Winter Roundups & Dead Foals

Spring roundups have a short pause during foaling season; however, foals are very young when the roundups start again. Late spring foals or early summer foals are in grave danger.

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) winter roundup season lasted approximately four months. It resulted in the deaths of 71 innocent wild horses with a removal total of over 7,000 wild horses and burros from public lands allocated to them by law. This total included 1,000 foals.

Wild horse advocacy groups which monitor and document the roundups noted the capture of Thora, a beautiful 6 month old filly from the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area in Wyoming.

Thora, with companions known as Tabasco, Trinity, and Juniper, was separated from her mother. In spite of a tremendous public outcry, the BLM carried on with the controversial roundup.

Prior to Thora’s capture, the brutal roundup schedule led to the death of a filly named Kat Ballou. She had suffered a fatal head injury after being separated from her mother and then left unattended in the capture pen.

Kat Balloou, Thora and others are just a few of the thousands of vulnerable foals who have been removed from the wild and left injured, frightened and often without any of their family band in often overly crowded holding facilities.

At times, there are only 1, 2 or 3 observers present at roundups to document the facts of these roundups. During the East Pershing complex roundup, AWHC observers documented the capture of 365 foals as well as the dangerous conditions they encountered. The physical toll on the horses, including injuries and deaths that could have been prevented, were clearly revealed in their findings.

For example, one of the preventable deaths included a foal who suffered a dislocated knee during the roundup. After being injured, the little foal was hidden from public view and euthanized.