BLM: Outbreak’s death toll surpasses 140 horses at Cañon City facility |

BLM: Outbreak’s death toll surpasses 140 horses at Cañon City facility

Steamboat Pilot & Today

A suspected outbreak of equine influenza has killed 142 horses at the Bureau of Land Management’s Cañon City Wild Horse and Burro Facility, according to the agency’s latest report on Thursday, May 12.

The outbreak began in late April, and 15 horses have died since May 5, when more testing revealed the presence of a bacterial pathogen, as well as the equine influenza virus, according to the BLM.

The facility houses wild horses rounded up last September from the Sand Wash Basin in Moffat County. However, the BLM has reported the horses most affected by the outbreak are from the West Douglas Herd Area, which were rounded up in July and August.

A veterinarian’s report from late April stated that the West Douglas horses were partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, which could be a factor in the spread of the illness. The West Douglas horses were captured in early August 2021 and should have been vaccinated shortly thereafter.

“I am deeply concerned about the tragic death of these iconic animals,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a Thursday statement. “I’ve directed our Department of Agriculture and the state veterinarian to re-engage with the Bureau of Land Management to review the situation and evaluate what can be done to avoid this situation in the future. We have long advocated for the health, safety, and wellbeing of Colorado’s wild horses, and will continue to do so as we seek a humane future for our mustangs.”

The facility remains under quarantine. Situation updates are available on the BLM’s website. For more,

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