Horse News

Wild Horse Cruelty too Obscene in Nevada

Plea to Nevada Governor from 11 year old “Wild Mustang Robin

Tourists call for boycott
3 week old foal being dragged with baling twine by developer's hired security at Ag. Dept. bait trap - photo by

3 week old foal being dragged with baling twine by developer’s hired security at Ag. Dept. bait trap – photo by Bo Rodriguez

LAS VEGAS — (December 12, 2012)  Calls to boycott Nevada are emerging on social media following widespread coverage of an ugly incident in Northern Nevada involving wild horses being trapped by state officials. The reports document the continued removal of wild horses, not by the Bureau of Land Management, but by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Adding fuel to the fire, after the wild horses are trapped they are sold through livestock auctioning where they are in danger of being purchased by kill-buyers. In recent months the public’s outcry to save wild horses from slaughter was noticed by the BLM; a policy change limiting the number of horses that can be sold to one buyer has just been announced.

Nevada’s governor, however, has ignored the pleas of thousands of residents who object to the Department of Agriculture’s wild horse policies. The battle between Governor Brian Sandoval and wild horse advocates over the issue has been heating up for months. In September, Nevada based Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates staged a rally in front of the legislature. Thousands petitioned the governor on in the days surrounding the rally. Bonnie Matton, President of The Wild Horse Preservation League says, “Keeping the wild horses in the Virginia Range, with proper management and the re-introduction of nonprofit horse groups working under cooperative agreements with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), this could be a win-win situation for everyone – the Virginia Highland residents, the NDA, the Governor’s Tourism Program, the state of Nevada – and especially, the wild horses.”

But rather than forming cooperative agreements with advocacy organizations for the management of the state’s wild horses, as allowed for by law, the governor continues to refer calls to Department of Agriculture spokesperson Ed Foster. This isn’t the first time that Nevada’s wild horse policies have resulted in lost revenue for Las Vegas. In April of 2011 the boycott was in response to Assembly Bill 329 through which lawmakers attempted to strip wild horses of water rights. Sin City felt the heat from outraged wild horse supporters as they opted to spend their dollars elsewhere contributing to a $152 million revenue loss for the month.

Youth advocate “Wild Mustang Robin” (Robin Warren), age 11, is particularly upset by the images that accompany recent reports. A photograph taken by witness Bo Rodriguez shows a foal being dragged by a piece of thin, brightly-colored twine slip-knotted around its neck nearly brings Robin to tears. “How can they be so cruel – Don’t they know how to tie a halter?”

Robin’s public plea to the governor to save Nevada’s wild horses from the threat of slaughter is posted on YouTube. Robin’s mother attended the meeting of the agriculture board held today to publicly request a response to the young advocate’s plea, as Sandoval nor Foster have yet responded. Lack of response from the department was a common complaint expressed during the comment period of the meeting where dozens spoke out against current Nevada’s horse management policies.

Wild Mustang Robin began the petition “Save Wild Horses from Slaughter” October of 2012. The petition asks for the roundups and sale of wild horses by the BLM be suspended until investigated by an independent third party. The petition has over 129,000 supporters.


Wild Mustang Robin’s Video Message to Governor

Merry Christmas Mr. President–1128.html

 45 Seconds of Thanksgiving from Wild Mustang Robin

R.T. Fitch – Nevada Wild Horses Could Be Destined for Slaughter – RT Fitch (Comments call for boycott)

News Coverage


Wild Mustang Robin coverage

116,000 Sign Girl’s Petition

11 yr. old challenges secretary of interior

May 2011 Horse Advocates Boycott Nevada over Assembly Bill 329 Petitions

Save Virginia Range Horses (by Judy Downhill)

172 public comments in 24 hours to petition above:

Save Wild Horses from Slaughter

24 replies »

  1. I suggest we all start asking our friends and EVERYBODY to start calling, faxing, sending emails and letters to the Tourism and Visitors Bureau over there and let them know that if this UNWARRANTED treatment of our wild horses and burros does not stop immediately, we are finished with Nevada. Not one more dime will we be playing with over there.


    • Go straight to the real political power brokers in Nevada, the casinos.

      Nevada Resort Association is the gaming industry’s primary state lobbying organization.

      Members include Las Vegas SandsCorp, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming Corp., Station Casinos and other companies, including the Palms.

      They will not be pleased with the possibility of any organized national boycott campaign. Neither will they be intimidated by the agricultural interests behind these wild horse roundups.


      • I agree! At the meeting Director Barbee was proud to announce that agriculture brings over 5 billion in revenue to the State. But I wonder if he heard Tracy Newmarch’s comments where she reported on the 56 billion tourism brings.


      • Exactly Denise! The Ag lobby can’t even begin to compete with the Gaming lobby.

        The casino industry will not take kindly to a perceived boycott threat. There are too many other options for gaming outside Nevada. In addition, the casino lobby has absolutely no interest in any sort of political alliance with the agricultural industry on the issue of wild horses.

        In fact, wild horses are a tourist draw which benefits the hotels/casinos. Get them on our side and they will be calling these state officials responsible for these atrocities perpetrated on these wild horses.


  2. Robin, have you tried to reach Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino mogul?

    Google (or Goodsearch) “Steve Wynn horses” and you’ll see that he has an interest in race horses. Maybe the idea of being named “Wild Horse Wynn” — a savior to the Nevada wild ones — would appeal to him?

    If anyone can touch Wynn’s horse-loving heart, it’s you, friend!


  3. I so agree with Susie. What are these idiots thinking! Where was the foals mother or did they kill her in the process of the roundup? Not impressive images for people who are supposed to be professionals. We need a massive protest somewhere whether it be in DC or Nevada. I’m sure if someone could organize it the Wild Horse Warriors would be there. The only thing these kind of people understand is large numbers. Las Vegas is home to alot of horse shows and other activities. Perhaps we all should stop attending these in Nevada with a note to the Governor. Just shameful! The poor little foal was probably scared to death. Nice first communication with a human being. Hard to see these images…


  4. Something that might help on roadways:
    The wildlife warning roadside reflector system is a proven, cost effective concept that is here today and works very well. Roadside reflectors are a safety device that significantly reduces car-deer accidents preventing personal injury, the great trauma involved in this type of accident, and vehicular damage, as well as reducing the number of deer killed and injured. There is no other known approach that has proven to be effective in significantly reducing car-deer accidents.

    The Strieter-Lite reflectors qualify under several federal matching fund programs that could serve to reduce State/Local funding requirements. The Federal Highway Administration’s Federal Surface Transportation Funds/Hazard Elimination Fund provided 80% Federal funding matched by 20% State/Local funding. The Transportation Equity Act (TEA-21) includes a special category that the reflectors fully comply with “projects to reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity.”


    • Thanks for this info, Louie. I just passed it along to activists in an Eastern state who are fending off their town council’s attempts to shoot deer there.


    • In eastern Indiana they have sensors that cause lights to come on or flash warning of deer in the people will take off their blinders and not collide with them. Don’t have to drive 100 mph go get somewhere..


  5. more despicable behavior towards our innocent equines! for shame! when will it end? we need more coverage on shows like 60 minutes and 20/20. as soon as the hsus investigation into tennessee walking horses was aired, people were up in arms and legislation to protect them was passed by congress. i’m disgusted at how cruel human beings can be to our animal brethren. may they rot in hell…i rescued a horse who is lame but so lovable and don’t give a damn that he’s not rideable. please people, geld your stallions and stop the overbreeding of equines.


  6. If the state of Nevada won’t make an effort to protect their wild horses then people need to keep their revenues out of Nevada. BOYCOTT NEVADA!!!


  7. After all the horses did for us and we treat them like trash. Unacceptable. Let them be free without interruption. They deserve it.


  8. One good thing came out of the horse convention in Las Vegas in Sept. the question was raised about where to meet next year. EVERYONE in attendance agreed that until NV changes its policy on the wild horses (Fed at the time, but I think it’s safe to say that we easily can put the VA range horses in there too), no more money from us.

    Personally I have a huge dilemma. I go thru NV every summer on my way to my sis. I hate spending money in NV with how they treat animals in general, but even more so now.

    Then we heard about Madeleine. I had hopes that it might prove worthwhile to drive the extra hour to Wells. Now we find out that her place is WAY BEYOND my budget. I just feel like I can’t catch a break. It would bother me far less to buy two tanks of gas each summer and bring along my own food and drink.

    I know every time I write Gov Sandoval I get the canned response of call Ed Foster. What a waste.


  9. The only reason I go to Nevada is to film wild horses. I stay in a hotel, eat in restaurants and buy fuel for my daily excursions. I go atleast 4 times a year, which is not much but if you get 100 people doing the same thing I am….then you get the picture. When I was in Reno in Nov I noticed a lot of roads that I would like to drive on but there were no trespassing signs. $500 fine and 6 months in jail. I told my son that I would pay $500 to drive where ever I wanted to on those back roads. I would have done it except the 6 months in jail deterred me. Nevada must take care of the horses in the wild or atleast let the advocates take on the care or I will have to find someplace else to vacation. Everytime I go it is alteast 1500 miles that I put on my car….


  10. You can tell this is a HOT issue by the fact the comments on this blog started so early in the AM and the number of them is rising so rapidly. Government officials just can’t turn off the voices of the people. It seems to me that the vast majority of Nevadans love, respect, and want the wild horses cared for. Only the wealthy land owners, cattlemen, oil & gas, mining, and Harry Reid think they need to be eliminated.

    Barbee’s department has set up an email for the wild horse issue so how about a cyber attack? Everyone post on their FB, Twitter, Pintrest, Linkedin and any other social media’s I’m forgetting, a call to boycott Nevada especially the casinos of Las Vegas and Reno. Once you’ve collected a bunch of responses to your post copy and paste them to an email to Barbee & Sandoval.

    Maybe a post similar to this…{{ I am hereby calling on all my friends to join me to boycott the State of Nevada, the casinos of Las Vegas, and Reno, and any other commercial enterprises that call Nevada home until the State Agriculture Department, Jim Barbee, and Governor Sandoval come to their senses and begin to listen to the will of the people. That being the restoration of cooperative agreements with advocates who will take care of the wild horses and burros on state land. There should be no more trappings until homes have been found for the ones you’ve already incarcerated. There should be no more trappings without first having conversations with the advocates about other possible solutions. The wild horses of the Virginia Range are special in the hearts of Americans. They are Wild Horse Annie’s herd. Please comment below if you agree. Thank you!}}

    Post the same email to the concerned Convention & Visitor’s bureaus. A few thousand of these just might raise an eyebrow or two.

    Whatcha think?


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