The discrepancy seems to come about mostly from the counting of baby deaths.
The number of horse deaths at the BLM’s Palomino Valley wild horse facility is vastly underreported, according to rendering receipts uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request made by the farm animal advocacy group Animals’ Angels.
Animals’ Angels sought the Palomino Valley facility’s rendering receipts for the services of Reno Rendering, whose legal name is Nevada By-Products. Rendering is when animal carcasses are hauled away and processed into other usable materials. (Possible uses: Cartilage, tendons and hooves are turned into gelatin used in such products as Jell-O and Altoids; stearic acid is used in car tires; blood and bone meal can be used for fertilizer; and some tissue is used as “byproducts” in animal feed.)
Animals’ Angels found:
According to the contract paperwork, Nevada By-Products was chosen over landfill disposal due to cost effectiveness and the fact that “Due to the sensitive nature of the public to the wild horse and burro program, it is necessary to dispose of these large animals as quickly and discretely (sic) as possible and Reno Rendering fulfills these requirements.”
In addition to the contract itself, our FOIA request obtained all records of deceased horses and burros sent from the BLM holding facility to the rendering plant from January 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012.
During that timeframe the BLM itself reported in the official Palomino Valley Mortality Detail Report that only 241 horses and burros died at the Palomino Valley facility and 50 at the Fallon facility. However, the records from the rendering plant tell quite a different story. According to the Nevada By-Product invoices for that same time period, a startling 577 dead horses were received from the Palomino Valley Facility. This is a shocking difference of 286 animals (336 horses if Nevada By-Products does not render the horses from Fallon), a number simply too large to ignore.
The BLM’s Heather Jasinski was asked for comment. She responded:
As for Animals’ Angels and their posting about the discrepancy of numbers of deaths: as stated in my earlier response, the National WH&B Program is currently reviewing its reporting procedures for all aspects of the program and will modify them to correct any identified discrepancies. Until any modifications are identified as being needed, we will continue to respond to any requests based on the current recording procedure.
The discrepancy seems to come about mostly from the counting of baby deaths. They aren’t tracked because they haven’t reached the age where they would be branded and enter “the system.” A controversy is over whether their deaths should be counted in general but also whether they should be counted as negative fallout from roundups, with the thinking being that they may have survived if born in the wild and their mothers hadn’t endured the stress of roundup, confinement and unfamiliar food…(CONTINUED)
- Budget Cuts Hit BLM Wild Horse Concentration Camp (rtfitchauthor.com)
- BLM “Drought” Plans Get Rid of Wild Horses & Livestock (ppjg.me)
- Wild horses aren’t the problem (billingsgazette.com)