Demonstrators Protest Wild Horse Roundups in Nevada

Mustangs at a BLM holding facility
Wild horses in a holding facility in Nevada. Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management.

In recent months, wild horse enthusiasts have been actively protesting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Mustang and burro roundups on western rangelands. Last week, these protests reached Las Vegas and Nevada’s capital, Carson City. The Las Vegas protest was organized to coincide with a visit by President Obama last Thursday in hope’s of drawing the President’s attention to the issue.

Opponents of the roundups state that the BLM’s roundups are an outdated management tool that cause unnecessary stress, injury and death to the herds. The recent Calico Mountain Complex roundup, which drew criticism and high-profile protests, brought approximately 1900 horses off the range and into BLM custody. Of those, the BLM reports 47 equine deaths during and after the roundup due to injury or poor health.

The BLM is posting regular updates on the horses gathered from the Calico Complex on their website.

According to the BLM, the roundups are necessary because the land will not support the full population of wild equines. Because their natural predators no longer live in the region, the wild horse population goes largely unchecked, leading to the risk of starvation or clashes with encroaching human development.

After a roundup, horses are vaccinated and given basic vet and farrier care. From there, horses under age 10 are available for adoption at BLM events throughout the country. Older horses and those that are not adopted are kept in long term holding.

According to an article on the Carson City protest, opponents of the roundups suggest that the BLM could use birth control to help curb the population. They also suggest smaller roundups so that fewer horses will be held in BLM holding facilities while awaiting adoption.

For more information on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program, click here.


  1. I think they should round up fewer horses and geld the not so good stallions so only the best stallions can breed resulting in better horses that more people would want to buy, so there would be less in the holding facilities.

  2. Ilove horses and think we should let them roam and live a normal life. We have taken alot of them already we should not round up any more. I love wild horses when you see them in the Badlands and other places. THey are so beautiful.

  3. I would suggest you make a visit to the cloud foundation website and watch the real videos taken by humane observers at the Calico complex..The total deaths will take on a new meaning when you see mares aborting-broken backs-foals that couldn’t get up because their hooves were sloughing off from the high speed drive by helicopter over frozen rocky ground for miles. This article in no way captures what you will see happened-and then the number of deaths due directly to adjusting to feed in the next 2 weeks. see for yourself…any private citizen would be in jail if they had done what was done to OUR wild horses.

  4. Seeing as Pres Obama has given the BLM a 12 million dollar increase this year, why not utilize the money and set up those water sheds in areas that are lacking. If there’s water, horses will come. The cattle will come too but that’s to be expected. With water no land damage or over grazing, thus, no roundups will be needed.
    Also M Pickens is trying her best to not only decrease the amount of Mustangs on any given land but also to keep them in forever sanctuary at no cost to taxpayers. She has been working with Salazar and here’s hoping she is successful. That is a win-win situation.

  5. You all have a serious priority problem. The wild horses are beautiful, but how are they any different from cattle, sheep, deer, or other game/domesticated animals. They are a resourse that can be used. Why not use them for dog food or send them to countries that eat horse meat. Using millions of federal dollars to buy hay and feed to support the herds is absolutely crazy, especially when we are in such difficult financial times.

  6. Do none of the horse enthusiasts get that these horses are not natives and will stave from overpopulation if left unchecked-it was “concerned” animal activists that pressured NV to start the round-ups in the 80’s because of the staving horse carcasses on the range-now the animal activists don’t like this and don’t like that-but yet they all eat cow flesh-cows are not much different than horses- so ya’ll just better look up vegan in the dictionary before you start saying the BLM is evil and doing the round=ups out of some spiteful intent on cruelty or that they are inhuman-the horses are rounded up and ADOPTED to people to care for them-the whole premise is to save these leftover descendants of the gold and silver rushes from their own ill fate -the BLM does not get a kick out of torturing horses-the BLM knows a hell of lot more about horses than most the bleeding hearts in the “resistance”-I know this because -I know horses and I see what they doing-have any of you people rounded more than 30 head of pack station head for a 50 mile 2 drive from winter pasture to the pack station and live all summer with these animals continuously and they are your first concern 100% of the time- i have birthed horses and saved their lives when they where being stupid and nursed them back to health after Mtn. lion attack-ya’ll need to wise up and get real=find a third world child to adopt or something


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