Wednesday, October 7, 2009

BLM plans October McCullough wild horse roundup

Written by Gib Mathers
Tuesday, 06 October 2009

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a wild horse gather in the McCullough Peaks beginning Oct. 15.

There is an estimated total of 220 adults and colts in the management area. The bureau intends to gather roughly 90 percent — 211 — and cull 122 for adoption, said Sarah Beckwith, bureau public affairs specialist.

The rest will be released with mares being treated with porcine zona Pellucida, a birth-control drug. Once injected, PZP is effective for one to three years, depending on the delivery method.

Those horses interned for adoption will be transported and temporarily held in the bureau’s wild horse holding facility in Rock Springs. The public will have the opportunity to purchase the horses next spring. The starting bid price is $125 per horse, Beckwith said.

Initially given the equines’ location and the scope of the gather, the bureau estimates it will take two days to round up the horses, Beckwith said.

“We are not planning on using observers,” Beckwith said.

Beckwith said legally, the bureau is not required to include humane observers. She said veterinarians will be on hand along with members of Friends of a Legacy, a McCullough Peaks wild horse advocacy group.

Fewer people equals less horse stress and the likelihood of injury to horses or people, Beckwith said.

The location of the adoption has not been determined, but Beckwith said she hopes it is in the Cody/Powell area where locals are familiar with the equines.

The Pryor Mountain wild horses recently rounded up all were adopted, Beckwith said.

“We’re hoping for a similar outcome,” Beckwith said.

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