Frightened horses cling together in temporary holding. All photos by Steve Paige.


Sign RTF’s anti-roundup petition here. Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

Update: This post has been updated to include information posted by BLM.


A total of 140 wild horses were captured and three died Saturday during the ongoing Owyhee Complex roundup in Northern Nevada.

The wild horses that died were one aged 20-plus years, a 12-year-old mare and foal, according to Steve Paige, Return to Freedom humane observer. The Bureau of Land Management listed the causes of dead as chronic / preexisting conditions.

Eleven horses have died since the roundup began on Nov. 2.

For the second straight day, public observers were not allowed to watch the helicopter trapping operation. BLM has said that observers will only be allowed near the trap site on Tuesdays and Thursday because of “private land access issues.”

Paige was given access only to the temporary holding area, and that only from the road in front of the pipe corrals. Later in the day, he was asked not to photograph horse trailers on the road.

Some trailers arrived filled with only foals.

“You could hear a lot of mares calling out as the foals were unloaded,” he said.

Through Saturday, 1,059 wild horses (409 studs, 454 mares, 196 foals) had been captured. Of those, 198 wild horses were returned to the range, according to BLM, including 94 mares treated with PZP-22 fertility control vaccine.

Those transported to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center near Reno, Nevada, are being prepared for the BLM adoption program. Horses that are not adopted will later be taken to BLM off-range pastures.

BLM justifies the roundup as an effort to “remove excess wild horses in order to prevent further deterioration of Greater Sage grouse habitat within the Sagebrush Focal Area (in northern Elko and Humboldt Counties. Overpopulation of wild horses leads to the degradation of rangeland resources, which adversely impacts habitat for other species as well as the horses themselves.”


Owyhee roundup: 140 wild horses captured, another dies, Nov. 19, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Second phase begins without public observation, Nov. 18, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Phase ends with release of 45 mares, Nov. 16, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two wild horses die, 42 released, Nov. 15, 2016

Owyhee roundup: First phase nears end with 32 more wild horses captured, Nov. 14, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 70 more wild horses captured, Nov. 13, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Total wild horses captured tops 600, Nov. 12, 2016

Owyhee roundup: 114 more Nevada wild horses captured, Nov. 7, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Third Nevada wild horse dies, 128 more captured, Nov. 6, 2016

Owyhee roundup continues: 36 wild horses captured, Nov. 5, 2016

Owyhee roundup: Two Nevada wild horses dead, 122 captured, Nov. 4, 2016

BLM to roundup hundreds of horses from Nevada’s Owyhee Complex, Oct. 25, 2016


Photos from Saturday, Nov. 19: