Horse News

BLM glosses over coverup of 213 wild horse deaths on the Scott City, KS, feedlot


Photos of wild mares at Teterville (photo: Carol Walker)

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

Copyright 2017   All Rights Reserved.

After no news for 2 years by BLM on their promised investigation and report to the public on the deaths of wild horses at Scott City, KS, after our 2/2/17 report titled “196 wild horses died at BLM’s Scott City feedlot (a BLM Auschwitz for wild horses),” the BLM was suddenly able to muster up a little something for the public on the Wild Horse & Burro Program website in only about a week.

It popped up under “news” and it seems the BLM was careful to not mention deaths or draw too much attention to the issue at hand in the headline, by titling their “news” “Status of Off Range Corral in Scott City, KS.”

In fact, buried at the end of the 3rd paragraph, the BLM (with more current information) finally stated that 213 mares died (out of the 1,493 wild mares) between June 2014 and October, 2016.

So, about 14% of the wild horses that the BLM shipped to that feedlot, died on that feedlot.

It seems that in the very little offered as a “news” report to the public, the BLM tried to cover up their actions (and more importantly, their lack of action), resulting in the deaths of so many wild horses.

In BLM’s “news” version (HERE) of what happened to wild horses on the Scott City feedlot, they cited “crowding at the feed bunks most likely resulting in some horses not receiving the protein and energy required to support their needs. The BLM made adjustments and the animals began to acclimate and show improvements in their overall health, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in the monthly mortality rate. “

SO WHY DID SO MANY WILD HORSES DIE BEFORE THE “ADJUSTMENTS” WERE MADE?  In an August 2014 article on EquiMed, USDA veterinarian Dr. Al Kane stated “in addition to increasing the amount of feed being offered during feedings, we’ve worked with the onsite veterinarian and the operator to increase the energy density of the horses’ feed by increasing the ratio of alfalfa to grass in the hay mix.  This helps support the horses’ nutritional needs during the transition from open-pasture to the corral environment”..

WHY WASN’T THE CORRECT FEED PLANNED BEFORE THE WILD HORSES ARRIVED AT THIS FEEDLOT?  The BLM has been “managing” wild horses for about 45 years and still can’t get it right.

The BLM still didn’t inform the public that 87 of the 196 wild horses were euthanized, or that 41 wild horses died of colic or that 14 wild horses died of fractures of the spinal cord (neck and back) and 6 horses died of leg or pelvis fractures.  The BLM’s version of the “news” didn’t mention the wind storms that were noted by the local veterinarian in his reports to them, or the many cases of sand colic suffered by the wild horses, or the fact that a squeeze chute wasn’t brought to the feedlot until almost 2 months after the horses arrived. 

Note that the BLM’s “news” did not provide you with the name of the contractor for the Teterville Off Range Pasture (ORP) in Kansas.  (And, also note that the BLM doesn’t disclose the names of ALL of the ORP contractors for the public anywhere on the Wild Horse & Burro Program website.)

While omitting so many important facts for the public in their “news,” the BLM managed to hone in on a couple of mistakes in our article.  We corrected these immediately.  However, we didn’t kill 213 wild horses and the BLM can’t “undo” what they did.

The real issue is that 213 wild horses (that we know of), died on this feedlot, no matter what the time frame, and the BLM didn’t issue a promised report to the public until now.

If the BLM would give more information to the public, there would be no mistakes.  We request that the BLM, in the spirit of transparency, post the spreadsheet containing the freezemark numbers of the horses that died, the dates of deaths and causes of death, and all of the veterinary, necropsy and blood pathology reports of the Scott City wild mares on the Wild Horse & Burro Program website.

We can only hope the BLM will apply some focus to noticing and correcting their mistakes in their own statistics and data, and in their management of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.



10 replies »

  1. This is outrageous and unjustified inhumane treatment of these wild horse’s. The BLM is a group of sick and twisted people. The helecoptor roundups and running these horse’s to extreme lengths some to exhaustion and even death is so cruel. Not only does the BLM and there shady corrupt and inhumane treatment of our wild horse’s happen right under there big fat noses of our Government our Government doesn’t stand up to them ,they should be ashamed for letting such an act of cruelty keep happening over and over again. Horse’s ripped from there freedom and family’s taken away. Young foals taken from there mothers and stuck in holding pens without shelter and in horrendous weather. This is sick and disgusting that these horse’s are treated in this manner. Leave them alone do not put them through this horrific treatment anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Transparency! HA! The BLM are experts at hiding their illegal and immoral activities and then sweeping them under the rug. Here is the response that I got from BLM’s sales manager when I asked about the sale of our 1,784 wild horses to Tom Davis:
    12/13/10 at 11:55 AM

    Thank you for your interest in the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Our goal
    is to find good long term care for the horses. Before someone can purchase
    a horse, they need to complete the attached questionnaire. We then spend
    quite a bit of time talking with the interested purchaser on what their
    plans are for the horse(s). We sell horses with the following intent
    Purchaser agrees not to knowingly sell or transfer ownership of any listed
    wild horse(s) and/or burro(s) to any person or organization with an
    intention to resell, trade, or give away the animal(s) for processing into
    commercial products.
    If we become aware of someone we have sold horses to who then sells or
    transfer ownership to any person who sells them to slaughter, we turn them
    over to the Department of Justice for prosecution and we will not sell or
    adopt to that person again.
    The person who is interested in purchasing horses from Canon City has
    purchased horses from us in the past. He has placed horses with
    individuals who have property and are interested in having a few (four or
    five) wild horses running on their property.
    We have other individuals who are interested in purchasing Adobe Town
    horses currently at Canon City and we will work with them to make sure that
    they will be able to provide good long term care for the horses.
    Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Sally
    Sally Spencer
    Wild Horse & Burro Program
    Office: 202-912-7265
    Fax: 202-912-7182


  3. Why am I not surprised about this? BLM transparency is a joke!! I thank everyone for their previous comments. Most of all I thank RT, Terry, & Jerry Finch just to name a few orgs who truly care! Front Range, Return to Freedom, Animals Angels, The Horses Fund, & so many other orgs. Do not mean to not mention all of the other orgs who truly care.. There are sooo many! Luv all for being a voice for the innocent ones who have no voice!! RT & Terry keep us grounded to keep us focused on the cause! And that is why we Believe!!!!


  4. Let’s see. At $50,000 per horse x 213 dead, the BLM budget paid by taxpayers who want these horses kept alive by professional managers should therefore be showing a deduction of $10,650,000. (Not to mention penalties and interest, or what we paid for hidden necropsy reports and veterinarian visits etc.).


    • Not to mention that it costs the taxpayer nothing nothing nothing for these wild horses and burros to live on their legally designated (by Congress) lands!


  5. Enough to sicken the hearts of good people. These beautiful, iconic horses have done nothing to deserve this abuse and genocide other than being born. In my opinion, until economic pressure is put upon the cattle ranchers (in the form perhaps of beef boycott), nothing will change. The entire Dept of the Interior is in the “back pocket” (quite the euphemism!) of the cattle industry. They will stop at nothing to wipe out any wildlife that could peacefully coexist with the cattle, but is not allowed to. The BLM has such a horrible and inhumane reputation that I don’t know how much longer they can expect to operate. All who care for the ponies and burros, please join with me in prayer and monetary support for the sanctuaries and rescues – they work tirelessly and deserve our support. Thank you so much!


  6. Is this like the FOIAs that used to come black markered out? While they yell Fake News they dont exactly put the Real News out there. Next thing youll see is black plastic duct taped around all the pens and youll have to guess howmany jelly beams are in the jar to know the actual wild horse numbers of who survive the BLM.


  7. Even the feeding adjustment the BLM made sounds like a rich diet that many of the horses may have difficulty digesting. Alfalfa is a rich hay that is not regularly used in most domestic situations. Timothy is usually a healthier choice. The new food must be slowly introduced so that bacteria in the horse’s gut has a chance to to break down. Without the bacteria, the horse is incapable of digesting anything. Dr. Kaine should know this by now, but after so many years watching this and seeing the same management mistakes made repeatedly, one has to wonder if anyone actually working with the horses knows anything about them at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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