The wild horses of the Surprise Complex need you to speak up

The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

Speak Up for the Wild Horses and Burros of the Surprise Complex on the California-Nevada Border

Once again, the BLM’s reliance on unscientific “Appropriate Management Levels” for wild horses has set the stage for the roundup and removal of over 1,000 mustangs that call Nevada’s Surprise Complex home. What’s worse, the BLM “doesn’t manage” for wild burros in this area, so every burro living there will be captured and removed as well. The BLM’s goal of leaving only 283 mustangs in the Complex — just one horse for every 1,400 acres — would open even more land to the thousands of sheep and cows allowed to graze on public lands in the area.

This means once more, we need to speak up for a better way: Replacing brutal and inhumane helicopter roundups and cruel sterilization procedures with humane and proven fertility control methods.

Will you speak up for the Surprise Complex horses and burros today? Submit a public comment advocating for use of the PZP birth control vaccine and revising the plan that favors commercial livestock over federally-protected wild horses and burros. >> Take Action <<

One Nevada Roundup Nears End, Another Set to Begin

Since before the New Year, AWHC’s Field Representative has been onsite for the vast majority of the roundup and removal of wild horses from the Eagle Complex outside of Panaca, Nevada. Braving the frigid winter elements and grueling days, he has been the only member of the public on the ground to document the daily operations and bring the news to you. As is routine, the BLM sometimes keeps public observers so far from the capture site that documenting what’s happening is close to impossible. At the Eagle roundup, the BLM has also prevented daily observation of temporary holding pens, making it dififcult to assess the condition of the just-captured horses in a roundup that has had an unusually high number of deaths. 

This roundup is the third time in four years that the BLM is removing wild horses from the Complex. At the time of this email, 872 wild horses have been captured in the current roundup and 22 have lost their lives. >> Read the Report <<

Here are a few heartbreaking images from the operation:

Once the Eagle roundup is over, BLM-contracted helicopters will move on to the neighboring Silver King HMA beginning on or about February 5. This HMA consists of 574,962 acres of public land and is currently home to just 343 wild horses, including the 2020 foal crop. The BLM wants the public to believe that this nearly 900-square-mile habitat can only support 60-128 horses and it intends to permanently remove up to 258 of these federally protected animals from their homes on our public lands. This one roundup of a wild horse population that is clearly not overpopulated could cost taxpayers more than $14 million over the lives of the horses removed.

Our field representative will be onsite at the Silver King roundup to witness, document and bring you the latest on this unjust system that we are all working so hard to change.

Records Reveal Veterinarians Didn’t Back Plan to Brutally Sterilize Wild Mares

One of the more egregious plans the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released over the last several years for the “management” of wild horses is the proposed surgical sterilization procedure called ovariectomy via colpotomy.

This outdated procedure is a blind surgery in which a veterinarian inserts his arm into a mare’s abdominal cavity through an incision in the vaginal wall, manually locates the ovaries, then twists severs and removes them using a rod-like tool with a chain on the end. The surgery is outdated, inhumane and dangerous, and will result in pain, suffering, and potentially life-threatening complications for wild mares.

Despite multiple lawsuits, federal injunctions, and overwhelming congressional and public opposition, the BLM continues to push this option, culminating in its most recent decision to move forward with conducting this procedure on wild mares from Utah’s Confusion Herd Management Area (which AWHC promptly sued to stop). Throughout it all, the agency continues to say that veterinarians are in support of the procedure, though recently obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) tell a different story. >> Read More <<

Meet the Mustang: Rapunzel

AWHC operates the world’s largest humane fertility control program for wild horses in the world on Nevada’s Virginia Range. And as such, the team of darters and documenters have come to know many of the 3,000 mustangs that are part of the program!

In our newest series, the volunteers who make this program a success will introduce you to the mustangs they have spent time with on the range, often watching them grow up. First in this series is the story of Rapunzel, written by Deb Sutherland, a volunteer who had the pleasure of watching this beautiful mustang take her very first steps in the wild. >> Read More <<