Horse News

Horse deaths at BLM’s Palomino Valley facility more than twice as high as reported, rendering receipts reveal

Source: Written by Mark Robison as published on RGJ.com

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)

52 replies »

  1. The BLM is such a “Pathetic” organization that need to be held accountable!!!!

    They have acted outside of the protection of the “Wild Horse and Burro act of 1971″….mishandled and abused their position for too long…………….

    The BLM organization is one of the most “CORRUPTED” organizations in this country………..

    The taxpayers need to sue the “BLM” for fraud, neglect, illegal roundups…………..

    Like

    • Eradicating a non-native, invasive species.

      There should be a minimum 10 year prison sentence for anyone who attempts and is convicted of using or attempting to use science to commit fraud against the American people or their government. Scientists attempting to set national or international policy using opinions not supported by any evidence should be subject to conviction by a jury of their peers who demonstrate that they understand personal and scientific integrity. Presidents or Executive Officers of federal agencies should be fired or impeached immedictely for tolerating or encouraging scientific fraud, because a failure to operate a from a position of scientific honesty endangers the American people and their future.

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  2. We all know those people couldnt count if their Lives depended on it , they have not ever been able to give a accurate count !!!!!!! As far as a count on foal deaths they will never know they feel they dont count !!!!!! They are total despicable lairs !!!!!!

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  3. The bottom line here is that the BLM has been getting away with their dirty dealings for so long because little has been done to change it. With everything going on with the plans to try to re-instate horse slaughter in the U.S., I believe that this has been a well-designed plan implemented by corrupt special interests and elected officials and it is now moving forward. It’s all connected. A common thread here is to misguide or keep the public from knowing what is actually transpiring realizing the consequences if that were to occur. We are definitely at a cross roads here in America. As our country continues to be so divided on so many fronts, it is difficult to know who to trust and who will help to re-unite us and bring back our ethical and moral standards and make us a respected country once again.

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    • Excellent said Susan…I agree with you wholheartedly….I am sickened to know this continues
      no matter what us horse advocates do or say….
      We need all horse advocates to join forces and start something much bigger than we’ve been
      so far and move this forward….Bigger,,Louder…MORE…..

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      • DearLNorman, you are right that is all we have managed to do thus far, !!!!! Our Mustangs havbe been imprisoned for nothing, and not one good reason , Yet the real ones who should be imprisoned run a muck?????? Makes no damn sense does it ?????????

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  4. The BLM is too big and believes they can do what they want to the wild horses and burros without any conquences. They should know that the taxpayers are the ones that pay their salaries and they should stop their abusive behavior against Americans wild horses and burros. The BLM needs to be stopped now.

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  5. BLM has always hid the truth and will continue…. know one holds them accountable to anything and they know it……… OUR Gov. does not give a SH-T

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    • The numbers of losses keep piling up, the round ups continue and our wild horses are in prison for eternity……this is MADNESS!!

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      • You know what I would like to see ???? I would like tpo see every Mustang released back to the range, Which is their Place !!!!! Congress unanimously gave to them 25 million acres to roam Free on , Where is Congresses loyalty and integrity, in 1971 they felt it the only right thing to do !!! and it was !!!!! The Mustangs have earned it because they deserve it and we all know it, this battle has raged for the Mustangs Freedom for years , way to many, I want them back on the Range in no uncertain terms , How are we going to do this?????????? The Mustangs have presented FREEDOM in such a Prestigious way , we cannot deny them their FREEDOM, it is rightfully theirs !!!!!!!!!!!They are being rounded up and given no dignity !!!! By a Agency that is so corrupt they are unable to make a correct discussion on any level for our Mustangs …………….. How can we get rid of these lairs and Murders??????? their initials are Bureau of Lairs and Murderers, They so gotta go !!!!!!

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      • I Agree with you!!!!! I am so sick of the BLM out of control destruction of our wild horses lives and freedom!!!!!

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      • I Agree with you Arlene!!!!! I am so sick of the BLM out of control destruction of our wild horses lives and freedom!!!!!

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  6. In the pics, seeing so many horses crowded into such small spaces…well it’s simply heartbreaking

    Clearly there needs to be a leadership change. They can’t even keep simple, yet critical records much less manage America’s Mustangs. Are they getting yearly bonuses for this type of poor performance work?

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  7. I can barely stand to see this on a regular basis… very upsetting!!..They are miserable and so are we as the tax payers to see such sadness among their new life from round ups and losses….

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  8. http://prophoto7journal.wordpress.com/2013/04/page/2/

    Corruption of The W.H. & B. Act of 1971 Needs to End
    Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, and the corruption within, is discussed here. Indeed a noble Congressional situation and passed unanimously at the time. The spirit was a good-faith gesture, by Law, toward America’s Wild Horse Herds — But something happened, something terrible happened, and it involved corruption from the top down, and terms of “Acceptable Abuse” which changed everything:

    We have seen an absolute-reality take place, the disappearance over the years of the care and appropriate managing of America’s Wild Horse Herds. The Reality: Proper Management has been replaced with what is termed “Acceptable Abuse” which demonstrates beyond a doubt that the W.H.&B.P. Board of Consultants and the Bureau of Land Management are and always have been unqualified and corrupt; this is an absolute and quantitative reality directly related to their mismanagement or corrupt administration of America’s Wild Horse Herds. The Federal court cases alone demonstrate beyond a doubt this is reality, and at heavy cost to taxpayers, yet ignored and replaced by misinformation and outright lies to the public, cloaked in some type of odd reasoning with hopes the public will accept it! THE PUBLIC HAS NOT!

    Like

    • We need a Wild Horse and Burro Program that does not answer to BLM but is autonomous and populated with equine scientists and professionals and is welcoming to the public and students around the world. This removal holocaust must end and the lands the wild ones possess legally used for them primarily with heavy emphasis on a real ecological balance to make wild horse lands into premier conservation and preservation locations for all resident species.

      The Wild Horse and Burro Program needs the BLM’s current budget applied to reverse the wide spread physical and familial damage done to lands and herds and to set about the first and continuing wild horse scientific studies of these wonderful native animals. With science we can solve the problems BLM has used to mislead and misinform the world. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those willing to find this very challenging path and stay on it, making the wild ones a real destination in the future. Why not start now? Look beyond the BLM and find the way to have the horses and burros and enjoy them to!

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      • I want to add that concessions from BLM and compromises are not enough and a entire fresh start is needed because of the corruption in the Agency. The decimation of the wild ones is not coming to an end. We need complete change and we need to educate ourselves for work that many of us can contribute to.

        As we continue to unveil the evils and the inadequacies of BLM it is impossible not to see that we must cut them loose from the Wild Horse and Burro Program. And I acknowledge that not everyone who came to work in the program came there to work with BLM but they came for the horses. As have we.

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      • I think we can and we should create an umbrella group that will be an all inclusive international voice that encompasses the public and not just advocates. I am not wanting the dark side to personally benefit further and for the advocacy itself to take this to task and find professional and scientific leadership for the change in management which is something so involved and complicated it cannot afford to be reduced to playing popularity games.

        What I find an advocate’s education consisting of is more on the level of who does more of this that the other guy i wonder where the horses and burros fit in. I want quality and not quantity in our leadership. Serious work needs to be backed by the advocates but it needs to be designed by Professionals. Our wild ones and the lands they live on and the situations they have been put in by BLM removals deserves nothing less than the best professionals we have and can find worldwide.

        I think we continue to fall short because we have so many ambitious and manipulating advocates jealous of one another’s contacts and fund raising they cannot see the forest for the trees. We need to rise above the din. Every one of our issues is real and important and solvable. But not under BLM. When questionable advocates want to have books and movies with their personal stories promoted over the wild ones I see we have not got the education or the sophistication to go further forward. Saving our wild ones is not a game and it is not about press notoriety. If advocates want to win this then they have to do more and stop listening to the undercurrents they have been swept into. Securing a universal goal would be what we should aim for!

        Would that be reform and continue on with BLM? Or would that be the innovation of educated and compassionate wild horse lovers taking up their responsibilities of the Wild Horse and Burro Program itself!

        Think Global and act Local.

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  9. A informed Public will never accept this !!!! There has to be something we can do , to get rid of the scourge, they lie, cheat and maim and murder our Icons and awesome American Heritages, they Mustangs past demand respect they will never get it , until we get rid of these corrupt morons, yes morons

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    • Arlene, the BLM does not want the public to know what is going on. Just keep us in the dark for their murdering horses and their babies. This makes me sick and we need to do something drastic. Because that is what the BLM will understand. I want the wild horses to be set free again to roam their land. To be out of danger from the dirty hands of the BLM and all involved with the BLM. This has to happen or we shall lose the Wild horses and burros.

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    • The public knows more about what’s going on with Dancing with the Stars, or Walking Dead than what is going on in government right under their ignorant noses. They don’t care unless it affects them directly.

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    • I agree with you as many on here will.

      But the BLM answer’s to the DOI..and it was the former Ken Salazar approving the BLM roundups and his chain of command is the Obama administration.

      RT went to the white house with thousands of signatures.

      This didn’t change anything………..

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  10. not that I think it will grease the rusty wheels of justice, but forwarded this to Dept of Justice, 4 departments @ NY Times, DOI, and whitehouse. We (all orgs, groups & advocates) have to be united as one coalition and much much louder. This injustice, this genocide, this criminal activity, this agency, these concentration camps must come to an end.

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  11. http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2012/10/09/farewell-message-that-blm-has-lost-its-way/
    FAREWELL MESSAGE THAT BLM HAS LOST ITS WAY
    Read Stan Olmstead’s last message to colleagues
    Sole Focus on Commodities Threatens Natural Heritage, 44-Year Veteran Warns
    Posted on Oct 10, 2012 | Tags: BLM, DOI, Utah

    Vernal, Utah — The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has lost sight of its mission in a quest to maximize fossil energy and other resource exploitation on public wild lands, according to the retirement message sent by a career natural resource specialist and posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The sobering message depicts cascading natural system failures due to unchecked oil and gas drilling and related cumulative damage to public lands and waters.
    Stan Olmstead started his career in natural resource management inside public agencies 44 years ago, with stints in the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. For the past 20 years he has been a Natural Resource Specialist and an Environmental Scientist in BLM’s Vernal Field Office in eastern Utah, near the Colorado border. On September 28th, his final day of federal service, he sent a memo entitled “Last Formal Comment” to all BLM employees throughout Utah.
    In this memo, he decried a singular “focus on commodities and economics as opposed to environmental health.” He elaborated by writing “At the Vernal Office little concern has been shown to care for sensitive species … We promote energy development without stop and continue to measure natural resources by dollar value…” Olmstead offered these pointed examples:
    • BLM fails to protect sensitive wildlife and as a result “lost the mountain plover; the only known population in Utah… Little effort to prevent this loss was implemented.” He called this dereliction “a serious mission departure.”
    • “Plugging and abandonment of well sites have not been a priority. Numerous oil & gas wells have not produced for more than 15 years and yet these sites remain un-reclaimed.”
    • Cumulative impacts from oil and gas drilling. For example, “we disturb large percentages of our [grazing] allotments located in oil & gas fields and AUMs [Animal Unit Months] remain the same. If you lose 30% of the forage in a specific allotment it is logical to reduce the AUMs by 30%.”
    “Stan is telling us that BLM has lost its way. BLM is supposed to be a ‘multiple-use agency’ but managers have misplaced the ‘multiple’ as they go full-drill and shortchange conservation,” stated Southwest PEER Director Daniel Patterson, an ecologist also formerly with BLM, noting that the BLM Director position is currently vacant. “BLM needs a visionary new leader who will keep public lands development at sustainable levels and understands you can’t have every use on every acre.”
    Olmstead also cited poor land reclamation, unmonitored water depletion for endangered fish of the Colorado River watershed, and mounting air pollution, all due to divergence from BLM’s mission “to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” He concluded with this call to colleagues:
    “We need to alter our bureaucratic method of operation …Be honest about what is happening.”

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  12. Not sure what type of death reported there I know that facility and only thing i could even think about is not enough food or water or the loss of a foal and or mare during birth or someone ruffing them up or brought in from round ups insured so many come in to these BLM facilities with serious life threatening injuries and the folks rounding them up are rough on them and drive them into the ground and usual time for round ups seem to be during breeding season or when mares have had or are having new babies on the ground
    I have seen these types of things with my own two eyes and it is so scary and upsetting
    BLM is tearing families apart
    It has to stop before all our wild horses are dead or on way to slaughter houses

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  13. In 2007 drought, PVC employees did not fill water troughs for months. They used bulldozers to bury the nearly 300 dead horses. It’s a concentration camp. This is genocide.

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    • A vet told our horse short course that the bacteria in the horse’s gut is responsible for the digestive process in the horse. Since bacteria is forage specific, a sudden change of forage which is what usually happens after a round-up can lead to colic because the bacteria from the on-the-range forage is different from the in-captivity forage. That is why when you move your horse from one barn to another, the new barn manager should know what you have been feeding your horse and changes in diet need to be made slowly.

      You would think that someone like the head honcho vet for the BLM would be aware of this and make certain that horses that are coming off a particular area of the range would have some sort of transitional forage rather than abrupt change. However, this would need to be managed locally and then at the facilities.

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  14. Someone is telling lies. The BLM hiding deaths after they pay contractors to round-up, pay holding facilities to hold? OR the rendering company makes thousands of dollars in federal money on ‘uncounted’ horses. Sounds like a huge scam for federal dollars no matter what side is corrupt.

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  15. Seriously? People here are confused?

    These government sanctioned, taxpayer funded trolls have never been held accountable for their poor math skills….or their special interest policies.

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  16. All of this is like a sci-fi flick. The lies and the untruths continue. I sent my Legislators a letter regarding the accounting. Its amazing that they keep their jobs…hummm seem to forget they don’t have to be qualified for anything…just good liers! They have been lying for so long that they probably believe them. I love it, they admit they got the numbers wrong so they just change the paperwork..Say what??? They probably killed the babies themselves or made them abort the foals. I think the only way this stinking depart of the government will change is when this part of the interior department is disbanded and a new one created. Don’t think that will ever happen…the only route out of this are large protests at the individual office both local and in DC. The others are right..they all know more about the Dancing with the Stars, the Voice and the other programs than what is critical legislation. Education too is what gets it done. I wish we would get the Safe Act past and the reinstatement of the 1971 Protection Act.

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  17. http://protectmustangs.org/

    Put a freeze on all roundups due to the Sequester. Return captive wild horses & burros to their public sanctuaries known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Tell the Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board NO slaughter for native wild horses! Contact your elected officials and Sally Jewell, the new Secretary of Interior. Ask them to intervene.
    Keep them safe!
    Join the international rally on April 27th to stop horse slaughter, stop the roundups and stand up for the voiceless wild horses and burros!
    Read about our call to put a freeze on roundups due to the Sequester. Horseback Magazine reports http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/21568 Below is an excerpt:
    WASHINGTON (April 8, 2013)–Last week Protect Mustangs, the California based conservation group, officially called for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to put a freeze on roundups and
    RETURN ALL WILD HORSES AND BURROS IN GOVERNMENT FUNDED HOLDING, TO HERD MANAGEMENT AREAS IN THE WEST. They cited the current climate of federal economic instability as putting captive wild horses and burros at risk. As of April 7th, Protect Mustangs has not received a response from BLM officials.
    “It’s fiscal folly to roundup more wild horses and burros than they can adopt out,” explains Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “The roundups need to stop now. We are calling for the more than 50,000 stockpiled native wild horses and historic burros to be returned immediately to public land. We are concerned the government won’t be able to pay for their feed and care during the federal fiscal crisis. We need to be proactive to ensure their safety. If a government shutdown occurs, their only chance of survival is in the wild.”

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  18. This is among the most important reasons why 1) BLM Holding facilities NEED an audit and 2) why we simply cannot believe out of hand the data in BLM Holding facility reports. There is too damn much creative accounting going on:
    From February, 2010 to April 2012 (and bear in mind – Facility Reports follow no perceivable pattern as to when they’re published), Palomino Valley ‘took in’ 4,586 animals. Over that same period, it ‘lost’ 3,528, meaning, in theory, these animals were adopted, sold, died or were shipped to Long Term Holding. That’s a difference of 1,058 animals. So how do these ‘losses’ tie in with A.A.’s documented deaths and rendering?

    One further example: Facility reports for June 2012 show the population in Long Term Pastures at 33,426. The most recent report – February, 2013 – shows 33,664 – a difference of only 238 animals in 7 months.

    So where are all these thousands of captured animals going.

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  19. This is where I picked up my 3 wild horses in 2006. I was shocked to see them feeding straight alfalfa to the over 300 horses, many of them mares with young foals at their sides, at that time. Idiots! The BLM volunteers told me of several horse death’s resulting from improper handling during round ups (broken necks, legs, etc.). All of the BLM volunteers have since been banned from the Palomino Valley Facility to ensure the BLM hides their gruesome activities from the public.

    Like

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