NV Mustang Roundup Death Toll Blamed on Stress

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Activists say stress and trauma are to blame for most of the 86 wild horse deaths so far stemming from a government roundup of mustangs north of Reno.

A report issued by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign says 43 percent of the deaths arising from the Calico Mountains Complex gather are due to diet and metabolic failure related to physiological changes induced by stress and trauma.

The report says 22 percent of deaths are due solely to the poor condition of animals, and 19 percent are due to traumatic injury.

Activists say the report underscores the adverse effects of roundups on mustangs.

BLM officials attribute the deaths mostly to the poor body condition of mares.

They say the roundup was necessary because an overpopulation of horses is harming native wildlife and the range itself, and threatening the mustangs with starvation.