by Grandma Gregg
First, I want you to take a close look at the photo above of wild horses that were trapped by a BLM hired and approved bait trapping contractor, so that you will be aware that the so called “safe and humane” bait trapping method is not safe and is not humane. This photo is from Freedom of Information (FOIA) data. These horses were obviously seriously injured and likely were euthanized by BLM due to their critical eye injuries.
FOIA PROOF OF HIGH PERCENTAGE OF DEATHS OF BAIT TRAPPED WILD HORSES
Through FOIA data, I discovered that during a 15 month period of wild horse and burro bait/water trapping (October 2012 through December 2013), 634 wild horses and burros were bait/water trapped, and within that same 15 month period, 56 of those were reported as dead.
Unlike the BLM’s usual “injuries and death are not frequent and usually average less than 0.5% to 1.0% [one percent or less] of the total animals captured” propaganda, we can see in actuality these figures prove a 9% (NINE percent, rounded) death rate due to capture by bait/water trapping, by BLM hired and approved contractors.
And, that 9% does not even include the unknown deaths that occurred for these wild horses and burros after that 15 month bait/water trapping period.
How many of these wild horses and burros that were reported as “dead” could actually have been driven “out the back door” and down the slaughter pipeline? Either way, they are dead.
To assist us with knowledge about bait trapping verses helicopter capture, I am providing my responses to a National Mustang Association/Colorado bait trapping proposal. (National Mustang Association comments are in bold italics below.)
National Mustang Association (NMA): Why is bait trapping a desirable alternative to helicopter roundups?
- Far more cost-effective
My response: I realize that using an in-house (BLM employees) bait trapping process could be more cost effective than using private contractors, but most bait trapping is done by BLM hired private contractors who have proven their disregard for wild horses and burros? This makes a huge difference.
- Easier for the horses
My response: Although I realize that in-house (BLM, with continual public observation) bait trapping would likely be safer for the horses themselves, this is not the norm for the BLM’s current private contractor bait trapping contracts, which clearly state that hot-shots are acceptable (if not used on the head or anus or genitals of the animal) and clearly states that no public observation is allowed.
Since anyone who has researched the BLM’s for-hire contractor documentation of animal abuse knows, even when public observers have been allowed in sight of the capture area, the animal abuse was evident; so how can anyone believe that without constant public observation, that the private contractor is giving safe and humane treatment to the wild horses? We cannot – and the facts and photos show us the real truth.
- Better publicity for BLM
My response: BLM’s public image is a NON issue – the entire issue is the 1971 WH&B law that clearly states, “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971. The protection of the wild horses and burros is the only issue – the BLM’s persona has nothing at all to do with the law and procedures to protect the wild horses and burros.
The above information is only a fragment of the wild horse and burro bait trapping story, but it needed to be shared. I wish to add here that I am not, and never will be, in favor of helicopter roundups – they have a long history of animal stress and abuse and deaths – but the public needs to be aware that the bait trapping method is also not acceptable to the American people, who own and care about our wild horses and burros.