Wild horses moved because of lack of land

SCOTT CITY, Kansas– The Bureau of Land Management oversees about 100,000 wild horses and burros. Of those, about half live on the range, or on open land.

“We have to make sure that those horse populations remain in balance with the other public values of the land, and that periodically involves removing animals from the range,” said BLM Spokesperson Paul McGuire.

If there are ever too many horses on one piece of land, the bureau has to try to adopt some of those horses out, or they put them in a long term pasture. When it comes to long term pastures though, there isn’t always enough land to go around.

In June, BLM had to move 1,493 horses from a pasture on private property to corrals at Scott City Feed Yard, unexpectedly. In less than two months, 75 of the horses died.

“What we encountered was some challenges getting the horses to adjust to a new environment, a feed lot environment,” McGuire said.

After investigating, BLM found the deaths were a result of stress from the move. They’re working with the feedlot to get more nutrients into the horse’s diet, and are not holding the feed lot responsible.

“You’ve got stand up folks who are looking after the animals and we’re very pleased to work with them,” McGuire said.

In this case, the horses at Scott City Feed Yard are too old to be put up for adoption, but the agency has younger horses available for adoption as part of their ongoing efforts to maintain wild herds.

The next adoption event will be at the Finney County Fair Grounds on August 29th and 30th, starting at noon on Friday. Click here to learn more.

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