Horse News

LETTER: No authority for ‘Horse Haters’

Patricia Fazio’s letter to the editor of the Cody Enterprise

“…some of the 41 horses involved are remnants of the Foster Gulch-Dry Creek Herd Area which was zeroed out by the BLM in 1987”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

To the editor:

Concerning the recent article and editorial about the Big Horn Basin horses bound for slaughter in Canada, there seems to be a misconception that the 37 horses purchased by Bovary Exports have already been slaughtered.


Not so. They are in a holding facility in Shelby, Mont., for 30 days, but the clock is ticking. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign has hired an environmental attorney to assess the situation and see if any laws were violated by the agencies involved, and to negotiate with the buyer about potential release to horse rescues.

The BLM had the legal right to seek removal of these horses as non-permitted, unbranded strays. That said, the Cody BLM and Wyoming Livestock Board knew full well (or should have) that horse rescue groups have been ready, willing and able to take horses in this situation. Advertising in two small Big Horn County newspapers that these horses would be gathered and could be claimed by their owners is certainly inadequate public notice.

An anonymous tipster called the Cloud Foundation after the horses had already been sold at Worland Livestock Auction. Nice gesture, but too late.

I find it hard to fathom that the Wyoming Livestock Board’s brand inspector did not realize the horses offered for sale at Worland Livestock Auction would be picked up by killer-buyers. Horse feathers.

We have no proof, but there is a possibility that some of the 41 horses involved are remnants of the Foster Gulch-Dry Creek Herd Area which was zeroed out by the BLM in 1987. That old herd area is only one mile from where this herd was captured.

Wild horses are native to North America – fact not myth. The American Museum of Natural History and ancient DNA academics have the data to confirm this. Believe your own prejudices that horses are non-native or “feral,” but this only shows that you are behind in the best available science.

Domestication and human selection gave us sub-species (breeds), but Equus caballusis is still Equus caballus – the species that became extinct during the late Pleistocene’s megafaunal extinction and the same species that returned with the Spanish following Columbus’ second voyage in 1493.

The BLM should be removed from the national Wild Horse and Burro Program. They are the worst agency for the delicate task of managing and protecting a species historically disdained and routinely killed by the old U.S. Grazing Service as pests. The BLM was formed in 1946 when the U.S. Grazing Service and General Land Office merged.

Traditional horse haters should not be in charge of wild horses. We need another plan and a new agency, but only Congress can make that change.

(s) Patricia Fazio, Ph.D.,

Statewide Coordinator

Wyoming Wild Horse Coalition


Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Cody Enterprise


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16 replies »

  1. This Agency must be terminate disbanded,tried for their Criminal actions against Americas Treasures , a new Agency must be formed one that is qualified to handle the task..with caring , to protect and Preserve the Wild Mustangs !!!!!


  2. Thank you for that succinct analysis.
    It’s time to put politics and personalities aside and create a coherent plan for the “true” management of these magnificent and historical animals.


  3. we need to have militia groups behind us. they are constitutionally legal and support the rights as American citizens . can we show violations of our constitutional rights and the rights of the wild horse and burros? yes ! since talking hasn’t really had a long term solution, since money for lawyers, courts and judgements for our side hasn’t had a long term solution, where do we stand as these American horse are being maimed, piled up in captivity and slaughtered.


  4. Here is the point: Dr. Kirkpatrick pointed our in t996 when the National Park Service referred to North Carolina’s wild horses as exotic this was a written agency policy that has no basis in science.

    I have no idea whether or nt Dr. Kirkpatrick or Dr. Fazio have any idea how hard individuals with scietific credentials attempted to make this look like science. They invented a new form of science called “invasive species biology,” created special grorups of inasive biologists, and declares that the invasive species crusts was the second greatest threat to maintaining biological diversity on the planet. They created their own little journals and got work published at universities where the standards or new research are much lower.

    Then these people were appointed to advisory councils. What is appalling is that the horse mythologist managed to do such a good job finally getting the alien species piece written into the 1997 International Plant Protection Convention, Vice President Al Gore created a prestigious position for him. In 1999 President Clinton appointed him to the National Science Foundation where he served from 2000-2006. He has volunteered to edit PLOS since 2005 and tried to change the content of an article “Pruning the Equid Tree” by slapping a picture at the end of it of NC’s horses and added a caption that they were different from the long ago horses. This is the oppositive of what the article said. He volunteered to edit the PNAS from 2008-2009, which is why the identify of the ancient North America horse appears only once within the body of the paper and this is within a text box. Then again, the identify of Equus caballus is in a figure in the Supplemental Material where other species not targeed were also identified such as E. asinus, E. bruchelli, and E. hemionus.

    For the PNAS Report on Finding the Way Forward with Science—Report on BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program—the NRC of NAS Agricultural Board prohibited the scientists from addressing this issue and put a little not about emailing Penn State taxonomist Dr. Beth Shapiro to make it appear they had made an effort to get the answer. But apparently, it is still uncertain. Amazing—Dr. Shapiro was a member of the research group that published the Nature, November 2, 2011, report that actually came to the conclusion that the North American horse is Equus caballus.

    Of course, in science there is always uncertainty—despite what President Obama and Vice President Al Gore say to the contrary. As intelligent of both of these men are, no one who has ever worked in a field where your decisions were guided by the best sciences of he day only to discover that a new study 10 years later shows that the earlier study did not take into consideration a factor that no one was even aware existed.

    If I sound outraged, it is because I am. How for the love of God and man could anyonee come up with a theory that included the eradication of both plant and animal species whereever they were found outside their native range without giveing great care that they knew what those native ranges were? If the loss of biological diversity is such a threat, then why are the scientists that claim to be batting to preserve species the ones that are destroying these valuable sources of genetic information.

    Here we have this very special allegedlly elite and self-professed experts trying to custom design every landscape in the world—but instead of leaving the healthy numbers of species in the habitats they chose and have existed in for not ony the last 500 years, but since the Eocene, these ambitious scientists fly around the world selling their eradication science to species that God and nature intended to live throughout the world. They are meant to be in those areas where humans can also be but them don’t need us, they need us to let them have habitat. This is good. We can live independly of them knowing they are there and vice-versa. God did not intend for our horses to become extinct, and the very idea that these master’s of the no universe most of us would ever choose to live in have been working within the halls of Congress testifying for GE’a and GMO’s and training Wildlife Society parrots what to say about horses as if for some reason if someone represents the WS, TNC, Audubon, or Sierra the rest of us should forget everything we’ve ever learned.

    There is some concern over in England right now about the problems revealed through the “Climate Gate” hacking of two East Anglia, UK professors that couldn’t get their hockey sticks to look like now Penn State professor Dr. Michael Mann’s. These folks are concerned that Dr. Mann has been “let off the hook” in the Penn State Review because at least they recognize that once a professor’s scientific credibility is questionsed about even one article in research and there is not an acceptable explanation or admission that an error was made, then all subsequent work that the professor does, if he does any more, is subject to much greater levels of scrutiny.

    So, how do we the people feel about knowing that the professor that made a story about the wild horse and burro that would be diametrically opposite to the language that Congress used. Instead of living momument to our history, he claims that the horse is a non-native, alien, exotic, feral (as in foreign)—-meaning that the horse does not bellong here. Congress said that these horese are integral parts of the western system of public lands where found in 1971; he says that the presence o these horses threaten every plant, animal, indeed the entire ecosystem where found (when you know Al Gore and you get your degree at Harvard, you don’t need proof). Furthermore, Congress said that the horses contribute to the diverse forms of life in the nation, but he says that the horse will destroy all these diverse life forms. Congress said that hires repreent the pioneer spirit; he says that American’s love horses because they are romantic sympols of our triumps over native peoples when the West colonized as much of their land as it could (not sure he means the US West as much as western Europe) but anyway. . . .It ought to be clear enough that the force behind the effort to remove our horse disdains our country, our history, our pioneer spirit, our horses as symbols of our history as well as the spirits of a people always searching or a better way.

    While it appears that I am changing topics, I am just expanding this one slightly because the disregard that this group has for authentic science is a threat to not just our horses or the people that live here, but all around the world. I got an email from Sierra Rise yesterday asking me to sign a petition to make Monsanto and Bayer Crop Science quit using so many pesticides because they are endangering the honey bee.

    This would be such love irony if not for two details. The Sierra Club has been a willing and able partner to the groups that included Monsanto and Bayer Crop Science attempt to remove our wild horses. Second, the very precious lettle group of the IUCN, TNC, UCS et al, has been involved in attempts to control and eradicate the Africanized honey bee. The Africanized honey bee is not a separate species of honey bee from the common honey bees that the Europeans brought here. It is very, very similar in appearance. What this means that if you come up with a way to eradicate the Africanized honey bee, then you can use the same method on all honey bees.

    So we have a world wide honey bee colony collapse–should we be surprised? Should we be concerned? Was this an accident or was it done deliberately to create food scarcity to put even more pressure on food supplies or to allow Monsanto the opportunity to introduce its latest plants that do not require polinazation????



    • It is shocking – we are not gods. I only pray that not too much more damage is done by the time of the election in 2016, and hopefully we can try, try again to get things right!


      • I don’t know who the scientists are this instance, but you can certainly see this trend, see what’s happening with the advancement of delisting wolves to the rest of the lower 48. A group of hand-picked scientists promote a certain theory, and those who didn’t were excluded from the peer review process. This group of concerned scientists are opposing the delisting as being not based on the best available science. I’m not surprised that other not politically advantageous species meet with the same fate. When we realize eventually that we made a mistake, it will be too late. These decisions are politically motivated, and not based on science. Our Secretary of the Interior and Director of Fish and Wildlife, and the BLM are playing politics.

        Scientists Call BS – Bad Science, That Is – on Wolf Delisting


      • Ida, I wish I shared your optimism. I think the next Presidential election will probably swing the country more to the right, and away from more government intervention and programs. If we can’t protect wild horses with a democratic Prez the odds are good we simply can’t at all. Even a Libertarian leader would probably abandon the cause altogether.
        What cannot be tolerated is the absolute silence from our elected officials on these matters, all the way to the top. If they presume to want our votes (which is a fair question) they somehow need to understand they need to take a stand we know their reasoning and likely actions. As it is, nobody is saying anything of any substance, and horses (and other species) are dying away. How, for example, can Sally Jewell be utterly silent on the Bundy situation? Where is the superstar Neil Kornze on this? Prez O? Next Presidential candidates? Anyone besides those immediately involved??? The silence is deafening.


    • HH you have done so much research and continue to bring these issues to light, can you please name this nameless “scientist” so there is some hope of exposing this series of manipulations? I am working 24/7 on this issue in another direction; it would be very helpful to be able to succintly identify this person and his actions, with a timeline. Can you bring it?


  5. BLM may not have been acting illegally but there actions stink worse than dog pooh.

    I hope all horse advocates and the crazy para military group can get together to for a Congressional investigation.



    Update July 9, 2010: Working with Equine Welfare Alliance, the Animal Law Coalition has filed a complaint of possible criminal violations of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act by BLM employees and others. The complaint was sent to the FBI, Office of Inspector General for the Dept. of Interior, the BLM Nevada state office, the BLM Elko Dist. office and BLM enforcement authority.

    These authorities were urged to halt the auction set tomorrow, July 10, 2010, for horses that may well be wild horses from the Toana Herd Management Area. If the horses are sold at auction, many, if not most, are likely to end up slaughtered.
    BLM claims the horses which it rounded up and gave to the NV Dept. of Agriculture are “estray” or basically domesticated horses that belong to or are descended from horses that did belong to local residents. But BLM has presented no evidence to establish the horses are not wild, and there is substantial evidence that the horses are indeed wild horses from the Toana HMA. As such, the horses are entitled to remain free-roaming as components of the public lands. It is also illegal for BLM to sell or arrange for the sale of wild horses for slaughter.

    For more on this, read the call for investigation issued by Equine Welfare Alliance and ALC on July 5, 2010. Also, find attached below for downloading a copy of the Complaint.

    The local county sheriff was also notified about possible violations of NV state law regarding handling of allegedly estray or feral horses.

    Original report July 5, 2010: On June 23, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District office buried on its website a notice that approximately 175 “abandoned, domestic, estray” horses located within Pilot Valley, NV, were scheduled for impoundment beginning June 25. The round up was expected to take 3 – 4 days with corrals set up on nearby private land owned by Simplot Land and Livestock until the horses could be transported and placed under the jurisdiction of the State of Nevada.

    According to Nevada laws, an estray is a horse that is found running loose on public lands but shows signs of domestication and the owner is unknown. A horse is considered “feral” under Nevada law if the animal was domesticated or is the offspring of domesticated horses and has become wild with no physical signs of domestication. The state of Nevada owns estray and feral horses. Wild horses and free-roaming Mustangs are protected by the BLM under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

    Nevada authorities plan to sell the horses rounded up by the BLM at auction on July 10. The horses will be available to all buyers and are therefore at risk of ending up at slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada.

    But serious questions are being raised as to whether these horses are, in fact, estray or feral. After investigating the history and location of the Pilot Valley area, wild horse advocates found Pilot Valley sits at the edge of a known wild horse territory called the Toano Wild Horse Herd Area. BLM wanted to make this area “horse free” in 1993, but according to BLM’s Program statistics, approximately 168 wild horses were reported as still residing in the Toano range as of last year.

    The proximity and near identical number of horses has lead mustang advocates to speculate that the horses the BLM rounded up as estray might actually be wild horses from the Toano range that are entitled to roam free under federal protection. How, they ask, does BLM know these horses are estray or feral and not wild horses?
    Suspicions are further fueled by the unusual suddenness of the roundup, just 48 hours after notice of the removal was posted. “These horses will go from free roaming to sold in fifteen days or less with tight security at the facilities where they are now being held,” said Valerie James Patton, Vice President of Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA).

    “Even BLM’s own news release stated those horses had been there a long time, long enough to grow in size”, Patton added. “So now the question becomes, how long is a long time? Since 1993 when BLM filed papers to zero out the Toano Herd Area?”

    “Given the long history of abuse and impropriety that has characterized the Wild Horse & Burro Program, I have to ask,” said EWA’s Vicki Tobin, “Did BLM openly remove federally protected wild horses from the range to sell them for slaughter because they have no fear of being held accountable? It would be illegal for BLM to round up wild horses declaring them estray and turn them over to the State. The BLM is prohibited from sending wild horses to slaughter, whether directly or indirectly.”

    “Another concern is, there are very specific definitions as to how to determine estray and feral livestock from federally protected wild horses and so far, the only thing we’ve seen is a take-our-word-for-it position from officials”, she said.

    “The Department of Interior has an almost unblemished reputation as a consistent source of scandal, mismanagement and corruption,” explained EWA president John Holland, “starting with Teapot Dome in the Harding Administration through to the current disaster in the Gulf. So when things look this suspicious, questions are bound to arise.”


  7. IcySpots, I’ve been looking…haven’t found anything conclusive so far, but my guess is that it turned out pretty much the same as we’ve seen far too many times. All the more reason to press on.

    This is what caught my attention:

    “Another concern is, there are very specific definitions as to how to determine estray and feral livestock from federally protected wild horses and so far, the only thing we’ve seen is a take-our-word-for-it position from officials”,


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