The Bureau of Land Management is announcing the temporary suspension of wild horse and burro adoptions at the Boise BLM Wild Horse corrals due to the presence of strangles -- or equine distemper -- in several horses.
Strangles is an upper-respiratory tract infection in horses and although usually not fatal, is highly contagious, according to a BLM news release.
“While the symptomatic horses are quarantined and being treated by a veterinarian, the BLM has decided to close the corrals to adoptions and public visitors as a precaution until further notice,” the release stated.
"Our priority is the safety of the horses at our facility and the potential of the disease being transmitted to privately-owned horses," said Raul Trevino, BLM Boise Corral Manager. "We just don't want to take any chances while we wait for the disease to run its course. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will resume adoptions."
Horses showing sickness were first observed on May 17, officials said. Lab results later confirmed the presence of strangles in one horse, with six others being symptomatic. All of the horses are presently stable or showing signs of improvement.
Strangles cases are not rare, and have happened at other private and wild horse facilities throughout the country.
Members of the public interested in adopting a wild horse or burro should contact the BLM Boise District Office at (208) 384-3300 to provide their contact information. They will be contacted to schedule an appointment after the corral reopens for adoptions.
For more information, contact the Boise District Office at (208) 384-3300.