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EWA and Animal Law Coalition Call for Federal Investigation into BLM Covert Wild Horse Roundup

Breaking News from Horseback Magazine

Doubt Cast On Pilot Valley “Estray” Horses Rounded-Up By BLM

CHICAGO, (EWA) – On June 23, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District office buried on its website a notice that  approximately 175 “abandoned, domestic, estray” horses located within Pilot Valley, NV, were scheduled for impoundment beginning June 25. The round up was expected to take 3 – 4 days with corrals set up on nearby private land owned by Simplot Land and Livestock until the horses could be transported and placed under the jurisdiction of the State of Nevada.

According to Nevada laws, an estray is a horse that is found running loose on public lands but shows signs of domestication and the owner is unknown. A horse is considered “feral” under Nevada law if the animal was domesticated or is the offspring of domesticated horses and has become wild with no physical signs of domestication. The state of Nevada owns estray and feral horses. Wild horses and free-roaming Mustangs are protected by the BLM under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Nevada authorities plan to sell the horses rounded up by the BLM at auction on July 10. The horses will be available to all buyers and are therefore at risk of ending up at slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada.

But serious questions are being raised as to whether these horses are, in fact, estray or feral. After investigating the history and location of the Pilot Valley area, wild horse advocates found Pilot Valley sits at the edge of a known wild horse territory called the Toano Wild Horse Herd Area. BLM wanted to make this area “horse free” in 1993, but according to BLM’s Program statistics, approximately 168 wild horses were reported as still residing in the Toano range as of last year.

The proximity and near identical number of horses has lead mustang advocates to speculate that the horses the BLM rounded up as estray might actually be wild horses from the Toano range that are entitled to roam free under federal protection. How, they ask, does BLM know these horses are estray or feral and not wild horses?

Suspicions are further fueled by the unusual suddenness of the roundup, just 48 hours after notice of the removal was posted.  “These horses will go from free roaming to sold in fifteen days or less with tight security at the facilities where they are now being held,” said Valerie James Patton, Vice President of Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA).

“Even BLM’s own news release stated those horses had been there a long time, long enough to grow in size”, Patton added.  “So now the question becomes, how long is a long time?  Since 1993 when BLM filed papers to zero out the Toano Herd Area?”

“Given the long history of abuse and impropriety that has characterized the Wild Horse & Burro Program, I have to ask,” said EWA’s Vicki Tobin, “Did BLM openly remove federally protected wild horses from the range to sell them for slaughter because they have no fear of being held accountable? It would be illegal for BLM to round up wild horses declaring them estray and turn them over to the State. The BLM is prohibited from sending wild horses to slaughter, whether directly or indirectly.”

While questions have begun surfacing as to the true status of the Pilot Valley horses, Laura Allen of Animal Law Coalition and EWA points out, ” Before selling estray horses, the state is supposed to use reasonable diligence to try to find the owner including placing a notice about the estray with a full description in the local paper. BLM’s news release states these are domestic estray horses abandoned by local residents. So why isn’t an effort being made to find the local owners and hold them responsible to care for these horses instead of rushing these horses off for instant sale?”

“Another concern is, there are very specific definitions as to how to determine estray and feral livestock from federally protected wild horses and so far, the only thing we’ve seen is a take-our-word-for-it position from officials”, she said.

“The Department of Interior has an almost unblemished reputation as a consistent source of scandal, mismanagement and corruption,” explained EWA president John Holland, “starting with Teapot Dome in the Harding Administration through to the current disaster in the Gulf. So when things look this suspicious, questions are bound to arise.”

In fairness to the BLM, EWA contacted them on July 1, to ask how they determined the horses were estray and is still awaiting a response.

EWA calls for a federal investigation to find out how BLM determined these horses are not the federally protected wild horses from the Toano range, which should include genetic testing and an accounting of the Toano wild horses.

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37 replies »

    • I don’t think the BLM wants any public comments to be really “Public”

      They make their public comments times very short and hide the notices for comment times in their website.

      The BLM makes the format to use for comments IMPOSSIBLE for unsavy computer users to use.

      The BLM hides everything and I for one am sick of the BLMs hiding and am never going to be silent about that!!
      They have killed so many wild horses, so many! even more recently with their crappy facilities!! BLM you get worse and worse over the years. You suck you freaking horse killers!! thank you for allowing venting and I know the BLM reads here… why don’t you set-up a real messageboard for the public BLM? why are you afraid of the general public YOU are working for??

      signed, a pissed off American who will never shut up!!


  1. Did anyone think maybe some of these horses may have a microchip in them?

    Maybe a brand?

    What about Stolen Horse International/NetPosse?



  2. The BLM hides everything they do from the public. The BLM never posts any pictures or vids of anything they do with wild horses. The BLMs main helicoptor contractor is a criminal horse slaughter sender of wild horses.

    So I wouldn’t put it past the BLM to be deceptive and have their helicoptor- cowboy run or trailer in wild horses and rename them as ranch strays. So they can get their meathorse money and send more wild horses to slaughter.

    Isn’t it against the law for ranches to throw away their livestock?? find out what ranch is by those horses and make them pay for feral horse clean-up!! why should the state pay for sloppy ranchers who can’t keep their animals fenced in?

    Those cattle ranchers may hate wild horses and want their BLM buddies and the taxpayers to pay for their sloppy ranching pratices!! Not any more cattle ranchers and deceptive BLM people.
    Take care of your ranch horses like most good ranches do!!! and BLM stop squandering taxpayer money to give free services to your cattle rancher buddies!!!


  3. just from the one picture I saw posted of those horses in auction pens….. looks like someone cherry picked and pulled out all horses with color??

    something weird going on. perhaps one of those horses can be matched up colorwise with the federal protected wild horses off that range.


  4. WOW!!! Excellent info and I hope someone can prove the allegations.

    Seems like a perfect opportunity, albeit difficult.

    Dept of Ag-NV is even worse than DOI (if that’s possible).

    Thanks for the report.


  5. Very starnge that there is a report of these horses disappearing but then reappearing 1 1/2 -2 hours later and reports that there are only 130-140 or possibably even less now . That time frame would allow horses to be cut out in the back pens and then returned. Also Ed Foster, the NV Ag guy in charge of them, has refused to give out a list of these horses until the day of the sale, July 10 at 9AM. There have been pictures and a video taken of them so we will see how many will match up . Mr. Foster Emailed me that there are 174 horses. There was supposed to have been 175 but one was seen dead in a pen. Wonder how many horses there really are or will be by Sat. ?


  6. update from BLM Indian Lake rd Facility, Fallon, NV as of Fri 7-2-10:

    Indian Lakes Weekly Update (June 26 thru July 2)

    Nearly all horses have gained weight and regained their health. Nursing mares and yearlings are on a high nutrition diet while all other horses in adequate body condition are on a maintenance diet. A few of the 2010 foals are noted with minimal levels of upper respiratory disease. They are being monitored and treated as necessary (see previous attached Upper Respiratory Veterinary Report). Gelding of the five years and older stallions continued this week. Dr. Eric Davis from the Humane Society of the United States visited the facility on Thursday, July 1, to observe the castration process. One death occurred this week: 15 yr old gelding (1442) was found dead. Death reason unknown. No necropsy was performed. Mares are still foaling, but births are fewer and intermittent. No miscarriages occurred.

    Facility Death: 1, Cumulative Death total: 102

    Since mares are still foaling HERE, it would seem that BLM’s date of June 30th as the end of foaling season is being proven wrong right in front of their eyes.


    • Psychotic, subsidized liars.

      Gaining weight my ass!…are the 102 plus dead gaining weight you belligerent asshat?!?!


    • again their report lies and says “horses have gained weight”. There is NO picture or Vid proof that the wild horses were thin in the range before round-up.

      No Picture or Vid proof of round-up day thin horses?? that to me means they could have been in excellent condition on the range and hurt by the round-up and after care.

      you see the BLM never ever uses Pictures to prove their reports!! they always lie in text!

      The wild horses always look worse the longer the BLM has them.


    • 7-7-2010 This is the tricky of BLM. Example is the Jackson Mt. Wild Horses in 2007. PVC gradually disposed of any horse that did not do well under their atrocious care. What was left? Healthy looking horses for the public’s view.

      Betty Kelly
      Carson City NV 89704


    • “” Dr. Eric Davis from the Humane Society of the United States visited the facility on Thursday, July 1, to observe the castration process.”””

      Does anyone know where the HSUS report,pictures and vids of the observations of Dr. Eric Davis on July 1?

      or was this a social private visit?


    • 7-7-2010 Addendum: For the correct record, on 3-17-2010 Reno Rendering (from the horse’s mouth so to speak) had picked up 100 horses in the last 3 weeks from BLM’s new Fallon Indian facility and was heading for more victims. So the number of Calico wild horses deceased at the hands of these frontal lob dysfunctional thugs is greater than 103.

      By the way, BLM and NDA are accomplices in the wild horse fiasco in Nevada. I include the Nevada Legislator in this catagory was well that is controlled by this corporate industry and responsible for wild horses being illegally labeled “estray” or “feral” so that NDA can take these horses to auction and slaughter while laughing all the way to the bank. It’s an old mustanging trick by these agencies and the public lands permittees/politicans (corporate ranchers-Simplot included).

      Betty Kelly
      Carson City NV 89704


      • Betty can you provide the link to the source for this information, as none of the observers who visited the facility weekly back then reported this as happening?


      • Betty…thanks for the post. Based on my research, I always knew (barring backhoe operation where remains could be found by advocates) that rendering was going on fast and heavy for a so-called “save ’em” operation. Found out the names of renders from a corporate source in rendering. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not against rendering…they do what needs to be done, but I always knew there would be a deceptive NVDA/BLM action to hide the remains of the dead. covert, if you will.

        Interesting info.


      • 7-7-2010 This was from a driver of a Reno Rendering truck when he was picking up one of our horses from a local vet hospital for a private cremation. Also understand I am not attacking Reno Rendering who does a service for the livestock community and is only doing their job. But I am attacking BLM and its facility tactics!

        More FYI, BLM and all are notorious for “disposing” of the horses that have not responded to their “care” so behold eventually only healthy looking horses are left for the public viewing. This happened to the Jackson Mountain wild horses at PVC in the fall of 2007.

        Also do a Google search on Pilot Valley NV (near Elko NV). They guys have big plans $$$$ for this area.

        Betty Kelly
        Carson City NV 89704


      • yes I remember a person posted that fact about the renderer right here on this blog someplace recently!!


  7. Why couldn’t a Nevada resident(backed by advocate organization) file a temporary restraining order aqainst the Nevada Ag and BLM to prevent the sale until such time horses are identified and their pictures posted?


    • Because the trolls deny access and verification to the public or welfare organizations; without verification our position is nothing but unverified and conjecture…and they like it that way. Roundup after roundup has proven our contention that they are exterminating, not manageing. Look for just one factual assertion by the horse whackers like the population/census issue…it can’t be found and what is found, doesn’t add up……REPEATEDLY!

      And you know why? Because they don’t want an accurate count.


  8. I have been wondering as of late about another condition that these horses are subject to. That would be their hoof conditions. Out on their own they seem to be able to keep thier hooves worn down and the ones I’ve seen look pretty good, but now that they are and have been held in confinement for such a long time, who is taking care of the feet for them???


    • far as hoof conditions, the BLM never ever shows pictures of any wild horses HOOVES, not ever. Especially the wild horses held in over crowded long term holding, even when we see a distance shot the BLM never shows the hooves. I bet because the hooves look like crap.

      I read they use the squeeze shute when they have to cut feet and they use power tools.!!

      Thats for the wild horses they have to adopt!! my God the poor horses have to try to be adopted and the BLM has done nothing to make them like humans.


    • Thats good Jill Star is raising money to save this lot of horses. Last I read one of her donators already donated the funds to buy all the horses.


  9. 7-4-2010 FYI from a NV historical perspective. The Tuscarora (NV) area is the “sovereign territory” of Nevada’s notorious long time State NV Senate-R, Dean Rhoads who has methodically altered the federal wild horse/burro protection Laws by passing NV States Laws contrary to Federal Laws over the years in order to annihilate America’s wild horses and burros from OUR Nevada Public lands and to claim OUR public lands as their “privately owned” lands. Rhoads is known as the “father of the sagebrush rebellion” (anti-federal government movement) which began in the 1980’s and flourished when Ronald Reagan was elected President and declared himself as a sagebrush rebel. Dawn Lappin of WHOA commented “there goes our wild horses” when he was elected. And she was right!! I look upon Rhoads as the “pimp” of the Nevada Legislature as whatever he wants, he gets….that means terrorizing, maiming and killing of America’s wild horse/burros thru Nevada Legislature. So goes the big land grab (stealing) of OUR public lands as their “private lands”, but the wild horses/burros must go as well as the federal laws. Please notice how BLM (aka corporate public land livestock industry) is now calling any remaining free roaming wild horse/burros on their legal ranches ESTRAYS or FERAL. Under Nevada Agriculture NRS (complements of Dean Rhoads and his accomplices that includes and allows the NDA (Nevada Department of Agri) to take them to auction and slaughter. You know a Nevada law supercedes Federal Laws mentality! Also Dean Rhoads is a long time BLM permittee politician from the Tuscarora area where he conducts his livestock business that included not only bovines but “equines” as well. He had been/was also the long time chairman of the Nevada Interim Committee on Public lands as well as chairman of the NV Senate Committee on Natural Resources from where he passed and implemented his anti-wild horse/burro “pimping” activities thru the years in order to accomplish his personal and special interests corporate goals. These guys are laughing all the way to the bank. During the Bush era Rhoads received over 1/2 million dollars in Federal subsidies…not bad for someone who is anti-federal government. Dean Rhoads in my opinion over the years is a slick, sneaky mean-spirited evil corporate cowboy!

    Carson City NV 89704


    • last I read Nevada is 80 percent federal lands.

      So I guess the private party land grabbing is very intense in a state like Nevada that is 80 percent!!! federal land.

      its true too isn’t it that prostitution is legal in Nevada??
      my god I think Nevada is the HEART of the good old boys playground. They can party hard with ‘girls’..squander the lands for whatever and have the taxpayers pay for it.

      No wonder the economy in America is ruined and the deficit is so high…these good old boys- suck out taxpayer money like hogs at a feeding trough!!!


  10. HEY!!!! Some advocates here have to learn how to keep information non-public!!!!

    We are at war here folks. Dicussing facts that are not germain to future efforts is all well and good; talking about stuff (other than permitted protests and historical data) that jeopardizes the future of round-up and holding equines is NOT fine…everything needs to be held until it happens (and even then, I wouldn’t do it without our leaders like TCF, EWA, etc).

    This blog is watched…PERIOD!.


  11. 7-7-2010 MY last historical comment:
    MORE FYI-historical perspective. In 1966, my sample Nevada ballot (I still have it) said at that time Nevada had “approximately 87%” unappropiated public lands”. And just to inform you just how sneaky and conniving this corporate public lands livestock industry is that on the ballot was a QUESTION No.4 (result of a Legislative Senate Joint Resolution) to amend the NV Constitution to remove the disclaimer of the state’s interest in the unappropiated public lands which on October 31, 1864 (statehood) forever allowed the Federal Government to control much of the land within the boundaries of the state. This was approved by the voters on September 7, 1864. Further, the federal Enabling Act specified that the disclaimer was “irrevocable” unless the United States and the people of Nevada both agree to remove it. And “even if Nevadans approve question 4, their approval does not guarantee that Congress will agree to remove the disclaimer. Dean Rhoads has been a Senate member of the NV Legislature since 1985. However Question No. 4 passed by a little over 50% of the voters. Voters did not realize the impact of their yea vote. During a 1996 Interim committee on public lands (Dean Rhoads’ committee), it was commented that anything could be passed thru Nevadan voters if it was presented on a “positive” note. So goes the Nevada politics of America’s wild horses/burros in Nevada to annihilate America’s wild horses/burros from their legal lands.

    Laura, you say 80% of Nevada is public lands. Was 87% in 1996. I doubt it is not even close to 80% now because of the continued “grabbing” (stealing) of our public lands by special interests corporate politicians in cahoots $$$$ with BLM and ongoing annihilation of our wild horses/burros.

    Betty Kelly
    Carson City NV 89704


    • I read 80 percent recent. This year (wickki from federal gov. info if I remember right) and your fact says 87 percent in 1996.

      So 7 percent must have been given away? in just a few years! The rest of Nevada they may have leased off with those free money losing leases.

      No wonder America has a rotten Economy, we have to support all these freeloaders and land grabbers.


    • excellent historical facts!! Noticed a lot of Nevada land for sale in 640 acre blocks. Checkerboard pattern with blm land interspaced with for sale land. exterminated wild horse lands for free leases right next door to the new private ranch owners land.

      Not much for sale this year, noticed the big land sales mostly 3 or 4 years ago.

      I guess when it looked like Bush-team was going to lose..grab land now or lose the chance cause the new admin may notice what we are doing.


      • There are dozens of big 600+ acre parcels in Battle Mountain priced below sticker. Many have year-round creeks & streams and are lovely and green all the time.
        The only issues I can see with owning big tracts of Nevada land is water rights & mineral rights. And I hafta wonder if you gotta host some fool’s grazing rights while yer at it.
        All of which is the primary reason I’d turn over my Cute-ness Card for the Unbelievably Wealthy Card: it’s my personal mission before I kick off this mortal plane to have a vast permanent retirement home for every ‘unadoptable’ Wild Horse and Burro I can get my widdo paws on.
        Maybe call it the Kiss My Wild Ass Ranch. (K-M WAR)
        What a great letter head that would make!
        (so goes the continuing imaginings in the vast airpocket that is Lisa’s head…)


  12. Jane Velez-Mitchell just demanded that heads roll over the BP disaster. She did this at the end of the show tonight. She specifically called out Slaughterczar multiple times and ONLY good old Kenny. FINALLY!

    Amen and thank you JVM! It was a great rant….hope you can watch after wading through the sad tales of kidnapped children and Lindsey Lohan. It does replay across all time zones on Headline News (CNN).


  13. BLM, titled Bureau of Land Management…Wild Mustangs have died and continue to die under their watch. Blatant Lying (wild mustangs & burros) Murderers….


  14. Examiner~ y2010m7d7- A-Lifesavers- mission-to- rescue-170- wild-horses- dumped-into- a-notorious- Nevada-feedlot? cid=examiner- email

    Please read the very end where Laura Bell has photos and info about missing sale horses. Her husband counted them again yesterday and found only 145 including mares and foals.


  15. please leave these beautiful wild horses alone !!!!!!!!!!!! what is wrong with you people !!!!!!!!! you think that its ok to fly helicopters over them and kill them,how do you sleep at nite!!!!!!!


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