Horse News

The Big Apple Takes A Bite Out Of The BLM

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch, Author and Director of the HfH Advisory Council

NYC Equine Advocates Join Forces to Stop “Massacre of the Mustangs”

On November 14th, 2010 New York City advocates protested the Obama administration‘s continued assault on our national icons, the American Wild Horse.  The purpose of their protest was two-fold; one to raise public awareness of the plight of America’s wild horses and two, to ask President Obama to issue an executive order mandating an immediate moratorium on all roundups by the BLM.

One of the protest’s organizers, Jo DeGeorge reported:

“The day was beautiful, we had fabulous banners, great posters and wonderful people with tremendous energy. CNN covered and Robert (CNN) said parts of it will be aired along with a larger project they are doing. It should air in about a wk or two.”

Their statement is inserted, below:

“New York is joining the rest of the nation and members of Congress to demand a moratorium on the Bureau of Land Management‘s brutal Wild Horse and Burro roundups that are decimating and slaughtering thousands of our indigenous icons. Stop the BLM from “managing” our Wild Horses and Burros right into extinction.

Roundups increased significantly in 2000 in the Bush years and they haven’t let up under the Obama administration. 12,000 wild horses and burros are scheduled for removal from our public lands this fiscal year alone.

The helicopter roundups come at enormous expense to our wild herds and to the American taxpayer. Over 30 million dollars is budgeted for the BLM for 2011. Hundreds of horses have died this year alone due to these roundups and the death toll continues to climb daily. This does not include the mares that have aborted their late-term foals. Aside from the heinous spontaneous abortions of overly stressed mares there are reported deaths of beautiful stallions during castration. In what the veterinarian community is calling “barbaric” protocol, a neuromuscular blocking agent is used which paralyzes the stallion but does not block any pain. These horses are forced into a recumbent position, hog tied, rolled over and castrated inflicting tremendous pain and fear. Several of these stallion have died due to complications. As a result a horse will go into hypertension-induced pulmonary hemorrhage resulting in death by asphyxiation.

Several foals have also died in round-ups; their hooves literally being torn off in a chase over extremely rough terrain in searing heat for 10-15 miles at very high speeds. The remaining “lucky ones” who do make it to a holding facility are exposed to the elements without the opportunity to find cover as they would in the wild. In addition, these horses are feed a diet intended for already domesticated horses. This diet invariably leads the horses to colic.

Many are hauled away in the dead of night by kill buyers who sell them for profit to slaughter houses in Mexico. It is estimated that over 30,000 wild horses are presently languishing in obscurity in BLM feedlot corrals, though the truth of the matter is thousands of these horses have already been sent to slaughter. Presently, there are more horses in captivity than in the wild. These wild, beautiful horses remain terrified, broken and hopeless, their fate uncertain and bleak.

Thousands of these horses are being shipped to Mexico for slaughter. Their meat is then being shipped to countries such as Japan, Belgium, France and China for human consumption. Horse meat is a delicacy in these countries.  Aside from supplying these countries with our precious horses for human consumption, the horses are being removed for SPECIAL INTEREST groups.

Annually we lose $123 million running a taxpayer subsidized grazing program. It is often referred to as “welfare ranching” due to the small fees charged for livestock permits. The rate is currently $1.35 per cow/calf pair per month – the lowest allowed by law. The program is in the red and fees need to be raised to at least $9.00 in order to break even. If the wild horses would be left to these land, which are rightfully theirs it would not cost anyone anything. Presently, the horses that should be roaming free on these lands are being kept in BLM holding facilities and are being paid for by your tax dollars. The cost – a staggering $10,000 per day.

An interesting and salient point, Ken Salazar is a fifth generation cattleman. There are sustainable plans for our wild herds on our Western public lands and these need to be implemented by the governing body put into office to do just that.

This winter BLM plans to roundup 9107 wild horses and burros and remove 6,244 of them. After that they plan to roundup 5,548 wild horses in the summer and remove 4,502 of them- total of 14,655 rounded up and 10,746 removed for fiscal year 2010. On top of the $75 million BLM is asking Congress for (basically half to roundup these horses and half to feed what will be over 45,000 in government holding, BLM is requesting $42.5 million to purchase private land in the East to house captured, sterilized and separate wild horses. This is part of the absurd “Salazar Plan” that has been met with close to zero public approval and is likely not within the legal abilities of BLM. Over 24 million acres have been taken away from wild horses and burros over the past 40 years and those lands must be returned to the horses and the horses released back onto these “zeroed out” herd areas.

In 1971, Congress recognized that wild horses and burros “are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” by enacting the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. This law seeks to protect “from capture, branding, harassment, or death” wild horses and burros found on public lands in the United States.



Call: President Obama 202-456-1111

Find you Legislators

44 replies »

  1. I have signed petitions,made phone calls sent money….what in the hell is it going to take for the american people to be heard????I do NOT want MY TAX DOLLARS spent in this way I want my wild horse free!!This country is BROKE and they spend my money freely on something I am disgusted by,SALAZAR MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE BLM!!!


    • Rhonda..I’ve done the same thing as you and I don’t know what else it’s going to take. BLM has a report “Myths and Facts” about our wild horses and it’s full of lies. It was sent to me by my Congressman after several letters I wrote him about my concerns. Washington simply refuses to listen to the American people. I’m sad, disgusted and sick over this. We have no representation in Washington as far as I’m concerned. BLM, MMS and yes even the FDA all need to be emptied out and cleaned up!


    • BLM Days should be numbered. I hope their reign of terror and death halts for ever. If the president doesn’t do anything about this what the hell is he in office for? Just an opinion but the administration has turned a blind eye on this matter far too long.


  2. This is hopeful but again, we have a long way to go as a species. In our efforts to be socially appropriate and remain essentially unharmed, we have let the most viscious and ill intended among us do their dark work. It is time to speak to another way of doing. And become our highest and best selves as a species.


    • Sad to say, as illustrated by the history of our evolution, our species is flawed and male dominated all over the world, the result of which is aggression and wars upon our own species and all other species. If evolution predicts that this behavior can be reversed resulting in a “higher form,” by that time our species will have so decimated our world and other life forms that little quality of life will exist. And so it goes……


  3. Folks when you submit facts, observations, details, photos, research, etc., to the BLM to contest “gathers” I can guarantee that your hard work ends up in a file no one will see. On the other hand, if you send this information to the COP (Congressional Oversight Panel) it will get attention. Here is the link ~


  4. We need to ground the helicopters now. It is not legal to chase wild horses and burros with a helicopter. There is an exception for the gathers BUT, that exception requires the pilot to follow HUMANE GUIDELINES AS PROSCRIBED by Sec of Interior.

    I have done a lot of reading and these guidelines don’t exist. This is what I have found:
    The pilots are required to have a certain number of hours experience in gathering to do it solo. Experience does not mean he knows how to do it humanely. If you have 500 hours experience running horses too hard, you are not going to treat them humanely.

    They are also required to not run them too fast, too long, or push them too hard for the conditions of the horses and the environment. This is not guidance because it is pilot deciding what is too much. Guidelines need to come from the Secretary. Would you send your newly licensed kid out with his first new car and tell him not to do any TOO dangerous? No you would give GUIDELINES.

    Therefore the helicopters are being used illegally. GROUND THEM NOW!!!


  5. New York is the perfect staging area for this protest, how many people went home and “googled” wild horses after seeing these protestors? Each time we enlighten one more person we come that much closer to tipping the scales. When I read these statistics, although I’ve heard them, and repeated them before I am just stunned. Protests, like the one Jo and Co. organized are crucial for this purpose. Thanks to all for making this happen. There are people out there right now saying “I had no idea this was going on”
    and they are now telling their friends etc. At some point there will be a groundswell!
    Is there a FB page, or social network page that exclusively covers protest schedules and news? Protest-R-us ? 🙂


  6. I have also signed petitions, made phone callls, shared posts, emailed the white house and just don’t know what else to do?! I am beginning to think organizing such an event in the Phila area, actually near New Holland, PA like NYC just did. I want the BLM roundups to end immediately, stop, period. The 40,000 mustangs in captivity I do not want slaughtered and sent to Europe for human consumption, The BLM has spent American tax dollars rounding them up, now continue to spend our money to care for them. End the sterilization program which is barberic. Remove the cattle from public land. Are our cattle ranchers in charge here? I can’t eat beef while this is happening and maybe never again, I don’t know.,


    • Pam, you can’t remove the cattle from public land. The horses and cattle can co-exist together. The logistics don’t work if all the cattle raised for the consumer are kept on private land – there just isn’t enough land because Americans and other industrialized nations demand too much beef. While I am a dedicated wild horse and burro advocate, I have some friends and neighbors who are 4th generation ranchers(and love horses) and the daughter in law works for the DOW (Department of Wildlife) in Colorado. I get some interesting insight from them. Besides, ‘free range’ cattle – those who live most of thier lives grazing on public lands – is some of the best and healthiest beef you can eat. I know my neighbor does not use the drugs and hormones that other ‘private land’ ranchers do. So as we protest, we much also understand the needs from other angles. The wild horses and burros must be left alone (just like elk, bighorn and deer) but if we want the same quality of beef and the same volume, ranchers must have access to public grazing lands.


  7. Thank you New York for exposing the plight of the mustangs in the West on the East Coast. It is time all of America learns the appalling truth – and finds out what BLM really stands for.
    Thank you CNN for catching on and hopefully other media will ever finally too – expose the equicide taking place so quietly and leaving such irreparable consequences for the horses and us all.
    I feel dismayed that most of the country has got no clue what is happening, but a few – and the subject is so overwhelmingly shocking, most who find out cannot grasp the horrific extent of it. Yet it’s taking place here, in our country who is doomed by egotistic politicians and judges who are in bed with them. We must keep fighting. Thank you again.




  9. Dear God, WHEN are “they” going to listen, &, STOP this cruelty!!?? This can be compared to abusing & torturing a human baby, so completely HELPLESS!! America, WE have to STOP this barbaric insanity! I support & applaud New York, & all others fighting on behalf of these magnificent, noble, & beautiful, & suffering, wild horses!! OBAMA, are YOU listening?? If you can take the time to write a book, you CAN also use your power, authority, & your words, to STOP this, for the sake of the wild horses, but also, for the sake of future generations, including YOUR daughters, PLEASE, DO something!!


  10. There are many ways to stop a helicopter from flying……..I wish I lived over there with you !!! I would be there always with you !!!! But I am not so !!!! Ill bet those Helicopters fly with many violations , everyday !!!! What we need to do is send the agency that inspects these Helicopters and the people who fly them , I would bet anything these low lives are flying in total violation of the air !!!! Probably no licenses also !!!! There thinking were flying for the government and like the BLM we are immune d to being checked ?????


  11. This event was a great turnout!! We had CNN there as well as many individuals who had no idea what was going on. We handed out over 1000 educational leaflets on both Slaughter and roundups!!


  12. Get on the PHONES people call 202-456-1111 ………………….The only way for Obama to know his utopia is is falling apart at the Hands of a ROGUE Federal Agency is to tell him !!!!! He is oblivious !!! And tell him his Government Transparency is a falicy at the BLM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Tell him hes got HUGE Problems he must address immediately…………….If he wants to stop Government Bullies he need not look further then to the BLM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


  13. Not one more death…not one more maiming..harming.. or harassment of our precious wild horses and burros.
    We must grow in number now..1,500,000
    …Call Pres. Obama Today and cross wild fire~

    President Obama,

    Hello, I stand with millions of Americans calling you, to apply wise and compassionate strong leadership in immediate action, in the name of all that is right and good here, in the name of what is freedom, our wild horse, our Great American Icon needs your protection now.

    Please execute an executive order issuing a:
    1. Moratorium on BLM wild horse roundups
    2. Return to freedom BLM captured and penned wild horses/burros
    3. Investigation of BLM’s misuse of our tax dollars and violation of WPA 1971, including profiteering, corruption, first amendment right violations and conflict of interest with special interest groups.
    4. Transparency for the people of America to receive their right to freely observe BLM’s actions

    Last week, 9 more wild horses were killed by BLM’s deadly mismanagement.
    Thousands are at risk for BLM sales to slaughter and inhumane, deadly treatment in holding pens, including genocide.

    Stop BLM’s Wild horse and Burro genocide today, our National Icon, the great American Wild horse needs your executive order now to survive.

    Thank you.


  14. YESSSSSSS!!!!!! This is fantastic news. I am sooo excited to be getting N.Y.C. in the mix as well as CNN. Great report, as usual R.T. Thank You and Terry for your ongoing efforts, 24/7. Without you folks and Madeleine Pickens; I am sure this would not be coming to fruition.


  15. Sounds like a good plan to start holding these protests in front of news organizations. Let’s see if there is any real investigative journalism left in this country. I’ve given up on this do nothing Congress who is so afraid of offending their real constituents–the corporations. Sorry, very cynical today with the non-stop removal of 85-90% of herds during each round up.


  16. Obama knows what’s going on and is turning his back. Don’t forget he took his daughter to Fallon BEFORE the Calico roundup, to show the people the horses are fine. They are not fine.
    The NY protest was great, and you wouldn’t believe how many non horse people didn’t know what is happening, Elizabeth your right, they must be told. I just read about Wyoming, capturing & imprisoning 2,269, If I had the money I would be on a plane to see this, they lie about thier numbers, no way they have over 30,000 in holding, they are gone. Congress, is ignoring us, because they are told to, foreign trade, and no body is telling me any different. The blm has to be investigated, how I don’t know, all government agencies stick together. Cnn is very interested in this, and I am praying, they show the American people just how their tax dollars are spent. To get rid of an American Icon. I think I’m going to write some girl and boy scout troops.


  17. Last winter when Calico was going on-on a google search for public lands grazing-I ran across a realator site, advertising allotments for sublease for $80 per AUM..I think we are setting our sights too low @ $9 per acre..lets see how much the ranchers want that land when it is not “free” but market rate…Those hundreds of thousands of public land allotments increase the value of the ranch by millions..they borrow from the bank using them as credit..Of course they are going to fight to the death to retain their allotments..but its about time they have to pay for that privledge


    • Please do post a link. I think it would be headline news here if the President were visiting Fallon horses with his daughter.


  18. I reported the BLM email from “Animal Abuser” to the Dept. of Interior’s office. A man named Edward Woo from the Inspector Generals office called me today & said he told his boss about the email made on this site & said they were going to turn the complaint over to the BLM INTERNAL AFFAIRS DEPT. DUH?????????? And their going to do something about this nut case? If you want to ask Mr. Woo what the hell he’s thinking call him at 703-487-5425


  19. Send Jesse Ventura of the Conspiracy Theory a note about this. I sent him all the links to all these sites in mine to let him get a good idea as to what is really going on. He is A IN YOUR FACE KIND GUY & DOESN’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!


  20. Wild free-roaming horses and burros belong to no one individual. They belong to all American people. The spirit which has kept them alive and free against almost insurmountable odds typifies the national spirit which led to the growth of our Nation. They are living symbols of the rugged independence and tireless energy of our Pioneer heritage.

    (U.S. Senate Report No. 242, 92nd Congress, 1971)


  21. A BIG Thank You to everyone that participated in NY! Their dedication and compassion for our wild ones is incredible and we were so happy to be a part of it. This is truly a great way to get the information out there to the American people. So many are not aware of what’s happening to our wild ones, nor the heavy cost to them, the American taxpayer, in this horrible tragedy. We must continue to persent the truth and hopefully we will prevail. With the love, dedication and compassion shown by so many, all things are possible. Keep it alive, for as long as it takes!


  22. This is awesome news. If CNN is doing an extended special on this story, it is likely to be repeated in a couple of news cycles. If CNN picks it up, then it will get (most likely) picked up by other news stations.

    As far as we know, it is possible that Mr. Woo at DOIIG, may be procedurally bound to turn the threatening emailer over to BLM internal affairs. However, we should stay on top of it. It could be that this employee has other problems, and may need to be dismissed for other reasons. There are many more stories we should send into them, so they we create a picture of a pattern of abuses. Then we need a data base somewhere to record who sent what when where and who we talked to. We could discuss whether we think we should include phone calls, letters, emails, etc. Think about it. Having written documentation of what we are doing—those of us who are acting as private citizens rather than those of us who are acting as part of a group specifically formed for advocating for wild horses—I don’t know. I don’t want to create double work for anyone, but it might be helpful if we need to go to court or if someone wants to know what we have already done, and it might also help us identify those elected or appointed officials who are being hypocritical about their involvement. I think I could set something up that various people could use, but we would need to figure out how to keep it secure or not. Maybe making it public would help, lets say 85 people call the President on Monday, 200 call Tuesday, no one calls Wednesday, etc. Think about it. Decide if its needed, what it should do, etc. (It would give us some data, i. e. science to go on).

    I met with my congressman earlier in the week, and one of my objectives was to find out who, which offices, which departments would be most responsive to our concerns. I need to get back to him with more information, but he told me that he was largely unaware of the nature of the problem the wild horses were facing although he did vote for ROAM as well as for the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act. I am fortunate to that my Congresspersons have offices in or near where I live. If any of the rest of you live near the site where one of your elected officials live, you might try this. At least they know you are a constituent.

    I took several articles with me including the Acting IG’s lack of scientific integrity policy for DOI which is a 16 page document as well as the summary of the 1982 NAS review. Among other documents were Carol Abel’s article on why a moratorium is needed, Ginger’s letter to Secretary Salazar regarding the BLM’s request for public input. Ginger’s letter had several excerpts and references to scientific research, since that is once of the angles that is the strongest. Another angle I hit was the denial of the First Amendment Rights and why it is so needed in this case.

    Every one’s situation is different, and we are all doing what we can and what we know.

    We had a BLM adoption near here over the weekend and it got good promotion with a large picture of the sweetest burro on the front page. The trainer whose been working with my much loved very recalcitrant mustang said he had four clients send him pictures during the adoption regarding horses they want him to train, so I thought that was hopeful-I had some important events out of town, so I was not able to attend as much as I wanted to. Still it sounds like some of these horses are going to go to good homes where they will be appreciated—where they will have a chance to have another kind of family.


  23. I just called the Presidents comment line with the beautiful Message Jetara tara wrote, you have no idea how well received all the messages i call the Presidents comment line daily, the people who answer the phones are so very sympathetic to the Wild Mustangs and burros plight, I am always assured and thanked for every message i leave with them to be delivered to the President !!!! Please everyone also call !!! 202-456-1111


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