Nevada’s Largest Wild Horse Holding Facility Reports 11% Mortality Rate, AWHC Says




LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s largest holding facility reported an 11% mortality rate among wild horses in 2023, according to the American Wild Horse Conservation.

On Monday, AWHC raised the alarm at the number of deaths in Nevada federal holding facilities after it received records via the Freedom of Information Act that revealed 267 wild horses died in 2023 at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Fallon (Indian Lakes) Off-Range Corral. 

With an average population of over 3,000 horses and a capacity for 7,600 animals, the Fallon facility reported an 11% mortality rate last year.

The records AWHC obtained revealed that 106 deaths were attributed to “Undiagnosed/Unknown” causes, with all animals found deceased in their pens, 23 horses died before even being “processed” into the BLM system, and an additional 49 horses died from traumatic injuries resulting in broken bones, categorized as unexpected/acute deaths, AWHC said.

The records also revealed that concerns were raised over the BLM’s policy of euthanizing horses for non-life-threatening conditions such as eye abnormalities and cryptorchidism resulted in the deaths of 30 horses and of those deaths, 28 occurred during the routine gelding process, a procedure normally associated with low risk in domestic horses, according to AWHC.

AWHC said the issue extends beyond Fallon as recent FOIA records, released by the BLM, exposed 23 wild horse deaths in just 24 days due to “suspected botulism poisoning at another Nevada holding facility.”

“These records underscore the urgent crisis facing the 64,000 wild horses and burros currently confined within the BLM’s overburdened holding system,” Suzanne Roy, executive director of AWHC said in a Monday release. “They serve as a stark warning about the dark realities of the agency’s roundup and removal program.”