run so hard the hoof walls of its two hind feet actually came off. That colt was euthanized this past Thursday.
“Totally ridiculous at this point when things are right now before the courts, for them to be rounding up more when they are already saying they can’t feed the ones that they have,” said Dr. Elliot Katz, President of San Rafael-based In Defense of Animals.
The federal Bureau of Land Management plans to round up a total of 2,500 wild horses in Nevada using helicopters to herd the animals. They will then be placed for adoption or taken to long-term corrals in the midwest. Federal officials say the roundup in necessary because public ranges are overpopulated.
But animal-rights advocates are suing to stop the roundup. Long-term holding pens are already overcrowded.
“Injure them dangerously because of the helicopter roundup, which, in the snow and so forth, cold weather, causes more horses to fall,” said Katz. “Slip, broken legs, severe injuries, severe exhaustion.”
A contractor is using two helicopters under BLM supervision to heard the horses in the Calico Mountain Complex to corrals. From there, they are trucked to a Fallon facility. A federal judge Wednesday rejected a request to block the roundup.