Press Release

Animal Welfare Groups Condemn BLM as Responsible for Actions That Led to Deaths of Seven Wild Horses

Washington, D.C. — Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy are outraged by news that seven wild horses rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management from central Nevada ended up dead on Monday after the trailer hauling them crashed along the way to a Utah holding pen, according to news reports.

The BLM is currently removing horses from their range and had contracted a semitruck to transport 36 horses from the roundup. It was bound for a holding corral in rural central Utah when it turned onto its side on the highway. Three horses were killed in the wreck, four more were euthanized because of their injuries, and many surviving animals had “minor cuts and bruises,” the agency said. 

The Roberts Mountain Complex roundup started on Oct. 22 and was expected to take about two and a half weeks and round up about 1,100 horses, using helicopters to drive them into traps. As of Monday, it had rounded up about 600.

In addition to the animals killed in Monday’s crash, four other horses had died during the Roberts Mountain Complex gather as of Monday. The BLM opted to euthanize two horses for preexisting blindness. Another two suffered sudden severe injuries during the roundup: a mare died of a broken neck during shipping away from the trap site, and a stallion was put down after breaking its leg attempting to jump out of a holding pen.

“After being stampeded into traps by helicopters and violently separated from their families by the BLM and its contractors, these horses then had to experience the panic, pain, and for some, death, of a truck crash,” said Scott Beckstead, director of campaigns for Animal Wellness Action. “American taxpayers should be outraged that we are funding inept animal handling by profit-driven contractors and gross mismanagement of our public lands by a rogue and reckless BLM. The American people are horrified by the ongoing crisis of roundups and removals and the equine suffering and deaths that come on its heels.”

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News