BLM Review Team Releases Harriman Facility Review

About 200 horses currently residing at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center in Herriman, Utah, will be relocated according to recommendations made by a team of inspectors who visited the site earlier this month.

On April 9, the Colorado-based wild horse advocacy group The Cloud Foundation released a video alleging that horses at the Harriman facility were being kept in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. The video and a corresponding written report reports prepared by wild horse advocate Lisa Friday alleged that the animals at the facility were kept in muddy, urine-soaked pens, and that some horses experienced difficulty moving through the muck located there.

On April 13, BLM personnel, the Utah State Veterinarian and a veterinarian from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspected the holding facility. In a report issued on April 20, the inspectors attributed the muddy conditions to excessively wet weather and poor drainage at the site.

As a result the team recommended that 200 animals be relocated to nearby facilities that can accommodate them.

"This should benefit those horses that are moved as well as relieve the pressure on the Center so some pens will not need to be used at all, and only those pens that can provide rest areas free of standing water or mud are being used," the report said.

Mitch Snow, spokesman for the BLM office in Utah, said the horses' relocation will begin April 25.

Inspectors also assessed the condition of the animals residing at the facility, and reported that more than 90 percent displayed body conditions of between 4 and 6 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale. Inspectors said tooth eruption probably contributed to the condition of a three-year-old mare described in the Cloud report as 'thin.'

"The cause for her weight loss was unknown but thought to most likely be due to shedding incisors, a molar, or retained cap causing a decrease in appetite or feed conversion efficiency," the report said.

According to the report, inspectors noted no signs of illness or infectious disease during their visit. The wound displayed on the shoulder of Buckskin horse depicted in video had healed, the report said.

"A full recovery with very little scar showing is expected within the next few weeks," said the report.

No one from the Cloud Foundation was available to comment on the inspectors' report.

The full report is available on the BLM website

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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