Deadline extended to Feb. 10th: Tell BLM to STOP Dangerous and Cruel Experiments on Our Wild Horses

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

AdobeTown-115CarolWalker

Wild mare nursing her newborn foal

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The BLM has announced its plan to work with Oregon State University in experimenting upon 225 wild mares at the Hines, Oregon BLM Short Term Holding Facility starting in February 2016. The information about this was NOT posted on the Burns, Oregon website and was very hard to find, buried in a new BLM website. It is a very long document:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/projectSummary.do?methodName=renderDefaultProjectSummary&projectId=56292

Please do read it if you have time and a strong stomach.

I will summarize what I think are the important points to hit on if you going to comment on the plan.  The BLM will not listen to any of us, and would clearly prefer not to have any public comments or knowledge about the plan, but it IS important to make our voices heard and to get the word out that the BLM’s cruel, inhumane torture of and experimentation on our wild horses is absolutely not acceptable. It in no way conforms to the minimally intrusive management on the range that the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was passed to ensure.

Comments are due Wednesday, February 10, and there is an online comment form that they want you to use to make your comments. It says that the form resets after 60 minutes, so it might be a good idea to type them out first, copy them, and then paste them in. But you can just type them into the form. Here is the comment form:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/comments/commentSubmission.do?commentPeriodId=30676

There are three methods of sterilizing wild mares that the BLM would like to test out. They are ovariectomy via colpotomy, tubal ligation and hyteroscopically-guided laser ablation. The last two procedures the BLM describes as “minimally invasive” but they have never been done on wild mares before. The ovariectomy via colpotomy is not commonly done with domestic mares, but when it is, it is done in a sterile environment and the mares are not pregnant. They are also not wild.  There is nothing sterile about a holding facility, and these are wild mares that are going to be absolutely terrified by being confined in this chute and having an incision made in their vaginas so the veterinarian’s arm can reach in and rip out their ovaries. The possibility of the mares panicking despite the sedation is high, and they could break their necks in the chute. They can also die from sedation, or their hearts can stop from sheer terror. The possibility of infection and death resulting from complications is also a risk. And then this is the worst part. Since their ultimate plan is to surgically sterilize mares in the field like at White Mountain in Wyoming, and likely many mares in the wild will be pregnant, they want to experiment on mares who are pregnant to see what will happen – will they abort the foal? Will there be other complications? This is very likely in the early pregnancy group, and also likely in the middle phase. They will divide the mares into groups: 0-4 months pregnant, 4-8 months pregnant, over 8 months pregnant, and not pregnant, or “open.” Although they have plenty of wild mares to experiment upon at the holding facility in Hines, as the mares have been there for some time they do not have pregnant mares in all the phases available – so they will have a helicopter roundup or two to get more experimental subjects. They will use at least one and possibly all three methods of sterilization in the study.

I question the morals and ethics of the veterinarians at Oregon State University who will be performing these procedures on pregnant wild mares. I would never want them to provide care to my horses.

Medical Malpractice Related to Unnecessary Surgery By Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. 

“Unnecessary surgery is a type of medical malpractice. A form of medical malpractice that has become an alarming and growing problem in the U.S. is unnecessary surgery. This type of malpractice can lead to life-threatening complications and completely alter an individual’s life. When a surgeon performs an unnecessary surgery, it is an act of medical negligence. Doctors should take every precaution before deciding to prescribe any type of invasive surgery to a patient. When there is a failure to do this and it results in unnecessary surgery, they may be held legally liable.  Unnecessary surgery can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications. Some of the risks include hemorrhaging, damage to organs, infection, amputation and anesthesia errors. Putting animals through unnecessary surgery where they face complications that could significantly alter their life is a form of medical negligence. Injuries from this kind of negligence could result in filing a medical malpractice claim.”

Our wild horses do not themselves have a voice. We have to speak for them. This is the first of many studies on sterilization of wild horses that the BLM plans to perform over the next few years, attempting to solve their “wild horse problem.” I contend that there is no wild horse problem, but a “BLM problem.” Wild horse herds that have less than the number of horses in them to remain genetically viable (less than at least 150 adults) should not have any form of birth control used on them. For larger herds whose numbers have to be kept at a certain level, there are proven, humane, minimally invasive and reversible forms of birth control that have been being used for over 30 years. Native PZP and PZP-22 are being used successfully on several herds right now. Why aren’t these methods being used with more herds and why is the BLM bent on permanently sterilizing our wild horses? Because it wears off after 1-2 years and you have to keep darting the mares – the wild horse and burro specialists and Field Office staff members would actually have to get out there in the field and observe, document and keep track of the horses. And yes this IS possible, and yes many people would volunteer to help if our horses were being managed in a humane, sustainable manner on the range.

But it is easier to sterilize our wild horses – this is the endgame for the BLM. We must fight to stop this. We must fight to save our wild horses. Every voice counts.

Please comment. Use your own words. Tell the BLM what you think of their plan – and tell them to stop experimenting on our wild horses, and to stop sterilizing them. Treat them like living, feeling creatures who deserve our care and respect, and deserve to live their lives wild and free in their homes, on our public lands, with their families.

Go here to comment:
https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/comments/commentSubmission.do?commentPeriodId=30676

Public comments will be accepted on the EA through February 3, 2016. Comments can be emailed, mailed or faxed to the BLM Burns Office at the addresses below. Entire comments – including personal identifying information – may be published as part of the EA and Decision Record process. Mail or deliver to:

Mare Sterilization Research Project Lead

(541) 573-4411 BLM Burns District Office
28910 Highway 20 West
Hines, Oregon 97738
Email: blm_or_bu_mareresearchea@blm.gov
Fax: (541) 573-4411 — Attention: Mare Sterilization Research Project Lead

Lisa Grant
BLM Burns District Office
Email: blm_or_bu_mareresearchea@blm.gov

Mike Tupper
Email: mtupper@blm.gov

Dean Bolstad
Email: dbolstad@blm.gov

and here to read the document:
Get your comments in by the end of the day on Wednesday, February 3.
And thank you from the bottom of my heart.
1/20/16 Radio Show on Wild Horse and Burro Radio about this plan – the whole show is archived so you can listen in here:

Related Posts:

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/news/wild-horses-action-alert-speak-out-to-stop-blms-plan-to-spay-wild-mares-in-wyoming

Feel Good Sunday: Meet the Newest Budweiser Clydesdale

Story by as published in Time

Cheers!

Budweiser is raising a glass to its newest Clydesdale horse Mac, its first foal of 2016 born Tuesday at 1:20 a.m.

To see him, Bud drinkers will have to giddy up over to the Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, Missouri, home of more than 160 Clydesdale horses, a breed that originated in the mid-18th century in Scotland in Lanarkshire (aka Lanark). Its name is believed to be “inspired by” the river that runs through that area, the River Clyde, according to The Livestock Conservancy and the Clydesdale Horse Society. Historically used for pulling heavy cargo, they were brought to North America in the mid-19th century.

“The tradition of the Budweiser Clydesdales started in 1933 when they made their first-ever appearance as a gift from August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement. “Realizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company also arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York…The Clydesdales made a stop in Washington D.C. in April 1933 to reenact the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Nowadays, Clydesdales are said to be primarily used for “breeding and show.” But no word on when Mac will appear in his first Super Bowl commercial.

Canadian Wild Horse Cull Lacks Supporting Scientific Evidence

By Julie Woodyer as published on HorseJournels.com

“Our friends to the North share the same struggles that we do in the lower 48.  Helping one another could reap great benefits for the horses.” ~ R.T.


Decision from Minister on 2016 Cull Imminent

Photo courtesy of WHOAS

A year-and-a-half long investigation and a review of the Alberta government’s assertions that wild horses are overpopulating the landscape and causing ecological damage has found no scientific evidence supporting those claims.

Zoocheck reviewed all publicly available materials, as well as substantial quantities of additional documentation, including letters, notes, reports and other materials, obtained through a multitude of provincial Freedom of Information requests. On-site visits were also made to observe free-roaming horses and their habitats. A technical review of the Alberta free-roaming (feral) horse management program was prepared by expert consultant biologist Wayne McCrory.

The expert report and other materials were forwarded to Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips in December, 2015 to inform her 2016 capture permit decision-making process; the Minister’s decision is imminent.

“The report reveals that there is no science supporting the capture for ecological reasons of additional wild horses in Alberta. Furthermore, government officials are unable to point to any evidence of rangeland damage attributable to wild horses,” says Julie Woodyer, Campaign Director for Zoocheck.

Alberta Government representatives say they want to ensure that some wild horses remain on the landscape, but captures have continued in the absence of scientific justification for removals, and with no regard as to how many horses are necessary to ensure the genetic integrity of the free-roaming horse populations. According to the Alberta Government, there are now less than 800 free-roaming horses in all of Alberta, and they are fragmented into sub-populations, numbers that experts say are far too low.

Wild horse populations in other parts of Canada are protected, but Alberta’s wild horses are being managed toward extinction. They have already been nearly extirpated in the Brazeau Equine Zone due to government sanctioned captures,” Woodyer adds. “We hope the Minister will move this issue away from making a purely political decision to satisfy the small subset of ranchers who don’t want the horses, to what the information and science actually shows.”

Ecologist Report: Wild Horses Serve Useful Ecological Function

Renowned wild horse ecologist Craig Downer recently released his own expert report on the Alberta wild horse issue. Downer describes extensive damage by logging, oil and gas, ranching and other industries in the Alberta Foothills, and says that retaining healthy wild horse populations on the landscape is a key strategy to its recovery.

During his 12-day visit to the Alberta foothills, Downer conducted 38 ecological evaluations in various diverse types of habitat. He describes in detail severe damage from human activities, and outlines how horses assist in building healthy soil and dispersing more intact seeds from a greater variety of plants as compared to cattle. He recommends that wild horses who coevolved with the habitats they now live in be allowed to fill their ecological niche and play their natural role.

Zoocheck forwarded Downer’s report to Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips in early January, 2016 to inform her 2016 capture permit decision-making process.

“Craig Downer’s new report provides critical information to help recover Alberta’s natural ecosystems and outlines why wild horses are an essential part of that recovery, something not previously considered in the horse management program,” says Julie Woodyer, Campaign Director for Zoocheck. “We hope that the Minister will consider the positive ecological role wild horses play in Alberta’s ecosystems, and seek to take a science-based approach to managing horses in Alberta to better rebuild natural ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.”

Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Them Out of Court

By JONNY BONNER as published in the Courthouse News Service

 “The BLM is engaging in a concerted breeding effort and manipulating the genetic makeup of the herds, creating a zoolike atmosphere, in direct violation of and conflict with the spirit and nature of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act,”

Original Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Original Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – A federal breeding program for wild horses whose ancestors “helped settle the West” will reduce herds’ genetic health and create a “zoo-like atmosphere,” horse-lovers claim in Federal Court.     Front Range Equine Rescue sued the Bureau of Land Management and the Interior Board of Land Appeals on Wednesday, in Federal Court, in a new twist in long-running legal battles over the management of the West’s wild horses.

In May 2014 the BLM sought to “artificially” create a mustang breeding pool in the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herd management areas, about 50 miles south of Burns, Ore., Front Range says in the complaint.

The Kiger herd area spans 62,992 acres in eastern Oregon, and its herd typically ranges from 51 to 82 wild horses. The Riddle Mountain herd has 33 to 56 wild horses.

In July and August 2015, Front Range says, the BLM rounded up all the wild and free-roaming horses in the areas.
It permanently removed 156 “excess” wild horses, and returned only horses fitting the characteristics of the Kiger mustang strain, which “represent a particular type or breed of mustang with a particular genetic makeup.”

The BLM says the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds mirror characteristics of the original Spanish mustang, which “was a part of early American history, having roots in Native American history, and is the horse that helped settle the West .”

Front Range appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals in June 2015, claiming the BLM violated the Wild Horse Act, which was meant to “deter the possibility of ‘zoo-like’ developments.”

The Wild Horse Act was written to “extend federal protection to wild horses and empower BLM to manage horses roaming public lands as part of the agency’s management of the public lands.” The BLM was charged with the “protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands,” Front Range says.

It adds that Kiger horses are “highly coveted” by private citizens, as shown by their 100 percent adoption rate since 1986.

“By intentionally reducing the diversity of wild horses in the Kiger and Riddle Mountain HMAs [herd management areas] to only those horses with Kiger characteristics, and then conducting gathers every four years to further empty the gene pool and round up these valuable Kiger horses to sell them for adoption, BLM has effectively created a breeding facility that injures the natural herds’ survival possibilities and benefits only BLM and private actors desirous of purchasing this ‘breed,'” the lawsuit states.

After months of litigation, the Interior Board of Land Appeals held on Jan. 13 that Front Range lacked standing to challenge the BLM’s actions.

The appeals board ruled that Front Range was not “adversely affected” by the roundup and removal of wild horses in Kiger and Riddle Mountain. The appeals board added that Front Range’s “only injury” was the cost of the lawsuit.

Front Range called that ruling arbitrary and capricious, and a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Despite numerous statements from Hilary Wood, Front Range’s founder and president, “demonstrating the various ways in which FRER [Front Range] has expended its limited resources directly because of BLM’s actions in the Kiger and Riddle Mountain HMAs, the IBLA opinion concluded that FRER’s only injury is the expenditure of resources on the instant lawsuit,” the complaint states.

Front Range’s attorney Bruce Wagman said Thursday that the breeding effort is “creating a zoolike atmosphere.”
“The BLM is engaging in a concerted breeding effort and manipulating the genetic makeup of the herds, creating a zoolike atmosphere, in direct violation of and conflict with the spirit and nature of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act,” Wagman told Courthouse News.

The BLM did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Front Range Equine Rescue, a nonprofit launched in Colorado in 1997, works to prevent the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education.

It operates solely on donations.

It seeks an order setting aside, reversing and remanding the land appeals board’s opinion.
Wagman, with Schiff Harding of San Francisco, represents Front Range pro hac vice.

Its lead counsel is Melissa Healy with Stoel Rives. 

PLEASE NYC: DON’T PASS A BAD BILL AND CONDEMN THE HORSES TO MORE SUFFERING!

Source: Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

“Intro 573-A is not in the best interest of the horses,” Dr. Cheever says; asks Mayor de Blasio to reconsider

Here is the full text of the insightful statement from Holly Cheever, DVM, an equine expert who has advised 15 municipalities and 2 states in OPPOSITION TO Intro. 573-A.

10151218_1076683402371526_3650848955117168478_n“January 22, 2016
To: Members of the New York City Council:

I wish to express my concerns about the latest proposal on what to do with your city’s controversial, inherently abusive, and anachronistic carriage horse tourist trade. In addition to being a shocking reneging of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign promises, it seems entirely impractical.

I am an equine veterinarian who has been testifying to this council since 1988 in efforts to get the carriage horses out of their inadequate stabling and their unsafe working environments. I have similarly advised approximately 15 municipalities and two states (Massachusetts and Florida), either to support a ban on such misuse of carriage horses or to promulgate proper regulations in appropriate environments—which New York City most emphatically is not—in order to ensure the well-being of the horses.

The current proposal is to confine the industry to Central Park, to restrict the equine population to a large herd of 75 with 68 operating carriages, and to build appropriate stabling to house this huge population. I confess to being shocked that the Central Park Commission is entertaining this proposal, because of the commission’s long entrenched refusal to give up any space to this enterprise. Although this proposal solves one area of equine misuse by getting them off the streets so that they no longer will share the roadways with crowded vehicular traffic, myriad other problems persist, as follows:

· 75 horses, many of them draft breeds: this would be a huge herd for such a small area as Central Park, and if 68 carriages are to be employed, they will create overcrowding and congestion in Park roadways that seriously impact alternate uses of the Park by its visitors, taking up a disproportionate amount of space that park enthusiasts might want for other purposes

· The odor from such a huge herd and its stabling/paddock areas would offend Park users who come for other purposes, especially in hot and humid weather. Not all city dwellers find “farm” odors appealing

· Housing: does the Park truly want to designate such a large percentage of its acreage to this one industry? The proposed stall size of 100 square feet is not adequate for draft breeds—14 x 14 square feet is the preferred size for these animals. I hope it is obvious that the current system of housing horses on 2nd and 3rd floors is completely unacceptable due to the risks to the horses if ever an evacuation is necessary. Therefore, all stalls must be on the ground floor, necessitating a huge stable area if 75 horses are to be housed humanely and safely. The proposed stable for this huge population will require fire-sprinkler systems, state-of-the-art ventilation systems, grain and hay storage, and waste disposal for enormous volumes of soiled bedding and manure. This cannot help but impact the Park’s multiple uses, and will constitute an extraordinary expense

· Turn-out, i.e. paddocks of adequate size to permit the DAILY opportunity for all horses to leave their restrictive housing for exercise and comfort with compatible herd mates, so essential to equine physiological and psychological well-being. The need for this turn-out is essential, and will commit even more of the Park’s limited acreage to this one malodorous industry

· Although the horses will no longer be threatened by vehicular traffic on their park-limited routes, there is always the risk of spooking with any equine animal, and the Park always has large volumes of visitors who could potentially be severely injured by a runaway horse and carriage, especially since so many of the drivers have historically been proven to be inexpert in proper equine management and capable of poor judgement in handling both the horses and their customers

· Even though the horses will not be as directly exposed to the pollution they inhale in their nose-to-tailpipe life on the streets, please note that even before they were forced out of their confinement to the Park in the early 1980’s (or the medallion-owners would be forced to surrender their medallions,) an unpublished study by Dr. Jeffie Roszel (veterinary pathologist) in 1985 revealed that the horses even then had evidence of lung damage from their exposure to exhaust fumes (personal communication 1989.)

In conclusion, I do not support this proposal as it is not in the best interest of the horses, nor a practical use for an inappropriately large area of the Park. I ask Mayor de Blasio to reconsider his abandonment of his campaign promise in order to pander to the carriage horse industry. We are in the 21st century—time to let this anachronism go!

Sincerely,

Holly Cheever, DVM

Member, Leadership Council of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

Vice president, NY State Humane Association”

Dead Salt River Horse Dotty: Joe Arpaio’s Deputies Left Her Headless Corpse to Rot

NOTE:  We posted the article below, but received a credible comment from Vicki O’Neill stating “Speaking on behalf of Sheriff Arpaio who is a well known animal lover was wondering how the blame of burying the carcass falls on him?  Wasn’t the carcass floating in the river? What about the Forest Dept doing something about it? He was probably told the head had to be removed for an autopsy for forensic evidence.  He did help get money together for an award for the conviction of this killer.  Also we think it’s great that Arpaio pressed for investigation and charges against that awful kennel that neglectfully killed 20 dogs. Good for him!”

Our apologies to Sheriff Arpaio, and we agree, good for him.  Thanks, Vicki, for setting the record straight.

Source:  Phoenix New Times

Warning:  Graphic photo below.

by Stephen Lemons

Something’s rotten in Coon Bluff, thanks to Sheriff Joe and the MCSO.

That something is the headless carcass of Dotty, one of the famed Salt River wild horses, found on October 1, shot to death and floating in the river near Coon Bluff, a heavily trafficked part of the Tonto National Forest popular with campers, tubers, photographers, and picnickers.

Reportedly, the 12-year-old mare had been shot four times, three times in the head and once in the body.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the animals, suggested that the shooting of Dotty “could have been someone attempting a mercy kill if the horse was injured,” or it may have been “someone with cruel intent.”

Despite photos taken by passers-by showing what seemed to be obvious bullet holes in Dotty’s noggin, the Sheriff’s Office initially was unconvinced of foul play and issued an October 5 press release saying as much.

Days later, the MCSO reversed itself, stating in an October 15 press release that a necropsy of the animal done by a veterinarian “showed that the horse had been killed by gunshot” and had been healthy before the shooting.

Arpaio, supposed defender of four-legged beasts, eventually offered an $8,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of Dotty’s killer.

“We will follow every lead,” the sheriff promised at the time, “[and] make every effort to find the suspect and bring justice to Dotty’s death.”

Four months later, the investigation hasn’t budged an inch, and neither has Dotty’s desiccated, decapitated form, which remains on the sandy banks of the Salt River, a large gaping hole where its head used to be.

Seems Arpaio’s beige-shirts lopped off the head and left the blackened, bloated body to rot, inundating the area for weeks with the smell of death and clouds of flies and other insects.

dotty

If Arpaio and his minions really were all that concerned about the Salt River wild horses, why did they leave Dotty’s noggin’-less corpse to decompose near a campsite?

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Marjorie Farabee with latest update on threats to shoot wild burros in Arizona (Wed., 1/27/16)

painy

 Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, January 27th, 2016

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This is a 1 hour show.  It will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

_____________________________________________

Our guest is MARJORIE FARABEE, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, the Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (home of TMR Rescue) and founder of Wild Burro Protection League. 

marjorieandabbywhff

For over a year, Marjorie has been investigating the situation at the Black Mountain HMA in Arizona, and alerted the public that the BLM, catering to developers of wind, gas, and agriculture, threatened to roundup many of the few remaining wild burros.  Recently, there has been an even bigger threat: the Mojave County Supervisors recklessly suggested selling hunting permits to shoot the wild burros.  Find out the latest details in this update.

untitledWild burros on Black Mountain HMA in Arizona (photo: Marjorie Farabee)

Tonight’s show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

Continue reading

Alberta Government lies about overpopulation of Alberta “wildies”

Source:  Zoocheck

doc-cover-232x300@2x   Read the report HERE.

New Expert Wild Horse Report

Wild horse cull lacks supporting scientific evidence: decision from Minister on 2016 cull imminent

January 25, 2016

A 1 ½ year investigation and review of the Alberta government’s assertions that wild horses are overpopulating the landscape and causing ecological damage has found no scientific evidence supporting those claims.

Zoocheck reviewed all publicly available materials, as well as substantial quantities of additional documentation, including letters, notes, reports and other materials, obtained through a multitude of provincial Freedom of Information requests. As well, site visits to observe free-roaming horses and their habitats were also made and a technical review of the Alberta free-roaming (“feral”) horse management program prepared by expert consultant biologist Wayne McCrory.

The expert report and other materials were forwarded to Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips in December to inform her 2016 capture permit decision-making process. View the report here. It is expected that the Minister’s decision is imminent.

“The report reveals that there is no science supporting the capture for ecological reasons of additional wild horses in Alberta. Furthermore, government officials are unable to point to any evidence of rangeland damage attributable to wild horses,” said Julie Woodyer, Campaign Director for Zoocheck.

Alberta Government representatives say they want to ensure that some wild horses remain on the landscape, but captures have continued in the absence of scientific justification for removals and with no regard as to how many horses are necessary to ensure the genetic integrity of the free-roaming horse populations. According to the Alberta Government there are now less than 800 free-roaming horses in all of Alberta and they are fragmented into sub-populations, numbers that experts say are far too low.

“Wild horse populations in other parts of Canada are protected, but Alberta’s wild horses are being managed toward extinction. They have already been nearly extirpated in the Brazeau Equine Zone due to government sanctioned captures,” Woodyer added. “We hope the Minister will move this issue away from making a purely political decision to satisfy the small subset of ranchers who don’t want the horses, to what the information and science actually shows.”

Fire Destroys Barn at Old Friends Farms

Source: WKYT.com

“The horses in the barn got out without a scratch and everyone is all right, and that’s all that matters.”

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) – Fire officials are investigating the cause of a late night barn fire in Scott County.

old+farmGeorgetown Scott County Fire Departments responded to a fire Friday night in one of the barns at Old Friends Farms, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility located in Georgetown.

We’re told by fire officials that two horses, Alphabet Soup and Archie, were both in the barn when the fire started. Old Friends officials say both were safely evacuated. Scott County fire officials report one firefighter was injured fighting the fire after he slid on ice. However, the say he’s expected to be okay.

Fire officials say a volunteer for Old Friends was the first person to discover the fire. They say she and her husband called authorities and safely removed the horses from the barn.

Despite the barn being a total loss, Old Friends president Michael Blowen praised fire crews after dealing with the harsh elements while extinguishing the fire.

“And we’re grateful for all of their help today.” said Blowen. “The horses in the barn got out without a scratch and everyone is all right, and that’s all that matters.”

Old Friends Farms houses recently repatriated Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem, however, officials say the prized horse was recently moved to another barn on the farm.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money to build a new barn. You can find the page here: https://www.gofundme.com/xbkyvrqs

Feel Good Sunday: Teamwork at TMR Rescue

Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, is also the Manager of TMR Rescue at Todd Mission Ranch in Plantersville, TX.  When fences needed mending after heavy rains, she got a little help from a few of her Wild Horse Freedom Federation friends.  Photos below are of the burros, R.T. & Terry Fitch, and Kat Marr (Secretary of Wild Horse Freedom Federation).

“Thanks Deb; it is always a pleasure to visit our good friend, Marjorie, and all of her hundreds of long eared friends (they all reside only about 16 miles from our ranch, just a hop, skip and a trot away)

Marjorie has been a true blue friend for many years and the adventures that she and Terry have been involved with has taken the dynamic duo from the mountains of west Texas, (trying to keep the Wild Burros from being shot and gunned down by the state of Texas) to Oklahoma where they saved a small herd of Wild Burros captured by the BLM.  They get around so the opportunity for me to lend a hand was most welcome!’ ~ R.T.

Source:  TMR Rescue facebook page

By Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

12540864_997190476991553_1206474644267280864_n

R.T. did not bring a coat!  So, he had to move really, really fast to stay warm. Easter wanted to know what he was up to and was there for quality ASSurance.  Good job, Easter!

12509371_997191740324760_5146293353905903051_n

Terry was frozen, and so was I.  But, everyone kept working.  The fence was bent back into shape, and the t-posts were reset.  This is the pasture that keeps my wild burro jacks, so getting it repaired was critical.

12540821_997192583658009_6743059243341512464_n

Terry and Kirby liked each other.

12508814_997190150324919_8258117459653479904_n

Kat met Benny for the first time.

12540544_997190463658221_2432138757938191110_n

One of our wild burros, Nathan checks me out.

12573213_997192910324643_7321061718815280301_n

Johnny was so happy that so many people came out to help.  He smiled the whole time.  We told the boys in the training arena that their pasture would be ready next week hopefully.  The project for their pasture involves reworking their ponds and relocating fence lines.

WHEN THE COMMUNITY NURTURES A RESCUE

My heart swelled as each of our friends came to help out our rescue. The rains this season have been epic, and since our rescue is located on ground that is hilly and sandy, the erosion has been severe.  Ruts have formed, banks of ponds have caved in, and fence posts have been loosened.  The rains have also brought down trees weakened from the previous drought, some of which hit fences.
Read the rest of the story HERE.