Horse News

Scientists Demand Obama’s BLM Cease Stampeding Wild Horse Foals and Mares

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Cruel and Deadly Helicopter Stampedes During Foaling Season Must Stop

Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch

An Open Letter to the management of the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management

Dear Sirs:

As an outraged citizen I am writing you to beg for the mercy of week and
month old babies that will be the victims of the planned Round-ups starting
in July.

The BLM handbook states that round-ups should NOT be conducted during
foaling season. In July there are still mares that are heavily pregnant and
babies that are only weeks old. Even babies that are one or two months old
cannot withstand the miles and miles of running over treacherous terrain.
July is in the middle of foaling season.

These round-ups will undoubtedly result in many foals suffering and dying
and pregnant mares aborting their babies. Babies have died from sloughing
off their hooves before. (during the Calico Roundup)

It is easy to predict, young babies simply cannot withstand the miles and
miles of exerting exercise, their small under-developed feet cannot
withstand the pounding, they cannot go without their mothers milk
especially after this exertion, and the stress and anxiety of separation
from their mothers is extremely inhumane to both mothers and babies.

One would not run one’s own pregnant mare or mare and baby for miles and
miles and expect them to be ok. As a matter of fact one would be arrested
for cruelty to animals.

I do not agree with any BLM Round-ups as there is no independent count of
Wild Horses and the contractors are inhumane and have no knowledge of
natural horsemanship.

However, Round-ups during foaling season take this one more inhumane step
further and are even more callous and willfully cruel and heartless.

Thousands of horse advocates are outraged, Horse organizations are
outraged, my pony club is outraged, my neighborhood is outraged, and the
media is outraged.

Please have mercy and direct the contractors to conduct the Round-ups only
after the foaling season is over. And only when temperatures are not
extreme. I beg of you to order the round-ups to only ever take place during
the months of Sept and October and November, after the summer heat is over,
when the babies are at least 3 months old and before the bitter winter

Most urgently I ask you please, postpone the foaling season roundups!!


Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.
Robert H. Lipsky, Ph.D.
Sarah M. Lipsky, Licensed M.S.W.

33 replies »

    • Copy and Paste…or if it is a Facebook thing copy the link up in the browser address bar and then hit “link” on “what’s on your mind” and paste, share.


      • I encourage everyone to copy and paste this link to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro facebook page. Please innundate them. BLM FB page too.


  1. Just when I think the morons running the BLM and Interior Dep’t can’t get any more despicable, they do! For those “equine specialists” to even consider roundups during this critical foaling time frame, especially using the cruel and inhumane methods they do, is inexcusable. Anyone else treating horses, or any other animals for that matter, the way they do would be arrested but they get away with it and we, the taxpayers, pay them millions to do it. What it wrong with that picture? The corruption and total lack of morals in the hierarchy of the BLM and DOI is almost inconceivable to anyone that thinks rationally and has an honest, caring bone in their body. ALL ROUNDUPS MUST CEASE AT LEAST UNTIL VALID, INDEPENDENT RANGE AND WILD HORSE POPULATION ASSESSMENTS CAN BE CONDUCTED. Even if they are allowed to resume after that they must be done without the cruelty and utter lack of horsemanship demonstrated to date. Where is congress when we need them to stand up for something?


    • You hit it dead on, They are morons. Their following the same pattern of behavior and will continue to destroy any living thing that has a single hoof on it. This needs more attention. These scientists need more standing and I have a bad feeling about this! There needs to be a major impact to hit the President. The Tax payer has had enough with the bull. If government does not take the words of the scientist who have more knowledge on the subject at hand, than we are in deeper trouble with our currant administration who is continuing on the same destructive path as well. This needs to slam Obama in the head just to get his attention. But he’s too busy screwing up in front of the Queen of England.


  2. Isn’t there anything LEGAL that can be done to stop this? They’ve induced mass abortions with their round ups for starters……. This is anything BUT “protecting and preserving” as mandated by law. Who are these people to toss aside their own handbook?

    “BLM Wild horse Specialist” is an oxymoron. They all get big fat F’s in animal husbandry. The only thing they know is how to “seek and destroy.”


    • BLM’s Tom Gorey responded to the letter, as forwarded by Steve Long from Horseback Magazine as follows:

      “Contrary to what is asserted in the e-mail forwarded to you, July is not the middle of the foaling season,” he said. “The BLM handbook on wild horse and burro management makes clear that unless an emergency exists, it is the BLM’s policy to prohibit the use of helicopters to assist in the capture of wild horses the six weeks before and the six weeks after the peak foaling period, which for most herds is mid-April to mid-May. Therefore, the use of helicopters to capture wild horses is generally prohibited from March 1 through June 30.”

      ….and as we know, their assumption of foaling season timelines are, of course, all wrong as is everything else the presume about wild equids.


  3. Excellent letter. Hope they listen. By the way, according to the White Pine Sheriff Dan Watts, the county DA refused to prosecute the case of helicopter harassment of the Ole Sister mare back in February. The Sheriff stated that both he and the DA believed they were being lied to by the wild horse advocates. He didn’t seem at all very concerned about the cruel treatment of the wild horses, which he admitted had occurred. He said the pilot was very stupid (perhaps for doing this under public scrutiny). Very disgusted, Craig


  4. Craig, thank you for the update. Is there any written legal response from the Sheriff and the DA? That should be made public…for the record.


  5. I am sharing this on Facebook, thanks for the opportunity. I would love, however, for the most popular and respected people in the media be inundated with layers, videos, emails, etc, so they have no choice but to read and watch and see for themselves exactly what’s going on here. If we ALL (especially good folks like R.T. and Craig and Jerry and Ginger), thousands of us, contacted Oprah and Ellen and Anderson Cooper and Ted Turner, flood their inboxes and snail mailboxes, maybe one or more of them just might help us flood the airwaves with the RIGHT incormation for the public. Sometimes, people aren’t able to decide who’s right, unless they hear it from someone they have watched and trusted for years. Just my humble thoughts.


  6. This was an excellent letter and I would like to thank the author. We all know what
    is going on here, it is the greed for the almighty dollar. This has been a GRAVY
    seem like anyone is enforcing the law becasue they all are in cahoots with each
    other. What we need to do is picket the hell out of the Senators and Reps in
    each state in large groups. Picket the White House like they did a couple of years ago. Have mass rallies in all the states at the same time. If possible form large groups because it seems to me that we all want this stopped, but we are fragmented in different parts of the country. Now is the time to get the celebrities involved. Madeiline Pickens is doing all that she can do and still her money is not
    enough. The news media is owned not by Americans, but by the top 2% of the
    wealthiest people in our country. There must be something that we can do to stop this madness. Now what is happening with the herpes virius? Are they going to
    subject some of theses horses to this incurable disease? I hear that is is effecting
    horses in Colorado, Washington and several of the states out West. Could this
    be another way of elimination? Let’s flood the BLM and the White House with
    calls as we all have been doing. If not make a pledge to call every day or every
    other day. I am in the Midwest and I know the horses would not be treated in
    this way in our state. These people are RUTHLESS AND HAVE NO COMPASSION
    anyone an organizer, we need to get something started before it is too late.
    We are all talking and commenting…Does anyone know if the rescues out
    there could help to get something started? It appears that we truly need more
    in the action department. Does anyone have any ideas?


  7. I have a question. With equine herpes virus on the move how do THE WRANGLERS know there horses are free of this disease and aren’t in the incubation period. Geez, I can see just horses getting sick of herpes on top of being run.

    Vets are still recommending not to move horses for the time being. And what happens if one of these WRANGLERS horses have just recovered? Are they still carriers–could they contaminate a wild horses herd already stressed to the max?

    Will the onsite vet honest to God look at THE WRANGLERS health certificate for the horse?

    Honest to God I think this is a question we should pose to Bobby boo boo.


    • I think the more important question is not regarding the current preround-up health of our wild equines, but the disease control and standards of the rodeo/livestock creeps that bring the trailers, corals, feeding troughs, etc to beat up these wild equines.

      Where are the standards, cleaning and sterilization procedures from the handlers and THEIR equipment? They are the disease spreaders! The intruders are the problem.

      EHV has been around a long time and in recent years tracks have been quarantined for this. Why the press is going bat-s**t, reporting whacko on the story out of Utah and not on the slaughter/wild equines disaster is beyond me.

      And many macho equine events are NOT cancelled. Gee! What a surprise…NOT!


  8. I am thinking that Tom Gorey needs to go out on the range and have a talk with the wild horses on the Little Colorado HMA. Per the EA the aerial census was done April 14-15, 2010 (mid foaling season per Tom Gorey) at which time they supposedly counted 160 wild horses (although their map actually shows 148) but the clincher is (per their EA) that by July 2010 (post foaling season per the EA) there were 256 out there! So … #1 apparently ALL the mares held off giving birth till after the aerial census flight and #2 when they did drop their foals there was a 60% increase (perhaps some of the stallions also gave birth and/or every mare had triplets?) and #3 this herd had been partially treated with PZP (sometimes causing “out of season” births) and some sex ratio adjustment (more males) had been previously done. So like I said, I think Tom Gorey needs to either retract his inaccurate statement and postpone ALL roundups until after at least September and demand his staff do accurate research and reporting AND/OR he should start MANAGING the BLM MANAGEMENT who are supposed to be MANAGING the range AND/OR he needs to go out to Wyoming and explain to the Little Colorado wild horses that they are not following the BLM handbook.
    The wild horses and burros do not need “managing” … they have managed themselves perfectly for hundreds and hundreds of years.
    In my humble opinion – the whole mess is a scam to rid our range of the WH&B for the sake of “daddy big bucks”.

    Click to access 2011_ea.pdf


    • GG:

      First off, Gore-man ain’t ever going to retract or apologize for anything. What’s worse is that his superiors and Congress don’t require that…EVER!!!!! Not sure? Check out the number of heads that rolled for Deepwater Horizon and the sex/drug/gift scandal between DOI and industry trolls.

      Secondly, I’m just freaking confused and dumbfounded by the rush of it all.

      Doesn’t make sense.

      Does anyone here think that the holding and round-up money would be better spent on those in Alabama, Missouri or for funding better flood, hurricane and tornado early warning systems throughout the concerned US areas?

      I most certainly do.


  9. Thank you for all the great writing.. action to you do.. to return our wild horses/burros to freedom, their rightful place.

    I formed a group in August.. we now have nearly 2,300 members.. I know we are one of thousands .. speaking, mind boggling.. is the thought of how many letters, e-mails and calls begging for freedom and survival for our wild horses/burros to be honored…countless.. over 10,000 letters..have fallen upon the BLM’s deaf ears..and cold hearts.

    The worst part is still our wild horses/burros are trapped, suffering and dying and the BLM targets more.

    Power to the will of the people, with good and wise hearts~:


  10. My first BLM adopted mustang was run for at least 12 miles, at 5 months old, and orphaned in the process..this is according to BLM records. She has permanent injuries- mental and physical. Our government and its agencies are corrupt beyond belief. I am so ashamed of them.


  11. …not to mention the foals that can not keep up with the herd, and are left behind to die on the range. Absolute cruelty. I protest that my federal taxes are used by my government to pay BLM to injure and kill federally protected wild horses/burros. Excellent letter—-will send to Oprah/Madeleine etc. Here we go again—and how come BLM doesn’t learn from its past mistakes? (silly question) Didn’t all this happen last year? water colic/hooves sloughed off etc. What was their “science of destruction” excuse last year? BLM’s traveling death machine. Disgusting.


  12. Worse than the fact that the BLM continues to tell the public that wild horse populations are still “exploding” (word used in ABC7’s news report), despite the use of PZP and round-ups is the fact that the BLM has SEEN how many foals were born late or suffered last summer ……..
    And this doesn’t address the issue of the heat the mares and little ones would be forced to run through. (Tuscarora!)


  13. Here is an excerpt from an excellent article in AMERICAN HERDS. When the topic of Wild Horse “population explosion” comes up in various publications, let them crunch these numbers:

    Since 2001, BLM has reported removing over 80,000 wild horses and burros at an average of 10,000 animals per year. Despite these aggressive efforts, they continue to report little to no impact has been made on reining in their “excess” populations, a nebulous term BLM continues to define and an even more elusive goal they never seem able to achieve.

    According to BLM, their target is a maximum national population goal of 26,578 wild horses and burros, a target that BLM has cut by over 2,000 animals just in the last five years, and BLM intends on spending approximately $32 million dollars to remove over 12,000 animals this year to reach it.

    In the spring of 2009, BLM reported over 37,000 wild horses and burros still roamed free on public lands throughout the West but if you look at the numbers, serious questions arise as to the validity of these claims.

    For example, in 2002, BLM removed 12,029 wild horses and burros equating to 31% of those reported on the range; despite this high percentage, BLM reported it only reduced the national totals by a mere 1,600 animals. In 2003, BLM removed over 10,000 more (26%) but still the removals seemingly made no impact as BLM now reported national totals declined by only 51 animals.


    • According to the BLM’s numbers, wild horses now come close to exceeding the reproductive rates of rodents and cockroaches. Why is it that we out here in little people land can see right through their obvious lies but no one in congress where the power is to challenge them seems able to?


  14. According to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act of 1971 “It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where they are presently found as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands”. BLM = Criminal Abuse!


  15. Excellent letter Dr,Marini and Dr Lipsky! Thank you for standing up for the Wild Horses and Burros. The way I see it, there are two very good reasons to file a TRO for the July roundups; the EHV danger, and the foaling season which in fact peaks from May to the end of July esp. in the colder climate and higher elevations. Besides, it is inhumane to run 3-6 mos old fbabies for miles and miles, end of discussion. i am clearly not a fan of “Lawsuits” however this here is a situation which could mean literally the difference between “life and death” for the WHs & Bs. All one needs is 3 testimonials from respected Rep.Veterinarians and contagious disease specialists along with quotes from the State Animal cruelty Laws. The TRO has to be timed right. This is where money should be spent “ACTION!” directly for the benefit of the Wild Horses!!


  16. This foal would very likely have been fine if it hadn’t been run and run and run at the age of six days old – my opinion.
    Regarding Foaling Season and Foal Hoof Sloughing:
    Twin Peaks Veterinary Report 8-20-10
    One 6 day old sorrel stud colt with 2 face whorls and R tip of ear bitten off suffering from RF pastern injury. The pastern is swollen and very lame. There is granulation tissue present at dorsal coronary band and heel bulb. The hoof wall is separating from the sensitive lamina. The foal is going to slough the hoof. This appears to be a possible injury such as getting the hoof caught between rocks or a possible insect or snake bite, but I suspect the former and is probably 2 days old. This is also a pre-gather injury due to the granulation tissue present. I euthanized this foal with 10 cc Fatal Plus IV due to the severity of the injury.
    Robert Meinert, DVM
    Thompson Peak Veterinary Services
    BLM-Wild Horse and Burro Litchfield, CA contract veterinarian


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