Horse News

Problems Arise at Desatoya Wild Horse Gather in Nevada

Information supplied by The Humane Society on Aug 16, 2012

…BLM contractor appear to hogtie and leave a lost foal in the path of stampeding mustangs…

BLM Contract Chopper Cruelty at Antelope Stampede 2011~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Humane Society of the United States expressed its concerns about the actions of the Bureau of Land Management after an HSUS executive witnessed a BLM contractor appear to hogtie and leave a lost foal in the path of stampeding mustangs at the Desatoya Wild Horse Gather near Austin, Nev. The continued negligence and inhumane treatment of animals in the field is at odds with the agency’s stated vision and goal of improving and reforming its wild horse gather procedures.

The incident was witnessed by Holly Hazard, senior vice president of Programs and Innovations for The HSUS, who attended the gather as an observer to determine if BLM was incorporating HSUS recommended changes in standard operating procedures.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. PDT on Thursday, Aug. 16, after several bands of horses had successfully been herded into a trap, Hazard saw a BLM contractor ride out on horseback to collect a stray foal. When the young horse resisted moving deep into the gather trap, Hazard watched the BLM contractor appear to hogtie the foal and then leave her in the path of galloping horses. Once the band of horses was safely captured, instead of aiding the foal, BLM instead gave the go ahead for another band of horses to run around and past her again.

“The Bureau of Land Management has made significant progress in reforming its wild horse program in recent years – but the agency must set a higher standard and not allow such callous disregard for animals to take place in its operations,” said Hazard. “The public has been calling for more transparency and responsible treatment of animals in the wild horse and burro program, and it’s time for the BLM’s stated goals and objectives to be applied in the field as well.”

The Desatoya gather is slated to occur for two weeks with the goal of gathering 500 wild horses and applying the fertility control drug PZP to approximately 64 females who will be released.

As a result of the incident, The HSUS is calling on BLM to:

  • Immediately review its protocols and make all changes necessary in order to ensure that no contractor has the authority to unnecessarily stress any animal in its custody and control in the name of gather efficiency;
  • Review previous HSUS requests to develop and implement a Humane Observer program that would allow a knowledgeable, objective witness to intervene at gathers in order to prevent similar incidents from occurring during gather operations;
  • Deliver a status report on the young foal in question, including information on her overall health and well-being and whether the foal was reunited with her mother at the temporary holding facility.

99 replies »

  1. Again, shame on the BLM!!!!!!!~ The foal should NOT have been treated in this manner!!!! Thankfully, the observer from the Humane Society, presented good documentation.. Prayers for the young foal. Perhaps, now, someone will pay attention….


  2. what the hell was he thinking, that poor baby must have been terrified. I really hope and pray the foal was ok after such horrific treat of the BLM, the more they gather, the more heartless they are becoming… so so sad.


    • time to shot excuses for lifeform anyone that would do such a thing has no heart and does not know horses get rid of him


    • These employees behave like children—this guy is a bully and he is trying to punish the horse for not doing what he wanted the foal to do—as if the foal was deliberately and personally giving this wrangler a hard time. The horse was reacting instinctively. Instead of bullying the foal and trying to force her to go with him, he would have been better served to get off his mount and walk the little horse in.

      The problem this foal will have will have is down the road if they don’t return her with her herd. He or she may have a very hard time every trusting human beings again. This little foal may grow up to be one of these very reactive mustangs that take months or years to ever trust again.
      Best they make sure this foal lives her life on the range.

      Do you suppose the wrangler intended for the foal to get run over and even killed by the other bands, or do you think the wrangler knew that horses will not run into a stationery object if they can get around it? It is horrible to think that this creepo put this baby into the path for the purpose of having the other horses kill her or maim her so badly, she would need to be euthanized.


      • Yes, IMO that’s exactly what the plan was. Horseman or not, common sense says you don’t stand in the way of a stampede and not expect to get run over. This man should lose his job for sure.


  3. It seems BLM is incapable of conducting any round-up, at all, ever, without abuses occurring to the horses. Hog-tie a foal? Despicable.


  4. “The Bureau of Land Management has made significant progress in reforming its wild horse program in recent years”. It has ? I sure don’t agree with that statement. Who knows what goes on for sure when there is little transparency. The helicopter roundups with mares in foal and tiny foals stampeded for miles disputes that any [propgress IMO.


  5. What there plan is and has been is to do away with all wild horses hence the birth control. We will lose a historical part of the fabric of the west and part of our American culture. As for the foal and the contractor, I feel it’s only fitting the contractor lose his right to herd any more horses and death to him has crossed my mind. You do realize nothing we say or do will stop these psycopathic peoplefrom killing maming and torturingthese beautiful animals. Laws are not in place to protect horses nor most other animals and I find the laws that exist not near stern enough to stop abuse and the killing of lives. The BLm just does what they want with no consequences what so ever and this is just one example of how out of reach with the law the BLM is. I am sad and ashamed of the BLM and our goverment. I love my country I hate my goverment.
    I don’t know what the future holds for the wild horses but it can’t be good


  6. Of course a wild foal is going to fight a rope. He’s wild. DUH! You hogtie a foal? Not my wild horses you don’t!

    Here’s a great example of handling a weaningly. Watch Zenyatta’s soon to be weaned colt get his first bath. He’s a calm as can be. Mom is standing off to the side and ONE man is holding the colts lead. ONE. there is no fighting or stress. Lane’s End has done a remarkable job of introducing new things to Z’s colt without causing him harm.

    As awful as the Pryor’s were this is an example of bait trapping done right with as little stress as possible.

    Can we hogtie the employee and drag him into the trap?


  7. I would add to savewildhorses’ comment: How about an immediate and PERMANENT shutdown of all BLM “management” of wild horses, period?

    In my view, this is what we get — and are going to keep getting — when we demand “humane” treatment in the middle of our calls for abolition of round-ups. To my mind, there’s no such thing as a “humane” gather of horses and burros who treasure their freedom and their families above all else.

    The entire animal-advocacy community, including those who oppose horse slaughter and the BLM’s involvement with wild horses, is deeply divided over whether to go in a “welfare” or a “rights” direction. For anyone wanting to learn more about that split, there’s a new post by the founders of


  8. All these comments of people that are upset…..and rightfully so…mean nothinggggggggggggggg. Laws we need. Once new laws are made and set into effect….the BLM will not be able to pull the lousy stinking rotten filthy sneaky methods they have been getting away with for so long..The problem my friends are with our laws we have in our states. They ALLOW this..THEY know of these problems but the fat cats dont give a crap.


    • The BLM already has lots of laws that they completely ignore already. I don’t know the solution, but more laws aren’t it. Maybe we need better and stronger penalties for law breakers, even if or especially if they are Govt. employees or contractors. The BLM should have no say in who comes to the roundups and having been to some, I say that they must allow the public much closer to the capture pens etc. They park the public so far away that watching a round up is nearly useless unless you have super binoculars or zoom lenses… I for one have gone and bought myself a BIG telescope to better see the roundups. However, even that will not help much as without documentation like photographs and videos. They will just deny any wrong doings on their part. We need to have perhaps the media allowed right at the pens to document all aspects of the gathers. And also in the choppers.


  9. I agree wit savewildhorses this certainly grounds for AN IMMEDIATE SHUT DOWN OF THE BLM, this is totally disgusting behavior by a Agency that should know better !!!!!!!


  10. These people are criminals and have to be taken off the job, investigated and thrown in jail. The BLM, the Forest Service and the USDA have to be denied jurisdiction over our wild horses. These people don’t think and they are cruel to the extreme.


    • No, HSUS won’t do that — not as long as there is publicity to be gained — thus money to be made — in NOT doing it.

      I long for horse people to understand that HSUS’ agenda — at least in the senior management positions, where the control lies — is to line its pockets. Period.

      HSUS takes stands ONLY when it believes that popular sentiment is heading in that direction. You will find HSUS doing undercover investigations … and rescuing animals from hurricanes and fighting rings and hoarders … and checking out the fate of wild horses ONLY when it knows the spotlight is shining on — you got it, HSUS. Publicity is the name of the game. Dollars are the prize for winning the game.

      If that’s not a very BlessUsAll-type comment, sorry, it’s the truth. And sometimes the truth hurts. But the truth, if heeded, ends up blessing. At least I pray so.


      • So why was the HSUS even at this round up then? It is not a popular issue, as 95% of Americans are unaware we have wild horses or that they are even being rounded up. And why does the HSUS go undercover to factory farms, hardly a safe issue at all.


      • Bless us … thank you … that was exactly my point. HSUS receives big bucks to protect animals against abuse and they did not stop it … did they.


  11. We need Debbie Coffey to FOIA this. She is truly remarkable at doing FOIA’s and reading through all of BLM’s gobbledeegook! Maybe she can figure out the who and why of what happened.


    These are wild horses. Like any wild animal they are going to fight the rope. All hogtie ing does is make it 100 times worse for an adopter to gentle them. The fear and distrust they feel for two leggeds is going to remain with them for life.


  12. I agree with many of your responses, no need to say again. I LOVE my country too, but unfortunately,
    it seems to be the problem of people don’t care, they are finding more and more ways to hurt, torture, kill animals of any kind, not just our wild ones. Our government, the Pres. hadn’t given Salizar, the blm, power,thngs might be different. He is as cold hearted as the next guy. (both of them), give me the $$$$$$$$$$$$$. To Hell with what is right and true.


  13. So, Miss Hazard is now seeing the cruelty for herself, and I hope this brings home to her the gravity of the problem. She has maintained a removed and cynical attitude towards reports of BLM malevolence, and I invite the readers to observe this in a letter she sent me in August 2011. In spite of protestations to the contrary, I can find NO RECORDS in Humane Society archives where the organization EVER employed the “bully pulpit” of exposing the membership to the egregious behaviors committed by the BLM. Quoted from Miss Hazard’s letter—

    “The BLM has in fact, changed significantly from the organization it was three years ago. It is not perfect. It is not what we wish it to be and it is not good enough. But your rhetoric about the BLM failing to try to change is simply wrong. It is a long, difficult process to change an organizational culture. And it cannot come from the outside, or even Washington DC. Due to the efforts of HSUS and others, the BLM began two years ago requiring that for any gather, any mare turned back on the range must be treated with birth control to begin to slow (and hopefully one day stop) helicopter gathers. The HSUS has been to several gather sites in the past two years and has plans to attend several more in the next few months. While it might feel good to attend these gathers, find fault, and then publicly attack the BLM on its failings, we have found this helps feed anger and self-righteousness of humans but it really does little to nothing to help the horses. Over and over we have found that by quietly talking to field officials and BLM managers, with the threat that if they do not correct a cruelty or oversight we will notify our members, that they have made significant progress in changing the culture of their employees and contractors. It would be so much easier for us to jump on the bandwagon and exploit their failings, hysterically allege cruelty without any investigation (as we could have with the foal picture for example) and incite our membership to declare war on the agency. But it is a war we would lose. The agency would lose trust that, if we present them with concerns, they are valid, and that if they act responsibly, we will support that action. If they fail to listen, we let our members and the Congress know we need to apply the pressure of dissent. We have done this as well. To employ the strategy of hysterical condemnation every time there is a problem just becomes noise to the agency (as frankly, your emails have to us) and the agency simply stops even listening. And, in the end, the agency holds most, if not all, the cards. To ostracize and chronically belittle them has the opposite effect of reform. It has made them calloused and rigid.”

    I would say that the timidity of never exposing BLM atrocities has had the opposite effect of making them “calloused and rigid” They are emboldened and arrogant that no one dare cross them, and even a advocate for animal welfare stays the straight and narrow path of only focusing on immunocontraception. This is as much admitting that wild equines are the major grazers of concern, not livestock, in spite of the arithmetical absurdities, and ignores the mission statement of the Humane Society’s founder. In case you don’t know what that is, here is the quote–

    Robert Chenoweth, then chairman of the board, said at The HSUS’s first annual meeting in 1955, the humane movement “needed a national society that would stand, absolutely, on humane moral principles—an organization that would unequivocally, vigorously, adamantly oppose any and every kind of cruelty, no matter by whom committed and without concern for who might be offended or alienated.”

    I have no confidence in the Humane Society upholding the advocacy for wild equines. They rarely attend the “gather” operations and when they do, BLM can be expected to perform with their best manners. HSUS will have their Conference in Jackson Hole next month on Immunocontraception, addressing a non-existent problem, and pat themselves on the back that they are “doing something” Their position as designated apologist for the depredations of the Bureau of Land Management will never change, because the HSUS fundamentally believes they know best. “…hysterical, self-rightous humans (advocates)” with photos and videos notwithstanding, this latest event Miss Hazard happened to witness will likely be explained away as a “rare, rogue operative”, with some policy “recommendations” (how trite) and all will blow over. Meanwhile the horses and burros die, lose their families, suffer grievous injuries, and are jailed in scorching, featureless squalor till the last one is “gathered”. HSUS has been advised in detail for decades on the travails of the wild equines, but the position they take is well exemplified by the tone of the letter by Miss Hazard, printed above.


    • Did Ms. HSUS forget to say which side her bread is buttered on? If I remember correctly HSUS used to be the only place the BLM could buy PZP? Have we ever seen anyone push their product as the “best way” before? Only constantly!

      There are no excess wild horses and burros – their herd area land is more than enough for ALL the WH&B in America. And yet this newborn and innocent foal is the one that had to suffer as thousands have done before. One of many documents of wild horse abuse by BLM: The day before this video was taken all these foals were happy with their families on their range and the horse did NOT have a broken leg and the other horse that could not even get up was FINE before BLM OK’d the abuse.


    • You know who else rarely attends BLM gathers? BLM top management. Let’s ask Joan Guilfoyle and Kenny Salazar how many round ups they’ve attended. Or Congressmen and women.


    • Many thanks, Susan, for your intelligent comments. BYW the 1990-91 GAO report clearly found cattle(not wild horses) guilty of oveer-grazing and destroying riparian areas but the BLM has ignored that study and it appears HSUS has also.


  14. The despicable BLM, murderer and torturer of helpless and innocent horses.
    This is our government, and taxpayers are paying these hoodlums to run rampant
    over animals. This government agency has earned a salary for years by
    destroying our American horses and calling it their “job”. They are a blight
    on this country.


  15. I am trying to post a lengthy comment, the site is telling me it is up, I don’t see it and when I try to send again it replies “you have already said that” What is wrong here??


  16. A foal treated this way can go into shock after hours of this constraint and the longer this foal is hogtied the more dehydrated it becomes. This is how they die; shock and dehydration. Rarely have advocates been allowed to retrieve foals left behind but when they have this is the condition they were in. I do hope this foal was untied quickly and given relief from this extremely irresponsible use of force. Wrangles walking a roped foal in slowly is far better treatment than this ‘illimination’ of the problem. Our wild foals are precious to us.


  17. I didn’t even know they were doing this round up. What the heck is the matter with these people?? We must stop them!


    • And to make matters worse … after the initial big helicopter capture … the rancher (Hendrix – Smith Creek Ranch) is allowed to trap our wild horses for the next ten years per the EA. What is THAT telling us? The answer lies in just a few words: CORRUPTION, GREED and unfortunately for our wild ones “GONE”.




  19. I am sick to know what the scum BLM did to this little horse. They are allowed to get away with this inhumane treatment and even defy judge’s orders AND GET AWAY WITH IT!!


  20. Another violation of the mustangs..wonder how they will slither out of this one or deny that anything happened..liars tbat they are.


    • Thank you, Susan Rudnicki.

      The giant war chest that employs so-called “whistle blower” Holly Hazard could be spending a portion of its millions suing and stopping the BLM instead of raking in another million (or whatever it’s getting) from that PZP contract.

      So, why hasn’t well-heeled HSUS gone to court in recent years to oppose the BLM’s roundups and warehousing? Why did R.T. and Terry have to dip deeply into their modest retirement monies to pay for lawyers to file injunctions against the BLM?

      Why doesn’t HSUS investigate the whereabouts of the wild horses once they are “hidden” and effectively “lost” to the public on BLM cronies’ private land in the Midwest, where they languish, separated from family and friends, in barren pastures devoid of shelter (see

      Why hasn’t HSUS bought private land in the West and turned it into sanctuaries for whole bands of wild horses and burros?

      Why hasn’t HSUS offered to pay the adoption and training and transportation fees for wild horses who would have good, safe, private homes if HSUS would lend a hand to people who want to help but don’t have the resources or ability to take all those initial steps to secure the horses’ future?

      There are so many significant things that a huge philanthropic organization such as HSUS could do on behalf of the horses, if senior management wanted to.

      What DOES Ms. Hazard mean when she says the BLM has made “significant progress in the culture of their employees and contractors”? Can she cite examples of how things were worse before and are better now? How there are fewer illegitimate roundups today than yesterday? Fewer injured and terrified (and dead) horses currently than in the past? An accurate and transparent head count in pens and pastures now, with definitively no captive horses being secretly shipped to slaughter?

      In other words, how has HSUS’s threat of blowing the BLM’s cover changed a single thing for the horses? I think HSUS is full of hot air and hypocrisy, and the BLM knows it and takes full advantage of that fact. And vice versa. It looks to me like they use one another, just the way they both use the horses as pawns to get what they want: power and money.

      The arrogance of these not-so-strange bedfellows is perhaps best summed up in this line from Holly Hazard to Susan Rudnicki: “To employ the strategy of hysterical condemnation every time there is a problem just becomes noise to the agency (as frankly, your emails have to us) and the agency simply stops even listening.”

      OK, I’m getting off my anti-HSUS horse now. I just couldn’t sit by without publicly questioning its forked tongue.


  21. Gather reports show they are roping these foals as a matter of course. Why are they doing this? Because they can’t keep up with the length and speed of the round up most likely. 2 foals have died already. They need to cease this action. Slow down so foals can keep up. Who is the bozo contractor?


  22. I think one reason they’re doing this is because without Laura in the field they feel like they can get away with it. Not right. Inhumane. Makes me sick to my stomach. I’m furious.

    I’m furious because I can’t adopt a mustang and keep it at a sanctuary. Maybe it isn’t perfect (living in a sanctuary)but it would be better than that trip to hades.

    TCF has started a sponsorship program. I can’t afford 100 dollars a month but maybe I can do 25 dollars. Hopefully it’ll help one of the Freedom Fund horses…I sure hope so.

    Darn I wish I had more funds…


  23. Oh! The HSUS finally saw what all the rest of us have known has been going on for months / years. Are they going to stand their ground with this issue or wimp out? That is the million dollar question.


  24. This roundup should be halted. ALL roundups should be stopped…PERIOD. There has never been proof given to justify them. The further back you go, the more apparent that is. This is an article from AMERICAN HERDS written in 2009:

    Breaking Through Del Rio

    The four-year grand jury investigation of the Wild Horse & Burro Program and the over 3,000 pieces of evidence it accumulated that was slammed shut in 1996 (without any of this evidence ever being heard) is often referred to in wild horse circles as “Del Rio”.

    Does anyone remember what the final straw was that broke the back of the Del Rio grand jury’s investigation? It was a subpoena issued to BLM demanding an “inventory” of a 1,200 capacity long-term holding facility in Osasge County, OK, – a legal subpoena BLM refused to grant.

    Let me repeat this so it is crystal clear…

    Because a subpoena demanded an accounting of the number of wild horses in a BLM holding facility, the BLM successfully shut down a grand jury investigation of the United States of America rather than comply and allow independent law enforcement to verify the number of wild horses BLM said they were holding in the facility. (To be fair, this wasn’t the only reason BLM didn’t want the mountain of evidence assembled against them to ever be heard but it was the subpoena that forced their hand to dismantle the investigation through a variety of tactics).

    The key word was inventory – meaning numbers – and anyone who takes a little time to research this issue quickly realizes this is a “numbers game”. As the lives of America’s wild horses and burros continue to tip precariously closer to execution and/or slaughter, the future they are facing is a result of only one thing – numbers.

    Whether discussing the financial numbers, the numbers in long and short term holding, the numbers on the range, population censuses numbers, reproduction numbers, forage or water utilization numbers or the allowed population numbers BLM has set in relation to the “numbers” of everything else in the thriving natural ecological balance, every act, decision and proposal finds its roots in numbers. Yet despite this, why do the numbers so often fail to add up?


  25. BLM to Gather Wild Horses from the Desatoya Mountains

    Carson City, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office has issued the Decision Record (DR) for the Wild Horse Gather portion of the Desatoya Mountains Resiliency, Health, and Restoration Project. The BLM will gather approximately 450-525 wild horses. As many as 127 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather. The gather area is located approximately 70 miles east of Fallon, Nev. within Churchill and Lander counties. The gather is scheduled for mid-August.

    A population inventory conducted in July 2011 documented 543 wild horses within and 14 wild horses outside of the Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA). It is projected that 651 horses would be in the population at the time of the gather. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the HMA is 127-180 wild horses. Based on the inventory, and monitoring data showing impacts from an over-population of the HMA, BLM has determined that removal of the excess wild horses is necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance.

    Of the approximate 127 wild horses released back to the range, an estimated 51 mares will receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment prior to release. This vaccine will extend the time between gathers, and reduce the number of excess wild horses that would need to be removed in the future. The sex ratio of the released animals will be dependent on the sex ratio of the gathered wild horses. Approximately 65% or more of all released wild horses would likely be stallions to achieve a 60% male sex ratio within the HMA (including animals not gathered).

    Following the initial helicopter gather, the BLM intends to use continuous annual bait/water trapping over the next 10 years in order to administer the fertility control vaccine and remove small numbers of excess wild horses in order to achieve and/or maintain the AML range and sex ratio.

    Objectives of the project include continual removal of excess wild horses, improvement, protection, and maintenance of water sources, and maintenance and improvement of sage-grouse habitat. This project will help to meet these and BLM’s National Sage-grouse Habitat Conservation Strategy objectives.

    Links to the EA and related documents are located on the BLM website at: under the heading Wildlife Projects, project name Desatoya Mtns Habitat Resiliency, Health and Restoration Project.

    For further information please contact John Axtell at 775-885-6146.


  26. I know there are different opinions about HSUS, but HSUS simply acted as a regulator between the BLM and Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick and Zoo Montana. HSUS helped get the BLM to start trying to implement a PZP program. PZP has been tested and proven safe in wild horses and in zoos. It prevents pregnancy by creating a hard shell around the female’s egg so that the sperm cannot penetrate the egg. It does not affect the female’s hormonal system or anything else, so it is much safer than products that may yet be invented which could affect the mare’s hormone levels impacting bone strength and other systems.

    Since a good deal of the HSUS’s approach is to work to prevent problems due to overpopulation with non-food or companion animals, the HSUS may be evaluating the BLM’s progress solely on the basis that it has begun to implement their recommendation for birth control.

    The idea was that the use of PZP would eventually eliminate the need for roundups of any sort and that herds would be able to live out their lives on the range without the need for any roundups, helicopter or other. That is a worthy goal, but someone forgot to give Jim Sparks the memo—we can only hope that Karmic Justice strikes him if the BLM is unable to recognize how having someone like him in his position undermines their credibility with the public.


    • It is clear that HSUS is MUCH more than a “regulator” between BLM and the PZP program. They hold the INAD certificate exclusively (new animal investigative drug) which requires BLM to work with them, but they market their organization and beg for funds based on their credentials as a animal welfare watchdog. Did you not read the comments of their founder Chenoweth in my comment above? This is hardly the mandate of a detached regulator of a contraception experiment. I call them on the charge of flagrant hypocrisy and disdain for the truth. They carefully position their blog announcements and action alerts for the greatest possible financial payoff—this results in dozens of puppy mill exposes’ but NO coverage of the taxpayer ripoff of the wild horse and burro helicopter debacle. For a organization that “speak(s) to BLM almost daily” (Stephanie Boyles, 7/10) they sure have a cowering posture of appeasement.


      • Please name one organization in the past 30 years who have been able to stop the BLM. I believe the HSUS was operating on the premisse that PZP would be an alternative to round ups. I believe they were suckered like the rest of us by the agency most fluent in forked tongue. But you might be right. The Board of the HSUS may have come up with an evil master plan to make millions of dollars by administering PZP on what—ever dwindling numbers of wild horses. LOL.


      • HSUS had an agreement with BLM that roundups ( removals) were to decrease with the use of PZP. Instead they have increased significantly. Also dispite years of use of PZP HSUS cooperated with BLM in the capture of some wild horses to test PZP. BTW Holly Hazzard was a BLM employee before HSUS hired her. She was in charge of a HMA where wild horses were found lacking water.


      • Thank you for the information Barbara. sounds like to me this HSUS representative is the LAST person they needed to send to monitor the capture – more of the typical fox guarding the hen house. Did she (HSUS) stop the BLM and contractors when she saw the abuse or is it business as usual on the Desatoya today?


      • for savewildhorses:

        Name one organization? Western Watersheds Project and the wild horse folks re the West Douglas herd; although the latter recently had a loss because I think they did round up some of the West Douglas herd….but they put BLM off for some time.


      • What many of you are missing here is the simple power of exposure HSUS could wield, if they chose to. I have not asked them to put attorneys on cases. I have emphasized their published, trumpeted mandate to “….. unequivocally, vigorously, adamantly oppose any and every kind of cruelty, no matter by whom committed and without concern for who might be offended or alienated.” This is what I have repeatedly pointed out they should be doing—with a mailing list (they call it a membership contingent) of 11 MILLION MEMBERS— the post “Wayne’s Blog” and the action alerts, could simply expose the poor treatment of the equines by the BLM and would shine light into dark places the agency is eager to hide in. Remember, the exposure of horrific conditions at the Twin Lakes holding facility engendered the irritated, whining remarks from Dean Bolstad that our revelations were causing staff morale to deteriorate and reflecting poorly on the BLM. Oh, how sad for the BLM staff!! Never mind the irony of the situation, with horses suffering the usual warehouse conditions. Publicity is one of BLM’s greatest fears, right up there with loss of funding. My opinion is, those two things are the Achilles’ Heel of the agency. Humane Society covers for BLM and sells its greatest power— the whole reason it exists is to advocate and …”oppose every kind of cruelty, no matter by whom committed…”


      • Thanks for that telling information, Barbara W.

        BTW, I see I’ve been misspelling Hazzard as Hazard. I think that’s what you call a Freudian slip. But I promise, it was innocent!

        And thank you ONCE AGAIN, Susan R. Just think what 11 million riled-up members could do, if they only knew! (It is THEIR donations that will pour in once HSUS sends out a membership-wide announcement about its “effective” PZP program.)


  27. It won’t make us feel any better, but George Clooney was on the Actor’s Studio this week talking about his work in Darfur to stop the slaughter in the Sudan. He said that he first thought that if people knew what was happening to the people in Sudan, that would change things. He worked with Google Earth and pays a month fee for a satellite to show what is happening in Darfur 24/7. But he said that essentially, nothing has changed for the people who live there. He smiled as if he were going to reveal a secret and scanned the room with his eyes, “Just knowing that atrocities exist does not mean that we can change them. The truth is that we said after the Holocaust, ‘Never Again,’ but then we have Cambodia…Syria…We say these things must not happen again, but they do…..I’m not giving up. I am not going anywhere.” He reiterated his commitment to the people of Darfur and seeing an end to the genocide there.

    The take away is that advocacy is very, very hard and change is very, very slow, but finally society, or in this case, government evolves.

    The BLM is operating under a mentality that no longer exists in very many places in America. But as long as the main requirement for the Secretary is to be someone who lives in the West that is willing to do what the President wants him or her to do and we treat our public lands, water, and natural resources as if they were favors given out to the administration’s favorites we are going to have people who think that can evade the consequences of their actions for a few years while they are in office. But we are also beginning to see the effects of NAFTA and the WTO as secret agreements with foreign countries made by a President are making our federal laws subservient to International regulations within the treaty, and if our federal law conflicts with a regulation in a treaty, the treaty rules. We signed a trade deal with Korea earlier in the year and are currently negotiating a highly secretive treaty with the Pacific Rim Nations. This exempts corporations from other countries from obeying our federal regulations—they can sue our government or a state’s government if they don’t want to follow one of our laws.


  28. P.S. With most herds not even genetically viable and sustainable there is no need for PZP. Only if there is a real excess should it be used. At present it’s use is just more”managing for extinction”.
    HSUS should be fighting for the survival of our wild horses. Years ago when I asked that they take BLM to court I was told they didn’t have enough lawyers.


  29. Do we all get many requests from HSUS and ASPCA in the mail for our donations? I no longer do belong to either of these organizations – but still get many many mailings. When I can donate, I now
    (when I can) send money to Lifesavers or Front RAnge. I wish I could do so much more. But it gets harder to have “extra” every year. To have a “former BLM employee” in a position at HSUS sort of makes me feel they have no intention of doing anything but selling their PZP. Shameful.
    And saying that if we “just” use PZP on the mares – we can have herds “live out their lives on the range”??????????????? And then? Obviously, if they have no foals, they will eventually die out, right? So either way the BLM wins. What crap!


  30. This just continues to happen over and over. They make excuses over and over. It happens again. Excuses happen again. When is it going to stop. I’m tired of the government speak lingo that occurs every time this happens. A foal was HOG-TIED for Christ sake! If one of us did this we would be in prison! Yet the BLM continues to do the unspeakable over and over and get away with it. I am completely nauseated by the whole lot of them. The are just a bunch of Bullies as heartless as the Miners, Cattle BArons and Hunters that push them to collect more horses off of their land!! They must be stopped.


  31. @Denise, I am talking about large animal, wildlife organizations that have been able to stop round ups and make any significant change in the incessant round up agenda. And Western Watersheds has never, to my knowledge, undertaken any specific legal action on behalf of wild horses. Wild horses may benefit in certain instances from their cases, but they do not sue on behalf of saving wild horses. If I am wrong I’d love to know. Guess I am just tired of the HSUS conspiracy theories and bashing. Susan Rudniki has succeeded in drawing attention away from the BLM and their egregious practices and placing blame on the HSUS. I’m sure the BLM and ranchers are happy about that. The real question is this: why does Congress, who is in charge of oversight of the BLM, turn a blind eye year after year?

    And I am 100% in favor in PZP if it means they get to stay free on their lands if the alternative is being shipped to cattle feedlots. PZP wears off and is not 100% effective. But this is not what the BLM is doing. They are using PZP and shipping them off. Surprise surprise.


    • “Drawing attention away from the BLM and their egregious practices…?” PZP can not be used without HSUS’s approval, as was already said. They have EXCLUSIVE right to the INAD certificate, so you are not understanding this makes Humane Society and BLM inextricably TIED together. There is no conspiracy here—those are facts. HSUS chooses to not expose the public cruelties documented by advocates—or even its own staff. The observation of foal cruelty information by Holly Hazard is buried in the HSUS website (click on the highlight to see for yourself) , not as a post on the widely viewed “Wayne’s Blog” or the Action Alert posts. The nuances of public relations spin and how it is employed to escape larger responsibility is evading some of the responders here. How can you possibly defend the position of Miss Hazard in the letter excerpt I posted yesterday? Does that sound like protection advocacy to you? Anyone who is curious, I will send the entire letter—a gem of reprimanding, pontificating slander—and my response to same.


      • If HSUS got its eleven million members riled up with publicity about this issue, those letters to Congress you cite as so important would resonate a lot more loudly. Congress is elected by voters, not by advocacy organizations staffs. Why not explain the defects in my reasoning instead of labeling me a advocate of Berman’s ridiculous organization? BLM has a rabid dislike for poor publicity, and that is a big weakness. These roundups take place far from prying eyes, which works all the better for the intentions of the agency.


      • I don’t think it’s a matter of “hating” any organization. I think it’s a matter of “hating” lies and hypocrisy, and exposing the truth about same.

        Forked tongue means that one speaks with the intent of deceiving of misleading. That’s what some of the large advocacy agencies are so GREAT at doing. To one person or interest group they speak one language. To another person or interest group they say just the opposite. It keeps everyone either content (if they only hear one side) or confused (if they happen to hear both sides). It’s a clever strategy designed to elicit publicity, praise, sympathy, and most of all lots of little bucks, which add up to big bucks.

        This doesn’t apply to any ONE organization. Put all the forked-tongued types in league with one another and you get — a nest of vipers.


    • You were talking about no organization ever stopping the BLM.

      I pointed out that 2 have (that quickly come to mind)… the lawsuit folks about the West Douglas herd did (wild equines).

      As to HSUS, I’m not bashing them….the killers use HSUS like the phrase “animal rights” to bash any and all welfare improvements for animals. Do I think they could do more? Sure. I talk with my money and I don’t contribute to them any longer.


  32. Again, from AMERICAN HERDS. Remember, this was written in 2009. These remaining Wild Herds have been decimated by BLM roundups and removals since then.
    What’s Left? No very Much:

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    What’s Left?
    As the united call to stop BLMs unchecked assault on the American mustang & burro continues to gain momentum, with over 180 organizations and celebrities now supporting a moratorium to halt any further removals until key issues can be resolved, here’s one more reason to demand a “cease and desist” until a full scale investigation can be conducted on the Wild Horse & Burro Program to determine what’s really left out on the range.

    Still, the round ups continued….

    Today, American Herds presents the updated numbers of what may be all that’s really left of America’s free-roaming herds as of September 30, 2009, now hovering between 22,000 to 26,000 less than BLM continues to publicly report.

    In addition to graphically illustrating the annual population declines, at least 52 Herd Management Areas have been found to have extreme jumps in annual population reports that were key in supporting BLMs national “excess” with 25 of these occurring between 2007/2008 and 16 between 2008/2009. To learn more, Click Here.

    Until Congress demands an independent count of the populations BLM has been reporting, both on and off the range, the evidence continues to mount that “What’s Left?” has reached critical levels of concern.


  33. For your information, savewildhorses, I don’t hate the Humane Society. I still tithe to them monthly and to the Black Beauty Ranch, hoping that some of the other things they do at least get my funding. But I am not giving them a pass on the merit of their PR spin to the membership regarding the “protection” of the wild horses. I am strongly critical of the timid, protectionist stance they take on the operations of the BLM, at the same time as they excoriate the efforts of hard working documenters from wild horse groups amassing evidence in the field. The people occupying the positions at the Washington office for Humane Society know little about the physiology, herd dynamics, or biology of wild horse societies. And they don’t pursue the knowledge, either. This has been explained to me by well known advocates accompanying the visits of the HSUS retinue for their “gather” appearances. The HSUS singularly tunnel- vision reliance on immunocontraception will be on grand display at the conference in Jackson Hole in September. I will emphasize again—this bias pointedly defines their unarticulated insistence that wild equines are a SIGNIFICANT destroyer of forage on Western Public Lands, in spite of the arithmetical absurdity in relation to private livestock. They buy into the “thriving ecological balance” mandate as defined by BLM, in complete defiance of scientific evidence to the contrary. The Office of Inspector General Report of April 2010 said it clearly, “….to date, Interior (BLM included) has NEVER HAD a comprehensive scientific integrity policy.”


    • Well we have common ground in Black Beauty Ranch. i have visited there and love the place. And I don;t think they think the wild horses are destroyers of the land. I think they are as hogtied as the foals as how to stop this rogue agency. That’s my opinion. And do I wish they’d beef up their stance and get people to speak out? Yes. But I also hold Congress responsible for their almost complete negligence and mismangement in overseeing this program and agency.


      • I agree, savewildhorses, our representatives in Congress are most definitely responsible for not reining in the DOI/BLM and allowing the law to be subverted, resulting in innocent foals losing their freedom and their moms — and being bound up like prisoners or slaves.


      • So, if they are hogtied by BLM, we members should be hearing the squealing. But WE DO NOT. HSUS’s rhetoric and written communication never mentions the much larger factors at play— cattle and sheep grazing, mining, energy extraction—when they are writing of the “overpopulation problem” of wild equids. This is from their booklet America’s Wild Horses-Managing for the Future—-“…the BLM has aggressively gathered wild horses in an attempt to reduce their population to 27,300, which the BLM has determined to be the appropriate management level, or the number of horses that can graze without causing damage to the range.” The entire booklet is a template for controlling the reproduction of the one species which numbers by far in the minority. Humane Society has never called the BLM on their shoddy EIS or range reports or the attempt to completely eliminate livestock grazing as a impact in the recent study analysis disputed by PEER. In the latter, rock climbing (!!) was deemed a activity of significance on Western Public Lands that needed accounting, but not livestock grazing. The absurdity is astounding….


  34. How in the world would a hogtied baby live through two stampedes?

    I hate hearing how bad, bad is!!!

    Would Hillary make a difference?!?!


  35. Barbara W – went to the link you showed regarding the wild horse population – skimmed thru most of the downloads – some horrifying (the foal that was rescued) but so much of the info is just common sense – the fact that these contractors get paid per head just causes them to push the horses that much more – and as we have all realized – theres no caring or compassion or just human decency being shown to these animals. Apparently, these people would be just as comfortable working in a slaughter plant!
    Believe me, this isnt a surprise after watching the roundups go on & on & on. Just seems like with all the letters & emails & petitions & lawsuits someone somewhere would wake up.


    • Yes … and the new bait-trapping contractors are the same (Cattoor & 2 of his employees) for the trapping WITHOUT any public observation. Read this:

      The chart in the article did not show up -here is the info:
      Capture Company Name -Zone – Minimum – Maximum (July 2012-June 2013)

      Horse Trappers
      Zone 1
      400 Min.
      2,000 Max.

      Desert Hill Const.
      Zone 3
      500 Min.
      2,000 Max.

      Mt. Taylor
      Zones 3 and 6
      800 Min.
      4,000 Max.

      Warner (worked for Cattoor)
      Zones 1-6
      2,400 Min.
      12,000 Max.

      Sampson (worked for Cattoor)
      Zones 1-6
      2,400 Min.
      12,000 Max.

      Zones 1-6
      2,400 Min.
      12,000 Max.

      Totals 8,900 Minimum 44,000 Maximum

      Cattoor – no zone(s) indicated so assume all 6 zones thus minimum per contract would demand 2,400 and maximum would be 12,000. (see links for details)


      • Just look at these numbers from Grandma Gregg , but the general public has no clue what is happening. Maggie, I don’t think the DOI/BLM want anybody to wake up because if the American public knew the truth I think there would be an uproar. The media always gives both sides and most of the time is not accurate . These numbers need to go viral. They clearly show what is happening.


  36. Thanks GG – Did read that article when you first wrote it. Makes you wonder how they can remove more horses than there are!!!! And youre right, Barbara these numbers do need to go viral. I realize people have other problems – but this is an issue we should ALL be on the same page about. Not wait till the horses are GONE.
    Thanks to all of you –


  37. This the most disgusting display of shear incompetence by the BLM , , this one single Criminal act should be reprimanded immediately by anyone with any humanity left , this act is Cruelty in its extreme , how anyone with half a BRAIN COULD EVER DO THIS TO AN INNOCENT FOAL IS BEYOND HORRIBLE , it is Criminal and insane the BLM needs immediate dismissal, they embarrass the entire Country with this display of horror………………They should all be tarred and feather and run out of America…………………………… I cannot believe that anyone with one shred of decency and any pride could ever have participated in this the BLM embarrasses the entire United States of America……………………………


  38. Now what? Does HSUS stop the BLM from rounding up and torturing more horses? Can HSUS stop BLM? Do the contractors of the day go to jail? We’ve all said it–how does BLM get away with cruelty to animals? I’m glad HSUS was observing–but all of them are stuck together through contracts and deals–and the horses are still paying with their lives. I wouldn’t adopt that traumatized foal–they’ve “killed” its trust! To HSUS: this is what we’ve been talking about–we need a powerful ally to set humane, on-the-range standards of management to ensure the future of these herds. Maybe…..just maybe…..


    • Dear Ann , As far as I have ever seen HSUS is nothing more then a PZP selling Designer Suit , with sell out as the Label inside……………………………


  39. Who supports HSUS? Don’t they solicit donations from the public? Can we set up propaganda to “Don’t Give to HSUS’? I won’t support PETA–they euthanize animals. Feel my anger…..


  40. . The BLM “contractors” use deliberate brutality and violence to cause the most injury, death and trauma. We know this because they have a long track record of the exact same thing and other violences and purely heartless actions against the innocent and defenseless horses and burro. And, they joke about it, brag about it, and continue on with what they call their “new normal”. I spit on their “new normal” because there is nothing “normal” about it.
    There is no reason:
    1. for rounding up / removing wild horses and burros when it costs NOTHING to leave them be.
    2. for the use of violence and brutality against innocent and defenseless living beings.
    3. for BLM to continue to get away with what is clearly animal cruelty, and others would go to jail for a long time for even lesser offenses.

    Everyone needs to hound our elected representatives and make it crystal clear.. we will NOT put up with this. Either they weigh in on the subject to make it stop, or they will be out of their cushy jobs in government quicker than they can come up with yet another excuse.


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