BLM Issues Deadly Permit for Wolf Derby

Source: The Teton Valley News

The BLM’s self-righteous propensity to play God over the native creatures of our public lands stretches far beyond the destruction of our wild horses and burros but all the way to the very predators that would naturally regulate the herds, IF they even needed to be regulated.  Nature has been doing just fine for eons without the interference of human management but the rouge feds prefer to deal with special interest groups and the collusion of monetary gain instead of making sound decisions on scientific data and facts.” ~ R.T.

The BLM Idaho Falls District received 40,000 comments on the environmental assessment, many indicating concern over the proposed type of action occurring on public lands.

shot-wolfLast week the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a decision to approve Idaho for Wildlife’s special recreation permit for a competitive event to have a wolf and coyote derby on public lands in southeast Idaho. The proposed event is scheduled to occur January 2015.

Just hours after the BLM’s decision on Thursday, Nov. 13 four environmental groups filed a lawsuit.

The BLM Idaho Falls District received 40,000 comments on the environmental assessment, many indicating concern over the proposed type of action occurring on public lands.

“We are aware of the social controversy regarding the event,” said Joe Kraayenbrink, Idaho Falls District Manager. “However, from our analysis, we could not find significant conflicts with other environmental resources that would prohibit the competitive event from occurring.”

In a press release the BLM said every year thousands of hunters and recreationalists conduct dispersed activities on public lands. The proposed activity comes under review only because it is advertised as a competitive event, where individuals register and compete for prizes. Without the competitive nexus, no permit would be necessary.

According to the Associated Press, Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and Project Coyote say the BLM’s actions are contrary to the federal government’s wolf reintroduction efforts.

The permit request came from Idaho for Wildlife a group who’s mission is to protect Idaho’s hunting and fishing heritage and fight against animal rights and anti-gun organizations, according to their website.

Last year, Idaho for Wildlife held their first ever derby on private and U.S. Forest Service land. They reported that no wolves were harvested during the derby in 2013, and 21 coyotes were taken.

The derby is a two-day event where two-man teams compete to harvest wolves and coyotes for prize money. Last year there was a $1,000 prize offered to the team who killed the biggest wolf and another $1,000 awarded to the team that bagged the most coyotes. The event drew around 100 hunters and 230 people in total in Salmon, Idaho.

Further explaining their decision, the BLM release said “hunting is legal in the state of Idaho, is a protected right under the Idaho constitution and is managed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDF&G). Wildlife populations are tracked and managed by IDF&G, not by the BLM. Competitive hunts are allowed by the state and no federal law forbids this type of activity. As a land management agency the BLM is tasked with ensuring resources such as cultural, vegetation, air, water, soil, etc. will not be significantly impacted by participants.”

The permit analyzed whether up to 500 people recreating on 3.1 million acres of public land would negatively impact the resources within the BLM’s jurisdictional authority to manage. After analysis and discussion with other agencies, the BLM determined a finding of no significant impact, read the release.

A copy of the decision record, environmental assessment and supporting documentation is available online at:

Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Teton Valley News

NV Wild Horse Rescued from Sticky Situation

Source: Reno’s News 4

SPARKS, Nev. ( & KRNV) — One wild horse found herself in a sticky – and smelly – situation on Tuesday.

According to Lyon County officials, wild horse advocates and the Lyon County Technical Large Animal Response Team responded Tuesday afternoon to a Virginia Range wild mare that found her way into the Truckee Meadows Waste Water Treatment Plant on Cleanwater Drive in Sparks.

The mare was found by facility personnel stranded in a waste water settling pond, which contains waste solids. She was apparently in the water for about four hours.

Two of the volunteers trained in both HazMat and large animal rescue were ready to don HazMat suits and go in the gooey material to secure the animal for extrication, when she gave a mighty try and managed to get her front hooves on solid ground. The volunteers were relieved to see the mare pull herself onto solid ground and avoided taking a murky swim.

The volunteers built a decontamination corral and gave the smelly horse a thorough decontamination wash down under the supervision of a facility manger before she was let loose to rejoin her companions.

Ironically, the horse entered the facility during a project in which the fencing was being upgraded to prevent such things as curious horses.

Veterans Day 2014: An Anniversary Worth Notice

By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc as published in

More than 8 million horses served in World War I and only a fraction survived

In December 2013, a massive ice storm hit the northeast, rendering millions without power. Our elderly neighbors “rescued” my children and me, and we stayed huddled in front of their fire, which served as our only source of heat and light for several days.

The primitive living conditions reminded my neighbors of growing up in the midst of World War II, diving head first into the trenches lining the perimeter of the school yard when the sirens sounded and standing in the bomb shelters reciting times tables whilst breathing as hard as possible to make their gas masks puff ever so slightly from their faces to produce a flatulence-like sound.

Sgt Reckless the real War Horse

Sgt Reckless the real War Horse

Just like young people continue to find small joys in childhood even in the midst of war, horses and other equids continue go to work helping their human companions in any way they are asked. It is simply their nature. While many human soldiers bravely elect to serve their countries, equids have been called to duty over the centuries, without choice or complaint.

Recall some of the following facts:

  • More than 8 million horses served in World War I and only a fraction survived;
  • The British Army alone recruited 1 million horses—more than 90% died;
  • In addition to direct attacks, causes of death in war horses were due to disease, starvation, thirst, and exposure to the elements;
  • In World War II, Germany reportedly used 2.75 million horses, while the Soviets used 3.5 million; and
  • After surviving a war, horses were rarely returned to their homes. Instead, they were repurposed and sent to other war zones.

Every Nov. 11, people throughout the world remember, thank, and celebrate veterans in different ways. And, for the past several years, has recognized the role of horses in warfare, each year with a different goal—unwanted horses, maintenance of equine war monuments, a moment of silence for horses, for example.

This year, we seek to raise awareness regarding the continued war efforts that horses make through equine therapy. Our human heroes return from war expected to rejoin society despite bearing physical scars and emotional wounds. Yet again, our equine companions give selflessly to help our veterans heal as highlighted in the award-winning documentary Riding My Way Back.

There are a number of organizations offering healing services to veterans, such as the Injured Marie Semper Fi Fund’s Jinx McCain Horsemanship Program  and Saratoga Warhorse that “provides each individual with a unique experience that helps to release stress.”

Many more veterans could and would benefit from equine therapy. This Veterans Day, during the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, consider making a donation to an equine therapy organization to show support not only for the veterans horses help today but also the scores of service animals lost to the trenches over time.

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Sexism Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Life as a Female Vet

Author Adele Williams ~ Lecturer in Equine Medicine at University of Surrey


“I specifically requested one of the male vets, but it is just a vaccination so I do hope you’ll be able to do that …”

Vet at WorkPicture this. Your prize horse needs a vaccination. Who should turn up to deliver this but a veterinary graduate of ten years, specialist in equine internal medicine and teacher to veterinary undergraduates. Today is your lucky day! Or not.

“I specifically requested one of the male vets, but it is just a vaccination so I do hope you’ll be able to do that …”

Emma Watson’s recent UN speech got me thinking about when I’ve experienced sexism during my professional life. I am a lecturer in equine medicine at the University of Surrey. In the UK about 85% of vet graduates are female and Emma’s speech hit on a truth that is perfectly illustrated in my experiences as a female veterinarian.

Shouldn’t happen to a vet

The above example is one of many. I turned up at a yard one morning to vaccinate horses. A middle-aged woman greeted me with the above statement, and at the time I smiled politely and quietly got on with my job while secretly thinking: “I’m more qualified and have dealt with a far higher and more complicated caseload than any of the male vets at the practice. I am more than capable of giving injections and filling in vaccination forms.”

But it also made me nervous and made me think: “I hope this horse doesn’t react badly to needles and it doesn’t go wrong to validate any of this person’s opinions.”

I worked hard to become a specialist vet. I have a passionate dedication to equine health and welfare. Needless to say I’m capable of vaccinating a horse and much more beside – and that has nothing to do with my gender. And of course, the vaccinations went without a hitch.

Had I been a recent graduate, this person’s comments may have been enough to push my nerves over the edge. The horse may have picked up on that and reacted badly to the needle, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, but for the wrong reasons.

Was I shocked to hear this kind of seemingly sexist attitude? Only slightly. My experiences of negative treatment due to my gender have most often been from clients rather than the profession itself. Interestingly, those attitudes have largely been directed from female clients.

Underpaid, under-represented

Women have struggled to enter certain areas of the profession, such as orthopaedic surgery, farm animal practice and high-power positions in higher education. And there are some veterinary practices that have a very high ratio of male to female vets – and where all the partners in the practice are male.

This is becoming more noticeable as times have changed; where once 99% of new graduates were male, today, the vast majority are now female. While there are many possible factors that may contribute to the under-representation of women in some areas of veterinary work, sexism is one factor that warrants consideration. Further research is urgently required to understand why woman are under-represented in certain areas.

For young students the attitude is part of the learning experience – I’ve had male vet students with me in practice when clients, invariably female, have presumed that the student is my senior colleague or that I am the student. I’ve addressed this problem by introducing myself as the vet and the student as the student; yet still have had the client ask the male student’s opinion over my own.

I recently read an article written by an Australian male student on sexism he has noticed towards his female colleagues. His words put eloquently into reality the position the industry faces:

I still come across, and will continue to come across, sexism in the vet profession. As a male I am more employable, can earn more money (mean salary in the US is US$112,000 compared to $88,000 for females – much lower for both in Australia) and am more likely to enter into a practice partnership or ownership. All of this is despite the fact that there are plenty of females in my course who will make better veterinarians than I could ever hope to be. It’s because I’m a male – and it’s because of inequality.

Universities and private practices should closely examine their employment policies so that new graduates are given support and equal opportunities. We as a profession need to engage with the public and ensure they understand that female vets are just as suitably well-qualified and skilled as male ones.

The key aim for all veterinary schools is that their graduates, regardless of gender, are confident, compassionate and excellent veterinary surgeons. Indeed, the issue has been raised with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the governing body of the veterinary profession, and the effect of sexism and gender inequality will be on the agenda for forthcoming projects around the well-being of the profession and its longer-term direction.

This article originally appeared in (The Conversation)

British Woman Succumbs to Cancer after Final Farewell with Favorite Equine Friend

Source: Multiple

  • Sheila Marsh said an emotional goodbye to her beloved horse Bronwen 
  • Dedicated staff at Wigan Royal Infirmary arranged the visit
  • The 77-year-old grandmother lost her battle with cancer just hours later
  • Pictures from family album show the pair together in their prime at shows
  • Mrs Marsh, whose condition deteriorated, owned Bronwen for 25 years 
  • Family say the pensioner took ‘comfort in the beautiful moment’ 

Staff at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan granted Sheila Marsh’s last wish, by arranging a visit from two of her horses on Monday afternoon.

The hospital said the 77-year-old, unable to speak properly due to illness, “gently called” her favourite horse, who then nuzzled her cheek.

Mrs Marsh, who used to work at Haydock Park Racecourse, died early on Tuesday.

The grandmother from Wigan had six horses, three dogs, three cats and other animals.

But after a farewell visit from one of her dogs last weekend, she told hospital staff of her wish to see her favourite horse Bronwen, who she had looked after for the previous 25 years.

They arranged for Bronwen and another horse to come to the hospital car park, where nurses wheeled Mrs Marsh in her bed.

Infirmary nurse Gail Taylor said: “The horse, Bronwen, walked steadily towards Sheila.

“Sheila gently called to Bronwen and the horse bent down tenderly and kissed her on the cheek as they said their last goodbyes.”

Mrs Marsh’s daughter Tina said: “It was very important for my mum. She was one of the most hard-working people that you could meet and she would do anything for anyone.”

Pauline Law, deputy director of nursing, said staff felt privileged to have been involved.

“This was obviously extremely important to [Mrs Marsh] and her family and we feel privileged to have been able to provide this support at this crucial stage of her care,” she said.

“It is absolutely right that we should pull out all the stops to ensure that our patients and their families receive personalised, compassionate and dignified care at the end of their life and this is what we will always strive to achieve.”

Best of Friends

Wild Horses & Burros: A Lesson in Equine Perfection

Article by Pete Ramey ~ Forward by R.T. Fitch

“‘Feel Good Sunday’ brings us to a link that was submitted by our dear friend and contributor, Grandma Gregg.  This is an older story, 2005, but it’s message resonates in our hearts and souls perhaps even stronger today than it did when it was written in and in keeping with the ‘feel good’ of the day I will not beleaguer why that is so.  As I travel I did not have the time to make contact with Pete Ramey so as to obtain his permission to publish this story in it’s entirety so it is introduced, here, with links to his site to finish the rest of this very interesting tale.  But when it all comes down to it we are kindred spirits as like Pete, I share the emotion and enlightenment that is captured in the highlighted sentence below.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

“…after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse”

Pete and Ivy Ramey

After all these years, my family and I made our first trip to see the wild horses of the western United States. My work has been dramatically influenced and inspired by the study of these horses and their hooves. The reason I waited so long to go there and see for myself, was I thought that by studying the works of others I had picked up most of the information I needed.

I was first, and most influenced by the work of Jaime Jackson. He paved the way for an overwhelming number of us to learn how to forge healthy bare hooves and dramatically improve the health and performance of domestic horses. With this came the ability to unlock the mysteries of founder, navicular syndrome, white line disease, and hoof wall cracks. I later studied the wild horse research of Gene Ovnicek and Dr. Robert Bowker. I picked up more information from their work, and valuable confirmation of what I had already learned from Jaime.

So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try. I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away. I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world. I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark. I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world. Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse. I literally had no idea of their potential…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety

PA Horse Dealer Guilty of Animal Cruelty after New Holland Sale Attempt that left Two Horses Dead

By TOM KNAPP | Staff Writer as published on Lancaster Online

“I am grateful for the outcome and feel some justice has been found for the two horses that had to be put to sleep.”

This chestnut-colored horse, now named Anastasia's Ally, is one of three found in late July in a severely emaciated state in New Holland and is the only one of the three to survive. The 17-year-old mare is recuperating at a horse rescue farm in Woodbine, Maryland.

This chestnut-colored horse, now named Anastasia’s Ally, is one of three found in late July in a severely emaciated state in New Holland and is the only one of the three to survive. The 17-year-old mare is recuperating at a horse rescue farm in Woodbine, Maryland.

A Mifflin County man was found guilty of nine counts of animal cruelty leading to the death of two horses and leaving a third in sickly condition.

Charles Fisher of 900 Lockport Road, Lewistown, was charged in connection with an incident July 27 outside a New Holland auction house.

His wife, Lori Fisher, and Patty Sherwood of 100 Tigger Lane, McClure, also were charged. Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson, who prosecuted the case, said charges were withdrawn against Sherwood, and Lori Fisher was found not guilty on all nine counts.

Wilson said Charles Fisher was will pay a $900 fine, court costs and restitution in the amount $1,390, payable to the Lancaster County SPCA.

He was tried Wednesday morning before District Judge Jene Wilwerth. He has the option to appeal.

Besides a count of animal cruelty attached to each of the horses, Fisher was charged with additional charges for depriving the horses of necessary food and veterinary care, and for arranging the sale of animals in poor condition.

According to a report Sept. 8, Fisher was involved with transporting or arranging transport to New Holland of three Arabian-type horses — a roan-colored, a dark bay-colored and a chestnut-colored mare — in “an inhumane manner.”

Because of the “severely dilapidated condition” of the horses, they were unable to sustain their own weight during transport, according to citations filed before DJ Rodney Hartman. All three horses were described in the documents as emaciated and lethargic.

The roan horse sustained nerve damage to its leg when it fell, and the bay suffered “further stress and deterioration,” the citations said. Both had to be euthanized.

The 17-year-old chestnut mare survived.

Susan Martin, director of the Lancaster County SPCA, said the animal shelter got involved after receiving a tip about the transaction.

The horses were being sold on a Sunday evening in the parking lot at New Holland Sales Stables, 101 W. Fulton St., she said. The auction house was closed at the time and “had nothing to do with this,” Martin said.

The SPCA took custody of the horses, she said, and Brandywine Valley Veterinary Hospital in Coatesville provided critical-care treatment for three weeks for the surviving mare. The other two horses were euthanized the next day.

The surviving horse was taken Aug. 13 to Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland. Martin said the mare, named Anastasia’s Ally, is now in “very good” condition — the horse has gained 128 pounds since August.

“Although I wished the fines would have been steeper,” Martin said, “I am grateful for the outcome and feel some justice has been found for the two horses that had to be put to sleep.”

Martin said this was by far the worst case of horse abuse that she’s seen, and is the only case in which horses had to be euthanized.