|Every time a round up occurs I think to myself how absolutely unnecessary these removals are.
Kisatchie: 604,000 acres
Fort Polk: over 150,000 acres and growing as they continue to purchase more and more land.
With reports stating there are less than an estimated 20-30 horses remaining in the North Fort Area, the Environmental Division at Fort Polk has all but annihilated these precious herds by removing 318 horses to date.
A direct consequence of their chosen Course of Action (COA7) is these wild horses are funneled into an already flooded domestic horse market, using Federal Dollars to do so, rather than using federal dollars to implement a herd management program. No they use your tax dollars to destroy biologically unique herds that have ranged on these lands for centuries, as far back as the 15th and 16th centuries.
One instance is that approx. 100k of federal grant money was used to contract with the Thompson Kill Pen last year for round up and capture. More about Federal Grant Money used to fund Thompson Kill Pen
Further more, rescues have to absorb the cost of vetting because, God Forbid they use a cent to actually HELP the horses or rescues. And on top of that the Army has a “rescue”, known for sending horses to kill pens, at the top of their “501c3” list. And this fraud of a rescue remains on the top of the list until they FAIL to pick up the horses. And they will stop at nothing to remain on top, they already have transferred Fort Polk Horses to the “Thompson Kill Pen”
Rescues who are focused on preservation have to “wheel and deal” with the bogus rescue to ensure they don’t end up in a kill pen. In addition, approximately 44 Fort Polk Horses, from earlier this year, were picked up by Agents of Meridian Falls and they have all but vanished. So where did those horses end up?
Four years ago Fort Polk held a meeting regarding this removal. From day one the public has begged them to consider other options, to consider their significance, to at least treat these horses with respect and be conservative in their removal plans. This fell on deaf years … while the army was required by federal law to opened it up to public comment they didn’t bother to consider any sort of preservation and basically ignored the public.
A legal battle ensued and lasted from December of 2016 to 2019
In the end the ongoing fight to protect and preserve the wild and free roaming horses of Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest continues despite Judge Robert Summerhays decision, choosing to IGNORE significant evidence of their genetic and cultural importance.
Why was crucial evidence ignored by the court? Short answer is evidence was ignored on a date technicality.
Judge Summerhays cited the reason being…. that Pegasus Equine Guardian Association discovered and submitted after the June 2016 comment period ended. This evidence was collected as a result of Pegasus’ time and money to prove significance and could have only been collect and analyzed after the comment period because it takes time and money to collect and analyze evidence… this should have been done as part of the Army’s Environmental Assessment but conveniently this was ignored… and not done.
Sadly we lost our lawsuit; however we lost on narrow grounds. The info wasn’t available at that time the army closed their EA, back in 2016. Even during the hearing We could tell that minds of judges were being changed when they saw the potential of biologically significant horses. However the judge that heard the case was not the deciding judge and our case past through a few judges hands before Judge Summerhays ruled against us and ignored the evidence based on a date technicality.
It is important to note that a two equine research labs agreed to analyze and one has included some of the captured Fort Polk Horses blood in an ongoing research project that was a cooperative international effort.
Take action today: https://pegasusequine.wordpress.com/take-action/
This is a collaborative effort by like minded individuals and grass roots rescue and equine advocacy organizations.