Equine Rescue

New Interior Secretary Can Turn Around Broken Wild Horse Program

Source: A Humane Nation ~ Wayne Pacelle‘s Blog

“…the situation unfolding at Palomino Valley is yet another symptom of a broken horse and burro program…”

"Why", the question asked at Palomino Valley ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Why”, the question asked at Palomino Valley ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Those of you who regularly watch our good friend Jane Velez-Mitchell’s show on HLN may have seen me last night in a brief segment talking about a potentially dangerous situation for 1,800 captive wild horses at a Bureau of Land Management facility near Reno, Nev., where temperatures have been reaching record highs exceeding 100 degrees this month. Despite the fact that the BLM requires those adopting wild horses from the agency to provide adequate shelter, there is no shelter for the horses at the Palomino Valley National Adoption Center. Our request is hardly unprecedented, since the BLM has installed shelters at other facilities, like the one in Ridgecrest, CA.

After several wild horse advocates brought this matter to our attention, we wrote a letter to the BLM, urging the agency to develop a shelter to provide some protection from the sun at the Palomino Valley National Adoption Center. Thus far, the BLM has installed a sprinkler system, but no shelter. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell can take action to show she’s serious about reform of this program.

While an important welfare issue for the horses, the situation unfolding at Palomino Valley is yet another symptom of a broken horse and burro program. The central problem is that the BLM continues to round up and remove thousands of wild horses and to aggregate more horses than it can responsibly care for at short-term and long-term holding facilities, all at an enormous expense to taxpayers and to horses, and in defiance of the spirit of the federal law designed to protect them.

We have only about 40,000 wild horses and burros living on our public lands today, but we have almost 50,000 in holding facilities. This is not what the drafters of the original Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act could ever have imagined, and the BLM knows that it’s removing more animals from the range than the agency can possibly hope to adopt out to loving homes – yet the round up and removal treadmill persists. This is the larger problem that Secretary Jewell confronts.

The only way the BLM will ever right the sinking ship that has become its Wild Horse & Burro Program is by immediately implementing the recommendations of a report prepared by the National Academies of Sciences’ National Research Council panel which, among its key findings, urged the agency to end its reliance on short-sighted roundups, and instead, to keep horses on the range while humanely limiting reproduction through the application of a contraceptive vaccine. And just recently, The HSUS also developed and presented a proposal to the agency for a bold new program that meets the challenges of the budget, the horse population and land-use issues head on.

We are ready to work with the BLM to address its continuing troubles in this area and to solve them for the long term. But in the meantime, the BLM needs to do right by the animals in its care and the best place to start is by providing the 1,800 wild horses at PVC with the shelter they so desperately need.

26 replies »

  1. Sally Jewell may end up being another Ken Salazar, as far as the wild horses go. Not much telling how much ojt she will require before she becomes he who preceded her. Very sad that a government agency has so little oversight and so little regard for wild horses. How can this agency continue to sustain so many horses in captivity, yet give cattle and sheep grazing, fracking and mining almost unlimited amounts of public land.


    • Well said Tim…..
      Things are so out of control?????????
      The Fracking is going to drain the aquifer’s never to see water again and destroy the surrounding areas with their chemicals.
      Cattle by the millions are destroying the public lands…..
      Without enough Wild Horses to forage on the flammable vegetation our planet will have more Wildfire’s only worse………


  2. This is unprecedented publicity from the largest, richest, most influencial animal welfare organization in the USA. Also unique is the posting to the MEMBERSHIP of this information, largely ignored by the HSUS except in obscure press releases which NEVER contain photos of the horror of the helicopters, injuries, and deaths. At least this issue of Humane Nation has a link to Valez-Mitchell’s videos of the roundups and holding stockyards. It will be the first time members of Humane Society see actual footage of the cruelty and not the usual portrayal of the wild horse, glossy and proud, standing in the wild. Humane Society has several million members, folks. They are avid readers of these blogs and represent a pool of the public that is largely ignorant of the plight of the wild horses and burros. That is the significance of this announcement and link to images. We tend to talk and complain among ourselves a lot—meanwhile, the wider public is not with us.


  3. Another serius problem is that the horses hooves are extremely long. The short term holding facility has had the horses warehoused now for up to a year and a half. Also there is an outbreak of warts on the poor little yearlings as well as strangles for the foals.


  4. Yes the situation is dire. Yes if the BLM can’t care for them properly then let them go fend for themselves. We are not paying to operate concentration camps. Nor did we pay $2,000,000.00 to the NAS for a report that may be totally ignored.

    I am also a fan of population control via natural sources. I am not a fan of drugs and frankly I find it tiresome to see the constant ‘info-mercials’ of the HSUS promoting as “KEY” the use of PZP in which they have a direct financial interest. The NAS report simply states that was one of the tools the BLM might have used rather than the dastardly roundups which is the real cause of the supposed over population.

    The BLM says there is no natural predator so the horses reproduce too rapidly. Well guess what? Predators come in all forms to include drought. It’s a natural eco-system. Yes it’s hard to see but so is watching a mother Cheetah running herself to death trying to catch food for her babies. Anybody rounding up Cheetahs?

    Sally Jewell promised in her confirmation hearings to rely on the best available science yet when questioned by Rep Grijalva this week she simply said the report confirmed there were too many horses and they were looking further into the study.

    Shades of Salazar! I’m about ready to write the first petition for her removal. The horses and burros cannot take another 4 years of tyranny. It appears a great place to start would be a letter writing campaign to Rep. Grijalva. He seems to be firmly on the side of the animals and being on the Natural Resource committee may in fact have the best shot at getting results.



  5. Like I have said before we need to do something in a BIG WAY to get the attention of the public who don’t know and the GOV. to step up and fix this…… There certainly are enough people who have been fighting for years for these horses very knowledgeable in every aspect of the horses, SO why are hey all not making a BIG POW WOW if you will, make a huge statement for all to see, nothing that would land them in jail, but one where it will be ON the NIGHTLY NEWS everywhere, all of them band together….

    We ALL must be able to do SOMETHING???? Cause this will not stop the BLM WILL continue, and Sally Jewell all along has been part of it cause before she got into the office I am damn sure all of this was discussed with her prior, she is on board with the agenda be sure of it…… Other wise she would not be where she is today, that is my believe …… SO WHAT DO WE DO??? Just like the slaughter just read an article where someone said Ban on Horse Slaughter will be on hold, cause nothing will be passed it will be put on the back burner, and this is what pro slaughter has been counting on, can it honestly get any worse other than watching them truck thousands of wild horses to Roswell, or Iowa, yup this has been the plan all along, I just know it, I don’t know how they can do that legally but you wait and see……

    These plants WILL be opening, I feel sick saying it but I have to prepare myself, this is so traumatic,
    WILD horses can you imagine in a slaughter plant, OMG I have been having nightmares can’t get it out of my head, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ELSE>>>>>> ALL OF US PLEASE the powers to be who have the resources who want to help the horses need to help US TOO to do more???? I know it is another burden on your shoulders but we will be there to help just tell us what we can do???

    God I feel like a little kid, asking my parents for help??????? Let us know talking and petitions are not cutting it….. Ok Thanks p.s. I am still praying for all of this to end in the horses favor…..


    • Please see my story that aired Wednesday July 17th on http://www.ktvn.com
      I agree this story needs to go national
      People here in Reno were outraged as to how the horses are treated.
      Also go to Facebook ktvn John Potter and read the comments
      It was unreal the contraversy this has stirred here.


      • It was the right thing to do….now lets see if the people who supported my side which was about 90%, lets see if they get off ther butts and go down there and see what I saw , when its going to be 105 degrees today!!!!….. and the reporter had to give all sides and stay neutral and I support him in doing that…


      • There we go this is what I’m talking about, NOW WE NEED that and MORE GREAT JOB???? AND THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


    • I disagree with you on your comment about just talking aren’t cutting it???

      This is one place we all find each other and those who want to be involved more and more…any notifications we learn and pass on to others we know on FB and by mouth………
      A lot of us have emotions invested that love and care for our Wild Horses and the issues of Slaughter. Talking is a healthy way to getting it out so were not all CRAZY and finding support in each other!!!…..

      This is Extremely important in finding knowledge, learning and creating a large organization in this March to help them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


      • Oh I don’t disagree I am not saying this site or any other is not needed cause it is I am saying we need more awareness Nationally cause I have horses and by accident about a year ago I found out about BLM and I knew we didn’t have horse slaughter but I had NO idea horses were still going across the border…. I was looking up one day how to help any horse that needed rescuing, THEN I came across all this information, I JUST couldn’t believe it felt so ignorant in many ways for NOT knowing, so you see this is what I am saying to have more impact on all that DON’T know…… Oh my gosh what this site and others do for me is priceless and all there hard work I KNOW that and feel it in there information and how they write it, and even all of you in your suggestions and feelings.. So please I think you have misunderstood or maybe I just didn’t write it properly…. Thanks


    • Agreed – I’ve suggested that we (the 80% of the American Population who are against horse slaughter & wild horse round-ups [that’s about 251,000,000 people in the US]) boycott the meat industry, en masse, overnight, with lots of publicity – especially the cattle industry – until the SAFE Act is passed & the BLM stops rounding up wild horses & burros & stars setting the captives free – this will cause a great loss for profits, not only for the meat industry, but for the countless groceries stores & restaurants across the nation – so we can make horses & food sources safe again. I’ve already given up red meat & am prepared to give up more. Any ideas how to get this off the ground?? Can the big animal rights groups (ASPCA, HSUS, PETA, etc) help with this?


      • Also, would like to see billboards of the atrocities of horse slaughter (I’ve found some rather heinous images on google) up all over – especially in the states & towns (Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico) who are opening slaughter houses, as well as the states who are proposing to do so (Oklahoma, etc) – billboards at the state lines & at the city limits where these places are opening – this will get the attention of the public in a big way, also overnight – few people understand the seriousness of the situation until they see the horrible images in color, where everyone can see. D.C. would be a good place for billboards, also.


      • I think this should go on national TV…60 minutes, CNN,Fox News,ABC,CBS,NBC…I know Noah Wylie the actor that was on ER and now Falling Skies is for the wild horses,Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are big animal rights supporters…I think you guys have enough info to bring this to the media…I love wild horses thats why I did what I did…I am not going to get on the political side of this…the ranchers are making this political…my suggestion do what I did locally on KTVN to the national media…my pictures on KTVN are free to use..I dont want the credit….RT is free to use them..I sent them to him in an email..I have tons more that I can email to anyone who wants them….nancymleake@yahoo.com…..again these are pictures from Palomino Valley Center in Reno NV….taken July 7th,2013 and July 14th,2013…Nancy Leake… by the way temps in Reno are in the mid 100s today..It was 105 yesterday…those horses are baking out there….


  6. Weather for Reno the next 5 days from ktvn.com:

    Hello ,

    Here’s the latest Pinpoint 2 Forecast

    Hi 105°F
    Lo 71°F The heat continues. A very strong ridge of high pressure will stay over the Great Basin, causing temperatures to soar into the mid-100s for the next couple of days, and possibly setting some more records. The heat combined with light upper-level flow will probably cook up some afternoon cloudiness, and will even give us a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms…especially as we start the next work week. Temperatures will ease off back into the 90s starting Tuesday.

    Here’s a look at the forecast and record highs for the next two days:

    Sat: 105 (Record is 106 1931)

    Sun: 105 (Record is 104 2003)

    KTVN Chief Meteorologist Mike Alger

    6-Day Forecast
    Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu

    Hi 105°F Hi 105°F Hi 102°F Hi 97°F Hi 96°F Hi 95°F
    Lo 71°F Lo 72°F Lo 71°F Lo 68°F Lo 67°F Lo 66°F
    A Few Clouds / Hot Iso. T-Storms / Hot Mostly Sunny / Hot Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy


  7. The “quick fix drug” approach to the wild horses and burros on the public lands is not the right one! Rather Reserve Design should be employed and livestock and other exploitative industries cut back and the horses and burros restored to much higher more truly long term viable population levels. Please read my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, available on Amazon.com. I am a wildlife ecologist and have been studying and fighting for these wonderful presences here on Earth and their right to live free and restore the ecosystem all of my life!


  8. Every which way BUT Loose! …….. You want to work with BLM? Haven’t we tried that? Isn’t WHE doing that? So goes the small majority here…. back to square one.

    Craig, you should know that to have a management strategy you must do field research first to show Reserve Design can work. Ask the AWHPC for a grant, they have the money and so does ASPCA . Or WHE, for that matter. Let them give you a grant.

    I see that people are using increments again to go forward. What we need is the Moratorium Bob Abbey dissed and made everyone think they could not get it. It is the way to make change. Read and educate yourself about it. A ten year moratorium gave us our first studies on mountain lions and an understanding of how to protect and preserve them. We have no base knowledge for management of wild horses and burros at all. The public has to pay for this. We are paying for everything else. Why not pay for something we have control over?


  9. I had to laugh when I saw the headline for this story, who says Sally Jewel is going to do anything? AND why can’t ANYONE get the freaking numbers right…. we DO NOT HAVE 50,000 horses free roaming, we might have 60,000 TOTAL and that includes those in holding!


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