Sam Jojola, former Deputy Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement, on wildlife trafficking, trophy hunting, Safari Club International, poisoning of birds by the mining industry and kill permits for the wind energy industry (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 10/4/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

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

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

Sam Jojola with a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and its babies (in the ’90s)

Our guest tonight is Sam Jojola, a former Deputy Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement in the Los Angeles area from 2006 to 2008. Sam will be talking about the USDA’s Wildlife Services’ killing of animals, wildlife trafficking, trophy hunting, Safari Club International, the poisoning of birds by the mining industry, kill permits for the wind energy industry, and more.

Sam had over 24 years in federal wildlife law enforcement experience with emphasis in long term covert operations. He worked deep covert operations for 6 years in the legacy USFWS Branch of Special Operations, targeting international wildlife smugglers. From 2003 t0 2006, he worked in San Francisco with the FBI, IRS and ICE on a fascinating task force investigation involving money laundering, tax evasion, trademark infringement and ivory trafficking. In 1994, Sam assisted the Secret Service in a covert capacity to uncover a counterfeiting network in Las Vegas. Sam was also a volunteer Air Marshal following 9/11 for 6 months. Sam’s prior experience includes work as a Correctional Officer in a state penitentiary and as a U.S. Army Light Weapons NCO. Sam is now writing articles for the PPJ Gazette.

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

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/10/05/ts-radio-wild-horse-and-burro-radio-sam-jojola-former-agent-usfws

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

Rounding Up Wild Horses Will Break Your Heart if You See Them First When They Are Free

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

A wild family in Salt Wells Creek

A wild family in Salt Wells Creek

Rounding Up Wild Horses Will Break Your Heart if You See Them First When They Are Free

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

Dust boils up from the running wild horses

Dust boils up from the running wild horses

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Running into the trap

Running into the trap

The first day I went to the Checkerboard Roundup this year we traveled a long way to get to the border of Colorado and Wyoming, and the BLM was rounding up wild horses just outside the Adobe Town Herd Area in Wyoming. We were allowed to climb up on a rocky hillside so that we could see the trap.

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17CarolWalker091

Mare with radio collar and foal at her side

Mare with radio collar and foal at her side

In the Trap

In the Trap

We watched horses coming in from very far away, and we had group after group come in. In one group, where most of the horses had identical blazes, marking them as family, there was a mare with a radio collar!  I had been following the BLM when they traveled almost to the border in the deep snow to release this mare. She had strayed out of the area. At her side was a foal.As it turns out there was also another mare with a radio collar. I asked what the BLM was going to do with these mares. They seemed to think that they might release them, but in a different area, later. In fact, there was a new press release about the study, that two radio collars had failed to work, and three more were too loose, and so they dropped these 5 collars, and they needed more mares for the study. Conveniently, rounding up wild horses in Adobe Town allows the BLM an opportunity to put more collars on captured mares. Now there will be 30 wild mares wearing radio collars in Adobe Town. At least they will be released unlike the other mares, foals and stallions that will be captured in this area over the next couple of weeks. Radio Collar Study information:

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Russ Mead, Esq., V.P. and General Counsel of Animal Law Coalition, talks about wild horses & burros and advocacy, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 9/6/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

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

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

Our guest tonight is RUSS MEAD, Esq., the Vice President & General Counsel of Animal Law Coalition, a 501(c)4 that lobbies for legislation in support of animal welfare. Its mission is to advocate for animals to live free of cruelty and neglect. His legislative advocacy work includes grass roots organizing, lobbying, and media promotion.  Russ talks about wild horses & burros and advocacy.

Russ has served as General Counsel for two of the nation’s leading non-profit animal sanctuaries: Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no kill companion animal sanctuary in the U.S. and Farm Sanctuary, the first farm animal sanctuary in the U.S. At Best Friends, Russ set up the rescue operation compound for hurricane Katrina where 6,000 animals were rescued. His work has included rescues from animal hoarders, puppy mills and dog fighting cases, including the Michael Vick case.

Russ is married to Laura Allen, who is also an animal rights attorney and President of Animal Law Coalition. Together they have the Seattle based law firm of Allen & Mead. Russ and Laura balance this law practice with their animal rights and animal welfare work.

See Russ Mead’s paintings on russmead.com

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

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

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

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.

From Animal Welfare Institute: USDA Still Stonewalling on Access to Enforcement Records

” When BuzzFeed, which consulted with AWI for an April 28 story on the issue, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records pertaining to the site scrub, the USDA provided 1,771 pages of records with every single page completely blacked out—all information redacted.” – Animal Welfare Institute

SOURCE:  Animal Welfare Institute at awionline.org

After the public outcry regarding the US Department of Agriculture’s scrubbing of inspection records and other important enforcement documents from its website, the department began to restore selected records online. These included annual reports for research facilities and inspection reports for some registrants and licensees.

The bulk of the data remains missing, however. The USDA has not posted a single enforcement record (e.g., warning letter, stipulated penalty, or complaint) since August 2016. Also remaining offline are about two-thirds of the inspection reports that the USDA says “may contain personal information implicating the privacy interests of individuals and closely-held businesses.” These pertain to thousands of regulated entities (breeders, dealers, exhibitors, and others licensed or registered under the Animal Welfare Act).

Read the rest of this article HERE.

The Shocking Truth About What Happens to ‘Surplus’ Zoo Animals

by as published on One Green Planet

“These surplus animals are often sold and traded through an online database…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

When we capture animals from the wild and put them in zoos, these animals become commodities. They are stripped of their ability to display natural behaviors and lead a stilted existence filled with stress and boredom. Despite the harm that life in captivity does to zoo animals, both mentally and physically, many zoos run captive breeding programs. As such, zoos can sustain their captive animal populations and the draw of a new baby animal is a great way to get paying visitors in their doors. The only downside to captive breeding is the occurrence of “surplus” animals.

Unlike the many sanctuaries that take in abandoned and abused animals to live out the remainder of their lives, zoos don’t always take care of their animals for life. According to the Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, a surplus animal is one that has, “made its genetic contribution to a managed population and is not essential for future scientific studies or to maintain social-group stability or traditions.”

For the sake of minimizing any confusion, we’re speaking here specifically of surplus animals found in zoos. However, surplus animals are just as easily disposable when they’re coming from the pet trade, circuses and other roadside attractions.

What Happens to Surplus Animals

These animals can be adult animals who have been bred with a number of partners and are no longer needed to produce offspring for the zoo. Basically, any animal that does not “fit” into the zoos breeding program can be considered a surplus. Surplus animals can also be animals that the zoo no longer finds profitable, cubs that were a big hit the year before might be replaced by newer, younger animals. Since zoos are not responsible for lifetime care of animals, they can get rid of the animals who are no longer profitable or useful.

Many zoos have SSP programs in place that are designed to manage populations and keep them genetically diverse. Although these plans are often formed years in advance, there is no way to completely control how many surplus animals there may be.

Zoo animals are often given names, placed on small plaques displayed in front of the exhibit along with a short history overview or a few key personality traits for visitors to read. Anthropomorphizing these animals allows the public to feel connected. After all, we all have our favorite animals; but don’t allow this smoke screen to fool you: the animals are expendable. Breeding programs are set in place to benefit the population as a whole, not the individual.

Most AZA accredited institutions would dispute any claims that they don’t care for their animals, but one can’t help but question an institution’s motives when, upon further investigation, the business transactions that often take place are questionable.

The World of Online Zoo Animal Exchange

These surplus animals are often sold and traded through an online database: the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Animal Exchange. A password protected database that AZA-accredited institutions, certified related facilities and approved non-member participants are able to access. Although zoos frequently promote conservation of endangered species through their mission statements (which many do), animal welfare often takes a backseat when the monetary value of a particular animal is no longer worth the time and energy the zoo is investing in them.

Unless you’re someone who purchases seasonal zoo memberships visiting numerous times throughout the year, animal trading and transactions are usually overlooked because the public doesn’t notice when an animal goes missing or is replaced.

As an allegedly reputable source, zoos maintain that they only deal and broker with institutions that are accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association that value the welfare of the animal. Throughout the years, however, many claims have been made against a number of institutions that have sold animals, whether directly or indirectly, to individuals or establishments that do not have the animals best interests in mind. Some animals are sold directly to game reserves while others are brought to auction. The paper trail following where the animals go is not always easily accessible and most cases exposing these transactions have been through undercover work.

According to Alan Green of Animal Underworld, “It’s a long-standing nod-and-a-wink arrangement meant to provide the zoos deniability: They hand over their unwanted animals and hope that the dealers’ misdeeds aren’t traced to the source. It’s a sorry game of don’t-ask, don’t-tell, and it’s conducted in a way designed to bury the truth. If these publicly funded institutions have nothing to hide, why won’t they provide a full accounting of where all the unwanted animals went?”

According to Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue,”if the animals are lucky, they may be traded or sent to another zoo or accredited facility. Some get transferred to multiple zoos throughout their lives. But a large number of them go to private breeders, pet owners, circuses, roadside zoos, and canned hunting ranches.”

Once the animals are sold to other owners, the people who purchase them can do what they please with the animals. Baskin asserts that this often ends with the animals being sold to taxidermists or the seller will take the animals to auction where anyone can buy them. Given the lose regulations surrounding purchasing exotic animals in the U.S., animals can be traded far and with little thought or concern.

The Other Option: Zoothansia

If animals are not being traded out, another option that zoos consider is euthanasia. U.S. zoos favor the use of contraception to limit the number of unwanted pregnancies amongst animals, however in Europe, killing surplus animals is standard practice.

This past year, the world cried for an 18-month old giraffe named Marius who was shot and killed at the Copenhagen zoo in front of a group of students. Marius was killed because, as zoo officials stated, his genes were already well represented enough amongst the remaining giraffe populations. Despite breeding programs set in place meant to maintain genetic diversity, Marius was still born. In a failed attempt to justify the killing, the Copenhagen zoo scientists performed an autopsy on Marius in front of onlookers, all in the name of education. A few weeks later, four lions were killed in the same fashion at the Copenhagen zoo because officials had hoped to introduce a new male with the remaining breeding females…(CONTINUED)

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/the-shocking-truth-about-what-happens-to-surplus-zoo-animals/

Elaine Nash (Dir. of Fleet of Angels) and Palomino Armstrong (Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang) talk about rescue of over 500 ISPMB horses on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 5/24/17)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, May 24, 2017

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

 Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

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

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

Black stallion

Our guests tonight will be ELAINE NASH, Founder and Director of Fleet of Angels, a not-for-profit organization with thousands of on-call members across the US and Canada who offer crisis management and transportation assistance during equine-related emergencies, as well as other services.  Fleet of Angels oversees the coordination of hundreds of successful equine-related emergency missions each year, with each mission involving from one horse to many.  From rescuing over 200 wild burros from a disastrous plan by BLM to send them to Guatemala to be beasts of burden (and probably food), to their current mission of caring for and placing over 900 horses seized by the state of South Dakota from a failed sanctuary, Fleet of Angels often plays a vital role in providing solutions in equine crises of all types.  And,

PALOMINO ARMSTRONG, who (along with her husband, Matt) is the angel who runs the CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG, specializing in CRITICALLY ILL, NEO-NATAL, SICK AND/OR INJURED FOALS.

Palomino and Elaine will tell us about the logistics of the rescue of the ISPMB horses and about the many wild horses that still need to be adopted.

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

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

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

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

Donkey basketball: Normalizing animal abuse

It never occurs to them that a 350-500 lb donkey might be overloaded with a human weighing more than 20% of the donkey’s own body weight.  For a 350 lb donkey the amount they can safely carry on their back is only 70 lbs. In fact, it is common for participants to weigh in excess of 250 lbs.  Over time the donkey will have support ligaments break down and experience skeletal damage which results in arthritis. ”  –  Marjorie Farabee

by Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League.

What is really sad about donkey basketball’s use as a fundraiser for worthy causes, is the acceptance of cruelty and animal abuse. These fundraisers normalize bullying and animal abuse. To speak out against an activity that clearly causes harm to a sentient and very emotionally sensitive being, is confusingly juxtaposed with funding a worthy cause.

Dairyland Donkeyball, the company that provides the donkeys, has positioned itself well to deflect the well deserve criticisms leveled at them by animal welfare organizations. By helping communities raise funds for causes that matter to them, they gain the support of those who support that cause and give leverage to demonizing those who oppose animal cruelty and bullying. When I was sent information that a donkey basketball game had been scheduled just one day following receipt of the information, I set out to try to stop the abuse of the donkeys that would perform that night for Dairyland Donkeyball.

The purpose of the fundraiser was to raise funds for Project Graduation which would benefit Splendora High School students, a commendable cause. Upon receiving the initial report, I was unaware that Project Graduation is a 501 c 3 non-profit set up specifically to provide high school graduates a safe, alcohol and drug free graduation party complete with prizes, food and entertainment and is separate (on paper) from the school itself. Parents from the high school vote on the different

fundraising plans during the school year as board members of the non profit, thus removing the school itself from culpability in its choices, including the choice to use helpless donkeys as a fundraising tool. After speaking with Kevin McDonald who represents Project Graduation, I was given the opportunity to explain why the use of donkeys in this manner was abuse.

The public reacts to a comical vision of large people on small donkeys. It never occurs to them that a 350-500 lb donkey might be overloaded with a human weighing more than 20% of the donkey’s own body weight. For a 350 lb donkey the amount they can safely carry on their back is only 70 lbs. In fact, it is common for participants to weigh in excess of 250 lbs.

Over time the donkey will have support ligaments break down and experience skeletal damage which results in arthritis. Their mental wellness is also affected leaving the donkey depressed with ears carried sideways and a head that is carried low. All of the donkeys observed at the Splendora donkey basketball event displayed signs of depression that were heartbreaking to see.

Dairyland Donkeyball is located in WI and boasts owning 65 working donkeys who are sent out to perform in donkey basketball, donkey baseball and donkeyball races all over the country. Thus, to add to the woes of these sweet creatures, they are subjected to long hauls in a trailer which adds to their stress.

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.

New Zealand Law Now Recognizes Animals As ‘Sentient’ Beings

Source: Hearts of Pets

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill states that animals can experience including pain and distress…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

New Zealand has recently changed its law regarding animals.  For a long time, animals have been regarded as nothing more than property. The new law has changed to have them treated as sentient beings with feelings.

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill states that animals can experience including pain and distress, and should be treated as sentient creatures. Because animals that have been neglected abused, or have separation anxiety, all react in human-like ways.

The hope is that the changes will add more weight to animal abuse cases and see that the perpetrators of these crimes face heavier punishments.  It is hoped that this law will not only to deter people from doing so, but to provide restitution to those animals that have had to suffer.