Seven Wild Horses Killed on First Day of Roundup Makes It Deadliest Salazar Massacre This Year

Sec. Ken Salazar; his destruction of wildlife knows no bounds!

Tuscarora, NV (IDA) – Yesterday, In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection and rescue organization, called for a summer moratorium of all roundups and is blasting the Department of Interior which, despite a federal lawsuit and legal appeal, began a controversial roundup of wild horses in Northeastern Nevada on July 10 which has resulted in seven (7) fatalities and numerous injuries in just the first day of the roundup. BLM has indicated that 228 wild horses were captured. These horses were stampeded with the use of a helicopter over eight miles in the deadly desert summer heat. The majority of deaths are dehydration-related.

“That the BLM refused to even postpone this roundup knowing full well the life-threatening nature of conducting them during the hot summer months in desert country is yet another example of this agency’s unwillingness to change,” said Todd Tucci, Senior Staff Attorney at Advocates for the West, a leading public interest environmental law firm. “Had the BLM done the on-the-range management as Congress intended they would have known the conditions of the horses and the range and would have averted this unnecessary tragedy deliberately inflicted by the BLM. The Interior Department must halt all summer roundups before other horses are subjected to similar inhumane treatment and conditions.”

Because of these preventable deaths, the BLM has temporarily suspended this ill-fated roundup. It is not known when BLM will resume it.

The Owyhee roundup which began only ten days after the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) identified “peak foaling season” (which ends on June 30th) unnecessarily subjects newly-born foals and pregnant mares to life-threatening conditions including the helicopter-created chase, or stampede, of horses for miles over rugged terrain in desert summer temperatures. Nevadan Laura Leigh, a artist and published author, filed a lawsuit to stop the Owyhee Complex roundup in federal court on July 9. The lawsuit outlines the Interior Departments’ lack of legal basis for the roundup and the Department’s lack of public access to view and document the roundup. On July 8, IDA and ecologist Craig Downer, represented by Advocates For the West, a leading conservation group, filed an Appeal and Petition to Stay with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) regarding the same Owyhee Complex roundup. The Appeal and Petition to Stay further challenges the agency’s determination that the Owyhee Complex horses are “excess” and therefore must be removed, and cited the summer heat and the danger to newborn foals and pregnant mares because of the roundup’s occurring only ten days after peak foaling season had ended. The Appeal and Petition to Stay seeks to postpone the roundup until at least after August 15.

The BLM reports that 228 horses were rounded up on July 10. BLM indiscriminately rounds up wild horses without any regard to age, condition or health — a direct violation of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. This July 10 roundup would include young foals, some of whom may have been born within the last week or so, creating inhumane conditions which would expose the vulnerable youngsters to life-threatening health problems and possibly death. BLM itself acknowledges that “summer gathers pose increased risk of heat stress” and “death can result.” In addition, running young foals can cause a multitude of physical health problems including hoof, skeletal and development issues.

The BLM’s Tuscarora Field Office, despite receiving written opposition from thousands of Americans, decided to move forward with the roundup and removal of approximately 1,200 wild horses from the Owyhee Complex – which includes three herd management areas comprised of 482,000 acres north of Elko in northeastern Nevada. The planned roundup only leaves behind only 337 wild horses on the 753-square-mile area. While severely restricting the number of horses on the Owyhee Complex, the BLM allows private ranchers to graze thousands of cattle in this same area (through livestock allocations).

The BLM plans to roundup and remove approximately 6,000 wild horses in the next four months. Currently there are more wild horses (36,000) in government holding facilities than free on the range (33,000).  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has repeatedly stated the wild horse and burro program is not sustainable given that tens of millions of tax dollars are spent annually on the warehousing of wild horses in government facilities – yet the Secretary continues the same broken cycle of roundup-removal and stockpiling of wild horses contributing to the programs problems. In Defense of Animals continues to work with ecologists, wild horse experts and others to push for on-the-range management of the wild horses and burros as a means to maintain healthy herds and healthy range lands.

Wild horses comprise a small fraction of grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by livestock nearly 50 to 1. The BLM has recently increased cattle grazing allotments in areas where wild horses are being removed. Currently the BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public lands of which cattle grazing is allowed on 160 million acres; wild horses are only allowed on 26.6 million acres this land, which must be shared with cattle. The Obama Administration plans to remove nearly 12,000 wild horses and burros from public lands by October 2010.  There are currently more than 36,000 wild horses warehoused in government holding facilities and only 33,000 wild horses free on the range.

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56 comments

  1. RT, it’s unusual for BLM to be so forthcoming w/bad news; how did the deaths first come to light? from them? or from another source? just curious as to the reason behind their admittance of disaster, even though they still tried to spin it to put themselves in a better light.

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    • I don’t know Jan as our information was gleaned from their release and an interview with a BLM employee. My thoughts are that it is much worse than reported and I CAN tell you this…as of yesterday, those 228 captured horses had NO water!!!

      The Cattoors are horse killers.

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    • Jan…I was wondering with the same thoughts. In fact, I was thinking that this so-called suspension of round up was just a ruse.

      Don’t we have someone out there? God please protect our advocates if they are and I don’t need a reply to my question on this public forum.

      Why this sanctioned cruelty?…just why.

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  2. They know horses have the same tolarance to heat as men. Plus horses can lose 100 lbs of water as sweat in a death run like that.

    They gave those horses heat stroke. The brain swells at the end of heat stroke 😦

    BLM are nothing but horse killers!

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    • Actually, Laure, horses have much LESS tolerance to heat than humans. We are adapted to heat, but horses are adapted to cold. If it feels hot to the humans, it feels MUCH hotter to the horses. Their bodies are like radiators – designed to conserve heat, and ours are designed to dissipate heat.

      That’s why any DECENT person takes extra care of their horses in the heat.

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      • Actually, people don’t do all that well in heat either, heat waves can kill way more people than bitter cold,

        anyway, though, people that don’t know horses always ask how my horses stand the cold. i tell them that my horses love the snow and cold, that August is the worst month to be a horse: unrelenting flies, heat and humidity.
        I doubt any electrolytes were put in the water at the holding pens.

        SAw Jane Velez-Mitchell’s show tonite, thank god for her and g. Knapp, and all who are trying so hard to get out the word about what is happening to our horses.

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  3. The foals? We need to know about the foals? How many unnecessary orphans now? How many died on the way? There needs to be an OPEN investigation with an independent party. Not just the BLM and the Cattoor crime family.

    What was that word Candidate Obama kept using on the campaign trail? Starts with a t. Transparency, yeah, that one. This is not China, Ken Salazar. We actually have freedom of the press here. Or used to.

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    • Didn’t someone say that foals aren’t counted? Maybe that was just the ones born in holding? I don’t know and what is even more sad, the DOI doesn’t know either!

      Hiring a known horse thief and slaughterer for roundups….good lord, what crooks.

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      • I believe they are counting on the way in so the Cattoors can get paid for them. Paid per head gathered. Wonder if they get paid for the ones that die too?

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  4. I feel ill and hope these horse killers all rot in hell! Sorry but I cant say any more than what has already been said by me and everyone else over the past months and months. I am off to shed some tears for these horses and ask for their forgiveness for “man’s” atrocities that have been inflicted on them and to promise that we will keep fighting for them. So sad!!!!!!

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  5. Cattors are bottom feeders of the worst kind, and WE pay them for this, that is a big part of what sucks about this whole thing, we pay the salaries of ALL who propagate this unrelenting cruelty and slaughter.

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    • You’d be surprised how many of them don’t believe they work for us…… They’ll tell you they work for the BLM because they are too stupid to know how the progression goes. There needs to be some big time house cleaning.

      Maybe their helicopters will collide

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    • Madeleine Pickens is on Jane’s show tonight. CNN Headline News channel. She will,I’m sure be talking about this.

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      • The BLM really doesn’t like Madeline Pickens. We adopted a Calico yearling on June 26 and the people at the adoption were ranting about her and telling me that she was a joke. When it gets all the way down to the peons at the adoption center out in the boonies of AZ, you know she’s got them worried

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      • Monika, thanks, I do hope MP gets on this tonite; I don’t know how to organize something like a vigil, but would be in support and would do it;

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  6. It is beyond words. Tax funded cruelty carried out by corrupt government. Cattor ought to be prosecuted. This is the NEW horse gestapo. Period. Bedecked with the political convictions of their corrupt tribes. They will carry out their mission this year, they are dead set on meeting their goals for 2010 – and backed up by Salazar who needs to go to the gallows. This is the new America. They kill, and we must protest again. A vigil across the nation such a Rob did, would be something we could do… any ideas ? Email me: TCourt5096@aol.com
    Nothing stops the BLM but exposure. They deceived us once again in Denver, they are ruthless murderers who let their PR clowns shun off the American people with fake promises and deceptive stunts. People, we all are losing our freedoms, not just the horses.

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  7. BLM has said they are in the northern section of Owyhee. The far northern section of this HMA is a well cared for cattle range with newly fenced allotments and water only for cows. Just south of this is a valley with the Little Owyhee River. The horses have been squeezed into the poorest section of their own range by the cattle allotments in the north and the cattle allotments iand the huge open pit mines in the south. I have been to both ends. The north central area where the horses are in this case is driest. The southern section has reservoirs and ditches carrying water out to the cattle. There was plenty of water in late May. For cattle. The horses own resources have been taken from them, under multiple use, and they are fenced from much of the cattle range. To say there are no fences in the roughest and driest area where the horses have been left and the cattle are not brought to is not saying much by the management that has created this problem. We all know the HMA is the horses’ range and they have been kept from the best of it for many years. I do bear witness to this. The horses have not created this problem. BLM and the contractors have planned this and they have called the reason for this removal to be drought. Yet there s much water on this HMA and it is being used by cattle and mining very intensely. mar

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    • In one of the BLMs new youtubes there is a rancher a man, standing by broken wood fence poles and whining about wild horses breaking down his fence every day.

      He’s is by that river,Little Owyhee River I think.

      The water is fenced off from the wild horses and that rancher is whining that the horses need remove because he has to fix his fence everyday!! Also looks to me that the horses are not pushing down his fence, some are getting caught in barbed wire and busting the wood posts!

      They have fenced off all the watering spots from the horses!

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  8. The BLM was warned repeatedly about the extreme dangers of running horses in a terror state (from the helicopters) through the hottest month of the in the desert – they were also warned that new born foals would never be able to keep up and can rip their soft hooves right off from the rocky terrain! The fact that they continued to proceed with the round up shows that they have NO concern for the safety of these animals. They claim that the round up was to prevent dehydration – yet their genocidal roundup CAUSED dehydration deaths! Serious corrupt and deep pockets are at the root of this evil onslaught against our wild horses…it has nothing to do with their welfare, the BLM just thinks that we taxpayers (who are paying for this massacre btw) are too stupid to figure out what is going on…but we are not and there are many who are FIGHTING to save them and justice itself!

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  9. Even if they used the entire 2 1/2 hours to go 8 miles that is a pretty good pace (that is over 4 miles an hour), would seem impossible to me for a baby horse, but I’m not even a horse person. And consider the fear and increased respiration they endured in the heat.

    These wild horses are increadabily tough, they can and do travel up to 20 miles a day when needed, but at a slow pace, not in fear, and can stop when needed (figuring just 15-16 hours of summer day light travel thats only 1 1/4 mile an hour – a stroll).

    Side note – horse haters now claim wild horses are forced, by wild horse advocates, to regularly go 50 miles to water and that we advocates are the cruel ones for making our horses suffer this way. How did “ability” to travel 20 miles turn into “forced” 50 miles?

    Of course, who is fencing water off from the horses in the first place? CATTLE (mining and energy – probably BP and Halliburton). Ugly, bad for your health, welfare tax dollar sucking socialist program, global warming producing, poop in their own drinking water (really, how can I eat them after knowing this), destructive, exotic, cattle. One cow produces over 3 times the global warming gas as 3 automobiles. Now, since wild horses haters claim no animal of theirs would ever have to travel for water that is proof positive to me that there is plenty of water, jsut fenced off from horses.

    However, according to BLM, the range is dehydrated but not dehydrated enough to remove 100 of these fithly animals to one horse? Hum? So the cattle must be dehydrated too or not or maybe or not today or what? BLM double speak again! I know BLMs is only able to lie and be condesending to us and paint us as whackos (anti gather advocates, which I find truly insulting) – but really, come on BLM!

    I know cattle people will argue that they are only there 6 months of the year – so what!!!!! Thats still an average of 50 cows to one horse on this particular range! And then they will argue that two cows equal one horse – so what!!!!! Thats still 25 cows to one horse.

    Anyone know how many cattle are in this complex and apparently doing just fine? I’d like to break that down to an equivalent number of horses

    BLM (and Wallis) – you have made me hate cattle and beef. Get all the damn cow things off my public lands until they are ZERO and put the captured horses back on the land that is supposed to be their Primary use. And stop killing the mountain lions (oh,oh, watch out – here come the horses haters to save the horses from the cruelties of being wild that advocates cause!).

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    • It seems unfortunate to me that all the development of water sources that have been done in these 3 HMAs has been entirely for the use of cattle and mining. Even in the more open range on the Rock Creek HMA there was very much good water in evidence. In a high little pass we found the sign of one to three wild horses from over winter. There were cattle in all the places we visited except near the mines. The horses have been systematically pushed to the least productive and rough land. Over the past 10 years and more. This is deliberate. mar

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    • I found an older site that says there are 3500 cattle adjacent to this roundup area. So by using my math above – 1/4th of 3500 is –

      Guess what – about he same number of wild horses they are planning on stampeding out!

      Remove the cattle instead!

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    • So how much global warming gases do the horses release each and every day?

      I still hate mountain lions,we had two foals attacked this year by a mother mountain lion that had kittens, they lived but the one is now terrified and scarred up, and the other one just had a few cuts. We also lost three baby calves to her.

      Horses poop in the water too. I’ve seen our horses standing in the pond, pooping and peeing in the water that they drink out of. It’s just not cattle.

      Mares that lose there foals, are just like human’s when they baby stops nursing, milk production still occurs, and there is some discomfort, when the milk isn’t relieved from the bag, the bag tightens, and swells. Mares even if they are not producing milk will try to steal a foal, we had a mare that would try and steal another mares foal, and she was still pregnant, so we had to remove her from the herd until she foaled, or if she was dry, we would keep her with the riding horses.

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      • kris w,

        Methane gas – As I understnd it, I’m still researching a lot, horses have only one stomache as compared to cattle and horses digest completly differentlyy also, they even pass much in whole, such as seeds that cattle do not. It that takes a lot of grinding to wipe out seeds. Then when you consider that cattle outnumber wild horses on public lands 1000 to 1, I’d guess the output to be about 1 to 1000 less? My only experience has been driving by horse ranches – no smell, drivng by cattle ranches – wheweee!

        If the mountain lions had more wild horses to feed off of then they would be less likely to kill yours and we would need fewer wild horse stampedes – win, win. Especially if welfare beef were completly gone from public lands – that is what I work toward everyday.

        You have seen your domestic horses poop and pee in water. Have you seen wild horses or any other wildlife poop and pee in water, and for what duration a day? I understand from advocates here that elk for example, which are more similar in nature to cattle, are very destructive of riparian ways, but horses are not. Cattle historically stay near the water hole until every shred of forage is gone – horses graze 10 miles or more a day and only water two or three times a day on average, again, as I understand it so far. Ginger Kathrens has hours of footage of horses at watering holes and some people have wild horses on their vast acerage and there is much evidence that horses are not destructive and even seem to know when a water stream is fragile – example footage of Michale Blakes ranch and the streams there that water the wild horses.

        The pain and nursing thing, that is what I was getting at – that is what I thought – thank you for this info.

        Some more knowledgable than I will perhaps join in here and correct me on any points I am wrong.

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      • kris w, just what is your point? you are comparing apples and oranges, horses and cows, wild horses and domestic horses, the nursing part, spot on, the rest of it, get some facts about wild horses before you express opinions about them,

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      • Kris ~ You absolutely cannot compare domestic horses with wild horses, at least not with wild horses that are allowed to be free roaming as nature intended. Horses, if they have some freedom, do NOT poop and pee in water, even domestic horses. I have two domestic horses on 9 acres. When it rains, there is ponding on the SW side, often belly deep. On hot days, they love to play in the water. I’ve lived here with my horses for almost 20 years, and they have NEVER pooped in their pond.

        Domestic horses often have so little room to roam that they do things that are not nature for equines.

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    • humans walk at 3 and a half miles an hour. regular walk not fast.

      The BLM press release, what were the body temps of the horses that died? body temps are missing from your press release, wonder why? heat stroke info, also missing, wonder why?

      anyways, the dead horses got heat stroke. No matter if they started the stampeed fully hydrated or had water the day before and were 24 hours from their last watering.

      I bet Cartoor was flying around on Sunday, spotting his $$ numbers running around. And moving horses around so their last day of peace was saturday!! The few water spots left to them are far especially after the BLM is harassing them for a couple days.

      They have to take down the freaking fences that are blocking the horses from water! and stop making animals run in 90 degree heat! It kills them, BLM you horse killers. The same old BLM cutting off ample watering spots and using that as a excuse to give horses heat stroke!

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      • Good info. What does Cattoor care if they croak the minute they pass the chute – they get their pay as I understand it.

        I know from her website that Sue Cattoor does NOT count any deaths after they pass the chute – that is how she has gotten away with this .05% death baloney for too long (and Sue, in case your are reading I already took a picture of those posts on your web).

        Whether she or BLM holds themselves accountable does not matter to me – I hold them accountable!

        And I claim suspect all previous counts she and BLM have published!

        And further suspect, when did this become her business, when was it Dave’s business? Some of you must recall?

        Is this some ploy to get people kinder because she is a woman? Or allows her to stand and ABUSE the advocates because she is a woman? BS! Sue you are being USED! And won’t get you one shred of different response, not from me at least. .

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      • Do you think Cattoors may have intentionally moved the horses away from water the day before to get them in a dehydrated state so they can claim they are dying of thirst out there? I know, I know, sounds very conspiracy theory, but I truly would not put it past the BLM.

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      • The horses live in family bands and o not gather together in groups of nearly 200 or more by themselves unless something is pushing them; instincts or humans. Of course they were bringing horses in closer to the capture sight. That is what they have to do. mar

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  10. Question – I have recently read a report about mares who have lost their foals at Fallon are fighting to kidnap other foals.

    I am recalling some faint memories from my childhood far days about cows not getting milked are in pain.

    Are these nursing mares with no foals in pain?

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    • Roxie, Maybe you have to consider the abnormal situation these horses live in, suddenly, and must be in close quarters with mares who are foaling and nursing foals. Overcrowded conditions that they would never live in naturally will likely cause some extreme behavior. I did see the little foal Sorro and the Kiger mare who was so protective of him but who was dry of milk and may not have been his mother. It was a heartbreaking sight. mar

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      • Distressed would be what I think. There may be some pain for a bit but the distress must be what gets them agitated and who knows why they begin to act out; conditions are very bad for them. It is what they call aberrant behavior which wild animals display when they are held in captivity. mar

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  11. Like a lotta the folks in here, I have Horses. And I have trained Horses, from the ground, in a lot of different weather.
    What’s bugging me about this – the theoretical application of ‘knowledge’ of Horses by either the Bureau or Cattoors – if it was noted there was NO water source near these Wild Ones, why would you begin a stampede – even at a trot – ‘knowing’ these animals sweat profusely during strenuous activity?
    For, as admitted by that Beacon of Information, Heather Emmons – 8 miles?
    After grooming, I’d do either lunge line or round pen with my charges – to warm them up before they were ridden. 20 minutes pre-ride, walk-trot-canter. 20 minutes with the rider, same deal. 20 minutes Hot walker, or, if I had time, 20 minutes with my chubby backside in the saddle at the walk.
    THEN a brisk rinse, head-to-hindquarters, in cool water. Even after, some continue to sweat.
    That’s a lot of dense, specialized tissue – muscle, respiratory & circulatory – to bring back down to normal body temp.
    Wild Ones are very durable. But no animal, under those circumstances, is THAT durable.
    First order of protection in heat exhaustion, after administration of fluids, is to reduce BODY TEMPERATURE – get out of the sun & heat & into shade. That’s basic First Aid. What the hell happened?
    Self-proclaimed Wild Horse Roundup Experts, the Cattoors, should have known & prevented this.
    Sue, you have screamed at us so many times about how much you & yours care about these Horses. Why weren’t you screaming FOR them?
    Bureau-proclaimed Wild Horse & Burro Specialists, and the Vet, should have known & prevented this. And gone above whatever strictures indicated this Roundup was essential.
    And Heather Emmons: please, before you speak again on things you know very little about – like placing blame on these poor stooopid Horses for their inability to care of themselves – STOP. Try, for the love of whatever you hold sacred, to have a post-it in your hand with a modicum of factual information on it BEFORE speaking to the Public.

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  12. Lisa, when it’s hot and muggy here in IL, I go out and spray water on my horses periodically during the day, and hose them down before they are stalled in the evening. SHADE!!! in BLM pens, yeah right! I’ve watched video of Sue C around mustands, she has NO clue how to communicate with a horse, come to think of it, her communication skills with ALL are suspect.

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    • Which brings up the question again–have they installed any shelter so the horses at Fallon and Palomino can get out of the sweltering Nevada sun? HSUS it was your recommendation in your report. Care to put some muscle behind that recommendation and make it a requirement instead?

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      • Well, no one from the “outside ” is allowed in @ Fallon anymore, so there’s no way to know, who’s been to PV to know? from the pictures I’ve seen it doesn’t look like there’s any shelter @ any of the facilities.

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  13. ok everyone, latest from BLM; this is actually from yesterday, today’s update says the same old blah, blah, blah, but bottomline, 4 more horses are dead!

    Gather operations continue to be suspended. Two more animals died and two were euthanized because of complications related to water starvation and water intoxication.

    Gathered: 0, Deaths: 4, Total deaths: 12
    4-year-old stud, 4-year-old stud, 4-month-old colt, 3-year-old stud
    this is posted on BLM’s site, under gather updates for Tuscarora, if they only postpone til Wed, what’s that gonna do? is the weather going to turn cool? are the foals going to grow up over night?

    What do Cattoors care, they’re making their money @ another roundup!
    I hate this!

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    • This is 10 times worse than Calico or Pryor. It is unbearable, but I guess there is no choice other than to hate BLM and Cattoor 10 times what I already did.

      I had no idea I had this much despisement to conjur up against fellow humans – there really are no words to adequatly convey.

      What did that first Survivor gal say at the finalle – “if I see you laying on the street I’ll walk on by” something like that – thats my saying to BLM and Cattoor livestock company.

      I do not know what the heck they are thinking not allowing observers! But for me its a complete backfire – a little 4 month old today after running from that monster and then penned up in totally unfamiliar surroundings – what agony I feel for them all.

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  14. I don’t think , after all of this, that I could just “walk by”
    the image of that sweet baby, trying so hard to keep up with his mama, is absolutely sickening to me, if they start this madness again tomorrow, I don’t have the words to express the outrage.

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    • Maybe I couldn’t either, maybe I’m not as mean as I want to be – just all so beyond sad. Really, no words to adequatly sum it up.

      I think its pretty safe to say that most to all of the horses suffering the most and now dead and dying were on that 8 mile stampede, babies and all. I don’t even want to turn on the cumputer tomorrow – but will hoping for a glimmer of good news and hope. I’m signing off early tonight with one last “hate cattle”!.

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      • Oh no Roxy, i didn’t mean that in a nice way!!!! like I’d stop and offer them a hand; no way!!!! My Irish is up, I am not in a nice mood right now

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