Wild Horses continue to Suffer from BLM Cruelty
An on-the-ground investigation by Last Chance for Animals’ Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the wild horses held in BLM custody at two facilities in Nevada reveals graphic evidence of the horses’ suffering from broken bodies and broken spirits as a result of their violent capture.
Investigators from the Los Angeles-based animal advocacy organization were present in Gerlach, Nevada in February, 2010 to witness the last few days of the BLM roundup of more than 1900 wild horses form the five Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Nevada’s Calico Mountain Complex. What they saw corroborates previous testimony by a host of other humane observers, including Elyse Gardner, Craig Downer, Terri Farley, and Laura Leigh:
“Helicopters, with deafening blades, terrorize and force herds of frightened wild, free-roaming horses to gallop for their lives, not realizing they are being herded to a corral where they will be forever removed from their native land. As a result of the roundups, some of the horses become bloodied, injured, and exhausted, and some mares miscarried their foals. Others simply die in the process.
The family structure of these horses is torn apart. As the horses are herded into the trap, the stallions are separated form the mares and the foals from their mothers. The horses are shipped to another facility where they stand, their spirits broken and all life erased from their eyes, in their own waste with no escape from the elements. These iconic creatures of the Wild West will never see their grazing lands or their family again.”
Based on their assessment of the condition of the horses being stampeded from the Calico range into BLM traps, the LCA investigators strongly disputed the BLM’s oft-repeated contention that wild horses need to be rounded up because otherwise they would perish from starvation if left to forage on their own:
“The BLM’s stated reason for removing the wild horses is because they are starving or soon will be. As you can clearly see by our video of the horses being rounded up, not a single one is starving or even thin. The facts belie the BLM’s statements. We also saw other wild horses out in the same area and we did not see a single one who looked to be in any kind of distress. In fact, the only horses we saw who were injured were those that had become so due to the BLM’s ill-advised roundup.”
At the conclusion of the Calico roundup, LCA representatives visited both the Broken Arrow feedlot facility in Fallon, Nevada, where the Calico horses are currently being held, and the Palomino Valley long-term holding and adoption facility in Reno. They documented the substandard conditions which the horses are forced to endure in both places:
“The horses, including young foals, do not have any access to shade or cover in order to escape the elements. These facilities are in Nevada where temperatures reach into the 120′s during the summer and sub-freezing during winter. Icy cold winds whip through the facilities but the horses have no way to escape the elements. They are forced to stand in the mud of their own feces and urine. We saw numerous foals and horses with bloody hooves.”
Last Chance for Animals has launched a “Stop the Genocide, Stop the BLM Roundups” campaign, with a striking poster featuring fitness guru Jillian Michaels and a horse named, “Buzz.”
For more information about LCA’s Special Investigation of the Calico roundup, please watch the video.