Rustling Critters NOT a new Wrinkle for the BLM

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The entire situation was a perfect storm for “STUPID”

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I have tried to stay away from commenting, opinionating or postulating on the BLM vs Bundy fiasco in Nevada last week because, initially, I felt the BLM was doing the right thing and such a concept totally rocked my perception of reality. I have never ever been on the same side of the fence with this out of control rogue agency …the sky must be falling and look, pigs are flying.

Here we have a mealy mouthed, welfare rancher who carries vagrancy to a new level by not only grazing his private cattle on public land, your acreage, but he has refused to pay the teeny-weeny, token grazing fees for the past twenty, yes count them 20, years; bum, thief, slacker.

(We like real land tax paying ranchers, some are my neighbors and good friends, but it’s the vermin that suckle off the public land’s teat that pisses us off)

But true to form (they just can’t help themselves) the BLM shows their backside immediately by swooping in like a bunch of Nazi storm troopers waving deadly force while stealing the deadbeat’s cows. (Been there done that, not the cow part but the overkill of armed personnel…it wasn’t pretty and not required. <2010 Twin Peaks Wild Horse Roundup: My wife Terry, a female advocate, a female reporter for the NY Times and lil ole me surrounded by dozens of big, bad, armed BLM Rangers. Me and the 3 women were, evidently, pretty threatening. Hell, I didn’t even cuss…back to the Bundy thingy>.)

And if the entire BLM/Bundy circus wasn’t dopey enough, a whole bunch of people with horses and guns showed up to support Bundy the Bum. Now I am all for protesting the overreaching and violent tactics of the bullying BLM but couldn’t these people have picked a little better poster child than a land parasite like Bundy? Where were all these irate citizens when the BLM constantly and consistently STOLE our protected and public owned wild horses and burros from their rightful range? Huh, where were they then?

Anyway, I felt that this story was a tale of total losers with no one winning and once again, animals being used as the pawns who always suffer at the hands of morally bankrupt BLM. The entire situation was a perfect storm for “STUPID”.

But now my attention is a tad more focused as there have been a multitude of stories surface as to “why” the BLM turned to cattle rustling instead of managing the situation via litigation like anyone with a 5th grade education would have done.

As advocates for the proper management of wild horses and burros ON the range we have always been suspect of what moves and motivates the BLM to strip our wild horses from their families and homes. Grazing, water, extraction, the list goes on and on but it appears there may be some legitimate evidence as to what drives the BLM and the political underhanded deals that motivate the BLM to act in such a “un”-American fashion.

So instead of ungracefully ramming my infuriated and disgusted opinion down your weary optic nerves I am, instead, going to allow a LARGE group of others the opportunity to speak via the links listed below.

They all make for good reading but I believe the bigger picture to all of this is that the public is finally beginning to learn what we wild equine advocates have known for a long time and that is that the BLM has long been out of control and a Congressional investigation is long, long overdue.

I live for the day when I can witness several select employees of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program (past and present) handcuffed and lead into court for sentencing. Not only will millions of tax paying Americans be cheering for the good lady with the scales but the lost spirits of hundreds of thousands of tortured equine souls will be at peace as justice will finally be served.

Now wouldn’t that be a pretty picture?

Keep the faith.

http://scgnews.com/bundy-ranch-what-youre-not-being-told

http://www.westernjournalism.com/congressman-pens-letter-obama-blasting-lawless-blm/

http://www.8newsnow.com/story/25274475/bundy-supporters-draw-connection-between-cattle-roundup-and-blm-report-related-to-gold-butte

http://www.westernjournalism.com/graphic-photographic-evidence-slaughtered-cows-bundy-ranch/

http://www.prisonplanet.com/report-blm-feds-slaughtered-cattle-during-bundy-siege.html

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/cliven-bundy-bureau-of-land-management-10-things-to-know-105735.html

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/15/blm-battle-at-bundy-ranch/

http://time.com/63528/the-armed-rebellion-on-a-nevada-cattle-ranch-could-be-just-the-start/

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/apr/11/q-behind-bundy-blm-battle/

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/375799/bundy-vs-blm-visceral-reaction-peter-kirsanow

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/04/16/bundy-supporters-reportedly-harass-conservationists-blm-workers-over-nevada-range-war/

http://www.suindependent.com/news/id_5756/EXCLUSIVE-VIDEO:-Amazing-footage-captures-Bundys-militia-standoff-with-BLM-Police.html

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/04/16/new-videos-bundy-family-alleges-damage-feds-ranch-cattle-buried-mass-grave

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/04/16/feds-accused-leaving-trail-wreckage-after-nevada-ranch-standoff/

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/04/17/bundys-shell-game-why-it-matters-to-the-tortoise-that-blm-finishes-what-it-started/

http://nationalreport.net/issa-launches-federal-investigation-obamas-involvement-clive-bundy-land-grab/

Google “BLM Bundy” for more

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Connecticut House: Horses are NOT “Inherently Vicious”

Connecticut politicians move to legislate the truth about equines

Recent press reports indicate that the members of Connecticut’s House of Representatives want to make it perfectly clear that they don’t believe horses are inherently vicious; a definitive response to a recent Connecticut state court ruling.

By a unanimous vote of 138-0, the House on Thursday passed legislation clarifying Connecticut law by saying domesticated horses are not wild animals and therefore are not inherently dangerous.

Last month, the Connecticut Supreme court upheld an Appellate Court ruling in a case involving a little boy bitten in 2006 by a horse named Scuppy in Milford. The ruling said a horse belongs to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.”

Rep. Debralee Hovey, a horse enthusiast, said the ruling put a billion-dollar industry at risk due to increased insurance premiums and legal liabilities.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

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BLM Criticized for Selling Wild Horses for Slaughter

Sources: Multiple, story by By MEAD GRUVER

“How long does a horse have to live wild and free before it’s considered wild?”

— The Bureau of Land Management rounded up a horse herd that roamed for decades on federal land in northwest Wyoming and handed the horses over to Wyoming officials. They, in turn, sold the herd to the highest bidder, a Canadian slaughterhouse.

Wild horse advocates are incensed, saying they should have had a chance to intercede in the March roundup and auction. But the BLM says the horses were abandoned — not wild — and that it publicized the sale beforehand.

“It would take very little to do this in a more effective way, so that horses are not just sent off to slaughter indiscriminately,” said Paula Todd King of The Cloud Foundation, a Colorado-based advocacy group.

According to the BLM, the Wyoming horses weren’t officially wild and protected by the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act, the federal law for maintaining many of the horse herds, some of which have roamed free in the West since the days of Spanish explorers more than 300 years ago.

The BLM bans wild horses from being sold for slaughter. Anybody who adopts a wild horse from the BLM must agree to provide it a home.

The horses in the Bighorn Basin’s sagebrush hills descended from stray rodeo horses that were owned by Andy Gifford, a rancher and rodeo livestock contractor, in the 1970s, BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith said. Gifford had claimed the horses as his but never rounded them up before he died in 2009. That, plus the fact that the horses never interbred with wild horses, officially classified them as strays.

“Nobody had a permit to have these horses grazing on public lands,” Beckwith said.

King questions that policy. “How long does a horse have to live wild and free before it’s considered wild?” she said.

Area ranchers and farmers had long complained the herd grazed down pastures and damaged cattle rangeland.

On March 18 and 19, a BLM contractor rounded up the 41 horses and handed them over to Wyoming officials. Within hours, the horses were sold for $1,640 to Bouvry Exports, a slaughterhouse based in Calgary, Alberta.

The BLM follows state laws for handling stray livestock, Beckwith said, and had no option but to hand the horses over to the Wyoming Livestock Board, a state agency. The state took three bids for the horses, state Brand Commissioner Lee Romsa said.

Bouvry Exports shipped the horses out of state, Romsa said. Phone messages for Bouvry Exports weren’t immediately returned.

BLM officials had printed notices on the upcoming roundup in local newspapers and posted notices in local post offices.

The roundup wasn’t unprecedented. Last summer, a federal judge allowed an American Indian tribe to sell 149 mustangs over the objection of critics who claimed the unbranded animals were federally protected wild horses. The mustangs were among more than 400 on U.S. Forest Service land along the Nevada-Oregon line that the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe claimed belonged to them.

In the end, King said, more than 160 were sold to people who planned to take them to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, but local residents and rescue groups raised money to buy 150 of the horses to spare them.

The BLM rounds up stray livestock perhaps three or four times a year in the West. Usually they are cattle or sheep. Impoundments of large numbers of stray horses are far less frequent, said Robert Bolton, a senior rangeland management specialist for the BLM.

“That’s a pretty sizeable number and they have been out there a long time,” Bolton said of the Wyoming herd. “Normally, most of our impounds have been in the low numbers.”

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North American Horse Experts to Present at Equine Advocates 2014 American Equine Summit

CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell to be Keynote Speaker

Wild Horse Freedom Federation‘s VP/Director, Debbie Coffey, to speak and present

Joe BidenCHATHAM, N.Y., April 15, 2014 /NEWS.GNOM.ES/ — The 2014 American Equine Summit, which will feature presentations from some of the most prominent equine experts in North America, will be held on Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY.  Vice President Joe Biden, who was responsible for adding language defunding horse slaughter to the 2014 Omnibus Bill and signed by President Obama on January 17th, will address the Summit with a special message on video.

The Summit will focus on how the slaughter of American-bred equines can affect human health and food safety here and abroad and the unavoidable liability concerns with respect to those issues.

Jane Velez-MitchellVeteran television news journalist, best-selling author and animal advocate Jane Velez-Mitchell will deliver the Keynote Address. Susan Wagner, host of the invitation-only Summit and President & Founder of Equine Advocates, will open the program.

Presentations on Saturday will cover how legal and logical arguments will ultimately prevail in ending the slaughter of America’s horses, how the recent horse meat scandal in Europe compromised food safety, the need for federal legislation to ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing and how animal journalism is covered.

Sunday will be devoted to the complexities involved over the U.S. wild horse and burro populations, opening with a clip from “Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde“, the feature documentary of the rancher, author and conservationist. Other speakers will present on how to humanely manage the U.S. wild horse population, investigations and new information into the BLM’s mismanagement of wild horses and burros, responsible horse guardianship, and why the cruel and inhumane Pregnant Mares’ Urine (PMU) Industry is making a comeback.

Said Susan Wagner, “It was thanks to the gathering of experts at the first American Equine Summit in 2012 and the vision of Victoria McCullough, who used much of their research to create a convincing case, which ultimately led to horse slaughter being defunded in the U.S.  Our efforts are now focused on a permanent ban and ensuring that no equine from the U.S. can be shipped across our borders into Canada or Mexico for the purpose of slaughter.  This could soon be achieved, and we’re hoping to have important news announced at the Summit in support of this goal.”

Susan Wagner and Gandalf Co-founders of Equine Advocates

Visit EquineAdvocates.org for the full 2014 American Equine Summit Schedule.

Founded in 1996, Equine Advocates is a nonprofit equine protection organization based in Chatham, NY. Its mission is to rescue, protect and prevent the abuse of equines through education, investigation, rescue operations, the dissemination of information to the public, and the operation of a horse sanctuary for slaughter-bound, abused and neglected equines. For more information on the American Equine Summit contact info@equineadvocates.org or call 518-245-1599.

 

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BLM Wild Horse Slaughter Board to Convene, Today

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Anti-Horse Advisory Board Kicks of Plans to Eliminate Wild Horses and Burros

Banner from America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) with Melissa Ohlsson, Vice President of AWHA as artist

Banner from America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) with Melissa Ohlsson, Vice President of AWHA as artist

Today is the day that we have all been waiting for; the spring installation of the BLM talking heads “advisory” board meeting reading from their scripts, provided by the bullying BLM, and smiling into the camera while they make plans to push our last herds of wild horses and burros into total and complete extinction.  Ain’t it great.

The meeting is being held amidst the swirl of bad press that includes the documented fact that the BLM sold wild horses to slaughter, crawled into bed with Utah politicians and ranchers to illegally remove wild horses from their rightful range and then impotently flex their testosterone in front of an illegal and trespassing Nevada rancher only to wilt and crawl back under their rock just like any half-witted bully would…they just can’t do a damn thing right.

Below is the live video link to the most boring and maddening event you will ever view in your entire life.  Your tax dollars wasted as a rampant and out of control federal agency feigns listening to a bunch of special interest parties who do NOT have any care or concern for the welfare of our last remaining wild horses and burros but instead their own personal agendas be it ranching, hunting or horse slaughter.

I am not there, I will not watch as I am, honestly, just too plain pissed off.

A Congressional investigation into the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program is long overdue.

http://www.blm.gov/live/

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Happy Ending for Foals from BLM Wild Horse Slaughter Roundup

Source: The Lovell Chronicle

“It is ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and to find something good we had to dig into something that was really bad to locate even a tiny glow of sunshine.  It has been a week of the BLM and their rancher buddies breaking federal law on all fronts and our feature for today highlights the goodness of Wild Horse and Burro advocates and the rancid, dark underbelly of a federal agency gone mad.  Hats off to those who saved this little babies from the horrifying fate that the BLM cruelly handed to their family and herd.  Bitter sweet, but it is the best we can do for today.  Thank you TCF and Dr. Lisa, we love ya’all.  Keep the faith my friends.” ~ R.T.

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4 babies were all that survived the herd of wild horses sold to slaughter by the BLM ~ photo courtesy of The Cloud Foundation

Four foals, dubbed by wild horse advocates as the “Dry Creek quartet,” are now out of harm’s way and under the care of experienced veterinarian Dr. Lisa Jacobson in Northern Colorado.

The foals—individually named by horse advocates as Maestro, Allegro, Cornet and Piccolo– were separated from their mothers, during a helicopter roundup by BLM and State officials near Sheep Mountain in early March. The Cloud Foundation, a wild horse advocacy group, spearheaded the rescue after a kindhearted stockyard owner spotted the baby horses among the adult horses that were about to be shipped to slaughter.

Jacobson, an experienced horse vet and advocate against horse slaughter, estimated that some of the foals were very young at the time they were separated from their lactating mothers.

“It was really staggering that they survived,” said Jacobson. “Some couldn’t have been more than days old at the time of the roundup. Even the oldest was no more than a few months old.”

In spite of their ordeal, Jacobson said the foals were in good health when she received them and they are continuing to thrive.

“If they were sick, we’d be seeing it by now, especially after all the stress they went through,” said Jacobson. “We’re not seeing any coughing or snotty noses. They are eating well and really thriving. At times they are even running, bucking and playing.”

Stacy Newby, co-owner of the Worland Livestock Auction, noticed the foals in the mix with the adults that were about to be shipped to slaughter.

Though she had never seen it personally, she said it is common knowledge that foals, not wanted by slaughterhouses, either die during transport or are killed upon arrival.

“I’ve never seen it myself, but I’ve heard that is what happens and my heart just wouldn’t let that happen,” said Newby. “I knew I could save them and I wanted to give them an opportunity to thrive.”

As the colts were being sorted out, Newby said she wanted them.

“I didn’t really ask, it was more like I just said I was taking them,” she said. “My intent was to raise them, tame them, halter break them and then find them homes. We have the setup to do it and so that was my plan.”

Newby convinced those in charge that she wasn’t taking “no” for an answer, and got the brand inspector to process the proper ownership documents, making her the legal owner.

Once the word got out that Newby had rescued the foals, she was inundated with telephone calls from horse advocates from across the country wanting to adopt the foals.

“I was receiving up to 50 calls a day from people wanting to adopt them,” she said.

For the next few weeks she fed them, while her trusty Australian shepherd dog “Lonesome” watched over them. Newby said the dog stood watch as if he knew they needed protection.

“They had good muscle, a little skinny, but healthier than you would expect,” she said. “And once they figured out that I was the milk lady, feeding them became as simple as pie.”

Kim Michaels of Red Lodge, the Cloud Foundation’s Montana representative, contacted Newby, along with other members from the organization.

“I could tell these gals from the Cloud Foundation really wanted these colts,” said Newby. “They seemed very sincere so I let them take them.”

Ownership was then transferred to Michaels and the foals were transported to Colorado, where they will remain for many months until they are deemed adoptable.

“Lisa (Dr. Jacobson) might have them for up to a year,” said Michaels, who is now the legal owner of the foals.

“This isn’t going to be quick,” said Jacobson. “They will need training to be comfortable around people and will need a lot of nourishment and we’re going to be pretty picky about who adopts them.”

In the meantime, Jacobson said the foals are flourishing and already showing curiosity about their human caretakers.

“Piccolo even nickered at me the other day,” said Jacobson. “That’s the first sound I’ve heard out of them. It was as if she was saying ‘Hey you, open the gate, we want to go inside.’”

Ginger Kathrens, founder of the Cloud Foundation, said she was happy the organization was able to assist with the rescue of the foals but at the same time heartbroken that the organization was not given the opportunity to adopt the 40 horses that were sold to slaughter. She said the organization is already seeking legal advice to find out how this type of action can be prevented in the future.

by Patti Carpenter

Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Lovell Chronicle

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Sometimes No News is Good News

So it goes, today, with “Feel Good Sunday.”

R.T. Fitch, Terry and all the CrittersThere has been much that has transpired in the past several days that has left feelings raw and nerves jangled. So much so that we are going to rest, today, take the day off and hit it again on Monday.

We hope that our readers will do the same and enjoy time with family and friends.

The time that we have together is so very, very short.