196 wild horses died at BLM’s Scott City feedlot (a BLM Auschwitz for wild horses)

IMG_20140823_132107_665Wild horses next to bison at the Beef Belt Feedyard in Scott City, Kansas in 2014

NOTE:  Our original post erroneously stated the Robert Hughes was the contractor for Teterville.  Mr. Hughes is not the contractor for Teterville in Kansas. 

By Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Copyright 2017   All Rights Reserved.

In the middle of June, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) moved 1,493 wild horses from the Teterville Long Term Holding pastures in Kansas to the Beef Belt Feedyard in Scott City, Kansas.  Over 13% of these wild horses died at this feedlot.

191 of the wild horses died in less than a year (7/7/14 – 6/30/15).

In a BLM “news” release dated 8/15/14 (over two years ago), the BLM announced that 57 wild horses had died at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas “corral.”  In this news release, the BLM stated that it had “launched an investigation” into the cause of deaths, and promised that “Once the investigation is concluded, the team will complete a report that will be made publicly available.”

To date, over two years later, the BLM has not made any report available to the public about the Scott City feedlot deaths.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and found out that 196 horses died at the Scott City feedlot from 6/17/14 – 8/2/16.  

87 of the 196 wild horses were euthanized.

41 wild horses died of colic.  Many of these deaths were from sand colic.  As late as 4/13/15 (10 months after the wild horses were shipped to this feedlot), local veterinarian Corbin Stevens wrote to BLM’s Joe Stratton “Be sure hay and bunk is free of sand and rocks (try to only throw hay from feed alley into the bunk eliminating road material)” and “A necropsy was performed on one dead horse from pen 2 today and was diagnosed as a colic with small pebbles and sand present in the large colon and cecum.”  However, BLM’s FOIA did not provide WHFF with a necropsy report dated 4/13/15.

14 wild horses died of fractures of the spinal cord (neck and back).  6 horses died of leg or pelvis fractures.  On just one day, 4/3/15, 3 horses died of a brain/head injury and 2 of a broken leg/pelvis.  With the comment “Inspected by Dr. Stevens.  Result of windstorm – ran into fence.”

Timeline:

March 24, 2014 – Long Term Pasture contractor for Teterville in KS gives short notice to the BLM by informing them he decided to renew his existing 5 year contract, but only for a reduced number of horses.  He informed the BLM that he wanted to remove 1,900 wild horses (about 1,400 mares and 500 geldings) by June 1, 2014.

(The BLM seems to have never thought of or planned for an emergency, so they begin to scramble for a place to put 1,900 wild horses on short notice.  The BLM was able to find space on other Long Term Pastures for the geldings, but not for the wild mares.)

May 28 (or 27) 2014 – Pat Williams, the WH& B State Lead for New Mexico inspected the Scott City, KS, feedlot for NEPA analysis.  Although a working facility with a squeeze (“tilt”) chute was required,  the contractor for Scott City, Phil Jennings, didn’t want to install that infrastructure until the contract was signed.  Phil Jennings, who was going to lease the Beef Belt feedlot for this emergency contract worth over $2 million, is the contractor for the BLM’s Pauls Valley facility in Oklahoma.

June 4, 2014 – BLM signed the contract.  BLM’s Zach Reichold was designated as the COR (Contracting Officer’s Representative).

June 14, 2014 – BLM began moving wild horses from Teterville Off Range Pasture (long term holding) to Scott City, KS.   The BLM crew at Teterville LTH was Scott Fluer, Bea Wade, Richard Williams, Jimmy Galloway and Pat Williams.  3 horses were euthanized before leaving Teterville.  The BLM crew at Scott City was Jerome Fox.

June 22, 2014 – BLM concluded the transfer of mares to Scott City.

July 7, 2014 – Local veterinarian, Dr. Corbin Stevens, states 3 times in a report that less than 2% of horses have a body condition score of 3 or lower.

July 17, 2014 – Dean Bolstad discovered there was no squeeze chute or BLM Project Inspector onsite and discussed the need for this with Zach Reichold (the COR).

July 25, 2014 – Dean Bolstad informed Greg Shoop that there was no squeeze chute or BLM project inspector onsite at Scott City.

July 2014 – 35 wild horses died during this month.

August 5, 2014 – after veterinarian Dr. Stevens met with BLM’s Joe Stratton, Stevens states in a report that 5% of horses were in poor body condition when they arrived at the feedyard. (this differs substantially from the 2% that Stevens claimed several times in his July 7 report)

August 8, 2014 – BLM issues it’s news release.

Aug. 11, 2014 – BLM began “transitioning” Joe Stratton as the COR of Scott City.

Aug. 12, 2014 – BLM’s Pat Williams and Al Kane (USDA APHIS veterinarian) arrive at Scott City to perform an inspection.

Aug. 13, 2014 – Joe Stratton was “to go onsite.”   The squeeze chute was to finally arrive and plans were made for working facilities to start to be made and installed.  (almost 2 months after the horses arrived)

Aug. 28, 2014 – In a KMUW news article, BLM’s Paul McGuire stated “The first full-month report we had from the facilitator operator came at the end of July.  And it was at that time that we saw numbers on the order of about 47 horses had either died or had to be put down during that time.”  (However, the records WHFF received indicate that 35 wild horses died at Scott City during July, 2014, and only 3 horses died the month before.  That totals 38 at the end of July, not 47.  WHFF found several instances of mortality numbers not matching on BLM records in connection with Scott City.)

August 2014 – Another 46 wild horses die by the end of this month.  (total 81)

September 2014 – another 25 horses die by the end of this month.  (total 106)

June 19, 2015 – Dr. Stevens informs Joe Stratton that there is a mare with a vaginal growth that appears to be infected and that Naxcel and surgery may be warranted.  No freezemark number or description was given.

Feb. 2, 16 – Dr. Stevens informs Joe Stratton that a mare with a tumor extruding from vulva needed to be euthanized.  (It is not apparent from any records if this palomino mare was the same mare with the vaginal growth from 6/19/15, that may not have received needed surgery, but since this was the only mention of a vaginal growth, it could be likely.)

May 17, 2016 and May 19, 2016 – About 2 years after horses were shipped to Scott City, even though the Teterville contractor had given the short notice that lead to this crisis, the BLM ships 5 truckloads of horses BACK TO TETERVILLE.  The BLM started shipping horses out of Scott City after April 25, 2016 (1,311 were there end of month).  By end of May, 2016, 576 were there.  Shipping records from June 2016 show that more horses from Scott City were shipped to other long term holding pastures.  Per BLM’s Dec. 2016 Off Range Facility Reports, Scott City is no longer listed as warehousing any wild horses.

Oct. 14, 2016 – AP reporter Dave Philipps writes an article (that reads like a propoganda piece for the BLM), titled “Success Spoils a U.S. Program to Round Up Wild Horses.”  This article, filled with misinformation, contained a video of wild horses at Teterville, a quote from BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board member, Ben Masters (who voted to kill all the wild horses in holding), and a quote from Dean Bolstad, the Wild Horse & Burro Division Chief, stating that “We’re in a real pickle…”  (No, Dean, the BLM isn’t “in a real pickle,” the wild horses and burros are “in a real pickle.”)  There was no mention in Philipps’ article about what happened to the wild horses from Teterville at Scott City.

There were necropsy reports for 24 horses sent in response to our FOIA request for all necropsy reports.  One of the necropsy reports did not have a date or time on it, and a couple of them didn’t identify the freezemark numbers of the horses.

Excerpts from necropsy reports of wild horses at Scott City:

8/6/14, 5 p.m. – #4805 – atrophy of fat around heart.  Natural causes/old age.  Collected blood prior to euthanasia.

8/6/14, 5 p.m. – #2687 – old age.  Liver failure.

8/6/14, 5 p.m. – #6404 – natural causes/old age.

8/12/14, 5 p.m. – #020937 – small intestine hemorrhage.  Cecum torsion.  Colon enlarged and full of feed.  Died of colic.

8/12/14, 5 p.m. – #945088 – natural causes.  Old age.

8/16/14, 5 p.m. – #6940.  Natural causes.  Collected blood prior to euthanasia.

8/27/14, 6 p.m. – #8737 – cecum enlarged, displaced.  Colic.

9/6/14, 12 p.m. – #05180369 – inflammation around pericardial sac.  Died of heart disease/failure.

9/6/14, 12 p.m. – very large, infected coronary arteries.  Heart failure.

9/12/14, 6 a.m. – #3675 – small intestine inflamed.  Cecum inflamed.  Feed material in abdomen.  Colic.  Ruptured gut.

9/18/14, 5 a.m. – #0041 – colic.

10/20/14, 4:30 p.m. – #7435 – cecum enlarged & hemorrhage (sand).  Colic.  Twisted gut.

10/21/14, 4:30 p.m. – #1062 – cecum enlarged/hemorrhagic/full of sand.  Sand colic.

10/21/14, 4:30 p.m. – #9240 – cecum enlarged/hemorrhagic/full offals.  Colic.  Impaction.

11/12/14, 5 a.m. – #6761 – bloated.  Cecum ½ full of sand.  Died of sand colic.

12/15/14, 6 p.m. – #97175205 – bloated, cecum & colon full of feed.  Colic.  Impaction.

1/13/15, 6 p.m. – “mustang mare” (no ID) – bloated.  Colic.

3/11/15, 6 p.m. – #19964528 – ulcers.  Bleeding ulcer.

4/17/15, 9:30 a.m. – “grey mare” – bloated.  Cecum hemorrhage & inflammation, colon hemorrhage & inflammation – sand.  Died of colic.  Sand in large intestine.

5/11/15, 12:30 p.m. – #2074 – bcs<3.  Unable to maintain weight due to age.

5/18/15, 6 p.m. – #8724 – ulcerations & hemorrhage, bleeding ulcer

5/20/15, 5:20 a.m. – #8513 –  Bloated and cecum full of sand.  Died of sand colic.

5/20/??, 6 p.m. – #6532 – bcs<3.  Unable to maintain condition.

No date or time listed for this necropsy – #3756 – heart enlarged and infarcts.  Heart failure.

By not issuing a report regarding Scott City to the public as promised, or in a timely manner, the BLM seems to just want to sweep what happened at the Scott City feedlot under the rug.  Wild Horse Freedom Federation will not ever forget even one wild horse or wild burro that has suffered at the hands of the BLM’s mismanagement.

WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION HAS POSTED FOIA DOCUMENTATION ON SCOTT CITY ON OUR WHFF WEBSITE DOCUMENTS PAGE – CLICK HERE.

SOURCES:

BLM news release (8/15/14) :  https://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/august/NR_08_15_2014.html

KMUV news article:  http://kmuw.org/post/80-mustangs-die-after-move-scott-city

59 comments on “196 wild horses died at BLM’s Scott City feedlot (a BLM Auschwitz for wild horses)

  1. This is completely unacceptable! I am horrified thinking about the unbearable pain those horses who died from colic had to endure. And I’m not at all convinced about the listed “injuries” that these horses died from either. And of course the BLM could not care less….less horses for them to feed and care for. They talk about transparency, but I have yet to see any evidence of that from them. They should take a long hard look at the employees there and what kind of job they are doing tending to these animals…this is what our taxpayer money is going to! What should really happen, though, is for that horrible feed lot should be shut down and those poor horses moved to long term pasture, at the very least. Thank you WHF for looking into this.

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  2. History of the BLM. The BLM was created in 1946, when the Department of the Interior merged two older agencies: The General Land Office, created in 1800 to sell off the public lands and encourage settlement; and the Grazing Service, created in 1934 to manage grazing on public lands.

    “Wallace’s remarks came just days before passage of the landmark Taylor Grazing Act. On June 28, 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the measure into law. It was the first legislative action to organize grazing management on the public domain. By the time the legislation was enacted, according to Bureau of Land Management historian Marion Clawson, “a large part of the public lands had already suffered serious, accelerated erosion, largely (but not wholly) as a result of uncontrolled grazing.”

    The act resulted partly from mounting conflicts among livestock operators in the western United States, and partly from growing public recognition that, in many places, the range lands had been severely overgrazed.”

    Forgotten is the FACT that the Taylor Grazing Act includes, as Law, that the Oversight government agency would not populate its agency with ranchers, but those who do not have a conflict of interest, as, he did state, “. . . the ranchers would destroy more lands, and overgrazing of cattle would become paramount to the ruin of our Public Lands in its entirety.”

    The Bureau of Land Management is now managed, and oversight conducted by nothing more, and nothing less, than those who were ranchers, family members of ranchers, or directly involved in ranching of Public Lands!

    Time to either shut them down, or make them obey the Law!

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  3. You and I have paid this WH&B holding facility contractor, Phil Jennings, $6,532,062 since 2010. It appears that you and I paid $4,295,660 to have our wild horses at Scott City holding facility – including the hundreds who died in excruciating pain of colic caused by the MIS-mangement of the BLM and the contractor.
    This includes $2,030,000 that was authorized to pay him on 6/14/2014 for the temporary holding (Scott City) facility and another $872,200 on 6/22/2015 and another $950,000 on 11/30/2015 and another $4,260 on 1/11/2016 and another $439,200 on 5/31/2016 – all for Scott City emergency holding.
    The balance of the money we paid him is for the Paul’s Valley holding facility – where he STILL TODAY has hundreds of our wild horses under his control.
    https://www.usaspending.gov/

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  4. Colic cannot always be prevented but this LARGE amount of deaths in a short time is very alarming and likely most could have been prevented. Did BLM care?

    Preventing and treating colic (excerpts)
    Erin Malone, DVM, ACVS Surgeon, University of Minnesota

    Colic indicates a painful problem in a horse’s abdomen. Horses are naturally prone to colic and many types of colic cannot be prevented. However, there are some relatively simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of colic in your horse.
    Steps to reduce the risk of colic
    1. Always have fresh, clean water available. When traveling on longer trips, stop to let horses drink and/or have a veterinarian pretreat them with mineral oil before starting.
    2. Allow pasture turnout. Horses that have access to pastures have been shown to have a lower colic risk than those without pasture access.
    3. Avoid feeding on the ground in sandy areas. Horses may ingest enough sand to irritate their intestines. Feed in tubs or hay racks. Place rubber mats or catch pans underneath racks to enable horses to get the scraps without getting sand.
    CLOSELY MONITOR YOUR HORSE!

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    • My question is why did so many who had colic also had sand in their abdomen. Makes me thinks they weren’t being fed so they staying eating anything they could find-dirt

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      • Feeding horses on the ground in a sandy area also can cause sand colic. Possibly not all of the horses were feeding out of the hay racks.

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      • Not defending what happened, but generally it takes a while for sand to build up in a horse’s intestines, so it is at least possible these horses (who had spent years in LTH pastures elsewhere) ingested sand in those pastures, then the stress of moving, changing feed, crowded confinement, and eating even more sand and small pebbles could lead to a perfect storm.

        I’m disappointed none of the media that were invited early on to tour the facilities following the deaths seem to have published anything on what they found. Why?

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      • Not likely. The horses were on grass pastures prior to this. It was also very windy at Scott City, so a lot of sand may have blown into the feed and water. BLM invites media, who are uninformed and don’t do research, then just regurgitate whatever BLM tells them.

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      • Debbie, it would be interesting to see some soil tests from the LTH pastures (which some horses still graze?) as sandy pastures can indeed contribute to sand colic over time, and IMO the potential is higher in aged horses (as these were/are) due to the angle of their incisors. A friend lost a prized mare this way. Though she was well cared for otherwise she was slowly accumulating sand from her pasture and eventually died from a very painful sand colic, which was only discovered by necropsy. The potential for ingesting sand from their pastures is important since hundreds of horses are still on those pastures in Teterville, but we have little chance of finding out if/when/how any of those die, short of yet more FOIAs.

        I do think the stress and conditions at Scott City surely had a causal link to these deaths regardless. It may well be those less dominant horses that wouldn’t force their way into the feed bunks spent all their time muzzling around in the dust, pebbles, old manure and old feed in the pens, picking up all sorts of junk on short order that way. It’s also likely a factor that horses used to grazing at will 24/7 will not be happy to have feed rationed which runs out every day. I’m not sure if this happened but might have, since more feed was put out each day, indicating most or all was eaten so the horses had nothing to eat for some hours each day.

        Per the media, I agree! My point was that even these hand-picked people never seem to have published a thing about what they saw at Scott City, though the BLM did let the public know they were bringing in media for a tour. The silence is what I question, and hints at either no media ever really attended, or they were bought off. There wasn’t even a “happy: story about the cute and happy well-fed horses in pens!

        We don’t know because nothing was published (that I can find anyway).

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      • TY, RT for doin this story for me. I was told from the office that the rest of the horses went to pasture n the Flint Hills here n Kansas. That’s what Paul McQuire from the BLM told them. I remember these pics and I do have some others from 2016. I was only 30 mins from them. Totally uncalled for.

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  5. Thanks, Debbie, for staying on this sad story. I wish I could say I am surprised, having contacted Paul Maguire numerous times as these fatalities began to be reported, and after a modicum of politeness he closed off and basically told me to go FOIA myself. Since the media was allowed on site (but nothing was published that I could find) and necropsies were per BLM conducted within a few days of the first deaths, this information was known and was concealed by people whose salaries we pay.

    I have some further questions I was unable to find answers for:

    1. The numbers. It seemed the numbers removed from Teterville never matched the numbers that showed up at Scott City, and I wonder now if the numbers leaving Scott City (minus those reported dead) match up with those relocated back to Teterville?

    2. Since so many of the listed necropsies indicate “old age/natural causes” for death, is it possible to correlate the ages with the identified horses? As in, list the age for each known dead horse. I’d like to know how many were not old but died from what can only be politely described as poor management practices.

    3. Were the feed bunks tested for ionophores prior to dumping horses into the pens?

    4. What is the purpose and where is the information available about why blood was drawn from horses just before euthanizing them?

    5. What is the “infectious” agent described here, and is it contagious: 9/6/14, 12 p.m. – very large, infected coronary arteries. Heart failure.

    6. How can our paid managers be held accountable for these deaths? Anyone in private enterprise producing such a result from professional management would be terminated and probably prosecuted. This abuse of our system must end, regardless of intent of those involved it is incompetent at best, and as we’ve learned elsewhere, often covers up illegal activities (all on the taxpayer’s dime).

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    • Icy, since the Division Chief for this program, Dean Bolsrad, complained about citizens filing FOIA requests at the last National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting, I suggest you email your questions directly to him at dbolstad@blm.gov and please let us all know his answers to your questions.

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      • Debbie, my are BLM managers also complain publicly about the endless FOIA requests and how time consuming they are. It would seem if they were more public with information they know they already have but withold on purpose, they could solve these self-created problems. I can send questions to Mr. Bolstad but doubt he will be any more forthcoming, without a FOIA request.

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      • Well, if BLM refuses to answer questions from the public, they shouldn’t complain about FOIA requests. The BLM should be posting information monthly about mortality and veterinary reports from ALL facilities.

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      • Debbie, agree about the reporting. Putting it online (since it surely is digital in short order anyway internally) would undoubtedly save taxpayers significant amounts of money being spent having our employees process and chase down FOIA requests. It would be an interesting FOIA request to find out the true costs of FOIA requests, which they also surely already have calculated.

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      • Debby ty beyond! I have some pics from 2016 . I remember these pics all to well. I still look at them to remind myself on that day how many were crammed n to small lots and the feed they were feedin them. They were fed the same sorghum that the cattle ate. Out of troughs.No shelter what so ever and we have dirt blowin constantly and it broke my heart but I still have them pics to remind myself of the Fight for our American Wild horses and burros!

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      • Deb I remember when you took pictures and reported what you were seeing to us. This is very important!!! THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US FOR YOUR HARD WORK!!!

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      • Deb McQueen: This is the first I heard those horses were being fed Sorghum, and the same feed the cattle were — though I have only seen photos of Bison there?

        Regardless, do you know if this was simply cut and dried Sorghum or was it included in some commercial blend which was fed? Some of the concentrated blends for cattle contain elements toxic to horses, including ionophores. But feeding even straight Sorghum to horses can be risky per some studies, and risks would be higher for stressed horses and a sudden dietary and environmental change.

        “…processing sorghum grains may produce conditions favourable for lactate production and accumulation. …

        It was concluded that steam flaking of sorghum exacerbates starch fermentation, which may lead to acidosis-related damage to the epithelium of the pre-glandular stomach.”

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377840105002282

        Lactate production is connected with the painful problem of “tying up” in horses.

        It seems a perfect storm of mismanagement led to the needless and irresponsible deaths of nearly 200 horses which belonged to the US public, then the whole mess was intentionally hidden to the largest extent possible by people who cash checks paid with taxpayer dollars. And yet, nobody takes responsiblity, nobody is fired, and no compensation is returned to taxpayers. Worse, we are villianized for trying to access information which should be freely available.

        Call me outraged. Those horses did nothing to deserve this horrific and pointless end.

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    • PS, forgot to add: The official explanation we were all given for the initial deaths was inability of horses to adjust to the sudden change in diet, so the feed rations were modified by the BLM to help, then almost no more information was ever released.

      It seems now the horses were required to adjust to eating sand and rocks – which any vet or experienced horse person knows is a very painful death sentence. Keeping feed only in the bunks is no prevention, either, as horses will rummage around in the corrals and eat their own manure if hungry and stressed, as these horses who had spent years on pastures surely were.

      Since the BLM has published that each captive wild horse will cost taxpayers around $50,000 over their captive lives, I submit that for these 199 dead horses (at least 3 euthanized before shipping to Scott City), the BLM should refund taxpayers $50,000 each, which comes to: $9,950,000 (plus interest).

      This could take the form of a fine or a reduction in their annual operating budget. I am not kidding – their budgets continue to rise, we pay the freight for piss poor results, and never see any reductions for horses disappeared or killed. Nice work if you can get it… and can look at your kids (or even yourself) without remorse.

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      • We have ALL learned so much from each other over the years but the bottom line is that the BLM is fraudulent and only wants to get rid of the wild horses and burros and they don’t give a hoot about how they do it. Bottom line … it is the innocent wild horses and burros that have and continue to suffer. I am SICK of it!

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      • Icy – hope you dont stop posting – I always learn from your posts as I do from GGs! We all have to at least make the attempt, as hard as it is, to bring this info into the light!

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  6. So what needs to happen now as Advocates You Need to take the necropsies and file a suit to Stop Roundups based on the High ratio of heart failure possibly due to the helicopter roundups intense stresz and heightened fear responses which lead to painful as well lethal ulcers. These are All caused by Extreme stress. STRESS also causes Colic. These roundups are lethal to horses and often ulcer symptoms are not visually observed if they are Not fatal. Some present with listlessness, off behaviors, drooling, etc. By then they are serious. These horses are put under Extreme Stress and then the housing where they are Forced to live together as often Wild bands break away from other bands and there in holding which disrupts their normal separations from those bands. The handlers are often more worried about their own safety than the health mental and emotional welfare of the horses which directly is linked to All these issues including ulcers, heart conditions and Colic. These are All situations which a allowing the horses to be roaming free prevent. These high numbers are proving these roundups are more dangerous than first realized. While accepted the roundups may be the largest causation of deaths and must cease to provide healthier environment for the horses. And. I WANT to point out. Horses are generally noted to require 1 legal acre of grazing per head of horse. Less if constantly hay fed and excersized properly. However, these horses are contained by the BLM in an area much smaller ie Holding pens than Allowable space with the large numbers as well they also complain about horses overusing grazing lands. If you figure say 50,000 wild horses by average 2 acres each horse then they only Require free roaming 100,000 acres. Now you divide the 100,000 acres by the Entire Public Land Acreage and you have millions of acres more than free roaming horses require. We have to start Calling them out on the Abuse and Lies. JUST straight out. File a suit stating theres more than enough of the American Standard of avreage per horse available as well clarify the massive cattle impact dettremental to the public lands and finally clarify the deaths Are a Direct Result of Stress, Pain, and illness caused by exhaustion, fear, stress, amlnd yes abuse mental emotional and physical vaused by toundups.

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  7. Don’t let it stop here….let the Public know what happens to their Wild Horses & Burros behind closed doors and that their dollars are paying for it…Facebook, Twitter, Radio, letters to the editor…

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  8. This is a “must read” for WH&B lovers

    WILD HORSES
    THE STRESS OF CAPTIVITY (excerpts)
    Bruce Nock, PhD

    You might also recall what I said above about digestion. It came to a screeching halt
    as soon as the horse was alarmed. Perfect conditions for the development of intestinal compactions and colic-the #1 killer of horses. Again, it is no surprise the BLM reported colics associated with the Calico Complex Gather.

    The same can be said for the horses reported to be “Not Adapting to Hay.” Of
    course not! Let’s be honest. It has nothing at all to do with the hay and probably little to do with the change of diet. It’s about being scared our of their wits and the sympathetic tone shutting down processes related to appetite and digestion.

    But these overt consequences are just the tip of the iceberg. Let me explain. Here’s
    the thing, psychological stress regardless of the source also activates the fight-or-flight reaction. The body doesn’t distinguish between a fight-or-flight situation, like being chased by a helicopter, and a psychological stressor. That means the bad news for wild horses only begins with the gather.

    Once in captivity, there are all sorts of unnatural stressors to deal with … things that
    go against some of the most basic instincts of horses. And they cause the same bodily changes as the ‘chase.’

    There’s the confinement itself. Imagine how stressful confinement in an unfamiliar
    place must be to a species who depends on running for survival and who instinctively
    avoids places where they might get trapped.

    On top of that, there’s the social unrest from confinement in close quarters with
    unfamiliar horses. And don’t overlook the importance of such things as the loss of or separation from lifelong herd mates … companions and family. It is egocentric to think such things are only important to our species.
    http://www.liberatedhorsemanship.com/Bruces_Books_files/Wild%20Horse%20Stress.pdf

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    • I can only imagine. But people don’t care. If we were to do this to each other, just imagine the outcry, as we can see with the protests of late. But nobody cares about other life on the planet. But on with the Super Bowl and drunken celebrations and gluttony! (/sarcasm). I never was much of a football fan, and I am definitely not in any kind of mood for celebration with all that is going on (or not going on) in politics.

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  9. GOVERNMENT (BLM) NEEDS TO LEAVE MY WILD HORSES ALONE. THEY HAVE BEEN FREE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.
    NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY’RE A THREAT.
    MONEY HUNGRY GOVERNMENT AND THESE WELFARE RANCHERS NEED TO TAKE A HIKE!!!!
    THE HUMAN RACE IS THE DEATH OF US ALL. THE ANIMALS ARE ALL HERE FOR A REASON. BRINGING THEM TO EXTINCTION FOR FRACKING THE LAND IS OBSURD! !!!
    LET THEM FREE!!!!

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  10. I can’t imagine what is going to happen to all our wild horse’s they keep rounding them up and putting them in holding pens without shelter from the weather, and seperated from there families and young foals taken from there mothers this is a horrendous act of cruelty.

    On Feb 2, 2017 4:29 PM, “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” wrote:

    > debbiecoffey posted: “Wild horses next to bison at the Beef Belt Feedyard > in Scott City, Kansas in 2014 By Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse > Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation Copyright 2017 All Rights > Reserved. In the middle of June, 2014, the BLM moved ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  11. President Trump PLEASE HELP our Wild Mustangs !!!
    Put an end to the BLM !
    They are cruel, greedy and digusting people and should not have any interaction with our “wild life”
    whatsoever.

    Like

  12. Who is the contractor for BLM’s Scott City, KS “Emergency Short Term Holding facility?”
    by Debbie Coffey, V.P.,
    Aug 22, 2014

    75 wild mares died in a very short amount of time at BLM’s emergency short term holding facility in Scott City, Kansas.

    The BLM awarded the contract for an emergency short term holding facility to Phil Jennings, who has the contract for the BLM’s Pauls Valley facility in Oklahoma. Jennings has had contracts with BLM since 2005 for Pauls Valley, and the obligation amounts seemed to be mostly in about the $100,000 to $300,000 range.
    The BLM Scott City, KS emergency short term holding facility contract was signed 6/4/2014, and the obligation amount is $2,030,000. Yep, that’s a jump to over $2 million dollars.

    But Jennings is in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. That’s about a 400 mile drive to Scott City, Kansas. It seems Jennings may have LEASED the feedlot run by Beef Belt, LLC in Scott City, KS. So, in essence, BLM’s contractor hired a subcontractor.
    (Does that seem to make Jennings a very well paid middleman?)

    If a contractor leases a feedlot from what is in essence a subcontractor, then the subcontractor has no direct contract with instructions and obligations to the BLM, does it? Did any BLM personnel give written instructions and obligations to Beef Belt, LLC, which was formed in 10/1/13 (just 9 months prior to getting this windfall of business)? Or.was it only after 70 horses died, that the BLM finally seemed to get concerned or involved, and give instructions about the feed?

    https://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/08/22/who-is-the-contractor-for-blms-scott-city-ks-emergency-short-term-holding-facility/

    Like

    • Louie, interesting question. I think any government contractor is required to carry insurance at a minimum of $100,000. Since in this contract situation the public lost 196-199 horses due to the actions of contractors, one should then expect the taxpayers to be reimbursed at a minimum for these losses, and perhaps with added penalties and now, interest. If this is NOT happening, then the question is WHY NOT?

      Since the BLM widely publishes that a captive wild horse is being kept that way at a cost of $50,000 per horse over that horse’s lifetime, it is then also true that that is the value of an individual horse to the public, since we are paying for this in the BLM’s approved budget.

      By that calculus, 196 horses at $50,000 comes to $9,800,000. Of course, the ages of the horses at death would have to be calculated against their otherwise natural lifespan and the reimbursement adjusted to match.

      Also, the BLM budget should logically be reduced by $9,800,000 since these horses no longer require care.

      Some questions arise here:

      1. Is the contractor’ or contractors insurance being billed for the horses who died under their care?

      2. If not, why not?

      3. Has the BLM budget been reduced to correspond to the reduction in horses needing care?

      4. If not, why not?

      Why does the taxpayer pay for professional managers, pay for contractors, pay for the grazing program while losing access and opportunities to see wild horses in the wild, while never getting any compensation for losses or reduction in program costs due to incompetence and corruption among the paid professionals responsible?

      Like

  13. Disgusted . Couldn’t read the write up. They should all be ashamed of themselves, horses, burros, donkeys and mules are so beautiful. Have people forgotten what the poor mules went through during the Burma campaign and war horse. Susan . London

    Like

  14. TY, RT for doin this story for me. I was told from the office that the rest of the horses went to pasture n the Flint Hills here n Kansas. That’s what Paul McQuire from the BLM told them. I remember these pics and I do have some others from 2016. I was only 30 mins from them. Totally uncalled for.

    Like

  15. Just re-read this and noticed:

    “14 wild horses died of fractures of the spinal cord (neck and back). 6 horses died of leg or pelvis fractures. On just one day, 4/3/15, 3 horses died of a brain/head injury and 2 of a broken leg/pelvis. With the comment ‘Inspected by Dr. Stevens. Result of windstorm – ran into fence.’”

    Since these horses were penned for some time and knew where the corral fences were, it had to be a helluva a windstorm – and probably a biting sandstorm from which they could not escape. This is also a tornado alley, and was experiencing a number of them around that time. It had to seem like hell on earth for these confined animals, whose only instinct would be to flee, and circle in the pens at full gallop, hardly able to see. Our tax dollars at work, again.

    When will anyone be held accountable for the result of their paid work?

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=Scott+City+KS+tornado+in+April+2015&pc=MOZI&form=MOZTSB

    Like

    • Hadn’t considered hailstorms there. But quite likely, here’s one a few hundred miles south around that time. With no shelters and no place to run it’s a wonder more horses weren’t broken at Scott City KS, in wind, sand or hailstorms. Ouch!

      Like

  16. take a look at that feedlot on google map & it’s still packed with horses in bare dirt pens. no hay, not even any hay stored anywhere to feed. doesn’t even look like any water or feeders in pens.

    Like

  17. The BLM NEEDS TO BE DISMANTLED BECAUSE THEY CATER TO THE RANCHERS AND LOBBYISTS AND MONEY AND NOT TO THE REQUEST OF ALL THE AMERICAN AND WORLD WIDE PEOPLE THAT DO NOT WANT THESE PROTECTED WOLD HORSES AND BURROS PUT IN HOLDING PENS!!! RELEASE THEM ALL BACK TO THEIR NATIVE HOMES AND BAN THE RANCHERS FROM PUBLIC LANDS!!! THE BLM STUDIES ARE BULLSHIT AND TAILORED TO FAVOR THE RANCHERS, BIG OIL AND FRACKING!!! NO MORE!!! LISTEN TO THE AMERICAN POPULATION AND STOP ROUNDING UP OUR FEDERALLY PROTECTED HORSES AND BURROS AND RELEASE ALL THE CAPTURED HORSES AND BURROS BEING HELD BACK TO THEIR NATIVE LANDS AT ONCE!!!

    Like

    • Yes I agree! It is a shame..They protect alligators in florida from being hunted now they are over running the place but they let them roam free…I don’t see why they can’t just leave the horses alone. It was their land first …or move some to our national parks..there is plenty of room there..

      Like

  18. Wow!! I am totally disgusted and sick to my stomach after reading all the comments on this page. Obviously the wrong people are in charge of taking care of these horses.There should be an advocate appointed on behalf of the welfare of the horses to oversee that they are being properly cared for at all of these holding pens. Install cameras so they could be viewed 24/7. All these men seem to be interested is making money off us not the welfare of the animals. Only a animal lover should be in charge not a money grubber. How could we go about having this changed? To have someone who loves horses to oversee the care at all the facilities. Is this a possibility? Or even have someone get them abusing the horses on film and turn them in so they get fired..Any suggestions?

    Like

  19. Worth asking here that once the long term holding contractor indicated he wanted out, creating the “emergency” need to move horses somewhere, it was never considered to put some or all back on legal horse areas now emptied of wild horses. Most accounts put this at around 22 million acres. Even if this was a temporary relocation these horses would have had a better chance at survival.

    By law, our “management” is required to be the “minimal feasible” amount, which clearly indicates those horses should have been returned to legal areas on public lands rather than the ongoing heavy-handed, highest cost, and generally fatal management we’ve subjected them to.

    Why was this option never even considered?

    Like

  20. This just makes me SICK!! There is no reason to remove these horses from their homes. No reason to disturb their lives. All of the reasons for their deaths are completely preventable and caused by their removal. LEAVE THESE HORSES ALONE!!! STOP these cruel acts…

    Like

  21. Pingback: - Front Range Equine Rescue

  22. Pingback: Wild Horse Atrocities Exposed - Front Range Equine Rescue

  23. BLM HAS NO FREAKING RIGHT TO BE ROUNDING UP THESE WILD HORSES OR WILD BURROS OR THE WILD BISON!!!! AND BLM SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF THESE WILD HORSES DIEING!!! SET THE WILD BISON AND WILD HORSES AND WILD BURROS FREE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! GOD PUT THESE ANIMALS ON THIS EARTH TO RUN FREE AND BE WILD. GOD DIDN’T PUT THEM ON THIS EARTH FOR BLM TO ROUND THEM UP AND STARVE THEM TO DEATH!! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S TAXES PAY FOR THESE ANIMALS TO LIVE THEIR LIVES WILD AND FREE!! GET RID OF BLM FOR GOOD!!!!!

    Like

  24. How DARE the BLM allow this Killing Field to continue to KILL healthy horses due to poor care. This makes me furious. Who will be held responsible? WHEN ??!!
    These BLM people continue to get their paychecks even wirh scores of DEAD HORSES AT THEIR FEET!
    On the free and open range these horses do just fine. Then the BLM gets involved to keep the cattlemen happy and profitable and THOUSANDS of wild horses are now dead,many sent to SLAUGHTER.
    STOP THIS NOW!!

    Like

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