Press Release: BLM Colorado Investigating Wild Horse Deaths

English: Bureau of Land Management logo

Release Date: 12/04/12

Contacts:
Steven Hall, Colorado Communications Director, 303-239-3672
Deanna Masterson, Public Affairs Specialist, 303-239-3671

“As a precaution, we have quarantined the facility and will not ship animals out this week,”

Cañon City, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of 19 wild horses at its Cañon City Wild Horse Inmate Program facility.  The BLM discovered dead horses in a pen on Dec. 3.  Several other wild horses in the same pen exhibited signs of illness. The BLM is working with veterinarians including state and federal animal health authorities to investigate the cause of the illness.

Veterinarians have euthanized those horses in the most severe condition with a poor prognosis for recovery. Autopsies were performed on three of the dead horses at the facility, with additional horses and samples sent to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

“As a precaution, we have quarantined the facility and will not ship animals out this week,” said Fran Ackley, BLM Colorado Wild Horse and Bureau Program Lead. “We are working with a veterinarian to determine the cause of the illness and prevent any potential spread to other wild horses at the facility.”

There is no estimate of when the lab analysis will be completed. In addition to the autopsies, the BLM sent water and hay samples to a lab for testing.  The horses and burros are currently being fed hay from a different source as a precaution.

The BLM will release additional information as it becomes available.

18 comments on “Press Release: BLM Colorado Investigating Wild Horse Deaths

  1. Oh Please !!!! Poor Job of trying to fake caring !!!!! 19 more horses are dead ,leave our horses along and where they have always belonged on the Range !!!!!!! The BLM will never change , our only hope, and the horses only hope is to unseat them !!!!! And get rid of the Scruge behind the whole Greed, Ken Salazar…………………..

  2. To BLM: These deaths are also gather -related. If the horses were left in the wild–not stampeded, hot prodded,shipped steaming,put into a “facility”, they might just SURVIVE …… as a future pre-caution,just leave them alone to live or die, WILD. Just more destruction of MY federally protected wild horses. 19 and counting….. I’m so glad BLM is not in charge of truly endangered species of animals—they’d wipe ‘em out with their meddling. And write up a pleasant account of the annihilation. Bureau of Extermination.

  3. Per FOIA data:
    Triple B roundup July/August 2011.
    All stallions (except for 13 which must have been VERY young) were immediately shipped to Gunnison Prison and by February, twenty-seven of those died at Gunnison. Nine of those were reported as dead from “gelding complications”.
    Like Louie said, did the prisoners do the gelding?
    Other horses were reported dead from broken legs and heads (this must be broken necks?) and unable to maintain body condition, etc.
    More reported dead at LTH facilities.
    That’s our BLM “management”…

    • Nine dead from gelding complications~ and we are supposed to think when they start doing in the field operations on mares, that they will fare any better~we need to get out there and stop this insanity.NOW. let us know what we can do-hands on.

  4. Really?! The BLM are going to find the cause of death and then let the public know?! The reason and outcome of their findings should be very interesting, indeed.

  5. These Federally Protected Wild Horses have all been put through HELL. Everyone who had a hand in or profited from their. capture and removal from their Legal Herd Management Areas is responsible for this.

  6. The more I read & see on this issue the more upset I get! I’m just plain mad! It Doesn’t have to be this way!May God have mercy on their souls.

  7. AN INTERVIEW: BLM THEFT AND LIES AND THE WILD HORSE HERD ROUNDUPS

    http://prophoto7journal.wordpress.com/2012/01/

    The amazing fact is, not only is there abuse within the BLM roundups ongoing, even as this article written, but currently one can truthfully state that “Billions of Dollars” of “Taxpayer Money” has been spent in this “Illegal” and “Unethical” situation. Profoundly the situation is ongoing. Certainly many aspects of it illegal, and certainly abounds in misconduct of not only government employees but private contractors as well. We’re just now just scratching the surface of this layered activity

    This is an industry, Wild Horse Roundups and Horse Slaughter combined, and that makes money in abundance, most often from using taxpayer money. The BLM, the government agency responsible for Administering and Oversight, does not perform either function in a legal or responsible manner.
    It is geared toward making money, and that’s it – To hell with the Horses, to hell with the taxpayers, to hell with Government responsibility within their capacity of being Stewarts of American’s lands.

    The BLM and their contractors are currently functioning without any boundaries what so ever.
    Rather than me write about it, I’ve received an interesting interview. This interview takes place between a BLM Special Agent, and a BLM contractor and informant. The Special Agent and his material was then rejected by BLM Officials as being contrary to their ongoing policy, and then covered up.

    The Special Agent threatened within several disciplinary functions, administered by other BLM authorities as well as their legal department. Essentially, the interview transcript, thought to be the only copy, was destroyed by BLM legal department Attorneys. The Special Agent did keep a copy for himself. This is a patchwork of pertinent items taken from the actual interview.

    The Interview:

  8. This is just disgusting!!! I agree with all the other posts. It seems like these poor horses and all the people/Advocates cannot get a break to save them. What ever happened to good investigations and prosecting those who violate the law. I think this horse program needs to be disbanded unless Advocates are involved with their care. Shameful, just shameful that this kind of thing is happening.

  9. Its been like this for years, why do these magnificent Wild mustangs have to be put through this , when clearly this is so so wrong and unlawful ?????????????????????????????

  10. In my eyes and many others, this is what the BLM has plans for all of the Wild Horses and Burros. This makes me sick. There are so many non wild horses that are already trained that need homes. The BLM needs to leave the Wild Horses and Burros on the Federal Government Land that they has been designated for the Wild Horses and Burros. It is pretty obvious why the BLM does not want the Wild Horses on this land. The cattlemen and sheep herders can use the land for grazing their livestock to turn profits. It is always about the money. The general rule here is to follow the money and you will find the corruption. Do I need say more?

  11. After seeing this report I sent it back to the BLM with some questions in brackets…

    I’m deeply saddened by this because I can only imagine the agony these horses must have gone through prior to crossing the bridge.

    The BLM gave us some information but I have a few questions…

    BLM Colorado Investigating Wild Horse Deaths (12-04-12)
    Cañon City, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of 19 wild horses at its Cañon City Wild Horse Inmate Program facility. The BLM discovered dead horses in a pen on Dec. 3.

    [[Just how many were dead when they were discovered? How often does anyone check on them? After all they are wild horses now in captivity so who knows what may happen. I want a time line with numbers. If you discovered 12 horses dead and 7 others in distress or if you found 17 and 2 were in distress or you found 5 and 14 were in distress tell us the sequence of events. In other words How Long Did They Suffer and How Long Had The Ones Still Standing Been Suffering?

    This is just another example of why there should be live streaming webcams at all facilities. Live streaming video should be available from all roundups and trap sites. This technology is now cheaper than ever and there is no excuse why I should not be able to see what's going on , or not, at any given moment. Maybe had someone seen what was going on a few less horses might have died.]]

    [[Which goes back to my earlier question "How often does someone check on these animals?" 19 horses didn't just keel over all at once, nor 15 or 12 or even 5. This had to be an on going deteriorating situation. That is unless there was poison involved.]]

    Several other wild horses in the same pen exhibited signs of illness. The BLM is working with veterinarians including state and federal animal health authorities to investigate the cause of the illness.

    Veterinarians have euthanized those horses in the most severe condition with a poor prognosis for recovery.

    [[If they were in severe pain and you don't know what else to do then yes put them down. I question the 'poor prognosis for recovery' if you don't know the cause. How could you know? I'd like to hear/read the veterinarians preliminary thoughts.]]

    Autopsies were performed on three of the dead horses at the facility, with additional horses and samples sent to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

    “As a precaution, we have quarantined the facility and will not ship animals out this week,” said Fran Ackley, BLM Colorado Wild Horse and Bureau Program Lead. “We are working with a veterinarian to determine the cause of the illness and prevent any potential spread to other wild horses at the facility.”

    There is no estimate of when the lab analysis will be completed. In addition to the autopsies, the BLM sent water and hay samples to a lab for testing. The horses and burros are currently being fed hay from a different source as a precaution.

    [[As to the victims...where did they come from and how long had they been at this facility? Did they just arrive on a truck from a gather or other short-term holding facility? This is information you should have at your fingertips immediately. The public should not have to wait to start getting the facts that are known.]]

    [[Could this be another case of Salmonella poisoning like what happened in Reno? I would think that would not take long to discover.I do not wish to wait until you've concluded your investigation to hear your results. I would like progress reports daily.]]

    Thank you

    Steve Stapp

    I called Deanna Masterson today as I had not rec’d any response. She has assured me the person in charge of the investigation will contact me tomorrow.

    • FYI
      From what I have personally witnessed and from BLM contracts i have seen online – the BLM does not do the feeding. The actual feeding process (tractor hauling hay through the facility) is done by an outside contractor who likely is the one selling the BLM the hay also and the actual workers who are onsite feeding are likely paid a small wage by the contractor although they should be onsite to feed every day.
      I imagine you can find out who that contractor is and who the contracted vet is by looking online: fedspending.org (use the advanced search for: contracts – Colorado – BLM – that might help you get started in your research.

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