Horse advocates became alarmed, then outraged, when the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced to the media that they were taking twenty "nuisance" horses that were removed from the South Reno area to Nevada Livestock Marketing in Fallon where the predominant buyers for untamed horses are the "kill buyers."
Link: Nuisance Horses taken out of Virginia Range.
Provocative claims made in that media release have prompted many advocates to resurrect an old chant used during the "Horse Wars" of 2008. For example, the NDA claimed, "There are 2,500 to 3,000 horses total on the range, and that's almost three times the amount when they were counted back in 2002."
A much more recent count showed the free-roaming horse population to be more like 1600 horses. Advocates who monitor the herds have reported between a 10 and 12 percent increase in the herd since the last published census. Cougars have been actively reducing the foal crop and NDA removals have reduced population growth. In a few areas where removals have been focused the horse population has actually dropped.
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