Wild horse’s death a point of contention

The Bureau of Land Management has put down a wild horse that was part of an ongoing roundup near Meeker, but it is taking issue with an advocacy group’s contention that the horse was kicked and dragged before being put into a trailer.

“That’s not accurate,” BLM spokesman David Boyd said Friday night.

The horse, a 20-year-old mare, was rounded up Tuesday. Boyd said it was put down later in the week because it was “clearly uncomfortable” from a chronic knee condition not related to the roundup.

The Cloud Foundation said in a news release Friday that after the mare tried to escape with her foal, “second-string contractors” hired by the BLM roped the mare, choked her down and kicked her before dragging her into the trailer.

Boyd said the two horses avoided the trap and the mother was clearly injured, so crews roped them. The mare wouldn’t get back up, so they brought a trailer to her and rolled her from one side to the other to get her inside.

Within an hour after being put in a corral, the mare was standing again. But she was euthanized later because she was clearly uncomfortable, Boyd said.

He said the horse had an enlarged carpal joint the size of a cantaloupe, and hoof wear suggesting the condition was chronic. A domestic horse would have been put down before reaching that point because of the pain, he said.

The Cloud Foundation said the horse was shot.

It joined other plaintiffs in filing Thursday for a temporary restraining order to stop the roundup. A hearing is scheduled Wednesday before a federal district court judge in New York.

The BLM reported Friday that 27 horses have been gathered so far. All of the other horses have been in good condition. The agency hopes to round up about 140 horses by the end of next week and adopt them out in an effort to remove them from areas not designated for herds.


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