Monday, August 31, 2009

Wild horse roundup postponed

From Billings Gazette

A roundup of about 190 wild horses in the Pryor Mountains that was supposed to begin today has been delayed until Thursday.

According to Mary Apple, a Bureau of Land Management spokesperson in Billings, the roundup was postponed to allow the Department of Justice time to respond to a lawsuit and request for injunction filed Friday by wild horse advocates in U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan's court in Washington, D.C.

A temporary closure of the wild horse range to the public that began today and is scheduled to last 10 days is still in effect, Apple said.

Out of the 190 horses that are gathered, 70 will be put up for adoption at the BLM's facilities at Britton Springs, Wyo., just south of the horse range. The other 120 horses will be released back to the range.

The roundup is an attempt to thin the herd because BLM's analysis of the range's condition has show there are too many horses for the habitat to support. Some of the mares would receive a contraceptive vaccine while corralled to reduce the number of births.

Wild horse advocates contend that thinning the herd by 70 horses threatens the genetic viability of the animals which contain a bloodline that dates back to the first horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. They also say the horse range is in good condition following two years of above-average moisture.

Posted in Montana on Monday, August 31, 2009 10:30 am Updated: 4:41 pm.

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