BLM Closes Corral After Horse Deaths

Federal officials temporarily shut down the National Wild Horse and Burro Center in northern Nevada on Wednesday, where 130 horses have died from health problems that could pose a threat to workers and visitors.

The voluntary closure of the center about 20 miles north of Reno is a preventive measure because the salmonella bacteria found in some of the mustangs can infect people and domestic animals, officials for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said.

The center's 160 acres of corrals serve as a holding facility for up to 1,650 animals the BLM rounds up from public rangeland to be vaccinated and marked while awaiting shipment under the agency's wild horse adoption program.

The problems apparently stem from about 1,000 horses that were gathered this month in northwest Nevada's Jackson Mountains. Many were extremely weak from a lack of food and water due to drought, and that made them more susceptible to salmonella, said Dr. Al Kane, a veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"This bacteria is not uncommon in healthy horses and other livestock but can also cause illness or death under these conditions," Kane said Wednesday.

The agency will review the center in 30 days to determine whether to extend the shutdown.

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The Associated Press

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