Horse News

BLM Files Motion to Dismiss Against Welfare Ranchers While Hinting of Slaughtering Healthy Wild Horses

Update by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Feds Talk out of both sides of their Mouth

Palomino Valley ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Palomino Valley ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

On Tuesday the Department of Interior filed a convoluted motion in U.S. District Court in Reno, to dismiss a suit brought forward by welfare ranchers and grazing interests to accelerate the removal and destruction of federaly protected wild horses and burros on public land.

While at first glance this may seem to be a victory for wild equine advocates the Bureau of Land Management quickly dashed any hopes of new found insight by their attorneys stating that they agree with the special interest cattle barons that there are an excessive number of horses on the millions of acres but their hands are tied due to lack of funds and space for warehousing horses due to their own mismanagement.

“BLM has been largely unable to dispose of excess horses other than through qualifying adoptions and sales, even as demand for horses has declined,” Justice Department lawyers wrote.”Congress has necessarily funded and endorsed BLM’s use of long-term holding facilities to house excess horses until demand for sale or adoption increases, or until Congress lifts its prohibitions on the humane destruction of healthy excess animals,” the attorneys said in their filing.Last summer,

Joan Guilfoyle, chief of BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Division, warned in an internal memo obtained through a FOIA by Wild Horse Freedom Federation that the $70 million program was headed for financial collapse unless drastic changes were made in the roundup policy that she said could be setting U.S. rangeland-improvement goals back 20 years.

30 replies »

  1. It’s hard to “like” a post like this, but thank you for spreading important knowledge about what’s really going on.

    I grew up in Sweden, and admired the very few mustangs that had been imported to the country. Mustangs in other counties are very, rare, exclusive, expensive, very popular, and extremey difficult to buy. I remember looking at horse ads on the internet, and the rare happening that there was a mustang for sale. They were always already gone when I called to make an appointment to meet one of these FANTASTIC HORSES. Often sold for a small fortune!


  2. My suggestion is to fast-track Directors Grants to expand existing private, non-profit sanctuaries and fund new ones that have promising business plans. Imo, the goal should be to take and properly manage family bands, including training for adoption. With all the money the BLM and FS waste, I bet some clever current and former DOI employees (Hello, PEER!) could ferret out the funds to do it.


    • Linda, I respectfully disagree. Privatizing wild horse care on private lands only means taxpayers pay even more and lose even more rights to land and animals we own; it simply shifts the costs elsewhere and it is a sure bet the BLM budget will not be reduced accordingly. Your plan also encourages more removals and devaluation of wild horses and burros in their native wild ecosystems. Public lands and public animals should not be under the control of unaccountable private interests (nonprofit or for profit), period, unless somehow a national referendum was held and the American public and a unanimous act of Congress would pave the way.


    • Linda, I disagree with private sanctuaries. First, it is likely that many of the stallions would be castrated and therefore their blood lines would be snuffed. Further, scholars such as Craig Downer have proven that range land is maintained and kept improved by wild horses and burros and that cloven hoofed animals such as livestock, cattle and sheep, destroy the range land.

      I also second what Icy Spots says about giving jurisdiction of our publicly owned wild horses and burros to private parties who BTW usually profit from these sanctuaries both from government funds and by providing cabins and organizing tours and sight seeing of Wild Horses and Burros in their not so natural habitat. Sweet money if you can land it.


  3. A well paid passel of losers. And intend to kill the horses. That is more than likely why this big push to adopt horses and burros has been – to show the the powers that think they are that they have tried and now just need to send them to slaughter.

    I think everyone might consider a call to their legislative representative to demand they cosponsor and pass HR1094 or S5411. Make a big noise.


    • jan, the ones here in texas are worthless . snail mail .e-mails calls they say we will take in concideration and that is all they do . from what i can see i don’t even know why they are in office………..worthless


  4. It won’t cost the BLM, and thus the American public, anything to just leave the wild horses and burros alone on public lands. And all of the horses and burros in holding facilities can be returned to the public lands from which they came. Mother Nature has been doing a good job of managing wild creatures for thousands of years without the interference of man. And it doesn’t cost anything. Public lands should be restricted to wild animals. The government should not be in the business of destroying wild animals of any kind. If you want to raise sheep or cattle, make sure you own enough land to sustain your herd. That’s how it’s done everywhere else in the country.


  5. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) murdered 4.3 million wild animals, of which 2 million were native species, in fiscal year 2013. The animals included three eagles, one bald and two golden, which are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

    Also killed were 75,326 coyotes; 345 mountain lions; 321 wolves, including one very rare Mexican gray wolf; 603 monkeys; 6,498 vultures; 10,486 mynas, a type of starling; and 37 frogs, among many others.

    How can this be?

    On the one hand, we have the Endangered Species Act, signed into law in 1973 by President Richard Nixon who, in one of his finer moments, declared:

    “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans.”

    The Act has been responsible for saving numerous species from becoming extinct.

    On the other hand, there’s a program called Wildlife Services, which falls under the USDA agency Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and is tasked with managing invasive species and handling wildlife when it interferes with human activities like agriculture and property threats.

    “Wildlife Services” has a positive ring to it, but perhaps its former name, “Animal Damage Control,” is a more accurate description.

    Because, instead of preserving species, it massacres them. The number of animals killed varies widely from year to year, hitting a peak of 5 million in 2008 after remaining at a relatively low 1.5 million in the early 2000s. And last year it reached a disgraceful 4.3 million.

    Over 15 years, at least 40 million animals have been shot, poisoned, snared and trapped by Wildlife Services, which says only that the exterminations are a service to those who “experience damage from wildlife each year.” There’s little data showing the cause for each killing, the exact methods used and the reasons behind the massive numbers of “unintentional” destruction.

    Wildlife Services’ primary purpose is supposed to be the eradication of invasive creatures introduced from other parts of the world.

    But Wildlife Services also kills native animals en masse.

    Here’s how it works: a rancher who thinks wolves are attacking his herd can call in the government, and it will trap, poison, shoot from helicopters, or otherwise wipe out whatever wolves its personnel find nearby just as though it were a private company working for a customer.

    As Carson Barylak, federal policy advisor at the Animal Welfare Institute, put it: “Wildlife Services has long ignored sound science in establishing its priorities, instead taking its cues from ranchers and other ‘cooperators.’ The influence of these private interests has taken precedence over the ecological principles that should be guiding the agency’s decisions, and wildlife is suffering as a result.”

    Let’s think about this: this massive wildlife carnage has been perpetrated to placate ranchers and farmers. Ranchers and farmers slaughter millions of cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, lambs and other so-called “food animals.”

    So Wildlife Services is killing millions of innocent animals as a favor to special interests that also kill innocent animals.

    In addition to the animals noted above, 2013′s toll of 2 million native American animals included 866 bobcats, 528 river otters, 3,700 foxes, 12,186 prairie dogs, 973 red-tailed hawks and 419 black bears.

    You can read the state-by-state report in a 665-page document that details the method of an animal’s capture, along with how many were killed, destroyed, released or relocated, but don’t give any reason for the capture. Some captures are listed as “unintentional,” including the three eagle kills, one of which was captured by “M-44 Cyanide Capsule.” It makes for very depressing and infuriating reading.

    Other methods include paint balls, vehicles, traps, neck snares, bombs and “pyrotechnics” — “like shooting firecrackers at a bunch of birds to get them to move,” said Amy Atwood, a senior attorney at the environmental nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity.

    Atwood described Wildlife Services’ work as “a staggering killing campaign, bankrolled by taxpayers” and happening “beyond the view of most Americans”.

    Last December, the center filed a petition demanding that the agency explain the exact reasons why it makes each kill of a native animal, for whose benefit and the methods used. The petition called Wildlife Services “a rogue agency” that was “out of control.”

    If you agree that U.S. Wildlife Services is out of control, and needs to be held accountable, please sign our petition demanding that the organization act responsibly, work transparently, and treat animals humanely.

    Read more:

    Sound familiar? Wildlife Services must be sleeping with BLM. How in the hell did our government by the people and for the people turn it’s back on what the majority of the people want? It seriously is true that if you have enough money you can do anything you want in this country. Makes me sick. Evil, greedy bastards!


    • Vickie, you are absolutely spot on. What you did not include however is that the methods of killing those millions of wildlife include steel traps, steel snares, guns, drowning, bludgeoning, bombs, beating, dog attacks, poisoning, and any other possible violent means which I may have overlooked putting in this list. If the means of killing is brutal, the Wild Life Services uses it.

      Keep in mind that there has been extensive effort to hide the truth that the first mammal in North America was a horse, that horses and burros have been native to North America for 38 to 55 million years, and that it is likely that horses never went extinct not even during the Pleistocene Event – and if they did, they would be a returned native. Horses crossed the land bridge known as the Bering Straits, and populated Asia and Europe. If the tiny Spanish ships were actually able to bring breeding pairs across the Atlantic, it was to bring them as a returned native. There is no such thing as a “feral” horse. That is simply horse hater’s propaganda. Feral does after all mean “WILD”.

      You are so correct in that we American People are truly being ignored. So what are we going to do about it? What about burning pitchforks at every federal building at a coordinated time and in a unified effort. Not sure that the OCCUPY movement didn’t try, but not in behalf of all of us on all of our issues. I am not able physically to organize this, but I would donate and write and do all in my power if we could get an organized effort going.


    • Please send this to FB and may I copy your reply to send to my legislators? You mad some very good points that I was unaware of and I am sure others too have been enlightened. Thanks, let me know?


    • Thanks for this articulate post, Vicki. I am a member of CBD and WesternWatershedsProject, both of whom are working hard to deny the unscrupulous, criminal behavior of “Wildlife Services” (doncha just love that euphemism? —it’s like the notorious “collateral damage” used to describe killing civilians in our wars) This killing agency is a private service arm of the livestock industry and is going to be exposed, FINALLY, as to its true nature. Several well placed wildlife groups are going after these criminals. What you forgot to mention, as well, is the failure to document the many domestic animals—pets, etc—which die from the killing agenda of the terrible government agency. The disruption of predator/prey relationships in a functioning ecosystem by the poisoning, trapping, and shooting is incalculable damage to already beleaguered populations. BLM is a extension of this mindset of human centric control and management of systems of Nature which we actually destroy for our selfish purposes.
      People can support CBD and other groups which fight these depredations very hard, and which indirectly benefit the mustangs.


      • Susan, thanks for good words and work! Here I would like to suggest we all try to refrain from using the word “mustang” however, since it derives from the Spanish word for stray horse. In honor of the native American horses I have ceased using that term (though not without some struggle!).


    • Vicki, someday it will be man’s turn. Mother Nature will rebel against us who are destroying our planet and our wildlife. It will probably be in the way of an astroid, global warming or super volcano. Our turn will come.


    • And if it is not the government agencies then it is the sicko part of the public:
      And how many animals suffered and died from thirst in the heat or slowly bled to death during past years during and before this investigation? And I think he got a $5,000 fine and he can’t hunt for a year … grrrrrrrrr… for effectively slowly torturing at least 60 wild animals to death.
      Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival.


  6. “BLM has been largely unable to dispose of excess horses other than through qualifying adoptions and sales, even as demand for horses has declined,” Justice Department lawyers wrote.”
    Here’s an idea: Put them BACK where ya found them…particularly the old ones that ya know will NEVER be adopted.
    There seems to be an unbreakable notion among the upper management of the Wild Horse and Burro Program that the Program, as it’s currently utilized, is the ONLY method of use that ‘works’. We know better than that.
    It isn’t, hasn’t, doesn’t work, and this crisis the Program is facing has been authored and escalated by it’s own mismanagement because the BLM refuses to consider even the remote possibility that it is WRONG.
    We know within a reasonable certainty, for instance, that wild equine population estimates are – you should pardon the term – Bull Shit. We know that segments of the Program that could determine within a reasonable certainty how many are actually out there are nearly absent funding, while segments that continue to add to the problems – roundups and holding costs – garner the majority of the funding.
    We know that the Infertility Program will exacerbate on the range problems because the entire drive is toward one of permanent sterility for a majority of the animals – including, astonishingly, the miniscule remains of our wild burro herds. The BLM isn’t discussing temporary infertility; it’s entire embracing of infertility and sterility is geared toward zero population growth, ensuring that, within the next 30 years, there will be no wild equine herds anywhere in the West.
    During the recent Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Sacramento, there was a great deal of enthusiastic conversation between the Board and Ms. Guilfoyle regarding chemical & surgical spaying and castration of wild equines on the range – and little else. Nearly all the Board and Ms. Guilfoyle are very excited at the prospect of experimenting on these animals with whatever tools are available without once stopping to think that not one of them can be certain – past what they’ve been led to believe – if this crisis even exists.
    But that would necessitate an interest in preserving wild horses and burros, even those in captivity, and not simply the enthusiastic planning of their demise.


    • The horse haters will use any means possible to eliminate the horses. They are evil people. Experimentation is done by evil people. UCLA still supports vivisection. Japan and Norway brutally slay dolphins. Asian countries almost all eat tortured dogs and cats; they slay dogs, cats, and wildlife violently for fur. Australians shoot their horses from helicopters. American ranchers and hunters shoot predators including wolves in killing contests and from helicopters.

      We are a sick species. But I believe that those of us who love our horses will lead the end to these atrocities. Companion animals instill love in the hearts of the loving and we shall prevail. We shall. We must.



    Very few BLM officials are willing to take meaningful steps to prevent this destruction of our public resources.

    However, one responsible official,
    BLM Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado,
    has had the courage to implement reductions to livestock grazing on depleted rangelands under his jurisdiction.

    Despite the modest nature of the proposed grazing restrictions, ranchers are attacking Mr. Furtado and calling for his removal.
    Across the West, ranchers are bullying and threatening illegal action against the BLM to defend what they erroneously believe is their “right” to graze private livestock on our public rangelands and the BLM is consistently caving in to their demands.
    It’s time to show BLM Director Neil Kornze, BLM Nevada State Director Amy Leuders and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval that American citizens want our federal public lands protected and that leadership is needed to support responsible
    BLM officials who take necessary steps to reduce or eliminate livestock grazing during these dire times. Please speak up now by personalizing and sending the sample letter below.


    • Thanks, Louie C. I sent my letter and emailed my friends using their link, but be aware that link needs fixing. I sent them a “contact” note, but do not know if they will see it and fix it. I also think they should be referring to these ranchers as Clive Bundy ranchers. We need passion and truth is truth.

      If anyone knows someone who can bring to their attention that their email message has a crowded link that not everyone will figure out, please let them know. Thanks.


    • Louie – did comment regarding this BLM manager who actually understands that its necessary to reduce livestock grazing. Unfortunately, I’m afraid hes one of the few!
      But the form letters alone without any personal comment probably don’t count as an individual letter.


  8. Get the private owned animals off the HORSES LAND,Get rid of all the so called agency’s that are suppose to over see wild life and our public lands and create only one that is composed of scientist,animal welfare advocates,and persons representing the American public and tax payers for oversite.
    The mass destruction that is going on now is going to wipe the earth bare of animals,water,trees,oceans and all living things we are fast becoming an arid wasteland where nothing exists except for perhaps Corp,Big Ag and welfare ranchers.


  9. Same old, same old isn’t going to work, and it has been underscored by the NAS report. Perhaps it’s best if the old regime does collapse, and is reorganized and begins anew.


  10. Put the mares that are captured, on birth control, and let them loose. Adopt out what you can. Maybe castrate some of the foals. Do not send to slaughter. That is inhumane, wrong and not our right to do. They have as much a right to live as we do. That goes for all animals.


  11. Maggie, you’re right. We do have to add our own comments for them to count on a petition. An individual fax, letter or email is even better.
    The website that I linked provides the necessary postal and email addresses.


  12. 1998 – For 24 hours Wildlife Services’ Lethal Control Program was in jeopardy of being completely eliminated. A bill introduced by Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon passed in the House that would have cut all federal funding for lethal predator control. The amendment passed 229 to 193. Unfortunately, after passage, powerful Republican house members Bob Smith of Oregon and Joe Skeen of New Mexico worked the phones overnight with the help of the American Farm Bureau to invalidate this vote. In an unprecedented move, they called for a revote the following day based on a technicality in amendment wording. In the revote the bill failed 232 to 191.

    Wow. Maybe we could try again. Times have changed, but we refuse to change along with the times. This kind of extensive killing isn’t necessary, especially in modern times.


Leave a Reply to nvwmnJudy Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.