Horse News

CNN Report: Saving America’s Wild Horse Population

Report by Jane Valez-Mitchell as broadcasted on CNN

New Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has drunk the BLM Kool-Aid

CNN correspondent Jane Valez-Mitchell continues her fight for the freedom of America’s vanishing icon, the federally protected wild horses and burros of the United States!

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37 replies »

  1. The BLM must be stopped. There are many many good people trying to get the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act enforced but wealthy ranchers are preventing it. Go to “Born Wild: The Soul of a Horse” to learn more.


  2. Thank you for posting this R.T. I am sending this video on to lots of people and hope they will contribute to the assistance of saving our Mustangs. God Bless you and those who assist the horses, and Madeline Pickens, and Jane Valez-Mitchell. I pray Madeline is able to get all these horses off the hands of our wonderful “caretakers”. Amazing that Sally Jewell is doing such a great job of overseeing them!!!! We can certainly see who’s side she is on!!! Looked happy to say that more land will be used for private business. Wow!!!! What a welfare country we have!!!


  3. I am so Happy Jane is onboard , I have sent to her all the ammunition she needs , I ve been corresponding to her thousands of times over the recent years, I hope i have been a part of encouraging her to do all she does !!! Thank You Jane !!!!!!!!I hope all the emails and videos from here helped her in this !!!!!!!


  4. Dear Jane
    Thank you for fughting fir therights of our beautiful horses.
    These horses are the symbols of America and the public needs ti be made aware of the plight of these souls. It dies not make sense ti spend 90, 000, 000 $ million dollars on holding pens when it costs nothing to let them run free on the very ground that have lived in forever. Tax dollars that the BLM is using ti hold them until they are either auctioned off or sent to slaughter. This horrible ending to these magnificent souls needs to be brought to the attention of the public.
    Thank you and God bless you for fighting for all animals.


  5. ThankYou RT. and Thanks To CNN And Jane Mitchell For Exposing This Story. I Hope Everyone Sees It. Most Certainly A Share..


  6. Thank you for alerting us. I posted a comment and encouraged others to do so. Not to bring up a divisive remark but am I wrong to simplify this situation by saying that the choice between Jewell and Pickens : slaughtering wild horses or living in a zoo still amounts to genocide ? Sorry if this stating what has already been established here. It’s like a choice between Monsanto and Dow ! No choice at all for those interested in freedom. I realized that if you painted Jewell’s face green she would look exactly like the Wicked Witch. Beauty is only as beauty does.


    • Shane, I think you are spot on here. Both options here deprive the species of their own chances at natural speciation, which means SURVIVAL.


  7. Corruption? You betcha!
    If you had 100 acres of pasture land and did not know if you had only one OR a hundred and one animals on your pasture how could you possibly make any valid or justifiable management decisions? You could not.

    The recently published 2013 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report states: Understanding the number and distribution of free-ranging horses and burros on their range is explicitly part of the mandate to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 … that act … states that BLM shall maintain a current inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on given areas of the public lands to, in part, make determinations as to whether and where an overpopulation exists and whether action should be taken to remove excess animals.

    So although the NAS report went into detail about population counts it didn’t mention (don’t bite the hand that feeds you) that the BLM’s tallies are not documented by photos or any other method and thus are unreliable, unscientific and appear to be falsified for the sake of acquiring funding for the districts and developing the public land for other multiple uses/sales/leases all with ultimate detrimental consequences for the wild horses and burros on their legal land. There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.


  8. Thank you, to all reporting the real truth on the news about the horrific treatment of our Wild Horses. We must save our Wild Horses and Burros before it is too late. All of us must work at this together and let Washington know that we are dissatified with the BLM and Sally Jewell. Sick of their (Government) lies and propaganda about the wild horses.


  9. For starters…the “overpopulation” myth.
    This is from ISPMB (INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF MUSTANGS AND BURROS). Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie) was its first president.

    The following excerpts are from a letter written by Karen Sussman of ISPMB (International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros). In the newsletters, you will see that Princeton University has been conducting a study there this summer.
    “As you know, I have been in the wild horse movement for nearly thirty years now. Our organization has accomplished so much in our past 50 years. Our reputation is impeccable, not only with the BLM but with all the wild horse and burro groups and conservation groups in the U.S. We were fortunate as our first two herds had not been disrupted, rounded up, etc. in decades of time. These two herds are the most natural behavioral healthy herds in the U.S. Our third herd came in late in the year of 2004. It was this herd that created an eye opening experience as to the effect of multiple round ups of horses and the devastating effects on the herd.

    We know that there are only two other herds besides our two healthy herds existing on public lands whose band structures have not been disrupted through gathers. They are the Montgomery Pass horses in CA and the Cerbats in AZ. Both herds have sufficient mountain lion predation that their numbers remain stable.

    Here is what we are finding:

    BLM’s removal methods have destroyed the horses social structures which resulted in a severe lack of modeling to younger horses by the older and wiser horses. This has happened by younger and younger stallions taking over the harem bands. The best analogy is that the Harvard professors are no longer in charge of the harems which have given way to younger stallions who are the equivalent of grade school children.

    We have the answer as to why the fertility rates have doubled in the past 15 years.
    With our ongoing evidence, we believe we will be able to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and BLM will have to manage wild horses in their best interest.

    We have started another study on our dysfunctional herd that had been nearly eradicated over the past ten years on Sheldon Wildlife Range. Our goal is to find out the best way to manage wild horses who have not had behavior modeling from the older and wiser animals. This is no small feat. However, when we are successful in this area, we will be able to transfer our findings to the public lands herds.”
    Karen Sussman of ISPMB


  10. From ISPMB newsletter

    White Sands Herd Growth: 1999-2013 – 165 animals.

    BLM’s assertion herds double every four years means there should be 980 horses or more than five times the growth of ISPMB’s White Sands herd.

    Gila Herd Growth:1999-2013- 100 animals.

    BLM’s assertion herds double every four years means there should be 434 horses or nearly four times the growth of ISPMB’s Gila herd.

    Sussman says that BLM’s assertion as to why horse herds double every four years is incorrect. The two reasons given are federal protection of wild horse herds and lack of natural predators. ISPMB herds are also protected and also have no natural predators, but they do not reproduce exponentially. She adds that exponential wild horse population growth on BLM lands must have another cause, and the most likely cause is lack of management and understanding of wild horses as wildlife species. Instead BLM manages horses like livestock. “According to the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, all management of wild horse populations was to be at the ‘minimal feasible level’,” Sussman says. “When the BLM’s heavy-handed disruption and destruction of wild horse social structures is the chief contributing factor in creating population growth five times greater than normal, than the BLM interference can hardly be at a ‘minimal feasible level.'”

    Sussman concludes that ISPMB herds are given the greatest opportunity for survival, compared to the BLM’s herds which are not monitored throughout the year. “One would assume,” Sussman says, “herds that are well taken care of and monitored closely would have a greater survival rate. Yet, even under the optimum conditions of ISPMB herds, they still did not increase nearly 500% like BLM herds.”


    • This is to IMPLY TERRORISTIC activity from the anti side. They feel as though they make chess moves like this it appears as though there is wrong doing. In other words provocation….they are presenting on allfronts that horse supporters would do something dangerous which We all Know is not what anti slaughter or pro horse are about. We are saving and protecting horses with our words, but they want to front something else is happening or will.


  11. It’s pretty clear as to the agenda.

    Zero out all of the LEGALLY DESIGNATED Herd Management Areas


    THEN…announce that there is not enough money in the budget to feed them

    Push through legislation to legalize Horse slaughter in the United States

    THEN,…regardless of any and all facts regarding toxicity…doesn’t matter.
    ALL of these Federally Protected Wild Horses and Burros in concentration camps/holding facilities….are pretty much “drug free”.

    The perfect crime.


  12. Many thanks to Jane and CNN for reporting the sad truth of this horrid situation! Those who have been following this nightmare know too well the tragedy that’s been inflicted upon our beautiful and iconic animals, for far too long. It’s refreshing to have the honest reporting needed to bring light to the fact there are more animals in holding pens than in the wild. The Wild Horse and Burro Act was created to protect these intelligent, beautiful and iconic animals. We cannot afford to allow our wild horses to vanish from the lands, which is why it’s imperative to speak out now for their protection. Thank you RT, as well.


  13. God only knows what happens to them after they are captured. They sure don’t want the public to know.
    BLM Solicits Sterilization of Wild Horses

    by Debbie Coffey, Director of Wild Horse Affairs

    The BLM, with Dean Bolstad as the Program Office Point of Contact (POC), continues to waste tax dollars on experimentation on wild horses & burros, which is a clear violation of the Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act of 1971. The BLM is NOT protecting wild horses when it uses them for experimentation (under the guise of “research”).

    This is going to be done ON THE RANGE. They will trap the wild horses & burros and do the experimentation IN THE FIELD. The BLM is creating NON-REPRODUCING HERDS, which leads to EXTINCTION. Most wild horse & burro herds are ALREADY NON-VIABLE.

    The BLM has been gelding for a long time. They already have the methods. They already have chemical and surgical ways to sterilize/use contraception.

    The BLM is doing this experimentation while they continue ongoing bait-trapping and helicopter roundups, without accountability or public access.

    The BLM is using the word “RESEARCH” as a cover-up. Notice the solicitation below is open-ended (there are no time or number limitations). So how many wild horses and burros, and what herds, will be subjected as part of this experimentation? It could be all of them


  14. Loved watching you on KCAL in LA years ago. You were the best reporter in LA! Thank you for your stand on this Issue. These Horses need all of the support they can get if they are to survive.


  15. Thank you to Jane and CNN for reporting the sad truth about the horrible treatment and roundups of our wild horses. We cannot allow our wild horses to vanish from our lands and their protection is needed now. The amount of wild horses roaming our lands are few compared to years ago. With the millions of acreas available, surely they could designate some areas for their protection and freedom. We must manage, not destroy the lives of these magnificent and iconic animals. Thank you RT, as well.


  16. What is it about the Government driving animals off their land? First the Native Americans, then the Wolves and know the horses. They want to suck the freedom from everything. We need to fight back for justice and freedom for all. Seems to Mr they have always said one thing and done another. Enough is enough.


  17. Horse slaughter is not only inhumane, it’s also life-threatening for people and destructive to communities. Read the information below to learn more about the well researched reasons why horses slaughter should be banned.

    1. A recent nationwide poll conducted by Lake Research Partners confirms that 80% of Americans, regardless of their gender, political affiliation, whether they live in an urban or rural area, or their geographic location, oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The poll confirms that a vast majority of horse owners are also against the slaughtering of our nation’s equines. This 2012 poll is consistent with polls taken since 2006.

    2. Horses purchased for slaughter are not old, disabled or “unwanted”. The US Dept. of Agriculture has confirmed with a study performed by Dr. Temple Grandin that 92.3% of the horses sent to slaughter are healthy. They could continue to be productive. Slaughter proponents have widely claimed that slaughter is somehow an alternative for “unwanted” horses. Nothing could be further from the truth. Slaughter actually creates a salvage or secondary market that enables overbreeding and poor breeding practices. Slaughter and a poor economy have resulted in horses in need. Slaughter is driven by a demand for horsemeat in some foreign countries; it is not a “service” for unwanted horses and that is why most horses are healthy when they are sent to slaughter. Kill buyers are interested in buying the healthiest horses for horsemeat that is sold as a delicacy in some foreign countries.

    The rise in numbers of horses in need and drop in horse prices is a result of the worst recession in memory. In fact, if slaughter controlled numbers of horses in need, there would be none as slaughter is still available and horses are sent to slaughter in the same numbers as before the 2007 closings of the slaughterhouses that were located in the U.S. It is the availability of slaughter that actually increases the numbers of excess horses and other equines on the market. Banning slaughter would reduce the number of excess horses and other equines.

    Also, slaughter accounts for only about 3 cents for every $100 of the equine industry. It makes no sense for anyone to suggest a limited salvage market could influence prices in the entire horse industry. According to former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), the live horse industry is valued at $112.1 billion of gross domestic product, meaning the reabsorption of “surplus” horses not sent to slaughter would actually boost the economy.

    Most horses end up at slaughter because they are purchased by kill buyers. Many horses could have easily been purchased by someone else other options include adoption programs, placing them as pasture mates/babysitters to a younger horse, donating them for use in horse therapy, or placing them in a retirement home. Also, about 900,000 horses are humanely euthanized in the U.S. The infrastructure could easily absorb those sent to slaughter. The average cost in Washington of humane euthanasia including the farm call and either burial, rendering or placement in a landfill can be as little as $50 depending on the method used, and at most $400.

    3. Equine slaughter is not humane euthanasia. The slaughter of horses and other equines simply cannot be made humane: Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, told Congress in 2008 that the captive bolt used to slaughter horses is simply not effective. Horses and other equines, in particular, are very sensitive about anything coming towards their heads and cannot be restrained as required for effective stunning. Dr. Friedlander stated, “These animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected.” The Government Accountability Office and dozens of veterinarians and other witnesses have confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and animals are conscious during slaughter. It is simply not possible for USDA/APHIS to make equine slaughter humane and it is a myth to pretend otherwise.

    4. Approximately $5,000,000 of American taxpayer funds, in the form of USDA meat inspectors, was spent annually to subsidize the three foreign-owned (Belgian and French) horse slaughterhouses that operated in the U.S. until 2007. Because there is no market for horsemeat in the U.S., after slaughter, the meat was shipped overseas, and there was no benefit at all to the U.S. economy. Only the foreign owners and distributors profited. If these foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses are allowed to re-open, they would again be subsidized by American taxpayer money. Estimates are that the U.S. government would spend at least $3,000,000-5,000,000 to subsidize private horse slaughter facilities.

    On top of that, the USDA could give foreign owners of U.S. horse slaughter facilities, such as Bouvry, the Canadian company that has explored the possibility of opening a horse slaughter house near Stanwood, Washington, or the Belgian company, Chevideco, which is planning to build a horse slaughter house in Oregon or Missouri, a subsidized loan of $750,000 through the RUS World Utilities Services. It is outrageous that the American taxpayer should support wealthy foreign investors in a business that profits from animal cruelty, benefits only foreign interests and wrecks the U.S. communities where the facilities are located. This money would surely be much better spent on American interests.

    Chevidico which owned Dallas Crown, which operated in Kaufman, Texas until 2007 paid each year only 1/3 of 1% of revenues in taxes; on year, for example, the horse slaughter house paid a total of $5.00 in federal taxes on $12,000,000 in annual sales.

    5. Equine slaughter has been devastating to the communities where slaughtering facilities have been located, with significant negative impacts including nuisance odors that permeated the surrounding towns to chronic sewer and environmental violations. Blood literally ran in the streets and waste from the facilities clogged sewers and piled up everywhere. This predatory practice produced few very low wage jobs, meaning workers and their families overran local resources like the hospitals and government services. Horse slaughter brought in virtually no tax revenues and local governments incurred substantial enforcement costs in trying to regulate these facilities. The standard of living in these communities dropped during the time horse slaughter facilities operated. Good businesses refused to relocate there. As Paula Bacon, mayor of Kaufman, Texas during the time a horse facility operated there until 2007 said, “My community did not benefit. We paid.”

    Recently, when officials in Hardin, Montana learned of a plan to build horse facilities in that state, the town council immediately unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2010-01 that prohibits the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period. Just last month Mountain Grove, Missouri residents voted overwhelmingly against a horse slaughter plant in their community. The message is clear: Americans don’t want equine slaughter.

    6. Although animal blood is often used for dry blood mill, the antibiotics given to American horses prevent blood from breaking down; therefore, horse blood cannot be used for this purpose and blood and other organs cannot be used for any purpose. Communities will be required to find a way to dispose of horse blood, internal organs and waste. Horses have 1.74 times as much blood per pound of body weight as cows and with the drugs, it is harder to treat because the antibiotics in the blood kill bacteria used in the treatment process. This does not include the 15 million gallons of fecal material per year that must be handled. Note the Canadian horse slaughterhouse at Natural Valley Farms in Saskatchewan that was shut down in 2009 for dumping blood and tons of other waste into a local river or onto the ground.

    7. The argument that significant jobs would be created is specious. Horse slaughter plants operating until 2007 never created more than 178 low wage jobs -and many of these were held by illegal aliens.

    8. Another cost to communities is horse theft. Slaughterhouses know horses are stolen and brought to slaughter. Because horse slaughter is driven by a demand for horse meat in some foreign countries where it is a delicacy, horse slaughterers look for the healthiest horses, not abandoned, abused or neglected horses. When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, horse theft fell by 39.5% and in the years that followed, the state noted a nearly 88% decrease in horse theft. What does that tell you about this sleazy, brutal practice?

    9. It is no surprise that following the closing of the horse slaughter plant, Kaufman residents enjoyed a significant decrease in virtually every type of crime. This despite one of the worst economic recessions in memory. A recent study by a University of Windsor criminologist, Amy Fitzgerald, shows a link between slaughterhouses and violent crime. Last year the Canadian government ordered its inspectors to stay off the floor during slaughter for fear of injury from workers who were manhandling and slaughtering horses. Those who slaughter horses are so desensitized and lacking in empathy in the way they handle the animals that they actually frighten government officials.

    10. The FDA does not regulate horses as food animals. Americans do not consume horses and other equines. Horses receive multiple medications, such as steroids, de-wormers, and ointments, throughout their lives. Kill buyers do not know a horse’s medical history.The FDA bans the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Phenylbutazone (Bute) in all food-producing animals. Many horses have received Bute, which is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans.

    11. It is impossible to humanely transport horses for slaughter. The 2011 GAO report confirmed that USDA/APHIS has not – and cannot – enforce humane transport regulations for equines to be sent to slaughter.

    12. Horses are in danger. The welfare of all equines is threatened as long as slaughter remains available.
    After reading these reasons and you still think American horses should be slaughtered, please watch *video footage of what horses endure throughout the slaughter pipeline and while in the kill box.
    *Videos contain graphic material. Children, or those sensitive to animal abuse images, should not view.


    • Those who slaughter horses are so desensitized and lacking in empathy in the way they handle the animals that they actually frighten government officials.

      How can any civilized country or society condone or allow this. It is nauseating.


    • Ros, may I please copy your post and send it to my elected officials? Many good points there which they might actually consider reading.


  18. And now her math is even worse than before. She says the horses can double in 3 1/2 yrs. We’ve always questioned the 4 yrs but 3 1/2. Just who out there is reproducing to get those numbers…


  19. I am terribly disappointed in President Obama’s picks for Interior Secretary. It is truly frightening to think of what our country will be like in the future. I’m tired of hearing everything referred to in dollars and cents, and numbers. Isn’t our country’s history of value any more, and do our laws mean anything? It is really hard to comprehend that the BLM is breaking the law and no one does a thing about it.


  20. On and on it goes. The black rhino in Africa is now considered extinct. If it were a natural disaster, I buy it… but it is man-made. All species were put on this earth to exist the way they are accustomed, how dare those in power take that right away from us. We have intelligent people amongst us who know much, much more about the preservation of species than the government… Why are they not brought in to work on this issue. Fracking is unsafe and most likely carcinogenic when it leaks into the water supply. Nobody wants that here. Enough! We want our horses back.


  21. People need to get educated most people do not even know this is happening. Keep up the great work and to all the readers keep sharing. Knowledge is power and I am praying for a change to save our wild and domesticated horses from greed for human consumption.


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