U.S. Horses Deserve Lasting Protection

by as published in the Huffington Post

“During those long-distance trips, horses are treated as if they’re already dead, kept in crowded containers and denied adequate food, water, and rest…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Last year, the federal appropriations bill for 2015 renewed a ban on the use of tax dollars for inspections of horse slaughterhouses, keeping the vile horse slaughter industry from operating anywhere in America… for a time.

This September, that ban expires, putting horse slaughter facilities once again in a position to potentially reemerge in America, and putting the burden on Congress to reinstate its temporary halt.

But while renewing the ban every year stops slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil, it cannot prevent American horses — approximately 150,000 every year — from being legally trucked to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.

Even when horse slaughter plants were allowed in the U.S., tens of thousands of horses were still exported annually for slaughter, and several thousand were actually imported for slaughter.

During those long-distance trips, horses are treated as if they’re already dead, kept in crowded containers and denied adequate food, water, and rest. According to the USDA, 92 percent of these horses are in good physical condition and could go on to lead productive lives in loving homes.

Horse slaughter is also a threat to human health because horses are routinely given hundreds of drugs and other substances during their lives that have not been approved by the FDA for use in animals intended for human consumption…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story…

TN Grand Jury to decide on charges in Walking Horse protest incident

Story by James Bennett as published on the Daily Herald

“I witnessed him cut his truck hard left into the area where Ms. Teresa Bippen was standing…”

Teresa Bippen, right, of Hillsnoro, Mo., outside St. Louis, alleges a world champion trainer tried to intimidate her while she was protesting at Maury County Park on May 30. (Contributed photo)

A Tennessee Walking Horse protester who says she nearly was run over by a trainer last month will have her case taken before a Maury County grand jury, District Attorney General Brent Cooper said Sunday.

Teresa Bippen, 58, of Hillsboro, Mo., was among animal welfare activists picketing the Spring Jubilee at Maury County Park on May 30 when a truck driven by Jamie Lawrence, 42, veered toward her, according to a Sheriff’s Department report of the incident.

Lawrence, of Vinemont, Ala., and a world champion rider and trainer in Racking Horse competition, was pulled over by a deputy who allowed him to continue with the show. Lawrence was not arrested.

“I motioned to him to bear to the left, and as he came closer to me, I witnessed him cut his truck hard left into the area where Ms. Teresa Bippen was standing,” wrote Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Jackson, who was directing horse trailers and other traffic into the park. “Then he cut his wheels back hard right. I could not tell how close he came to Ms. Bippen.”

Jackson and two Columbia Police officers approached the truck, the report said…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment at the Daily Herald

The Neighs Have It: Horse Outruns Man, But Just Barely

Report by Adam Cole as Broadcast/Published on Health News from NPR

“We’re essentially the tortoises of the animal world rather than the hares,”

Horses, riders and runners crossed three streams in the course of their 22-mile race through the hills of central Wales. The average finish time was the same for both species — four hours. Ryan Kellman and Adam Cole/NPR’s Skunk Bear

The Man v. Horse Marathon starts out like a typical cross-country race. Hundreds of runners stream past the starting line, through the town of Llanwrtyd Wells and then up into the Welsh hills.

But 15 minutes later, a second set of competitors takes off. Fifty horses and their riders chase the runners up and down ridges, across streams, and past hundreds of bewildered sheep.

This bizarre race was created in 1980 to settle an argument between a local pub owner and an opinionated customer. The outcome seems obvious — horses are bigger, stronger and much faster in a sprint. They’ve been bred for centuries to help humans get around faster.

Humans, on the other hand, aren’t that speedy. Sprinter Usain Bolt — the world’s fastest man — would have trouble outrunning a lot of house cats, let alone a cheetah.

But scientists say when it comes to marathon distances, humans might actually have an edge.

“We’re essentially the tortoises of the animal world rather than the hares,” says Dan Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University. “We have a series of adaptations that are literally from our heads to our toes that make us superlative at long distance running.”

Specialized structures in our inner ears keep us balanced as we lope along; our springy arches and long elastic tendons make running more efficient, and our big muscular bottoms help stabilize our trunks. And then there’s the way we keep our cool. Millions of years ago we traded in fur for a naked body covered in sweat glands. The result: We can lose heat while we run.

Losing heat’s not so easy for quadrupeds like antelopes, zebras and horses. They need to pant to really cool off, and that’s difficult to do when they’re moving at top speeds.

“The guts — the huge viscera — slams into the diaphragm with every step and prevents the animal from panting while galloping,” Lieberman says.

When it’s hot out, quadrupeds need to slow down to cool down. Humans sweat and keep going. And all that sweating probably helped our ancient ancestors survive.

“Running was important because it helped us become better hunters,” Lieberman says.

His research supports the theory that early humans were “persistence hunters.” On hot days, he says, people would chase animals across the African savanna. Unable to rest, the animals would eventually collapse from heat exhaustion, and the hunters would have fresh meat.

The Man v. Horse Marathon is a less violent analogue of persistence hunting. Horses are the ones chasing humans over a 22-mile trail, but temperature still plays an important role.

“The few occasions where humans have beaten the horses have been on hot days,” Lieberman says. “And that makes total sense.”

This year, the Man V. Horse Marathon took place in a light, refreshing rain — bad news for humanity. Still, the first racer to reach the finish line was human: a 30-year-old civil servant named Hugh Aggleton.

This was Aggleton’s third time entering the race, and in previous years he’s had some close encounters.

“When you are overtaken by horses you can feel the ground sort of start to shake, as the galloping horses come up behind,” Aggleton says. “Then you hear their breathing and you think, ‘All right, gotta get going.’ ”

This year, Aggleton managed to stay ahead of the cavalry, completing the course in 2 hours and 30 minutes. But that wasn’t quite fast enough. Leo the horse, ridden by Geoff Allen, reached the finish just five minutes after him. After subtracting the human’s 15-minute head start, the horse had a time of 2:20, and it was crowned this year’s champion.

Still, Aggleton managed to beat a lot of the other horses in the race.

“I might make that a sort of tag line,” Aggleton says. “Faster than 46 out of 50 horses.”

That means if he had lived long ago, he probably would have been able to chase down dinner.

WY Gov Continues War on Wild Horses

Source: Multiple

“Welfare Ranchers” Root Cause of Wild Horse Court Case

Gov Matt MeadWyoming Gov. Matt Mead is appealing a federal judge’s recent dismissal of a lawsuit the state filed seeking to force the federal government to remove more wild horses from public lands in the state.

“The situation has not changed,” Mead said Friday in announcing the state’s appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

“The (U.S) Bureau of Land Management has still not properly managed the wild horse population in Wyoming,” Mead said. “Mismanagement of the herds can have adverse consequences for the range and other species which share that habitat. The BLM’s approach fails to comply with the applicable law.”

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal of Cheyenne in April granted requests from the Interior Department and wild horse advocacy groups to dismiss the state’s lawsuit. She ruled the BLM wasn’t required to remove wild horses from areas where it had determined they were overpopulated.

In asking Freudenthal to dismiss the state’s case, the federal government and animal protection groups pointed out that the BLM may consider several factors before it decides to proceed with roundups under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

“If wild horse management could be distilled to a numerical calculation, there would be no reason for Congress to have specified the various factors for consideration in the determination that an overpopulation exists and that action is necessary to remove excess animals,” Freudenthal wrote.

The ruling was a setback to Wyoming ranchers concerned that too many wild horses are harming grazing lands. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association had filed a friend of the court brief on the state’s side.

During the case, lawyers for the state had reported to Freudenthal that seven of Wyoming’s 16 wild horse herd management areas were overpopulated by anywhere from 4 percent to 106 percent.

Earlier this spring, Freudenthal upheld a BLM roundup of about 1,300 wild horses east and south of Rock Springs last fall that had been contested by horse advocates.

Michael Harris is legal director for the group Friends of Animals in Colorado, a group that entered the state’s lawsuit against the BLM to argue against the state’s push to round up more horses.

“We’re sort of shocked,” Harris said Friday of Mead’s decision to appeal. “I think the case that he brought was a long shot, and it was easily shot down by the district court. And we think that the governor should instead work with the Bureau of Land Management to better protect wild horses.”

Harris said he believes Wyoming needs to realize that wild horses belong to all everyone.

“Americans want to see places for wild horse in the West, and all states in the West need to share in and contribute to providing land for a species that Americans dearly love,” Harris said.

Recent Wyoming Stampede of Wild Horses – photos by Carol Walker

PA Woman, 84, rides horse one more time thanks to Twilight Wish

Source: WPXI.com

“I’ve always been good to horses, and they’ve always been good to me,”

WYANO, Pa. — Patricia Glasser, of Greenburg, Pennsylvania understands that she is living in her twilight years. However,  that didn’t stop her from doing what she wished to do again for nearly a decade.

Glasser’s wish was a simple, yet extraordinary one. She simply longed to ride a horse, at least one more time.

She got to do that Wednesday afternoon at Bogley Ranch in Wyano, just outside of Pittsburgh.

“I’ve always been good to horses, and they’ve always been good to me,” Glasser said.

Her passion for horses and riding began at age 10 and that passion hasn’t wavered for over 70 years. She believes that her relationship riding with horses over time has been a symbiotic one that has kept her happy and at peace while being able to give the horses a good exercise.

“I used to ride all day,” Glasser said.

Nowadays, a good horseback ride is rare for Glasser, but as she dismounted her horse on Wednesday, she was faced with the reality of the aging process.

“I used to be able to jump on a horse real quick and jump off real quick, but I’m getting older,” Glasser said.

Despite her age, she got up and rode around the ranch for about 15 minutes. When time was up, she wasn’t shy about asking for more time. Of course, she got it, thanks to Twilight Wish, a nonprofit that helps grant wishes to senior citizens.

“I am so thankful for Twilight Wish for doing that,” Glasser said. “They took the time to let me ride again, and I really felt like I was younger again.”

She remembered everything about horse-handling, as if she’d been riding normally for the past 10 years.

Perhaps the reason for that was because she and her husband, Harold Glasser, owned horses for years before he lost part of his leg to blood clotting. After her husband fell sick, Patricia Glasser had to give up her horses to stand by her husband’s side.

A few years ago, Harold Glasser, passed away. Without him, horses and much of the rest of her family living in Texas, she didn’t have much of an opportunity to ride, especially considering her age.

When Glasser arrived at the Bogley Ranch Wednesday, her face lit up. She fed, pet and spent time with several horses, and when it was time for her ride, she was ready to go.

For the 15 minutes that followed, Glasser rode and rode, doing the one thing that she loved so much – one more time. She was back on the ranch, back in the saddle. For that moment, she was home.

R.T. and Terry Fitch (Wild Horse Freedom Federation) on equine disaster preparedness and evacuation on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/17/15)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo


Join us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , June 17, 2015

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (Here!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.  You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

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Terry and R.T. Fitch ~ "Thank You for Who You Are!"

Terry and R.T. Fitch

Our guests tonight are R.T. Fitch (co-founder & Pres. of Wild Horse Freedom Federation) and Terry Fitch (co-founder and Treasurer of Wild Horse Freedom Federation) who helped lead the evacuation of horses and burros for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Tonight’s radio show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

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Continue reading

WHFF Directors Speak at Equine Advocate’s 2015 Summit

Source: www.EquineAdvocates.org

Wild Horse Freedom Federation Volunteers Speak on Topic of Wild Horse and Burro Issues

We, at Equine Advocates, are pleased to share with you the seventh video from our 2015 American Equine Summit featuring Carol Walker, Director of Field Documenation for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Carol’s talk is titled “The Fight to Save Wyoming’s Wild Horses.” Please see Carol’s bio at http://www.equineadvocates.org/video…..

We, at Equine Advocates, are pleased to share with you the eighth video from our 2015 American Equine Summit featuring Debbie Coffey, Vice President and Director of Wild Horse Affairs for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Debbie’s talk is titled “Current Wild Horse & Burro Issues.” Please see Debbie’s bio at http://www.equineadvocates.org/video….

Special thanks to Victoria Racimo, Videographer & TanNa Young, Editor.

Wild Horses: France TV Claims Wild Horses are Overrunning the West

Story by Carol Walker as published on Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“They were thrilled as we drove up to see at least 60 wild horses around the waterhole…”

On Tuesday morning, I took a journalist and a cameraman from France TV out to a waterhole at Sand Wash Basin, home of one of my favorite wild horse herds. The previous day, they had been driven around a herd management area near Lander by the BLM wild horse and burro expert there, and had only seen 3 wild horses. They were thrilled as we drove up to see at least 60 wild horses around the waterhole, and they kept asking me if the horses were going to leave. I explained that the horses in this area were relatively used to people, and if we approached quietly and respectfully, we should be able to get some good footage of wild horse behavior.

spent about 5 hours with them, and made certain to discuss on the range management versus removal, the use of birth control instead of roundups, the livestock outnumbering wild horses on public lands by about 100 to 1, the pressure of special interest groups such as welfare ranchers that are squeezing out the horses, the importance of maintaining genetic viability of each herd,the inhumanity and cruelty of the helicopter roundups and housing the horses in holding facilities without shelter, and the BLM’s plan to do sterilization studies on the horses, to name just a few topics. I pointed out the behaviors that are characteristic of wild horses, that make observing intact families so special.

Then they headed to Rangely to meet up with Callie Hendrickson, one of the most virulent wild horse haters that ever sat on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, in order to interview one of her rancher friends.

hey certainly could have interviewed some wonderful wild horse advocates in the Pisceance/West Douglas Herd Areas, and given those that fight to protect them a little more time and notice. But they did not.

If I sound bitter, it is not because I didn’t get more air time – it is because they claimed this would be a balanced piece.

News stories come and go, but I am not going anywhere.

http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/usa/video-les-chevaux-sauvages-se-reproduisent-trop-vite-un-probleme-pour-l-ouest-americain_949025.html

Translation:

Wild horses breed too quickly, a problem for the American West

The United States prohibits the slaughter of mustangs, but authorities still want to limit their number at 25,000, while the country already has more than 50,000 mustangsThe mustangs are no longer welcome in the American West. Federal authorities are sounding the alarm on the excessive number of wild horses on this territory. They will be 150 000 in five years if nothing is done to curb their expansion. A greater problem that these horses reproduce quickly and devour everything in their path, according to the administration, which creates conflicts with some breeders.

2,000 were collected in 2015, an insufficient number

The United States prohibits the slaughter of mustangs, but authorities still want to limit their number at 25,000, while the country already has more than 50,000 mustangs. Breeders who share the land with these wild horses no longer support not be able accessing water points in areas invaded by the mustangs. They hunt other herds.

In total, 2,000 were collected in 2015, a number insufficient to achieve the objectives fixex, but defenders of animals are the barbaric process. Different methods are launched without result, prompting federal authorities to propose a million and a half dollars of reward to find a lasting solution to the problem of wild horses.

Reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune quotes Jay Kirkpatrick as saying horses “destroy the range”

“They can leave the horses alone,” Kirkpatrick says, “and watch them destroy the range.”

“While we should all be up in arms about BLM plans for more of the Dr. Mengele type experiments by field spaying more wild mares, the    PZP debate continues as a distraction.  And now, it seems like it has digressed to a new low, as Jay Kirkpatrick (Science and Conservation Center in Montana) was quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune as saying horses “destroy the range.”

While it seems this may have been an effort/scare tactic to promote the use of PZP fertility control on wild mares, the fact is, Jay Kirkpatrick was quoted as saying horses “destroy the range” in a major newspaper in Utah (of all places, since Utah is home to the Iron County Commissioners), and this statement about horses is not only INCORRECT, it is also UNSCIENTIFIC.

I was speechless when I read this.  But I can say a few things now.   For one thing, in reading the article below, I’m not sure who the horse advocates are that “applaud the BLM.”  Keep in mind that the BLM is just as busy as ever eradicating our wild horse and burro herds.  Remember, the numbers of horses and burros you see on the BLM’s list of upcoming roundups are only some of the wild horses and burros being removed from public landsThe BLM is secretly bait trapping and removing “nuisance” wild horses and burros, and the totals on these numbers aren’t publicly noted on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program website.

The BLM also overestimates the numbers of wild horses and burros they claim are on public lands.  Most wild horse and burro herds have less than 100, so genetic variability and viability of wild horses & burros could be further endangered by use of both fertility control and sterilization. ”  –  Debbie

SOURCE:  The Salt Lake Tribune

BLM will dart horses in attempt to control fertility

By BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A foal and its mother graze in the Onaqui wild horse management area near Simpson Springs. BLM will soon begin darting Onaqui mares with a contraceptive in the hopes of controlling wild horse numbers without costly and controversial roundups. Thursday, June 5, 2014.

 

Sometime this year, federal land managers plan to shoot a “fertility vaccine” into the haunches of wild horses in Tooele County’s Onaqui herd.

Using dart guns instead of helicopters, wranglers and biologists hope to cut horse numbers among Utah’s most photographed herd.

The Bureau of Land Management pitches the mass vaccinations, to be administered annually for the next five years, as a humane alternative to the controversial and costly roundups demanded by the state’s ranchers and rural county commissioners angry about the proliferation of wild horses across public rangelands.

But wild-horse lovers are split by the BLM’s new methodology for controlling wild horse populations in the West.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.  (And be sure to read the last sentence.)