Horse Health

Double Standards for Shelter


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:


          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

Bonnie Kohleriter

August 10, 2013

21 replies »

  1. Corruption always talks out of both sides of its mouth for the simple sake of getting its way. Anyone (almost) can be bought with money or some sort of “kick-back” or even a threat.

    Your article was clear and to the point and thank you.


    • You’re right! There’s something wrong with BLM’s office in Nevada – this seems to be where most of the trouble is or where it starts – look at the leadership & then follow the money (both directions) & see where it leads. Somebody could be skimming on the budget from the top down, as well as all the other levels of corruption that permeates this felonious organization.


  2. Excellent coverage on this issue. Great article!!! There are so many options out there for these horses/burros…..why aren’t they being considered is my question. Thanks for the info.


  3. Three basic needs for horses and burros is food, shelter and water. Whether it’s man or horse, these three things are necessary for survival. The BLM took these animals out of their natural habitat which provided all three basic needs and stuck them in the desert with barely two of their requirements. Man cannot survive in the intense heat so how the hell can these horses and burros survive? key is..they can’t! This treatment is just another way of killing them off and anybody with any sense knows this. Apparently the BLM thinks that all us citizens are stupid. Well I’m here to tell you that we’re not. They’ve proven that not only do they not know how to manage these animals but that they simply don’t care. It’s all pr bull hockey that they wasn’t to use to snow the stupid easterners. What do you expect from hard headed louts affiliated with the cattle association? stupid cattlemen! Somebody should just cut the fences that contain these horses and set them free.


  4. What Dr. Stull had to say was a big disappointment. She seemed to know more about cattle than horses . There was no mention of mineral salt blocks or that the water in black, rubber troughs was warm and dirty.


  5. Let’s round up the BLM and put them in the same environment and conditions as these horses and burros were in and see how long they survive!


  6. Come on folks you are witnessing another proslaughter verbage on how to make the horses appear unhealthy, deplore their conditions and excuse nature as the issue then pressure is on against activists because the public seez these poor deplored horses needing slaughtering not health and safety measures and then they can scream our budget needs more to care for them, while not caring is the least of the mustang stocks worries. As well they need to be called Mustangs, they are a proud, invincible breed, they are up against unsurmountable odds people like the lady above, mrs split personality needs to stand in the hall of shame with dunce cone atop her headgear next to sue and doink. This is petty, pathitic, and dismal.someone with a notable degree can be so unconcerned. In illinois we have strict guidelines for horses, 3 sided roof solid shelters, open access to water, feed and healthcare mandatory. Simple, for every variation of equine period.


  7. Im sick of well paid “ellitists” as Sue Wallis stated recently, so here`s an actual elitist an overpaid vet who cant treat all equine with equal quality care and compassion. Did they change the vet oathe about caring for animals, or is it just the few expensive animals the doltz own? Wild horses arent so bad, in fact, i think better than many of the over inbred horses the aqha is dying to kill. Sorry, this just makes me feel like throwing manure, gotta go clean stalls to relax for a little bit, some horse nuzzles and sawdust improves everything.


    • Cynthia, the latest GAO report was not correct with some states and was interpreted as pro-slaughter by those in favor of it. The 1990-91 study proved the millions of cattle, not wild horses, destroyed the range and riparian areas.


  8. Great article ..thank you. The truth of the matter is, our wild horses and burros would thrive, as they have for many years, if allowed to roam free, as nature intended. It’s a total disgrace and inhumane to make them live under such horrific conditions. I want to ask ,what kind of people would permit this, but we all know the answer to that one, don’t we?!


  9. You want to change things? Then write a new bill and put your heart and soul into getting it passed and leave BLM out of it! BLM will never comply. This is their answer; what they are doing! Why try to reason with those who are pleased to be rid of wild horses? BLM serves the rancher and the mining interests. Pipelines. Energy. Not us.

    Who needs BLM? The wild horses and burros sure don’t. You want options and BLM is not an option we have been able to develop a positive response from. Money talks. Why keep going in circles? Set a goal and go get it! Negotiating with BLM is generally a mistake.

    The longer this goes on the more and more people become less interested and want a quick fix. There is none except to lose our wild ones on their lands. Using PZP on herds that need recovery and their lands returned to them is counter productive to the long term survival of our wild horses.

    There is never enough debate here. There is always this slap on the back and no depth. We need horses being taken out of BLM control and into a situation that is created for their welfare and preservation. We have not got that. Shelter is an issue but only one of many. I want the hooves taken care of on these and all captives. We are seeing horses with crippling long hooves. If they need rock to wear them down then let them go back to the wild. BLM is not going to put rock surfaces in pens because they never clean them out! The pens are never empty. They have not figured out how to rotate horses to an open pen in order to clean the full ones. These caretakers are a joke. Stop thinking they will change and find a better way to accomplish what needs to be done.

    10 year moratorium with independent study for the creation of new scientifically based management in the wild. There is a bill for hunting on ALL public lands. Safari International and their buddies needs to be kicked in the balls and stopped from the destruction of the animals our nation loves the most; Wild horses, buffalo, gray wolves. If this bill passes there will be more and more excuses to remove wild horses and none of them will be based on science or even logic. We have not even gotten to the science in all of the 41 years this program has been in existence.

    We should be on the forefront of wild horse behavior and management. We are not even in the running. Why can’t you even figure out why you are failing?


    • Good points, Mar, but we can’t even get the SAFE Act passed in Congress because of some SOB’s holding it up. You are so right about trying to deal with BLM –there is no compromising with the devil. And with so few wild horses left there is sure no need for birth control like PZP. Return the ones in holding to their lawful HMA’s and the 22.2 million acres taken from them . How can we getr this done in time to safe them from extinction ?!


      • Barb, thanks, yet that is no reason not to do more. We must do more. The safe act is another issue altho slaughter has been affecting wild horses throughout their history. The wild horses when seen for themselves and separated from the slaughter issue will help them more. This has been a mistake to keep these two issues together like Siamese twins. I realize many people will disagree but I am desperate to have the wild ones in the forefront of their recovery and preservation. This is the way the public needs to become involved and the slaughter issue remains but would not be so dominant it places the wild ones in a corner. We must convince people the wild ones need them for their future and safety right now. I believe everyone would get behind the right action and if it was supported strongly by a core group. We are ineffective. We could be very effective with renewed goals and purpose. I think people are still ignorant and some are so discouraged they want a quick fix and are mislead by the PZP ‘option’ which is no option and just feeds our wild ones into oblivion. Many of us do understand what we are up against and see the time window closing down on our wild ones. This is a recovery operation and has been for years. Why does no one acknowledge this? I think Ginger is most aware because she is out there and she has horses at risk in her care. She knows how precious money is. RT and Terry know this too, beyond a doubt. Yet we are not fully engaged and there is still not enough positive work among us to pull off a coup. I believe it is possible. There just does not seem to be the desire to trust or to have more debate. Debate would help rid us of the pretenders. And they get all the attention. Is it right we use the publicity of advocates who mislead the public to help the horses and burros? Have not the pretenders proven to be no help? It is no wonder we cannot heal the rifts created in 2010 and 2012 when one side of the advocacy uses the other. This goes both ways. Another elephant in the room. There is a small herd now.

        We need to do all we can and when what we are doing is not getting the results we must get then we need to discuss this and lay in out and find another way. We have barely scratched the surface of what we are capable of and this alone is one of the most frutrating aspects of this crisis.


  10. Good work, Bonnie. I cannot overstate the relationship among U.S.D.A., Interior and the AVMA, AAEP. Also, University of California, Davis’s environmental studies program and their contributions to pseudo science had played an influential role in the non-native, invasive, alien, feral, exotic, non-indigenous hoax—in fact, perusing articles using these terms & Cal Davis led me directly to the scientist who came up with the language that notably contradicts that of the 1971 WFRHB Act. It is no coincidence that the BLM uses this university. Maybe we should petition the federal government to prevent Cal-Davis from having any contact with and federal or state land management or wildlife groups managing wild horses and burros. They promote the horse as non-native invasives~prevent, control, eradicate per U.S.D.A. Invasive Species Law via international treaty 1992 CBD Article 8 (h) as detailed in 1993 OTA report on Nonindigenous Harmful Species to U.S. (no author attribution) but authorship claimed be proud author.


    • With due respect; Another tangent? The wild ones are being removed right now certainly we can simply boycott them and get on with the business of stopping BLM not stopping UC Davis… that is another detour our wild ones do not have the time for.


  11. Aren’t cattle and sheep non-native? Why do they always have double standards? The BLM are corrupt and they and the USFWS have no business in charge of our native wildlife. They are acting as judge, jury and executioner to the wild horses and burros. This is ridiculous. Obama and Sally Jewel are knowingly allowing this to happen so that the frackers and ranchers can take possesion of our public land. This needs to end before they destroy and irreversibly pollute millions of acres of public land and water. Can’t we prove that fracking is bad and make them stop doing it on public land? There has to be a way to evict the BLM from our public land and reclaim it for the American people!!


  12. The wild horses are our barometer of our access and our relationship with our public lands. They need to be showcased and celebrated and given every respect we can give them. Misinformation coming from groups who are BLM positive are destroying the ability of people to do effective work and are muddying reality with their ambition and deliberate misdirection. Big elephant.

    We need to stop talking around the many issues and stay on a straight and narrow path and stop going off on things which, as important as they may seem are not going to get results. We have to create our own results and insinuate them into the minds of people and make them happen. If you can’t get there from here we are lost.

    Who are we and what are we doing spread out over a dozen issues with no corresponding center?
    Why are we not funding real observation and even field work by competent advocates and scientists? We have more out there than we hear about. This is ass backwards if you ask me. We need a strong center and then we can get people to work on many aspects. Instead the many do not make up a whole. Why is this? Because too many are in this for themselves and for a glory that will always elude them. Selflessness will prevail when we place the wild ones before our personal vendettas and our prejudices among our selves.

    This has never been a popularity contest but it sure turned into one. I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of me and as long as there are those who think they are better, more worthy or stealthier than others we will fail. We are failing. We are all responsible for this. If you don’t want to fail turn around and find a new strategy. Work more and harder and stop selling yourselves short. If you can outline a path from A to Z then you can start on that path with all due urgency to attain the goal.

    What is your goal? If you still think BLM has the power and ability to change you are not living in the real world and you won’t be there when the wild ones are free and protected again because you will have dropped out or sold out on PZP and BLM PR.

    I really want to say more but I am not encouraged here and with out encouragement we lose our diversity and our creative thinkers. If I could push each one of you to rethink where you stand and to picture where you want this crisis to end then that is what I am asking. The elephants need be seen and their myths challenged and put aside. They are blocking our clarity more than you want to admit to yourselves.


  13. The thing that deeply bothered me was that Davis lies about 10 miles east as the crow flies of Joe at tbfriends. Joe could’ve easily told them his experiences with sun and shelter. Whether the horses that have both generally use the shelter during the day.

    They know who Joe is but didn’t bother to ask him.

    Woodland where tbriends is located at has weather conditions very similar to Davis. I don’t believe either location in a microclimate that doesn’t affect the other.

    If they were honestly serious about this study why not use rescue horses that live almost in your backyard. Frankly I was dismayed when I learned of this.


  14. I agree with alot of what you folks have said. But, instead of bitching and complaining on here…More people need to actually get up and DO SOMETHING…complaining on here and bitching won’t do anything for the wild Mustangs.


    • Robin, (& everybody) I’m ready to help put up billboards across the country & DC supporting the SAFE Act – found some heinous pics of horse slaughter on the web that would work – or any other publicity campaign that needs help – mail is:


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