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Wild horse roundup continues in Moffat County, horses injured, advocates say

A helicopter roundup of wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, in Moffat County continues with the Bureau of Land Management, despite injuries to horses.

MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) helicopter roundup of wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, in Moffat County, continued unabated on Thursday, despite injuries to some of the horses, including to foals separated from their mares, several broken legs and at least one death.

Abigail, a rare Cremello foal, was among the horses injured earlier this week during the roundup. 

The Biden administration and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland have remained silent, despite pleas to delay the roundup from Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, chair of the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 7, BLM reported 501 horses have been rounded up since Sept. 1 and are being prepared for adoption. The BLM intends to capture 783 horses out of the 828, returning 25 mares and 25 stallions to the herd, to keep it at 163. That's despite BLM's own estimate that the habitat could support 362 horses. 

The BLM cites drought, scorched habitat from wildfires and overpopulation as justification for the roundup, which is scheduled to be done by helicopter. However, advocates for the herd claim recent monsoons have restored the watering holes, and that the land can support far more than 163 horses. They also claim BLM is clearing out the herd to make more room for sheep and cattle grazing, and that using helicopters is inhumane and could result in injuries and even deaths in the herd.

Credit: Meg Frederick
Abigail, a rare Cremolo foal, shown captured during the BLM's Sand Wash Basin roundup

> Watch video above: Helicopters drive wild horses into traps in northwest Colorado

Read the full story at Colorado Politics.

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