Judge Rejects Utah Welfare Ranchers Bid to Evict Wild Horses

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune – Story by

“Public lands » Utah argues BLM is failing its duty to manage wild horses, while advocates decry ‘inhumane’ roundups…”

Last terrorized seconds of freedom for native wild horses being rounded up on public lands ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A federal judge on Tuesday tossed a lawsuit brought by Utah ranchers demanding the Bureau of Land Management remove “excess” wild horses from several areas in the West Desert they say are overrun with free-roaming horses that displace their cattle.

Represented by Karen Budd-Falen, a Wyoming lawyer who sources say is undergoing final vetting to serve as the BLM’s next director, the ranchers argued that federal law requires the removal of horses that exceed population targets the agency has set for particular herd areas. But U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish ruled that roundups are not compulsory, unless certain conditions are met.

“Once BLM determines that an overpopulation in fact exists in a given area, the agency has wide discretion in how it addresses that overpopulation,” wrote the former Utah Supreme Court justice in her ruling. “BLM may address the identified overpopulation through removal or through other methods it deems more suitable.”

In recent years, the BLM has been working with contraceptives as a less costly, more humane alternative to the endless cycle of roundups on Western ranges that have resulted in 50,000 horses incarcerated for life in private pastures off the range.

Current federal law prohibits selling these animals for slaughter to nations where horse meat is commonly used for human consumption, although pending legislation in Congress could relax these restrictions.

The Utah ranchers, angry with BLM requests that they slash their cattle’s time on the public rangelands, formed the Western Rangeland Conservation Association in 2014, pooling their money to bring the lawsuit. The Utah Farm Bureau Federation, national Public Lands Council and Iron and Beaver counties all pledged financial support and filed amicus briefs, while the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign intervened on the BLM’s side.

The ranchers’ suit sought to compel removals from particular management areas where horse numbers exceed designated “appropriate management levels,” or AMLs, which set high and low target populations. In Utah and many other Western states, horse numbers chronically remain two to three times the upper limits of AML, creating endless conflict with the ranchers who hold grazing allotments in those areas and their allies on rural county commissions…(CONTINUED)

http://www.sltrib.com/home/5501502-155/judge-rejects-utah-ranchers-plea-to

Utah U.S. Attorney asks Judge to Toss County Wild Horse & Burro Suit

Source: Multiple

“…the county allegations didn’t include enough specifics or proof.”

BLM’s war on America’s wild horses and burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The U.S. Attorney for Utah Wednesday asked a federal judge to toss Utah’s Beaver County’s case alleging that federal managers have not done enough to address the assumed growing populations of native, wild horses.

The county alleges in a lawsuit filed last February that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management broke the law by failing to prevent, in their opinion, “explosive” population growth of wild horses. It also claims that birth control vaccines given to some herds didn’t do enough to address their problem, and that the horses threaten welfare grazing and its alleged positive impact on it’s tax base.

On Wednesday, John Huber’s office filed the motion to dismiss the suit in U.S. District Court in Utah, saying federal managers were not obligated to corral all federally protected wild horses and that the county allegations didn’t include enough specifics or proof.

The filing is the latest effort by Utah officials’ long running push to speed up wild horse roundups and to appease their federally subsidized grazing constituency. The state does not have the authority to act on its own to euthanize, deliver birth control or to put the horses in holding pens.

Counterpoint: Wild Horse and Burro advocates have claimed that native, wild horses are best managed on public lands with low cost birth control and appropriate documentation.  They further allege that the BLM has used just enough indiscriminate birth control to prove, by their reckoning, that it does not work.

The U.S. Department of the Interior previously argued the county had waived any such objections under a roundup agreement with the BLM.

BLM Violates Own Wild Horse Welfare Standards

Source: The Cloud Foundation

Roundup Incident Sparks Outcry

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – On February 12, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducted a helicopter roundup of wild horses at Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah.  The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and advocates across the country contend that BLM’s actions at the roundup violate standards in their own Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP).

Eyewitness, Mosie Trewhitt, a professional horse trainer, photographed the incident of a lone pinto mare being driven by a helicopter. The mare could not keep up with her band but the helicopter kept pushing her. Then a wrangler joined the pursuit and both helicopter and wrangler chased the mare on a dead run along a barbed wire fence line. The wrangler tried to rope her numerous times and was finally successful. The mare lurched and flipped over or tried to jump the fence. She became entangled in the barbed wire, and ended up on the other side of the fence.

The mare escaped, dragging the rope behind her and has not been seen since the incident according to BLM who also contend she was uninjured. Trewhitt’s blog, Voices of the Herd, documents the incident with vivid photographs. Fears persist that this mare who appears to be pregnant may be strangled by the rope or suffer from infection due to an obvious gash on her right rear leg.

“I’ve witnessed roundups since 1994 in which inhumane actions were common and often ignored,” states Ginger Kathrens, the Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and the BLM’s Humane Advocate on the National Wild Horse and Bureau Advisory Board. “To their credit BLM responded to growing concerns about the inhumane treatment of wild horses and burros during and after roundups by creating the CAWP.”

In 2011 BLM began the process of creating humane roundup standards.  The final product, published in 2015, tried to reduce incidents like this.  “Years were spent on this document at considerable expense, but the document does no good if the BLM does not follow or enforce the standards,” adds Paula King, TCF Communications Director.

After extensive review, TCF cites the following violations of the CAWP:

 1.     II. Capture Techniques. B Helicopter Drive Trapping, Para. 1 “Regarding helicopter driving, the standards state “the helicopter must be operated using pressure and release methods to herd the animals… and should not repeatedly evoke erratic behavior in the WH&Bs causing injury or exhaustion. “

2.     II. Capture Techniques. B Helicopter Drive Trapping, Para. 4 “When WH&Bs are herded through a fence line en route to the trap, the Lead COR must be notified by the contractor.  The Lead COR must determine the appropriate width of the opening that the fence is let down to allow for safe passage through the opening.”

 3.      II. Capture Techniques. C. Roping, Para.1  “The roping of any WH&B must be approved prior to the procedure by the Lead COR.” 

 4.     II. Capture Techniques. C. Roping, Para.3  “Ropers should dally the rope to their saddle such that the animals can be brought to a stop as slowly as possible and must not tie the rope hard and fast to the saddle so as to intentionally jerk animals off their feet.”

 5.     Instruction Memorandum No. 2015-151 Policy/Action  “At all times, the care and treatment provided by the BLM and our contractors should be characterized by compassion and concern for the animal’s well-being and welfare needs.”

 6.     Instruction Memorandum 2013-60 “The Incident Command will ensure that everyone involved in gather operations receives a copy of these expectations prior to the start of the gather and the Lead Cor and all BLM employees present shall ensure that gather operations are conducted in compliance with these expectations.”

 7.     Instruction Memo 20133-59  “…animal condition and fatigue will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the number of attempts that can be made to capture the animal.  Animals will not be pursued to a point of exhaustion or distress.”

BLM issued a statement about the account but has made no mention of any disciplinary actions they plan to take against the COR, the helicopter contractor, the wrangler or the BLM staff at the trap.

 “Who is responsible? Who was the COR on this operation? Why are contractors not required to comply with standards?  Why is no one held accountable for these abuses?” King asks. “This should never have happened.  Responsible parties must be named and held accountable,” she concluded.

Eyewitness Trewhitt writes: “With the impact, the cuts she must have gotten from the barbed wire and the trailing noose around her neck…there is no saying what could happen out there.  I hate to think about it, but we need to understand the consequences of these actions.”

“I have a basic question: what was the reason to endlessly pursue this terrified, pregnant mare to exhaustion?” Kathrens asked.

“This contractor has been rounding up wild horses for nearly 40 years, and should be aware of BLM’s humane standards,” states Lisa Friday, TCF Board Member who has extensive experience with wild horse herds in Utah. “Their helicopter pilot must have known that the mare was exhausted. Yet he continued the pursuit, and when a wrangler on horseback was dispatched the mare was run some more. This is a clear violation of the CAWP.”

“Contractors make millions of dollars at the expense of our beloved wild horse families – and at the expense of the American taxpayers,” Kathrens concludes. “They should not be rewarded for this kind of inhumane behavior and we ask that penalties be imposed on those involved.”

LINKS of Interest:

Escape of the Paint Mare

http://voicesoftheherd.com/escape-of-the-paint-mare/

 BLM Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program

https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/comprehensive_animal.html   BLM COMPREHENSIVE ANIMAL WELFARE PROGRAM.

COMPREHENSIVE ANIMAL WELFARE PROGRAM FOR WILD HORSE AND BURRO GATHERS  -Standards  https://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wo/Information_Resources_Management/policy/im_attachments/2015.Par.70807.File.dat/IM2015-151_att1.pdf

BLM INSTRUCTION MEMO No. 2015-151 Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program for Wild Horse and Burro Gathers  https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/national_instruction/2015/IM_2015-151.html

BLM INSTRUCTION MEMO: NO. 2013-059

https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/national_instruction/2013/IM_2013-059.html

BLM Response to Cedar Mountain Roundup

https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/about-the-program/common-questions-from-the-public#quickset-wildhorse_aboutqa18_0

Charge the BLM & contractor for animal abuse for the inhumane handling of a pregnant mare.

https://www.change.org/p/representative-suzanne-bonamici-charge-the-blm-contractor-for-animal-abuse-for-the-inhumane-handling-of-a-pregnant-mare?recruiter=359330900&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=fb_send_dialog

Utah Flips-Off Feds by Voting To Butcher Protected American Wild Horses

By | The Salt Lake Tribune

Subsidized Welfare Cattle Okay – Federally Protected Wild Equines to be Slaughtered

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Federal management of wild horses has been a dismal failure, resulting in ecological and economic havoc on Utah’s public ranges, according to new legislation that seeks repeal of the 1971 statute protecting free-roaming horses and burros.

Two bills and an appropriation request promote state management that envisions sharply reducing horse numbers through slaughter and permanent sterilization — measures sure to draw stiff opposition from horse advocates.

But Utah lawmakers and county commissioners are fed up with the Bureau of Land Management‘s approach, which they say allows horses to proliferate at the expense of range health, livestock operators and native wildlife while wasting $50 million a year confining horses that could be slaughtered for their meat.

“The fragmentation coming out of D.C. is tremendous,” Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, told the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Committee on Wednesday. “This is a hell for the ecosystem, it’s is a hell for the wildlife species, it’s is a hell for those on the ground who are told the solution is to cut back their livelihoods and their herds. It’s a hell for the animals themselves; they are starving and dying. Clearly we can do this better.” Ivory is the sponsor of HCR22, a resolution calling on the federal government to either take immediate steps to “humanely preserve the feral horse and burro populations in the West at established population management objectives” or cede that authority to the state.

Horse advocates reject the premise of this measure, which is one component of a package of legislative actions targeting wild horse management.

Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, is seeking $1.1 million to manage Utah’s 19 herds, whose population now exceeds 5,000, or about 2½ times the BLM’s target. He is also sponsoring a bill that lays out a state management plan. Stratton and others have made it clear state management could entail slaughtering horses, but horse advocates say such proposals would face a buzz saw of controversy.

“Utah is a beautiful state. I would hate to see it get a black eye with these crazy inhumane plans,” said filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation and member of the BLM’s wild horse advisory board. “You would have to have the law changed where Utah is this special place where they get management and their plan is to kill them. That’s jumping through an awfully narrow hoop. It irks me that they are so blind to the benefits [of free-roaming horses] and can’t see beyond their ignorance. They are so out of step with what the American public wants. When you talk about killing healthy animals and trafficking them to Mexico, it’s just disgusting.”

But lethal population control is in line with positions advocated by Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke as well as the BLM advisory panel, which urged the agency last September to offer “all suitable animals in long- and short-term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.” Advisory panel members said they were not endorsing slaughter for meat, but after a negative public reaction, the BLM pledged it would not destroy healthy horses and burros.

Ironically, Utah’s new legislative push comes as the BLM conducts its most aggressive roundups in Utah in years. Last month, 700 horses from the Sulphur herd were gathered in Beaver County and the agency is currently rounding up the Cedar Mountain herd west of Tooele. So far, 534 horses have been gathered with a goal of 600 to 700. In both these gathers, the BLM planned to administer a fertility vaccine to 200 mares and return them to the range with an equal number of stallions. That decision prompted a lawsuit from Beaver County, alleging the BLM should not return horses to the Sulphur herd area, where horse numbers still exceed the “appropriate management level.”

The Utah operations deploy birth control known as PZP-22, which activates the immune system to thwart conception. This drug is effective for a year or two, and Utah lawmakers want to see something longer lasting. In addition to lethal measures, Ivory’s resolution calls for scaled-up use of GnRH-based vaccines, a new fertility-control technology that “can permanently sterilize a young horse by inhibiting the hormones that would make it sexually mature.”

Most horse-advocacy groups endorse PZP, but that is not the case with GnRH, or GonaCon, which they say has not been proven safe…(CONTINUED)

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4967398-155/utah-lawmakers-the-time-has-come?ref=yfp

Utah Rep. Withdraws Public Land Sale Bill After Massive Public Outcry

as published on The Idaho Statesman

“A Clear Victory for Native Wild Horses and Burros…”

keepitpublicUtah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he will withdraw a bill ordering the Interior Secretary to sell or dispose of more than 3.3 million acres of public land.

Chaffetz had just reintroduced the bill when his office and Instagram account were flooded with protests from angry hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

“I am withdrawing HR 621,” Chaffetz tweeted late Wednesday. “I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands.”

H.R. 621 was based on a 20-year-old report that Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt ordered to see what among the possibly disposable Bureau of Land Management land was available for sale or trade to complete the Everglades Restoration effort.

The 1997 report clearly showed that many of the parcels spread out across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming had impediments to sale, including high disposal costs, critical natural or cultural resources, wildlife habitat, mineral claims, leases and hazardous conditions.

When he rolled out the bill earlier this week, Chaffetz said the land serves “no purpose for taxpayers.” His bill also would open the door to sales of other lands.

But he changed his tune Wednesday…

BLM to Begin Utah Frisco Wild Horse Removal and Sordid Research Project

Unedited article from KCSG.com by BLM’s Lisa Reid

“Dangerous Tracking Collars to be Installed on Wild Horses”

Wild Horse CollarCEDAR CITY, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management Cedar City Field Office will soon be gathering and removing excess wild horses from within and outside the Frisco Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) in western Utah.

The BLM will gather approximately 150 and remove 90 excess wild horses from the Frisco HMA to achieve a research population of an estimated 100 animals on the HMA. Some horses will be fitted with tracking devices and returned to the range as part of a research project. This will provide data on free-roaming horse locations and movement to help the BLM improve understanding of herd behavior.

Helicopter drive-trapping operations are scheduled to begin Friday, Jan. 6. Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.

The BLM will conduct escorted public tours to gather observation sites. Details will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline, (801) 539-4050.

Those interested in participating should meet at the KB Express Convenience Store/Subway at 238 South Main in Milford, Utah, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. MST.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter field conditions. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. Please note that no public restrooms will be available once the tour begins.

Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the gather area should be aware that there will be low flying helicopters and should avoid recreational use of drones near the Frisco Mountain area. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.

Gather updates and information will be posted at: http://bit.ly/CongerFriscoGather

Anyone interested can get updates on Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #CongerFriscoGather.

Animals removed from the range will be made available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for on off-range pastures, where they retain their protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Details on the EA and the gather can be found on the BLM’s planning documents website: https://goo.gl/pNIggw . More information on the population control research project is available from the BLM’s Fillmore Field Office at (435) 743-3100.

To learn more about the wild horse and burro program or to obtain an adoption application, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at: http://on.doi.gov/2h11lDS .

For additional information on participating in public observation days, contact Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist, at (435)743-3128 or lreid@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Lisa Reid. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Multiple Wild Burros Die After BLM Abusive Capture

Story by Robert Stevens as published on the Sanpete Messenger

“They were perfectly healthy on their rightful, healthy range but once captured, abused and mismanaged by the out of control BLM they contracted a mysterious and rare illness that caused their deaths.  Stranger than fiction and very convenient.  This is exactly what Grandma Gregg was addressing in her telling OpEd I GUESS IF YOU ARE GOING TO MURDER THEM ALL – THEN KILLING A FEW DOZEN WILD BURROS ALONG THE WAY MEANS NOTHING?” ~ R.T.


Dead wild burros in Axtell Utah contracted rare virus

AXTELL—The Bureau of Land Management says 25 wild burros that died in an off-range corral in Axtell appear to have contracted a rare virus.

BLM captured Wild Burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM captured Wild Burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The deaths occurred after 236 wild burros were gathered last April and May from the Sinbad Herd Management Area, which is about 30 miles west of Green River, and brought to Axtell.

“Soon after being captured and held in captivity, an increased mortality began to occur from unknown causes,” a BLM report says.  “By the end of June, a total of about 25 animals had died from a variety of causes. ”

After exhaustive work, the Utah State Animal Diagnostic Lab and Utah State veterinarian determined that the deaths were related to a chronic viral pneumonia characterized by pulmonary fibrosis (a lung disease that can result in lung scarring, interfering with an animal’s ability to breathe), the BLM report says.

The BLM suspected a viral cause of mortality in the animals, the report says, but tests for the common equine herpes virus Types 1 and 4 were negative, as was testing for equine influenza.

However, the BLM report said, an uncommon Asinine herpes virus has been tentatively identified. Additional tests are being done to try to identify the specific Asinine herpes virus involved.

“We are still waiting on some DNA testing results,” Gus Warr, BLM-Utah’s wild horse and burro program manager, said.

No deaths have occurred in the Sinbad burros since early July, and all appear to be healthy.

According to Warr, in coordination with the Utah State veterinarian, the Axtell facility has been cleared for adoption and shipping of healthy burros.

BLM appoints Ed Roberson, former Asst. Dir. of Renewable Resources and Planning, as Utah State Director

blm-director-970x546

 Edwin Roberson (photo:  St. George News)

Source:  BLM

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is appointing veteran BLM manager Edwin L. Roberson as the BLM Utah State Director, a key leadership position based in Salt Lake City.

Roberson, a 37-year career leader with the BLM, comes to the Utah post after serving as Director of the BLM National Operations Center in Denver, where he oversaw the Agency’s operational and technical support for information technology, finance, and human resources. Roberson also served in top leadership roles in New Mexico, and held senior level positions in Washington, D.C., including a seven-year tenure as the BLM Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning, a position that oversees a number of BLM resource programs.

“Ed is a good listener, a proven coalition-builder and a natural leader. We are fortunate to have his experience and expertise in Utah,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “Ed has guided some of the agency’s most important work during his career, and his experience working with local communities makes him the perfect fit for this job.”

As BLM Utah State Director, Roberson will lead a team that administers 23 million acres of public lands and 32 million acres of minerals and energy resources in Utah. BLM public lands in Utah feature some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, from snow-capped peaks of remote mountain ranges to colorful red-rock canyons. They offer a unique combination of archaeological, paleontological, and geological resources along with unmatched opportunities for many outdoor recreation activities. Roberson begins his new job October 3rd.

Roberson has a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning, earning both degrees from Auburn University. He and his wife Mary have two grown children and four grandchildren. Roberson is a jogger who enjoys all types of outdoor recreation.

 

BLM to Target Wild Horses in Utah to Appease Cattle Ranchers

Unedited excerpt By of The Salt Lake Tribune

“The Utah ‘Good Ole Boy’ club comes out this week with their guns a blazing as the BLM bends to the pressure of a law suit where local politicians, in the pocket of cattle ranchers, want wild horses cleared off the land so their welfare cattle can strip the range clear of any foliage.  Gotta just love the mentality of the ‘Bubbas’ as most of them refer to the 6th grade as their ‘Senior Year’ and it shows.  (meanwhile, back in Texas, we buy land, fence it, pay taxes on it and maintain it for livestock…no bovine welfare in the Lone Star State, oh dang, I used a big word again.  Bovine=Cows, boys…get it?)” ~ R.T.


The Bureau of Land Management this week launches another roundup to remove wild horses from Utah’s open range, this time targeting Blawn Wash in Beaver County, where ranchers have complained free-roaming horses are degrading the range.

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat . ~  photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat . ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The roundup fulfills a legal settlement with state officials who took the BLM to court last year over the proliferation of wild horses on state trust lands in the West Desert. That settlement calls on the feds and the state to work cooperatively to manages horses there. These animals, which are protected under federal law, have become a sore point for ranchers and county commissioners who say the BLM is failing to keep horse numbers in check.

The agency spends millions gathering horses off the range and housing them for life in contract corrals.

Starting on Wednesday, the BLM will deploy helicopters to drive up to 150 horses into traps. The public is invited to observe the operation each day. Those interested must meet BLM staff at the KB Express, 238 S. Main in Milford, by 5 a.m. Call 801-539-4050 for details.

Last month, the BLM removed 370 horses from the Conger and Frisco herd-management areas. About 60 were returned to the range as part of a population-control research project.

Under a 2001 land exchange, the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration amassed a 26,000-acre block of land about 35 miles southwest of Milford at Blawn Wash, representing 43 percent of what was then a federal herd-management area and more than two-thirds of its forage.

The state has routinely pressured the BLM to rid these lands of horses, but their numbers bounced back after each of the previous four roundups. Since 2000, the BLM has pulled 550 horses from Blawn, including 143 as recently as two years ago.

Some of the gathered animals are adopted out, but most join thousands of other formerly free-roaming horses spending their lives in captivity at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. Federal law prohibits the killing of wild horses except for humanitarian purposes.

Horse advocacy groups, which had tried to intervene in the suit, were displeased with the BLM court settlement, asserting it puts the narrow interests of ranchers ahead of the broader public’s.

http://www.sltrib.com/home/4194649-155/utah-roundup-will-target-wild-horses

Wild Burros Die After BLM Utah Stampede

Source: By as published on The Salt Lake Tribune

“Officials said there were no obvious signs of trauma or illness…”

Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of 18 wild burros in southeastern Utah — a majority of which died shortly after being corralled in the spring.

The deaths occurred from April 22 to June 10, according to a BLM news release, amid the more than 225 burros captured from the Sinbad herd near the San Rafael Swell. Fifteen of the deaths happened at the 32-acre private ranch in Axtell, with the other three occurring on the range.

Veterinarians completed initial necropsies on seven of the burros, but they have not released a cause of death, the release states. Officials said there were no obvious signs of trauma or illness in the animals, but they plan to monitor the Sinbad Herd Management Area with an aerial survey of the land.

The Axtell corral is temporarily closed, and no burros will be moved from the area until the investigation is complete.