European Horse Meat Food Fraud Scandal Explodes Again With the Arrest in Spain of a Dutchman Masterminding a New Illegal Horse Meat Operation!

Source:  Equine Advocates

As we continue to supply new information about the dangers, criminal activity and food fraud involved with the slaughter of equines for human consumption both in the U.S. and abroad, you must realize that all of these incidents are very much intertwined and connected. Please use this information to build your respective cases and arguments to your Members of Congress to stop the return of horse slaughter to this country.

This is a very critical time as we have been explaining and documenting for months. Right now, forces are in motion to reverse the defunding of horse meat inspectors and reopen horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. As we all know, there have been a million distractions by politicians and special interest groups to keep everyone’s eyes off the ball on a myriad of issues. Horse slaughter is one of them. We cannot be taken off guard, but that is exactly what these callous and greedy individuals are hoping for.

Please read this article and use it. Horse meat has been found in some chopped meat products in the American food supply as documented in a 2015 study by Chapman University. That is just the tip of the iceberg!  –  Equine Advocates

Source:   ibtimes.co.uk

Man at centre of 2013 horse meat scandal arrested for masterminding new large-scale operation

Convicted food fraudster Jan Fasen was arrested for masterminding a new illegal horse meat distribution network.

Horse meat is eaten regularly by many Europeans

by Josh Robbins

A Dutchman at the centre of the 2013 European horse meat scandal has been arrested in Spain accused of masterminding another illegal horse meat operation.

Jan Fasen was one of 25 people arrested in Spain, on 4 April, allegedly involved in large-scale horse-meat fraud, supplying food for human consumption in Belgium, Italy, Romania, the Netherlands and France.

Spanish authorities say Fasen is the ringleader of the syndicate, which allegedly slaughtered stolen and sick horses before sending them into the food chain, El Pais reports.

Police claim the gang forged documents to pass off ordinary domesticated and wild horses as those specifically farmed for meat production (abastos).

Read the rest of this article HERE.

 

 

Is Donkey Skin the New Ivory?

by Alixandra Caole Vila as published at Nature World News

African Donkeys are Being Slaughtered to Extinction

While China’s taste for elephant ivories have died down, it seems like their fondness has shifted to Donkey skin this time.

According to the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (NSPCA), South African donkeys are being slaughtered to extinction for the gelatin found in their skin and their meat.

While the donkey-hide gelatin has no commercial value in Africa, it is a popular ingredient used to create Chinese medicine to treat anemia and menopause-linked ailments. The gelatin, called Ejiao in Chinese, reportedly stops bleeding and strengthens the blood.

“[Ejiao] is quite a popular ingredient in China that people may self-prescribe,” Chinese medicine expert Mazin Al-Khafaji told The Independent. “It’s a hard gel, made from donkey hide, which is then dissolved in hot water or alcohol. It’s also used topically in a cream, for leg ulcers for instance.”

CNN noted that because donkey skin is highly sought-after in China, the donkey population went down from 11 million to six million in the past 20 years. Approximately 80,000 animals had been sold in the first nine months of 2016. While the demand had delivered a valuable stream of foreign currency, it has placed small-scale farmers in a difficult situation.

China File said that because the price of donkeys increased, rural communities who depend on the animals for livelihood are suffering.

Speaking with Science Times, a donkey owner in Mogosani village named Ikgopeleng Tsietsoane shared that currently, the price of a donkey is 2,000 rand. It used to be only 400 rands ($30 or 29 euros).

At present, a number of African countries, including Niger and Burkina Faso, have banned China from buying their donkeys to save the docile beast’s population and the livelihood of locals. However, smuggling still persists in areas where it is considered illegal to do so…(CONTINUED)

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/37104/20170406/is-donkey-skin-the-new-ivory-african-donkeys-are-being-slaughtered-to-extinction.htm

Wild Horses Are Being Forced to Wear Dangerous Collars – Demand These Be Removed (PETITION)

by as published on OneGreenPlanet

Right now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting a five-year study on wild mares in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area (ATHMA) of south-central Wyoming with the help of the University of Wyoming’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. And like most recent interactions between the BLM and wild horses, this is likely to result in dire consequences for those mares.

Supposedly, the study is meant to “document habitat selection, movement between habitats, seasonal use, and migration patterns of wild horses” within and outside this area in order to understand how horses move across the Colorado-Wyoming border, how the removal of horses from the checkerboard portion of the HMA influences the movement of mares from non-checkerboard portions of ATHMA (i.e. creation of a void), how horses select landscape resources relative to their proportional availability, and how site fidelity of horses is influenced by season.”

But as Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, explains, “The researchers are seeking to prove that wild horses will ‘move into a void’ created by rounding up and removing horses from the Checkerboard, so they can ‘prove’ that it impossible to remove horses from the Checkerboard and keep them out. They are also hoping to ‘prove’ that wild horses degrade riparian areas.” The reason? It’s because the BLM works hand-in-hand with the cattle ranching industry to allocate more public land for grazing beef and dairy cows in order to collect more livestock grazing tax from those industry interests.

Those interests continue to claim that there is not enough grazing land due to an overpopulation of wild horses that deplete the area of feed, when, in fact, wild horses occupy just 11 percent of BLM-managed land and ranchers’ cows already outnumber wild horses 50 to 1 … and growing.

Meanwhile, using our tax dollars, the BLM and University of Wyoming team have already bait-trapped at least 14 “test subjects” in the ATHMA area, along with a handful of mares who, after being trapped, were deemed too young to participate in the study. It isn’t uncommon for the BLM to turn around and cull wild horses trapped in its holding facilities or send them to slaughter. And since the agency already voted in September 2016 to kill off 44,000 of the nation’s 67,000 total remaining wild horses, this act of trapping is, in and of itself, a very scary step.

So far, these horses have been spared that fate, though their future remains wildly unsure. They are being fitted with radio collars, which can dangerously impact their health and well-being. For example, if they gain weight either by growing naturally or due to pregnancy, the collars will become too tight for comfort or should their collars become caught on brush or the horses’ own hooves, as has happened in previous studies, it could prove disastrous. Plus, these collars ensure the agency will know exactly where to find them should the decision be made to cull this group of horses…(CONTINUED)

To read the rest of the article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/wild-horses-are-being-forced-to-wear-dangerous-collars/

Public Comment Needed on Nevada Mine that will Use Over 2 Billion Gallons of Water in 10 Years (further threatening wild horses)

This map shows the Gold Bar Mine area, the approximate HMA (in solid red) and HA boundaries(in broken red lines), the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field, and the approximate combined Gold Bar Mine and Mt. Hope Mine 10′ water drawdown area (in blue).  The 10′ water drawdown (in blue) effects almost the entire Roberts Mountain HMA.  The 1′ water drawdown will effect a much larger area.  (Streams can dry up with as little as a 1′ water drawdown.)

BE SURE TO LOOK AT ALL 8 MAPS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE.

It’s best to write comments in your own words so that the BLM counts each comment as one, instead of counting a thousand similar comments/form letter as only one.  You can read the joint comments submitted by Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation below, and a quick summary on pages 5-41 of the DEIS HERE.  Comments are due by April 17, 2017.

Some suggested talking points are:

  1. Be sure to ask for the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
  2. The Gold Bar mine project will use over 2 billion gallons of water in 10 years.  The BLM needs to take into consideration past (historic), current and likely future droughts and climate change when deciding if they will approve this DEIS.
  3. The Project will negatively impact the water, forage, safety, and “free-roaming” abilities of the Roberts Mountain wild horse herd on the Roberts Mountain HMA, as well as the nearby wild horse herds on Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.
  4. The BLM is minimizing the area of impact by only indicating the 10′ water drawdown, and not the 5′ or 1′ water drawdown.  The 5′ and 1′ water drawdown will cover a much larger area of land.  A stream can dry up with as little as 1′ of water drawdown.
  5. When the nearby Mt. Hope mine becomes operational, it is proposed that it will use an additional 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).  Mt. Hope mine will use over 3 1/2 billion gallons of water per year and over 36 billion gallons of water in 10 years.
  6. The BLM refers to the Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4).  These are 25 years old and outdated.  Ask for updates of this Plan and Handbook for this DEIS.
  7. The area of Gold Bar Mine will be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, creating more environmental degradation.

The DEIS is available online at HERE.   Interested individuals should address all written comments to Christine Gabriel, Project Manager, using any of the following ways:

Fax: (775) 635-4034

Email:  blm_nv_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@blm.gov

Mail:  Bureau of Land Management

Mount Lewis Field Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain, NV 89820

Wild Horse Freedom Federation and The Cloud Foundation submitted these joint comments regarding the BLM’s Gold Bar Mine Project:

           

Bureau of Land Management

Mount Lewis Field Office

50 Bastian Road

Battle Mountain, NV 89820

Email: blm_NV_bmdo_mlfo_gold_bar_project_eis@ blm.gov

DATE:  April 5, 2017

Subject: DEIS MMI Gold Bar Mine Project

Dear Ms. Gabriel:

On behalf of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), 501(c)3 non-profit corporations, and our hundreds of thousands of supporters throughout the United States, we would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit scoping comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for McEwen Mining Inc.’s (MMI) Gold Bar Mine Project (Project).

TCF, a wild horse and burro advocacy group and an advocacy group for all wildlife on our public lands in the West, and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, a voice for the protection of wild horses and burros and public lands, strongly oppose the expansion of the Gold Bar mining project and we urge the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE in this DEIS for the following reasons:

Wild Horse Herds To Be Affected:

The Project will negatively impact the Roberts Mountain Wild Horse Herd as well as the nearby herds of Whistler Mountain and Fish Creek Herd Management Areas.

Sage Grouse Habitat Affected:

Not only wild horses will be affected in this area. All wildlife will suffer.

Open pit mining is the most environmentally destructive type of mining anywhere. Extreme weather events can overwhelm all mandated precautions, threatening migratory birds and small mammals. In the case of a flood, even large mammals like wild horses risk exposure to potentially lethal mining waste.

Direct habitat damage due to mining plus further fragmentation by roads and large equipment traveling on these roads will eliminate hopes for the recovery of the Greater Sage Grouse in this area. The transport process in itself is dangerous—accidents, dust, spread of contaminants, noise, etc.

Greater Sage Grouse were once so numerous that the “sky was black” with these large birds, according to Ginger Kathrens’ late Uncle, Allan Ralston, who spoke of this area after his return from WWII. Now the birds are threatened and a species of critical environmental concern. BLM should prioritize these risks.

Impacts on Water Sources:

Per the Gold Bar DEIS, page 4-147, under 2 different scenarios, the mine will either pump 380 gpm (gallons per minute) or 500 gpm (gallons per minute).

If the mine pumps 380 gpm, this equals 22,800 gallons per hour, 547,200 gallons per day, and 199,728,000 gallons per year.  Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 billion gallons of water.

If the mine pumps 500 gpm, this equals 30,000 gallons per hour, 720,000 gallons per day, and 262,800,000 gallons per year.  Over 10 years, it will pump over 2 1/2 billion gallons of water.

This does not include the water which the Mt. Hope mine will use once mining begins.  Mt. Hope is projected to use 7,000 gallons per minute for the life of the mine (40-50 years).

The project will deplete surface and ground water resulting in the drying up of ephemeral streams. Reducing water tables to dangerously low levels will negatively impact perennial streams. This DEIS minimizes the impact on water resources by not providing 5’ or 1’ water drawdown maps and thus minimizing the additional area of land that will be effected.  A stream can dry up with as little as 1’ of water drawdown.

Maps created by Wild Horse Freedom Federation are included in the Appendix.

Map 1 – (Figure 4.23-11 of DEIS) Gold Bar Mine Wild Horse CESA (Cumulative Effects Study Area).  On page 4-265 of the DEIS, it states “The CESA for the wild horses and burros includes Roberts Mountain, Whistler Mountain, and portions of the Fish Creek HMAs, as well as Kobeh Valley and Roberts Mountain HAs where wild horses existed based on past inventories, and where they could be potentially affected by the Project…”

Map 2 – shows the addition of the approximate 10′ water drawdown area – (Figure 4.19-3 of Gold Bar Mine Project), 500 gpm (gallons per minute) for 10 years.

Map 3 – shows the addition of the approximate HMA and HA boundaries.

Map 4 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine Project area and well field – (Figure 3.13.1 Mt. Hope Project EIS).

Map 5 – shows the addition of the approximate Mt. Hope Mine 10″ water drawdown area – (Figure 3.2.18 Mt Hope Project EIS).

Map 6 – shows approximate sketch of Gold Bar Mine and Mt Hope Mine with HMA and HA boundaries

Map 7 – shows approximate HMA boundaries over grazing allotments map – (Figure 3.7 – 1, Gold Bar Mine EIS)

Map 8 – shows approximate mining, water drawdown, and grazing with the HMA and HA boundaries.

BLM writes in their description of the Roberts Mountain HMA: Water availability is a key influence to wild horse use during summer months. Wild horses will generally travel much farther to water than will livestock. In many HMAs water sources are plentiful and supplied by perennial streams, springs, and human constructed water developments such as livestock water tanks and ponds. In other cases, water sources are limiting, and in drought years, wild horses may have difficulty accessing sufficient water, (emphasis added) especially if the population exceeds the Appropriate Management Level (AML). In these cases, wild horse distribution is closely tied to the location of the available waters, which becomes very important to the health of the herd.

Drought Ridden Region

Drought is common in this driest state in the Union. Emergency removals of wild horses because of the lack of water are common. Removals of 14 wild horse herds occurred in 2009 south of Ely by BLM. The Agency cited the lack of reliable water sources as the reason for the removal of wild horses on 1.4 million acres of public land.

The proposed expansion and creation of more water dependent, extractive uses of the land is irresponsible.

Outdated Plan and Manual

This DEIS is based, in part, on a plan and a manual that are each about 25 years old and outdated.  We are referring to the BLM Cyanide Management Plan (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.3) and the Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (1992), (noted in Vol. 1A, 1.4.4).  We ask that you review these outdated materials and update them if you are going to base any part of this DEIS on these outdated plans.

Economic Uncertainty

The potential for failure of this project is so high that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states: . . .in addition to greater uncertainty as to the economic feasibility of Mineralized Material compared to proven and probable reserves, there is also greater uncertainty as to the existence of Mineralized Material. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that measured or indicated resources will be converted into economically mineable reserves. The estimation of inferred resources involves far greater uncertainty as to their existence and economic viability than the estimation of other categories of resources.

Couple the above with the failure of the previous mine developers, Atlas Corporation, who filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the land in an unreclaimed condition in 1999.

Wide Scale Damage

McEwen Mining, a Canadian Mining company, is poised to take over and create even more environmental degradation. The area would be expanded by 40,000 acres or 62.5 square miles, or about 1/3 the size of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area where TCF is headquartered. In other words, this is destruction on a grand scale.

Damage from gold mining is permanent. No amount of mitigation can return the landscape to anything approaching a natural state. Over flights of the area reveal large-scale destruction. Increasing this permanent destruction for the hope of short-term gain is not a reasonable, and certainly not an environmentally friendly decision.

For the above reasons, we urge you to select the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE for the Gold Bar Mine Project.

Thanks very much for your consideration of our position on this important issue.

Sincerely,

          

Ginger Kathrens                             Debbie Coffey

Executive Director,                         Vice-President,

The Cloud Foundation, Inc.          Wild Horse Freedom Federation

107 S. 7th Street                                P.O. Box 390

Colorado Springs, CO 80905        Pinehurst, TX  77362

MAPS:

Map 1

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-1.pdf

Map 2

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-2.pdf

Map 3

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-3.pdf

Map 4

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-4.pdf

Map 5

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-5.pdf

Map 6

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-6.pdf

Map 7

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-7.pdf

Map 8

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gold-Bar-Mine-Map-8-with-mining-water-drawdown-and-grazing.pdf

Court Denies Wild Horse Appeal Sought by Nevada Counties

Story by Scott Sonner ~ Ace AP reporter

“We’re pleased that the courts continue to dismiss attempts by these grazing interests to use the judicial system to rewrite federal law that Congress designed to protect wild horses…”

BLM Antelope Complex attack on Nevada wild horses in 2011 ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild horse advocates in Nevada scored a victory Monday in an ongoing legal battle with rural interests they say want to round up federally protected mustangs across the West and sell them for slaughter.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied an appeal by the Nevada Association of Counties and Nevada Farm Bureau Federation representing ranchers and others who argue overpopulated herds are damaging the range and robbing livestock of forage.

The decision upholds an earlier ruling by a federal judge in Reno who dismissed their lawsuit in 2015 seeking to force the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to expedite widespread roundups across Nevada.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a similar decision in Wyoming in October.

In both cases, the American Wild Horse Campaign and others argued the courts have no authority to order the agency to gather horses in violation of the U.S. Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

“We’re pleased that the courts continue to dismiss attempts by these grazing interests to use the judicial system to rewrite federal law that Congress designed to protect wild horses from capture, not to favor the livestock industry,” said Nick Lawton, a lawyer for the campaign that formerly went by the name American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

The Nevada suit filed in 2014 demanded BLM sell older horses deemed unadoptable without the usual prohibition on resale for slaughter. The Farm Bureau argued the overpopulation “has severe impacts on the health of the horses as well as the ecological health and sustainability of Nevada’s rangelands.”

A three-judge panel of the U.S. appellate court agreed with Judge Miranda Du of Reno, repeating her conclusion the plaintiffs had failed to identify any specific final agency actions that could be challenged.

“Instead, NACO seeks judicial oversight and direction of virtually the entire federal wild horse and burro management program in Nevada,” the three-page ruling issued Monday said.

The BLM estimated a year ago that there were 67,027 wild horses and burros roaming federal land across 10 Western states — 40,000 more than the agency maintains the range can sustain. About half are in Nevada.

BLM removed about 8,000 of the horses and burros from the Western range in 2012, but fewer than 4,000 in each of the past two years, due in part to budget constraints.

Terri Farley, a Reno-area based author of the children’s book series, “Phantom Stallion,” and Mark Tewell, who owns Wild Horses of Nevada Photography in nearby Dayton, joined the campaign in opposing the rural counties’ lawsuit.

“This decision should help put a stop to baseless lawsuits from the livestock industry” intended to force the government to round up mustangs across the West, Lawton said.

Visit Scott’s page for more great journalism: https://www.facebook.com/ssonner

Horses at Axtell BLM Wild Horse Corrals quarantined after possible ‘Strangles’ outbreak

by as posted on Salt Lake Fox 13

“Healthy Wild Horses now in peril due to BLM’s FAKE law interpretations…”

AXTELL, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management and Axtell Contract Off-Range Corrals have issued a voluntary quarantine of wild horses at a facility due to a possible “Strangles” or equine distemper (Streptococcus equi) outbreak.

Horses at the Axtell Wild Horse Corrals facility are being tested for the infection after the animals contracted some sort of respiratory tract infection, a press release said. Individual horses are being tested, but an early diagnosis says the infection is “Strangles,” the press release continued.

The initial signs of the infection are fever, trouble swallowing, noisy breathing, swollen lymph nodes, and thick discharge from the nose. The infection is highly infectious, spread through contact, and can cause death in some cases, but no horse has been reported dead yet, the press release said.

According to the press release, the Axtell facility staff started noticing possible signs of the infection on March 27, mostly in the younger animals. The quarantine will delay the adoption of highly sought Sulphur and Frisco wild horses that were scheduled for adoption, the press release said. The public tour scheduled for April 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., however, has not been affected by the quarantine…click (HERE) for more BLM propaganda.

Horses at Axtell Wild Horse Corrals quarantined after possible ‘Strangles’ outbreak

 

Horses at Axtell Wild Horse Corrals Quarantined Until Further Notice

Healthy horses on the range in the Checkerboard area.  Photo: Carol Walker
In 2016,  25 burros (that we know of) died of a rare virus at this BLM facility.  http://sanpetemessenger.com/2016/11/02/dead-burros-in-axtell-contracted-rare-virus/ 
BLM’s Axtell, UT, holding facility is on a ranch owned by retired BLM employee Kerry Despain, who ran the now defunct prison mustang program at Gunnison prison.  There was an OIG investigation into Gunnison prison.
 
Learn more about strangles HERE.  How will the BLM disinfect the pastures?   –  Debbie
Source:  BLM
News Release
Utah State Office, Utah
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Lisa Reid (435) 743-3128
April 3, 2017
Axtell, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Axtell Contract Off-Range Corrals have issued a voluntary quarantine of wild horses at the facility due to an outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection. Individual infected animals are being tested for the exact cause, but early diagnosis indicates “strangles” or equine distemper (Streptococcus equi).
This disease is highly contagious and spread by other infected horses. BLM officials have notified the Utah State Veterinarian of the outbreak, who visited the facility. Coordination is also occurring with Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing of the infected horses.
On March 20, 2017 the Utah Department of Agriculture put out a reminder for equine owners regarding outbreaks of strangles, visit here: Biosecurity Reminder for Utah Horse Owners.
The Axtell facility staff began seeing signs of strangles on March 27 mostly within the younger animals that had naturally weakened or immature immune systems. No mortality of horses has occurred from the localized outbreak, only clinical signs are being observed at this time. The quarantine will delay the adoption of the highly sought after Sulphur and Frisco wild horses that were scheduled to be adopted at facilities across the country. This quarantine does not affect the Axtell facility public tour scheduled for April 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The BLM takes the health of every wild horse and burro seriously and the Axtell facility horses will be monitored closely by facility staff. After all signs of infection have passed, the horses will be scheduled for transfer to Oklahoma, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California, and within Utah for adoption to qualified individuals,” said Gus Warr, Utah Wild Horse Program Manager.
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Reid. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

20 Environmental Groups Jointly Demand Wildlife Services Ban M-44 Cyanide Bombs in Idaho

 

Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.

On March 28, 2017, a coalition of wildlife and conservation groups petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services (WS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to immediately ban M-44 devices in Idaho. M-44s are cyanide bombs used by WS to kill local predators such as coyotes, as part of a larger taxpayer-funded wildlife eradication campaign wherein WS, on behalf of the federal government, slaughters millions of wild animals every single year.

The recent hospitalization of a youth and killing of a family dog in Idaho who encountered one of these ground weapons near their home was one motivator for the creation of this petition. The document lists many other incidents of indiscriminate pet injuries and killings by M-44s in Appendix A.

The petition specifically calls on the agencies to:

1. Cease all use of M-44 explosive cyanide devices on all land ownerships in the State of Idaho, and
2. Immediately remove any and all M-44s currently deployed on all land ownerships in Idaho.

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

In November 2016, WS committed to cease the use of M-44s on Idaho’s public lands. Also, in 2016, a workplan between WS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho Falls District forbade the placement of these devices within a quarter mile of residences.

The recent incident with the teen and his pet occurred within a quarter mile of his home. The petition concludes this incident shows the “commitment to cease using M-44s on public lands in Idaho is inadequate to protect public safety and wildlife,” because either WS personnel are not carrying out the commitment or older bombs are still present on public land.

“Cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers that must be banned,” Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release. “Any animal that might pull on the baited trigger is at risk, including endangered wildlife like Canada lynx and grizzlies, as well as people and pets. And in just the past few weeks these cruel devices have injured a child and killed an endangered wolf and several family dogs. Enough is enough.”

The petition explains:

Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.

The petition also discusses how the cyanide bombs and other non-selective killing methods are actually unproductive because they disrupt ecosystem balances, can actually increase livestock losses and have not been shown to be economically effective.

Bethany Cotton, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians, previously asserted to EnviroNews that “many ranchers peacefully coexist with coyotes and report no conflicts,” and that nonlethal predator response options include solar powered electric fencing and livestock dogs, amongst others.

“Ranchers can use less vulnerable types of livestock, hang flagging called ‘fladry,’ or actually put cowboys out there with their animals to discourage predator losses without resorting to demands for poisons and poisonous land mines that kill pets and non-target wildlife,” Erik Molvar, Executive Director of the Western Watersheds Project, told EnviroNews. He signed the petition on behalf of the coalition of environmental groups. “It is senseless and irresponsible for federal agencies to use taxpayer dollars to sow land mines and poisons in open country to kill native wildlife to prop up failing ranching operations,” he stated.

Federal law requires the petitioned agencies to provide a final decision in writing to the petitioners: Western Watersheds Project, Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife and the Mountain Lion Foundation…(CONTINUED)

http://www.environews.tv/033017-20-environmental-groups-jointly-demand-wildlife-services-ban-m-44-cyanide-bombs-idaho/

 

Feel Good Sunday: Two-Headed Horse

Source: Hoaxes.org

“We may be a day late but this article is worth sharing in saying ‘April Fools’ to all of our good friends out there.” ~ R.T.


(April Fool’s Day – 1952)

“Two heads are better than one, according to Miss Carolyn McLeon, of Elon College, as she rubs down her horse, called “Ichabod.” This horse has been shown throughout the world to millions in order to convince them that a two-headed horse exists. It will participate in the Alamance Saddle Club horse show on April 26. Miss McLeod believes two heads are better than one because in some previous close races, Ichabod has been able to turn one head to watch the opposition from behind while his other head is turned forward to keep pace with the horses ahead. He has won several close races by a nose or two. This particular horse is a thoroughbred production of his sire, the famous “Graflex” and his mother, the internationally known “April Fool.” Don’t be surprised, however, if one of the heads is missing when the horse show comes along. It won’t be April Fool’s Day then. [The Burlington (N.C.) Daily Times-News – Apr 1, 1952]

Visit Hoaxes.org for more interesting stories!

http://hoaxes.org/af_database/permalink/two_headed_horse

Bighorns Killed after Contacting Domestic Sheep

Excerpt from The Post Register

“Domestic sheep and goats often carry pathogens that wild sheep may be susceptible to…”

Two bighorn sheep rams that were in immediate proximity to domestic sheep near Challis were euthanized Thursday to prevent the sheep from potentially carrying disease back to the wild herd. One ram was 5 years old and the other was 6 years old. Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials killed two bighorn rams after attempts to dart and radio collar the animals failed Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

The bighorn sheep were removed from a hillside adjacent to a small flock of domestic sheep on the outskirts of Challis, a Fish and Game news release said.

Samples were taken immediately after the sheep were killed, and the samples and carcasses were transported to a wildlife health lab for analysis.

Because bighorn sheep are susceptible to diseases that can be carried by domestic sheep and goats, the Department’s 2010 Bighorn Sheep Management Plan provides direction that Fish and Game remove bighorns in a timely manner when they come in contact with domestic herds to prevent potential transmission of disease to other bighorn sheep, the release said.

Domestic sheep and goats often carry pathogens that wild sheep may be susceptible to and that can result in fatal pneumonia or other diseases, the release said. The greatest risk occurs when a wild sheep mixes with domestic sheep or goats and then returns to a wild herd, potentially spreading the pathogens. In some cases, this can result in large-scale die-offs in wild sheep.

The bighorn rams were killed to prevent risk of them returning to their herds and potentially infecting other bighorns, the release said. The domestic sheep are also being tested…(CONTINUED)

http://www.postregister.com/articles/news-todays-headlines-west/2017/03/30/bighorns-killed-after-contacting-domestic-sheep#