De Blasio admits he doesn’t have enough backing in City Council or the public to ban NYC’s carriage horses

“The mayor stated unequivocally that he would end horse-drawn carriage rides in Manhattan…”

Mayor de Blasio had vowed to ban the horse carriages in Central Park on “day one” of his mayoralty. - SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters

Mayor de Blasio had vowed to ban the horse carriages in Central Park on “day one” of his mayoralty. – SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters

As a City Hall candidate, he vowed to ban horse carriages on “day one”— but Mayor de Blasio is finally admitting he bit off more than he can chew.

Furious supporters of the ban aren’t ready to be muzzled, though.

De Blasio said Wednesday he still wants to get rid of the “inhumane” industry — but for the first time he acknowledged he doesn’t have the votes in the City Council.

And the mayor said that the carriages — the focus of a long-running Daily News campaign — are popular.

“The fact is, the industry has a lot of support in the City Council, and among the populace,” de Blasio said on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC.

His message to the anti-carriage activists who helped elect him: his hands are tied.

“What I’d say to every advocate is, ‘You already have my vote, go get the votes in the City Council and solidify the support in the City Council so we can make this change,’” he said.

That was not what they wanted to hear.

Animal rights activist Donny Moss, who helped start the Anybody But Quinn group that toppled de Blasio’s Democratic primary rival Christine Quinn, ripped the mayor.

“The mayor stated unequivocally that he would end horse-drawn carriage rides in Manhattan. He also said that he would lobby Council members in support of his bill. He has done neither,” said Moss. “Is he really looking to alienate his base — the very people who worked tirelessly to get him elected?”

NYCLASS which donated heavily to de Blasio — challenged the mayor’s math on the Council tally.

“We are prepared for the bill to be voted on immediately as we believe we would be successful,” said a spokesman.

That might be wishful thinking. Council sources said the bill has little support, with one member saying only a handful of members would probably vote for a ban now.

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) said the mayor is wisely shifting his focus.

“I wouldn’t say the mayor’s given up on banning horse carriages, but like all of us he has to continue focusing on what’s important: jobs, housing, education, public safety,” he said.

“Prioritizing banning horse carriages doesn’t make the cut.”

The ban on horse carriages was the number one topic that listeners tweeted to Lehrer to ask the mayor about, the radio host said….

Susan Wagner, Pres. of Equine Advocates, talks about wild horses on Real Horse Rescues (Part 2)

SOURCE:  Equine Advocates

Susan Wagner, President & Founder of Equine Advocates, was featured on the TV program, REAL HORSE RESCUES, with Susan Kayne.

In Part 2, Susan talks about wild horses, and introduces two wild horses living on the sanctuary:  Hayden, from the Pryors, and Nelson, from Nevada.

In case you missed Part 1, you can watch it HERE.

Wild Horses vs Cattle

Giant BLM Bovine Mowing Machine ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Giant BLM Bovine Mowing Machine ~ photo by Terry Fitch

SOURCEThe Desert Independent

Editorial By Robert Winkler
Publisher of The Desert Independent

No WELFARE rancher wants wild horses competing with his cows for forage on the public land he is getting on the cheap, so the horses gotta go.

Because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) comes under the US Department of Interior (DOI) and NOT the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) it lacks the expertise to manage what amounts to the Nation’s beef supply.  And that is exactly what it is trying to do by damming the will of the people of the United States of America and promoting cattle production.

Because of this food supply promotion, ranchers (typically multi-million dollar outfits and larger) have been getting what amounts to US Government WELFARE in the way of grazing allotments on the PUBLIC’S land.  And are the ranchers grateful for this government WELFARE program? Hell no, to this day they complain when they pay only $1.69 per cow/calf pair per month while their cattle over graze on the public’s land and pollute the public’s streams.

And the wild horses must go.

No WELFARE rancher wants wild horses competing with his cows for forage on the public land he is getting on the cheap, so the horses gotta go.

Round em up.  Helicopters.  Run to em to ground.  Scare the crap out of em.  Run em ‘till they drop.  Who cares if some die in the process.  BLM’s gonna just put em in some wild horse concentration camp.  No shade.  Some out of the way place.  Private property.  Don’t want these camps in the news.  Can’t have the public seeing our once beautiful symbol of the west, now incarcerated.  Their sad eyes.  Broken families.  Reminds me of another time and place.  Europe 1943…

And it goes on.

Cattle it seems will always trump wild horses.  The will of the people be dammed.

In case you didn’t know…

The Federal Livestock Grazing Program costs American taxpayers $123 million yearly.  Removing the cattle would actually save taxpayers money.  Planned helicopter removal of wild horses will cost nearly 10 times more than the revenues received from livestock grazers.

“The continual damage to the land from cattle and sheep grazing and the yearly drain on taxpayers who foot the bill for welfare ranching has to stop,” says Toni Moore of The Cloud Foundation (TCF).

To hear the BLM tell the story, it’s the wild horses that do all the damage.  Now, one would only have to think about that for a minute. Let’s see, horses have been in North America for about 9,000 years.  There shouldn’t be much left of anything, not a blade of grass, not a bush, nada.  Not after all that time.  The ranges should be bare if the horses do so much damage.  How does the BLM think ANYWAY?

“BLM’s historic scapegoating of wild horses is a smoke screen,” says Ginger Kathrens,* western rangeland damage is caused by millions of head of privately-owned livestock, not our publically owned and theoretically protected wild horses.”

Until the BLM finds addresses the real culprit, the overpopulation of welfare livestock, our historic wild horse herds will soon become extinct.

*Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF, a Colorado based non-profit which advocates for the protection and preservation of wild horses on public lands.

27 wild horses die in Soda Fire, near (supposed) opened livestock fencing gate

In reading the BLM “news” release below, I had a couple of thoughts:
1)  There should be NO LIVESTOCK FENCING ON PUBLIC LANDS.  Why should structures for a PRIVATE BUSINESS be allowed on public lands?
2)  The “terrible truth” is that if there wasn’t livestock fencing on public lands, and if the BLM wasn’t using a helitorch, which makes the fire spread very fast and far, these 28 wild horses might’ve been able to escape BEFORE they “were overtaken.”
In memory of the wild horses that died because of livestock fencing/fast spreading fire, here is a video showing the beauty of the wild horses of the Hardtrigger HMA:

Twenty-Seven Wild Horses Perish in Soda Fire
BOISE — Twenty-seven wild horses died near Salmon Creek within the Hardtrigger Herd Management Area, about 45 miles southwest of Boise, when they were caught in the fast-moving Soda Fire.
The horses were found by a team of BLM employees and a veterinarian who were checking the condition of two herds in the area.  A gate was opened near the animals, but they were overtaken before they could escape.
“Due to the severe and erratic nature of the fire, we anticipate there will be more horses that were injured as they tried to escape the fire,” said Acting BLM District Manager Jenifer Arnold. “It’s a terrible reality for wildlife, livestock and wild horses living on the range, to be overtaken by an intense, wind-drive range fire.”
Additionally, two horses have been euthanized because their injuries were so extensive that they could not have survived.
Three wild horse herds were affected by the Soda Fire.  The Sands Basin herd has about 60 horses and the Hardtrigger herd has roughly 170 animals. The third herd management area, Black Mountain, was not damaged to nearly the extent of the other two.
“Most of the wild horses have been able to find water and at least some forage,” Arnold said. “We began to haul supplemental hay in last week and we’ll continue to monitor the herds’ condition.”

Because of the condition of the horses and the lack of long-term forage to sustain them, an emergency gather is planned.  The horses will be cared for off the range until they can return when conditions improve.  Dates for the gather have not been determined.

**As fire suppression activities continue on the Soda Fire, there will be no media tours available to visit the Herd Management Areas.


BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Nominations Close Sept. 28

The BLM hasn’t nominated R.T. Fitch, Ginger Kathrens and other real wild horse & burro advocates in past years, so we’re all holding our breath to see which cattle activists (or horse haters) they’ll nominate this year.  Dave Duquette?  Baxter Black?

SOURCE:  the

Wild Horse Advisory Board Nominations Close Sept. 28


(photo:  iStock)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced that it is seeking public nominations over a 45-day period to fill three positions on its national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

To be considered for appointment, nominations must be submitted via email or fax by Monday, Sept. 28 or postmarked by the same date. The BLM announced its formal request for nominations in the Aug. 14 Federal Register.

Appointments are for a term of three years and nominees are needed to represent the following categories of interest: humane advocacy groups, wildlife management organizations, and livestock management organizations.

The board advises the BLM (an agency of the Department of the Interior) and the U.S. Forest Service (an agency of the Department of Agriculture) on protection and management of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by those agencies. The board generally meets twice a year and the BLM director can call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

The advisory board comprises nine members who represent a balance of interests. Each member has knowledge or special expertise that qualifies him or her to provide advice in one of the following categories: wild horse and burro advocacy; wild horse and burro research; veterinary medicine; natural resources management; humane advocacy; wildlife management; livestock management; public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior); and public interest (with special knowledge of protection of wild horses and burros, management of wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resource management).

Individuals shall qualify to serve on the board because of education, training, or experience that enables them to give informed and objective advice regarding the interest they represent. They should demonstrate experience or knowledge of their area of expertise and a commitment to collaborate in seeking solutions to resource management issues.

Any individual or organization can nominate one or more persons to serve on the board, and individuals can also nominate themselves. In accordance with Section 7 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, federal and state government employees are not eligible to serve on the board.

For those interested, please submit a nomination letter and full resume. The following information must be provided:

  • The position(s) for which the nominee wants to be considered;
  • The nominee’s first, middle, and last name; business and home addresses and phone numbers; and email address;
  • The nominee’s present occupation/title and employer;
  • The nominee’s educational background (colleges, degrees, major field[s] of study);
  • The nominee’s career highlights;
  • The nominee’s qualifications, including relevant education, training, and experience; and
  • The nominee’s experience or knowledge of wild horse and burro management; experience or knowledge of horses or burros (equine health, training, and management); and experience in working with disparate groups to achieve collaborative solutions.

Applicants must also indicate any BLM permits, leases, or licenses held by the nominee or his/her employer; indicate whether the nominee is a federally registered lobbyist; and explain why the nominee wants to serve on the board. Also, at least one letter of reference from special interests or organizations the nominee represents must be provided.

Nominations can be submitted by email, fax, or mail:

  • Email nomination to Sarah Bohl at
  • To send by the U.S. Postal Service, mail to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street, N.W., Room 2134 LM, Attn: Sarah Bohl WO-260, Washington, D.C. 20240.
  • To send by FedEx or UPS, please send to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134 LM, Attn: Sarah Bohl, Washington, D.C., 20003.
  • Fax nominations to Bohl at 202/912-7182.

Those with questions should call Bohl at 202/912-7263.

Animal rights protesters aim to rein in Siena’s Palio horse race


Horses have been raced bareback through the Italian city’s streets for hundreds of years, but activists have won permission to rally against the event


More than 30,000 people are expected to attend this weekend’s race. The event is said to be one of the oldest community traditions in the world. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

A bareback horse race run twice every summer along the ancient streets of Siena and dating back to the 17th century will be targeted by animal rights activists this weekend, after Italian authorities allowed campaigners to protest during the event.

The Palio di Siena pits 10 jockeys picked from 17 rival neighbourhoods against one another, riding around the Tuscan city’s Piazza del Campo in their district’s bright colours and cheered on by more than 30,000 spectators. To have a chance of winning – and becoming a local hero – competitors must master the notorious San Martino curve, which throws many riders from their horses.

Activists argue the Palio is a cruel event in which horses suffer greatly. Seven horses have died on the course since 2000, with the latest put down in June after crashing during a practice run. This Sunday, about 2,000 people are expected to attend a rally during the race organised by the European Animal Rights party (Partito Animalista Europeo), which aims to consign the Palio to the history

Stefano Fuccelli, the group’s president, said the rally represented the first breakthrough in their campaign against the race: “I don’t know whether we’ll see the end of the Palio, but it’s a start.”

Fuccelli promised not to interrupt the race itself and said activists would stay within the protest area mapped out by city hall. The authorities have cautiously marked out an area far from the city centre, but Fuccelli said activists would nonetheless have a significant impact.

“It’s seen as dangerous by the political forces because they think it sets a precedent. It’s like the campaign to give women the vote, or for the rights of gays; they always started with a few people. It’s this that they’re afraid of,” he said.

But Paolo Mazzini, the councillor responsible for the Palio, remained confident in the future of the famous race. “The Palio is one of the oldest community traditions in the world … it even took place during the invasion of Napoleon,” he said.

Mazzini, whose great-grandfather won 10 Palios, stood by the decision to move protesters away from the event as a matter of public order. “There are very strong emotions during the Palio,” he said, hinting at fears of clashes between locals and protesters.

“It’s a constitutional right [to protest], but Siena is a city which existed before the constitution,” Mazzini added, noting permission for the rally was granted by state rather than city authorities.


A horse and jockey hit the ground at the hazardous San Martino curve during the Palio. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Aware that they are unlikely to see an instant end to the Palio, the animal rights party is in the meantime calling for sturdier and slower horses to be used. While the prospect of horses trotting around the square may not seem nearly as exciting as the current racing pace, Mazzini said the potential change was being discussed in the city.

“Years ago we stopped using pure-blood horses, which are faster but also more fragile. Half-blood [breeds] are the only ones that can run,” he said. He added that a stringent selection process ensured only healthy horses raced, and there was a system in place to quickly remove any injured ones from the race. Injured horses that survived but could no longer race were sent to a “retirement home” where they could rest, Mazzini said.

Orlando Papei, a Palio enthusiast who gathers historical information on the event, argued there were relatively few horse deaths considering the number that compete each year. With ancestry in Siena dating back to the 1500s, he was doubtful that the protest would put an end to the Palio: “It’s always been here, and it always will be.”


Donkey Escapes From Burning Forest, Refuses To Leave Firefighters’ Side

“Many thanks to Deb for rounding-up another great story for ‘Feel Good Sunday’!!!” ~ R.T.



(Facebook / Karen Kuchnel)

By Stephen Messenger

Firefighters battling a wildfire in Arizona received a much-needed glimmer of hope this week after encountering a furry survivor who managed to escape the flames.

Crews from the Desert Hills Fire Department (DHFD) were fighting a section of the 7,000-acre fire near Lake Havasu City when, much to their surprise, a lone donkey — frightened but alive — emerged from the burning forest. Amazingly, he seemed to understand the firefighters could help, which they did by cooling his singed body with water from their hose.

“We have many wild donkeys living in the area, so we’re very used to them here. They’re normally quite skittish, but this one was not,” DHFD administrator Jeanne Kentch told The Dodo. “This one followed the firefighters. It’s like he knew, ‘If I stick with you, I’ll be safe.’ He kept following them around. ”


(photo: Facebook / Stacey Benjamin)

It’s unclear whether the donkey is feral, or if he escaped from a farm behind the fire line. But his friendly presence there amid so much devastation quickly found the animal a place in the hearts of rescue crews.

“Our firefighters have seen a lot of animals that were killed in the fire, so the situation has been hard on these guys,” Kentch said. “The donkey has really boosted their spirits. He really made their day.”

Read the rest of the story (HERE).

BLM National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board to Meet Sept. 2-3

(This meeting is really about BLM’s plans for STERILIZATION and minimally reproducing herds of the already mostly non-viable herds.  The reality is that nothing about BLM’s actions can be considered “protecting” wild horses and burros.  Please show up and make a public comment or send your comments to the email address given below.)


BLM Bullcrap DetectorThe Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet Sept. 2-3 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to discuss issues relating to the management and protection of wild horses and burros on Western public rangelands.

The meeting will take place Sept. 2 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time, at the the Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel. The meeting will be live-streamed at

The agenda of the upcoming meeting can be found in the Aug. 3 Federal Register.

The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. According to the BLM’s latest official estimate, approximately 58,150 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.

The public can address the board on Sept. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, local time. Individuals who want to make a statement at Thursday’s meeting should register in person with the BLM by 10:15 a.m., local time, on that same day at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the board could limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings.

Speakers should submit a written copy of their statement to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting. There will be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments could be recorded. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend can submit a written statement to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147.  Comments can also be emailed to the BLM at; please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the email’s subject line.

For additional information regarding the meeting, please contact DeLorme, wild horse and burro administrative assistant, at 775/861-6583. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf can reach DeLorme during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 800/877-8339.

The board generally meets twice a year and the BLM director can call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

Harassing HorsesIn its management of wild horses and burros under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM is implementing recommendations made by a June 2013 report of the National Academy of Sciences. For instance, the BLM is taking actions to increase the use of population growth-suppression measures on overpopulated herds roaming Western public rangelands and implementing methods developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for more accurate population estimates.

BLM considers removing wild horses due to lack of unburned forage from the Soda Fire in Idaho

The last paragraph of the BLM “news” release below states that the BLM is “considering” a roundup of the wild horses, but that only “some” of them will be returned to the range.  Will the BLM suspend AUMs for livestock grazing if there “simply isn’t enough unburned forage to sustain” the wild horses?  Or will the BLM only remove the wild horses?  – Debbie
Young horse from Sands Basin (photo: BLM)
BLM Monitors Status of Wild Horses Impacted by Soda Fire
BOISE –The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to actively monitor the status of the wild horses in the Sands Basin and Hardtrigger Herd Management Areas (HMA).  The Sands Basin HMA is located about 13 miles southwest of Homedale and the Hardtrigger HMA is south of the Snake River between Murphy and U.S. 95 to the West – both HMAs are managed by the Owyhee Field Office.
The 265,000 acre Soda Fire has burned much of the Sands Basin (11,724 acres) and Hardtrigger (60,961 acres) HMAs.  Boise District Wild Horse Specialist Steve Leonard flew over the areas yesterday and counted at least 60 horses milling near Jump Creek in the Sands Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in an unburned area.  BLM staff will haul supplemental hay to these horses today, as there was not enough unburned forage to sustain them.
Additionally, there are 170 horses in the Hardtrigger HMA, and many of them are roaming in unburned areas within the HMA.  It looks as though there is enough unburned forage to sustain the Hardtrigger horses at this time.
Due to the severe and erratic nature of the fire, it is likely there will be some horses with injuries incurred as they tried to escape the fire.  All gates have been opened and fences cut so horses could move out of the way of the fire.  However, one horse has been humanely euthanized as it had sustained fatal wire injuries.
BLM is considering an emergency wild horse gather to ensure the health and well-being of the horses for the long-term.  There simply isn’t enough unburned forage to sustain them through the winter.  Some of the horses will be taken to the Boise Wild Horse Corrals to be cared for until the range recovers and they can be returned to their HMAs.

Man made drought from too much mining in one area, and BLM’s “tool in their toolbox” of using complaints of overgrazing livestock ranchers, give BLM excuse to round up wild burros in Winnemucca

And then, the BLM will send the burros straight to private property on the Indian Lakes Rd. feedlot in Fallon, NV, where there is only a rare (about once a year, if you’re lucky) public tour, and little chance for the burros to be adopted except when BLM floods internet adoptions with the burros all at once, so the burros rack up 3 strikes quickly and become eligible to be shipped off to buyers/auctions/the slaughter pipeline.  Note that the BLM only allotted 21 – 45 burros, a non-viable herd number, on this HMA.  BLM continues their rampage of managing wild horses and burros to extinction.   –  Debbie



BLM: Drought drives wild burros to Winnemucca ranches

by Marcella Corona        (photo:  RGJ file)

The Bureau of Land Management is set to start gathering wild burros after the drought recently drove the animals into nearby ranches in search of water in the Winnemucca area.

In July last year, BLM officials counted 101 burros in the McGee Mountain Herd Management Area and nearby places.  But officials predict about 146 burros based off of a May report from the U.S. Geological Survey.  That’s not including foals.

“We haven’t done a wild burro gather in a few years,” BLM Winnemucca District spokeswoman Terah Malsam said. “This was more so a request from land owners because the burros have come off HMA land and are breaking down fences to find water sources.”

The animals are normally able to live on the McGee Mountain Herd area, which is managed for burros, but the drought dried up their water sources and impacted their forage, she said.

“There are too many burros in the HMA, and with the existing water left over from this winter and spring, there’s isn’t a lot so it’s pushing them out to other areas to look for water,” Malsam said.

Only 25 to 41 burros should be managed within the McGee Mountain Herd area – a level that’s now way over the limit, Malsam said.

Officials expect to gather at least 125 wild burros starting mid-August. Although the gathering could last several months, BLM officials hope to finish the job within a month. The burros will then be taken to Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon.

“They go to an off-range corral where they’re given their shots and vaccinations,” Malsam said. “From there, they’ll be prepared for adoption or moved to a long term facility.

“We’re trying to manage for the health of the burros and the land,” she said. “When they don’t have enough water and go in an impact private land, then it becomes an issue.

“With the combination of drought and overpopulation, it leads to unhealthy burros and the fact that they have to strive for food and water elsewhere.”