Whatever They are Called, Fort Polk Horses are Wild

as published on the Beauregard Daily News

“There are in fact several unique herds of truly wild horses that are of value both environmentally and culturally, especially to the inhabitants of the area, but also to all Americans. …”

Regarding the articles about the Ft. Polk Horses:

The title of the most-recent article, “Making Sense of Fort Polk Horses Plan”, implies that the plan makes sense.

fort-polk-horsesWhile it is true that there are abandoned horses at Ft. Polk, there are also in reality herds of Wild Horses on the Fort Polk / Kisatchie lands, regardless of the label “trespass horses” that Ft. Polk placed upon all of the horses, not just the abandoned ones. Ft. Polk spokespersons always accentuate their claim that all of the horses are “trespass horses” by pointing to a court decision that happened about 15 years ago.However, the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was implemented for the purpose of preservation and protection of wild horses, Congress uses the term “unbranded and unclaimed” in reference to what distinguishes wild horses on the ranges where they existed prior to 1971. Unfortunately, an appeal from a humane organization to have the wild horses recognized as “wild” under the 1971 law resulted in an unfavorable decision by the court, in part because of misinformation from the government’s side and insufficient evidence to the contrary. However, today there is sufficient evidence based upon historical documentation, physical appearance, location, and behavior of the herds of wild horses.

There are in fact several unique herds of truly wild horses that are of value both environmentally and culturally, especially to the inhabitants of the area, but also to all Americans. They should be preserved and protected. Wild horses are wild horses by their nature, regardless of what label some want to put on them. The wild horses that survive today may be regarded as “feral” by some, however, the fact that horses were domesticated before they were reintroduced back to the North American continent matters little from a biological nor welfare standpoint. Regardless if the horses are abandoned, Generationally Wild or otherwise Wild, their welfare is at stake.

Pegasus would like to express the difference between herd management methods when discussing Wild Horses vs. Domesticated Horses. The domestic horse mentality uses the term “Sterilization” which implies gelding of stallions and/or ovariectomy of mares. These methods of sterilization have been shown to be detrimental to the health and nature of these horses, and are never recommended as solutions for Wild Horses. So what can be done?

Fertility Control is an option that can be successful, if administered responsibly, using methods and practices that are consistent with its recommended use to perpetuate healthy herds with genetic viability and diversity.

There is a significant likelihood that horses being removed run the risk of being sent to slaughter. We have received several statements that both federal and state officials have actually reached out to known Kill Buyers offering to make deals for removal. This lack of serious concern will surely result in the horses going to slaughter.

Slaughter is what happens to the majority of “unwanted” horses in this country as shown by the Animal Welfare Institute, 2015 Horse Slaughter Statistics, approx. 125,000 American horses were sent to a brutal, inhumane, terrorizing death last year. The term, Kill Buyer, is a commonly used term to describe those who profit from buying and selling horses for slaughter and these individuals are fixtures at horse sales (commonly referred to as Auctions, Sale Barns or Feed Lots).

“The journey to this cruel death is preceded by horrendous handling and transport methods. This process often includes the horses being shipped from auction to auction, in scorching heat or freezing blizzards and are deprived of food, water and rest. They are not separated by gender, age, size, or degree of aggressiveness. These trailers, designed with lower ceilings for cattle, prevent the horses from holding their heads upright during transport, which often causes them severe head, neck and limb injuries. During transport and at the slaughterhouse, eyes are often poked out on unruly horses. In some Mexican regional plants, horses are not rendered unconscious during the killing process but are merely immobilized by being stabbed repeatedly with a sort of dagger called a “puntilla” in the back of the neck to break the spinal cord. The excruciatingly painful, horribly bloody stabbing neither kills nor renders unconscious; it merely incapacitates the horses, making them the equivalent of tetraplegic, before they are hoisted, whereupon their throats are slit and their bodies are dismembered. During the entire process, the horses in Mexico are fully aware. [The foregoing paragraph is from an article by Jerry Finch, Habitat for Horses.] Since we know that the horse market is already flooded with healthy horses, we can assert that the minute the horses enter the horse market their risk for ending up in auctions and eventually slaughterhouses increases substantially.”

– Jerry Finch, Habitat for Horses. [Please see: http://humaneheart.org/horses for Internet links to the 5 article series on horse slaughter.]

While we applaud attempts by organizations to assist, we have serious concerns. It is difficult to believe that the Humane Society of North Texas, an organization that says they would take all of the horses, could have placed, with success, 100 horses per month so far this year, as the article indicates. In comparison, many of the BLM placed horses ended-up at slaughter, and the BLM has taken serious precautions to prevent it (e.g., freeze branding horses in a conspicuous and unalterable way). The BLM has approximately 55,000 horses and 11,000 burros that they have been taking from public lands and have been keeping (for years) in holding facilities awaiting adoption.

“In light of the thousands of wild horses and burros that the federal government wants to remove from the range in Nevada and elsewhere, it would be irresponsible for the Department of Defense to move forward without a long-term, humane management plan for the Ft. Polk horses. We respectfully urge the Army to partner with local organizations to create and implement a humane management plan, using safe, proven fertility control, to reduce the number of horses over time..”

– Neda DeMayo, nationally known wild horse expert: President, Return to Freedom (Wild Horse Preservation, Education & Sanctuary); and Founder, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a coalition of organizations dealing with current wild horse crisis issues.

The article concluded with a paragraph that implied everything will be “OK” because animal advocates will be looking out for the horses. This is very misleading. Ft. Polk has already said they will be doing nothing with regard to following-up on the horses that leave Ft. Polk. The end result is that the horses will be in jeopardy as a result of the Ft. Polk “plan”.

Pegasus would like to see a partnership between governing organizations, wild horse preservation groups, advocates and citizens. It is believed many of the Military’s safety concerns could be addressed as well as acting in the best interest of the horses and enhancing public relations. We feel the Army’s plan falls short. Here are some examples of what horse welfare advocates would like to see; a horse registry, low-stress handling, and non-permanent fertility control while maintaining the uniqueness of the Wild Horse herds. Also their plan has no mention of what governing authorities will do about the in ability to enforce basic animal abandonment laws, which is a problem that will only continue unless addressed. It is important to realize that partnerships like this do exist and are successful; for example North Dakota Badlands Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park is an excellent example for Louisiana to follow. Please check them out. http://ndbh.org/

So If you feel the same sense of concern as we do, you should make those concerns known to Fort Polk as well as Local and Federal Government Officials. Pegasus hopes to encourage citizens to find ways to preserve the wild horses, and take a sensible & low-stress approach to managing the unique horse herds in Kisatchie and Fort Polk.

Hanchey can be reached through Operationcowgirl@gmail.com



Story by Grandma Gregg

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management announced its Rangeland Stewardship Awards for 2016 and gave the awards to welfare ranchers. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year.

The Rangeland Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Mori Ranch in Tuscarora, Nevada

USDA subsidy information for Mori Ranches LLC

Mori Ranches LLC received payments totaling $464,477 from 1995 through 2014


USDA subsidy information for Mori Ranches LLC

Mori Ranches LLC received payments totaling $140,486 from 1995 through 2014

The Sage-Grouse Habitat Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Drewsey Ranch in Burns, Oregon

USDA subsidy information for Drewsey Field Ranch Company

Drewsey Field Ranch Company received payments totaling $243,900 from 1995 through 2014



Castrated, Captive, Former Wild Horses Now Roam Power Ball Winner’s Land

Unedited story by Seth Tupper as published on GrandRapidsMN.com

“The BLM’s propaganda war against wild horses and burros continues in the unedited article below.  It contains inaccurate numbers, hints on sending the horses to slaughter AND the livestock company “Spur Livestock” who managed this move were caught by Wild Horse Freedom Federation selling wild horses to known kill buyers, click (HERE), which the Feds swiftly swept under the carpet.  If you are still a little qweezy from watching last night’s presidential debate, reading this article first thing in the morning is not going to improve the status of your upside down stomach.  Let the reader beware.” ~ R.T.

photo - Chris Huber

photo – Chris Huber

NEWELL | As an illustration of the lengths the federal government must now go to manage all the wild horses under its care, it doesn’t get much more telling than this: In South Dakota, a Powerball jackpot winner is now getting paid to let the government’s horses roam his land.

On Tuesday, officials of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management showed off the roughly 50 square miles of grassland where a herd of 917 newly transferred wild horses will graze for years to come.

The land is about 25 miles east of Newell, or about 75 miles northeast of Rapid City. The property is owned by Neil Wanless of South Dakota, who bought it with the proceeds of a $232 million Powerball jackpot he won in 2009 (he opted for a lump-sum payment and took home $89 million after taxes.)

Wanless, who is preternaturally averse to media attention, did not attend the tour that was staged for the media Tuesday. His ranch manager, Adam Karrels, attended in his stead.

“He likes his privacy,” Karrels said.

Wanless’ privacy is further protected by his private arrangement with Spur Livestock LLC, which has a registered address in Midland and is owned by South Dakota ranchers Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson. The government pays Spur Livestock a varying rate of around $2 per head, per day, to ensure that the horses are fed, watered and kept relatively wild and free-roaming. Spur Livestock, in turn, has a private deal with Wanless to keep the horses on his land.

Spur Livestock has another contract for 400 BLM wild horses kept on land near Eagle Butte. During the past fiscal year, the company was paid a total of about $1 million by the federal government, according to the government website USAspending.gov.

The pastures managed by Spur Livestock are known as “off-range pastures,” because they are home to excess horses culled from the free-roaming herds on vast BLM ranges in places such as Nevada, Wyoming and Oregon.

The BLM has about 67,000 horses on wild ranges, which BLM officials say is 40,000 more than the ranges can support. Some of the excess horses are adopted, but those that are not adopted must be kept somewhere. Increasingly, those horses are being sent to off-range pastures.

There are now 32,000 wild horses in 28 off-range pastures like the two operated by Spur Livestock, and the BLM is adding five more off-range pastures this year. Another 12,000 excess BLM horses are waiting in holding corrals, bringing the total number of off-range horses under the BLM’s care to nearly 45,000.

During the 2015 fiscal year, the federal government paid the owners and operators of all those off-range corrals and pastures $49 million.

The BLM has little choice but to keep all of its horses alive and well, because of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act approved by Congress in 1971. The law grew out of concern about the widespread roundup and slaughter of wild horses in the American West. It now prevents the killing of wild horses on BLM land and some other federal lands in all but a few limited circumstances, such as when horses need to be euthanized because of their old age, lameness or sickness.

Some wild horses on non-BLM federal lands are not protected by the 1971 law, and when those horses grow to unsustainable numbers, they’re often adopted or rescued by private sanctuaries. That’s how the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros near Lantry accumulated many of its 810 horses, which were impounded recently by county authorities after allegations surfaced of starving horses on the society’s ranch. BLM officials on Tuesday’s tour stressed that there is no connection whatsoever between the private Lantry sanctuary and the BLM wild-horse program.

The BLM is trying to stem the growth of its wild herds with ongoing research into population-control methods, including a fertility control vaccine. Meanwhile, the agency has few options but to keep culling wild horses from the ranges and expanding the off-range pasture program. In September, when a BLM advisory board voted to recommend selling or euthanizing some of the off-range horses, it sparked a public outcry and led the BLM to issue assurances that it would not act on the recommendation.

The Wanless land is one of the newest off-range pastures. The wild horses that occupy it were formerly kept on a large ranch near Fort Pierre until the ranch was sold and Spur Livestock lost its lease. Reeves and Anderson needed a new home for the herd and connected with Wanless, who issued a statement through the South Dakota Lottery after his 2009 Powerball win that said, in part, “I just want to go home and ranch and ride horse and check cows.”

There are still some cattle on the Wanless ranch near Newell, but 33,000 of the ranch’s 42,000 acres are now available to the wild horses. They will be moved around to various parts of the ranch throughout the year to avoid overgrazing, and they’ll drink from dams and from a system of pipes and tanks that Wanless installed to bring water from the Belle Fourche River.

Other than that, the horses will basically live free until death. The average age of the horses on the Wanless land is 15 to 17 years, and some are as old as 34. As older horses die, more horses will be brought in, up to a maximum of 1,022 horses at any given time.

All of the horses are geldings, having been castrated upon their removal from the wild ranges. Some other off-range pastures contain only mares, and none have studs.

Not everyone has welcomed the horses. A neighboring landowner to the Wanless ranch, Sharon Herron, has appealed the BLM environmental assessment that allowed the herd to be transferred. That appeal will be heard by the federal government’s Interior Board of Land Appeals and could result in anything from a rejection to an order to remove the horses.

The BLM has tried to address one of Herron’s concerns by installing double-fencing along her border with the Wanless ranch, thereby providing extra insurance against wild horses roaming onto Herron’s land. But she has expressed numerous other concerns, including the cost of the wild-horse program to taxpayers. She thinks policies should change to allow some wild horses to be sent to slaughter.

“The underlying problem is that the USA does not have a slaughter plant to properly dispose of live horses and to market horse byproducts,” Herron has written.

One affected party that seems greatly pleased with the move to the Wanless ranch is the horses themselves. As reporters looked on Thursday, the animals spread across Wanless’ sweeping, scenic grassy and treeless plains, some of them becoming barely visible specks after crossing only a fraction of their new home. About 40 miles to the southwest loomed the unmistakable form of Bear Butte, and behind it stretched nearly the entirety of the Black Hills, with mountaintops such as Crow Peak, Terry Peak and Black Elk Peak clearly visible.

Debbie Collins, an Oklahoma-based national marketing and outreach specialist for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, marveled at the landscape.

“It’s not such a bad place to hang out,” she said, “if you’re not on the range.”

BLM Mouthpiece Rides Again: Protected Wild Horses and Burros be Damned

“In MY most outraged opinion” ~ R.T. Fitch

“Poison bleeds from the pen of the uninformed…”

david_philippsLike the distant scent of something rotting in the sun the stench of an alleged journalist, under the manipulation of the federal government, has returned to ensure that cruelty and misinformation about wild horses and burros will be spread in the biased, mainstream media, again: enter David Philipps, stage left. (YeeHaa, the little nerd has returned)

You remember Philipps, the cocky, wet-behind-the-ears, reporter wanna-be who blew out of the water an intensive underground investigation into the BLM selling wild horses and burros to slaughter back in 2012, cause he wanted a “scoop”? ( Yup, dat’s the creep…and he is back.)

In 2012 Philipps wrote an article on Tom Davis, neighbor and personal buddy of then Secretary of the Department of Interior Ken Salazar, selling over 1,700 federally protected wild horses off to slaughter…the problem with the expose’ was that it was too little too early as equine advocates had Davis and Salazar dead to rights and before they could adequately pull the documentation together to legally nail the wild equine killers Philipps blew the whistle and the paper trail to legal prosecution evaporated. Advocates had pled with Phillips to hold the info in check but it is a lesson learned that “loose lips sink ships” is a valid phrase that works as well in this war of words as it did back in the World War. Philipps is in it for Philipps. (Look at ME, Look at ME!)

"I'm going to kick your ass, boy!" ~ Salazar

“I’m going to kick your ass, boy!” ~ Salazar

The only good thing that came from Philipps vomiting up crucial evidence against kill buyers was that it pissed off the Chief Horse Killer himself, Ken Salazar, enough that he made the, oh my gosh, mistake of threatening to kick the little creep’s ass in public and not long afterwards he was no longer the Secretary of one of our government’s most corrupt agencies. (So sorry ya ain’t missed…oppps, he works for Hillary now as her transition team lead, yikes.)

Now the little sellout has ridden back onto the scene astride his keyboard of misinformation to paint for the public a story of fabricated frustration for the downtrodden leadership of the BLM and the “woe is me” poor cattle ranchers who house wild horses on their land, instead of cows, while making 5 figures a day for doing so. (Guess who is paying THAT bill, yup, tis you my friend.)

Last week Philipps latest installment in attempting to destroy the last of our wild horses and burro’s freedom was entitled, “Success Spoils a U.S. Program to Round Up Wild Horses” and appeared in the New York Times. (Wow, the Times, why can’t I get anything in the Times. Oh, yeah, we write the truth, that was a no brainer.)

The title alone drips with “suck-upidness” (new word I just invented) and immediately alerts a self-actualized reader that the facts and content will be slanted; as in downhill and south to the feds. (Doink, no need to read further.)

"I is a Pickle!" ~ Bolstad

“I is a Pickle!” ~ Bolstad

The article begins with BLM wild horse program’s lead, Dean Bolstad, pushing back his ole cowboy head and saying “ I love seeing this,” (horses in holding) while lamenting on how the horses are sinking his program. (This is the federal employee who laid the groundwork, and whispered in the ears of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, to KILL and MURDER all of the horses that are in holding…pure, unadulterated bull crap!)

And this good ole boy, who refers the 6th grade as his “senior” year, goes on to say that he and his crones have successfully removed 46,000 wild equines from their rightful range only to plunk then down on 60 private cattle ranches to the tune of $49 million dollars a year…duh.

“We’re in a real pickle,” he continues. Hey, you are not in a real pickle, you ARE the real pickle because it is obvious that your mind is either infused with large amounts of vinegar or embalming fluid as this is a trumped up artificial fiscal emergency of YOUR OWN MAKING you twit. (I know that I am shouting insults but this article is so riddled with stupid that it is difficult to get from one sentence to the next.)

Case in point, Philipps gets a private tour of a secret long term holding contractor, Robert Hughes, in Oklahoma. When was the last time an advocate got a private tour and poor old Bobby says he has, allegedly, 4,000 horses on his land and only making 2 bucks a day for his lack of effort. WHAT, 8 thousand a day for horses grazing…10 days that is 80 thousand and for a month your looking at almost a quarter of million!  (I feel sooo sorry for Bobby. Life is a bitch and then you profit from the feds, I know it is rough but someone has to do it.)

Next ole Philipps interviews two of the newest members of the BLM’s special interest advisory board who voted to KILL all of the horses. “Oh, the devastation to the range is so severe that something has to be done,” they read from their scripts but even the idiot article dummy downs the numbers to confess to the fact that wild equines are out numbered by federally subsidized welfare cattle at the conservative ratio of 10 to 1.

Did you get that? Private, government subsidized cattle out number protected wild equines to the tune of 10 to 1 (they let that slip, must have been a mind fart)…and the range is being overgrazed by horses and burros? And, to add injury to insult, the government pays millions of dollars to take the small number of horses off from their rightful range to put them where, on CATTLE RANCHES.

Is it just me or is there an easy fix, here? Shouldn’t we let the small herds of horses stay on the range, at zero cost, and put cattle on the cattle ranches, again at no cost, and everyone comes out a winner? Oh, stupid me, it is all about double dipping and the welfare ranchers making money on both ends of the stick. Graze on public land for next to nothing and making big money putting former wild horses on your cattle ranch.  (it’s a win/win, honey.)

But Philipps does not see it, he rambles on with poison quotes and incorrect numbers with only a few conciliatory comments from advocates. More mainstream misinformation to the public and the scariest point of all this is that the public believes it. “Well it was in the Times and on the Internet wasn’t it? It’s gotta be true!”

So the war against wild horses and burros rages on as the government, cattle ranchers and their journalistic stooges collude to rid, kill and destroy the few remaining viable herds that still exist on our public lands. (Philipps is a war correspondent by trade, and it shows, here.)

How do we fight back, you ask? Stay informed, stay vigilante and tell everyone that you know about the Fed’s mission to destroy the horses and burros on behalf of their special interest bedfellows. And above all, be certain to inform them not to believe everything that they read as much of it is delivered by henchmen like Philipps who wouldn’t know what an original idea was if it hit him alongside the head.

Ride on, Davey, and take your BLM buddies with you as nothing would make the equine advocates of the world happier than to see the whole lot of you ride off into the sunset, for good.

See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!!!!

R.T. Fitch is a author, blogger and out spoken equine advocate who is noted for having no opinion on anything of consequence; as is evident, here

SD Sheriff: ‘Great improvement’ seen in wild horses on troubled ‘sanctuary’

by as published on Argus Leader

“ISPMB president Karen Sussman denied that the horses were malnourished…”

57ef2233a898e-imageThe Dewey County Sheriff’s Office says state vets are seeing “great improvement” among more than 800 horses on a South Dakota ranch that is accused of starving the animals.

The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) ranch in Lantry is under investigation after a former employee spoke out against the ranch, saying its owner failed to adequately feed and provide veterinary care for the horses living there and that more than 30 had died over the summer.

Earlier this week, a judge ordered ISPMB to turn over care of the horses to Ziebach and Dewey counties. Dewey County State’s Attorney Steven Aberle told the judge at the hearing “that the herd has grown beyond a size that can be adequately cared for.”

On Thursday, the Dewey County Sheriff’s Office posted a statement on Facebook, saying that state vets counted 810 horses on the ranch, a great deal more than the 650 originally estimated. Of those, 25 were marked as needing special care and one elderly horse was marked for euthanization.

“Some of the foal and other horses have been adopted and removed from the ranch since the hearing,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.

It also noted that the vets “commented on the great improvement in condition since their first visit on the 14th of September.”

The two counties will be responsible for feeding the horses until the horses are given new homes, returned to ISPMB’s care or, at last resort, sold at auction. The judge said on Tuesday that if ISPMB shows it can adequately care for the horses, some of the animals could be returned to its custody.

ISPMB president Karen Sussman denied that the horses were malnourished on Tuesday.

“Animal death is a fact every rancher and farmer in South Dakota as well as throughout the world knows is inevitable,” she said. “But the circumstances of the animal deaths at the ISPMB Ranch have been wildly misrepresented.”

The Rapid City Journal reports that Sussman is facing a grand theft charge in Perkins County for allegedly writing a bounced $9,394 check to a hay supplier.

To help feed the horses, go to:


SD Dewey County Auditor Creates Way to Donate to Starving former Wild Horses


Tonight on TS Radio: “Voices Carry for Animals #111”- Equine Advocates- Susan Wagner- President



***JOIN US on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 at 7:00 pm CST***


Call In (917) 388-4520 press 1 to speak

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Hosted By Debbie Dahmer

Guest will be: Susan Wagner-President of Equine Advocates


https://www.equineadvocates.org/  Equine Advocates

https://www.facebook.com/equineadvocates.org/?fref=ts   Equine Advocates on Facebook

https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-obama-biden-end-the-slaughter-of-america-s-horses    *P*E*T*I*T*I*O*N*  Plz SIGN & Massively Share! Need 100k Signatures by Election Day!  APPEAL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA TO END HORSE SLAUGHTER On Change.org

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Feel Good Sunday: Equine Videos Guaranteed to Make You Smile

Last week the videos of baby burros playing struck a happy chord so we were pressed to keep the ball rolling with another collection of feel good equine vids ensured to make you giggle.

Personally, after watching the compilation it dawned on me that it was just another standard day, here, at Laughing Horse Ranch…throw a dog and cats into the mix and you have a veritable comedy act, bar none.  Enjoy!” ~ R.T.

New EU Regulations May Destroy Canadian Horse Slaughter Scourge

published on News of the Horse

“In 2015, 44,730 horses were exported to Canada from the United States for slaughter…”

The European Union has issued new guidelines for the Canadian horse slaughter industry that many believe will devastate the industry.  Starting March, 2017, all horses must remain in Canada at a feedlot for 6 months prior to being slaughtered if the meat is to be sold to Europe.  The EU states the holding time is crucial as North American horses receive drugs not approved for use in meat destined for humans.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the ruling with reporters.  “(CFIA) received a letter from the European Commission on Sept. 28, 2016, advising Canada that the European Union is implementing six months residency requirements.  Effective Feb. 28, 2017, the CFIA will only provide certificates for the export of horse meat to the European Union that meet the EU’s new six month residency requirement.”

The Canadian government has been working with the industry since receiving notification of the new requirements.  “The government understands the serious impact the EU measure of a 180-day holding period will have on exports. In 2015, Canada exported $36.8 million of horse meat to the EU,” the CFIA told reporters.

In 2015, 44,730 horses were exported to Canada from the United States for slaughter.  By contrast,  nearly 85,000 were shipped to Mexico for slaughter.  Animal welfare activists worry that with the Canadian horse slaughter industry under such tight restrictions by the EU, more horses will be shipped to Mexico, where the slaughter industry is largely unregulated and less humane than Canada.

Another Big Landmark Win for Wyoming’s Wild Horses! Checkerboard Ruling Overturned by Federal Appeals Court

Source: Carol Walker as published on WildHoofBeats

Landmark Appellate Court Decision Stops BLM Wyoming Wild Horse Wipeout

Ruling Blocks Agency from Treating Over 1 Million Acres of Public Lands as Private Lands in Pursuit of Wild Horse Roundups

Denver, CO (October 14, 2016) . . . The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit today issued a landmark decision that stops the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from wiping out wild horses from over one million acres of public land in the Wyoming Checkerboard. The ruling holds that BLM violated two federal laws in its conduct of a 2014 wild horse roundup that removed over 1,263 wild horses from the area, and means that the agency’s plan to round up 500 more horses from the Checkerboard beginning on October 18 is also illegal. Plaintiffs American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, photographers Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and Kimerlee Curyl and their attorney, Bill Eubanks of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks, are hailing the decision and its precedential implications for wild horse management throughout the western United States.

“This ruling throws a wrench into the backroom deal between the BLM and livestock grazing interests to eliminate federally protected wild horses from over one million acres of public land in Wyoming,” Eubanks said. “With this landmark decision, the Tenth Circuit has permanently stopped the BLM from treating public lands as private and eliminating wild horses from public lands based on a request from private landowners. This sets a major legal precedent across the West and protects wild horses from ranchers who want to eliminate these iconic animals from our public lands in order to put even more domestic cattle and sheep on these public lands to the detriment of the ecosystem.”

In its ruling issued today, the Tenth Circuit held that “the BLM violated both the [Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros] Act and FLPMA [Federal Land Policy Management Act] in carrying out the 2014 removal of wild horses from the Checkerboard.” The appellate court reversed the 2015 lower court ruling upholding BLM’s actions in the 2014 Checkerboard wild horse roundup.

Today’s decision is a closing chapter in an ongoing legal battle over the BLM’s plan to eradicate wild horses from a two million acre area of public and private land at the request of the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA). The RSGA owns or leases the private land blocks in the Checkerboard and views wild horses as competition for taxpayer subsidized livestock grazing on the public lands in the area.

Last week, the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit to block the agency from proceeding with the next Checkerboard roundup, set to begin on October 18.

This is the third major legal victory for the groups in just over a month. Earlier this week,the Tenth Circuit threw out a lawsuit by the State of Wyoming to compel the BLM to remove hundreds of wild horses from non-checkerboard public lands in that state. In a precedential ruling, the Tenth Circuit held that the BLM is not required to remove wild horses from public lands just because their populations exceed outdated population limits.

Judge Steps In to Save 650 Starving Horses

By LACEY LOUWAGIE as published on Court House News Service

“…came across a dead horse carcass in one pasture, and a burial pit containing at least 25 carcasses in various states of decay”

too-weak-to-standLANTRY, S.D. (CN) — A judge has stepped in to aid hundreds of horses on a wild horse sanctuary, ordering their care handed temporarily over to two South Dakota counties, after a veterinarian confirmed shocking documentation of neglect.

The Oct. 11 order came two weeks after former employee Colleen Burns drew public attention to the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros by releasing 16 pages of photos, video stills and journal entries detailing the deaths of at least 30 horses on the ranch, many of whom died of starvation this summer.

The society’s president, Karen Sussman, said in an email to “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see,” regarding Burns’ depiction of the ranch.

But veterinarian Dr. Marc Hammrich, who investigated the ranch after receiving a complaint from Burns, categorized the horses as “neglected” in his Sept. 15 Animal Welfare Investigation Report, which was included in court documents released Tuesday.

“Immediately apparent was the lack of feed in the pen and the majority of the horses nosing through the dried manure looking for remaining hay to eat from the last feeding which was scant to nonexistent,” he wrote.

He found similar conditions in all four of the ranch’s herds, in one case noting that horses were “searching the ground for feed and in some cases eating manure.”

He came across a dead horse carcass in one pasture, and a burial pit containing at least 25 carcasses in various states of decay. Hammrich estimated that 10 percent of the ranch’s horses would not survive the winter without intervention.

Ziebach County Judge Jerome Eckrich’s 2-page impoundment order on Tuesday adopts the conditions set forth in an agreement between the county attorneys for Ziebach and Dewey counties, where the ranch is, and Sussman.

Although the 650 horses will stay on the ranch, the Ziebach and Dewey county sheriffs will oversee their care temporarily, according to the Joint Motion for Voluntary Impoundment.

However, the sheriffs require that alternative arrangements be made before winter.

“I have dedicated my life, my fortune, and my reputation to the protection of wild horses throughout the United States,” Sussman said in a statement. “More than once in my 30 years with the organization, I have personally financed our activities to feed, study, care for and protect these beautiful animals. I have dedicated the majority of my time freely, only rarely collecting a salary, and selling my personal property to provide much needed funds to the organization for hay. To accuse me of cruelty or disinterest of these wild horses, that I have dedicated my life to protecting, is both outrageous and preposterous.”

Sussman can get the horses back if she can produce a viable plan for providing adequate food, shelter and veterinary care for the next 18 months. In addition, she must provide a specific “end of life plan” for horses suffering from age, injuries or sickness.

“We have been developing an ongoing management plan which includes downsizing our herds, potential purchase of a larger property to reduce our costs of ever rising hay prices, and a long-range vision for our organization,” Sussman said.

Sussman’s plan, which must include provisions for reimbursing the county for the horses’ care, is due Oct. 27.

In the meantime, a veterinarian will inspect the horses and divide them into three groups: those that are healthy enough to survive the winter with adequate food and care, those that will require special attention to survive the winter, and those that are unlikely to survive the winter and should be euthanized.

The motion encourages Sussman to make arrangements for some of the horses to be adopted.

Any horses not adopted or returned to Sussman by Dec. 1 will be sold at a public auction.


To help feed the horses, go to:


SD Dewey County Auditor Creates Way to Donate to Starving former Wild Horses