‘Horrific incident’: Family Speaks Out after Pet Dog Killed by ‘Cyanide Bomb’

By Shelbie Harris as published on The Idaho State Journal

“While at first glance this sad story might not appear to have much to do with wild horses and burros but it most certainly applies, with spades.  Some time ago, myself and fellow investigators from Wild Horse Freedom Federation were documenting BLM Contract long term holding facilities when we came across one contractor’s property, used to house former wild horses, with prominent signs indicating that like poison devices were in use on the very same property that captive wild horses were grazing.  To date, this finding haunts us as we continue to seek ways and means to stop the barbaric removal of protected wild horses and burros from their congressionaly approved, rightful range.” ~ R.T.


Signage on BLM contractor’s property housing former wild horses. (Click to Enlarge) ~ photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

POCATELLO — As he walked his dog along the ridgeline of the hillside just south of his family’s home on West Buckskin Road, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield noticed what he thought was a sprinkler head protruding 6 inches from the ground.

Like many curious teenagers would, he bent down and touched the pipe, which erupted with a loud popping noise that knocked Canyon off his feet. A hissing sound ensued and Canyon noticed his clothing and face were covered with an orange, powdery substance. After quickly washing his face and clothes in a nearby patch of snow, he called for his dog, a 3-year-old Lab named Casey.

But Canyon’s best friend didn’t respond.

“He just stayed on the ground mumbling,” Canyon said. “I thought he was playing with his toy, but I saw the toy a couple yards away from him. … So, I called him again and got really scared. I sprinted toward him and landed on my knees and saw this red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy and he was having a seizure.”

Within minutes, Casey was dead.

“My little brother is lying in bed crying next to me,” said Canyon’s sister, Madison Mansfield. “He spent yesterday in the emergency room after stumbling upon an unmarked cyanide bomb in the woods directly behind my home. He watched his best friend suffocate as sodium cyanide was deposited in his mouth.”

Canyon was taken to Portneuf Medical Center, where he was treated and released. But he must continue daily follow-up appointments to check toxicity levels.

On Thursday afternoon, Casey joined thousands of other non-targeted animals — both wild and domestic — that have been mistakenly killed by one of the most lethal tools at the disposal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture — spring-loaded metal cylinders that are baited with scent that shoot sodium cyanide powder into the mouth or face of whatever or whoever touches them.

Known as M-44 devices, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) division of the USDA deploys these sodium cyanide capsules throughout the West to protect livestock from coyotes, wild dogs, and red and gray foxes.

M-44s are hollow metal tubes 5 to 7 inches long that are driven into the ground, loaded with 0.9 grams of sodium cyanide and coated with the smelliest bait possible…(CONTINUED)

http://www.idahostatejournal.com/outdoors/xtreme_idaho/horrific-incident-family-speaks-out-after-pet-dog-killed-by/article_93f3d07e-6ecb-5035-8d39-f27c791eb4b5.html

Equine Charities Unite for Worldwide Welfare Action

Source: The Donkey Sanctuary

“With 180 OIE member states now acknowledging the importance of working horses, donkeys and mules, the time is right for coordinated action to implement the standards around the world. “

photo courtesy of The Donkey Sanctuary

UK equine welfare charities Brooke, The Donkey Sanctuary, SPANA and World Horse Welfare today announce their first formal coalition.

Formed specifically to put policy into practice, the coalition aims to advise, motivate and support the implementation of the first ever global welfare standards for working horses, donkeys and mules. These landmark standards were approved by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in May 2016 following advocacy and technical support from Brooke and World Horse Welfare.

This is the first time all four major charities have formally joined forces. Although not law, these landmark changes finally give legitimacy to calls for equine welfare to be improved around the world.

Petra Ingram, CEO at Brooke, who spearheaded the formation of the coalition and will be its Chair for the first year, believes that it’s the right vehicle to bring the standards to life: “A respected champion of change can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to implementation. Our message to countries is: let us help; equine welfare is an ally of humanitarian issues.”

With 180 OIE member states now acknowledging the importance of working horses, donkeys and mules, the time is right for coordinated action to implement the standards around the world.

Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers, said “We know that horses, donkeys and mules are essential to hundreds of millions of human livelihoods, and it is heartening that the world is now recognising their versatility and importance.

“World Horse Welfare looks forward to working in partnership, bringing our influencing skills and 90 years of practical expertise gained helping equines around the world. The scale of the challenge to help 100 million working animals is so large that we must work together to get them the recognition and support they desperately need.”

As world-leading experts in equine welfare with a combined geographic reach covering the major populations of the world’s working equines, the four UK-based charities will provide a unique resource.

The coalition’s goal is to share a wealth of professional expertise and technical know-how by jointly developing training resources and working with governments, academics, communities and professionals to help put the standards into practice within the contexts of different countries, cultures and economies.

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of SPANA, said: “It is very encouraging that there is now international recognition for the working equines that play a fundamental role in supporting the livelihoods of millions of families worldwide.

“Through veterinary treatment, education and training for animal owners, SPANA works to improve the welfare of these vitally important horses, donkeys and mules across many countries. We are looking forward to working in partnership to ensure that the new standards are translated into practical support and action that makes a tangible difference to working animals and the communities that depend on them.”

The coalition’s work will use the skills the four organisations have in welfare assessment training; building capacity in equine owning communities; equipping service providers (including farriers, saddlers and vets) with the skills and tools required to provide affordable quality services. It supports universities in curriculum development, and postgraduate vets with continuing professional development; as well as raising awareness of the importance of working equids to human livelihoods with policy makers.

Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “This is a fantastic milestone in global equine welfare standards. Our new coalition will really maximise welfare improvements as we share our skills, resources and experience. Millions of donkeys, horses and mules work extremely hard every day and it will be wonderful to highlight how vital they are for their human owners and communities.”

https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/press-release/equine-charities-unite

New Rule Tightens Canadian Horse Slaughter Imports

Story by Pat Raia as published on The Horse

 “False documentation (has) been a proven fact for years, yet nothing is ever done about it…”

Beginning in March 31, all horses imported from the United States into horse processing plants in Canada must be held in U.S.-side feedlots for a minimum of six months. The regulation is intended to address food safety concerns expressed by European Union (EU) buyers.

While some equine welfare advocates hope the regulation will increase paperwork and decrease profits for exporters of horses into Canadian processing firms, others believe the rule won’t reduce the number of horses exported for processing every year.  

Under the new regulation, exporters must certify in writing that the U.S. horses exported into Canada for processing haven’t received any drugs within the prior 60 days. But said horse welfare advocate Jerry Finch, founder of Habitat for Horses, the horse-processing industry has long had a reputation for falsifying paperwork connected to exported horses.

 “False documentation (has) been a proven fact for years, yet nothing is ever done about it, so any such regulation is nothing more than a PR effort to make the consumer believe they are receiving the very best horsemeat available; like so much of the food supply, the image of wholesome, healthy, and safe food is a far cry from the reality,” said Finch. “The killer-buyers simply sign the form, the buyers for the slaughterhouse sign it, and done deal. A horse bought at the racetrack in Kentucky on Monday will still be in the food chain by Wednesday.”

The Canadian regulation mirrors one long in place at processing plants in Mexico, which did not eliminate the EU’s food safety concerns. After a 2014 audit, the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) banned the sale of horsemeat processed in Mexico on grounds that exporters falsified processed animals’ medical and drug treatment records.

An uptick in sales to Russian and Chinese markets resulted, said horse processing proponent Dave Duquette. He expects the same after the Canadian rule become effective.

“All the ban did was up sales to Russia and China–and they don’t have the same welfare (regulations) as the EU or that we do,” Duquette said. “The regulation is a (horse) welfare issue, and it lessens the welfare of horses.”

Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, said that an estimated 5 million horses are processed for human consumption worldwide each year.

“The last time I checked, China was processing roughly 2.5 million horses a year for food,” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of U.S. horses exported to both Mexico and Canada has stabilized between 130,000-150,000 per year, he said.

“I don’t see that changing much,” Lenz said.

In any case, Lenz said import/export rules won’t make tracking the number of U.S. horses exported for slaughter any easier in the future.

“It’s my understanding that starting this year the U.S. Department of Agriculture is no longer keeping track of the number of horses exported for slaughter,” Lenz said. “So, we really won’t know in the future if the numbers are increasing or decreasing no matter what regulations are established on either the Canadian or Mexican side.”

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38935/new-rule-tightens-canadian-horse-processing-imports

Glimpse into Horse Slaughter – Eagle Pass, Texas (raw video)

Video supplied by investigators from EWA and WHFF


“Quietly and behind the scenes the Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation have been watching, taking note and documenting more than just the unnecessary roundups of wild horses and burros by the BLM; but also paying attention to where tens of thousands of American horses and donkeys (domestic and wild) disappear to without even so much as a final wave goodbye.  Horse Slaughter has not been banned in the USA instead it has only moved across our borders and both our beloved domestic equines and our protected wild horses and burros continue to end up on the dinner plates of foreigners across the globe.

Below is simply raw video of what the horses go through as they cross the border from Texas to Mexico in the final hours of their precious lives.  No commentary, no music, no opinions as the footage speaks for itself.  We have simply released it to emphasis the need to act, of things to come and to remind those who participate in this predatory blood business that we are watching and taking names.  Yes, we are paying attention as the victims cannot speak for themselves but we can.  Let the kill buyer beware.  Keep the faith, my friends.  We are paying attention.” ~ R.T.


“Investigators with Wild Horse Freedom Federation/Equine Welfare Alliance spent several days down in Eagle Pass, Texas documenting events prior to slaughter horses being sent to Mexico for slaughter. Video shows horses being loaded for slaughter and them crossing over the border into Mexico, paperwork check by Gov. Official, going to weigh station and trucks coming into pen with slaughter horses.” ~ Investigator

House Leadership Renews Push to Reinstate Horse Slaughter in US

Source: Equine Welfare Alliance PR

Chicago (EWA)– EWA has learned that Mr. Douglas A. Glenn, Director, Office of Financial Management, Department of the Interior, has notified his department in a letter dated 22 February, that the GAO (Government Accountability Office) has been tasked to study any changes in the state of equine welfare in the US from 2010 to the present.

The request to the GAO was made by the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee and the Chair of House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration.

Attached to the letter was a statement of the scope of the work to be performed, including addressing four questions:

  1. What is known about changes and trends in the U.S. horse market since 2010?
  2. What impact, if any, has the prohibition on USDA funding for horse slaughter inspection had on horse welfare and on states, local governments and Indian tribes?
  3. What is known about the number of abandoned and unwanted horses in the U.S. and associated environmental impacts?
  4. What is the current capacity of animal welfare organizations and shelters to accept and care for unwanted and abandoned horses?

The study request clearly marks the first step in a renewed attempt to lift a ban on the funding for the ante-mortem inspection of slaughter horses. The funding provision is in the annual budget, and thus must be reintroduced whenever a new budget is adopted. Without inspections, it has been illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption off and on since 2007.

The request is essentially identical to a GAO study made at the request of Roy Blunt (R-MO), Herb Kohl (R-WI), and Jack Kingston (R-GA) in 2009. The resulting report (GAO 11-228), took almost two years to complete and was not released until the eve of a critical budget vote in 2011. Though devoid of welfare data, the report claimed that equine abuse and neglect had soared, falsely implying a 60% increase in Colorado after the closing of the domestic slaughter plants.

GAO 11-228 then became the key proof used by proponents of reinstating the inspections funding. It was constantly cited as showing that the defunding had been a mistake, and it resulted in the Congress reinstating inspections funding in the 2012 budget. The funding remained in place until 2014, by which time EWA had exposed the fact that the original GAO report had fraudulently used the Colorado data, and that there had been no increase in abuse and neglect. Five slaughter houses applied for licenses to slaughter horses, but none opened before the funding was again withdrawn in 2014.

Horse slaughter faces bipartisan opposition in Congress, making a report such as GAO 11-228 essential to justify bringing it back to US soil. In the period since domestic slaughter ended, horses have been shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. However the US does not track the drugs given to horses, and this has resulted in the EU (European Union) banning Mexican horse meat and placing strict quarantine on slaughter horses in Canada.

John Holland, President of EWA, explains “The study is preordained to meaninglessness, since there was virtually no significant change in the number of horses being exported for slaughter over the proposed study period (112,850 in 2010 and 114,091 in 2016). But this ignores the reality of the cauldron of deceit that our government has become. Those requesting the study merely need a document to wave over their heads while they passionately berate their colleagues for causing a nonexistent tragedy. And no doubt, the once trustworthy GAO will produce a document concluding that the exile of the horse slaughter industry resulted in a disaster, tantamount to the Bowling Green massacre.”

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free, 501c3 umbrella organization with 330 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,200 individual members worldwide in 23 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

FOUR ISPMB ‘HALLELUJAH HORSES*’ HEADING FOR FULL CELEB STATUS

by Elaine Nash as published on FaceBook

Animal Planet Here We Come

As I posted earlier, we saw 10 mares off on their several-month long journey to Alaska yesterday. Six of them will be going to the Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks. The other four have an even more exciting life ahead of them because they have been adopted by Dr. Dee Thornell, who’s featured as ‘Dr. Dee’ on the Animal Planet show, Alaska Vet. In addition to being a celebrity vet who flies to remote Alaskan villages to help animals of just about every sort, she is a horse driving enthusiast and well known national competitor. Dr. Dee asked me to select four big, beautiful bay mares from our herds for her, so they can be trained to become a competitive four-in-hand team. She hopes to show people all over the world that mustangs are very versatile, athletic, fast, and fun to show off!

Before heading north, the four big bay mares (real beauties!) will join the Chena Hot Springs Resort horses in WY for needed care, gentling, and training (and probably foaling) before heading up the AlCan highway this spring or summer to their new home with Dr. Dee!

CONGRATULATIONS, LADIES!
We’ll look forward to seeing you four on TV and cheering for Dr. Dee’s Hallelujah Horses!

Previous episodes of Alaska Vet can be seen at http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dr-dee-alaska-vet/.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ISPMB.Adoptable.Horses/

WE STILL NEED LOTS OF HELP to get the rest of these horses cared for, placed, and transported by March 26th, our deadline. Still many horses to get out of there! Here’s how you can help:

DONATE: www.ISPMBHorseRescueMission.org

ADOPT:
Lots of nice, healthy horses still available. We also need adopters for dozens of BLIND HORSES, SENIOR HORSES, and STALLIONS (If adopting stallions, ask about the gelding subsity of $100. provided by the National Equine Rescue Network.)
https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSdXEVFZhWzY6qKuPr…/viewform

TRANSPORT:
We need as many adopters as possible to arrange for and transport your own horses. Time is of the essence at this point, and there’s not time nor manpower to arrange for a lot of individual Fleet of Angels transports for you at this point.

We also need teams of drivers who have large trailers (40′-ish) that are capable of hauling 15-20 horses at once, and who can take load after load until the end of the month.

*Hallelujah Horses is the nickname given by Fleet of Angels to the 810 horses impounded and seized from ISPMB (Int’l Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros) in South Dakota. Fleet of Angels was given custody of all the horses, so each horse could be properly evaluated, treated and cared for, adopted, and transported to a safe new home. www.FleetOfAngels.org

‘Skin Trade’ Donkeys ‘Waiting to Die’ at ‘Horrific’ Markets

by as published on Horse and Hound

“There’s about 700 donkeys coming here to wait to die. There’s no food, there’s no water…”

The ‘horrific’ conditions facing donkeys in markets in Tanzania have been highlighted by welfare groups.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Alex Mayers and Thomas Kahema, founder of The Tanzanian Animal Welfare Society, recently visited a donkey market in Tanzania believed to be serving the skin trade.

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

During an emotional video, Mr Mayers described conditions for the donkeys as they waited to die.

“The market is far worse than I expected,” he said.

“There’s about 700 donkeys coming here to wait to die. There’s no food, there’s no water.

There’s very little reaction from the donkeys to the people, they’re very stressed.”

“Lots are showing signs of dehydration and hunger. Everything about these donkeys is really switched off — it’s really hard to see.

“The donkeys are dying every day.”…(CONTINUED)

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/skin-trade-donkeys-waiting-die-horrendous-markets-613811

Feel Good Sunday: Clydesdales Help Purina Deliver Surprise to Horse Shelter in Need

Source: Purina Mills TV

“Annually, many Americans wait to see the ultimate and final “Big Game” of the year which just concluded in our own backyard, here, in Houston.  But also there are many who may not be football fans but annually look forward to the next installation of the heart tugging, mini-sagas put forth by Budweiser featuring the gentle giants of the equine world, the Clydesdales.  This year, the fans of horses were disappointed when Budweiser benched the ponies and went a totally different direction and suffered poor reviews on their attempt to document immigration history.  The result was a lose/lose on both-sides with Bud slipping in the ratings and the Clydesdales fans left without a horse fix, so we are here to help correct that oversight, today.

We issue a “tissue alert” in advance and would also like to add that we are not endorsing any one horse rescue but instead tipping our hats to all of the fine organizations out there filled with good folks who donate their time, their money and their lives to the effort of finding good forever homes and futures for equines in need.  There is no need to identify them as you already know who you are and we love each and everyone of you bright points of compassion, caring and love.  May you have a wonderful ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and never give up the good fight.  Keep the faith!” ~ R.T.

NM Senate Committee Passes Horse as Livestock Bill

Dianne L Stallings , Ruidoso News

“Wild Horse Advocates fear new provisions could lead to the elimination of wild herds…”

Members of the wild herd rounded up last year were photographed crossing at their designated point on the highway leading into Alto and Ruidoso.(Photo: Courtesy/Melissa Babcock)

Members of the wild herd rounded up last year were photographed crossing at their designated point on the highway leading into Alto and Ruidoso.(Photo: Courtesy/Melissa Babcock)

Local advocates for wild horse herds in New Mexico piled into a bus at 3:30 a.m. Thursday and headed to Santa Fe to voice their views on an amended version of a state senate bill they feared would lead to the elimination of wild horse herds that roam the Alto area north of Ruidoso.

Despite the efforts of advocates, they reported that members of the Senate Conservation Committee passed the bill in less than five minutes. A series of hearings led to modifications of the original bill submitted by State Sen. Pat Woods, a Republican from Quay County, that eliminates the classification of domesticated horse.

While under the amended version horses still would be lumped into the broad definition for livestock that fall under the jurisdiction of the New Mexico Livestock Board, specific exceptions were included for Spanish colonial horses and for a “wild horse” defined as an “unclaimed horse without obvious brands or other evidence of private ownership that is determined by the board to originate from public land or federal land or to be part of or descended from a herd that lives on or originates from public land; but does not include horses that are subject to the jurisdiction of the federal government pursuant to the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

Public land does not include federal land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service or state trust land.

Under the amended version, a wild horse captured on private land in New Mexico at the discretion of the livestock board “shall be” humanely captured and relocated to state public land or to a public or private horse preserve; adopted by a qualified person (for an adoption fee); or humanely euthanized provided the option is the last resort when the horse is determined by a licensed veterinarian to be crippled or otherwise unhealthy or cannot be relocated to a public or private wild horse preserve or adopted.

A new section throws in another wrinkle for the future of “wild horses” such as the herds in Alto. That section in the amended bill provides when requested by the board to determine the viability of a specific New Mexico wild horse herd on the range they occupy, the range improvement task force of New Mexico State University will evaluate the range conditions to determine the number of wild horses that the range can support while maintaining its ecological health.

The task force will report the results of the evaluation to the board. “If required, the board may cause control of the New Mexico wild horse herd population through the use of birth control and may cause excess horses to be humanely captured” and relocated, adopted or euthanized…(CONTINUED)

http://www.ruidosonews.com/story/news/local/2017/02/09/senate-committee-passes-horse-livestock-bill/97712106/

300 Former Wild Horses in South Dakota Need Homes as Deadline Looms

Source: ISPMB/Emergency Adoption Mission

“The ‘Hallelujah Horses’ Need Your Help!”

Volunteers are scrambling to find homes for hundreds of wild horses in South Dakota that were spared a possible trip to the slaughterhouse but are now suffering through a harsh winter.

The horses, some of them blind, were once kept at a troubled South Dakota sanctuary. Now a small group of volunteers from across the country is working 10 hours a day to feed and care for animals, using rented plows to carve paths through 15-foot snowdrifts. In a nearby hotel room, other volunteers are sorting through adoption applications and networking through social media, desperately trying to find homes for the horses before they are forced to leave the property next month.

“We are working to get the whole herd out of the 15-foot snow. Some are blind and are walking out right over the fences. It’s really hard to work with so many horses with so many problems,” said Elaine Nash, director of horse rescue organization Fleet of Angels, who is spearheading the operation. “Every time we get over one hurdle there’s another one waiting for us.”

Some 500 horses have already been placed in sanctuaries and ranches across the country, from Arizona and Oregon to California and Minnesota. But the effort near Lantry, in northern South Dakota, isn’t done.

The remaining 300 wild horses could be more difficult to sell or have adopted, Nash said. Nearly 200 are stallions that need gelding before anyone will want them. Dozens are old and have health problems. Others are blind from what Nash suspects was toxic farm runoff in their drinking pond.

But Nash was grateful for the response so far to the neglected herd. Many of the less desirable horses have already found homes, and Nash is hopeful that most will be out of South Dakota by their deadline.

When Nash first spread the word in October, This Old Horse rescue in Hastings, Minnesota, agreed to take two older mares.

They wound up taking seven stallions, all blind, instead.

“I don’t know how it happened,” joked Nancy Turner, board president of This Old Horse. “Elaine is really good at convincing people.”

Turner said it’s not easy. The horses are wild, after all, and need special handling and transportation. Most have never been inside a barn or trailer.

“But part of it for me is that these aren’t poor needy horses,” Turner said. “They are magnificent. I thought that we could celebrate them rather than see them as poor things that should probably be put down.”

More than 800 horses were impounded in October at the nonprofit International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros after a state veterinarian found they were being neglected and a former ranch employee said they were being starved to death. All but 20 were eventually surrendered by their owner.

By mid-December, a third of the horses had been adopted or sold while the other 550 or so were being held as collateral by county officials seeking reimbursement for the cost of caring for the horses. When it didn’t come, the counties started planning to auction off the rest to recoup the cost, making animal rights groups fear many of the horses would be brought to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.

Fleet of Angels and other animal rights groups raised the $78,000 still owed to the counties and stopped the auction. They then assumed the costs and responsibility of caring for the horses

The group is now gathering, microchipping, collecting blood samples and trimming the feet of the remaining horses and gelding the stallions. Meanwhile, they still need financial support to feed and care for a herd burning through $1,000 in hay each day.

Nash said horses won’t be euthanized unless they have broken bones or serious conditions — even horses that might be difficult to adopt.

“We know that someone will come forward and give them good homes. People care about these horses and about making this mission a success,” she said.

Note: “200 stallions” was the total number of the stallions out of the total 810.  Also, about 95% of the horses look great after receiving $150,000 worth of hay since mid-October.