The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District, Wells Field Office and Ely District, Schell Field Office concluded the Antelope and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMA) Wild Horse Gather on Friday, Oct. 5. The BLM gathered and removed 180 wild horses from the HMAs, located about 60 miles south of Wells and 50 miles north of Ely, Nevada. The helicopter gather was necessary to prevent a further decline in animal condition caused by minimal forage growth and reduced water availability due to severe drought conditions.
Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Antelope HMA is 150-324 wild horses. The post-gather population is 344 wild horses. AML for the Antelope Valley HMA is 115-259 wild horses. The post-gather population is 586 wild horses.
The horses were transported to the Palomino Valley Center outside Reno, Nev., or the Gunnison Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah, to be prepared for the BLM’s adoption program. Un-adopted wild horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any wild horses to slaughter.
The gather began on October 2. An Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinarian was on site daily throughout the gather to evaluate animal conditions and provide recommendations to the on-site BLM wild horse and burro specialist for care and treatment. BLM staff utilized the Henneke body condition scale to classify gathered wild horses. On a scale from one to nine (one being poor condition and nine being extremely fat), the horses were generally a body condition score of three, with a few wild horses observed to have a body condition score of two.
The BLM’s Antelope and Antelope Valley Wild Horse Gather website can be accessed at this address: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_field_office/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/antelope_and_antelope.html