.Reno, NV (November 17, 2023) - Today, the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), the nation's leading wild horse advocacy organization, applauds Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) for authoring a letter calling on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to investigate and disclose the circumstances surrounding a semi-truck accident that resulted in the deaths of seven federally-protected wild horses.
The semi-truck, carrying 39 recently captured wild horses from the Robert’s Mountain Herd Management Area, outside of Ely, flipped onto its side. Three of the wild horses were killed immediately, and an additional four had to be euthanized as a result of their injuries.
The BLM confirmed that the surviving wild horses are recovering, but the agency has not publicly released further details.
While the cause of this accident remains undisclosed, AWHC observers at the Clan Alpine wild horse roundup have documented contractors driving dangerously fast on dirt roads while hauling trailers containing recently captured wild horses.
“Every part of the round up process, from the use of helicopters to the off-range transportation, needlessly puts wild horses in harm’s way,” said Rep. Dina Titus, “This latest tragedy is yet another example of the need for the Bureau of Land Management to implement solutions like alternative population control that will prevent these accidents.”
The letter underscores the perils associated with roundups, stating, “Such an avoidable accident emphasizes the dangers of removing wild horses from the range and transporting them off site, especially when more humane, less costly alternatives to round ups exist and are readily available.”
“We’re grateful for Representative Titus’ steadfast leadership and commitment to ensuring our wild horses and burros are treated humanely and with the respect they deserve,” said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the AWHC. “We join in her calls for increased transparency surrounding this accident and shifting focus to humane in-the-wild management.”
Historically, the BLM spends less than 1 percent of its budget on humane fertility control, despite a 2013 National Academy of Sciences review that called the BLM’s practices “expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves” and recommended pursuing immunocontraceptive vaccines as an alternative to current management practices.
The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation's leading wild horse conservation organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. In addition to advocating for the protection and preservation of America's wild herds, AWHC implements the largest wild horse fertility control program in the world through a partnership with the State of Nevada for wild horses that live in the Virginia Range near Reno.