The first shipment of wild mustangs removed from Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM's) legally contested "Triple B Complex" roundup arrived at the Palomino Valley short term holding facility north of Reno on friday afternoon.
Examiner.com was on the scene and observed no outward signs of undue stress from any of the 31 wild horses included in the shipment. After a six hour trip from Long Valley in eastern Nevada, the mustangs appeared in good physical condition and remained calm throughout the offloading process. The shipment included mares, foals and studs in a wide variety of colors. All scored high on the Henneke scale of body condition, a benchmark used by the BLM to evaluate a mustang’s health .
The Triple B roundup began on wednesday following a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denial of a temporary injunction to halt the roundup. Plaintiffs, The Cloud Foundation et al, had hoped to delay removal of the horses from their designated Herd Management Areas until their lawsuit, filed at the end of June, is heard in U.S. District Court.
A contract signed July 5th obligates the BLM to pay Sun J Livestock $ 795,101 for conducting the Triple B roundup, a figure just short of $500 per horse. Records also show a contract obligation of $1,221,768 for a January roundup in the Antelope Herd Management Area nearby. Wild horse advocates and several members of Congress have questioned the wisdom of such expenditures. (article continued below )
As of thursday, BLM officials reported 33 horses removed from the gather site in Long Valley, White Pine County, Nevada. No deaths or serious injuries were reported. Updates of Fridays activities were not yet available. Jeb Beck, BLM's representative at the Palomino Facility, stated that all the mustangs were doing well saturday morning. Another shipment is due to arrive this afternoon.