Thirty-nine mustangs have been removed so far in Northwestern Colorado as part of BLM gather operations to remove horses from outside the Piceance-East Douglas Creek Herd Management Area (PEDC HMA). David Boyd, BLM public affairs specialist for northwestern Colorado, blamed the squirrely stats on miscommunication and lag time. Totals are updated daily around 8 PM.
Today, BLM began rounding up horses in the North Piceance Herd Area, which is not officially managed for mustangs. The ASPCA, the Cloud Foundation, longtime mustang advocate, Toni Moore, and her husband, veterinarian Don Moore, filed a complaint against the North Piceance round-up on October 7th, four days before operations began. The complaint influenced BLM’s decision to hold off on gathering those horses until today. Round-up operations began last Monday southeast of the PEDC HMA and in an area known as the “Doughnut Hole”, between North Piceance and the PEDC HMA.
On Friday, October 15, the plaintiffs filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) in an attempt to halt operations until the October 20th ruling in New York; however, this was overturned by the judge. A subsequent TRO, filed Saturday, was also denied. Boyd says the North Piceance mustangs will not be transported to the Canon City short-term holding facility until October 22nd or until a final decision has been made. If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, BLM may have to return those horses to the range.
Meanwhile, two mares and a 7-month old colt have been killed as result of round-up procedures. One mare and the colt were shot in the field and, according to Boyd, their carcasses left on site. The other mare was shot at the Mare’s Canyon holding corrals after spending two days in a trailer. According to BLM reports, this mare was euthanized because she was lame and not because she had been injured during the round-up. All of these horses were roped, tied, and either dragged or rolled into a trailer. Boyd says that animals are rolled from one side to the other and not tumbled over and over until they reach the trailer.
Roping seems to be a fairly common occurance on this round-up. On Wednesday morning, wranglers for Sun J Livestock, a new contractor for BLM, roped a grey stallion at the Magnolia Bench trap site, downed and tied him, and dragged him into a trailer, where the horse remained standing all day.
Stay tuned for more on last Wednesday’s roundup… and thanks for listening.