DR. STULL PRESENTS A DOUBLE- STANDARD FOR SHELTER FOR HORSES IN CALIFORNIA AND FOR HORSES IN SHORT-TERM HOLDING
by Bonnie Kohleriter
Dr. Stull from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine spoke at a workshop on August 6 in Reno, Nevada. She was the only professor asked to speak by the BLM. The workshop was to consider “shelter” for the horses at PVC* as well as at other short-term facilities. Dr. Stull stated her opinion that “shelter” should be provided 50/50 to pens with compromised horses. The public took compromised to mean sick or weak horses. This would only add shelter to some of the pens for some of the horses, it would not add shelter to all of the pens for all of the horses. The weather this summer at PVC has had temperatures in the 90s and 100s.
However, Dr. Stull, along with others at UC Davis, wrote the code for minimum standards of care for horses in California. The code is to help law enforcement officials to deal with inhumane treatment of horses. In this code a discussion is had on temperatures and energy expended with different heat and cold temperatures. It appears below 41 degrees and above 68 degrees, metabolic energy levels change to deal with heat and cold. The ‘minimum ‘ standard for shelter in California’s code, therefore is as follows:
SHELTER IN THE FORM OF A STRUCTURE MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR HORSES IN CASES OF EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS (BELOW FREEZING TEMPERATURES, EXCESSIVELY HIGH TEMPERATURES AND/OR HUMIDITY, HIGH WINDS, EXCESSIVE RAINFALL, REGARDLESS OF THE HORSES’ AGE, BREED, OR BODY CONDITION.)
What Dr. Stull says for horses at PVC and for horses in California appears to show a double-standard. Those who care about horses at PVC and at other short-term facilities want shelter for all the wild horses and burros as they face excessively high temperatures and/or humidity in summer and below freezing (-32 degrees) temperatures in winter.
It is time for the BLM to stop invalidating the public when they bring legitimate concerns and requests to their government officials.
It is time for the BLM to stop treating our wild horses and burros in inhumane ways.
It is time for the BLM to stop stockpiling horses and burros in barren, unprotected short-term facilities where they are to stay day after day, week after week, year after year.
It is time for the BLM to start managing and protecting the horses and burros on the range.
It is time for the BLM to start securing the space, forage, and water for the horses and burros on the range needed for them to survive and thrive.
It is time…..
*PVC is the Palomino Valley Short-Term Facility in Northern Nevada in Sparks, Nevada. It houses about 1800 horses.
Google: Standards of Care for Horses in California for more information
August 10, 2013