How many horses are there in the European Union?


The variety of ways in which horses are used means attempts at an equine population census is tricky, a new report finds


Dartmoor ponies are one of several wild or semi-feral populations listed in the report. Photograph: Alamy


For those keen to know where wild horses roam, the members of Eurogroup for Animals’ equine working group gave the suggestions featured in the map below.


All over Europe, horses, donkeys and others in the equine family are used for labour, sport, as food – whether labelled correctly or not – and also as pets. However, that very versatility makes an equine census difficult.  Nobody is sure exactly how many horses live in the fields, meadows, paddocks and barns of the EU (despite European commission regulations requiring the identification of kept Equidae).

Argentina horse trainer, Paul Frassa, savagely beats horse under the guise of “training”

SOURCE: story by Kara O’Neill

Shocking video shows cruel animal trainer beating exhausted horse with a whip

WARNING: Distressing video content. The man is seen striking the horse several times before it appears to fall to the floor in exhaustion

A distressing video has sparked outrage online after appearing to show a man brutally beating a horse during a cruel training regime.

The horrifying clip has ignited heated debate on social media sites in Argentina after it emerged online on June 5.

In the video, which runs for just over three minutes, a man, thought to be a horse trainer, sits astride the animal and appears to repeatedly strike it with a whip.

The horse rears several times, apparently in distress, but the trainer refuses to put a stop to the brutal regime.

Moments later, the horse drops to the ground, apparently exhausted from the training

But the man refuses to leave the horse alone and continues striking the defenceless animal with his whip.

The shocking incident, thought to have taken place in Tucumán, Argentina, appears to have been filmed on a mobile phone by an onlooker stood nearby.

Disgusted animal lovers have since expressed their disgust at the footage.

Judith Monro, a welfare worker from Perth, Scotland, has created a petition through  Alongside her plea, she writes: “A horse trainer savagely beating a horse.”Spread for this abuser to be banned from having contact with any animal again!”

She adds: “I hope we can continue to build our ‘voice’ and achieve a ‘ROAR’ so that our outrage is seen, heard, noted; and action taken.”

It is not clear whether any action will be taken against the trainer.


Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ Pres/Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“For the past several days I have been in a tizzy over the glamorization of the abusive and destructive horse racing ‘industry’ and last night several advocates reined me in and headed me back towards to wild horses and burros.  Sorry, but when it comes to our equines I see no silos.

Crybaby, welfare, subsidized ranchers have been in the news, as of late, for suing the BLM for not, allegedly, upholding the letter of the law by stripping federally protected wild horses from their rightful public range.  It’s all about entitlement and greed and what do the likes of these ‘ranchers’ do when things don’t go their way…they break the very laws that they have pledged to uphold.

The two couples highlighted below are actually quoted in the posted TV interview, below, as stating that YOUR public land is their ‘Private Property, bought and paid for’.  They pay pennies on the dollar for the right to graze their private cattle on your public land and it is considered, by them, to be THEIR land.  And when they break the law and graze their welfare cattle on the land in question the BLM caves to them, comes crying to them on all fours and begs them not to sue them any further.  I am both disgusted and flabbergasted.  Where is that BLM that I witnessed in person back at the Twin Peaks stampede in 2011 where 20 armed BLM rangers and law enforcement circled myself and three women, yes…me and 3 women…who only wanted to watch the roundup on our public lands; where are they now?  Oh, I forgot, we were wild horse advocates and considered dangerous while welfare ranchers are in bed and in cahoots with the BLM and Department of Interior.  Forgive me, I lost my train of thought there for a moment.

Back to the point, this is documented proof of the collusion and divisiveness that is in control of your public lands and hence, the destruction of our native wild horses and burros continues.  I, for one, have had enough.” ~ R.T.



Rancher Rewarded for Defiant Trespass as BLM Avoids Enforcement at All Costs

Eddyanne and Dan Filippini stating that our Public Land, which is home to wild animals such as horses, is THEIR land now they have violated the law and continue to ravage it with their destructive lack of proper management.

Eddyanne and Dan Filippini stating that our Public Land, which is home to wild animals such as horses, is THEIR land now they have violated the law and continue to ravage it with their destructive lack of proper management.

Washington, D.C. — Illegal livestock grazing on drought-stricken northern Nevada rangeland has now received Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval, according to a settlement the agency reached with the ranchers. Western Watersheds Project and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) criticized the deal as encouraging more rogue grazing, and they have asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to instead support closure decisions made by BLM district managers to protect public lands.

This week’s settlement agreement is the latest in the long-running dispute over drought closures in Battle Mountain, Nevada. The dry conditions prompted the BLM to close two grazing allotments (North Buffalo and Copper Canyon) in May 2013. Shortly thereafter, ranchers Dan and Eddyann Filippini appealed the closure decision, which was ultimately upheld by an Administrative Law Judge in the Department of Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. Dissatisfied with the continued drought protective measures in place on these public lands, the ranchers escalated the situation last week by releasing livestock onto the North Buffalo allotment and publicly daring the BLM to act.

Rather than move to get the trespassing cows off, BLM acted quickly to reach a deal with the ranchers. In the settlement agreement dated June 5, 2015, the ranchers are allowed to leave their cattle on the disputed lands, but the Filippinis agree that they have committed a “willful” grazing trespass and will pay an enhanced grazing fee only for the period that their cattle were illegally turned out. The agreement also specifies that the ranchers will dismiss further litigation in the case.

The North Buffalo allotment is a 100,768 acre allotment which is a checkerboard mix of 55% public lands and 45% private lands and has no internal fencing to keep livestock off of public lands. The allotment also contains priority Greater Sage-grouse habitat as defined by the recently released Nevada and Northeastern California Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement.

“Just two weeks after the new Greater Sage-grouse land use plans were released, the BLM once again shows us how little commitment they have to protecting important land and wildlife habitat when pressured by industry,” said Ken Cole, Western Watersheds Project’s Idaho Director. “What good are the new plans if the agencies cave in to every whim of the ranchers?”

“These stretches of desert were closed because they are suffering from longstanding drought on top of decades of grazing abuse,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, pointing to satellite imagery showing clearly visible effects of overgrazing but noting that these lands at issue here have never undergone legally required official assessment of their ecological health. “The livestock industry enjoys heavily subsidized grazing privileges but acts as if it has an entitlement to the public’s lands.”

After last year’s Bundy debacle, local BLM managers in Nevada are under pressure from above to resolve any resource disputes regardless of the terms or the long-term effects on the health of the public lands. The groups today sent Interior Secretary Sally Jewell a letter asking her to support local BLM enforcement decisions and to develop an effective range enforcement strategy, rather than backing down like the agency did in the case of Cliven Bundy, or reaching new agreements with lawless ranchers, as they have now done at Battle Mountain.

In response to a request from U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Government Accountability Office is undertaking a review of the effectiveness of federal policies and practices “to detect and deter unauthorized livestock grazing on public range lands” in the words of a recent letter confirming the investigation.


Video courtesy of Reason.TV


View the settlement

Read letter calling for Secretary Jewell to start enforcing grazing limits

See satellite images of the North Buffalo allotment

See a map of the entire allotment showing Greater sage grouse habitat

Trace Battle Mountain conflict

See GAO agreement to review grazing enforcement

See Administrative Law Judge order upholding the drought closure

Look at prior violations by these ranchers

See the Greater Sage-Grouse Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment

Explore PEER database displaying conditions of Western range lands

Help save the Heber wild horses in Arizona

We’re sharing some comments regarding the Heber wild horses suggested on Arizona advocate Jill Irvin’s Terra Wind Ranch facebook page.


The Heber Allotment Environmental Assessment is out and comments are due THIS FRIDAY.

“Heber Grazing Allotment Analysis #43442 Public Comment”
MUST BE in the subject line of your email in order for your comment to count!!

Send email to:


Some talking points:

1) The NO grazing alternative is the least expensive.

The document requests structural and nonstructural improvements totaling over $4 million dollars and does not indicate a specific funding source. The document states, ““Projects such as these have the potential to be multi-financed between several partners, such as AZGFD, wildlife groups, permittee, and the Forest Service.” We can assume that taxpayers will be responsible for all if not most of the costs unless they tell us otherwise.

2) The NO grazing alternative has the greatest potential to stimulate the economy and increase tax revenues.

According to the latest census data regarding the Heber/Overgaard area (courtesy of the Arizona State Department of Commerce), the greatest revenues to the area are a result of tourism, retirement, government, schools, retail and construction. The no grazing alternative would increase the scenic value of the area and has the potential to increase tourist revenue.

3) The NO grazing alternative would provide the best environmental benefits.

The document states that the greatest opportunity for habitat improvement for many plant and wildlife species is the no grazing alternative and would result in improved soil stability and less stream turbidity. The EA also states the “primary benefit of this alternative is that recovery of soils, watershed and riparian conditions would occur.”

If you want to mention the horses …

The EA impacts almost half of the Heber Wild Horse Territory, but does not specifically discuss the potential impact from grazing under the new proposal to the wild horses this territory was created to protect.

The Heber Wild Horse Territory was created approximately 42 years ago, yet the Forest Service has never developed a territory management plan to protect the wild horses.  In many of the Forest Service documents and proposals written over the years any potential impact to the wild horses is not even discussed.  Larry Gibson, who currently manages the cattle owned by Seibert Cattle Company, has publicly stated that he wants every one of the wild horses removed, whether by adoption, euthanasia or slaughter.  He is not willing to share the forest with the wild horses.  Federal law mandates that the horses must remain in the territory, but Seibert Cattle Company can graze their cattle anywhere that grazing is allowed in the entire country.…/heber-wild-horses-legendary-or-problematic

(I encourage you to click on the link above and read the transcript of the 4 minute radio story as well as the comments below the interview.)

Thanks so much for your help preserving the freedom of the magnificent Heber Wild Horses. They are so worth the fight. Once these amazing wild horses are gone, they will be gone forever. We cannot let that happen.

Unpublicized Death of Young Horse at Belmont Tarnishes Triple Crown Luster

By Sarah V Schweig as published on
Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ Pres/Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Okay, my fin is up and ready for a fight.

Yesterday (click here) we wadded back into the turbid, bloody waters of the horse racing crowd and comments from a select few align perfectly with the bulk of pro-horse slaughter deviants complete with insults, threats and foul language.

Fortunately, for both us and the horses, Karma has been pretty effective in removing several of the wanna-be leaders of the perversion but the remaining few who revel in the illusion of consuming the bodies of companion animals continue to do the only thing they know how to do when confronted with truth, science and sound facts; they lash out in a most horrific and primitive way.

So today we will share more truth, facts and common sense so as to further increase their frustration and to make former twisted leader(s) roll over in their/his/her tortured grave(s).  Success, fueled by truth and honesty, is always the very sweetest revenge.” ~ R.T.

Bradley Weisbord ‏@BradWeisbord Jun 6 Bradley Weisbord ‏@BradWeisbord Jun 6 RIP Helwan. These horses and jockeys put their lives on the line for us. Thanks for giving us everything you had 💔

“He was making a perfect run,” said jockey Jose L. Ortiz about Helwan, the horse he was riding on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes race. “He made two jumps and then switched [his] lead [leg] and broke down. There’s nothing else to say about it.”

But some people think there is a lot more to say about Helwan — a 4-year-old colt from France making his first run in the United States — who was euthanized after he broke his left cannon bone during the race.

Helwan, who was owned by Al Shaqab Racing and trained by Chad Brown, participated in eight races during his life, and won three.

People are divided about what Helwan’s death means. Commenters on social media argued about whether the horse could have lived a good life after suffering from a broken bone — sadly, it can be very difficult to rehabilitate horses with bone injuries. Others questioned the ethics of the horse racing industry altogether: “When horse racing goes well, it’s a beautiful art. But when a broken bone has to lead to death, it makes me wonder why we even consider it sport & not animal cruelty,” wrote Stephanie Lariccia on an article posted to Facebook. “Stop racing horses! Then this wouldn’t happen,” wrote Maureen Clifford Reid on the same post.

“Man and animal alike love to do what they were created to. Racehorses love to run,” Vivian Grant Farrell of The Horse Fund told The Dodo. “But some even go so far as to believe that race horses love to compete. Perhaps, but not in the way a human being does. In the instance of horse racing, too often humans project insatiable appetites for money and glory onto the performance of these magnificent animals.”

Newsday ‏@Newsday Jun 6 Newsday ‏@Newsday Jun 6 A 4-year-old colt was put down at Belmont Park after an injury #BelmontStakes

Farrell added that horses are commonly given drugs to mask pre-existing injuries so that they can “run through the pain.” This compromises their safety, Farrell said.

An article in The Atlantic last year highlights the controversies, even within the industry. “The rampant use of drugs on horses [along] with claims of animal cruelty,” Andrew Cohen wrote, “has been understated even among reform-minded racing insiders.”

To argue that many trainers are not cruel to their racehorses still ignores the fact the industry’s very foundation is built on using animals for profit. The argument does not answer the questions that come from people concerned about horse racing as a whole: whether the highly competitive horse racing industry, as it currently exists, is good for horses at all…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment on The DoDo

Congrats, American Pharoah! Now End Horse Racing

By as published on BloombergView
Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ Pres/Co-Founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Last week’s win of the Belmont Stakes (Steaks) by American Pharoah left me with a feeling of emptiness and a sour taste in my mouth that I simply could not shake.  The massive amount of press about the “World’s Greatest Athlete” winning the Triple Crown was both stunning and disappointing.  Horse racing and those who make money whipping young horses down a dirt track was portrayed as the “Sport of Kings” while not one word was whispered about the horrific fate that befalls the bulk of the horses that are unfortunate enough to be involved in this cruel and abusive “industry”.  And then out of the darkness arose a beam of light bringing with it clarity and sanity via the well chosen words of Kavitha A. Davidson.  Her article on the subject, below, clears away the media hype and centers the spotlight back on the dying and smelly practice of horse racing.  I formally tip my hat to Ms. Davidson for the breath of fresh air she brings back into the world of American Equine Welfare Awareness and highly recommend the reading of her thoughtful writing.  With two rescued off the track TBs in the backyard, we want to thank her for her compassion and concern.” ~ R.T.

American-PharoahNow that American Pharoah has captured the first Triple Crown in decades, many are wondering what that means for the future of horse racing, and of the colt himself. The New York Times’s Joe Drape believes the feat will give horse racing “a badly needed shot in the arm,” with no indication of whether the hypodermic metaphor is meant to be ironic. American Pharoah’s trainer, Bob Baffert, said he wants the horse to race as long as possible, though he did give a nod to the idea of letting the three-year-old quit while he’s ahead.

Here’s  my wish: That American Pharoah goes out on a high note, and with him, the entire sport of horse racing.

Frankly, it’s a wonder that horse racing has lasted this long. Idealists would point to the sport’s long history in this country and to the unique place horses occupy in the American consciousness. But save for a few big races each year that are ultimately more cultural events and excuses to drink than marquee athletic showcases, the sport has been on a steady decline. And despite its blue-blood reputation, the “sport of kings” is really just the sport of vice, kept afloat by a system of gambling and doping that amounts to institutionalized animal abuse.

The main controversy today is over an anti-bleeding drug known as Lasix. In the U.S., it’s often administered on the day of the race, along with up to 26 other permitted substances; race-day medications are banned in almost every other country. Several top trainers have banded together to push for a plan to ban race-day medications in the U.S., citing the negative effects on the health of the animal and the reputation of the sport. Those resistant to change, including the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, claim that injecting drugs is actually good for a horse’s health.

This argument about what’s “best” for the horses blatantly overlooks the sport’s role in endangering their health in the first place. Lasix is used to treat bleeding in the lungs, a condition called exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage. EIPH is for the most part found only in racing animals, camels and greyhounds as well as horses. There are two theories of what causes EIPH in horses — that is, the mechanism by which hemorrhaging occurs — but as the disease’s name would suggest, it’s undoubtedly related to abnormally strenuous physical activity. You can debate the benefits of Lasix all you want, but it’s clear the best thing for a horse’s health would be to keep him off the track.

Horse racing is inherently cruel, and the problems start, literally, from birth: As the Indianapolis Star’s Gregg Doyel notes, we should expect nothing less than physical breakdown from an animal bred to sustain an abnormally muscular carriage on skinnier-than-usually legs. What you don’t see behind the veil of seersucker and mint juleps are the thousands of horses that collapse under the weight of their science-project bodies. This weekend at Belmont, all eyes on American Pharoah meant nobody was paying attention to Helwan, the four-year-old French colt who had to be euthanized on the track after breaking his left-front cannon bone. It was Helwan’s first time racing on Lasix.

Helwan’s breakdown is by no means an outlier. In 2008, a national audience watched in horror as Eight Belles collapsed immediately after crossing the finish line at the Kentucky Derby with two broken ankles and had to be immediately euthanized. In 2006, then-undefeated Barbaro suffered a similar injury at the Preakness and was eventually put down as well.

In 2012, the New York Times conducted a thorough investigation of the dangers of racing and the unchecked doping that furthers the risks, revealing that, “24 horses die each week at racetracks across America.” From 2009 to 2012, 6,600 horses suffered injuries or breakdowns. In that same period, 3,600 horses died at state-regulated tracks. ..(CONTINUED)

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

Action Alert: Cattle Rancher Calls for Adoption, Euthanasia, or Slaughter of the Heber Wild Horse Herd

Story by as reported on KNAU Arizona’s Public Radio

“A reader and fellow wild equine advocate brought this story to our attention and we definitely feel that it bears both repeating, here, and action taken upon.  Please review the information at the bottom of the post” ~ R.T.

Larry Gibson is a third-generation rancher in Heber, Arizona. His barn is lined with dozens of haystacks – food for his 900 head of cattle. They also graze in the forest, but in recent years, Gibson says there hasn’t been as much to eat.

Cattle-rancher Larry Gibson (far right) sits inside his barn with fellow eastern Arizona ranchers. They argue the Heber Horses are overgrazing the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and need to be removed. Credit Aaron Granillo/KNAU

Cattle-rancher Larry Gibson (far right) sits inside his barn with fellow eastern Arizona ranchers. They argue the Heber Horses are overgrazing the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and need to be removed. Credit Aaron Granillo/KNAU”A lot of these areas, we go and measure the grass before the cows ever get there. There may be 80-percent usage before we ever get there,” Gibson says. “If the horses have eaten the feed, you can’t bring your cattle up.”

In his own lifetime – 57-years – Gibson claims that the wild horse population increase exponentially. He pays the Forest Service about $1,600 a month for grazing rights, and feels he’s not getting his money’s worth. Gibson believes there’s one solution to protect livelihood and land.

“So in my opinion, the best thing to with these up here would be remove every one of them. Whether they go to adoption, or, you know, I hate to say it, euthanized or to a slaughter plant,” Gibson says. “I mean that sounds kind of harsh, but something has to be done with them.”

That’s something horse advocate and photographer Mary Hauser won’t accept.

“I don’t have any problem with these ranchers. They’re making a living.” Hauser says. “But I don’t think that our land should be stripped of our heritage and our wild horses.”

Hauser has been taking pictures of the Heber horses for the past 14-years. On a recent afternoon, she drives to their official territory, established after the Federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. It’s meant to protect them from sale or slaughter.

Hauser believes the horses she sees through her camera lens are related to a herd of Spanish mustangs brought to the Southwest centuries ago.

“Characteristically, they have an almond shaped eye. The shorter back. Their nostrils are thinner as far as the texture and thickness of the skin,” Hauser says. “And that’s all the Spanish look. So that tells me that these horses really are carrying the blood of those Spanish horses.”

Historian Jo Baeza suspects that may have been true at the time the Federal horse act was established.

“In 1540, Francisco Vázquez De Coronado came through the White Mountains with a huge entourage. Thousands of horses,” Baeza says. “I believe that those were the original horses of the Mogollon Rim — the descendants of Coronado’s herd.”…(CONTINUED)

The Rest of the Story

Welfare Rancher Larry Gibson works for the Seibert Cattle Company LLC which has federal lands grazing leases in several states.  Gibson runs Seibert cattle on the Heber Grazing Allotment where many of the Heber wild horses live.  Part of the grazing allotment covers nearly half of the dedicated Heber Wild Horse Territory in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in Arizona.

Gibson claims the wild horse population has increased exponentially over the years.  However, the last two USFS aerial counts from 2014 and 2015 show the population of the herd in and around the Heber Wild Horse Territory to be approximately 202, which is down over 100 horses from 2005 when a previous wild horse roundup was stopped by a court order.  According to USFS the total 2015 count for the entire 2.7 million acre Apache-Sitgreaves Forests was 320.

The Heber grazing allotment renewal EA coincidentally was just recently released and calls for increasing the amount of cattle to be grazed.  This grazing allotment calls for structural and non-structural improvements costing approximately $4 million dollars without saying how much of that economic burden will be placed on the American tax payer.  Public comments are now open through Friday, June 12, 2015.

Please take a look at the Heber Allotment Draft Environmental Assessment

Please mail your public comments to:

Black Mesa Ranger District
Attn: Chris James
2748 Highway 260
PO Box 968
Overgaard, Arizona 85933

OR you can follow the instructions to email your comments:

US Forest Service
Black Mesa Ranger District
2748 East Highway 260
PO Box 968
Overgaard, Arizona 85933

Attn: Dawnee Burson

Heber Allotment Analysis #43442

Commenting on This Project

Heber Allotment Analysis:

More Information:

The Heber Wild Horse Territory Notice Of Intent (NOI) is soon to be released with public commenting to follow. This will state the Forest Service plans for any Heber wild horse removal.

Michigan Couple getting Prosthetic Hind Leg for Pet Donkey

Dr. Terry Kern of Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Therapy in Rochester hills fits Miss Daisy Donkey’s right hind leg for prosthesis. Photo submitted by Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Therapy.

Miss Daisy is a mellow, easy going miniature donkey who lives in Independence Township.

She has long, brown hair, loves people, is about 30 inches tall and weighs less than 200 pounds.

She is also missing a hoof.

With the help of local veterinarians and her owners, Miss Daisy will soon be able to run without a hobble, thanks to a relatively new process of fitting of an animal prosthesis on her hind leg.

She will be the first donkey in Michigan to have this procedure done, according to experts.

Daisy’s owner, Independence Township resident Joette Kunse, said she and her husband, Bill, have had horses for 30 years.

“Last year we had two horses, and one passed away at 32 years of age,” said Kunse, a retired educator.

“A horse is a herd animal and likes to have company. We had looked at purchasing another horse, a goat and then we saw a miniature donkey and thought — cheap friend for our horse Scooter.”

The couple purchased Miss Daisy from equine veterinarian Austen Epp in November, and have made her part of the family since. But somewhere along the line, Miss Daisy suffered a cut near her right hind hoof.

An infection from the cut proved to be nearly fatal, said Kunse.

“Dr. Epp was taking care of her … (and) told us she may not live through this and she had a less than 50-50 chance,” Kunse said.

“During this time, Miss Daisy Donkey continued to eat, walk around and seemed to not know she was sick.

“One morning, we went out to the barn and found the bandage off Miss Daisy’s foot and the hoof was inside, but (she) was standing, eating and seemed oblivious to her predicament.”

Dr. Epp, owner of his own equine veterinary practice in Holly and partner in Michigan Equine Surgical Associates in Bridgeport, said: “Her wound scabbed, but it didn’t heal all the way. It basically fell off due to the lack of blood flow to her foot.”

So what are the options when a family member becomes ill?

“What else do you do? You do what you can,” said Kunse.

After a suggestion from their daughter — a veterinarian in Oregon — the couple have been working with Dr. Epp and Dr. Terry Kern, a rehabilitation and therapy veterinarian at Rochester Hills-based Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Therapy for Pets.

Miss Daisy was fitted for a prosthetic on her right hind leg on Friday at Kern’s office.

Kern, who normally does the fittings on dogs and cats, said the process of putting a prosthetic limb on an animal is relatively new — it’s only been happening for around the past eight years.

Pawsitive Steps works with the well-known Colorado firm OrthoPets, which was recently featured on the Today Show for helping fit a debilitated dog in Dallas with prosthetics on his hind legs.

“We’ll make the cast of the limb, ship the cast to OrthoPets, they will make a digital scan of the cast — they have digital printing machinery — and will fit all the buckles and clips,” said Kern.

“If you’ve got an animal who was born without the use of its limbs and you can give that back to them, it’s a deal-changer.

“Donkeys and equine animals have to have four legs — their structure has to be supported in four places — so it could be life or death for them.”

Kern said dogs and cats can do well with three legs, but using only three legs puts stress on an animal’s joints and back.

Only a few donkeys in the country have experienced what Miss Daisy will experience, and only five dogs in Michigan have gotten prothesis through Pawsitive Steps this year, Kern added.

“As a veterinarian, when the options have previously been euthanasia or amputation, this is phenomenal.”

Kunse added that Miss Daisy has even grown in popularity after coming through her ordeal. She now has a Facebook page.

“It’s been kind of a journey. Not a strange one, but it’s interesting what can be done,” said Kunse.

“When you get really bright people who see that there’s a need, they figure it out.”

Click (HERE) to Comment directly at The Oakland Press

BLM backs down to cattle activists

While the BLM cites the drought in the West to remove wild horses and burros from public lands PERMANENTLY, the BLM doesn’t enforce drought-related grazing restrictions in northern Nevada when cattle ranchers flagrantly defy the grazing restrictions.  – Debbie

SOURCE:  Elko Daily Free Press

BLM Allows Grazing on Closed Allotment to Avoid Confrontation

by Dylan Woolf Harris

ELKO – The Bureau of Land Management says it didn’t give ranchers permission to graze on a closed allotment made up of public and private land, but instead indicated that it “would not interfere” with the cattle turnout.

The Battle Mountain Complex, an area near Valmy that comprises both the North Buffalo and Copper Canyon allotments, falls in “checkerboard” land. Grazing was closed there in a 2013 decision, according to Nevada BLM spokesman Rudy Evenson.

With fewer and fewer spots available to graze due to drought, Dan and Eddyann Filippini decided to run cattle Tuesday on North Buffalo while the closure is in appeal.

The vast majority of AUMs on the allotment are privately held.

Acting BLM State Director John Ruhs told Eddyann Filippini that the agency wouldn’t attempt to stop the ranchers, according to Evenson. Instead, Ruhs reminded permittees that the federal land was still off limits.

“We’re not going to come out there and have a big confrontation,” Evenson said.

There aren’t fences, however, separating the land by ownership.

Former assemblyman and longtime rancher John Carpenter, who participated Tuesday to support the Filippinis, said whether the cows wander onto public lands shouldn’t be a problem.

“It’s not a resource issue because there’s plenty of grass,” he said. “There’s all kinds of grass there.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Navajo Nation eyes agreement reining in slaughter of wild horses



By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) – The first effort of its kind to prevent wild horses roaming the Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest from being sent to slaughter in Mexico has gained the preliminary approval of tribal leaders, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said on Thursday.

Under a draft agreement that still must be reviewed by the tribe, a foundation established by Richardson and actor Robert Redford would provide funds and expertise to the Navajo Nation to halt reservation roundups that have seen thousands of wild horses shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico.

  The impact of intensive grazing by wild horses in a high-desert reservation that spans more than 27,000 square miles (70,000 square km) of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah has been compounded by drought and led to competition with livestock for sparse vegetation, said Rick Abasta, spokesman for Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

  The roundups by the nation’s agriculture department and the fate of the captured animals has ignited controversy among the tribe’s more than 300,000 enrolled members, including wild horse advocates, Abasta said.

The issue has divided a tribal nation whose economy relies in part on free-range cattle and sheep but which also reveres horses.

“The Navajo elders have a saying which translates into English as ‘Our horses are sacred,'” said Abasta.

Richardson, whose second term as New Mexico governor ended in 2011, said he and Redford formed the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife with the aim of aiding wild horses.

“Our main objective is to stop the roundups and stop the horse slaughter,” said Richardson, who said Redford is a fellow horse enthusiast who owns a home in New Mexico.

Richardson said the agreement would first seek to identify the number of wild horses on the reservation, where estimates have ranged from several thousand to more than 70,000.

If ultimately approved, the deal, which proposes such methods as birth control to keep wild herds in check, would be the first of its kind on Indian lands and perhaps in the nation, he said.

“The Navajos are the biggest tribe in the country. If we strike an agreement here, it will set an example for other tribes that still slaughter,” Richardson said.

Abasta said the nation’s newly elected president is seeking feedback from tribal members.

“President Begaye wants a little more time to gather the input of grassroots organizations, ranchers and others to determine how best to go forward on implementing the agreement,” he said.