Tainted Feed Condemns Fla. Horses to Death

Source: Multiple

“Please keep these horses and their humans in your prayers this holiday season; they all could use the largest dose of love that you can possibly dole out.” ~ R.T.

“It is hopeless and there are no words.”

Ava Exelbirt brushes one of the remaining horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla. ~ (Photo: J Pat Carter)

Ava Exelbirt brushes one of the remaining horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla. ~ (Photo: J Pat Carter)

Eighteen poisoned horses are being treated to spa days in their Florida stables, with their young riders brushing their manes and tails, painting their hooves, feeding them hay and petting their noses.

There’s nothing else anyone can do for the doomed horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie.

A batch of feed tainted by additives safe for other livestock but toxic to horses arrived at the center in September, and all 22 horses there ate the feed for a month before anyone realized something was wrong.

Three horses died in October, and a fourth was euthanized Monday. The rest will die, some possibly as soon as this week.

“There’s very little to do other than keep them hydrated, giving them lots of hay, giving them lots of comfort, brushing them, giving them attention and love and baths — it makes the horses happy to be attended to,” said Debra Buis of Weston, whose two horses Don Tavia and Ultimatum are among the afflicted. Buis’ two teenage daughters, one of whom wears her horse’s nickname “Tavi” on a necklace, have aspirations to be elite equestrians.

“It’s really quite hopeless, to be honest with you,” Buis said Tuesday. “It is hopeless and there are no words.”

The first horse died Oct. 15, dragging its back feet and collapsing as it tried to stand. Everyone thought it was colic, a relatively common disorder of a horse’s digestive system, Buis said.

Then a second horse suffered similar symptoms and died two days later, and a third horse quickly followed. Necropsies and testing of the horses’ feed confirmed monensin poisoning.

Monensin is an antibiotic added to feed for cattle and some poultry to help with growth, but it’s toxic to horses’ muscles, particularly their hearts, said Serena Craft of the University of Florida Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

Since October, the horses’ owners have sought to keep their animals comfortable and prepare for the inevitable. All riding lessons have been replaced by vigils kept over weakening horses.

Some parents of young riders tried to shield their children from the tragedy slowly unfolding, telling them that the horses were getting ready to retire, Buis said. But the death Monday of Foxy, a pony used for riding lessons for many children, was a reminder that more losses are coming.

The Lakeland-based company that sold the feed to Masterpiece has recalled the product, stopped producing equine feeds and acknowledged that feed delivered to the center contained monensin and lasalocid, another anti-bacterial additive toxic to horses.

Lakeland Animal Nutrition believes the contamination was limited to the feed at Masterpiece, and no other horses elsewhere have been reported ill, general manager Jonathan Lang said in an email.

“Care of the animal and our customers’ trust are paramount to us, and we are committed to working with the Masterpiece Equestrian family to bring restoration in the midst of their tragic losses,” Lang wrote.

Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is investigating.

Federal officials, horse advocates disagree over wild status for Heber herd

Source: Multiple

“That’s an animal that’s part of Arizona history,”

Heber Horses ~ photo by Tom Tingle

Heber Horses ~ photo by Tom Tingle

HEBER, Arizona — Residents in the eastern Arizona town of Heber are in disagreement with federal officials over whether free-roaming horses that have become part of the local landscape deserve to remain free.

The U.S Forest Service believes most of the horses trotting around on the public land are actually lost or abandoned. But supporters, including an Arizona congressman, say the horses were born in the wild and should be allowed to stay there as federally protected symbols of the West.

Federal officials said in an email statement earlier this month that the agency is developing a management plan that would not be completed until 2016, the Arizona Republic reported (http://bit.ly/1sjTFRI ).

Horse advocates and residents in the surrounding Navajo County communities on the Mogollon Rim say they still fear a roundup could happen at any time.

The “Heber horses” are considered part of the Heber Wild Horse Territory, which consists of 20,000 acres in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The territory came about after the passing in 1971 of the federal Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act. The measure was designed to protect animals from sale and slaughter by hunters and ranchers. According to Forest Service officials, it’s unlikely that the original herd still exists. The protection would only be for those original wild horses and their descendants — not strays, officials said.

Horses that are not legally “wild” could be “subject to impoundment,” the Forest Service said in a statement. In 2005, the agency tried to round up 120 horses but activists initiated action in court. A 2007 settlement called for a management plan with public input for the Heber territory.

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva has been an advocate for preserving the horses. He said they should be considered a public asset and he plans to monitor management plans.

It’s unclear the affect so many horses have on the land. But many residents think there is no harm in loosening the reins when there appears to be more than enough open space.

“It’s like taking a drop of water out of a 5-gallon bucket,” said Robert Hutchison, who has lived in nearby Overgaard for nearly 25 years.

Donna Doss, who lives in Overgaard and runs an outdoors shop, said she remembers seeing horses in Heber and the surrounding area when she went on hunting trips as a kid.

“That’s an animal that’s part of Arizona history,” said Doss, 70. “I go out once a week to see them and the beauty of the freedom of them.”

The Advocate, the Guard and the Force of the Horse® at Christmas

story by R.T. Fitch ~ author, president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“It is ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and several of our long term readers have brought to my attention that it is time to dust off some of our formerly published equine Christmas stories and start stirring the hearts over this holiday season; so for the remaining Sundays prior to Christmas, Christmas Eve and the 25th of December SFTHH will be dedicated to sharing tales (tails) from Christmas’ past.  This story comes to you from our book and the blog’s namesake, Straight from the Horse’s Heart, and is one of my better works, in my humble opinion.  So please enjoy and allow these vignettes to sincerely help you ‘Keep the Faith’.  A gift from us to you.  Best to all!” ~ R.T.


A Christmas Story for the Wild Ones

Reprint from December 11, 2010:

He checked the time again.  Not an easy maneuver as he had to take his right glove off, shove the left cuff of his parka up, peel back the wrist band of his left glove and then hit the back-light button on his Casio $19.99 special.  Only bought the stupid thing because of the digital thermometer feature it offered and now he wished it didn’t have it as it chilled his insides just looking at the numbers, 33 degrees inside the protection of his parka.

The shivering cold almost kept him from observing the time, 2148 hrs; he thought that was what it said eons ago.  If it weren’t for the seconds blinking and counting down he would have sworn that the watch had frozen and no longer worked.  He tapped the crystal just for good measure and recoiled a bit as the tip of his index finger reverberated with pain from the simple move.  Almost frost bitten he readjusted his left sleeve and hurriedly put his right glove back on.

‘Rotten cold’ he thought; brought back memories of sleeping in ditches in Afghanistan in the dead of winter, thoughts he could have lived without.

He stomped the ground, gave himself a big bear hug and began walking towards the compound’s gate.

‘Maybe walking will generate some heat, besides, I wonder what that stranger is up to on top of the ridge.  Better check the gate to make sure everything is secure.’

His feet crunched on the thin layer of snow that blanked the darkened world.  One solitary utility light blazed above the cramped trailer office but with the snow it was bright enough to see down the drive to the compound’s gate some 75 yards away.  The drive was bordered on both sides by holding pens with extra tall fencing.  They were deathly quiet, tonight but that would change in a few days when the “gather” started.

He picked up his pace towards the gate as he was anxious to put the glare of the light behind him so that he could see better in the dark.  Earlier in the evening he had seen headlights crest the hill to the north and head towards the compound.  The two lights slowed just a few hundred yards from the gate and then blinked out.  He could tell that the vehicle was a diesel as he could hear the rumble of the beast idling but now all was silent.  He hadn’t seen it depart and knowing that someone or something was lurking in the dark, watching, unnerved him.

He shivered as he walked, not so much from the cold but from the deadly memories that overtook him.  In his mind images of darkness, glinting movement and the flash of a mortar rocket launch exploded in his head.  He shook himself, again, in a successful effort to bring himself back to the reality of the moment and found himself sweating in the cold.  He just could not shake Afghanistan from his life, not that he wasn’t trying.  He was now home with his wife, she wanted to start a family, his father wanted him to take over the family business and the VA had helped him find this job with the Bureau of Land Management but the gun on his hip and acting as a guard still conjured up demons that were best left in the dark.

He reached the gate and came to a stop.  All was quiet, he hadn’t realized how noisy the snow had been as it crunched under his boots but now while standing still he could hear absolutely nothing, except his own heart beating, nothing else.

Then he heard a sound, a click or a crack like someone stepping on a stick.  Instinctively, he dropped to a squat, pulled out his side arm and aimed in the direction of the sound.  It all happened so fast, so smooth, so finely orchestrated that he actually startled himself in his reaction more than from hearing the sound.

“Whoa now”, came a deep voice from across the gate, “I don’t think you will be needing any firearms, tonight”.

He slowly stood and lowered his hand gun but continued to stare into the darkness from where the voice had emerged.

“Who are you and what are you doing?” he demanded.

“My name is of no importance and I am simply observing, thinking, pondering and maybe even praying.” The voice replied.

This is Federal property and you have no business being here, particularly at this time of night.”

There came a small chuckle from the darkness, “I beg to differ. This Federal land is public land and I am the public.  Secondly, I am not crossing any fence line nor am I within your compound so as I see it, I am out of your jurisdiction.”

“Fair enough,” the guard replied as he deftly holstered his fire arm on his right and reached for a holster on his left.

“I said no fire arms”, charged the voice with and obvious elevation in intensity.

“No gun, just a light” and with a smart click a beam of searing light tore across the cold Nevada night and lit up the snow covered desert.

His aim was good and true and if it had been a gun, instead of a torch, the stranger would have been shot dead through the heart as he was centered directly in the focused light beam.

The stranger quickly put one gloved hand up to shield his eyes.

“Alright already, kill the theater lights you are ruining my night vision”, the stranger exclaimed, “A little bit of a warning would have been nice.”

The guard’s trained eyes quickly accessed the stranger; relatively trim, tall, worn boots, jeans, parka, rancher gloves, scarf, black Tom Mix style hat with a colorful Indian beaded headband, glasses glinted from under the brim, white beard, a shock of white hair visible from behind the neck and a large thermos mug in the right hand.  His brain registered; ‘Minimal threat’.

He lowered the light so that it illuminated the snowy ground half way between them and in the diffused light from below they were both cast into a curious world of unnatural shadows.

The stranger had been leaning against the outside of the large hinge post for the galvanized gate.  He had straightened up when the light nearly blinded him so now he walked forward and stood directly opposite the guard at the center of the gate.

“What’s you name?” the guard asked with an edge in his tone.

The stranger took a sip from his covered mug, sighed and in so doing let out of cloud of steam.  He paused for a moment as if carefully considering his answer before he replied.

“My name is not important, but it is important for you know that I am an advocate, an advocate for the Wild Horses.  I am hear to witness the atrocity that is about to befall this herd that deserves to be left alone.”

“So in a nutshell you are a nut case.”  the guard scoffed.  He was warned about these types, in fact that was why he was here, on Christmas Eve, to ensure that these horse hugging, weirdo liberals did not do any property damage to the horse holding compound.  He had been told by BLM management that they had creditable evidence that the gather was going to be disrupted by civil disobedience which could include property damage, protests, 4-wheelers, you name it.  These crazies were Eco-terrorists and as a decorated veteran, he was the perfect man to protect his country’s property.  Not that he bought all the hype but he sure could use the time and a half for Christmas Eve and the double time that he would receive once the clock clicked over to midnight.  He was trying to start a new life with a wife that he had not seen in two years and the added money would help to make her smile.  But on the other side of the coin, he had not been with her on Christmas since they were married  a little over two short years ago, before his deployment.  That thought stung his heart and he struggled to bring himself back to the moment.  He fought the urge to look at his watch again.

“If that’s what you want to call me, nutcase will work as I have been called worse.” the stranger countered, “In reality the horses call me Grey Mane so if you need a name you can call me G.M. for short.”

“Sure, so G.M. what’s your business here, in the middle of the night?”

“Just watching and listening”, the advocate mused.  “You know, one of the bands of wild horses is just over that ridge to the west, only about half a mile from where you are standing.  It’s a bright and thriving group.  Ten family members in all including the stallion, mares and foals.  I was sitting up there observing their serenity in the moonlight, thinking about how they only have a few hours left to live, to live free as a family, to live on the land that the U.S. Congress gave them before your agency will meanly drive them into a trap and rip their family apart and shatter their freedom forever.  That’s what I was doing.”

“What are you talking about?” asked the guard.  He was beginning to fidget a bit as the strangers word seemed to drill down to his soul and he did not know why but it made him very uncomfortable.  The confidence and sincerity in which the stranger spoke was extremely unnerving.

“Do you mean you do not know?”

“I don’t have a clue about what you are saying, besides you still have not answered my question.”

“How long have you worked for the BLM?”

“That’s not important nor is it any of your business, just tell me why you are here.”

“No problem there, I am here to witness for the horses.  I will log, photograph, document and note everything that occurs.  I will be a presence of compassion and resistance for all that is happening.  Perhaps I will stand alone as I do now or maybe I will be joined by others.  It doesn’t matter as long as someone is here.  So if you really don’t know what’s afoot, here, I gauge your employment to be under 90 days.”

That last observation caught the guard unprepared, so much so that he almost dropped the light as the stranger was spot on.  He hadn’t been back from the war more than 90 days and had only collected three pay checks from his new job.  He would hit 60 days after the first of the year, next week.

With a bit of a quiver in his voice the guard continued:

“That’s all nonsense, what the BLM is doing is good management.  If they did not capture all of these horses they would starve to death and die.  This is an act of humanity and a proper response from our government.  You can’t just leave all these horses out here to fend for themselves, they need proper care.”

There was an extended pause from the stranger, he lowered his head, put his right hand to his chin then looked straight ahead at the guard;

“I ask for the right to revise my earlier estimate, 60 days or less, that’s the amount of time that you have been exposed to the BLM, right?.”

“What the hell are you talking about, man?” snapped the guard.  Clear desperation could be heard in his voice and seen in his stance.

“No worries; let me ask you a question.  What are you doing for the next couple of hours?”  the stranger asked and through the low lighting a smile could be detected between the white beard and mustache.

“Guarding this place from the likes of you, I reckon.”  The guard answered but even though he was flustered the tone of the stranger had a calming and settling effect upon his jangled nerves. ‘How did he know’, he mused.

“How about a hot, maybe warm, cup of coffee?” the advocate asked.

“Not out of the same mug I hope.”

The stranger smiled, again, “No I have a full thermos.  Now I am going to reach into may parka very slowly for the thermos so don’t draw your gun.”, there was a bit of a giggle in his voice.

The advocate pulled out from under his coat a personal sized, stainless steel thermos and handed it across the gate to the guard.

“You don’t have any poison mixed in there do you?”

“Depends upon what your definition of poison is.  If you consider Bailey’s Irish Cream to be poison then consider that laced coffee to be extremely dangerous.  Otherwise, it might just warm up your innards.”

They both laughed a little and it became obvious that the chill between them was beginning to melt by a degree or two.

The guard poured a copious amount of hot coffee into the top of the thermos and went to hand it back to the advocate who quickly waved him off.

“No, that’s for you, my coffee mug’s meter is still pegged at full. Now, back to our discussion about horses, let me give you a little bit of background.  A little conversation will warm up my facial muscles while that coffee warms you up from inside out.”

The advocate stepped forward, leaned on the gate and began to speak in low and gentle tones.  He took the guard back to Mustang Annie and the unanimous passage of the ROAM act which guaranteed the wild horses a place to live.  He told of the gradual erosion of the law perpetuated by the guard’s employer.  He talked of the grazing leases, of private cattle out numbering wild horses 400 to 1.  He pulled out his iPhone and showed pictures of fat, plump and happy wild horses.  He showed movies of the horror and brutality of helicopter driven gathers, the PZP, the injunctions and the failure of the BLM to follow the law and listen to the people.  He told him of the lies, of Don Glenn speaking to the world of how transparent and open the BLM would be while horses were found shot to death as a secret gather was taking place.  He explained that the BLM’s Director, Bob Abbey, was planning to speak at a horse slaughter summit.  The guard learned that the thousands of horses that would be pulled from his area would be the end of the herd, the end of hundreds of years of free life, the destruction of one of the most unique wild communities in the United States.

And the guard learned that the advocate was not very different from the likes of himself.  His late night mentor was a veteran of earlier conflicts, he had a life, a job, a family and aspirations just as the guard did.  But the advocate also had convictions and the drive to stand up for what he felt to be right and for that the guard respected him as he knew the value of conviction and duty.  He understood it well.

The spell of the advocate’s stories was broken by the electronic buzzing from the guard’s watch.

“What’s that?” the advocate asked.

“My alarm, I set it to notify me when I went into double time.”

“So it’s midnight?”

“Yup, midnight it is.”

“Then I would like to wish you a heartfelt Merry Christmas, my friend.”  said the advocate as he extended a gloved hand over the gate.

The guard quickly clasp his hand in his and used his left hand to grab the advocates wrist, they heartily pumped each other’s arm up and down.

Reluctantly they released the other’s hand and stared across the gate in a clumsy silence when a sound to the west caught both of their attention.  They spun around to look up at the ridge.

While they had talked the full moon had begun to rise and was now just cresting the top of the ridge and as they looked for the sound that had interrupted their respite the lone silhouette of a wild horse arose over the ridge and stood clearly against the light of the moon.

They both stared as the magnificent figure gazed down upon them as the wind danced through it’s mane and tail.  While they were held transfixed; small, miniature ice crystals began to fall and lent a twinkling surreal atmosphere to the scene.  The tiny flakes came not from the clouds but from mountain tops far away, carried by the wind to fall upon their vision.

Far to the right of moon and over the horse a star pulsated and twinkled like a beacon and without any forewarning the shadow horse disappeared leaving only the sound of falling stones and a brief whirlwind of snow.  It was gone.

Neither of the men knew how long they had stood there until the guard broke the silence without mentioning what had just happened.

“You going back to town, tonight?”

It took the advocate a moment to answer as he turned to the guard  who was still looking up the ridge at the moon.

“Yes, I want to catch a few winks at the motel and be back here by first light.  Want to ensure that no chopper takes of early.  I know the date is a few days away but time, date, month, year; it all means nothing to your employer.”

“Not my employer, not anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“Gun, badge and ID card are being left on the desk in the trailer.  If you will give me a ride I will pick up my backpack and hitch a lift with you back to town.  Don’t live too far from the motel.”

“Well certainly, but what about your job?”

“That’s just it; it’s a job and not my life.  As an American I cannot work for nor represent something that is so foul and corrupt.  I am a veteran and this agency shames me.”

“But what will your wife and family say?”

“Hopefully; Merry Christmas.  I will finally give my father the answer he has been waiting for, taking over the family feed store that he has wanted me to do for years.  And my wife, I will have Christmas dinner with her tomorrow, something I have not done since we were married in a rush prior to my deployment to Afghanistan.  That will be two Christmas presents in one.”

“I should think so”, smiled the advocate.

“But there is one more to give, to give to the horses.”  added the guard.  “I would like to come out here with you in the morning to help you watch and to listen to what you have to say.  I would like to witness for the horses if you would have me.”

The advocate slowly leaned over, set his now empty mug in the snow and reached across the gate, “It would be an honor, my friend, and absolute honor”, and the two men embraced each other across the cold, galvanized gate yet they only felt a burning warmth from within.

“I’ll go drop off my vitals and get my bag, it will only take a second.” said the guard as he spun around and started to walk away.

“Hey”, called the advocate, “Aren’t you the least bit worried about leaving this place unguarded.” there was a touch of laughter in his voice.

“Not if the terrorists are a bunch of Bailey’s drinking thugs like you.” laughed the guard as his shadow grew longer with each step towards the trailer.  “Just hold on.”

The advocate smiled to himself and stomped his feet to get the blood flowing back through his near frozen toes.

He stood there for a moment and allowed his spirit to bask in the warm afterglow of recent events.

He turned, again, to look up the ridge where the horse had stood only moments before.  In that short lapse of time the moon had moved higher in the sky dragging the shining star with it but there was no hint of the horse.

He looked at the star, listened to the wind and noted that the star was brighter and more active in it’s pulsing than it was earlier.  As he gazed upwards it came to him that another birth was being celebrated this clear, cold Christmas morning.  The impact of that realization pushed a warm tear from his eye, down his ruddy cheek and into his beard.

His internal realization manifested itself onto his lips in the form of a big smile and he whispered as much to the Spirit as he did to himself.

“Thank you for the goodness that was born this day and for a new birth, a new beginning for another kind and gentle spirit.  Thank you for an additional voice for the horses, another guardian of their spirit.  Thank you for the new advocate.”

The wind answered with a swirl of snow, a twinkle of a star and the call of a wild horse many miles away.

He smiled in return.

With No Mention of Welfare Cattle; Wyoming Sues BLM Using Fabricated Wild Horse Data

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ Co-Founder/President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wyoming’s Governor Matt Mead just went from dumber to dumbest.

Boy oh boy, Wyoming’s Governor Mead sure has been a busy little horse-hater as of late. Golly, just last week he crawled into bed with Wyoming’s Welfare Ranchers and bad mouthed the horses; over the weekend he strong armed the Western Governors Association and wrangled an anti-horse resolution out of them and first thing Monday he filed a suit against the BLM using trumped up numbers and statistics’ stating that they are failing to manage the wild horses on public land in the state while he totally omits the fact that private cattle outnumber the horses hundreds to one and the BLM JUST ripped virtually the largest herds off from their rightful range this very year. Wow, when it comes to the manipulation of facts the Gov is a great big wiener, er…I mean winner.

“The lawsuit asks the court to force the BLM to manage wild horses in Wyoming as required by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” Governor Mead said. “It is my belief, and the belief of other western governors, that the BLM does not have the resources to manage wild horses effectively. By filing suit it sends a message that wild horse management is a priority and the BLM must be provided the funding necessary to manage them.”

“Excess wild horses in Wyoming can harm the habitats used by other wildlife species, including sage-grouse, antelope, deer and elk,” Governor Mead said. “Overgrazing caused by overpopulation threatens all animals including horses.”

Mead: "I can clearly see 58% from here!!!" Cranial Rectal Entanglement Syndrome

Mead: “I can clearly see 58% from here!!!”
Cranial Rectal Entanglement Syndrome

The state government of Wyoming further discredited itself by releasing statistics and information that crosses the line into Science Fiction and Fantasy in an effort to confuse and prejudice the public on the issue of wild horses.

“The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act requires the BLM to manage wild horses below previously set appropriate levels and to remove excess horses when populations exceed those levels. Herds will continue to exponentially grow beyond what the BLM determined is ecologically appropriate for each herd management area (HMA). These herds have population growth rates that range from as low as 25% to as high as 58% each year.”

58% a year, heck, the BLM likes to hang its hat on the fictional 25% every year but 58% is insane, where did they pull that one from. (We all know but this is a ‘G’ rated blog and we can’t go there)

Wyoming is actually taking a cue from the BLM on how to lie to the public, about the horses,and it is for the same reasons as highlighted in Vickery Eckhoff’s expose’ published on AlterNet entitled “Ranchers Want Our Public Lands for their Livestock, and Want the Govt. to Stick It to Wild Horses and Taxpayers“. The article references a similar cattle situation in neighboring Utah and the graph below is not anything either Utah or Wyoming would want the public to see.

Likewise, Craig Downer shares some other honest, scientific data that places the value of horses and burros on the range far over any cows or sheep:

  • They have great mobility and they disperse their grazing pressure over very large areas and do not tend to camp around riparian habitats. (like cattle do)

  • Likewise, their different dentition with upper incisors, which allows them to more carefully prune the vegetation as opposed to the lack of uipper incisors in bovids (cattle and sheep) and cervids (members of the deer family) which have only lower incisors and hard upper gums that often results in their ripping vegetation up by their roots.

  • Additionally it should be considered that the equids (wild horses and burros) have a different digestive system, called pre-gastric or caecal, as opposed to the multi-stomach, pre-gastric, ruminant digestive system of the bovids and cervids. This is a major consideration since the horses’s digestive system has may benefitical, balancing effects in an ecosystem which can be major, including a greater building of soils, addition of humus, bolstering of the food chain from tiny soil microorganisms to beetles to birds, reptiiles, rodents, and on up to the higher trophic levels. The equids also pass a greater variety and abundance of seeds intact and capable of germination.

  • They “contribute to the diversity of life forms” in our nation, as the Wild Horse and Burro act states in its preamble.

And last, but by no means least, over half of the few herds left are no longer viable thanks to the BLM’s propensity to manage the horses and burros into extinction and this is still, I repeat STILL not good enough for the Welfare Ranchers and Special Interests who vote for and fund the campaign of good ole boy Gov Mead.

Hands awash with blood money the few lie to the many and wild equines, the canaries in the mine, pay the price through their loss of life, freedom and family.

May God have mercy upon their wretched souls.

Click (HERE) to Download Mead’s Anti-Horse Resolution

Wild Horse Letter to Santa

Submitted by Grandma Gregg

“Hi R.T.-

EU Close to Banning Horse Meat from Mexico

published by our good friends at HorseTalk

“There are relatively few establishments approved for export of horse meat to the European Union”

Texas to Mexico Slaughter Pipeline ~ photo by Julie Caramante

The European Union (EU) is close to imposing a ban on the import of horse meat from Mexico.

The director of the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Union Commission, Michael Scannell, revealed that a ban was close when he addressed the recent European Parliament’s Intergroup meeting in Brussels.

He also voiced concerns around some of the serious welfare issues identified around the long-haul transport of horses from the United States to Mexico, saying some animals arrived dead or unable to stand.

He also revealed that stricter conditions would make it harder for Canada to export meat to Europe that was derived from horses imported from the US…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and listen to audio from the meeting

Holding onto Horses, Mounted Police Officer Ended Shooting Spree

by Nicole Chavez ~ American-Statesman Staff

“For a guy to keep his composure and holding two horses with one hand and taking a one-hand shot with the other hand, it says a lot about the training and professionalism of our police department…”

Austin Police Mounted Patrol

At least three shooting attacks on downtown Austin buildings ended early Friday morning after a mounted patrol officer confronted the suspected shooter, police said.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m., Sgt. Adam Johnson, a 15-year veteran with the Austin Police Department, was corralling two horses after his night shift when he saw a man firing multiple rounds at the police headquarters building and managed to return fire, police said.

“For a guy to keep his composure and holding two horses with one hand and taking a one-hand shot with the other hand, it says a lot about the training and professionalism of our police department,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

The suspected gunman was later pronounced dead but police said investigators and the medical examiner’s office are still working to determine whether a shot fired by Johnson or by the gunman himself caused his death.

Johnson had been placed on administrative leave, which is standard police protocol during officer-involved shootings.

Johnson has been leading the 12-member mounted patrol unit, which focuses primarily on keeping Sixth Street and the Warehouse district safe at night.

The mounted patrol unit was one of several police units that responded during the Halloween floods in 2013. Johnson and the other unit members helped find lost horses along Onion Creek.