Press Release from The Cloud Foundation
Stop the Roundups and Respect our Native Wild Mothers
WASHINGTON D.C. (May 4, 2010) ―The American wild horse crisis is filled with issues of animal cruelty and the world looks on and asks, “Why?”. Currently the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding over 1800 captured Calico mustangs at a privately owned, feedlot-style facility in Fallon, Nevada. The manure-strewn pens have become a makeshift nursery for captured mares now giving birth without cover or protection from the elements. In honor of America’s wild horse mares and their foals, International Fund for Horses and The Cloud Foundation launch a letter writing campaign First Lady Michelle Obama this Mother’s Day, requesting a moratorium on roundups in the American West.
“The American public is no longer buying the false claims by the BLM that wild horses are starving and must be removed from the range,” states Vivian Grant, President of the Int’l Fund for Horses. “Time after time we see healthy wild horses being rounded up by the BLM and tragically it is the mares and their newborn or unborn foals who pay the highest price.” More than 40 late term abortions and 87 adult horse deaths have occurred as a result of the stressful helicopter roundup in northwestern Nevada in the dead of winter.
While the Calico mustang mothers and their newborns continue to be held in the dusty corrals, their sons are being castrated without proper pain medication or medical oversight. Complications that often arise with domestic horses such as hemorrhage, evisceration (protrusion on the intestine through the scrotum), inflammation, swelling in the cavity and lasting damage to the penis go untreated.
“Prompt recognition of post-castration complications and expedited application of appropriate treatment is essential in all cases” according to Liberty M. Getman, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, from the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. Dr. Getman went on to explain that ”approximately one-third of all castrations develop some form of post-surgical complication, and these complications constitute the number one reason of malpractice claims against North American veterinarians.” The 1800-plus mustangs in Fallon are under the watch of only one veterinarian and castrated males, in obvious pain with swollen scrotums, receive no pain medication or post-surgical care. Humane observers are denied access except for a two hour staged public tour once a week.
Celebrities such as Sheryl Crow and Viggo Mortensen as well as scientists and more than 160 international organizations, have signed a unified moratorium letter calling for a freeze of BLM roundups until a truly sustainable plan is in effect. Currently BLM spends roughly half their $64 million budget rounding up mustangs and the remainder feeding captured mustangs in government holding millions. This poor management policy is leading to the destruction of the last of our western wild herds.
The two foundations ask the First Lady for help to end the cruelty, stop the wild horse round ups, and call for an investigation of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program. “Tell our First Lady how you really feel about what is happening to our wild horses and burros,” urges Ginger Kathrens, Cloud filmmaker and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. “The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is a fiscal train wreck for the American taxpayers and an on-going nightmare for the Calico horses. Adding more wild horses and burros into holding facilities while the ranges are emptied of the last of our iconic mustangs makes absolutely no sense.
“Now the public of all ages is invited to write to: First Lady Michelle Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500, fax her at (202) 456-2461, call her office at (202) 456-1414 or email her online at www.emailthepresident.com/first-lady
“What do we need to do to get a response from this Administration? Put holding pens on the White House lawn?” asks Hilary Wood, President and Founder of Front Range Equine Rescue in Larkspur, Colorado. In the meantime, the BLM is revving up the helicopters for the next invasion of wild horses and burro ranges slated to begin in June. “We’d like to keep mothers and their foals living free, in the wild, as Congress intended in the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act,” adds Wood.
Links of interest:
Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues http://bit.ly/awFbwm
The Int’l Fund for Horses is the most influential equine advocacy organization of its kind. Headquartered in the United States, the Int’l Fund for Horses works for the passage and enforcement of horse protection laws and act as industry watchdogs intervening on behalf of horses in health, safety and welfare matters. Learn more at www.fund4horses.org or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fund4horses.
The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
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