Equine Welfare Alliance Announces First Four Legged Member

Story by Vicki Tobin ~ Vice President of the Equine Welfare Alliance

“World’s Smartest Horse” Verifies Intelligence Through Membership

Lucas, certified as the World's Smartest Horse now proves the point by joining EWA

We are excited to announce that we have our first four legged member and a celebrity, no less.

Lukas, the World’s Smartest Horse and his human, Karen Murdock have joined Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA). I’m sure most of you are familiar with Lukas but just in case – Lukas can identify numbers, shapes, letters and colors and was recognized by the World Records Academy and Guinness World Records as the smartest horse.

For videos, photos and information about Lukas and his extraordinary achievements, please visit his website at  www.playingwithlukas.com.

Lukas’ story is one we’ve heard time and time again – a TB found starving in a yard, a difficult horse, worthless and look at him now. All they need is a caring owner who believes in them. Lukas is that horse and Karen is that owner.

I spoke to Steve Long earlier today and mentioned Lukas to him and lo and behold, the current issue of Horseback Magazine has an interview with Karen. You can read the article here – http://www.horsebackmagazine-emagazine.com/mar11/tx.html. The Amazing Lukas is on page 24.

Welcome to EWA Lukas and Karen!

Nebraska Horse Eating Senators Spew Lies about Slaughter and HSUS

Story by JoAnne Young of the Lincoln Journal Star

Politicians Prove Deceptive in Promoting Horse Slaughter

Senators advanced a bill in Nebraska on Wednesday to allow for a state meat inspection program and possibly a horse slaughter and processing facility, but one senator took the opportunity to discredit the Humane Society of the United States.

Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, the chairman of the Agriculture Committee used strong language, calling the national group deceptive, unethical, overreaching, shameless, ruthless.

He made the distinction between HSUS and local humane societies, saying it is not the same as such groups as the Capital Humane Society and the Nebraska Humane Society.

He said the majority of the money donated to the HSUS goes to political propaganda, which he labeled “dangerous political poison,” and to executive salaries.

Carlson went on to say HSUS is largely responsible for USDA inspectors no longer inspecting horse processing facilities and for the subsequent closing of plants in Texas and Illinois. He estimated 100,000 horses are now abandoned each year in this country because of that, and horse refuges are “woefully inadequate” to meet the needs.

Horses must now be hauled to Mexico and Canada for slaughter and processing, he said.

“The result of this irresponsible behavior is the waste of a wonderful natural resource that could feed a lot of people in countries around the world,” he said.

Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, who introduced the bill (LB305), said a state meat and poultry inspection program is needed to provide better access to inspection for rural and small meat producers. It’s an economic development issue, he said.

Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber, the lone no vote in bringing the bill out of the Agriculture Committee, said this was not the right time for establishing a state meat inspection program.

“Let’s not get the cart before the proverbial horse,” he said.

A former owner of a meat market himself, Karpisek said processors have told him the state does not need state inspectors and that it would be a waste of state dollars. The federal inspection program is sufficient to meet the needs of the state, he said.

Any U.S. inspected plant can inspect any of the meats processed in the state, he said. And any processor in the state is able to get a federal inspector.

Why would processors pay extra, if user fees are charged, for what federal inspectors do now for free, he asked.

“Folks, we’re spinning this baby,” Karpisek said. “I said I’m not going to get upset and I don’t want to kill this bill, but stop the spin.”

Senators advanced the bill to a second round of debate on a 35-1 vote. They also adopted an amendment to the bill that would allow a study on the feasibility of establishing a state meat inspection program and a report on what resources would be needed to develop and maintain such a program. It also would recommend a fee schedule to fund such a program.

Jocelyn Nickerson, Nebraska director of USHS, later responded to Carlson’s comments about the organization, saying that an unfounded fear and misleading information has gotten to Nebraska farmers and ranchers.

Much of the information Carlson relayed about USHS was untrue, she said. It is not trying to destroy Nebraska agriculture or the state’s way of life, as he said. And it is not trying to make everyone vegetarians, she said.

She encouraged anyone with questions about USHS to email her at jnickerson@humanesociety.org.

Click (HERE) to read article in it’s entirety and comment!

Sale of 829 Montana Horses Moves Forward Undaunted

Story by Jan Falstad of the Billings Gazette

Domestic Horses Seek Forever Homes

Montana Department of Livestock inspector Travis Elings, left, places a numbered neck band on a horse as U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northern International Livestock Exposition and Crow Tribal officials work to start sorting, identifying and banding more than 800 horses belonging to Jim Leachman on March 24. The horses fill corrals at the ranch, with new foals being born daily ~ photo by LARRY MAYER

Planning started in earnest Tuesday to set up for this weekend’s sale of as many as 829 horses on a ranch east of Billings.

The sale of the horses formerly belonging to James Leachman of Billings is an ambitious undertaking.

“We’re basically taking a six-month process and cramming it down to four days,” said Justin Mills, executive director of the Northern International Livestock Exposition, which is assisting the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the sale.

The BIA confiscated the horses for trespassing on tribal lands and is selling them April 2 and 3 to pay the bills racked up to feed them, round them up and prepare them for sale.

Rick Young of Absarokee was hired as the auctioneer for the sale at the Home Place ranch 16 miles east of Billings. The sale is expected to attract thousands of people, including buyers from as far away as Wisconsin and Texas.

As many as 44 people will handle the sale, including eight from Rick Young & Sons Auctioneers. The rest of the crew will be employees of the BIA, the Crow Tribe and the NILE.

After the preview day Friday, a handful of horses will be in the sales ring and the high bidder gets first choice of horse. Then the second-highest bidder will get a choice, and so on.

“There may be four or five in the ring at one time, but technically they will be sold individually,” Mills said.

Logistics include setting up a big tent, sound and video systems, backup computers, three or four food concessionaires, a dozen toilets and a possible bus service from the parking lot to the sales barn.

Gates must be set up to control the flow of the hundreds of horses. The sale requires a veterinarian to draw blood for Coggins tests. Out-of-state buyers must prove the horse doesn’t have a contagious viral disease called equine infectious anemia before they can haul the animal across state lines.

Horses that are registered with the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas, are more valuable for breeding and showing.

But NILE horseman Ward Fenton said probably only the horses carrying Leachman butt brands, as many as half the horses, can be registered. The AQHA is not guaranteeing registration.

“The colts last year definitely have no record, and the colts bred this year will have no records because they were just bred to these 2-year-old studs they were running with,” he said.

Leachman has been charged with 14 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, which carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a fine of up to $7,000. He has pleaded not guilty and a jury trial has been set to start June 3.

Leachman had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to redeem his horses by paying for the expenses they have accumulated since the massive rescue effort began several weeks ago.

Click (HERE) to view listing of Horses for Sale

Update: Cloud’s Herd Survives Worse Winter in 50 Years

Story by Ginger Kathrens ~ volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation

Lean but Healthy; Cloud is Okay

Lauryn Wachs and Catherine Stokes, our Cloud Foundation interns, accompanied me on their second journey to the Pryor Mountains. It’s always an adventure and last week was no exception.

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Photos by Ginger Kathrens and property of the Cloud Foundation

According to people who live in the area, this winter has been the worst in 50 years—not only lots of snow but sub zero temperatures for extended periods. It’s a hard fact that winter often selects out the youngest and the oldest in all wild species. This is nature’s way of keeping populations in check and allowing only the fittest to survive and reproduce. So, we really didn’t know who among the wild horses might have died during this stretch of unusually challenging weather. Yet, some things never change and we were thrilled to witness the mating behavior of sandhill cranes on our drive out to the horse range. The male leaped in the air and danced around the female, paying no attention to our car and cameras eavesdropping on his display.

Once on the range, our first discovery of the trip was a wonderful surprise. We had been told that the grullo foal I named Koda Wakan (sacred friend) on the day of his birth last June, as well as his mother, were missing. When we saw them in the bitter cold of January, the young mare looked awful and we knew she might not live. If she died, we knew that Koda had little chance to survive.

As we crawled up the muddy and intermittently snowy road on Tillett Ridge, we spotted a small band on a low hill—a dun stallion, dun mare, dun foal and another foal—a grullo. Through our binoculars we studied the group and the oddity of one mare and two foals. Then it struck me. The second foal was Koda! He was foraging with the others and the mare allowed him to eat beside her. Through my scope, I could see that Koda had lost all the hair on his neck –a result of stress and starvation? The colt was one of my favorites of 2010, spirited and striped up, small but feisty. Last summer he was fond of breaking into a sprint, bucking and spinning. His love of life was so evident; he never failed to make me smile. I pray his spirit will carry him through this tough time and he will once again experience warm weather, green grass, and a good run across the meadows atop his mountain home. Time will tell.

Snow fell over night so we kept to the paved highway, finding a lovely bighorn sheep ewe near Devil’s Canyon Overlook. Farther down the road we watched the drama of the apricot dun stallion Blizzard and his revolving door of mares. The flashy horse had a different set of mares on each of the three days we saw him. This is beyond odd in my experience.

On the morning of our third day of searching, the mud was somewhat frozen, so we tried Tillett again, determined to drive higher in order to access hiking areas leading to overlooks where we could scan Sykes Ridge. I believed that this was our best chance to see Cloud, Bolder, and Flint’s families. We were stopped by snow but shoveled our way through it and patched up a washout along the way where we could have slipped off the mountain. We made it to a valley that led to a good vantage point of the mid-ridges of Sykes. Near the edge of Big Coulee we set up our scopes and began scanning one ridge after another.

Identifying the shimmering dark dots that were horses was nearly impossible, but when I panned the ridge nearly straight across on Sykes I spotted a pale horse. Cloud I said excitedly to Lauryn and Catherine. He and his family were grazing together and there was a new dun filly in the band—the small three year-old, Ingrid. Aztec and Cloud’s foal, Breeze had survived winter and looked fine from afar. Dancer was there and the Black, but Velvet was missing. Then a blaze-faced grulla mare and her foal appeared at the edge of the forest. It was Flint’s mare and foal, Feldspar and little Agate. I watched, waiting for Flint and Jasper to appear, but they never did—not in the hours we watched. Neither did Velvet. It seemed every band we spotted had some addition or subtraction to their numbers. Was the social unrest of the previous Fall continuing into Spring?

We got a brief, long distance view of Bolder, Cascade and Echo—the pale colt slipped behind a huge rock outcropping within minutes and was gone. Echo is truly Cloud’s legacy—a mirror of Cloud in looks and personality. So far, so good, I thought. He and his mother were the only members of Bolder’s family we saw, though I believed that others were hidden behind numerous rocks and trees—at least I hoped so.

There was no way we could access that part of Sykes to look for them. It is hard enough in summer to get onto Sykes and impossible at this time of year. Should we just go home? I doubted we would see much more than we already had and rain was predicted. When the next morning dawned with only broken clouds we decided to give it one more shot.

After checking for horses along the paved highway, we drove toward Tillett and stopped to glass back onto the faraway flats near the mouth of Big Coulee. In the sagebrush were dark horses and one that was light colored. It seemed impossible, but it was Cloud! He and his family had come all the way down into the desert. Quickly we made a plan as we drove back around to the red buttes at the bottom of Sykes. From there we began hiking.

Within an hour we found Cloud and his family still foraging in what appeared to be only sagebrush. On closer inspection we could see that there was green grass peppered about the sage. For the first time on our trip, it began to feel a bit like spring. For most of the afternoon we followed the band. They nibbled up the green grass and went to eat snow in the shelter of the hillsides and in the deep gullies. Feldspar and Agate were still with them, and I wondered where Flint and Jasper were? Something tells me they’re fine and the “Flintstones” will somehow reunite.

Velvet was still mysteriously absent, and I wondered where she was. She and Cloud have been together for eight years and she has never been welcoming to newcomers in this tight family. I’ve seen her lay her ears back at every new mare Cloud brought into the band in the past five years. She is not alone in this. Brumby, Jackson’s lead mare, has left him on numerous occasions in the past year or so after Jackson brought home young fillies, including Cloud and Velvet’s daughter, Firestorm. I hope Velvet will return in time. It doesn’t seem the same without her.

Cloud looked a little rough, his ribs were showing under his pale coat, but he was alert and in charge. When Aztec led the band up out of the sagebrush and onto Turkey Flat, he snaked Feldspar up the hill to keep everyone together. Both Aztec and Feldspar are thin but their foals look fine. When we left them they were all grazing peacefully.

Late in the day we drove back up on Tillett for one last time. Jackson’s band was foraging near the road. They too showed the results of the remarkably bitter winter. Even burly Jackson looked uncharacteristically lean. Firestorm was very thin but her foal, Lady Jane, looked fine and fuzzy.

As the sun was setting and we were getting ready to leave, we saw something glowing in the valley below. Through our scopes we identified the bright palomino horse. It was Cloud’s mother, Phoenix, with her family. The lovely 20 year-old mare wandered through the junipers and onto a small rise. Winter had not claimed her, or her son, or her grandson, or her great grandson and great granddaughters, and for this I am thankful.

Happy Trails!
Ginger

We are proud to have The Cloud Foundation as Plaintiffs in our cases against the BLM, Click (HERE) to learn more.

800 Montana Horses Head to Auction Block

story by Jan Falstad of the Billings Gazette

Crow Tribe Seize Horses for Trespassing

Some of the nine new colts wait with their mothers in the maternity pen as more than 800 horses are sorted, banded and readied for sale this weekend. The horses used to belong to James Leachman of Billings, whose horses were seized by Bureau of Indian Affairs for trespassing on tribal lands ~ photo by Larry Mayer

One of Montana’s largest horse sales from a single ranch in modern times is expected to begin this weekend.

“Unless there is a court action, I feel pretty confident the sale will start at 10 a.m. on April 2 and run the 3rd and probably the 4th,” said Allan Hanley, a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs rangeland management specialist.

A meeting between the BIA and the Northern International Livestock Exposition to finalize all the details, including the parking, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Bands totaling 829 horses, including nine newborns, that formerly belonged to James H. Leachman of Billings will be auctioned at the Home Place ranch 16 miles east of Billings along Highway 87 East. Buyers can preview the horses on Friday. Auctioneer Rick Young of Absarokee is expected to handle the sale.

Hanley is expecting 3,000 to 10,000 people at the sale, given all the interest surrounding one of the biggest cases of alleged horse abuse in recent Montana history.

“Most of them will just be tire kickers coming to see 829 horses in one spot,” Hanley said. “…I think about 300 will be serious buyers.”

All the Leachman horses, save nine newborn foals that will be sold with their mothers, had their brands inspected last week in a three-day effort that ended Saturday at 4 p.m.

About 30 people, including employees of the BIA, the Montana Department of Livestock and the NILE, as well as Crow Tribal members, identified and tagged the horses. A dozen workers lined up along the chutes to shave butts, shoulders, flanks and faces to check for brands. Then they attached white butt tags and placed blue plastic identification bands around the horses’ necks.

NILE Executive Director Justin Mills said the spreadsheet identifying the horses, including their new identification numbers, age, sex and brands, if any, was turned over to the BIA. That list will serve as the catalog for the sale, Mills said.

“I’ve taken calls from Idaho, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and the East Coast,” he said.

Hanley also fielded calls on Monday from interested bidders in a handful of states, including Texas.

On March 22 and 23, members of the Crow Tribe rounded up most of the horses in a large pasture and neighboring ranches where they were trespassing and drove them into pens that used to hold cattle for sales at the former Leachman Cattle Co.

In late December, Shepherd veterinarian Jeff Peila warned that hundreds of Leachman horses in one pasture were near starvation.

Since mid-January, the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and NILE officials fed about 150 tons of donated hay to the horses, so most of the animals are in pretty good shape now, Peila said. Seven horses were found near death, and, at Peila’s recommendation, Yellowstone County Sheriff Lt. Kent O’Donnell destroyed four of them.

In January, Leachman was charged with 14 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and last month four additional charges were filed. Seven of the 14 counts are primary counts, and seven are alternative counts.

Leachman has pleaded not guilty. His jury trial is set for June 3, and he faces a maximum sentence of seven years and $7,000 in fines.

The BIA, which seized the horses for trespassing on tribal lands, published the required legal notice Friday, giving Leachman five days to pay the trespassing penalties, as well as the costs of rounding up, processing and selling the animals, which are mostly American Quarter horses.

BIA Superintendent at Crow Agency Vianna Stewart said the bill will be substantial.

“We’re pretty close to six figures or $100,000,” she said Friday.

The tab was still being figured Monday to account for all 25 hours that it took to identify and band the horses.

Leachman has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to redeem his horses, Stewart said.

Click (HERE) to view Billings Gazette Video

Wendie Malick to Star in and Produce Wild Horse Annie On Hallmark Channel

Excerpt from TalkTVWorld.com

It’s All About Getting the Message Out

Wendie Malick (center) at Twin Peaks BLM Stampede ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Hallmark Movie Channel announces “Wild Horse Annie,” a Hallmark Movie Channel Original Premiere starring Emmy(R) and Golden Globe nominee Wendie Malick (“Hot in Cleveland,” “Just Shoot Me”), is in development with an anticipated premiere date of Summer 2012. Ms. Malick will also serve as Executive Producer of the film which is adapted from a portion of DeAnne Stillman‘s grand epic Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West. Helen Bartlett (“North Country”) is Executive Producer. The screenplay will be written by Jenny Wingfield (“Man in the Moon”). DeAnne Stillman will also produce.

“Wild Horse Annie’ is the triumphant story of Velma Johnston‘s commitment to majestic wild horses; that they be preserved, enjoyed and celebrated by generations of Americans,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. “It is an honor to memorialize Ms. Johnston’s humanity in this film,” Vicary concluded.

“Velma Johnston, also known as ‘Wild Horse Annie,’ grabbed hold of me from the moment I read about her in DeAnne Stillman‘s fascinating book,” Ms. Malick said.

“Despite physical and emotional challenges, Johnston committed her life to getting federal protection for our wild horses and burros, saving them from cruel roundups and barbaric slaughter.

“Today there are 40,000 wild horses languishing in government holding facilities, and we are in danger of losing the wild mustangs forever. Helen Bartlett, Jenny Wingfield, DeAnne Stillman and I came together to tell this courageous woman’s story, and hopefully shine a light on the plight of these remarkable creatures before it’s too late,” Malick concluded.

Velma Johnston became a leading animal rights activist in this country. Her dedicated quest to protect America’s wild horses, a campaign she began with the nation’s school children, culminated in the US Congress’ passing of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The bill became the law of the land, signed by then President Richard M. Nixon on December 15, 1971. Ms Johnston’s legacy lives on.

Hallmark Movie Channel, the second linear channel from Crown Media Holdings, Inc., simulcast in SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition), is a 24-hour cable network dedicated to bringing viewers family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimEd HallMark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. In today’s crowded television landscape, the network is a unique and captivating entertainment experience, providing programming that families can watch together. It is now available in over 40 million homes. Crown Media also operates Hallmark Channel which provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 87.5 million subscribers.

Tales from the Darkside of Horse Slaughter

(In My Most Amused Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Horse Slaughter Fans Show Their Ass (burro)

Bill Hunter? ~ Somewhere a Village is missing it's Idiot!

Today, I would like to share some of the hate mail that is picked up by the WordPress filter due to foul language and profane content, so if a few cuss words offend you, please don’t read on.

The curious thing about these comments is that they only come when we publish stories that expose the truth about the country’s head horse eaters, “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and Dave “Doink” Duquette (that is the name that Davie boy actually registered under on this very blog).  And because of that singular and glaring fact it would tend to make one believe that either this foul mouthed coward is one of the two bloody horse slaughter mongers or someone intimately close to them.

Speaking of twisted, these two maintain a page on Facebook that they set up to promote their failed horse slaughter meeting, the “Summit of the Horse” back in January and still actively post their perverted spew on it like it is an organization or something active/alive.  The meeting, where all of their featured guests did not agree with their pro-slaughter stance, took place at the beginning of January yet they still post propaganda and lies on it as if they just cannot let go of the past and face the present, let alone the future.  In my humble opinion that is pretty blinking bizarre.  In Phoenix, at our pro-wild horse press conference, we had a bigger turn out of both press and public than they did at their Scummit but we don’t pay homage to the meeting by posting to a page that represents a past event.  Such a practice speaks volumes of the intellect, or lack there of, that posts to the past.

Anyway, tighten up your seat belts and swallow any liquids you may be drinking because I am issuing a full -fledged spew alert prior to copying Fred and Bill’s comments and just for clarity, Fred IS Bill as they post only minutes apart.  So this is what the opposition looks like, unaltered, except for a few expletives:

Bill Hunter: You moron horse huggers are causing the real sufferring of horsesnot the kill plants. How f**king dumb are you idiots? We will still ship the damm things to Canada and Mexico with all the f**king anti transportation laws you c**ksuckers pass! GO straight to hell you animal huggin morons!

Fred Hughes:  I think I will cry as I eat my horse steak!!!

Bill Hunter:  Peo horse processing. U uninformed bleeding heart and good ole RT need to get the hell out of the USA. U are all socialist pigs

Fred Hughes:  RT. U are a bleeding heart socialist pig

Bill Hunter:  RT. Get a life!!this blog only post responses from the bleeding hearts. What a crock of BS. Just like our Negro President.

Bill Hunter:  RT. Get a life!!

Bill Hunter:   What a crock. I suppose you bleeding hearts voted for Pres Negro. Good we are eliminating these feral screws!!!

Bill Hunter:  Fitch and the rest of yoi bleeding hearts are f**king idiots!!!!feed the world hungry with clean horsemeat!!

Bill Hunter:  RT you are an idiot and you and the rest of the bleeding hearts are causing more horses to suffer Sue Wallis got RE ELECTED with over 60% of the vote!!!!!!!! Gues she is on the right track!!! You are a waste of air!!!!1

Fred Hughes:  Go Sue and Dave. Common sense and the welfare of animals are on your side. Not these bleeding heaet loons like that sob rt finch!!

Fred Hughes: My ass is wearing thin. U bleeding heart sob’s need to get a life. Slaughter all these feral horses and feed them to our school kids at least they will get a good healthy meal!! Please don’t tell me these wild screws are full of drugs. You people need deported to Iran!!

Bill Hunter:  GO NE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! more horse processing facilities needed!!! Sorry Wayne!

Bill Hunter: All of this is BullShoit. R T U R A fing LIAr

Bill Hunter:  RT U R a CoMPLETE. IDIOT!!

Bill Hunter:  You can sell horse meat for human consumption in WY! You cannot send this meat for human consumption to other states, but you CAN SELL IT IN WY and soon NE MT ETC Horse Meat is goods and good for you…….the Canadina GOv has never …that is NEVER found any drugs in the random testing they hav e done! Get your stories straight RT FITCH…..you are a complete MORON!

Bill Hunter:  RT you are a phony SOB and since you do not post my messages KISS MY ASS!

Well Bill, how’s this for being an SOB; I have just published all of your idiotic dribble and exposed you to the world for being the mentally incompetent reject that you are.  So I anxiously await your next installment because you, Dave and Sue do so much to promote the pro-horse people as you guys blunder and stumble your way down the road of insanity and public humiliation.  We are grateful for enemies such as yourself as you not only shoot yourselves in the foot every time you open your mouth you reload the gun and then blow your own brains out each time you make a comment.

The real question is, how long can you survive in that mode, sooner or later the handful of followers you have are going to get wise to the fact that your position has no merit nor is it buoyed by facts, in essence, your done, fried, cooked, finished.

So stick a fork in it; you’re a gone pecan and no one cares so nighty night, Bill, Fred, Sue and Dave, sleep well with your nightmares of horse blood and gore because the boogey man is looking for you and the good guys are not going to intervene.

Bye bye, losers!

Call to Action: Let’s Go Viral for the Wild Horses and Burros

Call to Action by SFTHH and the HfH Advisory Council

Clog the Faxes and Turn Up the Volume

Attention Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Warriors across the Nation – Suggested action needed for our wild ones!

Email, Fax and Call your Congressmen/Senators

Please copy and paste this entire post to email and get it out to all your email lists, FB, Twitter, networking groups and blogs asap and ask them to do the same. (Buttons installed at the bottom of this post to make this process super easy)

Then, take the recommended actions listed below:

Congress is working, as we type, on the FY11 CR (Continuing Resolution) and the FY12 Budget. The FY11 CR is due for another vote on or before 4/9. Starting Mon, 3/28 and going through 4/8 we MUST pull out all the stops to call, fax and email our reps in DC to reject ANY increases to the WH&B program budgets which will, in turn, suspend roundups/removals temporarily so that reforms can be implemented.

Congress needs to be pressured from thousands of constituents before they’ll take the right action on behalf of our wild ones. So, here’s our chance to make a difference. Follow these easy steps:

1)  Go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt?action=myreps_form and type in your zip code to get the names of your two Senators and House rep.

2)  Click on each rep name, then click on the Contact tab to get their DC phone and fax numbers and jot them down (save for future use).

3)  Click on the rep’s website link, then the Contact link to get to the rep’s webmail/email page, select ‘Budget’, ‘Federal Budget’ or ‘Animals’ as the Topic, if applicable, cut and paste the Subject and message below into the webmail and send that off.

4)  Cut and paste the Subject & message below into a document addressed to your 3 reps from you, with your address, the date, print it out and fax it to each of them.

5)  Call your 3 reps’ offices in DC and recite to them the message below.

6)  Do the above steps as many times as you can in the next 2 weeks.

Subject:  DOI/BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program – Stop Funding & Stop Roundups/Removals though FY11 and FY12 Appropriations

I am an American taxpayer and citizen who wants our iconic wild horses and burros to be properly protected and preserved for generations to come on their legal Western homelands.

This is not happening with the current mismanagement of the program by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). They are using the sole strategy of cruel and deadly roundups, removals and warehousing of  wild horses and burros at huge taxpayer expense when more cost-effective, on-the-range management strategies could be utilized.

The BLM is, literally,  managing America’s Western heritage to extinction and must be stopped until the entire program is scientifically revisited and completely reformed.

As your constituent, I request you to categorically support appropriations language right now that:

– rejects the additional $12M funding for the program in the FY11 CR & FY12 Budget and maintains the FY10 level of $64M both years.

– suspends roundups/removals in all but verifiable emergency situations while the NAS conducts a scientific review of the Program.

– prohibits the use of any funds to euthanize healthy wild horses and burros directly or indirectly for slaughter.

– funds public/private partnerships and allow conversion of private livestock grazing allotments to wild horse and burro use.

– funds an independent, state-of-the-art census of wild horse and burros on the range and in holding to obtain an accurate population baseline.

– requires truly reformed, humane wild horse and burro handling protocols.

Thank you for your immediate attention. I would appreciate a response from you on whether or not you will support this request in the committee negotiation stage and/or when it comes up for vote on the floor in the near future.

Sincerely; John Caring Public

Come on Advocates, this is one message that needs to be spread around to anyone that you know or who you have met.  If  Wild Horse Annie did it with school children writing letters to Congress we can SURELY do it with the high tech tools that we have at hand.  Make a difference, hit the buttons below and spread the word for the sake of the horses and burros.

For more information on Wild Horses send your friends to visit us, here, at: Straight from the Horses Heart

or these other fine websites

Fringe Horse Slaughter Faction Infuriates American Public

Guest Commentary by Vicki Tobin ~ Vice President of the Equine Welfare Alliance

Bizarre Behavior Leads to Questions on Personal Ethics

“Several days ago we ran an article on the outrageous efforts of Wyoming state rep. Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette, of “United Horseman”, to block an anti-cruelty bill aimed at outlawing the inhumane practice of “horse tripping” in Nevada.   With a long record of insidious and despicable escapades behind them this latest trip into the dark side has seemed to touch a nerve in sane American’s across this great nation.  The article has been shared across the internet and went viral on FaceBook with multiple comments on the total lack of moral fiber and proper ethics displayed by these two charlatans.  With the myriad of comments and emails flowing in we have selected the comment posted by the Equine Welfare Alliance’s Vice President to showcase, here, today.  Vicki Tobin sums up the situation and shines the bright spotlight of truth on these bloody denizens of the dark and dank.  Take it away, Vicki…” ~R.T.

"United Horsemeat"

Their problem is they need a gimmick. And the gimmick is try to equate every welfare bill as a first step to something else. That’s not paranoia. It is a calculated agenda to try to scare the legitimate horse industry sectors and turn the horse industry into a meat industry. They attack HSUS because they are the largest welfare organization. There is another large respected organization that is getting back to its horse roots and they will be next on the hit list. What they won’t admit is that they already have a large lobby with the beef industry and farm bureaus. But that would require admitting they are all about the meat industry and not the horse industry. Other than breeders, they have no major support from the horse industry.Every year they invent something new and this year is it the slippery slope on steroids.

They claim to want a horseback culture but horseback culture doesn’t include abuse to horses or having to inflict harm on a horse to make a living. That is, other than the horse slaughter business which is not part of American horseback culture but a foreign meat business.

Their statements are an insult to anyone in the horse industry. The horses earn billions and deserve to be treated humanely and afforded a humane death. What would the rodeos be without horses? What would the racing industry be without horses? It is the horses that earn the money and bring the spectators and for that, they are rewarded with people like Dave and Sue claiming to be for their welfare but refusing to support any legislation that benefits horse welfare, not supporting any type of after retirement care or to be providing a humane death?

They need to understand that the horse industry is not a meat industry. Time to put the horses above their ridiculous agenda on bashing welfare organizations. It’s about the horses, not who is proposing legislation.

Did you see Duquette’s latest comments on the TRF issues and using that as an example to promote horse slaughter? Hey, Dave, you do realize that every one of the horses at TRF has had bute. Way to go, Dave. Never sway from your faulty agenda and publicly post your refusal to follow regulations. That instills a lot of confidence in your “regulated” plant. I guess the regulations will be your regulations and not the law. BTW-we still have “processing” but no legitimate welfare organization is going to send horses to slaughter. The horses wouldn’t be at TRF if the owners took responsibility for them but let’s put the blame on TRF. Let’s keep over breeding and then blame the rescues when they can’t take anymore horses or get in over their head. Whatever you do, don’t try to help them, just blame them while you promote producing more horses than the market can bear.

Vicki Tobin

Click (HERE) to learn more about Rep. “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis

Click (HERE) to learn more about Dave “Doink” Duquette

 

Stop Obama’s Wild Horse Harvesting Machine: aka the BLM

(Call to Arms) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Your Opinion CAN Make a Difference

Last terrorized seconds of freedom for native wild horses at recent BLM Antelope Complex stampede ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Many wild horse and burro advocates made their opinions perfectly clear, in person, to the Bureau of Land Management’s Advisory Board, during their mid-March meeting, on the issue of the BLM’s “new direction” in how the agency will mismanage the remaining few wild horses and burros that remain on their federally protected public land.  Now, for those of you who could not attend, you have the opportunity to speak your mind.

We at SFTHH are concerned that the “new” BLM strategy is the “old” BLM strategy, but wearing a different hat, as it continues to focus on the removal of our native wild horses from public lands rather than restoring the millions of acres that rightfully belong the them.  Likewise, the new flavored plan fails to provide adequate transparency during and after roundups and continues to relay on proven inhumane methods of handling the horses.  These are just a few of the negative high points of the document and we highly encourage you to read the document by clicking (HERE).

Next, please click (HERE) to send a pre-formatted and totally editable letter (courtesy of the ASPCA) to the BLM and make your opinion known.  This input is only being accepted through Wednesday, March 30th, so time is of the essence and please ask your family, friends and co-workers to visit us, here, to participate in this challenge to deluge the BLM with comments on their wild horse and burro “Management to Extinction” plan.

Likewise, you can also help to defund the BLM so that they cannot afford to continue to spend millions of your hard earned dollars to harass, injure, kill and capture our most revered national icons.  You can snail mail, email and fax your Senators/Representatives to not give the BLM the $12,000,000.00 they are asking for so that they can proceed with their summer stampedes that occur in the heat of the summer and create even further stress, injury and death to our wild equines.  (Click (HERE) to locate your appropriate elected officials)

Below is a sample letter, email or fax that you can customize to speak for your heartfelt convictions:

“Dear (Senator or Congressman/Congresswoman and name);

We appreciate how hard you are working to get national spending under control and we realize how difficult it must be to cut funding for vital programs. With this in mind, we would like to suggest that you do NOT appropriate additional dollars for the Department of Interior’s BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. The $12 million additional dollars BLM is requesting would be used to round up and warehouse some of the last of America’s federally protected wild horses and burros.

As a taxpayer and voter I do not want my money used for this costly, cruel, and unnecessary practice. Wild horses and burros live virtually cost free on their ranges and that’s where I want them to stay.

Sincerely,”  (special thanks to the Cloud Foundation for this example)

So please Tweet, FaceBook, MySpace, Blogger, WordPress, Google, Yahoo, Care2, Fark, Plurk, Stumbleupon, email or whatever network means you have, get the message out there.  If you have never used them before, there are buttons below this post that will allow you to quickly and easily spread the word so please, plug away and lets turn up the volume!!!!

Please act TODAY, the Horses and Burros are counting on YOU!

Note: The Cloud Foundation and the ASPCA are two of several plaintiffs in our HfH Advisory Council’s suits against the BLM for the outrageous practice of zeroing out long standing wild horse herds.  Click HERE to learn more and join our fight.