Guest OpEd by Bonnie Kohleriter
Americans Pay for the Abuse
The BLM agency of our United States government is an eye-sore to the values of our country. The staff of this agency is “lying” to the public and the contracted employees are engaged in acts of blatant animal “abuse.”
This is foaling season. The BLM says that is March to June, but come July the foals are what? 1 week old, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, tiny bodies with weak legs. That, according to the BLM, is not foaling season?
The BLM reports to you the temps are 85 degrees. That is a “lie.” The temps were as high as 94 degrees at eleven o’clock on an hour long run July 29,2011. Temps during runs given by the BLM out in the field were 08-02, 90 degrees, 08-03, 85 degrees, 08-04, 87 degrees, and 08-05, 89 degrees. The altitude and alkali soil of this area serve to intensify the effects of this heat.
The BLM reports the animals run about 5 miles. Would you run your foals at a constant walk or trot 5 miles in 85-90 degree heat on rough uneven rocky terrain? 5 miles or less is a lie. The horses are being arguably run as much as 10-20 miles at times as confirmed by the local ranchers and by watching the helicopter in the sky. And
Josh Hellyer who horrified the observers at Antelope in January is continuing to run the animals sideways and forwards and sideways adding to the distance and isolating and harassing individual horses. “It’s a learning curve” say some of the BLM employees. Next time my children are out learning to drive and hit a pedestrian, I’ll simply say to you “It’s a learning curve.” I’m sure the public will be okay with that as well.
Few one to four week old babies are coming in on their own. Where are they? The independent observers can see the bands are being fractured as they are driven into the pens. Nine babies have died, an unusual amount taking into account other gathers. Their deaths are due to “preexisting conditions,” or have they died from sustained injuries during the run? The young that make it in are limping. Their soundness likely will be compromised for the rest of their lives and they won’t be adoptable.
Following long runs adults and young foals once in the pens are not being given water to suit their size. “It’s not in the contract,” says Jody, a contract employee. The horses are left for long hours in a confined pen with no water in the hot sun before they are transported to temporary facilities. A protocol is not set up so that the mares can be matched with their foals so you notice desperate cries from foals and mares in temporary as foals seeking help are kicked. The chutes, ramps, and trailers are not properly construed so that the heads of a few horses are being pinned between the trailer and chutes with frightful attempts to rectify their extreme positions. Horses are being driven down the pocketed dirt roads from the trap site to temporary at 60 mph. Once at temporary they are not given adequate water either. Probably one of the most egregious behaviors witnessed is the use of not flags to move the horses but of unacceptable tools uses to beat, shock and jab the horses. This behavior toward the animals is “abuse.”
It is time for the BLM to rework gather schedule time, July is too hot (85+ degrees) to gather, and foals are too young to go the distance, and January-February where deep snow prevails and it is too cold (-32 degrees) to gather, and
pregnant mares, weak from lack of winter’s forage, should not be asked to go the distance either.
The behavior of the Sun-J contractors is “abusive”, inhumane. The contract should be called, No excuses, “It’s a learning curve,” And No thoughts like “ It’s inconvenient.” Inhumane is inhumane. Sun-J should be gone.
Bob Abbey, Dir. Of the BLM, Dean Bolstaad, Division Director, Alan Shephard, State Lead, Gary Medlyn and Brian Fuell, Field Managers, Ben Noyes and Bruce Thompson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialists, and above all, Sun-J contractors all need to be held accountable for the lies and the inhumane treatment of our wild horses. They were charged to manage and protect our American Wild Horses, not to abuse, maim and kill them.
- Report Released on Wild Horse Deaths during BLM Helicopter Stampede (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Nominations Allegedly Open for BLM Special Interest Board (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- BLM Boss Bob Abbey Plays Congress (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Congressmen Send Letter to Salazar to Halt Costly and Deadly BLM Wild Horse Stampedes, AGAIN (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s BLM Cruelty Continues at Wild Horse Massacre (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- BLM Employee/Contractor Publicly Promotes Hunting Season on Wild Horses and Burros (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Fitch Outs BLM Employee Who Advocates Hunting Season on Wild Horses (rtfitch.wordpress.com)