Litchfield Corrals closed to public; horses being quarantined to prevent infection spread

The Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Susanville have been temporarily closed to the public pending lab results on an infection affecting some of the horses that were recently gathered from public rangelands.

Though the exact type of infection has yet to be confirmed, the affected horses had abscesses consistent with pigeon fever, a highly contagious equine bacterial infection.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are closing the corrals until further notice,” said Emily Ryan, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, which oversees the corrals. “We do not want people to inadvertently spread any type of infection to their own horses or burros after visiting the corrals.”

The affected horses are isolated in a large holding area at the corrals. The BLM staff continues to work closely with a veterinarian to determine how long the corrals will be closed to the public. No horses or burros will be shipped from the facility while the quarantine is in place, and public adoptions and sales will be temporarily suspended.

The affected horses were gathered from northwest Nevada public lands in the Surprise Complex wild horse and burro gather. Wild horses are being removed from the range to bring populations down to the appropriate management levels confirmed in the BLM’s Resource Management Plan for the region.