BLM halts wild horse relocation; veterinary care offered to survivors

BLM halts wild horse relocation; veterinary care offered to survivors

Veterinarians attend to surviving horses
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Jul 13, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Reno, Nev. -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) temporarily halted removal of wild horses in Elko County, Nev., today after finding seven horses dead of dehydration.

The seven horses were part of a 228-wild horse gather in three BLM herd management areas in Elko County, Nev. The horses that arrived at temporary holding corrals were dehydrated, but in good body condition, according to the private contractor who housed them. Over night, however, four of the horses died and others were found suffering from symptoms of colic or brain swelling, likely caused by dehydration or subsequent water intoxication after they were provided drink and feed. The BLM continues to provide veterinary care, food and water to those surviving horses.

Most of the horses slated for removal still remain loose. A 100- to-150-horse group is staying close to a watering hole. A larger group of 150 to 200 horses is eight to 10 miles from the nearest water source. BLM staff say they are closely watching the groups to see whether they move toward water sources or can be coaxed toward them.

Lack of water and forage in the region is precisely the reason for the gather, according to a BLM spokesperson.

"(This) is not currently an emergency situation, but could become (one), due to limited water resources," reads a statement on the BLM Web site. "If this population management action is not completed in the near future, the likelihood of an emergency situation increases due to limited water availability for excess wild horses caused by abnormally dry conditions or severe weather."