Callie Hendrickson: “Pro-slaughter” Appointee to BLM Wild Horse Board Draws Protests

By Alan Prendergast of the Denver Westword

Active Anti-Horse Activist Selected by Obama’s DOI Secretary Ken Salazar

"Cull Callie, NOW"

The appointment of Callie Hendrickson to a board that helps shape the federal government’s wild horse management plan has touched off a frenzy of petitions and protests by horse advocacy groups. They say the Grand Junction woman is a defender of ranching interests who’s endorsed commercial slaughter of “excess horses” on public lands.

The Department of the Interior was barraged with phone calls and e-mails after it was announced that Hendrickson would be appointed as one of two “general public” representatives on the Bureau of Land Management‘s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Hendrickson is executive director of the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts and a horse owner herself. But she’s better known to wild horse activists as a champion of grazing rights. The districts she represents intervened in a contentious lawsuit over wild horse roundups in Colorado, supporting the BLM’s efforts to “zero out” the West Douglas herd, a small but hardy group of mustangs located south of Rangely.

The board, which is supposed to provide a wide range of citizen and stakeholder input, has specific seats designated for veterinarians, livestock management, natural resources and so on. That Hendrickson was appointed to represent the public at large alarms groups such as the Colorado Springs-based Cloud Foundation, which has criticized the move as stacking the board in favor of ranchers, who view wild horses as competition for public grazing land.

Hendrickson has maintained that the horse herds are far more overpopulated than official BLM counts suggest. At the same time, she’s denounced the “waste” involved in the agency’s roundups and failed adoption program, which has left 45,000 horses and burros in short-term holding facilities and privately contracted pastures, operated at taxpayer expense. “We’ve got a wreck,” she said in a recent radio interview. “We’ve got too many horses on the range and 45,000 in holding areas, costing taxpayers over $35 million a year. That’s unsustainable.”

On the Wild Horse Range Coalition blog, Hendrickson has expressed frustration that the prior board has refused “to consider the elephant in the room and discuss lethal control of the horses.” She has also called for “welfare horses” to be made available for sale “without limitation” to the highest bidder. Since the adoption program can only handle a small fraction of the horses BLM is removing from the range every year, that presumably means turning them into horsemeat and glue.

Critics of BLM’s program insist that the horses are not overpopulated and starving and that the roundups have decimated viable herds. When the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed, 339 herds were identified as under its protection; only 179 of those herds remain today, and their total permitted range has dwindled from 53 million acres to 31.6 million acres.

More from our News archive: “Video: Wild horse roundups featuring burros being ‘hotshotted’ are kinder, gentler?

Barbi Twins: Famous for… Equine Advocacy

Posted by Jordan Schaul from Nat Geo‘s News Watch

Celebrity Friends of SFTHH Give It All for the Horses

Sia and Shane Barbi

Shane and Sia Barbi–the bodacious and perhaps outrageous, world famous pin-up girls from the 90′s–have pretty much given up show business. They never did take themselves seriously nor were they seeking a life of fame and wealth.

They are, however, well aware of the power of celebrity.

To know them they are quite shy, humble, and share a self-deprecating sense of humor that makes them most approachable, if you can find them. As reclusive and private as they are, they have dedicated their lives to animal welfare causes and anti-cruelty advocacy. In fact, that is all they do now.

Along with Shane’s husband, Ken Wahl, they have championed many animal causes and most recently teamed up with Willie Nelson to oppose lifting the ban on horse slaughter.  To no avail the six-year-old ban was lifted last December.

personally remain neutral on the issue. As a strong advocate of zoos and zoo animal welfare, I’m aware that zoo animals are some of the largest consumers of horse meat. Hence, I defer to zoo nutritionists and veterinarians on appropriate meat sources for zoo carnivores (carnivorans) and raptors.  Some zoos choose to feed horse meat and others have or are shifting to a beef diet.

The Barbi twins and I agree to disagree on a lot of issues, but I certainly commend them for doing their homework.   They vehemently oppose horse slaughter on the grounds that horses weren’t bred for human consumption.  I did not ask them to comment on zoo animal consumption of horse meat, but I pretty much know where they stand.

The Barbi twins assert that “horses were bred and domesticated to be companion animals like a dog or cat. They also served as working animals on farms, and provided transport for people. They also risked their lives in wartime.”

They are adamantly opposed to both slaughter and wild horse round-ups, considering both activities to be blatant forms of animal cruelty.  Sia said that “The helicopter round-ups spook the horses so they end up badly injured or trampled to death. Pregnant horses may even abort foals in these stampedes.  And the remaining horses often die from hunger, thirst, or overcrowding in holding pens.”

Shane added that “most importantly, we are vegans mostly because there is no such thing as humane slaughter–that is an oxymoron.”

Again, we agree to disagree, but I applaud them for their passion and ambition to really study the issues.

Today, they are more known for their activism then they are for their work in front of the camera, perhaps, drawing a whole new demographic of fans.  Along with Willie Nelson, they continue to fight for horse welfare and support the equine and companion animal initiatives of the Animal Welfare Institute.

Shane and Sia are former equestrians, but they have given up the hobby to focus on equine welfare and rescue and other animal causes from wildlife issues to companion animal concerns.

Petition: Tell Interior Secretary to Dump Pro-Wild Horse Slaughter Appointee

Ken Salazar a friend and puppet of the Cattle industry and executioner for the Nation's Wild Horses and Burros

Sponsored by: American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Animal Law Coalition, The Cloud Foundation, Equine Welfare Alliance, Front Range Equine Rescue, International Fund for Horses, Protect Mustangs, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Secretary of the Interior has, for the second time in a row, selected an openly pro-horse slaughter person to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.  Callie Hendrickson, an anti-wild horse activist, pro-horse slaughter proponent, has been selected to represent the interests of the ‘General Public’ on the board.

It is well known that Hendrickson supports horse slaughter, and the sale without limitation of all unadopted wild horses to the highest bidder (including kill buyers). She supports the removal of all the wild horses in the West Douglas Creek herd on Colorado’s Western Slope. She has testified in support of anti-wild horse legislation and will speak at the second pro-slaughter conference (Summit of the Horse) in Oklahoma City this Spring.

And Ms. Hendrickson is out of step with the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose horse slaughter. According to a recent national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners for the ASPCA, 80% of Americans from all walks of life and all areas of the country do not support the slaughter of American horses.

Take action today: Urge Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to rescind his appointment of Callie Hendrickson to the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board. 


The nine-member BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommends management strategies to the BLM. Hendrickson would join Jim Stephenson (appointed June 2011) who openly advocates for horse slaughter. Other Board members include the former head of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and a wildlife representative who is a member of organizations advocating a hunting season on wild horses.  Documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that BLM has discussed killing wild horses in holding since at least 2008. They have stacked the Board with anti-wild horse extremists who could advocate for the slaughter of wild horses that have been removed from public lands and are being stockpiled in government holding facilities.

Click (HERE) to Sign Petition to “Cull Callie
Click (HERE) to Read More on the BLM’s Horse Slaughter Adviser