Advocacy Group Slams BLM for Mass Removal of Wild Horses

Ely, Nevada (November 19, 2018) … The nation’s leading wild horse advocacy organization, the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), today blasted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its plan to begin a mass roundup and removal of federally-protected wild horses in eastern Nevada in an effort clear the public lands for taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing.

Early next week, helicopters will descend on the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA), a 575,000 acre area of designated wild horse habitat on public lands outside of Ely, Nevada. The BLM’s ultimate goal is to reduce the population to a mere 60 horses.

In a recent press release, then BLM states that the wild horse population is “currently over 10-times above the land’s capacity to support wild horses”, citing the agency’s own self-imposed population limit numbers which the National Academy of Sciences clearly stated in its 2013 report, are not supported by scientific information.  

“The BLM is willfully misleading the public when it claims that nearly 900 square miles can only support between 60-128 wild horses,” said Suzanne Roy, executive director for the AWHC. “The agency does not apply the same scrutiny to the thousands of livestock and sheep that it is permitting to graze on allotments within the horses’ habitat.”

AWHC noted that all of the horses removed will be warehoused in short-term holding pens – the most expensive type of holding, which costs taxpayers $5 per horse per day.

“The BLM’s push to round up horses from our public lands to achieve arbitrary and unscientific population limits not only jeopardizes entire populations of horses, but also burdens the taxpayer,” continued Roy. “Meanwhile, the agency continues ‘business as usual’ ignoring scientifically recommended solutions such as PZP fertility control to humanely managing wild horses and burros as evident in its 2019 roundup schedule which indicates that the agency plans to vaccinate zero horses with the scientifically-proven vaccine.”

AWHC added that the BLM’s plan for mass roundups in Nevada this winter continue the failed management practices that the National Academy of Sciences, in 2013, warned were “expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves.


The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is dedicated to defending America’s wild horses and burros to protect their freedom, preserve their habitat, and promote humane standards of treatment. AWHC’s mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations.