Equine Rescue

Nevada Wild Mustangs Saved

Source: By Dianne Stallings of the Alamogordo Daily News

“What an incredible, collaborative effort by all involved.”

RUIDOSO  – Last week, when a federal judge lifted a temporary restraining order clearing the way for the sale of 149 unbranded wild horses captured by the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe in northern Nevada, wild mustang advocates reacted swiftly.

Realizing the unbranded wild horses likely were bound for slaughter in Canada and Mexico, Ginger Kathrens, of the Cloud Foundation, reached out to Victoria McCullough, of the Triumph Project in Wellington, Fla. McCullough, in turn, asked Florida Sen. Joseph Abruzzo to begin negotiating with the tribe and an offer was accepted.

Behind the scenes, Kathrens said the collaborative efforts involved many groups committed to horse protection. Besides the Cloud Foundation, they include Suzanne Roy and Deniz Bolbol, of American Wild Horse Preservation campaign; Ellie Phipps Price, a northern California businesswoman; Madeleine Pickens, of Saving America’s Mustang; Jim Hart, of Liberty for Horses; Sally Summers, of Horse Power; and Neda DeMayo, of Return to Freedom, who agreed to provide homes for the 149 animals, which includes 16 mares with foals.

“What an incredible, collaborative effort by all involved.” Kathrens said. “Acting as a team, and with Victoria’s tremendous support, we are able ensure a future for mustangs that were a heartbeat away from a long journey to slaughter.”

Through the collaborative efforts of the wild horse advocacy groups and private parties, the purchase of all 149 wild horses was negotiated and the horses went to their permanent and temporary homes in California and Nevada.

Kathrens contended that the purchase would not have been necessary if officials with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management had fulfilled their duty to protect wild horses and burros as charged by the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The Wild Horse & Burro Act imposes criminal liability for “willfully” removing wild horses from public lands, converting wild horses to private use, maliciously causing the harassment of a wild horse or selling a wild horse on private land. This entire roundup should have been stopped by the two federal agencies until they determined that no wild horses would be included, she said.

Initially, the Forest Service staff planned to bankroll the helicopter roundup of horses from Forest Service, BLM and reservation land and transport horses to a slaughter auction, but the Forest Service issued a “stand down” when horse advocacy groups threatened to file suit for noncompliance with environmental regulations and violation of first amendment rights, according to a Cloud Foundation spokesman. Unfortunately, the tribe proceeded with the roundup and removal with the intention of selling all the horses at the Fallon Auction house, known for selling to kill buyers, she said.

Both Forest Service and tribal members claimed that all the horses were domestic and owned by the tribe, but after examining each of the 467 horses, 149 were discovered to be unbranded. Under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States. The horses were rounded up in an area only a few miles from the Little Owyhee Herd Management Area.

In a brief statement last week, Forest Service officials said to prevent further damage to the rangeland ecosystem, they planned to remove 400 horses in remote parts of the forest to transfer to the Fort McDermott Paiute and Shoshone Tribe, who owned the horses. According to information from the Forest Service website, the preferred solution to overpopulation of wild horses on public land is private adoption or being sent to federally-funded sanctuaries or long-term holding facilities in Oklahoma and Kansas. With no natural predators in most areas, horse populations double every five years without population control.

Had the advocacy groups not learned about the shift in the round-up, Kathrens said she’s confident that all of the horses gathered would have been transported to a slaughter auction at taxpayer expense.

“This is a blatant misuse of American taxpayer dollars,” she said. “With 80 percent of Americans opposed to slaughter, why should taxpayer dollars be used to fulfill this action?”

More than 300 branded horses were sold at auction Saturday. About 150 were purchased by local residents and rescue groups, the remainder were purchased by kill buyers

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13 replies »

  1. orruption on all levels of the innocent Mustangs caught up in this conspiracy continues , Thank You to Ginger kathrens and all who helped her accomplish this Shinning example of Horse rescue…. Americans need to make every effort to save the Mustangs , and get them released back to the Freedom that all Americans want them to have !!!!!!

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  2. This collaboration of ALL involved is the most amazing heart felt mission I have EVER read about…. I AM SO PROUD of ALL of the wonderful folks helping to save these beauty’s… Unlike our own Gov. Thank GOD for you all, what at amazing feeling of accomplishment you all must feel, if that was ME I certainly would…. AGAIN THANK YOU FROM US ALL! 🙂

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  3. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate those who made this possible. Thanks to those mentioned and the many others who were instrumental in saving our treasured horses. My heart goes out to those who were not so fortunate, which is why it’s becoming more imperative than ever, to pass the SAFE Act.

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  4. “Financial Strategy… Where the rubber meets the road, when the first horse is slaughtered… think putting the (slaughter) facilities on Indian Reservations… taking ‘everybody ‘ and the Legislature out of the equation.” Boyd Spratling DVM; BLM Advisory Board. At October 13,2011 Nevada Board of Agriculture Meeting.

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    • Financial strategy my ass. Finanacial strategy is fertility control and limits on cattle/sheep on grazing lands, getting those Mustangs back on the land where they were born and should remain to death.

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  5. Beyond belief.I hope there is a hell and these people who are so determined to slaughter horses are condemned to going through what the are doing to these wonderful animals every day for eternity.

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  6. So wrong how the US Forest Service and BLM stood by and allowed this horrible roundup. Now I suppose they will have a big fire up there and wonder why (horses munch down the dry flammable vegetation and convert it into moisture retaining humus). What species will take their place? More ruminants, ill equipped to deal with the semi arid conditions here?

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  7. Good for three horses saved, so sad for the branded ones that the kill buyers got. Grrr..still makes me very angry.. Lawsuits don’t seem to mean a thing when it’s a kangaroo court system in place..

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  8. To all involved with making these wild horses free from the slaughter truck. Thank you so much for your efforts. All of you make a difference. Keep on fighting for what is right and the good people will follow you.

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  9. I like the background-but it would look better if instead of a helicopter chasing a wild horse it were chasing and rounding up the BLM and corrupt government officials. Sue Wallis would bring up the rear by being the rear! For a enlightening good news article please read the article Navajo Medicine Men OPPOSE Horse Slaughter on Narcosphere.com

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  10. Yahoo Yahoo Thank You Thank You I can see and read again Bravo RT…….ONe More thing PLEASE Please JUST MUSTANGS NO STINKIN HELICOPTERS……..

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