Governor Polis Statement on Cañon City Wild Horse and Burro Facility Disease Outbreak

Thursday, May 12, 2022

DENVER — Today, Governor Polis released a statement following a disease outbreak that has resulted in the death of 142 horses at the Cañon City Wild Horse and Burro Facility. 

“I am deeply concerned about the tragic death of these iconic animals. 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,” said Gov. Polis. 

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) acted swiftly to protect the health and welfare of the animals at the facility. Upon receiving notice of the outbreak, a field veterinarian with CDA conducted a site visit at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) facility and reviewed biosecurity measures with BLM and Department of Corrections (DOC) staff. BLM has implemented a voluntary quarantine of affected horses. CDA continues to work with BLM and DOC to monitor the health and wellbeing of the horses at the Cañon City facility.