John Neill of the BLM told the media that a foal was “successfully delivered” from a dead mare (photo below) at BLM’s Palomino Valley Center in Nevada. We showed Neill’s statement and the graphic photo below of the dead mare (with what appears to be an unbroken amniotic sac protruding from her body), to veterinarian Holly Cheever. Here is what Cheever said about the mare and her unborn foal:
1) Most important, she must have been dead for hours–too long for her in utero foal to survive with no oxygen–since her left hind limb is not resting on the ground (hoof contact) where gravity would place it, but is rather sticking out horizontally, which happens when the gut becomes bloated from bacterial action and the lack of gut motility induced by death. This causes the whole peritoneal cavity to swell/bloat and, with rigor mortis of the limbs, causes them to elevate off the ground and stick out horizontally.<
2) Although I do not have excellent resolution in viewing this photo, it looks as if the foal is still wrapped in the fetal membranes (the amniotic sac) and therefore could not have access to air to breathe ex utero, He/she would have suffocated quickly once the mare’s heart stopped and no longer supplied the foal with oxygen through the umbilical artery.”
—-Holly Cheever, DVM
The KTVN news story stated that the mare passed away “during childbirth,” and Cheever noted that the “the mare was experiencing “foaling”, not “childbirth.”
Thank you to wild horse & burro advocates, and veterinarians, who continue to try to bring accountability to BLM actions and truth to the public. We are posting the most recent press release from Love Wild Horses below. – Debbie
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BLM’s HONESTY IN QUESTION, AS PUBLIC OUTCRY GROWS OVER MARE AND FOAL’S NEGLECT AND DEATH
(WARNING Graphic Photo below)
On Friday morning, July 10th, at approximately 7:00 AM., Patty Bumgarner, a Nevada resident and wild horse photographer, arrived at the BLM’s Palomino Valley Center (PVC) and discovered the body of a young mare with an unborn foal partially protruding from her birth canal. Bumgarner shared the story and photos with Love Wild Horses‘, and it went viral, reaching 50,000+ people in 24 hours.The mare and foal’s story caused a huge public outcry.At approximately 10:30 am, John Neill of BLM’s Palomino Valley facility contacted Channel 2 KTVN News, to respond to the incident. KTVN ran a story that stated,
“Photos surfaced online Saturday of a mare that passed away during childbirth overnight Thursday at the Palomino Valley Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro holding facility. John Neill of the Bureau of Land Management confirmed that the 2 year old mare was found deceased when workers arrived early Friday morning. The mother and foal were removed from the pen and the foal was successfully delivered. The foal was taken to Northern Nevada Correctional Center where the BLM has an orphan care program.” Story here: 2 KTVN NEWS:
The graphic photos taken by Bumgarner show a wild horse mare laying lifeless on the ground, the body stiffened with an apparent and visible light pink birth sac, unbroken and protruding from the mare. The dead animals were in the pen with living mares and foals.
The young mare and her unborn were unattended and unaddressed for over an hour by BLM personnel, who busied themselves distributing hay for the living horses. After an hour, they brought a backhoe to take away the mare’s body.
At approximately 11:00 AM., Coleen Denson, a Nevada resident, contacted the Northern Nevada Correctional Center.and was informed there were no new born foals present.
Coleen shared with us:
“I was transferred 3 times, before I was connected to “Kevin”, in the Stable Division. Kevin hadn’t heard about a Foal and dead Mare from Palomino Valley on Friday. He told me, that all they had in the Foal care program were 1 month andolder, no one day olds, or newer born foals.”
We contacted Dr. Lester Friedlander BA, DVM, regarding the possibility that the foal (called “Hope”), could still be alive, as BLM PVC’s Neill stated. Dr. Friedlander stated “In my Professional Opinion, when the mare dies and she is in foal, the foal might live 1-2 minutes. The foal needs the oxygenated blood to survive.”
Author Terri Farley of Nevada is a frequent visitor to Palomino Valley Wild Horse corrals, and shared these thoughts regarding the mare and foal’s death: “Is it possible this young mare might have died in wild? Until there’s a necropsy, we don’t know. We do know thatwild horses taken off the range are dependent — breath to breath — on human care and kindness.”
John Neill’s report to Channel 2 News KTVN is also in direct c onflict with the correctional facility’s information Denson received. We reported the discrepancy to KTVN Channel 2 News and requested further investigation be conducted into the where abouts of the foal “Hope”, Neill claimed was saved.
We were informed “the BLM PVC Facility was closed until Monday” and at 4:47 PM, Channel 2 KTVN News announced:
“We are continuing to look into this matter. The story was removed after we received conflicting information from multiple sources. More parties have become involved than originally thought so until we can speak with all of them and get a clear understanding of what happened we will refrain from posting about the matter. Thank you for writing, we will do our best to look into this further.”
Concern within the community and social media is growing into the seeming misinformation provided by BLM’s Neill, and for the blatant disregard for the well being of this mare and her unborn foal and for all the wild horses assigned and held within this facility. For two years, there has been much controversy and public outcry over the lack of shelter and additional water troughs that are needed for the many wild horses warehoused at this BLM facility.
Unfortunately and in fact, this is not the first time dishonesty and discrepancy exist in BLM PVC reports,of how many wild horses and burros, have died at their facility. In May of 2013 a FOIA requested by the organization Animals’ Angels discovered “In addition to the contract itself, our FOIA request obtained all records of deceased horses and burros sent from the BLM holding facility to the rendering plant from January 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012. During that time frame the BLM itself reported in the official Palomino Valley Mortality Detail Report that only 241 horses and burros died at the Palomino Valley facility and 50 at the Fallon facility.
However, the records from the rendering plant tell quite a different story. According to the Nevada By-Product invoices for that same time period, a startling 577 dead horses were received from the Palomino Valley Facility. This is a shocking difference of 286 animals (336 horses if Nevada By-Products does not render the horses from Fallon), a number simply too large to ignore.”Full Story Here: “HORSE DEATHS AT PALOMINO VALLEY CENTER, MORE THEN TWICE AS HIGH AS REPORTED RENDERING RECEIPTS REVEAL.”
Adding insult to injury, poor public relations heightens for the BLM, due to BLM Staff negotiations with The Burning Man Festival’s Management, requesting building a $1,000,000 compound for BLM personnel, including 24/7 ice cream access and other luxury amenities.
The Bureau of Land Management wild horse & burro Palomino Valley and Indian Lakes holding facilities are located in the desert and nearby, thousands of federally protected wild horses and burros suffer, and some die, due to BLM’s failure to simply install needed shelter and more water troughs for the horses and burros.
Approximately two years ago, at this same BLM facility, advocates found a young filly, they named “Lil Angel” deceased upon the searing hot ground, that prompted a large public outcry for shelter and aid to be provided. Instead of addressing the urgent need then, the BLM held a wild horse “Comfort Workshop” to discuss whether or not wild horses preferred shade.In June, 2013, Dr. Lester Friedlander, BA, DVM, President of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter, requested BLM’s management to act, warning that,
“If the wild horses and burros do not get the proper protection from the environmental elements, found in that area, countless animals will be lost to disease, infections and heat related deaths. There is no adequate shelter found there and the wild horses and burros have no place to find shelter from the blistering heat.”
Yet, BLM management continues to ignore veterinarian opinion to protect the wild horses and burros, resulting in the death and disappearance of BLM captive horses and burros.
The Bureau of Land Management is charged by Congress and the American people to protect – not harass, harm, or cause death of America’s federally protected native wild horses and burros. But instead of helping the wild horses survive in
the wild and within BLM holding facilities, the BLM is making their survival as a species impossible, and is managing
the horses and burros, to extinction.
Please contact your Legislatures and the White House and request immediate action be taken to
Save the Last of Our Native Wild Horses and Burros : To Give the 58,000 BLM captive wild horses and burros shelter and humane care, or set them free to survive and increase protections to secure freedom and their ability to reproduce, for the under 20,000 remaining free roaming native heritage horses and burros, to thrive, upon America’s vast 245,000.000 acres of public lands.Links for Reference:
Jetara Séhart, Executive Director, Love Wild Horses, www.lovewildhorses.org
301-6512Coleen Denson (775) 384-9954
Photo: By Patty Bumgarner, 7:00 AM 7/10/15 BLM Palomino Valley Center, Nevada, a mare discovered by a gate, lay lifeless in urgent distress, wild horse Mother advocates, have called “Teresa” with her unborn foal, named “Hope”. Unfortunately, no help from BLM personnel
ever arrived. Several veterinarians, have carefully viewed this photo and determined the birth sac, is unbroken, due to
the color and form. Slightly after 8:00 AM, BLM staff responded, by bringing a backhoe to move