CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — We are learning much more about the equine flu outbreak that killed 145 wild horses at a holding facility in Cañon City.
A new report indicates the Bureau of Land Management failed to vaccinate horses recently rounded up on the Western Slope, resulting in mass casualties at the holding facility. Investigators also found the BLM in violation of at least a dozen other policies.
Emails obtained by Denver7 indicate the BLM microchipped the recently rounded up horses, but did not vaccinate the horses, despite policy guidelines.
“It’s almost impossible to believe that they were not vaccinated on intake,” said wild horse advocate Teri Hall. “They had them in the pinch chutes. They could have easily popped them with the vaccine at the same time that they microchipped them, which is also a shot.”
The BLM blames staffing issues for inconsistencies in following its own policies.
“If they don’t have enough staff to take care of the horses, 1) Why are they paying millions to round them up by helicopter instead of increasing their staff? And, 2) Why are they rounding them up when they can’t care for them? We have to stop the roundups,” Hall said.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has all but ordered a stop to the roundups saying, “Due to the loss of 142 horses from disease, I am calling for a delay to consider more humane options.”