SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Horse advocates are calling for an investigation after the Bureau of Land Management killed 28 wild mustangs from a recent roundup. BLM officials said the horses were emaciated and at risk of starvation.
The BLM rounded up 201 horses in the mountains outside Las Vegas around the community of Cold Creek last month. Officials told the Las Vegas Review Journal they plan to collect more after spotting dozens more horses “in really poor shape,” during a helicopter survey Tuesday morning.
In a report, the BLM said the 28 horses were euthanized due to “poor prognosis for recovery or improvement.”
“We really did try to save them,” said BLM assistant manager for the Southern Nevada District Karla Norris.
Horse advocates are not convinced.
San Francisco-based non-profit Protect Mustang has written a complaint to the Inspector General calling for a full investigation into the management, roundup, feeding and veterinary care of the 28 horses that were put down.
“Why didn’t the BLM help these federally protected horses get the forage they needed earlier?” says the complaint posted on the organization’s website.
“The BLM roundup was supposed to save wild horses not kill them,” said Anne Novak, the group’s executive director.
Arlene Gawne, president of Las Vegas-based America’s Wild Horse Advocates accuses the BLM of creating the crisis on the range.
“Had the government implemented a birth control program when we proposed it, these horses would likely not be suffering today,” said Gawne in a written statement.
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.