Horse News

Checkerboard Wild Horse Roundup Day 3

On-Site observations by Carol Walker ~ Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“It is a short day for the Checkerboard roundup as the helicopters do the final sweeps to make sure they got every last horse in this area…”

14Roundup3 (7 of 61)-Edit

14Roundup3 (8 of 61)-EditHere I am again in the Rock Springs BLM parking lot before dawn waiting to head out to the trap. This is Day 3 of the Checkerboard Roundup in Wyoming. I was told last night they only have a few horses left to capture at this site, and I may or may not see anything given we cannot see the trap or the approach to it at this site.

This is in Great Divide Basin. I am hoping that group of beautiful bachelors that eluded capture yesterday are headed far far north outside the Checkerboard.

14Roundup3 (24 of 61)-EditI have been at the observation site for an hour. I finally heard both helicopters, and one was hovering for a while on the other side of the hill near the trap so I assume some horses were brought in out of my line of site. Now both helicopters are working at a distance looking for horses, needing to get the last few that remain in this area.

Just now two groups of three each with a stallion, mare and foal came through together and behind the hill with the trap. Then a grey stallion was driving a bay mare and a sorrel mare with a black foal lagging way behind. He was running, trying to catch up to his family the last I saw. He looked like he was at least a couple of months old and in good condition, so hopefully he caught up before his family was moved into the trap. Usually if a foal is separated from its family the Cattoors will send a rider to get the foal, but no rider has come out. I did ask about the foal and his family, and just found out that the little black foal was reunited with his family in the trap.

14Roundup3 (45 of 61)-EditIt is a short day for the Checkerboard roundup as the helicopters do the final sweeps to make sure they got every last horse in this area before they break down the trap and move it to another area in Great Divide Basin for tomorrow.

As I drive by Patrick Draw road where I had spent some time with 6 families who were peacefully grazing there three days ago, it looks so empty, with no wild horses anywhere to be found. This is the future of the rest of the Checkerboard lands in Wyoming.

14Roundup3 (48 of 61)-EditAll photos by Carol Walker

63 replies »

  1. We ae all doomed. The BLM has aligned with the cattle interests today, they are using each other to eliminate the horses and burros. Tomorrow the government will betray the cattle ranchers for bigger fish, bigger money. They can be bought as with all in our government today. There is not a hero among them, not one champion of the majority of us. There are forces at work here that they do not want us to understand and even though we think we know what is going on, we are only seeing what we are allowed to see. We are the government, we the people. What is happening and can it be stopped? How do we stop the little Hitlers from prevailing (Harry Reid and his ilk)? Well, at least I can tweet, email, and call for now. One of the BLM pr people actually returned my call on Monday and thankfully I was able to refute every last lie she was telling me. Do not fall for their smug, scripted answers. They are professionals!

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    • Wyoming has also been airing a commercial touting tourism that shows wild horses running. I get angry every time I see it. I guess it’s just one more way to exploit and profit from wild horses.

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  2. So, how many horses were rounded up and did that number match the number the BLM said was out there in the first place? Clearing public land for private use. I am so angry I could spit nails.

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  3. I no longer have faith in our government, these roundups by the BLM are just criminal and stupid beyond words. The current administration and congress have allowed this poorly staffed and manned agency to do whatever they want, without oversight and neglecting the will of the American people.

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  4. As much as I think the race horse industry contributes to the problem, there may be some of the more understanding, intelligent racehorse people who would get it, that by reducing and extincting the mustang, they are being deprived of a vital contributing genetic pool. (Perhaps some may want to help– some may have much influence.) My theory is because of their wildness and more natural life, their genes are may be stronger and better in many ways than some of the top race horses. And these genes are disappearing progressively every day, I’d say forever. As each thing we devalue and lose is actually more valuable than we can imagine, and we have little idea the immensity and transcendence we are deprived of. I’d say this is an emergency of the largest magnitude! This is the post I was looking at that made me start thinking about that. https://www.facebook.com/BlackCaviarOfficial/photos/pcb.728411027196250/728410313862988/?type=1&theater

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    • Martha, it’s not just theory – TB horses all trace back to only 3 horses, and wild horses as we know have endured natural selection pressures for millennia. The domestic horse gene pool has been shown to be drastically bottlenecked, and in my lifetime I can vouch for the results – some superstars and a lot of horses that can’t think, have hopeless hooves, and structural flaws which often make them either unrideable or dangerous. And expensive…

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  5. Apparently public lands are only for the wealthy ranchers to enjoy and exploit, and our tax dollars to help support and make them even wealthier. I’m sure they look down on people who actually need welfare. The BLM is so corrupt! Where are all of the celebrities and PETA and the Humane Society? Why are the wealthy in this country able to buy politicians and judges? They’ve even bought off the Supreme Court. How are regular American citizens supposed to compete with that? If there are so many millions of acres of public lands, why can’t some of it be designated strictly for the wild horses and burros and the captured ones rehomed there? This whole situation just sucks. I will never eat beef again, not that that will matter since most of the welfare rancher beef is being shipped overseas.

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    • Land was designated for the wild horses and burros as far back as 1971, when the LAW was passed by Congress that gave the BLM their “job.” They were charged to “Protect and maintain the free-roaming wild horses and burros of this country.” Need I say more? — BTW: Celebrities just show up for photo ops; PETA and HSUS spend more $$$ on administration and “photo ops” than they do on the animals’ behalf. HSUS befriended Michael Vick and made him a ‘spokesperson’ … seriously? They self-promote, ad nauseum. They will do NOTHING for the horses of this country … wild or domestic. If all (of them) were actually doing their advertised roles, the S.A.F.E. Act would have been passed over a year ago! Instead, that bill is still held prisoner in a congressional committee by folks who want horse slaughter to come back to the USA; and further, Speaker of the House, John Boehner has vowed to “never let this bill come to the floor of the House for a vote!” Really, John? Whose HOUSE does he think it is? Sen. Harry Reid (NV), Senate Majority Leader, inspired the secretly drafted BURNS Amendment, which then allowed BLM to release captive wild horses to known killer buyers. They don’t call him “Dirty Harry” for nothing. — We are in a fight where we are out-muscled and out-spent by the very people we elected as our “representatives.” And that goes for anywhere in the country! The time is coming to REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

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    • My exact thoughts and questions, as well Vickie! I’ve been asking the same questions…where are ALL the animal rights groups that could be speaking out for their protection? And, why not allow a portion from the million of acres of public land for them to roam? There is no doubt, justice is being denied for our wild horses, as well as, the American people. So very, very sad.

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  6. From the BLM
    “Removal related animal deaths: 1
    Cause: A 16-month old bay stud colt was found dead in a short-term holding pen this morning. The necropsy revealed an acute neck injury likely the result of running into a panel during the night.”

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  7. Looking at these photos I am puzzled by how it has been described as an area that is “too difficult” for private owners to fence out wildlife (one excuse for this situation). There are canyons in some parts but not most of this area. It’s certainly flat enough for haul roads and oil tanks.

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    • I don’t think the “too difficult” theory holds up here either. I think it is more a matter of convenience and expense. Fences cost money, and then you lose access to all of that free grazing land for the cattle if you have to keep them behind your fence in order to keep the wildlife out. I just keep thinking that with all of the millions of acres of public lands out there, that there has to be enough to support the remaining wild herds as well as the already captured equines if it could be devoted exclusively to wildlife. Do people really have to be that greedy?

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      • Vickie, I was thinking specifically about the “fence out” law in WY and how it has been somehow circumvented for a handful of RSGA ranchers who don’t want to obey the same laws every other citizen must. Some writers have mentioned it was “too difficult” or “impractical” … but compared to what? If other businesses can write off building fences as an expense, why isn’t the playing field the same for all private interests? How is it these few are above the law?

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      • Man, for the most part, has no respect for other members of the vast pattern that is the planet’s population. Never has had. If you can’t eat it, you kill it. For them, that simple. Me, we don’t EVEN want to go there!

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  8. The BLM is using the cattle ranchers…probably be glad to have them off their backs as they pay so little for all the resources they use and also if it is true that much of the beef goes overseas. They will favor whoever has the big money and try to tell us it is all to benefit the American taxpayer who is to stupid to be in on the decision-making. What a sick and immoral system…is the government a reflection of who we have become? One has to ask.

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  9. i’m sitting here wondering what these greedy ranchers are going to do when the stinkin” b.l.m. comes callin” like when the bundy thing happened and they decide they want their ( like it’s not public lands that belongto the people) for a more lucrative deal and they don’t want to share with the greedy ranchers . wind farms stupid azzez = chinese dollars . i am so sad typing trought these tears is making writing very hard !
    so how many of the horses were rounded up Bet nowhere near to what those azz- holl liars said !! and you can bet DIRTY HARRY REID is up to his EYEBROWS IN BLAME for this . elise , i’m very sorry about that colt losing his life like that but he won’t have to worry about waiting in a line to lose his life . i’m so mad. and the b.l.m. is nothing but brown-nosers and FOOLS.

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  10. There might be some here who have not yet seen this:

    George Knapp is a two-time Peabody Award winner as well as a 19-time Emmy Award-winning journalist.
    Other awards include the Associated Press’s Mark Twain Award for news writing and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting. George is an anchor and reporter for the CBS affiliate KLAS-TV in Las Vegas and he also writes a weekly column for a Las Vegas newspaper.

    Part one covers the history of the BLM’s lies and provides the factual counterpoint to those lies from a former BLM employee, Craig Downer, who quit in disgust and has proven the BLM’s data is false. Part one also covers the investigations into the bogus data used to support these lies, via FOIA work done by a private citizen, Cindy MacDonald, that shows what the true motivations are behind these heinous acts. We’ll also get a glimpse into George’s 20 plus year investigation of this activity , the truth about the horses, their land and how it’s been handed over to Big Agriculture (Corporate Cattle Ranches) and Big Oil, all at the expense of the U.S. Tax Payer and in violation of U.S. Federal Law.

    http://video.abovetopsecret.com/video7197/ATS_News_-_The_Mustang_Conspiracy_-_Part_1/

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  11. PART TWO

    In Part two of our hard hitting ATSNews Special Report: “SEX, DRUGS, MUSTANGS, CORRUPTION and BP TOO”, ATSnews’ Mark Allin (AKA: Springer) and 17 time Emmy Award Winner, KLAS 8 News Now (Las Vegas, NV) Investigative Reporter, George Knapp discuss the unbelievable corruption, sex and drug parties and payola schemes that transpired between the MMS and several Big Oil Companies. The Inspector General of the U.S. investigated the “Culture of Substance Abuse and Corruption” that ran rampant through the Denver Office of the MMS and several big oil companies from 2002 through 2006. The U.S. Taxpayer was bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars, the environment was utterly neglected, the affected areas populations were at great risk (and still are), all for the betterment of a handful of Big Oil Companies’ bottom lines.

    http://video.abovetopsecret.com/video7198/ATS_News_-_The_Mustang_Conspiracy_-_Part_2/

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    • Time to boycott BP. Seriously, how do we get this report onto the national news? I’m sure our current government is way more corrupt than it was back in 1971 when the Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed, but I wonder if another school children campaign would have any impact. I spent some time at a mustang sanctuary in Illinois today and saw these beautiful, formerly wild horses up close and personal. Just saw American Mustang, the movie also. How do you stop the outright lies and bullshit that is coming out of the BLM, especially when the rest of the government is just as corrupt. Where is a hero for the people (and horses)?

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      • Yes, This makes me sick. The People need to stand up to BLM. Are even the Hollywood people AFRAID TO TACKLE THEM? The BLM I believe has broken many laws. They need to be prosecuted!! I wish we all could go to Stand up to BLM in person at the roundups. 200,000 strong? Yah!!! Some one needs to organize this?

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  12. This is disgusting.! How do “we the people” STOP this creedant government from doing this?? We the people have no more say/vote. !?
    Why is this Not animal cruelty or animal abuse to trap these beautiful/intelligent creatures. Why does the government Not except other solutions?? (Most of us know why) I say capture all the government officials that voted for this insanity and take them away from their family’s and ship them to auctions and whatever happens!! These horse are intelligent and have feelings & are living breathing beings!!!! Can there be a March on BLM or Washington?? Something please!!

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  13. This is all just wrong!!! Let those beautiful animals live the life they have been living since way before we took their land anyway, just as the wildlife that end up dead on the side of the roads cause they are confused with all the building going on everywhere in this world!!!!!
    This just makes me so mad!!!! I jusst dont understand it!!!!!! LEAVETHE POOR HORSES ALONE!!!! Let them roam free, they are the most beautiful wild animal out there, well with a few exceptitons.. But still LET THEM ROAM FREE!!! it isn’t like they are going in housing develpments and making a ruckus & even if they did they would find their way back out to their home!!!! Why is the government doing this?? I love seeing the wild horses roaming free in the vast open land as I drive on the roads… LET THEM ROAM FREE!!!!!!!

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  14. OUR Tax Dollars at work

    2014 Checkerboard Removal Daily Reports
    http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/14cb-removal/dailyreports.html

    September 17
    For the first part of the day, two helicopters gathered 15 mares, 13 studs and 8 colts at the Bitter Creek #2 Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.
    Animals gathered and removed: 36

    Removal related animal deaths: 1

    Cause: A yearling bay colt was found dead in a short-term holding pen. The necropsy revealed an acute neck injury likely the result of running into a panel during the night

    September 18
    One helicopter gathered 23 mares, 29 studs and 12 colts at the Black Rock Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.
    Animals gathered and removed: 64

    Removal related animal deaths: 2

    Cause: A three-and-a-half month old black filly was found dead in a short-term holding pen. A necropsy was performed but the cause of death is undetermined. Cause: A six-month-old brown colt collapsed in a horse trailer. The necropsy revealed that the colt had scar tissue and nodules on its lungs, indicating that it likely had pneumonia previously. Tissue has been sent for testing with results expected in several weeks.

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  15. @louie thank-you , i had not seen those before , i just e-mailed my rep’s again now i’m fixin”to open a can of whoop-azz . i’m tired of these almighty elite son of bastard that they are . ok , my question is how in the hell do we fight them . i do think it’s past time to protest in person .

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  16. There are 2 more deaths now. BLM reports:
    One helicopter gathered 23 mares, 29 studs and 12 colts at the Black Rock Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.
    Animals gathered and removed: 64
    Removal related animal deaths: 2
    Cause: A three-and-a-half month old black filly was found dead in a short-term holding pen. A necropsy was performed but the cause of death is undetermined. Cause: A six-month-old brown colt collapsed in a horse trailer. The necropsy revealed that the colt had scar tissue and nodules on its lungs, indicating that it likely had pneumonia previously. Tissue has been sent for testing with results expected in several weeks.

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    • Sounds like that might be the black foal that Carol was talking about having a hard time keeping up on the second day. I think this is what hurts the most. These babies, ran for miles and miles. If they do survive the stampede, I’m sure they suffer their whole lives. Too brutal on their young bones and organs. The adults have a hard enough time, the babies have no chance. To top it off, the BLM doesn’t even recognize their existence or deaths. The fight continues and we must win to get this stopped forever!!!!!.

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  17. Senseless roundups by the BLM. I just keep on asking myself, “why?” Removing these wild horses from their range is wrong. These horses can’t handle these brutal helicopter roundups. They are scared and confused. After that they get crammed into pens with other wild horses that they might not get along with. What is the BLM motto “Death and destruction for all American’s Wild Horses.

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  18. Animal Advocates Sue Bureau of Land Management Over Western Horses and Withheld Public Records
    http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/animal-advocates-sue-bureau-of-land-management-over-western-horses-and-withheld-public-records/#.VBi8qs10DXw.facebook
    Posted on September 16, 2014

    Roundups of Wild Horses on Public Lands Stir Controversy, Feature in Documentary Exposé

    A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit was filed this month against the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for withholding public records from filmmaker James Kleinert. The BLM has been investigating Kleinert and his film company, presumably in retaliation for making documentary films Wild Horses & Renegades,

    Saving the American Wild Horse, and Wild Horse Spirit, which expose the BLM’s cruel roundups of wild horses on public land and allege corruption within the Department of the Interior. “Roundups” involve herding horses into corrals using helicopters and separating them from their families. The national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has reason to believe that wild horses corralled by the BLM end up for sale for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. The federal lawsuit was filed September 3, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. ALDF is providing consulting assistance to Kleinert’s attorney, Daniel J. Stotter.

    The lawsuit, Kleinert v. Bureau of Land Management, alleges that the BLM violated its duty under FOIA to provide records documenting the BLM’s investigation of Kleinert and his film company as he filmed roundups over the last decade. The BLM was required to provide all records and respond to this FOIA request within 20 working days of receiving it. The BLM now has 30 days to file a response to Kleinert’s lawsuit.

    “Rounding up wild horses from public lands for the sake of private ranchers who want to graze cattle and sheep is outrageous,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “The Bureau of Land Management should be protecting wild horses, not virtually guaranteeing their slaughter or targeting filmmakers who expose what’s going on.”

    Copies of the lawsuit are available upon request.

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    • Speaking of withheld public records, where is the report identifying the necropsy results of the 80+ horses (and counting) that have died in the feedlot in Kansas in the past three months? It’s been over a month since their website reported any “news.” Will we have to file a FOIA to ever learn what happened and which horses have died? It must have been something very unusual to take so long to identify the causes of death – and odd when knowing they euthanized at least 15 right away since they knew they would not recover… from what?

      http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/august/NR_08_15_2014.html

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      • This BLM report actually raises more questions than it answers. Do they consider old age in a horse to be a “condition that they can not recover from”? If that’s the case, there are probably several BLM employees who should be euthanized. I noticed in small print at the end of that BLM report where they claim to have made 47 billion dollars from the use of public lands last year. If so, why are they complaining that they don’t have enough money for the wild horse and burro program? Oh yeah, because it is going into their pockets. Think how much they could save (and add to their pockets) if they just left the wild horses and burros alone on the original herd management areas that were designated for them “primarily” by Congress in 1971. Of course, that might make it hard for them to justify their jobs.

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  19. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/22/806929/-Salazar-the-Slaughter-Czar-Sky-Protest-Over-Denver#

    On Sunday November 22nd, as on the previous Friday (as reported in the Denver Post and 5280 Denver’s Magazine), a plane and banner message critical of Secretary Salazar will be flying over Denver, prior to the Denver Broncos game. Frustrated and angry over continued Wild Horse round-ups, the message sponsors are working toward a conversation on the real issues on our public lands discussed in this press release.

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  20. Great but sad article, Louie. Unfotunately, not much has changed since then. Our wildlife is still under attack for the livestock industry. How many millions die each year by Wildlife Services ? Our buffalo are still slaughtered along with the wolves and other apex predators. The rancher’s dream is to look out their window and see nothing but livestock and extraction facilities.

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  21. Sad sad sad for the destruction of yet another bunch of wild horses who now face a waiting death & for what, so cattle & sheep & whatever other livestock can destroy yet more land for ranchers who continue to overextend their boundaries, for greed.

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  22. This crap needs to stop…let the horses run free or either adopt them out for a small fee but don’t kill them,they deserve to live just like you.

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  23. Trying to find updates today – seems after 10 days they have rounded up only around 350 horses (not the 900 or so planned) – and found this official announcement. Notice it says the “removal comes at the request of a private landowner”… not the RSGA. Wonder who this one landowner is that evidently can marshall a massive federal expenditure to chase down horses that don’t seem to exist in the declared numbers?

    http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2014/september/11rsfo-check.html

    Release Date: 09/11/14
    Contacts: Shelley Gregory
    307-315-0612

    BLM Proceeds with Checkerboard Wild Horse Removal

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office will proceed with the removal of all wild horses from checkerboard lands within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs).

    Preparations will commence on Sept. 12. Removal operations are anticipated to begin on Sept. 15. Public observation will depend on access, location, operational activity and weather. To be informed of these observation opportunities, please contact Shelley Gregory at 307-315-0612 or ssgregory@blm.gov to have your name added to the notification list.

    This removal comes at the request of a private land owner and is authorized under Section 4 of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which requires the removal of wild horses from private lands at the request of a landowner. This removal is also required under the provisions of the court-approved 2013 Consent Decree between the BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which provides a schedule for the removal of wild horses from checkerboard lands within the HMAs.

    For more information about the wild horse removal and observation opportunities, please visit http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/14cb-removal.html.

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  24. I read somewhere that they were herding the horses to the private lands to legitimize rounding them up. The degree of deception and deviousness is just incredible. What a great example the government is setting for we, the people.

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  25. The government doesn’t care about “We, the people”. They only care about how to make the most money to line their own pockets r see gardless of who it hurts. I will no longer vote along party lines. I will be voting for those who at least appear to care about animals and the environment, and not just pay lip service to these issues.

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