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The BLM began the roundup and removal of wild horses from the Warm Springs HMA in Oregon on October 2, 2018.  The BLM intends to subject 100 of the captured mares to the risky and invasive sterilization experiments that AWHC, the Cloud Foundation and the Animal Welfare Institute have filed suit against. Our motion for an injunction to stop the experiments is pending in Federal court.

Burros are also being captured and removed in this round up, but will not be a part of the surgical sterilization experiments.

Day 6: October 7, 2018

The roundup continued today with 34 horses captured and no deaths. The helicopter contractors push edseveral small bands including a beautiful band of blue roans pictured below. 

One pinto stud managed to escape being trapped today. A foal had to be roped after it gave up and stopped about a mile before the trap. Consistent with days prior, several horses tried to make a last attempt to escape once in the trap pens.

** Due to the angle of observation, the helicopter appears to be much closer than it acutually was to the horses.

** Due to the angle of observation, the helicopter appears to be much closer than it acutually was to the horses.

 

 

Day 5: October 6, 2018

No helicopters flew because of the weather. 

Day 4: October 5, 2018

16 wild horses were rounded up and removed from the range at Warm Springs. There were no deaths. Our field representative was onsite for 5 hours and only 4 horses were brought in (pictured below) who then escaped. He left the operation and traveled to the BLM wild horse and burros corrals to document the condition of the horses and burros who were in excellent condition. 

 

Day 3: October 4, 2018

69 horses were captured on the third day of the Warm Springs roundup. Documenting these roundups is a very hard job, but was made even more difficult by the cold temperatures and constant rain. Our representative documented beautiful bands of wild horses in excellent condition being stampeded by the helicopter contractors Sun J Livestock. Because of the weather conditions, he witnessed a few falls from the muddy terrain. He documented several horses attempting to escape the trapsite - a heartbreaking reminder that these horses are losing the very thing that's most important to them - their freedom. As the days prior, another 2 burros, one of those a foal, were also captured. Having evaded capture by helicopter, they were ultimately brought in by being roped. 

We have been notified that a 3 year-old black mare died of a broken neck after running into a panel while being sorted, and that the BLM also euthanized 3 other wild horses, including a 16 year-old mare, for preexisting conditions.

Day 2: October 3, 2018

***Update: BLM has reported that a 2-month old filly died after suffering a head injury after being captured, and that a 3-month old filly died from capture myopathy - being run to death. 

They also euthanized an 18-year old mare and a 14-year old mare for preexisiting conditions. 

Our field representative was onsite for the second day of the Warm Springs roundup. He was the only member of the public in attendence, and watched again as the contractos of Sun J Livestock ran horses of all ages and color varieties. Just like yesterday, another 2 burros were also captured, first chased by helicopter and then roped as well as a foal who had not entered the trapsite. All horses and burros were in excellent body condition. The total for for the day was 95 wild horses and 2 burros captured. 

 

 

Day 1: October 2, 2018

The Warm Springs roundup began today in Oregon. Our field representative watched as the BLM helicopter contractor, Sun J Livestock, stampeded into the trap. Wild horses of every color variety were captured, including red roans, blue roans, palominos, pintos and bays. Our representative reported that a few foals fell behind from the rest of their herd, before ultimately being roped and brought in by the contractors. The BLM's Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) clearly states that contractors are to keep members of the same band together, the rate of movement of the animals should not exceed the natural rate of movement of the slowest animal in the band. Every effort shall be made to keep older, sick and young animals together with their bands as they are moved into the trap. 

Two burros, seemingly a jenny and her foal, were also seen being chased by the helicopter before being roped and brought into the trap. Ever vigilant and not easily “spooked,” burros react differently to government helicopter roundups than wild horses. Unlike wild horses, who generally panic and will follow other horses into a trap site to stay together in their family bands, wild burros often scatter in an attempt to avoid capture. As a result, roundups can be even more brutal for burros, as they are chased relentlessly by helicopters.

At the time of this post, the BLM had not released the numbers of wild horses and burros removed and has not acknowledge if there were any deaths. 62 wid horses and 2 burros were removed after an extremely long day that lasted close to 12 hours. All horses and burros looked to be in excellent body condition, and there were no reported deaths.


Background:

Located in Hines, Oregon, the Warm Springs HMA, located just southwest of Burns, Oregon, encompasses 474,547 acres. The BLM Thas set an arbitrarily low Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 96-178 wild horses and 15-24 burros. The current wild horse population is estimated at738 adult horses and 147 foals and 49 burros (as of March 2018). 

After the current roundup of 100% of the wild horses in the HMA and following the surgical sterilization of mares, the BLM intends to return 100 horses (50/50 mare/stallion ratio) to a fenced area of the range as the control group and 100 horses (50 stallions and 50 mares, 34 of whom will have undergone surgery to remove their ovaries) to an adjacent, fencedarea as the study group. The remaining approximately 685 horses will be permanently removed from the range. The horses will be studied for four years, after which time they will be rounded up again and reduced to the low "appropriate" management level of 96.  More info on the sterilization experiments can be found here.

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