Update: Federal Probe Raises Questions About 47 Seized BLM Horses Going Out of Holding Pens to Alleged Slaughter Ring

by Steven Long ~ editor/publisher of Horseback Magazine

Update: Wild Horse Advocacy Leadership Weighs In

Long Term Holding Hotbed for Slaughter Sales?

Private, Closed to the Public, BLM Long Term Holding photographed by Terry Fitch

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The secretive federal Bureau of Land Management has long kept the doors of the giant taxpayer funded pastures where thousands of wild horses are warehoused, well, closed.

But while the doors were closed to press and public, they may have been wide open to a well known Utah killer buyer who was caught hauling 47 older wild horses allegedly to slaughter in Mexico or Canada. The investigation includes BLM enforcement agents, the FBI, several state agencies, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in possibly two or more states.

Multiple individuals are targets of the probe. Department of Transportation registration for a cattle truck shown in video by Salt Lake television station KSL was traced by respected animal welfare investigators Animals Angels to Willard, Utah based DK Ranches owned by alleged killer buyer Dennis Kunz.

“There have been suspicions of BLM involvement in the trafficking of wild horse to slaughter since the early 1990s when a formal Grand Jury probe was instigated” said documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens whose three PBS ”Nature” specials on an iconic horse named Cloud have captivated millions.  “The Cloud Foundation has been asking for full public access to all facilities where mustangs are being warehoused for years.”

Kathrens remembers the earlier probe well, but believes chicanery from higher up brought the investigation to a halt.

“Before the first witness could testify in the hearing in a Del Rio, Texas courtroom, the plug was pulled and the investigation findings were never released,” Kathrens told Horseback Online.  “Implicated in the investigation are people still employed by the BLM. In fact one employee with the Wild Horse and Burro Program is in charge of the facilities for the Agency. I have no idea whether there is a any link to these same employees or not.”

“Wild Horse and Burro advocates have always fostered a nagging suspicion that our national icons were being shuttled out the back door of long-term holding to slaughter, and this incident validates that fear,” said longtime wild horse advocate and author R.T. Fitch, president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“But the larger question is why did the BLM intervene and what makes this incident different from the possible hundreds before it, something doesn’t add up,” he said.

“Wild horse and burro advocates have long felt that horses from BLM holding facilities were ending up in slaughter but the secretive nature of the agency and its refusal to provide any accounting or access to its long term holding facilities has made these suspicions all but impossible to confirm or disprove,” said John Holland, president of the Chicago based Equine Welfare Alliance.  ”The shock among advocates in this case was not that it happened, but that the BLM suddenly decided to take enforcement action. It would be nice to think this is a new direction under Joan Guilfoyle, the BLM’s recently named director of the Wild Horse and Burro program, but we are told she does not take over until September. However, seeing the comments of Utah’s BLM director Gus War in the wake of the seizure was like a breath of fresh air, and we applaud them.”

Tom Gorey, Chief Washington spokesman for the BLM, was unavailable for comment Saturday. It is unknown if anybody has been charged in the alleged BLM slaughter ring, or if any agency employees are suspects.

Since Horseback Magazine began investigations into practices of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, unconfirmed reports have repeatedly reached the magazine claiming the sighting of 18 wheel cattle trucks hauling horses from BLM facilities in the dead of night. The agency has steadfastly denied horses are being taken from pastures and sent to slaughter. However, BLM branded horses are sometimes spotted in USDA holding pastures and at slaughterhouses carrying the BLM brand.

Jerry Finch is the founder and driving force of Habitat for Horses, a Hitchcock, Texas based rescue that has handled some of the most difficult seizures in recent history.

“For the BLM to suddenly be concerned about America’s horses going to slaughter is laughable,” he told Horseback Magazine late Saturday.  ”Since former Senator Burns gave them the out to dump horse by the truckloads, they have been disappearing by the hundreds, if not by the thousands. That this truckload was stopped means that someone broke the silence of corruption and squealed.”

Since Horseback Magazine began investigations into practices of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, unconfirmed reports have repeatedly reached the magazine claiming the sighting of 18 wheel cattle trucks hauling horses from BLM facilities in the dead of night. The agency has steadfastly denied horses are being taken from pastures and sent to slaughter. However, BLM branded horses are sometimes spotted in USDA holding pastures and at slaughterhouses carrying the BLM brand.

“The BLM refuses to give the public an accurate accounting of the horses they have captured or to allow anyone but their own to see these supposed holding areas except on a very limited basis. Why? What is the BLM hiding?” Finch asked.  ”People are being paid a per horse rate to care and feed these animals. If the horses aren’t there, then where is the money going?”

Gorey states that the BLM does not send horses to slaughter. However, the agency doesn’t keep track of its horses after they are sold, critics say.

It is estimated that there are app. 30,000 horses of all ages housed under lock and key on private property that the agency refuses to grant access to on a routine basis.

The reason, “the horses are on private land,” Gorey has repeatedly stated citing the federal privacy act. According to the BLM, 10,755 wild horses were removed from public lands and placed in giant holding pastures in 2010.

Ranchers in western states frequently call the Mustangs, “the cockroaches of the west” and view them as a nuisance.

The agency has refused to allow an independent audit of the number of horses held privately by ranchers at taxpayer expense, despite the fact that BLM controls app. 243 million acres of mostly vacant land where the horses could be housed for free. The horses compete for grazing land with more than 1 million cattle that inhabit leased pastures at the fire sale rate of $1.35 per cow and calf per month.

The horses seized in Utah are over the age BLM offers for adoption. When such horses are sold, buyers agree not to sell them to slaughter, the BLM says.

The wife of the owner of the cattle truck which carried the horses told Utah reporters for the Desert News and KSL-TV, “We are known for buying slaughter horses,” she said, “but it was just our truck that was being used.” The woman claimed the horses were Texas bound but not destined for slaughter, despite the fact that Mexican slaughter houses are just across the U.S. Mexico border from El Paso.

Finch, like many others, believes the BLM would rid western lands of all wild horses.

“The next move by the BLM will surely be a cry that they can no longer afford to support all the wild horses they have taken and to ask Congress to add an amendment to allow them to sell horses without restriction. That should make the non-thinking horse haters in Congress squeal in delight.”

”Bottom line, older wild horses should never be removed from their homes on the range and caring BLM employees have said as much to me,” Kathrens said. “Older mustangs are particularly vulnerable, not just because they have trouble adapting to incarceration, but because they are not attractive as adoption animals, making them targets for sale and potential purchase by killer buyers. Are unscrupulous government employees and private contractors involved in the current trafficking case? Until that question can be answered, there should be an immediate halt to round up operations and the subsequent hauling of wild horses to holding facilities where the public is denied access.”

Kathrens is calling for a federal tracking system to document the whereabouts of every wild horse under BLM control. “BLM needs to prove the whereabouts of every animal they have removed, particularly these older animals who have been rounded up in the last few years. If we can track an orange from the time it leaves the grove to the time it is sold at the grocery store, BLM can certainly implement a tracking structure for these federally protected mustangs. Until they can implement this kind of tracking, no wild horses should be removed from the safety of their ranges.”

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109 comments on “Update: Federal Probe Raises Questions About 47 Seized BLM Horses Going Out of Holding Pens to Alleged Slaughter Ring

  1. I am glad to hear the basis for this investigation came from Animal Angels. But the way this is playing out and At This Time… during roundups where foals are being killed and penned wild horses lack enough water and food.

    Why are we not getting the information from the FBI? Why are we hearing this from BLM? They need to shut up and get behind the line. They are not an investigative agency!!

  2. Tom Gorey is good at throwing BS around. There is no reason in the Federal Privacy Act that the public shouldn’t be able to see public assets housed on private lands. There should be a schedule, or a way of making an appointment. That should be written into the contract for the LTC facilities.

    • I’d say if killbuyers can show up without making an appointment through the BLM, the American people demand the same right. Time to stop acting like the BLM is the CIA with everything top secret. Our horses lives depend on this, as we now see.

  3. First of all, if taxpayers are going to pay for wild horses in holding pens, then I should be able to go on private land to see these horses, otherwise leave them on public land where it doesn’t cost me anything to begin with! Secondly, the BLM is collecting tax money on 30-40,000 horses in holding each year. Wouldn’t it be something if there weren’t anywhere near that amount (because they’ve been sold to slaughter) and they are collecting our tax money for horses that don’t exist? Thirdly, how is it that I have to pay for horses in holding facilities when nobody will validate the number…i.e., how can they charge me for so many horses in holding when they can’t prove it?? ARRGH! ….and then we can’t balance our budget!

    • Last year the discrepancy in the LTH numbers and what BLM said they were holding was rather wide. BLM has not been forthcoming on this. As usual. They claimed over 46,000 in LTH once and then the figures from LTH facilities was under 35,000. I am sure we are missing thousands.

      At $10. a head you move them to slaughter and sell a load of horses by the pound and the profit margin is huge; $320. paid to gain over $80,000. I think… but this was an old figure. These are our wild horses that Annie spent decades trying to save. She did not fail but the system failed both the law and the wild horses. Not to mention the American public.

    • You raise some interesting questions. If the LTH contractors are getting paid by the head and are selling some out the back door, are they claiming stipend for those horses like they still have them? Good question. If so, it is fraud on the American taxpayer.

  4. Hey “Garnet,” how come you don’t think the horses came from LongTerm Holding pens? Know something we don’t? We could always use a good whistle blower….

  5. Thats right 243 million acres of public lands where they could roam for free, yet recklessly spending our tax dollars, recklessly exterminating the last of our wild horses, NO unbias count of the number of horses left, ALL of BLM’s Actions top secret to the public, numbers of horses in long term short term temporary holding have never added up. Remember how they were planning on slaughtering all of them, except they couldnt in the public eye. But trust me, they still want to. The crookedness, the fraud, the nasty former mustangers and horse killers the BLM hires, the PR firms that have to cover it all up, I have no doubt in my mind that they are dissapearing from long term holding and short term holding closed to the public as well, (such as broken arrow.) The agency is the most discustingly crooked and fraudulent agency in the whole government. SHAME on America for putting up with it.
    Discusting outrageous injustice. OK, im done now. (until tomorrow)

    • If they all were branded, I think the brands show exactly where they were gathered, don’t they?

      Do they BLM brand any horses born in the Long Term Holding? Or none?

      Is it assumed that only horses below saleable age that haven’t been adopted go to LTH? The sale authority horses would immediately be disposed of at an auction prior to going to LTH I would think.

      Are all foals that are not sold branded before sent to LTH?

      Horses that become of saleable age while in LTH must have already gone thru the 3 tries to be adopted? They are then qualified to be sold at auction by the LTH contractor, where they could easily be purchased by anyone.

      This shipment — the paperwork didn’t pass muster. Supposedly that is the only reason they were seized, I think.

      Meanwhile the WY US government-sponsored wild horse mechanized terrorism by the BLM will begin in a few weeks.

      • There has always been a controversy among advocates concerning freeze branding and if ALL wild equines PZP’d or removed were actually being properly inventoried, branded and identified on the DOI/USDA rolls. Of course, that assumes those agencies really want to know and care.

        And as other have said, in addition to the visual freeze brand, the chip system could always be used; although it has it has flaws just like external branding. Remember the story of the A**HAT that cut the hot brand off a horse and turned it loose?

  6. “But the larger question is why did the BLM intervene and what makes this incident different from the possible hundreds before it …”

    Maybe somebody blew a whistle? It wouldn’t make any difference if it was within the BLM, but getting the FBI involved (with proof) should be a different story. Of course, “should” doesn’t mean “will”.

  7. Beware….Red Herrings all over the place. As Mar stated, Triple B round-up in Nevada is in full swing and Foals are being killed.
    Threats to round up Cloud’s Herd….yet again. What’s going on with that?
    Proceed with caution and be on the alert…and DON’T LET UP

    • Louie is so right. No doubt they have something else planned or going down as we blog. Remember past history is the best indication of future behavior.

  8. Um, “…why did the BLM intervene this time and what makes this incident different from the possible hundreds before..?” As the story unfolds, we may find out. But I would imagine it is the same ole, same ole BLM. Something happened and BLM knew they were going to be found out. In they rushed with their norm of manipulation (lies), twisting the story this way and that. Very telling…again, not available for comment. To put it more succinctly: The-BLM-was-caught-with-pants-down-and-is-trying-to-cover-a**.

  9. I just had this conversation with Dean Bolsted, Wednesday, I said and dont think for one minute Mr, Bolsted that we dont already know that Wild Horses are leaving there in trunks for slaughter in the dark of the nite????? OMG !!!!!!!! He faltered some and said oh no Arlene they are not leaving here to go to slaughter, ……..I said we will prove that they are and you are lieing to me,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, that is when he called are conversation a stalemate…………………..Now I am wondering Did or Does he know ????? So this is not new to me , I have guessed it all along , I believe we are on to something big that we can use …………………………

  10. BLM intervened? They probably got a call and then stepped in, rite into their Dirty Big Secret, saving face, or trying to…Acting shocked and giving quite a show of words of untruth…

    • Arlene, the saying goes something like Messenger Beware because so often the bearer of bad news is killed.

      Vickie Tobin’s site has the 1997 White Paper Report on the investigation into the connection between BLM employees and horses being taken from even the holding pens on the range after capture.

      It also states that one of the ways this was covered up was using the same freeze brand on as many as three horses, so that they would not be missed if an inventory were checked.

  11. So AA was on the verge of reporting/revealing this and BLM stepped in, gave the story to a media outlet, wherein BLM controls the content? The media outlet didn’t DO the story? AA was working on it, BLM found out and now all these agencies are investigating? Something stinks to me.

    Can anyone answer my questions? Because if you can, I have something else to say….I want to make sure I understand the unfolding of this story first.

    • Wasn’t AA doing an investigation at the slaughterhouses in Mexico? Wonder if they were seeing a lot of branded mustangs down there. Hope they blow the lid off the BLM WH&B program.

  12. The article said this, at the bottom:

    “Written by Amy Joi O’Donoghue with contributions from Alex Cabrero.”

    I wonder who Alex Cabrero is. Another staff of the news outlet?

  13. As part of the contract between the BLM and the long term holding ranches, the facility must provide the means (pens and chutes) to LOAD horses for transport … and where do you think those horses are going? I have read the contract proposals which are public information online (fedbizopps).
    Also, I hope none of you are still believing that all horses under the age of 10 are not sent to LTH without being offered up for adoption three times. They send the young ones there all the time – have proof.

    • Is every horse that arrives at LTH branded? (Every wild horse).. It is my understanding that these holding pens STH and LTH are not mentioned as management options in the Wild Horse Annie Legislation. So horses on their way here are being handled by BLM in their capacity as multi-use land managers rather than as managers of herds in the wild. Where did I see that once the horses are rounded up and removed from the ranges, they no longer belong to the American people? But are government property, such as a toilet seat might be. Though paid for by taxpayer monies – cost and maintenance, they then serve at the pleasure of the first horse’s ass that comes along.

      • Very good questions that I had not thought about and hope someone can clear this up for us. I assumed that since they were our horses that they would still belong to the American public and not the government even after being rounded up and sent to holding (not to mention the “illegal” sale of our horses via sale authority) and if not … then what law states that fact? Of course, BLM is selling our land right under our noses too!
        To my knowledge, WH&B sent to LTH are all branded … but who knows what all happens behind our backs.

      • last time I checked “we” are the government. Altho the manner in which the people employed by us act that is in question.

  14. Ok, they were on a truck owned by a known killbuyer and headed for Texas. Doesn’t take much to add this scene up. To the most horrific end a wild horse or any horse could meet, a Mexican slaughterhouse. These people are scum of the earth. And I include the round up contractors in with these people. They are all cut from the same cloth. Illiterate, amoral, soulless & greedy. Now, to find out exactly which holding facility in Oklahoma they came from where it is likely WE pay the long term holding private land owner probably close to a MILLION DOLLARS a year to feed and keep them safe at one facility alone.

    Shut it all down. Clean house from top to bottom. Just like the MMS after the Gulf spill. No more horses off the land. No more into holding. Find suitable homes for the 50,000 stockpiled. No more loaded in the dead of night to Mexico. No more Mr. Salazar. We have had enough. And Mr. Gorey, in case you read this blog, we’ve had enough of you pushing all the dirt under the rug and your spin machine with your blaise, robotic lies. It is time to shine a bright light on the real cockroaches of the West. The BLM and all the lovely people they attract with their “stewardship” of our national treasures.

    • Oh thanks for posting this.
      I’m going to be laughing for awhile now at this bit: “The deeper we delve into questioning the BLM’s integrity, if there is any…”
      Oh…..man. Integrity and BLM in the same sentence…..whoa!

      Honestly, we should blow the lid off the whole tax issue. Even those who don’t give a hoot about horses should do a double take at the realization that this is the SAME government that claims it can’t pay it’s debts and needs to cut services blah blah blah. Yet they can pay for this with our money. If we could just follow the money trail it would do more to stop them than anything.

  15. Could be the LTH contractors. Another way to make money — slippin horses out the back gate. Lack of BLM oversight combined with immoral callousness for the horses (“no one will miss a few of these old nags”). Maybe even combined with some bad local BLMers being paid to look the other way. It is too easy to be cynical and suspicious about this, and make it out like a bad tv show, exactly because it could be. If BLM offered a better deal to the horses all around, starting on the range, this stuff wouldn’t happen, and we wouldn’t have to think the worst. But when you see the worst, you think the worst.
    Animal Angels may be staying quiet to maintain their investigation. Probably the easiest way to find out what really happened is to take a look at all the times on the FBI and other reports. I assume there will be a chronological record of what happened when, who was contacted when, and who did what when. Hopefully, that will stay untainted.
    ….If anything connected to the back end of a horse transport trailer bound for Texas can….

    Folks, this is just another reminder that you have a real reason to help change BLM policy on wild horse and burro management. Commit to that. If you ever need convinced of that, be convinced now. It was true the day the first band followed in a Judas horse. The BLM and their contractors thought of that too….

    Get some rest, wake up, and Don’t Go Back To Sleep.

  16. You can bet your bottom dollar that many of our horses are “missing”!
    BLM figures state that between 2000 and 2010 over 60 thousand (58%)were “adopted”. I want to see the information that backs that up – don’t you? Have you looked at the BLM adoption sites? Very few are adopted.
    As an example, only .035 (3 1//2 percent) of the Twin Peaks horses were adopted, the rest being sent to long term holding etc.
    Three and half persent is a LONG way from 58%!!!
    And per BLM over 100 thousand have been removed since 2000 and they “say” that as of the first of this year there were 41 thousand of those 104 thousand removed are in short and long term holding.
    Where have all the horses gone?

  17. Although most of us care most about the horses themselves … if you really want to know what is going on … follow the money!
    Take a look at the “multiple use” that BLM finds so useful in their EAs. What is multiple use? The answer is money $. The kick back that the BLM gets from oil/gas revenue far outweighs the cost of housing any animals in any holding facilites. Don’t kid yourself that the BLM cares or doesn’t care about the wild horses or burros… it actually has nothing to do with them … it is all about the money $$$ and nothing else.
    I hate this because for me … it IS all about the wild ones.

  18. If anyone’s interested there is an article in Dressage Today August issue about a born wild mustang named Padre taking reserve champion stallion in Dressage at Devon.
    A nice counterpoint to “Ranchers in western states frequently call the Mustangs, “the cockroaches of the west” and view them as a nuisance.”
    Never heard of a cockroach winning at Dressage!

  19. I think that you are all right. The American public has no idea what is happening with our Wild Horses and Burros. There is no doubt someone stumbled on to some very illegal actions. The corruption goes on for miles while the American tax payer foots the bill. Congress needs to address this immediately and ask for an accounting for each and every horse removed off of public lands, even if they are put on private lands. We are still paying the price to keep them there regardless. No stone should be left unturned and we should all demand this. I bet this has been a booming business for some people. I sure hope they continue to probe into this situation. The players may change, but the attitude regarding the Wild Horses and Burros doesn’t.

  20. Now is the time for the BLM to come clean and tell us where all are horses are??????? We want to know an exact count of all horses in holding…………………The criminal actions of this Agency have now reached astronomical proportions and the same for the deceit and lies, Now I ask can any court of Law continue to side with the BLM, everything there is now , a total disaster, this agency is now a total DISGRACE to America, now is the time for DISMANTLING, no more American tax dollars squandered by a a completely corrupt BLM, we must demand this…………………. America must demand our Mustangs be returned to the Land that belongs to them, and we must cultivate what is left , we need to appoint people to a New Agency for this……………………….. I think we could implement this we have everything needed right here……………………..

  21. Notice the comments here, both of our Citizen Advocates and our Wild Horse and Burro Advocacy Leadership, They are all d-mn well said, and cover the gamut of BLM mismanagement — from removing wild horses from their own ranges to a horse slaughter transport headed towards Texas. That’s an ugly pipeline Americans pay for. As Ginger Kathrens says, wild horses need “THE SAFETY OF THEIR RANGES !” What a truth!! This simple, overarching truth is why we have to end BLM policy based on removal. Their safety!! It’s why we have to stand between wild horses and removal from their own ranges. Their freedom !!

    A 40 year old Act of Congress, passed unanimously in both Houses, hasn’t done it!! It’s still business as usual, disposing of wild horses! It’s just the method that’s changed!! What an insult to the spirit of American democracy, and a bureaucratic abuse of power!

    In my view, our mission is clear. Get between the horses and the pipeline. No more business, and dirty business, as usual. It is hurtful, deadly, expensive, immoral, and un-American, both to the wild horses, and to us.

    Enough is known. Enough said.

  22. This may sound confusing, but I am beginning to wonder if DOI intervened because some type of “population accounting” is nipping at their heels from a higher authority.

    I still haven’t heard why these journalists in Utah jumped on this story, in real time no less. Whose helo was used, tv station or AA? Still confused on this seizure.

  23. I’m so upset!!! Not only at this story but I just got banded from the BLM facebook page and I can’t rub this in the face of the highly paid PR Person! Dam!

    • Change your login, use a @g or hotmail addy….and have fun. They will take you down…eventually, but have fun messing with them. They aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.

      Tell your reps BLM won’t let you exercise your first amendment and taxpayer rights.

    • You might see if any of the people on this list (National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Members) have a Facebook Page; also you can use this list to contact them individually by phone, email or snail mail.

      http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/whb_get_involved_/advisory_board/member_list_and_expiration.html

      PS I think Facebook is teetering around on the point of crashing sometimes, as it does very strange things from time to time. There is a group I was on that disappeared completely! Also if you note, the feed doesn’t work — you scroll down the pages and it starts repeating itself! Also notice that some of the comments and status that were posted MONTHS ago are starting to show up as being recently posted!!! That’s for any of your friends, not just you. Facebook I think is about to crash!

      • Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and Kansas.

        There are no representatives from these states on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

        Isn’t this where the long term contractors go to spawn?

      • More importantly, there are NO wild equine advocates on the board. Screw the LTH creeps….they have their representation and it is a stacked deck.

  24. The more I review the media outlet (Deseret News and KLS-TV, Salt Lake City), the more disconcerted I become. This activity just doesn’t met the smell test. Remember, it is just this one reporter with contribution by one other dude…..somethin’ just ain’t right about this. Afterall, Utah AIN’T a hotbed of animal welfare activism.

    I wish AA would let us know if they were tracking or just helped identify the rig.

    • Denise, Yesterday, *early AM, I left a comment under the article, KSL-TV, *Utah by Amy O’Donoghue. I registered and all. My comment was never posted by KSL. Later in the day, I again wrote a comment and a notice came up, “only one comment per article.” So, KSL received my 1st comment but apparently decided not to post it. It was very respectfully written, short and to the point: anti-horse slaughter and FOR the wild horses. The majority of comments accepted by KSL and posted are pro-slaughter, pro-BLM and NOT for the wild horses. There are some comments against slaughter and for the wild horses, but most are not “strong.” Maybe mine was not posted as I noted the heinous barbarity of transport and horse slaughter, the herd family system, how majestic wild horses enhance the ecology, cattle destroy…and…the BLM “secret” is now out. I wrote KSL, “Where is my comment?,” and did not hear back. Me thinks KSL, and/or reporter, is biased and not open media.

      • Me thinks this chick was hand picked by the BLM A**HAT because he KNEW the proverbial SH*T was gonna hit the fan.

        I would ask Ms. “Exclusive” how she learned of this story…(1) tip? (a) citizen, or (b) org? or have you been following/investigating independently; (2) What was AA’s role in this “exclusive”?; and (3) don’t need source name and id, but just curious as to how you became “interested” in this issue (how many wild equine stories have you done before, etc).

        She has an email address at the end of each feature (same story, different media host)…email her and ask…..let’s see what happens. Remember you are not asking her to reveal her source(s).

      • I, too, registered at KLS and left a comment My comment also was not posted. Comments are closed, but an email to the article/site link is provided. I also viewed a link to this site on Facebook where another advocate posted that her comment had not been posted, either.

        What if this story is a BLM hoax? What if it has been planted? I don’t know how many of you follow journalism, but it was not too long ago that a story was published in either the Washington Post or New York Times—completely bogus as it turned out—but in the meantime, it won a Pulitzer Prize.

        I hate to be so cynical, but I have been waiting to see something that resembled the truth to come out of the mouth or hand of someone who speaks for the agency.

        Just wondering. I find the timing oddly curious. Don’t want to say more now.

  25. This summer I have been hearing that the production of hay in Oklahoma and Kansas has been ruined by the heat and drought.

    Will BLM have the hay lined up for winter feed for all our Long Term Holding horses?

    Can we stop hay from going to Asia if we see a shortage developing here?

    If we have a severe shortage of hay I am afraid BLM will see this as an opportunity to be rid of more of our captive horses. I think they remain vulnerable to slaughter and other means of killing. Like Simone said they are still thinking about euthanasia. WE must be sure BLM has arranged for winter feed for all our wild horses this winter.

    This past Spring there was not enough hay in many places in Nevada and the prices for what was available were super high. We need to encourage hay growers to take care of the needs of our animals here and plan for this next winter accordingly. We could see much trouble and loss if this is not done!

    • THis is something else I have also been wondering about. With temps hovering aroung 106 in Oklahoma for days and days on end, how are these horses doing out there with no shelter from the sun? And why does the BLM never do press releases on any of this?

    • Mar…that forage question is a tough nut to crack…especially in the West/Mid West as feeding practices are different than other regions. The incentive (MONEY invested v. profit) is just way tooo enticing for forage producers to ignore export markets. It’s the same for subsidized western meat producers because of export incentives, trade agreements etc.

      Only thing I can think of is USDA policy to retain X per cent of production for local economies with tax and subsidy incentives. And it has to adjust quickly to handle over and under supplies. However, having USDA in charge of anything is like having DOI in charge of Native People’s, wolves and wild equines.

      Question: with all the extraction of energy resources in the US, how much of that energy is actually consumed in the US?

      • I see this as something we need to stay on top of… and if pressure on BLM will get them to issue some directive with AG about domestic hay needs and demands then that may save lives this next winter. BLM cannot pretend to have an emergency later if we see to it the hay is a priority to them and available before there is a problem.

        There still may be a problem we cannot solve if hay production is super low to the point we know there is not enough. I dread this as a real threat to the lives of our captives from PVC to the big pastures in OK and KS.

        More and more of our sensitive resources are going to be claimed by China. Energy resource extractions are all going on a rampage in North America. Tar sands will make a huge mess on top of fracking. We need to develop solar and wind on smaller scales for communities and hospitals to be off the grid if it goes down. I sure would like our one grocery store in 65 miles to be up and running if the grid went down here.

      • Forgot to add….drought and forage unavailability are one of the other main removal tools of DOI/USDA, beside inflated population counts and reduction of HAs/HMAs acreage..the “on the range forage” isn’t always a better argument doesn’t work as DOI/USDA say there isn’t any or water…which is usually BS from the get go. Although I would rather see them expire on THEIR ranges than this kay-rap of round ups, inflated population counts, fenced off water supplies, sloppy EAs, NEPA violations,etc.

      • This drought hit all East of the HMAs as far as I know. We ended up with a wet summer here in SW Colorado and Nevada range did really well, also. I have not heard of problems on the HMAs at all. BLM removes horses when their prognostication tells them there ‘may be a drought in near future’ and they have the power to act on a guess! They will do what they want. BLM is a wild card.

      • I have not heard of hay shortages on the East Coast. The concern here is the price of production and transportation with gas and oil prices sky rocketing. As hot and humid as it has been here, for the most part, there is plenty of grass in pastures.

        If this is a concern in the West/Midwest, someone ought to be contacting the states’ Departments of Agriculture to find out where if there are shortages.

  26. Ronnie, you’re not the only one who couldn’t log in to KSL-TV Utah. It seems that only the Wild Horse foes and slaughter advocates can comment there.

      • Given that almost all the comments that were posted were anti-wild horse/pro-slaughter and that several advocates have said they registered to post comments, don’t you think that this thickens the stew a bit about how genuine this story is?

        Almost any media outlet will publish comments representing opposing points of view. To have an editor select only those comments he or she sees fit to print—or presents his or her point of view is not the way journalism is supposed to work.

  27. I agree with SaveWildHorses and Rob. But, I think if we could stop the BLM from moving the rounded up horses the first battle would be won. If their trucks have flats, if they can’t get past the trucks/cars./parked in their way, they can’t move them. Any the damn helicopter crews couldn’t run them to death if there was no place to put them. We have to start, I believe, at the beginning of the chain, and that seems to me to be stop the horses from being run into the pens. If we could only under disguise of ownership, buy range land, buy these BLM horses, and back on the range they go, BUT THEY ARE PRIVATELY OWNED BY PAPERWORK AND IT IS LEGIMATE , A private individual or foundation bought land and horses and they are legimately OURS/

    • I agree with the concept of Direct Action; but I DO NOT agree with flattening tires on trucks or physically blocking roads with vehicles. There are laws, rules, and reg.s about this which can lead to three things: 1) arrest, and I think it would be a wasted arrest, for destruction of property. I think at some point in Direct Action, arrest becomes meaningful, but not out on the range, not like that, because 2) DOI-BLM, the anti-horse lobby, law enforcement, and locals will use it against a) the horses, and b) the advocates. DOI-BLM will holler “we have to save the horses from these eco-terrorists while we can,” advocates will lose credibility, and 3) media gets focused on this, rather than the real story of suffering and mismanagement at the hands of DOI-BLM. We CAN REPEAT CAN develop meaningful direct action strategies which focus on keeping problems and solutions on the front page and front burner AND which will strongly affect what happens on the range. We CAN “get in the way.” We just have to be smart, dedicated, and make good meaning out of it. If you want to confront DOI-BLM directly, give them pause, and slow them down on removals, your chance may be coming. Get committed now, and get ready for this kind of action. It WILL be direct.

    • yes Louie, there are lots of American tax dollars to be rounded up…..seems the way is to just round them up like the BLM does , works for them……… Direct Action is the only action they will ever understand or get!!!!! Amongst all their lies and deception, there is a Beautiful Phoenix, now it is up to us to uncover it for all to see……………………………….. We are obligated by love and respect , to get release of the innocent Wild Mustangs………….I am here to see that Beautiful Phoenix that will rise for the Mustangs……………………..in their name……….and for all of them that have perished through the greed and disrespect ,for the very animal who made America and has always been a awesome visual part of its FREEDOM>>>>>>>>>

    • Not being flip or disrespectful, Louie….but this is a story about an investigation that is going on.

      Problem? It is being orchestrated by the wild equine abusers, killers and liars….not advocates.

      Still waiting for an answer to my question about AAs role. I don’t believe they did anything wrong; just trying to understand their role via Ms. “Exclusive”.

  28. Denise, I understand what you are saying. I just think that we need to really push, right now. There is so much more than just this one story. I’m looking at the whole picture and I’m thinking that a lot of this has to do with timing. I’m guided by rhythm, and I can tell when the Drums need to come in.

    • It will take a lawsuit challenging the ENTIRE program….not just round up to round up.

      I believe the attention, evidence collected here and among other advocates/weblinks will support this type of lawsuit.

      Now we just need the money and legal minds to attack properly. We still face the hurdles of the stacked and vacated federal courts built by the special interest party (ies)….tough row to hoe.

  29. That’s what I’m trying to say. When you look at the entire history of the Wild Horse and Burro program, since its inception ( this has been a real learning curve for me), there has never been a better time than now to push forward….for a lot of reasons.

  30. Interesting that Tom Gorey was not available for comment being a week-end and all. But the round up staff and contractors are working 7 days a week with double overtime, I’m sure.

  31. According to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act of 1971 “It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where they are presently found as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands”. BLM = Criminal Abuse!

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