A dozen horses dead from roundup activities in eastern Nevada

A dozen horses dead from roundup activities in eastern Nevada
The Bureau of Land Management uses helicopters in the roundup up wild horses in the Pancake Complex in January 2022. Image: BLM

EUREKA — Animal welfare advocates are outraged by a series of wild horse deaths in a Bureau of Land Management roundup taking place in Eureka County a few hours east of Reno. The BLM reported just five horses died during the roundup—including two from injuries sustained during the operation. 

But that number doesn’t include seven horses killed or euthanized after a semi-truck hauling the horses to Utah turned over on the highway. As of Thursday, Nov. 2, 12 horses have been killed or euthanized during the two weeks of the roundup, 805 have been gathered, and 587 of those have been shipped to facilities for adoption.

Animal welfare advocates say the roundups are horrific and lead to death and suffering for the horses. 

“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.” 

In July, 39 horses died in BLM helicopter-assisted roundups in Antelope Valley between Elko and Ely. With this week’s deaths, the total number of wild horses reportedly killed during BLM roundups this year is up to 71.

“The planned gather operation will continue to move forward,” an anonymous BLM official said in response to a media inquiry about the deaths.