How did wild burros in the Oatman area of Arizona (part of the Black Mountain HMA) catch equine influenza?

“the only way for unvaccinated animals to catch equine influenza is to be around it”

photo by Marjorie Farabee of Wild Horse Freedom Federation  photo by Marjorie Farabee, Dir. Wild Burro Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

SOURCE: havasunews.com

BLM issues alert on equine influenza

by

The best advice Darla Wright can give to the owners of unvaccinated domestic horses and burros right now is to stay away from Oatman.

Wright, an equine veterinarian at Wright Veterinary Services in Kingman, said the only way for unvaccinated animals to catch equine influenza is to be around it. Horses and burros that have been vaccinated are immune to it.

An equine influenza alert was issued Friday for the Kingman area by the Bureau of Land Management.

The alert warned that domestic horses or burros that have been in the Oatman area recently may have been exposed to some infected wild burros.

Recent veterinary tests confirmed that two burros in the Oatman area have died from the illness, one on May 19 and another on May 21.

Wright said an update on the situation was released several days ago by the Office of the State Veterinarian, but she hasn’t seen any local cases of the illness, which she called a common cold in horses and burros. Most of her equine clients have been vaccinated for it, she added.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem for us because we’re not really that close to Oatman and most people ride around here,” said Wright. “The only way to prevent the spread of the illness is to stay away from infected animals and don’t use common water troughs there.”

The BLM also cautioned local horse and burro owners to limit contact with the wild burrows in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area, which includes Oatman. People also are advised not to feed wild burros or provide water to them, particularly near domestic animals.

The disease affects equines only and is not a threat to humans or other animals. The highly contagious respiratory disease, which occurs normally in horse and burro populations, can be spread through direct contact or sharing feeding or water troughs.

17 comments on “How did wild burros in the Oatman area of Arizona (part of the Black Mountain HMA) catch equine influenza?

  1. hold on here, How exactly did the wild burros catch this? It is not naturally occurring-it would have been caught from domestic animals being introduced -or possibly introduced through BLM personel-in the old government trick used on the indians-blankets infected with plague” or in this case contaminated water troughs..wild horses are the least likely to come down with this infection..more needs to be fleshed out on how this happened…this idea that most people vaccinate their horses is not true…many are lucy to get enough to eat let alone be vaccinated

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    • Exactly. Blm are the most cruel, manipulative, self serving group. They don’t preserve or protect, they sell out living BEINGS for $$$$$. Heartless. Next they will want to round them up and kill them. Watch. That’s how they work

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    • 11th HOUR FOR ARIZONA WILD BUROS
      OpEd by Marjorie Farabee
      https://rtfitchauthor.com/2015/05/01/11th-hour-for-arizonas-wild-burros/

      “The burros have never had it easy with our government agencies. The fox is guarding the hen house when it comes to protections for this nation’s icons of our pioneering past. They are symbols of our culture and living natural icons of our pioneering history. Yet, our own governmental agency which is tasked with protecting our wild burros and horses, because of this important connection to our past, is cavalierly managing them to extinction without remorse.”

      The Black Mountain HMA is presently 1.1 million acres, but if developers of wind, gas, and agriculture have their way this HMA will soon be reduced and all the wildlife living on it will suffer. In the BLM count of 2013 the burro population came to just over 700 animals, yet they would have us believe that the population has grown to a whopping 1600-1800 burros in one short year and a half. This means even the jacks are having twins and they are all immortal.

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  2. BLM in Kingman recently captured 20 “nuisance” Burros. They were taken to temporary holding pens in Kingman.

    From on-site reports, it has been discovered that access to water is part of the problem that leads to some of those vehicle/Burros collisions….the Burros have to cross the highway in order to get to water. There have been changes to their Herd Management Area and apparently, the Burros were not consulted beforehand.

    The Kingman area is looking for growth and expan$ion. The Wild Burros just might be an impediment?

    In order to know WHO issued the formal complaint, a FOIA must be filed.

    http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/whb/bullhead-whb.html
    The BLM Colorado River District, Lake Havasu Field Office used bait trapping to gather and remove wild burros in the Bullhead City area outside the Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA), Mohave County, Arizona. The bait trapping and removal was requested by private landowners in the area due to wild burros creating hazardous situations along public highways and private property. The field office has completed a Categorical Exclusion in accordance with the BLM Departmental Manual Part 516, Chapter 11.9.
    Details of the Gather:

    The BLM gathered 20 wild burros in the Bullhead City area. These wild burros were outside the HMA and were causing damage to private property. Burros in the area also are a public hazard along a heavily traveled highway. There have been numerous automobile/wild burro collisions over the past few years.

    The gather was conducted by BLM employees. Small corrals holding hay, supplement, or water were used to lure the burros through a gate. The BLM will not offer public observation opportunities because the trap sites are on private property.
    Twenty wild burros were collected and the gather is completed

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  3. And since BLM and the Oatman business owners only allow a maximum of about 10 jennies and foals in the town (they capture the jacks and others almost every year – thanks to the Oatman business owners’ complaints – yep, the same business owners who make their $$$ from the tourist attraction for those burros .. grrrrrr) … how about the other wild burros on the HMA? How many have died in the desert from this that we don’t know about? And as Sandra said, how did these wild burros catch this?

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    • For one BLM are the ones who put the numbers of burros that are allowed in Oatman and yes the young jacks are removed by BLM. Some have been adopted out thanks to some individuals in town. Have you been in Oatman when there is more than one jack in town on a busy day and they are fighting running up and down the sidewalks running over tourist? Obviously not. It became dangerous for tourist which 80% of them are elderly and some weren’t able to get out of their way resulting in injurys. Public safety is the reason burros are removed from Oatman. Most of the store owners know that if it wasn’t for the burros Oatman would probably be a defiant ghost town. I’m not saying in anyway that BLM gives a shit about the burros because it’s obvious they don’t .

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    • It seems to me that the Oatman store owners, who make money from the Wild Burros, have been complicit in creating a “nuisance Burro” problem. They can’t have it both ways…using them for a tourist attraction and then discarding them when they become a “problem”. The Burros pay the price. We all know that feeding Wild Animals in a bad practice. Look what happens when people feed the Bears in Yellowstone or in other National Parks. When there’s Wildlife/Human conflict, it’s always the animals that pay the price for the human-created problem.
      These Wild Burros belong to ALL of us and they belong in the Wild, on their Legal Herd Management Areas….not in town where they are used as a tourist draw and then discarded.

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  4. THANK YOU for being there

    Marjorie Farabee Wild Horse Freedom Federation and
    Simone Netherlands Respect 4 Horses

    The burros have never had it easy with our government agencies. The fox is guarding the hen house when it comes to protections for this nations icons of our pioneering past. They are symbols of our culture and living natural icons of our pioneering history. Yet, our own governmental agency which is tasked with protecting our wild burros and horses, because of this important connection to our past, is cavalierly managing them to extinction without remorse.

    The Black Mountain HMA is presently 1.1 million acres, but if developers of wind, gas, and agriculture have their way this HMA will soon be reduced and all the wildlife living on it will suffer. In the BLM count of 2013 the burro population came to just over 700 animals, yet they would have us believe that the population has grown to a whopping 1600-1800 burros in one short year and a half. This means even the jacks are having twins and they are all immortal.

    Recently, Simone Netherlands, representing Respect4Horses (R4H), and Marjorie Farabee, representing Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), joined up to attend both scoping meetings being held by the BLM in Kingman and Bullhead City, AZ. The BLM’s presentation of damage caused by wild burros was lacking in scientific data or actual observation from reputable studies. They simply showed a photo zeroed in on a small area that would have some plants which were grazed or damaged. This was their “proof” that wild burros were damaging the desert. When the HMA was set up in 1974 there were over 2000 burros living easily on this land. Now, the number allowed has been reduced to a mere 478 burros for this vast HMA. Meanwhile cattle are grazed with well over 5000 acknowledged as grazing on the land. At the scoping meetings held by the BLM at both Bullhead City and Kingman the public was told the entire HMA was degraded by burros. Of course, no cattle were mentioned as being detrimental. In fact, I had to pry an acknowledgement that cattle were even present on the HMA out of the BLM representative. Roger Oyler then answered questions I had about the mapping. He confirmed that the ruling in WY concerning wild horses on checkerboard land gave them the right to remove the checker boarded areas from the Black Mountain HMA. He further explained the yellow area west of Kingman, called Golden Valley, will also be taken from the HMA. Neither he nor Chad Benson would give us the targeted number of burros in their sites for removal from the Black Mountain HMA.

    At these meetings the public was not allowed to ask questions in an open forum. We were asked to walk up to individual representatives of the BLM and ask our questions privately thus denying the attending public access to the concerns raised by the question, or the answers provided. The public would have been saddened to learn that the BLM is planning to not only reduce the number of wild burros by an unspecified amount, they are planning to reduce the size of the HMA as well. Another issue brought up was the burros crossing 95 in Bullhead City. The area where they are crossing is still legally a part of the Black Mountain HA and provides direct access to the Colorado River which is an important water source for the burros and all other wildlife in the area. (That 10-mile strip is STILL legally designated (by 1971 Congress) for wild horses and burro. It is still HA (Herd Area) land. “Wild horses and burros are supposed to be treated as “components of the public lands”. 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) The law is clear that “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. 16 U.S.C. § 1331 These legally protected areas are known as “herd areas,” and are defined as “the geographic area identified as having been used by a herd as its habitat in 1971.” 43 C.F.R. § 4700.0-5(d).” – Animal Law Coalition (available online) However, rather than provide passage over or under the HWY they have decided to zero out the burros in the area even though these lands are still legally a part of their intended HA. These provisions could have been made when the roadways were under construction if the BLM were truly watching out for the burros who are mandated by law to be protected by them. Now, as a result of their lack of planning and refusal to accommodate access to life giving water, the resulting collisions with burros are providing an excuse for their removal from the area. Moreover, “There is no authority for BLM’s “herd management areas” under WFRHBA. The BLM has authorized itself to divide herd areas into “herd management areas”, something not authorized by WFRHBA. 43 CFR 4710.3-1. In this way, with no statutory authority at all, BLM has limited wild horses and burros’ access to thousands of acres that were historically their herd areas. This is done without thought about the horses’ seasonal migration patterns or available resources. The BLM then removes wild horses and burros from the artificially created “herd management areas” on the basis there is insufficient forage, water or habitat! BLM also targets them for removal if they cross the artificial boundaries into their original herd areas.”- Animal Law Coalition (available online)

    As we delve deeper into the reasons for the inflated new burro numbers and safety accusations toward the burros we are finding reports about wind development with several projects in the works and others moving through the approval process. Other contributors are proposed agricultural development which along with wind development will further deplete already depleted water resources. It is important to note, that the Black Mountain HMA boasts the largest population of bighorn sheep in the nation. In fact, it is well documented that the hunting clubs have long wanted burros removed from habitat where bighorn sheep reside, citing resource conflicts as their reason for wanting them removed. http://www.sierraclub.org/policy/wildlife/feral-animals

    As we traveled hundreds of miles through the Black Mountain HMA exploring, what we saw was a beautiful desert full of life and forage. Burros were scarce, but friends in the area will continue to dig into the fitness of the range for me while WHFF continues its investigation into the real reason large sections of the HMA are about to be stripped away from these mountain canaries. What a lovely song I heard as I stayed during the night listening to the burros call each other through the mountains. Each voice was different and ethereal as the sound echoed through the mountain. It was magical. It saddens me to know that their song may soon be quiet and never heard again if special interests get their way. My history and culture are worth fighting for, and these burros deserve to be considered as a part of these lands now and forever more. They earned it.

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  5. What a surprise???? A few shows were canceled in my area due to this virus. I agree the poor things are always being blamed for something. Has anyone visited the Auction Horse website lately?? Take a good look at the numerous numbers of burros showing up in the Kill Pens. I have been told that the virus is air borne and could remain on your clothing or shoes if you come in contact with an effected animal. I was told it started at a reining show and moved to more horses. It is serious we had 8 horses die and some had been innoculated. The poor burros are being killed in more ways than one.

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  6. And since BLM and the Oatman business owners only allow a maximum of about 10 jennies and foals in the town (they capture the jacks and others almost every year – thanks to the Oatman business owners’ complaints – yep, the same Oatman business owners who make $$$ from tourists who only go to Oatman to see the burros) … how about the other wild burros on the HMA?

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  7. Massive wind farm near Kingman changes ownership
    http://bullheadcitybee.us/news-stories/massive-wind-farm-near-kingman-changes-ownership/
    By DAVE HAWKINS

    KINGMAN – A massive northwest Arizona wind farm project conceived more than a decade ago has changed hands.

    BP Wind has sold its Mohave County project and another undeveloped windfarm in an undisclosed location to Oakland, California-based Orion Energy.
    Terms of the deal that closed in March are CONFIDENTIAL.
    BP Wind Energy North America, Inc. received a right-of-way application from the Bureau of Land Management in 2002 before it tested wind conditions at the proposed project site over a four-year period. In June 2012,
    Interior Secretary Sally Jewell formally approved use of nearly 38,000 acres of public land for the wind farm about 40 miles northwest of Kingman.

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  8. You are very likely correct TerryW.

    Here are just two years of the Oatman business owners’ complaints to have burros removed from Oatman where these business owners make their tourist $$$ from having these burros in town:
    No jacks allowed in Oatman.
    http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/az/pdfs/nepa/projects/kingman/2011.Par.80596.File.dat/AZ-C010-11-0032-CX.pdf
    “Annually Oatman shop owners request BLM to remove the current year’s crop of foals”.
    http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/az/pdfs/nepa/projects/kingman/12.Par.19238.File.dat/AZ-C010-12-0036-CX.pdf

    No respect for wildlife and wild burros at all?

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  9. It is not so much how these burros could effect domestic equine … it is how did domestic equine effect these wild burros!
    http://justsaynews.com/equine-illness-advisory/
    Being wild does include death … but nature has historically provided natural protections (i.e. survival of the fittest) for protection from “foreign” disease.
    From what source did these wild burros contract this illness?
    Since the BLM has recently announced they would soon be capturing and removing the majority of these Black Mountain HMA wild burros … a person has to wonder if there is a connection?

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