ANIMAL CRUELTY CASE VS. U.S. FOREST SERVICE SIDELINED

Source:  PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

Map of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Two Horses and a Mule Died of Dehydration in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves Forest

Washington, DC — An attempt to criminally prosecute U.S. Forest Service employees for acts of cruelty to animals resulting in the death of two horses and a mule has been dropped, according to court records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The dismissals followed an assertion of federal sovereign immunity in order to block prosecution in state court.

More than most federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service uses horses and mules in its daily operations. Consequently, care and maintenance of equine livestock is an important duty on many national forests.

But there was a major breakdown of those responsibilities on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.  In May of 2016, two horses (named Snip and Diesel) and a mule (named Little Bit) were moved out of the forest’s corral to a place aptly called Rattlesnake Pasture, which had not been occupied by horses for at least a decade because it had no reliable water source.

The animals were left unattended for four weeks without water during the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the area ranging from 105 to 112°F. In late June, someone finally checked and found all three animals dead from dehydration.

An internal Forest Service investigation produced a final “report” that was only one page long yet was a model of obfuscation. It concluded that:

“Contributing to this unfortunate outcome was a compilation of past practices, unknown policies, poor communication, failure of leadership, local fire conditions and accretion of duties to an inexperienced employee.”

In short, the Forest Service held no one to account. Greenlee County took a different view and in April 2017 filed nine misdemeanor animal cruelty counts stemming from the animals’ deaths against two Forest Service employees, including the district ranger (who has since retired) responsible for livestock care.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM claims selling wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis was selling them to a “good home”

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017

On the Bureau of Land Management’s new website, on the Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program (under the Wild Horse and Burro Sales to Private Care tab), the BLM claims “It has been and remains the policy of the BLM, despite the unrestricted sales authority of the Burns Amendment, NOT to sell or send any wild horses or burros to slaughterhouses or to “kill buyers.”

The BLM claims “Wild Horses and Burros Sold to Good Homes” but then includes a total of 402 wild horses and burros sold in Fiscal Year 2012. (In this 402 total, 320 were horses and 82 were burros.)

BLM sale logs obtained by us in Freedom of Information Act requests indicate that in Fiscal Year 2012, the BLM sold 239 wild horses (almost 80% of the 320 horses that were sold) to kill buyer Tom Davis of La Jara, CO.  Many, if not all, of these wild horses went to slaughter in Mexico.

Does this look like a “good home” to you?

BLM states it has a policy not to sell wild horses and burros to kill buyers, but:

  1. On 1/11/12, Lester T. Duke (BLM Burns, Oregon) sent an email to BLM’s Bea Wade, regarding 50 sale authority horses, noting that a “large portion”of the mares were “possibly pregnant.” Lester asked if they should ship to long term holding or hold them at the corrals for sale. Bea responded that she forwarded the email to Sally Spencer. After a couple of more emails regarding this, Sally finally sent email on 2/23/12 that Tom Davis would purchase the horses, starting with the load of mares from Burns, Oregon. (About a week later, BLM sold Tom Davis 32 horses from the Burns, Oregon corrals.   19 of these horses were mares)
  2. On 4/19/12, Deanna Masterson, Public Affairs specialist for the BLM Colorado state office, sent an “Early Alert” email to “WO BLM/DOI Officials” (Jeff Krause, Leigh Espy, Helen Hankins, Steven Hall, Tom Gorey and Sally Spencer) that “The Colorado Department of Agriculture notified the BLM Colorado State Office of a Colorado Open Records request from David Phillips, a freelance journalist, for brand inspection and transfer paperwork for horses the BLM sold to Tom Davis of La Jara, Colorado. Phillips indicated he suspected Davis of selling these horses for slaughter to Mexico.”
  3. On 4/24/12, the BLM, alerted that Tom Davis was suspected of selling horses for slaughter, still sells 106 wild horses to Tom Davis.
  4. On 5/17/12, Sally Spencer sent out an email, marked “High” importance, to 21 people (Joe Stratton, Roger Oyler, Amy Dumas, Fran Ackley, Karen Malloy, Christopher Robbins, Jared Bybee, Robert Mitchell, Alan Shepherd, Rob Sharp, Robert Hopper, Gus Warr, June Wendlandt, Joan Guilfoyle, Mary D’Aversa, Dean Bolstadt, Jeff Krause, Tom Gorey, Debbie Collins, Lili Thomas, Bea Wade) and BLM_WO_260 WHB Communications, telling them a reporter was calling about Tom Davis. Spencer asked Joe Stratton to send out a message to all facility managers and the state leads to send a message out to all WHB Specialists that if they were asked “specifics” about a purchaser, they shouldn’t respond for privacy issues…”

If BLM personnel were so convinced that they sold the wild horses and burros to a “good home,” why all of the urgency and secrecy?

If the BLM truly believes these horses were sold to a “good home,” why isn’t Tom Davis’ photo featured on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program page on the BLM’s new website, instead of the photo of the young blonde girl? After all, the BLM sold Tom Davis 1,794 wild horses and burros from 2008-2012.

If the BLM thinks they’re fooling us, they’re only fooling themselves.

All documents referenced above can be seen HERE.

Federal Bill to Ban Lethal Wildlife Poisons Introduced after Kids Exposed & Three Dogs Killed by M-44 “Cyanide Bombs”

Source:  Predatordefense.org

14-year-old Canyon from Idaho,
pictured with his best friend Kasey,
a 3-year-old lab. They are laying in
one of their favorite spots, behind
Canyon’s back yard, where he
accidentally triggered an M-44
“cyanide bomb” on March 16, 2017.
It killed his dog in front of him.

March 30, 2017 – This month three dogs were killed by M-44 “cyanide bombs” in Wyoming and Idaho. In both cases children were present and put at grave risk of poisoning. This is beyond unacceptable.

M-44s are indiscriminate sodium cyanide ejectors set by USDA Wildlife Services agents and local wildlife agencies for “predator control.” Details | Diagram There is no justifiable excuse for the use of M-44s. It is insane to set poison traps in the great outdoors.

We’ve been pressuring for an M-44 ban since 1990, collaborating with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oreg.). We are thrilled to announce that on March 30 Rep. DeFazio introduced the legislation we’ve been working on in Congress. The bill is called H.R. 1817, “The Chemical Poisons Reduction Act of 2017.” It would ban both lethal M-44 sodium cyanide devices and Compound 1080, which are used unnecessarily by government wildlife agents for predator control.

What we need now is your help to get this legislation passed into law. This is a nonpartisan, public safety issue, and there honestly are no valid arguments against banning wildlife poisons. Learn how to help

Background on March M-44 events

Early in March 2017 we began working with a family in Wyoming who went out for a beautiful pre-spring walk on the prairie–one they’d taken many times before–and lost two dogs in horrifying circumstances.

We’re also spreading the word about the other devastating event in Idaho, where a 14-year-old boy in Pocatello, Idaho accidentally set off an M-44 behind his back yard and watched helplessly as his dog died an excruciating death. The boy had to be hospitalized and is being closely monitored. He and his family are devastated and outraged. Here’s what our executive director, Brooks Fahy, had to say about this case in The Oregonian:

“[The] Idaho poisoning of a dog and the near poisoning of a child is yet another example of what we’ve been saying for decades: M-44s are really nothing more than land mines waiting to go off, no matter if it’s a child, a dog, or a wolf. It’s time to ban these notoriously dangerous devices on all lands across the United States.”

On March 28, 2017, we joined a coalition of environmental and wildlife groups asking for an immediate ban on M-44s in Idaho and removal of all existing devices in the state.

How You Can Help

Media Coverage

Learn More

Read more HERE.

Cash, a St. Louis carriage horse, was spooked and drowned with the carriage attached

This carriage horse drowning incident happened during the holidays, but it was so sad and horrific that we just couldn’t bring ourselves to post it at that time.  However, we do not want the life and tragic death of this horse to ever be forgotten.  Find out from the two organizations listed below what you can do to help stop this from ever happening again.  –  Debbie

Sources:  Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages   www.banhdc.org
Horses Without Carriages International     www.horseswithoutcarriages.org
carriage being removed from river
By Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages
This is one of the most devastating and hideous carriage horse accidents that we have heard about in a long time.  Although many of you are caught up in the Christmas season, you need to hear this.  A spooked horse drowned in the Missouri River on Wednesday night with his carriage still attached.  Although the article refers to it as a “freak accident” – there is nothing unusual about horses spooking and bolting – running for their lives.  Their ignorant handlers and the public do not recognize or understand that they are prey animals – regardless of their size – they can spook at the slightest provocation.  The politicians want to keep the “tradition,” animals be damned.
WE MUST STOP EXPLOITING ANIMALS.  You may not be guilty of this but you do see others who are – whether it is taking carriage rides, laughing at animals in circuses, wearing the fur of dead animals or eating them.  Let them know it is not OK.  These animals are not here to entertain them – they are enslaved and exploited for profit.
The carriage horses are not “work horses” – do not fall for this propaganda.  They are entertainment horses  – put to work in an unnecessary frivolous business.
Henry Beston, a writer and naturalist, eloquently said this about animals in the Outermost House, published in 1928,
For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”

THE WAY THE ST. LOUIS INCIDENT WAS REPORTED:

There is not one word of compassion from the news announcers, reporters or the officials on the scene.  Way to go good folks of St. Louis and St. Charles.  Shame on all of you.
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A horse drowns in the Missouri River early Thursday morning after running loose in a parking lot.
After an evening of giving carriage rides, the horse’s handler was trying to put the 2,000-pound animal away for the night, but it somehow got spooked, officials say.
The horse ran loose through a parking lot, hitting multiple parked cars, then ran down a boat ramp.
St. Charles Fire Department Capt. Dan Casey says he believes the horse tried to stop when it saw it was headed for the water, but the carriage it was still pulling was too heavy.
Casey calls it a freak accident and says it took crews two to three hours to get the horse and carriage out of the Missouri River.
No one else was injured during the incident.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A horse pulling a carriage died after running into the Missouri River in St. Charles late Wednesday night.
According to officials, the horse’s handler was in the process of dismantling the carriage from the horse and putting it away when the horse got spooked.
“[The horse] took off and got away from the handler, ran through the parking lot, struck a couple vehicles,” said St. Charles Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Casey.
The horse died after going into the river.
Emergency crews had to call out a wrecker to help pull the 2,000 pound horse out of the icy waters.
“We’re not used to dealing with things that are nearly 2,000 pound,” Chief Casey said. “We get in our zodiacs, a light weight boat, not a whole lot we can do as far as lifting in the water. We had to think about it a little bit, put our heads together and talk with people who are familiar with this animal.”
No one was injured during the incident.
This is a more intelligent article but still no compassion for the horse.
A startled horse dragging a carriage dashed into the Missouri River along the St. Charles riverfront and drowned in the frigid water Wednesday night as handlers looked on, unable to help.
The horse was spooked about 9:45 p.m. when its handler from St. Louis Carriage Company removed a blinder from the horse’s eyes and prepared to put it on a trailer to take back to a barn, according to St. Charles Fire Chief Dan Casey. The Percheron draft horse took off running, pulling an empty carriage behind it. The carriage struck and damaged several vehicles in a parking lot near the Lewis and Clark Boat House before the horse ran down a ramp into the river.
Casey said the 13-year-old horse, named Cash, weighed between 1,800 to 2,000 pounds and was pulling a 1,400-pound carriage.
Greg Streeter, who owns St. Louis Carriage Company, said the horse saw the water and tried to stop or turn but slid into the river.
“We are mourning the loss of a family member,” he said. “It happened really fast. Within 30 seconds he was under and down.”
The horse died within minutes of going into the water due to the frigid temperatures, Casey said. The river was cold enough it carried chunks of ice on the surface.
Firefighters dressed in their cold weather suits went into the water and detached the horse from the carriage, he said. The horse was 40 feet from the ramp and under at least 15 feet of water.
“When we arrived the horse was already deceased under the water,” Casey said. “No one or animal would have survived in that cold or water.”
It took firefighters three hours to get the horse out of the water.
Streeter, the owner of the carriage company, said the incident was due to “a horrible mistake” by the handler. The handler should not have taken the blinder off before the horse was detached from the carriage, he said.
He said he preaches to his handlers about safety rules to prevent incidents such like this. He said he treats all of his horse as if they were his kids. His own children were there and watched in horror, he said.
“It is a pretty good hit in the gut for us right now,” he said.
He said he had owned Cash for about a decade.
“He was right in his prime,” he said. “He was a very good horse. It was so preventable.”
This article is more honest with the owner putting the blame where it belongs

Horse carriage owner says employee’s mistake led to horse drowning
ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – Wednesday night’s carriage horse drowning in St. Charles did not have to happen, according to business owner Greg Streeter.
Streeter, who owns St. Louis Carriage Company, said the responsibility for the horse’s death is solely in the hands of the carriage operator.
“The first thing I wanted to know: 1) Was anybody hurt? 2) Was anybody in the carriage? 3) Where’s my horse? I was thinking that this was all not real,” he said.
Streeter said no one was hurt, but the horse, 13-year-old Cash, ran off with his carriage after giving rides on Main Street. Streeter believes Cash mistook the Missouri River for an open field and by the time the horse learned it was the river, the carriage was alreadydragging him down.
“We went down there and everybody was telling me what happened and I kind of knew what happened,” Streeter said.
Streeter said he preaches an important safety tip so much that his employees get sick of it: to disconnect the carriage before removing the bridle. He said his operator messed up the sequence and Cash may have thought he was free to play.
“That’s the most dangerous thing,” Streeter said. “If you take the bridle off the horse and you’re still connected because the horse has a weapon behind him. Damage can be done and you can hurt the horse and that’s what happened.”
Streeter realizes this may bring more heat in a petition drive to ‘Ban Horse Carriages in St. Louis.’ It`s almost reached its goal of 55,000 supporters, who describe endangered horses across the country.
“I pride myself in being really good and even in the heat of all that has happened in the last couple years,” Streeter said.
A different horse of Streeter’s ran off in downtown St. Louis in 2014. It ran down Market and back to Streeter’s barn. He said it was a different situation where the horse still had its bridal, but was spooked by a truck.
Horse carriage companies are not currently regulated because of a court fight involving another horse carriage company. Streeter said they should be regulated and that he would prefer that for the industry.
At present, the St. Louis Taxi Cab Commission is supposed to regulate horse carriage companies, but it’s currently powerless in the current court battle. The commission even tried to order another company shut down, but the courts have put a hold on everything.
PETITION: BAN HORSE CARRIAGES IN ST. LOUIS, MO
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NYC:  Anytime something like this happens, we send the information to the Mayor’s office and remind him of his promise to ban horse-drawn carriages.  We also ask them to at least enforce the street laws.  We are either ignored – or they will not accept responsibility and tell us to focus our anger elsewhere.
Mayor de Blasio is so afraid of losing union support that he has given them the upper hand  – allowing them to continue to lie about the “good union jobs” that do not actually exist.   His administration will not even see that the street laws are enforced.  He does not deserve to be reelected.  Anyone who is not good for their word is not worthy of our support.
See our last newsletter about Senator Tony Avella running for mayor.

 

Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages exposes lies about collapse of NYC carriage horse

Source:  Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages

The horse that collapsed near Central Park   Photo:  NYCLASS

By Elizabeth Forel, President of Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages

Another New York City carriage horse collapsed on Feb. 21, but it did not come to the attention of the public until almost one week later.  Carriage drivers are not required to report accidents.

The horse’s owner claims that Max, the horse, was wearing new shoes and tripped — but eyewitnesses said the horse was breathing heavily before he collapsed. An industry vet examined Max, but too much time has passed to do an independent investigation.

Horses do not trip on pavement “all the time,” as claimed by the owner.  And even if this were true, then this is more reason not to have horses working the pavement of New York City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made a campaign promise to end the inhumane horse carriage trade but allowed himself to be overpowered and bullied by the Teamsters and other unions who sought to align themselves with this failing business to show the nation that unions were still viable.  They threatened to withdraw support from the mayor and it worked.  Now we cannot even get the administration to enforce the street laws governing this business.

The term “fake news” had its beginnings with the local media about this business — talking outright lies about good union jobs, extensive oversight of city agencies, the bogus desire for the stable land; the minuscule number of horses who have died in the business; first-class stalls and stables; highly exaggerated financial contribution to the economy; safety a nonissue.

The fake news worked.  If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it as truth.

As it stands now, the administration is not transparent on this issue and will not even deal with those of us who criticize them. Sound familiar to what is happening in Washington, D.C.?

Our recourse?  Vote!  Make your voice heard in November.

 

 

 

Marjorie Farabee and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins discuss slaughter of donkeys in Australia to make Chinese fad drug ejiao, (Wed. 3/8/17) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, March 8, 2017

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

Listen Live (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.

Wild donkeys in the Top End of Australia ABC Rural: Matt Brann

Our guests tonight will be Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Australian donkey advocate Andrea Jenkins, who is a member of Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary, and has been investigating the ejiao issue in Australia.

Donkey skins are used to produce a fad health and beauty tonic sold as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) called ejiao, otherwise known as Colla corii asini. Millions of donkeys from Asia, Africa and South America are at risk of being stolen and slaughtered for their skins. Some sources report the demand in China alone to be 10 million skins per year.

The global demand for donkey skins is causing mass-scale suffering to donkeys and risking the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on them.

This show will be hosted by R.T. Fitch, Pres. of 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

BLM and University of Wyoming Continue Dangerous Radio Collar Study on Wild Mares

Source:  www.wildhoofbeats.com

“They are disturbing the horses, and risking the lives of these mares with this dangerous radio collar study.  They can die from getting tangled up with these collars.  Direct observation is much more humane and more relevant.  I am hoping that all these mares survive the two years they have to endure wearing these collars, and that I will see them with other horses this summer.”     –  Carol Walker

untitled-291carolwalker2

Notice the collar is not behind the ears, but much further down

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

On Sunday I headed to Rock Springs, as I was told I would have an opportunity to view the release of the next group of wild mares back into Adobe Town with radio collars on their necks. If you have not been following my blogs on this you may be wondering incredulously “why would anyone do anything so cruel and dangerous to wild mares?”
Well read on and you will see.

Last week, the last mare to be released, Dove, who ran off with her family, had a radio collar that had slipped way down her neck, into what is NOT the correct position for the collar. Many people have been commenting on this, and I am still waiting for an explanation from USGS and the BLM about this. Here are the guidelines for the radio collars:

“The collar should rest just behind the ears of the equid and be tight enough so it does not slip down the neck, yet loose enough that it does not interfere with movement when the neck is flexed. The collar must fit snugly when the head is up to minimize rubbing. USGS researchers used 0-1 finger between collar and neck, depending on season collar is deployed to give consideration to the potential for weight gain. Other studies (e.g. Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research 1991) have had problems with the fitting of collars due to animals gaining weight in spring, or losing weight in winter, causing collars to become too tight or too loose. In the USGS study, researchers did notice collars were looser or tighter at different times during the year, but it did not affect the behavior of collared mares or jennies, or cause sores or wounds on mares or jennies. Whenever collars are deployed they should be fitted by experienced personnel who can attach the collar quickly but proficiently to minimize handling stress on the animal.”

I am very concerned that this collar must be too loose, can slide around, and probably quite easily get caught in a hoof or a branch or a cliff or a fence. In my opinion, the University needs to immediately trigger the mechanism that they claim can remotely release the collar. I will keep you posted when and if I receive a response and explanation.

10 wild horses from Adobe Town are still at the Rock Springs facility. The longer they are there. the more likely they are to get diseases or become injured. They need to release these horses back into Adobe Town, where they were captured, immediately.

17carolwalker001-2

The first mare to be released

There were three mares in the trailer Monday morning as I followed the line of BLM and researchers out to the release sites. I was again the only member of the public along. We drove for over 2 1/2 hours before arriving at our first stop, which was in the northeast portion of Adobe Town, very near where the last mare, Dove had been released with her family.

17carolwalker004-2

Dulcinea, looking calm

17carolwalker005-1

She trots down the road toward the incoming family band

This grey mare was older, and moved slowly out of the trailer, no panic for her, just curiosity as she looked back at us. I am calling her Dulcinea. She moved along familiarizing herself with where she was, for she had been trapped probably 15 miles from this area. Suddenly we see a family of wild horses moving along the hillside straight toward the road. She sees them, and lifts her head, then trots across the road toward them.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Link to Daily Gather Reports:

https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-removals/2017-Adobe-Town-Wild-Horse-Gather

BLM glosses over coverup of 213 wild horse deaths on the Scott City, KS, feedlot

12lth1_26_of_161_-300x102

Photos of wild mares at Teterville (photo: Carol Walker)

By Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Copyright 2017   All Rights Reserved.

After no news for 2 years by BLM on their promised investigation and report to the public on the deaths of wild horses at Scott City, KS, after our 2/2/17 report titled “196 wild horses died at BLM’s Scott City feedlot (a BLM Auschwitz for wild horses),” the BLM was suddenly able to muster up a little something for the public on the Wild Horse & Burro Program website in only about a week.

It popped up under “news” and it seems the BLM was careful to not mention deaths or draw too much attention to the issue at hand in the headline, by titling their “news” “Status of Off Range Corral in Scott City, KS.”

In fact, buried at the end of the 3rd paragraph, the BLM (with more current information) finally stated that 213 mares died (out of the 1,493 wild mares) between June 2014 and October, 2016.

So, about 14% of the wild horses that the BLM shipped to that feedlot, died on that feedlot.

It seems that in the very little offered as a “news” report to the public, the BLM tried to cover up their actions (and more importantly, their lack of action), resulting in the deaths of so many wild horses.

In BLM’s “news” version (HERE) of what happened to wild horses on the Scott City feedlot, they cited “crowding at the feed bunks most likely resulting in some horses not receiving the protein and energy required to support their needs. The BLM made adjustments and the animals began to acclimate and show improvements in their overall health, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in the monthly mortality rate. “

SO WHY DID SO MANY WILD HORSES DIE BEFORE THE “ADJUSTMENTS” WERE MADE?  In an August 2014 article on EquiMed, USDA veterinarian Dr. Al Kane stated “in addition to increasing the amount of feed being offered during feedings, we’ve worked with the onsite veterinarian and the operator to increase the energy density of the horses’ feed by increasing the ratio of alfalfa to grass in the hay mix.  This helps support the horses’ nutritional needs during the transition from open-pasture to the corral environment”..

WHY WASN’T THE CORRECT FEED PLANNED BEFORE THE WILD HORSES ARRIVED AT THIS FEEDLOT?  The BLM has been “managing” wild horses for about 45 years and still can’t get it right.

The BLM still didn’t inform the public that 87 of the 196 wild horses were euthanized, or that 41 wild horses died of colic or that 14 wild horses died of fractures of the spinal cord (neck and back) and 6 horses died of leg or pelvis fractures.  The BLM’s version of the “news” didn’t mention the wind storms that were noted by the local veterinarian in his reports to them, or the many cases of sand colic suffered by the wild horses, or the fact that a squeeze chute wasn’t brought to the feedlot until almost 2 months after the horses arrived. 

Note that the BLM’s “news” did not provide you with the name of the contractor for the Teterville Off Range Pasture (ORP) in Kansas.  (And, also note that the BLM doesn’t disclose the names of ALL of the ORP contractors for the public anywhere on the Wild Horse & Burro Program website.)

While omitting so many important facts for the public in their “news,” the BLM managed to hone in on a couple of mistakes in our article.  We corrected these immediately.  However, we didn’t kill 213 wild horses and the BLM can’t “undo” what they did.

The real issue is that 213 wild horses (that we know of), died on this feedlot, no matter what the time frame, and the BLM didn’t issue a promised report to the public until now.

If the BLM would give more information to the public, there would be no mistakes.  We request that the BLM, in the spirit of transparency, post the spreadsheet containing the freezemark numbers of the horses that died, the dates of deaths and causes of death, and all of the veterinary, necropsy and blood pathology reports of the Scott City wild mares on the Wild Horse & Burro Program website.

We can only hope the BLM will apply some focus to noticing and correcting their mistakes in their own statistics and data, and in their management of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.

 

 

The BLM Continues Lack of Transparency in Adobe Town Wild Mare Radio Collar Study

Source:  Wild Hoofbeats

 17carolwalker002-1

Only 3 mares in the trailer?

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

On Sunday morning I waited at the parking lot next to the corrals at the Rock Springs BLM facility. It was 1 degree above zero, and I was bundled up accordingly. I am the only member of the public there, unaffiliated with the BLM or University of Wyoming. One trailer and two trucks drive in front of me, and I am waiting for the other trailer. There are only 3 mares in this trailer, I am assuming three of the four mares that had radio collars put on on Friday. But there were 5 other mares that I had been told by Kate Schoenecker of USGS had not been collared because they were too young. In the Environmental Assessment, it states clearly that they were only going to collar mares 5 years old and older. Young mares who are still growing can be strangled by the collars. But where were the 5 other mares? They flagged me to follow, and I pulled out of the facility. When we took a break I asked where the other mares were. I was told they were still at the Rock Springs facility and they were being “re-evaluated.” What does that mean? They are either too young for the study, under 5, or they are not. Are they being kept for some other purpose? Both the EA and the BLM’s own press release state that none of the horses from Adobe Town are to be removed – they are all supposed to go back to the Herd Management Area. So what is the BLM not telling us?

These mares need to be released back to the area where they were trapped IMMEDIATELY.

17carolwalker004-1

Robin comes out of the trailer

We drove to Bitter Creek Road, which is about 30 minutes from Rock Springs, and we started down the road. After we got off of the paved portion of the road, conditions got worse, from occasional mud to water and ice flooded areas. It was a challenging drive. After we passed Eversole Ranch, about 10 miles later the trailer stopped and the first mare was released, a little bay I named Robin. She ran as fast as she could once she hit the ground, only turning back to look at us when she had gone what she thought was a safe distance. There were no other wild horses in sight, and I learned that all three of the mares had been trapped about 30 miles south of this area.

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Robin looks back at us

We got back in our cars and continued driving for about 8 miles before stopping again to let another mare out of the trailer, this time a little sorrel I named Felicity. She turned around immediately after jumping out, looking for her friend, the grey mare in the back of the trailer. I noticed a cut over her eye that looked swollen. Any time you transport wild horses there can be injuries. It did not look deep and it did not prevent her from running off when one of the contractors shooed her away. There were no other horses around her either.

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Felicity comes out of the trailer

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Felicity looks back at her friend in the trailer

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Felicity finally runs away

Read the rest of this story HERE, including this:

One thing that really puzzled me was that I saw piles of panels used for traps, all stacked on a semi. Neither team of contractors had a new trap set up. When I asked they told me some decision was being made at 7pm this evening, they did not tell me what. According to the BLM’s own web page on the bait trapping, they had trapped for only 5 days, starting Sunday February 5. They gathered by their own report 27 horses over the four days, and shipped 9 mares to the Rock Springs corrals. The information on the study in the EA said they would be trapping in 3-5 locations. Why then were they only trapping in two locations, and had not set up any traps after Thursday? In the EA, the BLM had written that if bait trapping “fails” they would go to a helicopter roundup. I hardly think that 5 days only is enough time to “fail.” it takes time to accustom wild horses to a trap and to let them get used to it and come in. That is what they are currently doing in Sand Wash Basin, where they have given far longer than 5 days to trap the horses.  This seems to me to be a setup to fail. If they are not continuing to bait trap then they are getting ready to bring the helicopters in. Wild horses are injured and killed when driven with helicopters. There is no justification for subjecting the wild horses of Adobe Town to a helicopter roundup when they are not even over the Appropriate Management Level for their area.

The BLM should continue to use bait trapping if they have to finish getting 16 more mares for this ill-conceived research study, or better yet, they need to go back to the drawing board and redesign the study so that the researchers use non-invasive, safe direct observation, not dangerous radio collars.

Link to Daily Gather Reports:

https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-removals/2017-Adobe-Town-Wild-Horse-Gather

Stunning Lack of Tranparancy in BLM’s and University of Wyoming’s Adobe Town Wild Horse Study

Source:  Wild Hoofbeats

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USGS holding radio collars, the one on the right is for the study

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The BLM and the University of Wyoming are conducting a Radio Collar Study on wild mares in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area. I have done several blog posts about this study, calling for people to send in comments and calling for more clarification on how this study is going to be conducted. Some of my concerns are the the health and well being of the mares that will be captured by bait trapping, trailered to Rock Springs, put into squeeze chutes and have these collars put on. These collars will remain for 2 years. Then the mares will be transported back supposedly to where they were captured and released. This alone will be very traumatic for the mares and their families who will lose a family member.

But what happens when the mare gets her foot caught in the collar, or it grows into her neck because it is being put on when she is at her thinnest, and she will put on weight in the summer especially if she is pregnant? How will they be able to release the collar if she is in trouble?

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Moving the mares into the shed to put collars on

These were not popular questions at the Q and A that USGS conducted yesterday at the Rock Springs corrals. I was told that they “left room” in the collars for the mares to gain weight – wouldn’t that allow her to get it caught on something more easily? And yes there were studies of mares being injured and dying in the field due to radio collars but supposedly this design was much improved. They do have a tag they can put into the mane instead but these will fall off too soon. I did ask about using direct observation as a way of gathering data but that was deemed impossible, even though it is much less intrusive. The researchers would rather track the mares on their computers rather than on the ground, in the field. I also asked weren’t they concerned about the mares being released all alone, not with their families? There was no answer to that.

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The geldings in the front corral know something is going on

Before I even went to Rock Springs I had been very concerned about the lack of observation of the whole process that the BLM was allowing. Public observation helps to prevent abuse of the horses, and I am a firm believer in this.  A week ago American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign asked attorney Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glizenstein& Eubanks to write a letter asking for the opportunity to observe the bait trapping and the collaring as well as the release of the mares, as well as giving sufficient notice of at least 2 days so I could get out there. The BLM did not change its stance on the bait trapping and the collaring or the notice but did say that “the mares will be held at the facility for 24 hours after they are radio collared, and the public will be able to observe the mares from the overlook during this time period.”

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Mares that were not collared

This did NOT happen. The mares after they were collared were being kept in a pen that was completely not visible from the overlook and when I asked it if could see the mares I was told no, that they have to be be kept quiet. Somehow all the torment that these mares went through was totally acceptable but having members of the public view them, even at a distance, was too hard on them.

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Where the collaring was done

I could see the heads of the mares that did not have collars on, and occasionally their bodies, using my long lens. Apparently they captured 9 mares who they brought to the facility, but 5 were too young. Even I could see one of the mares looked like a yearling or at the most a two year old filly – how on earth could the people trapping the horses not be able to tell the difference between very young and mature mares? And why put these poor young mares though the stress of taking them away from their families, hauling them to the facility then hauling them back, for nothing? If they had allowed me to observe the bait trapping I could have told them these mares were too young because I have spent 13 years observing these wild horses in Adobe Town.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HEREYou’ll want to find out more about this…

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Tracking device to track collars on the ground

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/stunning-lack-of-tranparancy-in-blms-and-university-of-wyomings-adobe-town-wild-horse-study