Horse News

Another Wild Horse Foal Killed by BLM Actions

Written by Steven Long, editor/publisher of “Horseback Magazine

47 now killed and counting

Foal lying down prior to dying - Photo by Laura Leigh

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management confirmed today that a second foal has died at their hands after losing its hooves possibly from being driven down a Nevada mountainside by a roaring helicopter.

“Apparently there has been one more foal that was euthanized because of hoof Sloughs,” BLM spokeswoman JoLynn Worley of the agency’s Winnemucca office told Horseback Online.

The agency classifies the 1669 horses it has rounded up at the current Calico Mountain gather as “excess.”

Horseback has asked for the report of the BLM veterinarian who treated the foal. The foal died Saturday after two weeks of treatment. Worley has said she will post the report on the website when it becomes available.

Activist and videographer Laura Leigh noticed the foal laying down last week during a visit to the BLM hospital site. She had found the animal a caregiver outside of BLM control, however, it was too late.

According to a website set up for the current Calico roundup citing day to day progress on the capture of wild horses, the bureau acknowledges 27 deaths since the “gather” began on December 28th.

The BLM also admits that 20 to 30 mares have miscarried since late December.

Helicopter induced roundups have consistently resulted in wild horse deaths according to BLM statistics released late last year to Horseback Magazine.

In 2008, 45 percent of the roundups resulted in at least one fatality, and on one in Nevada, 27 horses died. The total number of deaths through injury or for other reasons totaled 126 animals that year.

The 2009 percentage of dead horses on BLM roundups is slightly worse at 46 percent resulting in at least one horse death. In July, a Wyoming gather proved fatal to 11 horses

Over the two years prior to the 2010 roundup season a total of 205 horses died at the agency’s hands

In BLM roundups, horses are often driven down miles of rocky slopes by a roaring helicopter. Such was the case in Wyoming this year when 11 horses died at Coconut Creek when 349 horses were caught.

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32 replies »

  1. These idiots are totally incapable of taking care of any living creature–to add insult to injury and death they want more of our taxpayer dollar to perpetuate this inhumane cruelty on defenseless horses.
    Just found this on the DOI/BLM website–

    they want MORE money for 2011 since their “program” isn’t substainable. What a self-fulfilling prophecy–


  2. While this story, the death count, the suffering of the equines by this BLM-Cattoor partnerships is unbearable, the more the incompetence and destruction, the more ammunition we have in the courts and with our fed and state reps.

    Just makes me wonder how bad it was for these noble animals before the magnifying glass and lights were turned on during the last 24 months….it makes me shudder to think about what’s probably been going on for the last 38 years.


  3. Does the total of 47 wild horses killed by the BLM include the babies that were lost due to miscarriages or does the BLM not count them?


  4. Like the American Indian, the Wild Mustangs will suffer and be driven from their homes. I don’t know what the answer is. I just know we need to keep these horrible stories and pictures alive so that someday soon the idiots will see the killing is not the answer.


  5. I can put her story and this picture on my blog as well. Spread the word! We need as many people as possible to know about these things. I think most people would respond to little babies getting their feet destroyed.

    It’s just unbelievable! You can’t get through to ANYONE! How do we know their aids are even giving them our messages. I get canned replies referring to the ROAM Act, and I haven’t even MENTIONED THE ROAM ACT LATELY!

    Sorry about the screaming. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. :o(


    • Same here. Calling DC aides about the anti-horse slaughter bill, ROAM, (((BLM/Wild Horses)))… and after some “seeing if she/he’s here,” I am told “out of the office.” So I speak to voice mail.
      That said, I keep calling once a week to see if I can talk to a live person!

      I don’t know, a year ago, two-years ago, there was no problem speaking to the aides that dealt with animals. Actually, I had many pretty long conversations about the bills. There was interest. WHAT IS GOING ON IN DC REGARDING ((ALL)) HORSE BILLS…ISSUES!!??

      Is there now such a divide between the Republicans and Democrats that the animals too are affected by immature hissy-fits.
      Excuse me, with all due respect 🙂


  6. While you are calling and emailing, add Lisa Ross spokesperson for the Winnemucca, Nevada WH&B program to your list. Her number is 775/623-1541. Call and let her have a BLAST about this latest foal. I sure did! Comparing the Pryor Mountain gather, where humane observers were given fairly decent access with zero deaths to this fiasco where access is largely denied. We need to descend upon DC and we need to do it soon!


  7. This is my letter going to President Obama this week:

    February 3, 2010

    Dear President Obama,

    The last few weeks and days have been strange. I have felt a gut wrenching fear and sorrow from loss. And I have reacted towards everyone without understanding the source. I have a lot of questions – what is the source?

    Was it the first report of the mare found dead in the morning at the BLM Calico roundup pens, or the little baby whose hooves had come off after days of pain from the run in front of the Cattoor helicopter? Or the ones found troubled on the range and shot or found already dead from the roundup? Has it been the other 20 plus deaths so far and still counting? Or has it been the 20 to 30 spontaneous abortions, and still counting? Are we expected to believe that these mares were going to spontaneously abort if not run in a roundup in the freezing cold rain, sleet and snow and left soaked with sweat in pens without windbreaks? Or has it been the lie by omission of truth on the Cattoor Livestock Calico roundup pages that leave one to wonder how they come up with the less than .5% casualties? That is easy to do when you dissolve yourself from further deaths that occur in the pens due to the roundup. Or does that leave one to wonder what has really occurred on the range? Are there even more? Now news of yet another foal found dead in the pen after suffering for a week with its hooves coming off, bare nerves exposed, pain riveting through its little body? Or is it the lie by omission on the BLM pages that show a few thin horses, but not the great majority of the horses in November or as they entered the Calico chutes in excellent condition? Or is it the lie by omission on the BLM pages when showing the few thin horses and not disclosing how many calories it took and how much fat and muscle fell off of horses the hours and days in the pens after the run, where they can’t roam – just stand around all day and all night, where if they do lie down they have to lay in their own urine, depressed, torn from their family and homes, where the water source is unusual to them, the food is foreign to them, even deaths according BLM attributed to the feed and still feeding them the same food? Or the knowledge of where these horses that do survive will end up – just more of the same depressed existence, or worse to killer buyers?

    These would seem to any rational person to be enough. Especially when coupled with the grievously irrational reasons given for these roundups in the first place – that just do not add up.

    But, no, those were and are not the reason for my angst. I woke up this morning realizing what had been eating at me on top of the rest of it. I would quote this commenter, just one of us folks, unknown if main street or rural, from one of the wild horse advocates pages. If I could remember who and where it was posted and I apologize to them if I am off mark.

    The following comment is I think something that many, maybe thousands of us have been whispering to ourselves under our breath. Some of us have asked a question of this nature in a gentle quite way. Because to say it out loud as a fact might make it true.

    “Maybe we should not stir up so much; maybe we should leave BLM and Cattoor alone. They might hurt or kill more of our wild horses to spite us.”

    What I want to ask of Cattoor Livestock, all employees and subcontractors and contract employees – are you proud of this?

    What I want to ask all BLM employees are you proud of your agencies part in creating this impression?

    What I want to ask Ken Salazar and all cattle interests, is this the kind of thing that makes you proud of your contribution?

    Congress, does this make you proud?

    President Obama, your lovely wife First Lady Michelle and your family, your White House staff, your Cabinet, does this make you feel pride in your administration?

    All of the above, maybe some of you have even sat with others and boasted, even laughed at us? Is this what makes you feel pride in yourself, your actions, or lack of actions? Is this your United States of America?

    These little whispers, these little questions, are like little pebbles scattering all around the world, making little ripples, that as they grow and compound turn in to waves. This is a wave of an impression of our treatment of our own American icon on our own soil. It’s this kind of fear that turns to resolve. Because we, the people, won’t be intimidated, we won’t allow erosion of our pride in what we know “should be”. Oh, there have been a few success stories, and a few people have come forward. But the overwheliming truth is that almost entirely everyone involved in the BLM, USFS and state and local wild horse roundups, the “programs”, have lied to us all along and continue to lie to us, and continue to lie to you Mr. President.

    What also eats at me is I know the only person that will read this is the mail room guy – that these questions will remain unanswered by anyone. How do we get passed the mail room guy? Thousands and thousands have signed petitions, there have been lawsuits, protests. What does it take to get through? How do we get you, Mr. President, to ask the same questions, get the real facts and truth and do something about it? Well, this time I’m posting my letter on the advocate pages, so the mail room guy will not be the only reader.

    What also eats at me is what is going on in other agencies that I haven’t taken such an interest in?

    These are just more and more little pebbles from just one of thousands of citizens and thousands of people around the world.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration,

    Roxanne Hale

    The Cloud Foundation blog
    Straight from the Horse’s Heart blog


      Live grassroots conversation with the President online Feb 4th. Do you think we could get through with opening questions about DOI budget, domestic spending and then onto BLM—
      I personally spent time in my Republican small town handing out Obama literature, phone banking, etc and now we can’t get through to even an aide. I was put on hold and finally gave up the last time I called. Maybe the next step is to contact the Democratic National Committee and ask why the grassroots don’t matter anymore.


      • Barbara, I signed up for the conversation and provided, I hope, a good question, but seemed to require a donation on the 2nd page? Anyway, did not do that part.


  8. Oh i love that such passion. i hate to say it but that dark side of me would love to run the cattoors and govenment through the very pens they run our horses though using whips and cattle prods and beating them with gates as they have done these horses run them bare foot through the rocky terrain and as they bleed just stand there and do nothing like they did to the colts. There have been lots of spinal injuries and a pelvic injury too do you realize how much pressure it takes to break a horse spine. I wonder just once would it would feel like to do these things to these horrible people and i wonder if they would ever get it, that they are doing this to a living breathing creature that feels pain just like we do. My wild boy got sick this winter and for 2 days i stayed by his side and did not eat cause i did not want to leave him alone for even a second. I bet no one stayed with those colts or cried holding their heads as they were in so much pain and i bet no one had the balls to hold those poor souls as they passed from this earth. I hope the Great Spirit makes them suffer for what they have done.


  9. And to think I blogged all over the internet defending this administration against claims of “death panels” in the health care bill…These are the DEATH PANELS…I now think-if “they” do not care about these deaths-would they really care about older americans? I am utterly disgusted and dissalusioned. I recieved a long response to my letter to my senator, that basically was a talking point from the dept of the interior website…but I am not going to let it rest.!!


  10. I know I’m jus’ preachin’ to the choir here, but isn’t this sort of ‘mustanging’ exactly what Velma Johnson fought so damn hard against?
    How is this any different?
    Aerial vehicles used for round-ups.
    Whole herds and family bands trucked off to ‘facilities’.
    Now, since I’m the new kid – and you can give it to me straight – is this normal?


    • Lisa, you are correct. This is a battle that has and will go on. It has escalated with the energy independence needs. I recommend YouTubes “Bush, Oil and Mustangs” and Robert Redfords “BLM”, then just search YouTubes for Wild Horses, Saving Wild Horses, Saving Mustangs, etc. I am new also, I started with the Cloud series on PBS – you can watch all three shows and lots of other videos (wathed them all over and over at first) and information on-line there that Ginger Kathrens has put together. That got me to, that got me to all the other links, that got me here, more links to more informaiton, and to Stephen Long, Horseback Magazine, George Knapp, “Stampede to Oblivion”, all the wonderfull people who contribute on all the sites – so many, many others, and more to come.

      Normal and BLM? If meaning normal as in being “sane” and intelligent, these two do not mix. Normal, no, this Calico Roundup is the largest and most controversial, but the escalation actually started about 8 to 9 years ago. Helicopters are determined by the federal Environmental doctrine, which I cannot recall the name of right now, to be used for wildlife management, including wild horses and burros (it is one of the first “renewed” doctrines signed by Obama right after he took office -and doctrine is not the right word either). That trumps all else, and all common sense as well. Again, depends on which definition of “normal” is applied.

      Sadly the herds and families do not re-unite at the “facilities”, the prisons. When you see the photos, and even the BLM volunteers describe the horses in “holding” on the YouTubes it can be considered nothing less than a concentration camp – just depressed empty shells of horses, that were once free and beautiful and spirited, living in wonderful family units and a facinating social structure- thats our goal, to reinstate.

      Stay with us, stay with the research and spread the word! This must be stopped, this is insanity.


      • hello Roxie;

        I agree with what you say; I have been sending pix and articles to my Representaive; including the pix of the Little one lying in the pen; with no attention; nourishment or shelter;
        I sent this pix to my Representative;
        I have been making a collection of the horse abuse photos; and forwarding them around; I contacted the BLM about this foal after I read what happened; I hope the wicked neglect of a living foal; tho’ departed; will open the eyes of the Rep. and he will do something to stop this; ps thanks a lot for the copy of the letter you wrote to the President; this will be forwarded to my Rep.(Rep. Himes who is a co-sponsor of an Equine protection bill; my computer is getting over a bad spam; pps Have you ever considered sending some of your posts to Horseback Magazine etc.? you would be good as a contributor; good work!

        If I get a reply I will post/forward


  11. please, someone from the round-up areas get there after the BLM leaves and find the mustangs left behind.

    Seems the BLM only reports the dead and injured AFTER they are in the capture pens.

    how many have fallen/died when the helicoptors were running them? how many died and the BLM employees just got them out of the pens before the public could see them?

    without 24/7 live webcams watching every second of the round-ups and the mustangs care….the BLM just lies.


  12. The foal looks TOTALLY abandoned. Horses gone, all but three that we can see.


    This foal was being treated for 2 weeks? A vet report? Something tells me, never happened.

    We cannot ever stop! Been going on too long, so long. There is now a massive amount of people fighting for the wild horses. Thank you Ginger!

    Thank you Cloud! When you faced that helicopter that day, you were giving out a powerful message for us all:


    • if you magnify the photo; you will see; not only no humans in sight; no hay or straw in sight; no pellets; grains; greens; old carrot tops in sight; but there is no water in sight; no shelter; no protection from the cold; wind; and get this;

      The Horse is lying on Sand; so even if it did rain; and the horse put his muzzle on the ground to catch some dew;

      the sand would drain any water so the horse would get nothing; the Vet who works for the ApHis is some type of a kook; from what I see; leaving a Foal out there on the sand; is no different than dropping the horse off on the side of a highway;…



  13. I was so sick last week about little Courage. Courage is the name of the first foal that the BLM ran the feet off of. After I gave him that name I started feeling better. Maybe because he now had a name I could draw upon. Or maybe it was kinda like the horse that Michael Blowen got at Old Friends last spring–via Ernie Paragallo. Little No Name came to Michael with no name, half starved and very small for a 5 year old. His name now is Escapefrom NewYork.

    I too came to the knowledge of WTH is going on with Wash via AlexBrownRacing, Cloud and then Ginger. It makes me ill knowing that:

    Little Courage had no wind break
    Was left alone by himself with no one to snuggle with
    Left alone on the cold frozen ground

    I wonder did anyone stop to offer a kind word or gesture to him? Or offer a blankie to help ward off the cold? And what did Courage do to deserve having his feet run off anyone?

    In the end someone came in and shot him in the head. Courage never knew a kind hand, never knew that a blankie might help to hold warmth in. He never knew that a two legged animal might even be willing to stay with him to the end. All Courage knew was that two legged animals were that–ANIMALS that intended him harm. And his instincts proved him right as the BLM shot him.

    I can’t tell you how much this hurts.


    • Laura,

      You are one of my heros! You have absolutely nothing to be sorry about. You are out there doing what I cannot. You did everything you could – you are so brave!

      BLM acted like the snake oil salesmen they are – they have done this to Ginger too. WE all see through them for what they are doing!


    • I agree; I have never seen such blatant Foal abuse in my life ! The foal did not stand a chance without feed and water ! I have magnified the pix and I have scanned every square inch of Hope Springs Eternal on the sand; not even a piece of hay or straw anywhere near the Foal? no water
      and how many days did the foal lay there? the reason the foal could not get up was not due to any known disease; the reason was; the foal was run too hard; the running combined with stress; being trucked; new hay; the Foal couldn’t make it ! the only person to truly blame imo is the Aphis Vet who did not tube the foal with hydrating nutrients to make him well; the pix you show may perhaps save the day; once representatives and senators see this pix; BLM is history; thank you very very much; aw

      To save a Foal like this would have required a warm stall; light; bedding; IV nutrients; electrolytes;

      only a vet or very skilled horse person can adminster the IV nutrients

      and this was the foal’s greatest chance
      iamsorry; sincerely; anna conn. usa


    • Hi Margaret;

      Your thoughts read almost like a poem; thanks for writing; I think a petition should be drawn up to fire the Aphis Vet who leaves living foals to die in a sand pit; (u must magnify the pix of hope springs eternal to see the sand traps; )

      no Vet. in their right mind would leave a foal out in the middle of no where !
      who is this Vet.? someone should do an investigation on the “horse-traitor ! geeze!


  14. We must all keep trying and not lose hope. Every day call the White House (202) 456-1111 and Michelle Obama at (202) 456-1112. Keep up the letters to DC and to your Congressmen. We can’t stop. This is the most disgusting misled policy I’ve seen in years. Sue Cattoor and her “skilled” contractor staff, Salazar, and the and others have to live with this in their hearts. These actions are inhumane and unjustifiable. We must demand a stop and public hearings. Everyday is more news of the pain and suffering of these animals, and the utter ignorance of our tax paid officials.


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