Don’t Slaughter Montana’s Bison

article by George Wuerthner

“As most of our seasoned readers are aware, the main thrust of SFTHH is to bring to the forefront the plight of our American equines be they domestic or wild.  But while being tuned into the misconduct of out of control government agencies we cannot help but be aware of the cruelty rained down upon other wild species such as the Bison, Wolves, Bears, Cougar and even Coyotes.  What is happening to yet another 4 legged treasure, the Bison, is unexcusable and a often witnessed example of government thinking with their pocketbook and not listening to the wishes of the citizens.  Today George Wuerthner shares more information and ammunition in the fight to save the bison.  We applaud his expertise and will move forward as suggested.  Keep the faith, my friends.” ~ R.T.


“Welfare Ranchers go after yet another native wild species…”

bison-slaughterThe Louvre Museum in France houses some of the most famous art works in the world, including paintings by such famous artists as Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

What would you think if you heard the famous Louvre Museum began to throw out and burn in the streets these priceless masterpieces saying they needed to make room for the remaining art work?

How do you think the art world would respond if they suggested that a way to save the art was for the museum to build another wing to house the paintings or even give the paintings to other museums who would gladly accept them?

But instead of following such sensible advice, the French government prohibited expansion of the museum or even the transport of the world’s heritage to other museums and argued the only solution they would considered was to burn paintings? I’m certain it would be an international scandal.

But this is exactly what the Montana government is doing by the senseless slaughter of our national mammal —Yellowstone’s genetically unique and wild bison. These bison are a global heritage that the state of Montana is treating as if they are expendable and valueless asset.

Even the paintings by art masters are not as priceless as the genetically pure Yellowstone bison that are a consequence of a long line of evolution, yet Montana is treating these magnificent beasts as if they were vermin.

Worse, the justification for this butchery is flawed. One excuse is that the livestock industry is threatened by brucellosis, a disease that can cause abortions in livestock. The other major reason given for rounding up bison and slaughtering them is some assert there are too many animals for the park.

Both are questionable assertions, but even if they were valid arguments, there are viable solutions that do not require the destruction of these animals.

Fact: there is no documented transmission of brucellosis from wild bison to livestock. The only examples of wildlife transmission to cattle is the result of elk, not bison.

Fact: Yellowstone’s bison are genetically unique. Most bison herds in the United States have cattle genes mixed into their genome, but Yellowstone’s bison are one of the few genetically pure populations.

Fact: There is an abundance of public land on the Custer-Gallatin National Forest and other state and federal lands outside of Yellowstone National Park where bison could winter or even live year-round.

Fact: There are other large blocks of public land within the historic range of bison that could support herds such as Montana’s Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming’s Red Desert, and the Vermillion Basin of Colorado.

Fact: There are numerous Indian tribes that wish to start or augment their own bison herds if only Montana would allow them to be transported.

Fact: Montana’s livestock industry will not lose its brucellosis free status simply because one or two herds are infected.

Fact: There are brucellosis vaccines that are available free of charge to ranchers that can reduce the chances of infection.

Fact: The only way that cattle can become infected with brucellosis is if they consume or lick an aborted bison fetus. This must occur before the bacteria dies or the fetus is consumed by scavengers like ravens, coyotes, and magpies.

Fact: Even if in theory bison cows could abort and transmit the disease to livestock, bison bulls and calves cannot transmit the disease, yet they make up a high percentage of the animals being slaughtered.

Fact: There is simply no scientific or even legitimate rationale for the continued slaughter of this priceless wildlife legacy. The real reason our collective patrimony is being destroyed due to the intransigence of the livestock industry.

Please call or write Governor Bullock and Montana’s Congressional delegation and ask them to work for a solution that treats Yellowstone’s wild bison as the priceless and precious global inheritance they represent.

George Wuerthner is an ecologist who has published 38 books. He divides his time between Bend, Oregon, and Livingston, Montana.

Hundreds of Bison Sent to Slaughter Over Tribes’ Objections

Source: Multiple

Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure said state and federal officials “slapped the Fort Peck tribes in the face” by not using the facility.

Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday started shipping hundreds of wild bison to slaughter for disease control, as a quarantine facility on a Montana Indian reservation that could help spare many of the animals sat empty due to a political dispute.

Fifteen female bison initially slated for quarantine on the Fort Peck Reservation were instead loaded onto trailers near the town of a Gardiner, Montana and sent to slaughter. Hundreds more will be shipped in coming days and weeks, park officials said.

More than 400 bison, also known as buffalo, have been captured this winter attempting to migrate out of the snow-covered park to lower elevations in Montana in search of food. More animals are expected to be captured and shipped to slaughter through March.

Fort Peck’s Assiniboine and Sioux tribes built their quarantine facility to house up to 300 animals in hopes of using it to establish new herds across the U.S with Yellowstone’s genetically pure bison.

Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure said state and federal officials “slapped the Fort Peck tribes in the face” by not using the facility.

“They knew we were building a quarantine facility. A lot of money and time and effort were involved in this and all of a sudden they throw a monkey wrench in it,” Azure said.

Montana livestock officials and federal animal health agents oppose transferring bison to the quarantine site because the animals have not been certified to be free of brucellosis, a disease that can cause animals to abort their young. Ranchers in the state fear bison could transmit the disease to cattle and would pose competition for grazing space on public lands.

No transmissions of the disease from wild bison to cattle have been documented.

The park and state severely limit bison migrations into Montana under a 2000 agreement intended to guard against such transmissions.

The agreement set a population goal of 3,000 bison inside the park.

There were an estimated 5,500 animals at last count. To reduce that number, park officials want to kill up to 1,300 bison this winter through a combination of slaughter and public hunting.

A Democratic lawmaker from Missoula introduced a bill Wednesday to the Montana Legislature to change a law that calls for the state veterinarian to certify bison as brucellosis free before the animals can be transferred to tribes. Rep. Willis Curdy, whose family runs a cattle operation in western Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, said he understands the ranching industry’s worries about brucellosis but thinks the tribes’ wishes deserve fair consideration.

“The state of Montana is continually getting very bad press for its policy in terms of the slaughters,” Curdy said. “We need to make a move in a positive direction, not only for the tribes but also for the bison.”

Hunters in Montana have shot more than 300 bison so far this winter. Meat from slaughtered animals is distributed to American Indian tribes. Many tribes historically relied on bison for food, clothing and other needs until the species was driven to near-extinction during the settlement of the U.S. West in the late 1800s.

Gov. Steve Bullock temporarily halted the park’s slaughter plans last month after Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said 40 animals once slated for the quarantine would be killed to make room in corrals used to hold migrating bison.

Bullock lifted the ban after the park, state and U.S. Department of Agriculture reached a deal that would spare 25 bull bison for future shipment to Fort Peck, once they undergo a lengthy quarantine at a U.S. Department of Agriculture facility just north of the park in Corwin Springs, Montana. That’s now down to 24 animals after one of the bulls was shot Tuesday when he broke his leg inside the park’s corrals.

To make room for the animals, federal officials will send to slaughter 20 Yellowstone bison that took part in a government research program at Corwin Springs, said Lyndsay Cole, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Bullock spokeswoman Ronja Abel said state officials continue to work toward a long-term solution to the issue. She declined to say if that could include future use of Fort Peck’s quarantine.

Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said the park still wants to transfer bison to the tribes’ quarantine and plans future negotiations to make that happen.

“The ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of slaughter as a first step toward conservation,” Warthin said.

Stop Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

by GEORGE WUERTHNER as published on the Billings Gazette

“Again, the Feds team up with Welfare Ranchers to destroy and slaughter yet another species of America’s wild four legged National Heritage” ~ R.T.

bison-slaughter-yellowstoneThe proposal to butcher another 900-1,000 of Yellowstone’s genetically unique wild bison is a crime against the world’s global heritage.

It reflects badly on the people of Montana that they tolerate this annual slaughter to go on. It also exhibits poor judgement on the part of hunters, tribal members, and others who participate or sanction this crime against nature and our national patrimony.

Yellowstone’s bison herd is one of the few bison herds in the country free of cattle genes, and one of the only bison herds that have remained continuously wild. There is genuine aesthetic and ecological value in wildness. But by slaughtering Yellowstone’s bison (or to use the clinically sanitized term “culling”), we are destroying Yellowstone’s wild bison.

Furthermore, the annual removal of bison has real ecological consequences for other wildlife basically taking food out of the mouths of wolves, grizzlies, coyotes, ravens, magpies and other animals that kill or scavenge bison.

The park’s bison have gone through several genetic bottlenecks. At one time, the population numbered 25 animals. And previous years of slaughter and capture/shipment by the livestock industry and others outside of the park means the park’s bison have gone through repeated genetic reductions. Last year, for instance, 600 bison were killed.

This is made worse by the fact that bison are a tournament species, whereby dominant bulls do the majority of all breeding. This means the “effective” breeding population is much lower than the actual population numbers and, as a result, so is the genetic diversity.

The bison are being slaughtered under the pretense of protecting Montana’s livestock industry from brucellosis. This is a sham because there is no documented instance of a wild bison transmitting brucellosis to livestock.

For transmission to occur, a bison with active bacteria would have to abort her fetus. Then cattle would have to lick the aborted fetus or its fluid during the short time when the bacteria is still alive and before scavengers like coyotes, ravens and magpies find the dead fetus and consume it. Bison bulls and calves are regularly killed, demonstrating the fraudulent reasoning behind the bison slaughter.

Cattle can be vaccinated against the disease, and when combined with other strategies like preventing the overlap of bison and cattle use of pastures, the risk can be contained and is negligible.

What the livestock industry really fears is the spread of bison on public lands. Bison and cattle consume nearly the same foods. What the livestock industry wants to avoid is a debate over whether public bison or private cattle should get preferential access to public lands forage.

The other reason is that the livestock industry wants domination over our public wildlife. The control they exert over bison is part of a larger goal of controlling other wildlife species, including elk.

Killing Yellowstone’s bison is artificially skewing the bison herd to a younger age, and removing the natural processes of predation, starvation, and other factors that normally affect these animals.

The state of Montana is particularly culpable in the continued destruction of the park’s wild bison. The state has outlawed the shipping of live bison outside of a small zone except for transfer to slaughterhouses. This policy makes it impossible to relocate bison to other suitable public lands in Montana or to Indian reservations that want to start bison herds of their own.

Yellowstone’s wild bison must be recognized as a valued wildlife animal in Montana and throughout the West. Its unique genetic heritage is worthy of protection. We have a moral obligation to enhance and expand Yellowstone’s bison to the American West.

 George Wuerthner is an ecologist and author of 38 books, including three on Yellowstone National Park. He lives in Livingston and Oregon.

 

Congressman Zinke Rips BLM and DOI Officials Over Bison, Says ‘Heads Will Roll’

If Congressman Zinke thinks what has happened to the bison is bad, he needs to learn about what the BLM has done to the wild horses and burros.

SOURCE:  newstalkkgvo.com

393346 04: Bison graze in Custer State Park, August 13, 2001 in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. Millions of bison were slaughtered by white hunters who pushed them to near-extinction by the late 1800''s. Recovery programs have brought the bison numbers up to nearly 250,000. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

During House Natural Resources Committee hearings this week, Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke questioned Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze on the issue of Bison. Specifically, Zinke asked if the same limitations on grazing would apply to bison as they do to cattle ranchers, and whether or not brucellosis had been a consideration.

“Congressman I appreciate the question and you’re educating me on this so I am going to have to get some more materials together and I would be happy to come visit with you about this,” said Kornze. “I look at fairness,” said Zinke. “I have nothing against buffalo provided that they’re brucellosis free, that provided the grazing rules are the same, provided that we look and respect our environment, but we need to make sure the rules are the same.”

Zinke further questioned Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on the same issue. Like Kornze, Jewell had few answers.

“I know there is a national bison plan I am not specifically familiar with how bison graze arrange versus cattle graze arrange all that would be taken into account if we were taking federal action to impact that, but we’re happy to get back to you for the record with more information on that,” said Jewell.

After the back-and-forth, Zinke slammed the “bureaucrats” at BLM and the Department of the Interior for “knowing nothing” about Bison. In a strongly worded press release Zinke said “to not even put in the time in to learn about the issue is a slap in the face to Montana. Heads will roll. This is not acceptable.”

 

Wild Horses Were Not Enough, Feds Ripped Bison From Park, Too

Source: By Brian Gehring of the Bismark Tribune

“We got what we needed to get done before the looming shutdown,”

TRNP BisonOne hundred and fifty bison have been removed from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and relocated.

Bill Whitmore, chief of resource management for the park, called the operation a “partial roundup” that took place at the same time the park rounded up wild horses for sale in Wishek.

Whitmore said the roundups, which have been conducted since the 1950s, are normally done every three to four years to keep the population of the bison within management goals.

“We had some extra air time,” Whitmore said, referring to the helicopters hired to round up the wild horses.

Whitmore said a dozen of the bison went to the Buffalo Museum in Jamestown with the rest of the them going to the Intertribal Bison Cooperative to fill orders for tribes in the region.

Whitmore said the roundups are conducted every few years and alternate between the park’s north and south units.

He said the management goal for the north unit is to keep the herd at about 200, with a goal of between 200 and 500 in the south unit.

The bison were taken from the park’s herd in the south unit which now numbers about 450 animals, Whitmore said.

“We got what we needed to get done before the looming shutdown,” he said, referring to the federal shutdown because of the budget impasse.

Good News for Montana’s Bison

Update from Western Watersheds Project

A Victory that all Wild Animal Advocates can Cheer

An open letter from Summer Nelson, Montana Director;

Yellowstone Bison © Ken Cole

Yellowstone Bison © Ken Cole

Friends,

Bison gained ground in Montana yesterday when a state district court judge ruled in favor of allowing them room to roam out of Yellowstone National Park during winter months.

Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign intervened in a lawsuit on behalf of the State of Montana to defend wild bison against a litany of claims raised by the Park County Stockgrowers’ Association, the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, and Park County. The livestock interests sued state agencies involved in bison management after the state allowed bison migration into the Gardiner Basin north of Yellowstone National Park in spring of 2011.  Western Watersheds Project and other bison advocates welcomed the change as an important step in bison recovery because the bison naturally attempt to access the habitat in the Gardiner Basin, and scientists have indicated it is critical to the population’s long-term survival.

I was fortunate enough to witness the bison re-inhabiting the Gardiner Basin when I visited that spring to attend a public meeting about the proposed expansion area. It was such a treat to revel in the presence of the native bison without having to also witness the animals being harassed by agents with horses, helicopters, ATVs or snowmobiles!

Shortly after the state announced it would agree to allow bison to regularly migrate to and inhabit the Gardiner Basin, the livestock interests filed lawsuits challenging Montana’s authority to allow bison to exist in the state. Their claims ran the gamut of legal imagination, and each and every one was struck down in yesterday’s ruling. The court declared the state had acted within its authority to allow bison to migrate to their native habitat, and that living with wildlife like bison is simply part of living in a state like Montana.

Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign were jointly represented by Western Watersheds Project attorneys, including myself, and private attorney (and long-time bison supporter) Ted Fellman. Together, we were able to present the testimony of two Gardiner Basin residents who value and support the presence of wild bison in the place they call home.  Their voices were an important antidote to the complaints of the vocal minority that was and is the Stockgrowers’ Association and Montana Farm Bureau. Conservation groups Bear Creek Council, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and Natural Resources Defense Council were also intervenors and were represented by Earthjustice, providing a strong show of support for the state’s position.

Thanks to everyone who helped America’s wild bison have more room to roam in winter!

Summer-Nelson-signature

 

 

 

Summer Nelson
Montana Director

1,200 Animal Montana Rescue Drawing to a Close

by Jerry Finch ~ Founder/President of Habitat for Horses

Dozens of Volunteers Save Hundreds of Animals

Fourteen hours after leaving Missoula, Montana, my plane landed in Houston’s Hobby Airport. None of the locals thought the 50 degree weather they were experiencing was warm, but I stood happily outside in shirt sleeves waiting for the shuttle. I doubt that I will ever complain about the cold weather of South Texas again, even on the rare day that it reaches freezing. Walking through frozen pastures at -10 is enough to convince me that the South is a place to call home.

Horse Pens are finally empty ~ Photo by Jerry Finch

The end of the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue is now in sight. I spent the last three weeks doing whatever was necessary to help clear out around 1,200 animals, of which only 120 were equine. It took the efforts of dozens of people working together to reach this point. No one organization tried to claim the ultimate victory by waving their flag. We all did it by each organization playing a role for the animals under their assigned care.

Two days after landing I received an email that brought it all together. A young lady named Alvin, working from the internet and literally a thousand miles away, announce that all the llamas had finally been adopted. Her work and coordination with Karyn of AniMeals, who has stayed on site since before Christmas, found homes for each one of the surviving llamas, over 600 of them. The remaining few will be leaving this week. By January 31st, Karyn, her husband Jeff and Ang, Kayrn’s co-worker, will drive off and return to their lives.

A short time ago, Jane Heath of the Montana Horse Sanctuary ( http://www.montanahorsesanctuary.org ) announced, “Whew! All the horses are now out of Hot Springs and are in a wonderful foster care facility in the Bitterroot Valley.” Previous to that, all the donkeys had been removed. Currently the horses are being placed on their website. Phyllis Ruana and her friend Bev of the Montana Animal Care Association, did 99.9% of the work in Hot Spring, rebuilding fences, hauling water, setting out hay and capturing horses that had rather not be touched, all of this in the bitter cold and snow on ice covered ground.

The goats and sheep, plus a couple of blind horses, left the sanctuary grounds. The two camels left a few days ago, thanks to Dave Pauli of HSUS. One camel has a really rotten attitude (the other had to have his feet trimmed so he could walk) and fully enjoyed the screams of panic when he charged after people. I never knew this before, but when camels are upset, they foam at the mouth and growl. That’s the indicator to get away from the fence. All things considered, I can guarantee that we won’t have any resident camels at HfH.

On Monday the trailer full of pot-belly pigs leave for their new home. Then each day trailers are showing up to remove more camels. The bison leave Tuesday, which is also the day that the three remaining steers and one calf are rounded up and taken to the rehab location a few miles away with the remaining steers and cows.

The world famous cow, Molly B, ( http://www.freedomforanimals.org/mollybcow.htm ) and her friend, a dew-eyed heifer named “Baby,” will obtain sanctuary at another location in Montana this week. Read her story and you’ll understand why she’s special. I can certainly tell you that her fighting spirit is not lacking in the least.

All the exotic birds are gone, as are the ducks, geese and cavies. Why there were cavies at that place is beyond me.

So the rescue of 1,200 animals is coming to a close. After six weeks of intense work and negotiations, much of it done by Patty of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the collapse of the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, once billed as a rescue that is “too large to handle,” is drawing to a close.

Now we find this in dozens of emails sent to the office today:
http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_6d566364-3c43-5661-b6a7-7e113a13972c.html?mode=story

It never ends.

Jerry Finch
Habitat for Horses, Inc.
PO Box 213
Hitchcock, TX 77563
409-935-0277

Montana Sanctuary Rescue: Part Three – The Cattle Drive

Horses Rescued from Montana Large Animal Sanctuary

Update: Death in the Montana Mountains

Sanctuary Lost: Death in the Montana Mountains

Slaughterhouse Sue Wants Multi-Species Slaughter Plant in Wyoming by 2012

reported by Amber Ningen of the Wyoming Platte County Record-Times

Blood, Guts and Gore are the Stuff of Sue Wallis

Land near Guernsey is looking “very promising” as the location of a multi-species processing facility that would likely be in operation by 2012.

This multi-species processing facility would slaughter horses, cattle and bison.

Sue Wallis, the Republican state representative from Recluse – who has publicly stated the United States has taken a valuable asset and turned it into a very expensive liability – is proposing the facility.

Wallis said the site they are currently evaluating is just outside of Guernsey, near the American Renewable Energy Associates (AREA) waste-to-energy plant. They are still in the beginning of this process, she noted, and nothing is set in stone. Their preliminary findings, however, show that this site is likely the most viable.

Working in conjunction with AREA, she said, is attractive because there is the possibility of “them providing us with power and waste heat.” Wallis also said they would provide AREA with feedlot manure and other organic waste that they could burn in their plant.

This processing facility is expected to create around 80 jobs.

Wallis said these would be high-paying jobs with good benefits.

“I think it would be a good opportunity for people in Platte County as far as job opportunities; as far as what it’s going to do to the economy,” Dan Brecht, Executive Director, Platte County Economic Development, said.

Brecht said while he believed there would be people opposed to the facility, there would probably not be as many in the state of Wyoming opposed as there would be in other states.

Thus far a limited liability company known as Unified Meats has been formed. Wallis said they’re working with a group to develop the business.

According to Wallis, the same equipment may be used to process all three of the species.

The facility would be capable of processing 200 head of whatever species a day or in a shift. There is also a possibility of adding a second shift if needed, thus a maximum of 400 head a day would be processed.

Wallis said they’re estimating it would take six months at least to get through the initial business plan phase. Once that is done, it will take at least six to nine months to construct the plant.

One of their objectives, she said, is to create a sustainable economically viable model that the live horse handling facilities may use.

“It’s quite possible that Platte County could be the site of a model that’s used all over the country,” she said.

At this time there are currently no horse processing facilities in the United States.

“There are about six other projects seeking to get established just like we are,” Wallis said.

Wallis said the only outlet to get some return on investments for unusable or unwanted horses is currently in Canada or Mexico.

Opinion: Thoughts on “Summit of the Horse”

by Bonnie Kohleriter, Equine Welfare Alliance contributing writer

Smoke, Mirrors and a Taste for Horse Meat

The legacy desired by Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette

The goal of this conference stated “The sole purpose …convene the horse industry…bring together different perspectives…find pragmatic, sustainable, economically viable solutions for horses both domestic and wild.”

A look at the objectives and sponsors of the hosting organization, United Horsemen, of this conference infers this is a group of horse people united around a common goal. Yet if one were to look closely at the sponsors of this conference one would see all groups are not primarily involved with horses.

Of the so called “Gold Buckle Sponsors” only 3 out of 9 are primarily involved with horses. Of the “Silver Spur Sponsors” 11 out of 19 and of the “Bronze Concho Sponsors” 2 out of 6 are involved mainly with horses. Of the 34 total sponsor groups listed, less than half or 16 are involved primarily with horses as a livelihood. Most other groups are cattle ranchers and farmers.

Then again the sole purpose is “…to bring together different perspectives…Solutions for horse. We expect the Summit to be packed with dialogue…Best interest of the horses at its core.”

One only has to look at the agenda to realize Day 1 is to establish the problem of excess horses. Day 2 is to promote and consider the facets of the slaughter, and Day 3 is to identify opponents of slaughter and strategies for combating them.

Different perspectives to the solution of excess horses are not considered. In fact, every attempt is made to exclude different perspectives being on the table. Previously identified people with ideas different than slaughter are excluded from the conference or are forcibly removed even though they demonstrate no evidence of being disruptive to the conference.

The conference allows for almost no dialogue following the presentations…no comments or question and answer periods.

Those with views other than slaughter are discredited (PP 22 and 23 of the agenda). “They are not concerned with animal welfare but with animal rights. They believe humans and animals are equal. Animal ownership is slavery. Animals should not be used “for any use.” and there should be “extensive” regulations of animal husbandry.”

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is discredited. They “deceive” the public. They give only ½ of 1% of their donations to the care and welfare of animals. A full page add is devoted to quotes made by Wayne Pacelle back in the early 1990s, taken out of context and designed to bash him. Wayne is the President and CEO of the HSUS.

Then the attendees are told what to do with the press. It is called, “Reputation Management Tips”:  “The media are here to tell our story. Know the main message about the Summit of the Horse and incorporate it into EVERY RESPONSE that you can. We are speaking with a unified voice for horses and horse people are statements in the agenda given to the conferees. ”

An agenda advocating slaughter and negating anti-slaughter, limiting dialogue, disallowing alternative solutions to be presented, discrediting the reputation of those with other views, and attempted controlling of the press is not consistent with the stated purpose of the Summit…Different perspectives?…Dialogue?

The organization sponsoring this event, United Horsemen, first of all, does not represent united horsemen. One has only to look at the media coverage and displays outside the conference to know horsemen are not united with the group.

Then the United Horsemen claim to be a 501(c)(3) educational and charitable organization that implements “humane” and realistic solutions. This is fallacious advertising. Is transporting the sick, the old, the injured and disabled, the weakened from neglect and abuse, and the young thousands and thousands of miles to a slaughter plant “humane?”

“Charitable” implies an activity or donation designed to help the ill, poor, or helpless. Where is the charitable in this organization?  And “education” implies the imparting of knowledge, but real education provides for the exchange of dialogue between teacher and learner and for an openness to multiple ideas and solutions for complex problems. This conference, in my opinion, did not provide education but carefully crafted propaganda leading to support for Sue Wallis’s bison, cattle, and horse slaughter plant in which she will be the executive director.

Registration at this conference was dubious in character for the United Horsemen Organization. When registering, we were told there are two ways to register. 1) If you belong to an organization, you can pay $400. Or 2) you can pay $25 for a membership and $100 for registration. Which would you choose?  On receipt of paying the $125 shows as a “Donation” on your receipt. This is not a donation. This is a required membership and registration fee if you want to attend the conference. One wonders if the fees will be used for lobbying and legislative purposes as “See how many support the government refunding of inspections for slaughterhouse horsemeat.”

Deceptive  naming of themselves, “UNITED HORSEMEN”, misrepresenting the execution of their purpose, promoting propaganda rather than charity and education,  and calling membership and registration fees a donation in a seeming misuse of a 501(c)(3). When an organization has to use deception and message control to such an extent, it seems to me that “something just ain’t right.”

Horses Rescued from Montana Large Animal Sanctuary

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

80 Horses Moved to Safety

Rescued Montana Sanctuary Horses ~ Photo by Jerry Finch

Hot Springs MT (SFTHH) – Eighty horses are receiving much needed veterinary care at a foster location while volunteers continue to move 650 llamas, two camels, several pot bellied pigs, donkeys, bison, cattle, goats, and sheep to safe locations for veterinary evaluation and future adoption campaigns.

As reported earlier (click HERE) Jerry Finch, President of Habitat for Horses, has been organizing the rescue of hundreds of animals from the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue after being contacted by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) to spearhead the operation.  The lives of 1,200 animals were put at risk when the large animal sanctuary and rescue lost funding from it’s major contributor.  According to Finch it appeared that the animals had been fed but other required care had been withheld for an extended period resulting in the deaths of many of the sanctuary’s residents due to lack of foot/hoof maintenance and other untreated medical disorders.

Assisting Habitat for Horses, the first equine rescue to be accredited by GFAS, have been volunteers and members from Montana  Animal Care Association, Western Montana Equine Rescue and the Montana Horse Sanctuary where the horses will ultimatly be placed while awaiting adoption.

Finch urged interested parties logon to the Montana Horse Sanctuary website for adoption information as the combined effort hopes to have photos and details posted for potential forever homes by the end of the week.