VIDEO: Dozens of Stressed Wild Horses Attempt Escape from Cramped Pens in CA/NV Fed’l Operation

July 25, 2022

The nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is currently on the ground at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) wild horse roundup along the California-Nevada border in Lassen County, California and Washoe County Nevada. 


  • The wild horse roundup began on Saturday with the capture of 465 federally-protected wild horses and one burro (181 stallions, 214 mares 70 foals) (Report and video/photos here.)
  • Field Representatives with the AWHC have documented hundreds of sweaty horses being stampeded in large groups.
  • Video from the organization shows stressed and terrified wild horses climbing on top of each other in trap pens much too small for the volume of animals confined within.
  • Among the wild horses captured are 70 tiny foals who have been stampeded in the summer heat. 
  • There have already been three deaths in the first two days of the operation.
    • On July 24, a four-month-old filly died shortly after collapsing on arrival at the capture pen. A veterinarian performed a necropsy and determined the foal had severe pneumonia, with only 20 percent of lung capacity. The baby was stampeded for miles resulting in the death. 
    • On July 23, the BLM euthanized an over 30-year-old stallion who had "tumors, muscle deformity, and lacerations in the rib area"
    • On July 23, the BLM euthanized a healthy 20-year-old stallion who was euthanized for having only one eye.
  • Roundup contractor, Sampson Livestock of Meadow, Utah is conducting the operation. 
    • Awarded a $579,000 taxpayer-funded contract
    • At the beginning of the month employees of Sampson Livestock were caught on video by AWHC abusing a wild foal, by lifting the baby up, and slamming him to the ground more than once at a roundup operation in the Buffalo Hills HMA outside of Gerlach, Nevada.
    • At the same Nevada operation, a wild mare was caught on video smashing into an uncovered panel and breaking her neck. Sampson Livestock continued helicopter operations with her body still in the pen. 


“There is a way to manage wild horses, and the cruel policy of roundups and removals is not it. Not a single person can watch the footage of these terrified and confined wild animals climbing on top of each other and think that this is an okay way to treat them. This inhumane system needs to change. The BLM must be held accountable for this waste of tax dollars and brutal treatment of these iconic animals that the vast majority of Americans want to protect.”  

Video and Photos (Must ensure credit to American Wild Horse Campaign):

About the American Wild Horse Campaign

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation’s leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.