From Wolves to Horses to Dogs, This Big Law Partner Has Built a Practice Exclusively Defending Animals

Jenna Greene, The Litigation Daily

Bruce Wagman, Behind the Scenes Warrior for Wild Horses & Burros

“It is a very sincere pleasure to share with you this article about our legal consultant and my longtime friend, Bruce Wagman.  Bruce was the attorney that we pleaded with, almost a decade ago, to research for Terry and myself ways to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from zeroing out federally protected wild horse herds.  With no organization to back us up and zero history to bolster our dedication to the cause Bruce took up our case and to this day was the silent partner and legal consultant behind our BLM Long Term Holding White Paper…and there is more to come.  Thank you Bruce for all that you do for those who are recognized only as property and even if they could speak, would not be allowed to.  You are the voice for millions.  Rock On my brother!” ~ R.T.


Schiff Hardin‘s Bruce Wagman with dogs Kazi (left) and Tatu at his home in Stinson Beach, CA. Jason Doiy

Schiff Hardin partner Bruce Wagman has the best client list ever: birds, cats, chickens, chimpanzees, cows, deer, dogs, dolphins, ducks, elephants, elk, gorillas, horses, lions, mice, monkeys, pigs, sharks, turkeys, whales and wolves.

Okay, technically they’re not his clients, because, well, animals can’t hire lawyers.

But Wagman, who plausibly asserts he is the only Big Law partner in the country focusing exclusively on animal law, has carved out a unique practice defending and improving the lives of animals.

On Tuesday, he and Schiff Hardin partner Elizabeth Runyan Geise, along with co-counsel from the Humane Society of the United States, scored a big win when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court decision protecting gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

They challenged a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule de-listing the wolves as a protected group under the Endangered Species Act.

The panel—Judges Thomas Griffith, Patricia Millett and Nina Pillard—held that the agency failed to reasonably consider the impact of partial delisting on the remaining portion of the species, as well the impact of historical range loss. Their decision will save the wolves from trophy hunting and commercial trapping, including hound hunting, snares, baiting, electronic calls and the use of leg hold traps.

Per the Endangered Species Act, the prevailing lawyers are entitled to an award of legal fees. Still, Wagman acknowledged one ongoing “tension” in his practice is getting paid. Because in addition to being unable to hire lawyers, animals don’t have any money.

But his partners at 300-lawyer Schiff Hardin have been “incredibly supportive,” he said. Wagman previously practiced with 35-lawyer Morgenstein & Jubelirer in San Francisco, which merged with Schiff Hardin in 2007. “I was in the right place at the right time” to build the practice, he said. “I’ve slowly picked up more and more clients.”

In 2015 when he was honored by the ABA’s Animal Law Committee, Wagman wrote, “I expected my tenure there would last a couple of years at most, and that this Chicago-based firm would not want this animal law weirdo as a partner. Well, I could not have been more wrong. … The firm’s validation of the work has been overwhelming and consistent.”

Among his big cases: defending a California law requiring humane treatment of animals too sick or injured to stand or walk; stopping commercial horse slaughter for human consumption; suing the federal government to stop untested surgical sterilization “research” on wild mares; upholding a ban on the possession or sale of shark fins in California; and negotiating the release of chimpanzees used for medical research. He also helped found two permanent sanctuaries for them.

Some of Wagman’s work, especially the big-impact litigation, is pro bono, he said. Some is “low bono,” for reduced fees. And some is full-fee work for private clients, including dog bite cases and custody fights over pets.

Under the law, pets are considered to be property—a discovery that people who call Wagman up wanting to sue for emotional distress after someone kills their dog find dismaying, he said.

“It’s ripe for change, but change is slow,” he said. Still, he sees subtle signs that more judges are taking into account what’s best for the pet in custody fights, looking beyond indicia of ownership. Who walks the dog? Who has a yard? “It’s happening without anyone realizing it’s happening,” he said.

http://www.litigationdaily.com/id=1202794647496/From-Wolves-to-Horses-to-Dogs-This-Big-Law-Partner-Has-Built-a-Practice-Exclusively-Defending-Animals?slreturn=20170704070805

Wild Horses & Burros Need Your Voice More Than Ever!

Source: Return to Freedom and endorsed by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would allow the Bureau of Land Management to kill – shoot – healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros!”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

As infuriating as that is, as saddening as that is – and it is both — we cannot give up.

We’ll return to the House vote in a moment, but first we need you to make a call on behalf of horses to each of your senators TODAY. That’s because on Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on an amendment to keep a ban on horse slaughter in place.

Please call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (if you reach a full voicemail, look for district office phone numbers on your senators’ webpages and call them).

Urge your senators to oppose any provision that:

  • allows horse slaughter,
  • allows the Bureau of Land Management to kill wild horses,
  • or removes sale restrictions, opening the door for BLM to sell wild horses to kill buyers.

Remind your senators that proven humane solutions that would enable the management of wild horses and burros on the range have long existed. We do not need to kill national icons.

All of this can be as confusing as it is upsetting. What’s happening is that we’re fighting provisions on parallel tracks, in the House and Senate, which threaten all horses as well as wild horses and burros. To be clear:

The horse slaughter votes are part of the agricultural funding process. In the absence of a total federal ban on horse slaughter, advocates push each year to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using our tax dollars to hire horsemeat inspectors. On July 12, the House Appropriations Committee narrowly rejected this year’s anti-slaughter amendment. If the bill becomes law without it, slaughter plants could reopen in the United States for the first time since 2007. That affects all kinds of horses, domestic and wild, so now we need the Senate to step up and pass an amendment to make sure that does not happen.

Meanwhile, the wild horse votes are part of the interior funding process. As noted above, the same House Appropriations Committee voted to remove language preventing BLM from killing healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros. The amendment passed on a voice vote, meaning individual votes were not recorded. Again, that means that we need to turn up the pressure and ensure our senators stand up for wild horses in the days ahead.

We’ve written that the situation is as precarious for wild horses as it’s been in Return to Freedom’s 19-year history. We wish we were wrong. Alas, today’s vote was still more proof:

Proof that we must keep calling and writing Congress. Proof that we must keep encouraging our friends and family to do the same. Proof that we must keep writing letters to the editor and sharing information on social media, so that others know what’s happening.

The cost of inaction could mean the needless deaths of thousands – even tens of thousands – of wild horses and burros.

We need to push back against propaganda that blames wild horses (never livestock) for range degradation or that falsely claims scores of wild horses are starving and dying – so many that shooting captured wild horses in government corrals or on long-term pastures is held up as a “humane” alternative. We need to push back at the lie that fertility control has been a failure when BLM has never spent more than 3.88% of its budget on PZP.

We need to demand thoughtful nonpartisan leadership that will work with advocates and scientists to create a proud, long-term plan that provides wild horses with a sustainable future on the range.

The American people still have the power to avert a tragedy in the making, but it will take all of us.

Let’s get after it!

Feel Good Sunday: Pink Pinto Horse is the Result of an Honest Miscommunication

Source: The HorseChannel.com – story by By Leslie Potter

“There’s a lot of negative news and activity swirling around the world of equines so a brief second of giggles is welcomed by all.  Enjoy your human and critter family, today, as tomorrow we get back after it, my friends.  Be safe.” ~ R.T.


The story of Rosy the pink horse has provided a bit of levity as British Columbia residents deal with wildfire threat.

Out of a serious situation comes an amusing anecdote, and one very bright pink horse.

First, the serious situation. More than 200 wildfires are currently burning in vast sections of inland British Columbia, Canada. Some areas have been placed under evacuation orders as crews struggle to contain the most destructive fires.

Evacuating horses and large livestock is always a challenge in cases of natural disasters as owners may not have sufficient trailer capacity readily available, and it’s not always easy to find a safe location to take horses to. Horse owners will sometimes let their animals loose if disaster is imminent and evacuation isn’t possible. Because horses may lose halters or collars, owners will sometimes spray paint their phone number on their horses’ bodies or write it in permanent marker on a hoof so that if the horses run off, there’s a better chance they can be returned later on.

And that’s where the story of Rosy begins.

Rosy’s owner, Cindy Roddick, asked her 15-year-old son, Jacob Sharkey, to use a non-toxic spray paint to write their phone number on Rosy and the family’s other horse. But he missed an important part of the request. He didn’t get the “phone number” part, and instead covered the white parts of the pinto’s coat with bright pink paint.

It made sense to him at the time.

“I thought she told me to just spray paint the entire horse to make it visible,” Sharkey told The Canadian Press. “That way, if we had to let them go, people could find them.”

According to Global News, the paint is a non-toxic variety made specifically for marking livestock, and Sharkey is now tasked with washing it off.

In the meantime, Roddick had her daughter post a photo of rose-colored Rosy to Facebook so that others could share a laugh that came out of an otherwise stressful situation.

Tap here for more information and resources from horse-canada.com for horse owners affected by the British Columbia Wildfires.

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-news/2017/07/pink-pinto-horse-is-the-result-of-an-honest-miscommunication.aspx

Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice TODAY!

Information supplied by Daniel Cordero Fernández

“We must relentlessly call Congress until they ask for mercy and remove the two offending sections legalizing wild horse killings and enabling horse slaughter in Appropriation Bills…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Focus on all the member of the House and Senate appropriations committees but also contact your own Congressman and two Senators. This is because, in all likelihood, the two pro-slaughter sections (one removing the USDA slaughter inspections ban and other adding language to allow BLM to kill and sell for slaughter wild horses in holding) will be passed by the appropriations committees since western pro-slaughter folks have the majority and they have already discussed the matter and have allegedly agreed to pushing this to the full Congress to bring horse slaughter back. In my humble opinion, it is a done deal.

When contacting both your own legislators and the members of the committees, you must ask:

  1. a) Committee members:

– Ask them to vote no on any language allowing the killing of wild horses in holding and / or their sale without limitation, that is, for slaughter or “processing into commercial products” as they like to call it.

– Ask them to oppose any changes to refund horse slaughter inspections by USDA. Ask them to reintroduce the defunding language by means of a private amendment if necessary.

  1. b) Rest of congressmen:

– Ask them to oppose any language allowing the killing of wild horses in holding and/or their sale without limitation and, if necessary, to introduce or support an amendment striking down any language in the appropriations bill allowing the killing and sale without limitation.

– Ask them to support any amendment reintroducing the ban on the use of tax money to fund USDA horse slaughter inspections.

Contact information for all members of Congress, including the ones from a specific committee can be found together in this site:

https://www.contactingcongress .org/

Just select the committee you want contact info from the drop down menu and you are ready to go.

In the case of the agriculture appropriations one, whose text is already made but wasn’t formally introduced, they are aiming at removing Section 767 from the former appropriations bill, which contains the USDA defunding language that prevents horse slaughter plants to open up:

https://www.obpa.usda.gov/34gp exnotes2018.pdf

Go to Page 18 where it reads:

«Section 767: Prohibits inspection of horses for slaughter.

[Sec. 767. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel—(1) to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603);

(2) to inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127); or (3) to implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).]

This change deletes the entire section 767. This change is requested in order to permit the Executive Branch to carry out programs in the most efficient manner. » >>> They are deleting the ban entirely.

In the case of the Interior Appropriations Bill there is still no bill text (looks like these welfare ranching cowboys have problems putting two words together) but we have Trump’s budget request where HE VERY CLEARLY REQUESTS WILD HORSES IN HOLDING TO BE KILLED AND TO ALLOW SALES OF WILD HORSES FOR “ALL PURPOSES”, THAT IS, FOR SLAUGHTER:

https://www.doi.gov/…/u…/fy201 8_blm_budget_justification.pdf

Go to page 24 of the .pdf where it reads:

«Wild Horse & Burro Management Shift Management Strategies (-$10,000,000 / -29 FTE)

The WH/B budget is principally consumed by the cost to care for excess animals in off range facilities, […]. Animals for which there is no adoption demand are to be humanely euthanized while others that meet certain criteria are to be sold without limitation. Enacted appropriations bills from 1988 to 2004 and from 2010 to present have prohibited destruction of healthy animals and unlimited sale. […] The BLM must be able to use all of the tools included in the Act to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability o conduct sales without limitation. The budget proposes to eliminate appropriations language restricting the BLM from using all of the management options authorized in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. An estimated $4.0 million of the $10.0 reduction will be achieved through savings resulting from unrestricted sales. »

The markup session where both bills (agriculture and interior) text will be formally redacted and introduced is NEXT WEDNESDAY July 12th. Make sure you keep calling and writing until these two languages are killed for good. 

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/06/30/speak-up-for-wild-horses-before-its-too-late/

https://www.contactingcongress.org/

4th of July: A Time to Look Inward

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ President/Co-Founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Patriotic Ginerous Legacy (Harley) rescued from slaughter by Terry and R.T. Fitch, may he now rest in peace.

It’s a dangerous time for not only our wild horses and burros but also for our country in general.  Although there is renewed hope that we will no longer “lead from behind” in a world that is full of terrorists and rouge nations there is also a deep feeling of uncertainty as our new leadership attempts to be allowed to get it’s footing and move forward with an agenda that the American public hopes will improve the lives of families and friends.  And here at SFTHH and WHFF we consider our native wild horses and burros to be that family and to be those friends.

We, as an advocacy, are going to be calling upon each and everyone of you to become yet even more involved over the next several days.  We currently are asking you to pick up the phone, to make the calls and to write the emails and within the next few days we will be giving you some additional information and ammunition that will further empower and embolden you to help save our wild equines from slaughter and total ruination.

But on this day we need to recharge our souls and look deep within ourselves to reassess just WHY we do what we do and what makes it important to keep the movement rolling forward with gusto and dedication.  It’s a pretty easy glance; we quickly look beyond the common sense and moral compass that tells us it’s the right thing to do, that is a no-brainer.  But like the wild horses and burros who are all about family and freedom we do it for the exact same reasons; the future of our children and the freedom that they should experiance, to be able to live the lives they deserve to live and to relish in the natural world that so many have forgotten.

Old time Rocker, Neil Young recently made a  Facebook post that caught our eye.

“We made a record we wanted to share with you,” Canadian rocker Neil Young said. “We played with a bunch of people … total strangers in the same room on a full moon, 65 of us. It was very great. We had a great time. Enjoy.”

Neil was referring to a new song that has been titled “The Children of Destiny” and although I usually concentrate more on the musical content versus the lyrics the words of this song, coupled with the images, sincerely resonate within my soul upon this day:

Stand up for what you believe,

resist the powers that be

Preserve the land and save the seas for the children of destiny

The children of you and me.

Isn’t that exactly why we are doing what we are doing, preserving the future of our wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations?  Does that not fully shine the light on our motives and direction?

The song goes further to say:

Should goodness ever lose

And evil steal the day

Should happy sing the blues

And peaceful fade away

What would you do?

What would you say?

How would you act on that new day?

My answer is to ensure that such a day never comes to fruition, that it never happens, that such sadness does not occur and that is why we fight and that is the reason we will be calling upon you to help make a difference in what can and will be enjoyed for generations to come, together we can make this happen and on this day we all to need to look inward for the strength, purpose and guidance to move forward with what is right, just and pure red, white and blue American.

Today we gather our forces, tomorrow we fight on with renewed strength.

Together we can make this happen.

Former SFTHH posts that you might find of interest: https://rtfitchauthor.com/?s=4th+of+july&submit=Search

Wild Horse Sanctuary Threatened by Wild Fires

Source: KOTATV.com

“Our good friends at Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary are again attacked by the natural nemesis of fire.  First it was a destructive fire that destroyed their barn and out buildings and now a natural occurring wild fire on their property, proper.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them.” ~ R.T.


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) – Great Plains Fire Information is reporting a five-acre fire – named the Cedar Fire – is burning at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in Fall River County.

At the time of this post, the lightning-caused fire is 40 percent contained.

Resources include a helicopter, state and federal crews, and local engines.

This is just one of six fires crews are working on Thursday; although it is the largest. Click on this link to the Great Plains Fire Information for more details.

Update:

The Cedar Fire that was burning on the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is controlled but crews are now working on another blaze.

Neda DeMayo (Pres. & Founder) and Cory Golden (Advocacy Coordinator) of Return to Freedom, to tell you about the action needed to save tens of thousands of wild horses & burros from slaughter, Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/28/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, June 28, 2017

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

Listen to the archived show 

(HERE!)

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

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

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

In honor of Mystic, one of the first stallions to arrive at Return to Freedom in 1999. He was captured during the total removal of 279 horses from Hart Mountain-Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Est. DOB 1984 – Captured 1998- died October 31 2014

Our guests today are Neda DeMayo, Founder and President, and Cory Golden, Advocacy & Communications Director, of Return to Freedom, dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitat of America’s wild horses through sanctuary, education, advocacy and conservation.

Tonight our guests will talk about the need for ALL of us to urge Congress to stand against a presidential budget proposal that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of horses.

The president’s budget would slash the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program budget by 12%, about $9.7 million. The majority of the program’s budget goes to warehouse some 47,000 captured wild horses and burros living in short and long term government holding facilities.

The budget would cut those costs by allowing the BLM “to conduct sales without limitation,” eliminating the current policy of captured wild horses and burros being offered for sale without limitation when they reach 10 years of age or fail to be adopted three times. Many sold would likely fall into the hands of kill buyers.

Neda DeMayo, Founder and President of Return to Freedom

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/06/29/neda-demayo-founder-amp-pres-cory-golden-advocacy-of-return-to-freedom

1/8/17 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation on BLM’s dangerous Radio Collar Study on the Adobe Town wild horses in Wyoming. Listen HERE.

2/15/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and donkey advocate David Duncan (Donkey Rescue World), talk about the killing of the world’s donkeys for ejiao. Listen HERE.

3/8/17 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, on the ejiao issue in Australia. Listen HERE.

4/12/17 – Dawn Vincent, Head of Communications for The Donkey Sanctuary UK, and Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. In January 2017, The Donkey Sanctuary (UK) issued a report titled “Under the Skin,” about the global demand for donkey skins used to produce a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called ejiao. Listen HERE.

5/24/17 – ELAINE NASH, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, and Palomino Armstrong, founder of CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG, on the logistics of the rescue of the ISPMB horses and about the many wild horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/14/27 – Nancy Turner, Pres. of This Old Horse, a Minnesota nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide sanctuary to retired, rescued, and recovering horses, and Elaine Nash, Founder and Dir. of Fleet of Angels, a not-for-profit organization offering crisis management and transportation assistance during equine-related emergencies, talk about the ISPMB horses that still need to be adopted. Listen HERE.

6/21/17 – Bonnie Gestring, Northwest Circuit Rider for Earthworks, on contamination of U.S. waters in perpetuity, caused by mining. Bonnie is co-author of the report Polluting the Future: How mining companies are polluting our nation’s waters in perpetuity. Listen HERE.

Nancy Turner (Pres., This Old Horse) and Elaine Nash (Dir., Fleet of Angels) on adopting the remaining ISPMB horses, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 6/14/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, June 14, 2017

7:00 pm PST … 8:00 pm MST … 9:00 pm CST … 10:00 pm EST

Listen To the archived show (HERE!)

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

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

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Black stallion

Our guests tonight will be Nancy Turner, President of This Old Horse, a Minnesota volunteer-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide sanctuary to retired, rescued, and recovering horses, and Elaine Nash, Founder and Director of Fleet of Angels, a not-for-profit organization with thousands of on-call members across the US and Canada who offer crisis management and transportation assistance during equine-related emergencies, as well as other services.

Nancy and Elaine will talk about the many ISPMB horses that still need to be adopted (as soon as possible). These horses are good looking, smart, and willing. Please help us find homes for them.

To learn more about how you can adopt or help: Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary Alliance.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE. Continue reading

Feel Good Sunday: Hay – The Final Frontier

Story by Johnny Oleksinski as published on NYPost.com

“I must say that Capt. Kirk and I share several mutual passions regardin our feelings for our brother/sister equines friends.  But his celebrity status aside, we do differ on one glaring obvious issue: he has hair and I do not…sigh.” ~ R.T.


Shatner rode a horse alongside Patrick Stewart in the 1994 movie “Star Trek: Generations.”

William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on “Star Trek” for three seasons and seven movies, is peeling back yet another layer of his complex personality: He’s come out as an equestrian.

Hollywood’s jack-of-all-trades, Shatner is a Shakespearean actor who’s starred in “Henry V,” a musician who’s recorded trippy spoken-word covers of “Rocket Man” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and a prolific author who’s written or co-written more than 30 books.

Now the 86-year-old opens up about his love of horses — a passion so all-encompassing that he’s devoted his latest book, “Spirit of the Horse: A Celebration in Fact and Fable” (out now, Thomas Dunne Books), to the beasts.

Here are four ways Shatner boldly trots.

Horses haunt his dreams

“My own sleep is sometimes filled with Centaur-like imagery of being one with the horse,” Shatner writes. “It will start with me atop the horse galloping across the field, the horse’s head visible ahead, his eyes becoming my eyes as if it were me galloping.”

The stable is his church

“I have been to truly sacred and highly spiritual places. I’ve been in sweat lodges, I’ve been in smoke ceremonies where a shaman drifts smoke over you, I’ve been at the confluence of several mountains near Mount Everest where there was a great Buddhist temple,” Shatner writes. But all those left him cold. “For most people — perhaps all? — wherever they love to be, that place is a cathedral to them … For me, it’s a stable.”

He talked horses with Christopher Reeve during Reeve’s worst moments

Some years after Christopher Reeve was paralyzed in 1995 by a horse riding accident, Shatner visited the “Superman” actor’s rehab facility in West Orange, NJ. “[Chris] couldn’t walk, he had no control over his body below his neck, he couldn’t even breathe without a ventilator,” Shatner says. “He said with his first breath, in about three phrases, ‘Tell me. How your horses are. And how much you love riding.’ Those words, the intonation, the longing he put into them — they will stay with me always.”

His favorite day on “Star Trek” wasn’t on the ship

For “Star Trek” Season 1’s episode “Shore Leave,” Shatner and Leonard Nimoy filmed an Old West-type scene alongside a peaceful horse. Its beauty has stayed with him forever. “Standing near a settled horse, with no pressure to do anything other than absorb the morning and eat the [craft services] sandwich, that was magic.”

http://nypost.com/2017/06/01/william-shatner-is-weirdly-obsessed-with-horses/

BLM’s Requested Budget Cuts of $10 Million From Wild Horse & Burro Program Could Spell ‘Slaughter’ For Our Wild Equines

Story by as published on Horse Nation

Language in the Bureau of Land Management fiscal year 2018 budget justification, released Tuesday, specifically requests “the ability to conduct sales without limitations.”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The new 2018 budget proposal calls for a 9.2% reduction in spending for the Department of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management or BLM — this is the federal agency charged with overseeing and protecting the nation’s wild horse and burro population.

Traditionally, the BLM has managed the nation’s wild horse and burro population by setting management levels for herd management areas, and then conducting roundups to remove what it deems to be excess wild horses from areas when necessary. Gathered horses are available to the public for adoption, with unadopted animals living in long-term holding. Tens of thousands of horses have accumulated in long-term holding at the expense of the taxpayer.

The Bureau of Land Management has come under criticism for this method of so-called population control, with advocacy groups suggesting everything from birth control vaccination administered by dart (the PZP vaccine) to allowing nature to take its course and stopping gathers and any population control altogether. While advocates may not agree about the best course of action to take to manage wild horse numbers — or if management is even necessary — most agree that the BLM has not done the wild horse any favors with its current plan.

The BLM’s 2018 budget justification, which can be viewed by clicking here, calls for a $10 million reduction in spending in the Wild Horse and Burro (WHB) Program, describing the current situation as follows:

The consistent growth in annual costs for the program is unsustainable and constrains the Bureau’s ability to effectively address competing uses of public lands, as the number of animals on the range and BLM holding facilities grows.

The majority of the WHB Program’s budget has gone towards maintaining the tens of thousands of horses in holding facilities while numbers of horses on the range still continues to rise according to estimates, demonstrating clearly that the model of gathering horses and removing them from the range is not a sustainable long-term solution. To reduce this spending, the BLM suggests the following:

As such, the budget proposes to give BLM the tools it needs to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability to conduct sales without limitations.

A BLM press release went even further, stating explicitly that this budget would allow for the humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of “excess animals.”

The budget justification addresses advocate-supported methods of population control such as the PZP vaccine as well:

The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program.

One can only imagine how the BLM seeks to both reduce the need for gathers and reduce the number of wild horses on the range.

How can you affect change?

If you are opposed to this budget plan for fiscal year 2018 for its dramatic proposed changes to the Wild Horse and Burro Program, we urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and explain to them why. There are numerous online petitions in circulation, but the most effective and meaningful way to affect real change is to speak with your lawmakers and make your opinion known. If you need assistance finding your representation in Congress, you can find your representatives here and your senators here.

http://www.horsenation.com/2017/05/24/blms-requested-budget-cuts-10-million-from-wild-horse-burro-program/