COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Governor Jared Polis has released a statement on the ongoing outbreak at the wild horse facility in Cañon City.

As of Thursday, May 12, the death toll due to an outbreak of equine influenza at the facility stood at 142 deaths in 19 days. Governor Jared Polis released a statement today:

“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.”

According to the Governor’s office, 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.