More wild horses die at BLM’s Scott City, Kansas facility

SOURCE:  Garden City News

Wild horses deaths now up to 75, corral managers deny wrongdoing

Dorian Ayache, Slaughter-horse hauler, enters plea

SOURCE: wsmv.com

Slaughter-horse hauler enters plea

SEE THE NEWS VIDEO HERE.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -A plea deal is in the works for a slaughter-horse hauler that could include no prison time and a fine of less than $25,000.Dorian Ayache is the owner of  Three Angels Farm in Lebanon, a trucking company whose rickety trailers wrecked on the interstate twice in 2012, endangering drivers and causing several injured horses to be euthanized.Ayache was facing 26 years in prison for violating a U.S. Department of Transportation order to shut down after inspectors found numerous safety violations.Tuesday, Ayache entered a guilty plea in federal court. If it’s accepted, all the charges against him will be dropped except one: failing to maintain a current driver’s log.The maximum fine he faces is $25,000.Ayache would serve six months in prison at most, but he could end up serving no time at all.

“I think it’s a pretty trivial sentence,” said Leighann Lassiter, the Tennessee director of the United States Humane Society.

“This violation, number one, resulted in endangering thousands of people on the road, but also contributed to the suffering of thousands of animals who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in his care,” Lassiter added.

Ayache was transporting horses to the Mexican border, where they were to be slaughtered for human food that is sent overseas.

The federal government criminally charged Ayache with continuing to operate an unsafe trucking operation after being ordered to shut down. The Department of Transportation found Three Angels Farm’s equipment in disrepair and its drivers’ logbooks inaccurate.

Scott York was driving the Three Angels trailer that broke in half on I-440 in 2012. He told Channel 4 that  Ayache ordered drivers to stay on the road for longer than the law allows.

“He taught me how to fudge a log book,” York told Channel 4 in 2012.

During that time, York said, the horses were not given water, food or rest. And if the horses went down, he said,  they were given electric shocks.

“He makes you cattle-prod them up,” York told Channel 4.

After the government shut down Three Angels Farm, Ayache hauled horses under a different company’s name, Terri’s Farm. Its owner, Theresa Vincent, is being offered the same plea deal of zero to six months in prison and a fine of less than $25,000.

The sentences aren’t set in stone. The plea agreements have to be approved by a federal judge. Sentencing is set for Nov. 21.

 

Vicki Tobin & Daryl Smoliak of Equine Welfare Alliance on Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., Aug. 20th

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WEDNESDAY, August 20, 2014

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live (Here!)

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show, and you can call in with questions at any time.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.

vicki tobin

Vicki Tobin (center), V.P of Equine Welfare Alliance with two of our favorite men, RT Fitch and John Holland (Pres. of EWA)

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Equine Welfare Alliance Board member Daryl Smoliak (ANOTHER favorite man!)

Our guests tonight are Vicki Tobin, Vice President of Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Daryl Smoliak, Board member of EWA, which is a dues free, all volunteer 501(c)(4) umbrella organization representing
– over 325 member organizations
– The Southern Cherokee Government
– over 1,145 individual members worldwide in 22 countries.

EWA and its members are involved in a grass roots effort dedicated to ending the slaughter of American Horses and the preservation and protection of our Wild Horses & Burros on public lands.

They will be talking about many issues, including the upcoming 2014 International Equine Conference in Wellington, FL.

This radio show is co-hosted by Debbie Coffey, Vice-President & Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Continue reading

More on the Forest Service cull of Murderers Creek wild horse herd

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Forest Service is continuing to remove wild horses from the Murderers Creek section of the Malheur National Forest but is holding off on aggressive action until a new environmental impact statement is finished.

Last year, as part of a settlement to a lawsuit brought by Grant County ranchers, the agency agreed to gradually reduce the number of wild horses in the area until it is within the range it says the area can healthily support, known as the Allowable Management Level, or AML.

The AML for the 62,000-acre range was set at 50 to 140 horses in the 2007 wild horse herd management plan for the Malheur National Forest.

The agency is working on a new planning document, Tom Hilken, the Forest Service’s range program manager for the Pacific Northwest region, said last week.

“We really want to get this new plan in place that’s going to be looking at the latest science and management tools that may allow us to be a little more aggressive to get down to our AML,” said Hilken.

“We’re continuing to cull the herd over time.”

In recent months, the agency has removed a handful of horses, focusing mainly on the five or six animals that have wandered off of federal land onto private property, he said.

“They’ve gotten outside the designated territory and are on private property. That’s where our priority is now,” he said.

The herd currently stands around 200 or 220 horses, he said. Reducing their numbers poses a challenge for land-management officials because the herd grows by about 20 percent every year.

“We do not cull during the foaling period,” Hilken said.

Most of the wild horses and burros on public lands in 10 Western states roam lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

More than half of the Murderers Creek herd, which is overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, are “timber horses” that live in mountainous areas, using Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer thickets as shelter.

According to BLM estimates, 33,780 wild horses and 6,825 burros live on public lands overseen by the agency across 10 Western states. This is almost 14,000 more than the total the agency believes the rangelands can support.

In Oregon, the BLM estimates there are 3,120 wild horses and 60 burros as of March, more than the 2,715 maximum envisioned as the state’s AML. Another 50,000 wild horses are kept in federal holding pens.

According to a 2001 genetic analysis of the Murderers Creek horses, the herd is genetically distinct from the other herds found roaming Western rangelands. Many of the horses appear to be descendants of horses lost or set free by farmers and ranchers and genetically resemble American light racing and saddle breeds.

Another 15 to 20 horses from the herd will be removed by federal officials by the end of the year, Hilken said. The environmental impact statement will likely not be ready for two years, he said.

The ranchers had sued the agency over its management of the animals, contending the horses and not the cattle that they grazed on public lands were responsible for environmental threats to endangered steelhead habitat.

If the agency never met its AML, there was no way to determine which, if any, animals posed a threat to endangered species, they argued.

Advocates Will Speak Out for Wild Horses at Press Conference during BLM National Advisory Board Meeting

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, director of field documentation and board member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Walker has a bond with the Wyoming herds she has been photographing for the past 10 years. “To lose the wild horses in this vast landscape, known by local residents as the ‘Big Empty,’ would be to lose touch with our western history, heritage and the untamed spirit of the West.”

For immediate release:

Advocates Will Speak Out for Wild Horses at Press Conference during BLM National Advisory Board Meeting

Proposed roundups would rob American public of their rightful legacy.              

Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. at BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting in 2012~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Simone Netherlands, Ginger Kathrens and R.T. Fitch speak to Utah Press Corp. at BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting in 2012~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (August 18, 2014) – The Cloud Foundation, Respect 4 Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation will hold a press conference and rally at the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, August 25 in Riverton, Wyoming. The press conference will begin at noon, in front of the Central Wyoming College Student Center Building.

The purpose of the press conference and rally are to better inform the public of the costs and risks of ongoing wild horse roundups which have already eliminated wild horses from 20 million acres designated for their use.  Of the 339 herds originally identified for protection, 179 remain on only 11% of public lands and the BLM seeks to remove most of the horses in Southern Wyoming in September. 

The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the BLM and its plan to roundup over 800 horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs) known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. The lawsuit alleges that the BLM violated the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Wild Horse Act) and the Administrative Procedure Act, by authorizing the permanent removal of hundreds of wild horses from public and private lands within these three HMA’s, without conducting any environmental analysis, engaging the public during the decision-making process or making certain statutorily required determinations under the Wild Horse Act.  In response to the lawsuit, the BLM has agreed to delay the roundup which had been scheduled to begin on August 20, to at least Sept. 1.

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, director of field documentation and board member of Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Walker has a bond with the Wyoming herds she has been photographing for the past 10 years. “To lose the wild horses in this vast landscape, known by local residents as the ‘Big Empty,’ would be to lose touch with our western history, heritage and the untamed spirit of the West.”

BLM claims that wild horses need to be removed from public lands to protect rangeland health. However the vast majority of public lands are open to livestock grazing, which causes enormous damage to the land.  In most cases, even in the wild horses’ own HMA’s, livestock far outnumber wild horses.  According to the BLM’s own data, on average, 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep occupy the three HMA’s targeted for roundup, compared to 1,912 wild horses.

“Instead of protecting wild horses, the BLM’s roundups threaten the ongoing survival of wild horse herds in the west,” states Simone Netherlands, President of Respect4Horses added. “Eerily similar to the rainforests of the Amazon, our public lands are being exploited for the benefit of profit driven business.”

“BLM must begin to manage wild horses ‘on the range’ with the goal of balancing reproduction and mortality.  Over 70% of our wild horse herds are not large enough to be considered genetically viable, sustainable herds,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation “The Wild Horse and Burro Act mandates that the BLM manage wild horses at a sustainable level, which is essential if we are to preserve wild horse herds for future generations of Americans.”

Links:

BLM Delays Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup as Preliminary Injunction Motion Filed

Wild Horse Groups File Suit to Block Massive Roundup in Southwest Wyoming

Media Contact:

Paula Todd King, The Cloud Foundation, 843-592-0720, paula@thecloudfoundation.org

 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands with a focus on Cloud’s herd in the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana.

www.thecloudfoundation.org

 Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)(3) status. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction. 

www.wildhorsefreedomfederation.org

Respect4Horses (R4H) is a horse welfare organization whose goals include providing information and documentation to educate the public, the media and legislators in order to promote changes in legislation in regards to current horse welfare issues such as horse slaughter and the roundups of our last remaining wild horses and burros.

www.respect4horses.org

WILD HORSE GROUPS OPPOSE STATE INTERVENTION IN LAWSUIT TO STOP BLM WYOMING WILD HORSE ROUNDUP

Wild Horse Freedom Federation is proud that Carol Walker, our Director of Field Documentation, and her 10 years of documentation, will be vitally important in the effort to win this lawsuit and stop the BLM from removing wild horses from  Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas in Wyoming.  – Debbie Coffey 

For Immediate Release:

WILD HORSE GROUPS OPPOSE STATE INTERVENTION IN LAWSUIT TO STOP BLM WYOMING WILD HORSE ROUNDUP

Issue Statement Responding to Wyoming Gov. Mead’s Comments on Proposed Removal of Over 800 Wild Horses from 3 HMAs

ROCK SPRINGS, WY (August 18, 2014)…. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl today filed an opposition to the State of Wyoming’s motion to intervene as of right in a lawsuit they brought against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its plan to roundup over 800 wild horses from the Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs).  The groups also issued the following statement in response to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s statement on the roundup and the state’s intervention in the matter.

It is disappointing that Governor Mead and State of Wyoming are misleading the public about the facts surrounding the BLM’s plans to round up over 800 wild horses from three federally-designated wild horse herd management areas, and our lawsuit that aims to stop this action.  We are further troubled that the Governor is taking a stand in support of the BLM’s flagrant violations of federal law and its own land use plans. In his statement, Governor Mead makes numerous misrepresentations about the situation.  The following are the actual facts:

·  The BLM intends to remove wild horses from private and public lands in the AdobeTown, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin HMAs, not just private lands as the Governor asserts.

·  The state has no “sovereign right” to manage wild horses, because wild horses were granted federal protection under the federal Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which was passed unanimously by Congress in 1971.

·   The state owns less that 4% of the land in these three HMAs and an even smaller percentage on the checkerboard lands in question.

·  There is no overpopulation of horses in this area, and in fact, the proposed roundup will bring the populations below even BLM’s own established levels in violation of the Wild Horse Act and the BLM’s Resource Management Plans for these areas.

In his statement, the Governor makes numerous other erroneous claims regarding wild horse impacts. If the environment and wildlife species are suffering in the area, it is due to the massive number of privately owned livestock grazing on these lands, not to the relatively few wild horses that inhabit the area. In fact the BLM authorizes ten times more livestock than wild horses to graze in this area (maximum of 1,765 wild horses on 2.4 million acres of land vs. the annual equivalent of 17,609 cow/calf pairs in the same land area.)

We urge Governor Mead to remember that America’s public lands belong to all Americans, not just to a small number of ranchers who profit from taxpayer-subsidized public lands grazing. In fact, a strong majority of Americans support protecting and preserving wild horses on our public lands, while less than a third want to ensure that our public lands are available for livestock grazing.

Instead of intervening in support of the BLM’s blatantly illegal actions, the Governor should use the leadership of his office to resolve conflicts between ranchers and wild horses, such as encouraging land swaps in checkerboard areas (alternating parcels of public and private lands) to create contiguous habitat for wild horses and other protected wildlife.

In response to the lawsuit, the BLM has agreed to delay the roundup, which had been scheduled to begin on approximately August 20, to at least September 1.

Banned substances on horses undercut compliance claims

by Paul C. Barton, Tennessean Washington Bureau

“Has there ever been any sporting event with that rate of cheating?”

SoringWASHINGTON – Putting mustard oil, kerosene, diesel fuel and other blistering agents on Tennessee Walking Horses has long been part of the cruelty of soring — the infliction of pain on the animals’ front legs and hooves so that touching the ground causes them to recoil in agony and achieve a higher-stepping gait.

But Department of Agriculture documents show the horses frequently face a second set of chemicals as well — those used to mask scars and numb a horse’s pain to fool inspectors.

And walking horses at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville — which starts Wednesday — test positive for masking and numbing agents more often than not, leaving critics to doubt the industry’s claim that at least 97 of every 100 horses are free of soring and their owners and trainers are in compliance with the Horse Protection Act of 1970.

USDA‘s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a long list of banned substances its inspectors test for at events like the Celebration. They are banned because they can be used to hide evidence of soring. They include many substances associated with industrial processes, such as making dyes and pesticides, bleaching wood pulp, and making paper and packaging.

Some, such as o-Aminoazotoluene or anthraquinone, are animal carcinogens. Still another, sulfur, is sometimes mixed with motor oil to make a paste that is rubbed on a horse’s damaged areas to cover up soring.

And pain-blocking chemicals like lidocaine are applied in amounts calculated to keep a horse quiet during inspections but wear off in time for the pain to return in the show ring when the horse needs to demonstrate the exaggerated “Big Lick” gait, the American Veterinary Medical Association contends.

USDA records show 67 percent of horses examined at the Celebration in 2013 tested positive for substances that could mask soring.

“Has there ever been any sporting event with that rate of cheating?” said Teresa Bippen of Friends of Sound Horses, a St. Louis-based organization.

The masking and numbing agents wouldn’t be needed if soring were as limited as Big Lick owners and trainers contend, say supporters of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. The proposed bill in Congress would amend the 1970 Horse Protection Act and significantly bolster USDA’s ability to police the practice.

“The percentage of prohibited foreign substances found at Tennessee Walking Horse shows in recent years speaks volumes regarding the high degree of soring that still occurs within the Big Lick segment of this breed,” said Keith Dane, a specialist on equine issues for the Humane Society of the United States.

Dane and other PAST Act supporters see the prevalence of substances used to hide soring as rigging the Horse Protection Act compliance statistics cited by bill opponents.

Jeffrey Howard, spokesman for the Shelbyville-based Performance Show Horse Association, one of the major groups representing the industry’s Big Lick faction, declined to answer questions about the results for banned substances, saying they were based on “fundamentally flawed” information coming from “other parties,” a reference to groups like the Humane Society and the USDA itself…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story

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