Equine Advocacy: Sage Words to Live By

Source: Unknown

“These words, below, were penned several years ago yet they still speak to a large group of individuals and organizations that are trying to do the right thing yet get tangled up in human emotion.  We do not know the author but should said individual view this post, many thanks for your timeless words of wisdom.” ~ R.T.


Quid Pro Quo
Stallion of Antelope Valley HMA ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Stallion of Antelope Valley HMA ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I want to talk a bit about a lot of things, but in particular Equine Advocacy and the internal frictions within advocates/advocacy groups. While I might be considered a newbie, during my four years (so far!) in equine advocacy, I have been an active member of many secret groups, and groups in general, with the purpose of working on solutions to the issues facing our beloved horses, donkeys and mules. I’ve worked in collusion with many groups to stop the transport and slaughter of equines. Each and every time the attempt was made to plow through data to understand this issue, the work would inevitably suffer due to internal conflict. Advocates would snipe at other advocates over petty differences or ideas, or worse, groups that profess to want the issues solved, refused to work together because of mainly personality or ideology differences. Nothing gets solved this way.

This includes seasoned advocates who have been doing this work for many, many years, yet still believe that only they alone can solve the problems. They cannot. It is too big of an issue. It is going to take each and every one of us as a collective, cohesive, well-oiled machine with grit and determination to put a stop to the systematic destruction and exploitation of our equines. Positive change will never happen if advocates continue to bash other advocates over minuscule issues that would better be solved over time by creating a forum to discuss their best ideas and run with them. Issues that could be solved if they would just talk to each other in a civil manner.
Egos, big egos, constantly get in the way and nothing gets accomplished because of it. I recently experienced this in a public group and was sadden to see the public remarks made about long time WH&B groups and advocates that are by no means perfect, but put on their boots daily, for years on end, to do something, anything, to end the long-standing cruelty faced by our wild and domestic horses, donkeys and mules. It isn’t right, nor is it fair, to believe that these people or groups do not have the animals well-being in mind just because they have an opposing view, when in reality, they most certainly do. They show that daily through numerous efforts, just not as a cohesive unit.
There are so many great advocates that have a lot to offer with incredible “real world” job skills that could be put to use, but are repeatedly overlooked, shunned or put on fabricated “do not trust” lists, simply because they would not fall in line with agendas put out by certain groups of advocates. Usually, the discourse is so petty that is it laughable. Sometimes it is as simple as a misunderstanding or due to the inability to get behind some of the ideas, suggestions or directives of long time advocates, or worse, stealing an idea and promoting it as their own, without giving credit where credit is due. Then you have Wild Horse advocates that will not support domestic horse slaughter issues, and vice-a-versa? Or won’t support burros. Why? The last destination for all equines is slaughter, that is the commonality, yet factions exist. Why?
I continue to see seasoned advocates ignoring newbies, or even long time advocates that want to help further the agenda of saving these animals (wild or domestic), however, have not been in it for very long and do not have a grasp of the entire subject matter. They repeatedly ask for clarification or help in understanding how they can help, and are either ignored and/or treated indifferently. They are rarely educated by senior advocates. Why? Obviously, the more advocates involved, the better. Why not educate new and renewed advocates?
When a newbie does work up the courage to jump in by asking questions, making comments or suggestions, they are ignored, belittled, or worse, removed. We must remember that fresh eyes are important to any issue. But yet, it continues to this day. The majority of advocates are women –strong women with a passion for creating change. To see strong, determined women treat other groups with a majority of women with the same passion, expressed desire and intention to get this changed by hook or crook, demeaned or admonished for those efforts is wrong and makes me not only incredibly sad, but angry. This is NOT who we are!
Mainstream groups that I have supported started with very small numbers four years ago. By spreading their blogs, Facebook pages, etc., old and new advocates working tirelessly daily get their words out to the general public, they are now large conglomerates due to the efforts of ALL of us spreading their message. They did not do it alone — we made the sometimes painful and soul-wrenching effort to share their horrendous piece of vital information in hopes of teaching others about this cruel and secret business. Each day, it has taken away a piece of my soul in doing that. Each time that I shared horrific information or graphic photos with family or friends, I lost their valuable connection or association simply because they could not bear to see it, thus blocked me or my personal posts. Some people just don’t have either the time or courage to fight back.
These “conglomerate” non-profit organizations’ donors have increased their purse strings, thanks in part to the participation of new (and old) advocates seeking desperately for an answer on how to end the exploitation, but yet, four years later, absolutely nothing has changed. New folks that cannot take the time out of their busy lives to learn about this issue throw their hard earned money at these groups in hopes that they will finally get a solution once and for all. However, another year passes and they have failed to do that, why?
Because they are not one voice, one intention, one direction. They are not cohesive for the simple fact that just like the BIG .ORGS, they have to feed us the discourse in order to continue to rake in donations. Why can’t they say, “Hey, put us out of business. Help us shut down our doors!” Wishful thinking I suppose. I guess if legislation does finally pass, they would have to shut down those doors, now wouldn’t they? I would have to logically assume that the reason they are not working in a combined effort to shut this issue down once and for all would mean a loss of income, for all involved on both sides of the issue.
The SAFE Act failed simply because of agricultural factions in Congress want to see the 50K WH&B’s now in holding go to slaughter and to of course, allow horse slaughter to resume as a commodity in the USA. That is it. That is the truth of the matter. Congress only wants to solve this issue on behalf of their AG constituents and remove the burden of care of these animals from their budgets. Ranchers involved either privately, or within the safe confines of the Bureau of Land Management, absolutely WILL NOT share one blade of grass of our Public Lands with these protected animals. But that was the idea wasn’t it? To put so many in holding that Congress would be forced to do something, anything, to rid themselves of the tax burden of supporting these animals for the rest of their lives, which could be upwards of 30 years. This will absolutely be their downfall. There are advocates heading their way that will put them out of office once and for all.
The reason that there are 50K in holding is because it was, and still is, being entirely fabricated by the BLM in order to get to the end result…..slaughter. Speaker John Boehner held the SAFE Act up in a committee, and would not allow it to come to the floor for a vote in order to make it fail. And it did. Do you realize that this was the 14th attempt to stop horse transport and slaughter? For 14 years advocates have been fighting our Congress to protect domestic and wild horses and donkeys from slaughter, and every single time it has failed. Why? The only assumption one can make is that there is no money to be made if the issue is solved, either from non-profits or from pro-slaughter interests. Leaves a disgusting taste in my mouth just putting those two groups together in a sentence.
I watched the live feed for the Nevada RAC (Resource Advisory Council to the BLM) meeting and was so grateful that advocates spoke out so eloquently on the reasons why wild horses and burros should be saved. They spoke for me, all of them. When they spoke, they were spilling out all of the words that I wished I could say in person. Their only goal was to speak for these animals and tell our government and these ranchers that sit on that RAC that this is not who we are as a Country.
We owe our allegiance to the only animals that fought with and carried our soldiers out of harm’s way, carried our ancestors to a better, brighter future, delivered goods, helped the Native Americans…I could go on and on to the many ways they have contributed their blood, sweat and tears to our way of life. We OWE them our loyalty and protection.
Congress agreed with us and recognized their worth in 1971 by putting protections in place to prevent what is happening right now, this very moment. What happened, where did it all go sideways? The Bureau of Land Management was put in charge, run by ranchers who know that it is not in their best interests to protect them. That is exactly why we are where we are today.
The suggestions made at the RAC meeting by ALL advocates fighting against WH&B’s demise were splendid, however they fell on deaf ears. Snide remarks were reported by advocates that were at that meeting, remarks made from the people that sit on the RAC. Derogatory remarks about the WH&B’s were made by the very same people sitting on that RAC and profess to have their best interest in mind. What is wrong with this? How many of those RAC members are also receiving grazing allotments from us, the American Taxpaying Public? How many are getting grazing fees? How many are ranchers? And they are in charge of submitting suggestions to the BLM?
The Bureau of Land Management Advisory Council, the very council that is supposed to have ALL of our interest in mind is made up entirely of pro-slaughter factions, with what I believe is just one anti slaughter advocate (50:1, sound familiar?) This would not stand in a corporate nor court room setting. These people are NOT my peers.
Let’s get real honest here about the PZP debate. If people are desperate to end the torture and destruction of animals that are well loved, cherished and admired by well over 80% of the 300 million people in the USA, and a crumb was offered in hopes that this known government entity would finally leave them in peace if only allowed to dart WH&B’s by a drug, would you take that peace offering? Did we believe that if we agreed to the PZP that their suffering would finally be over? Absolutely and many have, including myself.
What would you be willing to do so in order to allow these animals to roam peacefully on their mandated lands, free from harassment or from the cruelty of long term holding? To no longer allow WH&B’s to be subjected to long, horrendous runs that are usually performed in the dead heat of summer, many mares with small foals at their side and hooves fall off due to that run and last by not least by far are terrorized by a helicopter? You would cave. Most people would. If the hierarchy is made up entirely of white ranching cowboys in cowboy hats, what choice do you really think we have? You bend or lose more horses/burros into the deep, dark den of inequity in which they will no longer be found or accounted for. This is what we have all understood in advocating for these animals. That once WH&B’s enter into this hell, none escape with any real quality of life or any life at all.
I must admit, I bought it, hook, line and sinker. That is until I did the research. Compromise is great, but not at the extinction of a natural, living being that is not only protected by law and has absolute priority over Public Lands but in addition, adds more value to that environment where they live, survive and ultimately die than take away from it.
EPA has stated in their assessment of PZP that they cannot guarantee that PZP won’t affect other wildlife populations because once a wild horse or burro in nature, either unnaturally or naturally dies, the nearby endangered species would most certainly eat that animal’s flesh and ingest the PZP, rendering that endangered species sterile as well. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Hell yeah, a peace pipe indeed.
This is unconscionable. We know how this will end. The PZP will be the new scapegoat and the new excuse will be “but we tried!” Oh well, let’s get them squared away once and for all time. This is just another ruse being perpetrated on good, decent American people, using their hard earned money, by a government agency that has shown nothing but absolute contempt for these animals and have absolutely no compunction in stating that fact in a public venue.
They continue to blatantly lie about populations of WH&B’s, their locations, long term holding counts, etc. and we are now not only completely distrustful of anything this agency puts out, but we are pissed off and tired of it.
Those of us that have seen the “Preponderance of Evidence” regarding this rogue agency and their 50+ year record of abuse and cruelties against this benign animal have absolutely had enough. We can attest to the fact that well over 2 million WH&B have been destroyed, disappeared, or put into long term holding over that time frame. Gone Baby Gone…..forever — if this doesn’t reek of extinction; I have no clue how to explain it to you.
How in the name of God can upwards of 2 million animals disappear off the face of the Earth in a 80 to 100 year window? I am not a mathematician, but clearly if 100 years ago there were 2 million mustangs that roamed North America and there are fewer that 25,000 in the wild, with 50,000 in holding, what am I missing here? Where did they go?
This agency most certainly does not have these animals’ best interest in mind. This is a clear “switch and bait” tactic used by self-serving ranchers that run the BLM. Their offer to inject or sterilize mares and stallions using a drug that is listed as a pesticide…let me repeat that…a pesticide, is not a generous offer. It reeks of extortion.
In order to stop this agency from zeroing out entire herds, once again, their solution to advocates and mainstream groups is of course to give them only one choice and that choice is take the drugs/surgery over the roundups. Not acceptable. This solution is not acceptable and the pretense in this case is clearly to obfuscate and scapegoat the animals and advocates once again.
Speaking of surgeries, why would any DVM worth his salt allow a surgery such as complex, dangerous ovariectomy to be performed in unsanitary conditions, outside in a dirt lot or field, with no anesthesia and no follow up care? No one in the real world would allow this, other than DVM’s that are A) Ranchers or B)DVM’s that could not get a job outside of public service.
Most of the Bureau of Land Management is run by ranchers, you know it, I know it. And those government employees are willfully disregarding any and all science proving that these animals are not the true cause of the degradation of public land. Only 3% of cattle that run on those lands benefit the American meat eating public. Most, if not all of these cattle are sent to overseas markets. We won’t even benefit from allowing these ranchers to utilize our money or the Public Lands. They are happy to take taxpayers money in subsides, but those of us that give our hard earned money to these ranchers, which in some cases makes them extremely rich, get absolutely nothing in return. Now, add into this mix the other animals that survive in these environment and most certainly eat resources as well, such as Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer and others, and you truly have the bigger picture of what is happening on the landsm but of course, that information is also ignored. It is always the poor equines that get the short end of the stick.
Many ranching families believe they are entitled to call the public lands their own and they pass this entitlement down from generation to generation. Because of that misguided, ingrained belief system implemented at a very early age, they plow ahead in order to accomplish their long held generational belief system that by teaching their children to consider these animals as “vermin” or “destructive” they feel that their only recourse now as adults is to remove ALL horses and burros in order to protect their “Pot of Gold” or in other words “public land” subsides. The Bundy family comes to mind. Just look at the recent refusal to accept government orders to remove cattle that are illegally grazing on public lands. There are many like the Bundy family, but are not so stupid enough as to step into the media spotlight for all to see.
But we know the truth and have not been subjected to the repeated rhetoric ingrained into our consciousness over the years like the children of ranchers. I liken the conditioning of these children who are now adults, to the “Stockholm Syndrome” Not familiar with this term? Let me enlighten.
“Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat.” Wikipedia
If parents are telling their children that these animals are “bad” “rats of the west” “vermin” or “trash animals” and must be treated with disrespect and cruelty, then that is exactly what any child with those kinds of messages will grow up and believe. The cruelty and abuse of these animals have endured, day in and day out, for years on end by these ranching families and it will continue on to the next generation as well. That is the insane familial legacy these adult ranchers now implement, and their children will continue as well. . If they are subjecting these animals to daily abuse their entire life, and cannot see that is is unacceptable and inhumane, how are we ever going to change that belief system? We can’t. These attitudes, behavior, and belief system towards this animal as adults is why we are at such odds with such people. And where are these adults now? Some are now employees of the very government agency that is pushing the extinction of these animals.
Why is it that we know the truth and they do not? Because science and ecologists have done the research and tell us what is really going on, whereas the opposite occurs in the ranching family communities. They stick to what they think they know is best for these animals instead of understanding the science, thanks in part to their repeated familial conditioning.
This is a true public trust issue. Many, many reports have been issued stating that there is not an overpopulation of Wild Horses and Burros, but just the opposite. When you have a ratio of 50:1 50 cattle to every one horse, you have to be either incredibly naive not to see that the majority of damage is caused by the grazing of cattle and sheep, which are the real cause of the destruction and pollution of public lands. Or so ingrained and conditioned in a belief system through brainwashing and the repeated messages of fathers and mothers that dished out that misinformation at a young age, this is the only truth that is out there and that those non-ranching, eastern folks must be liars.
Another revelation I found recently is a letter from a group called The Public Lands Foundation. The Public Lands Foundation is made up entirely of present, former and retired BLM employees and they have a lot to say about this issue. Matter of fact, the letter that they sent out to the BLM Advisory Council in 2009 is very telling and exposes this group for what it really is, an extension of the BLM WH&B plan of extinction. You should be very alarmed at this recommendation. Think about this for just one moment. A group of former, current and retired employees with the BLM, giving a very clear message to that employer, suggesting that they remove all WH&B’s and put them in a “National Range.” Wait? What??? No bias there.
The fact that their suggestion to the current sham of a BLM Advisory Board is one of creating a “National Range” in order to corral WH&B’s in just one area and do entirely away with every Herd Management Area in the West is something that not one of us should ever support nor turn a blind eye to.
If we were to go along with this suggestion, and they pick and choose which animals could be placed on that range, can we believe that they would put back all of the horses and burros in holding now? When they say “acceptable number” how many would that be and what would happen to the rest that were not chosen for that “National Range?” What do you think? Think they would be able to adopt them all out? Of course not.
Here is a portion of that letter:
“We believe a long-term solution should begin with a grass roots effort to bring all of the parties together to determine the acceptable number of wild horses and burros that should be maintained in the West, and to discuss the creation of National Wild Horse and Burro Ranges to accommodate this acceptable number of animals. The National Ranges would be managed for the maintenance and protection of wild horses, burros and wildlife. The existing wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas on BLM public lands would be eliminated, and the animals moved to the National Ranges.”
EPONA was designed to teach — to teach all that want to learn the intricate and complex information on this page in order to understand and contribute to making a lifelong difference for these exploited animals. Through articles, blogs, photos, etc., of these mainstream groups on EPONA, the only goal is to give the reader a better understand of this enormous, complex, dirty secret.
I choose to include all that are speaking up for our horses and donkeys. I can’t know what the internal factions are until I study and research them, and what that does is take my time away from speaking and educating others about this very important issue and what really matters – which is and always will be the continued safety and concern for ALL our horses and burros, both wild and domestic, and protecting them for the ages from slaughter. Until my last breath, I will not stop. Thank you for your loyal support of this page and please keep trying, pushing and insisting that this gets solved and soon. We need to work together to solve this once and for all. If we don’t, we know what the end result will be. September 2015 is just around the corner and that date will live in our consciousness forever should equine slaughter returned to the USA. They are running out of time.
“What You Allow, Is What Will Continue”

Equine Advocates and Animal Welfare Groups Challenge Adobe Town Wild Mare Experimentation by BLM and Wyoming State University

Press Release

“if the BLM had any concern at all for the safety and well-being of the wild horses under its care they would not use dangerous radio collars…”

Rawlins, WY – On December 8, Appellants Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA) and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES) filed an Appeal and Stay Order with the Interior Department’s Board of Land Appeal (IBLA) to stop the BLM from collaring Adobe Town wild mares and using helicopters inappropriately in an unnecessary, unsafe and wasteful experiment. The BLM in partnership with Wyoming State University (UWY) plans to capture and fit some 30 mares with radio collars to see if they will move into the void created by the 2016 Checkerboard roundup.

16CarolWalker002Carol Walker, WHOA member, noted that the 2016 Checkerboard roundup never took place due to a recent 10th District Court decision that the Wyoming roundup was in violation of the law. She added that: “if the BLM had any concern at all for the safety and well-being of the wild horses under its care they would not use dangerous radio collars and insist on either bait trapping or rounding up the wild mares with helicopters in the coldest part of winter, but would instead hire Interns to observe and document the movement of the wild horses in Adobe Town.”

Former BLM manager Lloyd Eisenhauer of Cheyenne, WY, another WHOA member, stated that “harassing the Adobe Town horses and upsetting their natural behavior for no valid scientific reason is not research, it is abuse.“ The plaintiffs point out that the BLM’s decision to proceed is not supported either by the evidence, by the record, or by a consideration of alternatives; it is simply a case of “this is what we want to do and we’re going to do it anyway.”

Organizations endorsing this Administrative Appeal and Petition of Stay include: In Defense of Animals, Mobilization for Animals, Pity Not Cruelty, Wild Equid League of Colorado, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and Union for the Preservation of Wildlife.

This is the second time CAES and WHOA have worked together on an IBLA appeal, winning the first to stop cruel experiments to sterilize wild mares. Notably, other organizations such as environmental and animal welfare groups have also joined in supporting these legal actions to protect the horses! We will continue working to improve and preserve life for American wild and domestic horses.

Media Contact:
Theresa J Barbour
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter
Attorney pro se
541.315.6650

BLM Proposing Fence, Water Projects for Wild Horses in Colorado

The Horse

Piceance East Douglas HMA

Piceance East Douglas HMA

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comment on two projects the agency believes would benefit wild horses in the Piceance-East Douglas herd management area (HMA) in Rio Blanco County, Colorado.

The BLM plans to reconstruct nearly a mile of four-strand barbed-wire fencing near Duck Creek as part of a larger effort to ensure the 137-mile perimeter of the HMA is adequately fenced to reduce conflicts resulting from wild horses leaving the HMA.

Additionally, the agency said redeveloping Corcoran Spring could help ensure the spring provides a reliable source of water in both wet and dry years as well as help protect the spring source.

The preliminary environmental assessment of these two projects is now available for public review at bit.ly/2eQ7chG or at the White River Field Office, located at 220 East Market Street in Meeker, Colorado.

Comments can be submitted to blm_co_wild_horse_management@blm.gov and will be most helpful if received by Dec. 15, the BLM said.

For more information, contact range technician Melissa Kindall at 970/878-3842.

Father of BLM Wild Horse Murder Plot invited to Speak at Alleged Wild Horse Sanctuary Fundraiser

In my most OUTRAGED Opinion ~ R.T. Fitch

“Lets Kill All Dem Dare Ponies In Da Corrals…DUH!”

Plotting to kill wild horses and burros - now a featured speaker at Wild Horse Sanctuary?

Plotting to kill wild horses and burros – now a featured speaker at Wild Horse Sanctuary?

Regrettably, it has been brought to my attention that the ‘Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary‘ is holding a fundraiser, this weekend, where they have invited BLM Wild Horse & Burro newbie Advisory Board member, Ben Masters to be their guest and honored speaker for the event.  You remember ole horse killing Ben who spearheaded the recommendation to the BLM to murder tens of thousands of captured wild horses and burros in holding so that they could make room for more wild equines illegally ripped from their rightful range?  That’s the guy…he’s a real wiener, I mean winner.

And now this alleged Mustang Sanctuary is inviting him to speak at their fund raiser; is it just me or has something become seriously unhinged, here?  I am aware that this group is already in bed with the BLM and works with them in helping to decimate the dwindling wild horse population in Colorado but this is a step too far.  Perhaps a little show of outrage is due here.

“Join us in celebrating our 5th year with our annual fundraising event with special guest Ben Masters! Enjoy an evening of artisan cocktails, featuring Cocktailpunk Bitters, bourbon tastings by Mobb Mountain Distillers, delicious food by Farm+Smoke and My Mom’s Pie, live bluegrass music by the Ginny Mules and a new short film by Ben Masters. Then, attend a special screening of ‘Unbranded’ with a Q&A session with Ben Masters himself.”

 ARE YOU FRIGGEN KIDDING ME – HOLY CRAP, BATMAN!!!!

There has been too much collusion with the enemy, as of late, and perhaps it’s time for a little house cleaning within the advocacy and the culling of our own herd…this is an outright disgrace.

These people are truly insane!

http://greatescapesanctuary.org/portfolio/1112-boots-buckles-bourbon/

Check out ole Ben’s BS, here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Ben+Masters%2C+BLM&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

The one good thing that he did was manage to piss off an entire nation, I guess that makes him some sort of twisted celebrity, huh?

Multiple Wild Burros Die After BLM Abusive Capture

Story by Robert Stevens as published on the Sanpete Messenger

“They were perfectly healthy on their rightful, healthy range but once captured, abused and mismanaged by the out of control BLM they contracted a mysterious and rare illness that caused their deaths.  Stranger than fiction and very convenient.  This is exactly what Grandma Gregg was addressing in her telling OpEd I GUESS IF YOU ARE GOING TO MURDER THEM ALL – THEN KILLING A FEW DOZEN WILD BURROS ALONG THE WAY MEANS NOTHING?” ~ R.T.


Dead wild burros in Axtell Utah contracted rare virus

AXTELL—The Bureau of Land Management says 25 wild burros that died in an off-range corral in Axtell appear to have contracted a rare virus.

BLM captured Wild Burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM captured Wild Burros ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The deaths occurred after 236 wild burros were gathered last April and May from the Sinbad Herd Management Area, which is about 30 miles west of Green River, and brought to Axtell.

“Soon after being captured and held in captivity, an increased mortality began to occur from unknown causes,” a BLM report says.  “By the end of June, a total of about 25 animals had died from a variety of causes. ”

After exhaustive work, the Utah State Animal Diagnostic Lab and Utah State veterinarian determined that the deaths were related to a chronic viral pneumonia characterized by pulmonary fibrosis (a lung disease that can result in lung scarring, interfering with an animal’s ability to breathe), the BLM report says.

The BLM suspected a viral cause of mortality in the animals, the report says, but tests for the common equine herpes virus Types 1 and 4 were negative, as was testing for equine influenza.

However, the BLM report said, an uncommon Asinine herpes virus has been tentatively identified. Additional tests are being done to try to identify the specific Asinine herpes virus involved.

“We are still waiting on some DNA testing results,” Gus Warr, BLM-Utah’s wild horse and burro program manager, said.

No deaths have occurred in the Sinbad burros since early July, and all appear to be healthy.

According to Warr, in coordination with the Utah State veterinarian, the Axtell facility has been cleared for adoption and shipping of healthy burros.

Craig Downer, author and wildlife ecologist, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed. 11/2/16)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Nov. 2, 2016

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

pm-craig-downer-2-by-rona-aguilar-in-the-bahamas

Craig Downer (photo by Rona Aguilar)

Our guest tonight is Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy.”  Craig is the Founder of The Andean Tapir Fund, the Wild Horse & Burro Fund, and has a website called The Wild Horse Conspiracy.  Craig will be talking about his observations of Herd Management Areas, the Brumbies (wild horses in Australia), the Wildies (wild horses in Canada), the fertility drug PZP and many interesting stories about the history of wild horses in the American West.

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

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

Continue reading

The Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is Not Maximizing Efficiencies or Complying With Federal Regulations

From: Office of Inspector General – Department of Interior

BREAKING NEWS:  The Department of Interior’s own investigation agency has uncovered the facts that the BLM is mismanaged, shoots from the hip, has no plan and violates federal law.  OH MY GOODNESS, I am SHOCKED, STUNNED…the sky is falling and we must tell the king.  Duhhhhhhh, why does this make the pain in my chest hurt more?  STUPID permeates the agency that is entrusted with protecting the well being of our wild horses and burros.  As usual, I am NOT impressed!” ~ R.T.


BLM Management Team - and damn proud of it

BLM Management Team – and damn proud of it

We conducted a review to determine whether the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) cooperative agreements and contracts for wild horse and burro off-range holding facilities are cost effective and comply with applicable Federal laws and regulations.

We found that BLM does not maximize the cost-effectiveness of its off-range holding facilities. Specifically, BLM’s contracts do not ensure best value for services, BLM does not maximize the use of its pastures, and BLM has no strategic plan to manage wild horse and burro populations. We also found that some of BLM’s cooperative agreements with correctional institutions do not comply with Federal laws and regulations. We made four recommendations to address the issues we identified.

Click (HERE) to download the official report

Hilary Wood, Pres. of Front Range Equine Rescue and Bruce Wagman (partner, Schiff Hardin law firm) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 10/26/16)

painy

Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Oct. 26, 2016

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

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Hilary Wood is the President and Founder of Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER) and works as the Director of Programs and Operations.  Front Range Equine Rescue, founded in 1997, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to prevent the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education.  In 2005, Front Range Equine Rescue launched its “Save the Wild Horses” campaign in direct response to the Burns Amendment.

Recently, Front Range Equine Rescue filed a lawsuit to stop the BLM’s plans to conduct surgical sterilization experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands of more horses over time.  FRER’s lawsuit contended that the BLM’s intended sterilizations would cause harm and suffering and were in violation of federal law.  Six weeks later, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management withdrew its program to perform experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon.

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Bruce Wagman is a partner with Schiff Hardin law firm in San Francisco, and has represented FRER in all of its legal horse work. Bruce has an almost exclusive animal law focus, involving litigation, education, legislative counseling, and consultation.  Bruce’s clients include numerous animal protection organizations and private individuals.  He is a co-editor of the casebook Animal Law, and coauthor of A Worldview of Animal Law.  He has been teaching Animal Law since 1996 and currently teaches at three Bay Area law schools.  In the past five years, Bruce has focused much of his time on issues involving wild horses, horse abuse cases, and the slaughter of American horses for food.

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This show will be hosted by R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

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

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2016/10/27/whb-radio-hilary-wood-pres-of-front-range-equine-rescue-and-bruce-wagman

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

1/20/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on BLM’s plans to sterilize wild horse and burros. Listen HERE.

1/27/16 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on threats to shoot wild burros in Arizona. Listen HERE.

2/8/16 – Representatives of 4 major wild horse & burro advocacy groups and advocates speak out against BLM’s plans for barbaric sterilization experiments on wild mares. Listen HERE.

2/10/16 – Jonathan Ratner, Western Watersheds Project’s Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, talks about the environmental toll of privately owned livestock grazing on public lands. Listen HERE.

2/24/16 – Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), on BLM’s skewed data minimizing the effects of livestock grazing on public lands. Listen HERE.

3/2/16 – 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, joined by local wild burro advocates fighting to save the wild burros of the Black Mountain Herd Management Area in Arizona. Listen HERE.

3/23/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation interviews Susan W. Watt, Executive Director, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, located in South Dakota. Listen HERE.

5/4/16 – Gail A. Eisnitz, author of the book “Slaughterhouse” and Chief Investigator for the Humane Farming Association (HFA). Listen HERE.

6/22/16 – Charlotte Roe, Founder of Wild Equid League of Colorado, on BLM’s cruel experiments on wild horses and burros, including sterilization of pregnant wild mares, that are a launching pad for widespread use as “population suppression.” Listen HERE.

8/3/16 – 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 with guests. Listen HERE.

8/10/16 – Gene Baur, Pres. & Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary, on factory farming and the Farm Sanctuary. Listen HERE.

8/17/16 – Advocates Carla Bowers and Bonnie Kohleriter on why 83% of wild horse and burro herds are on the brink of collapse. Listen HERE.

8/31/16 – Steve Hindi (President and Founder) and Janet Enoch (Investigator) of SHowing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) on rodeo cruelty and more. You can see all of SHARK’s rodeo exposés on YouTube by clicking here. Listen HERE.

9/7/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation , on BLM plans to remove all wild horses from three of the largest remaining herds in Wyoming. Listen HERE.

9/14/16 – Susan Wagner, Pres. & Founder of Equine Advocates, on how the upcoming Presidential election can affect the fate of wild and domestic equines and horse slaughter. PLEASE SIGN EQUINE ADVOCATES’ PETITION HERE. Listen HERE.

9/21/16 – Mae Lee Sun, co-author of “Brumby: A celebration of Australia’s wild horses” and Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and the author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” on the culling of the brumbies (wild horses) of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. Listen HERE.

9/28/16 – Laird Lucas (Executive Director) and Talasi Brooks (Staff Attorney) of Advocates for the West, a public interest, nonprofit environmental law firm with an 85% record of legal success protecting the wildlife and wild places of the American West. Listen HERE.

10/5/16 – 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 reports on the 2016 Donkey Welfare Symposium. Listen HERE.

10/12/16 – Nancy Watson, President of SAFE Food SAFE Horses Coalition, has been raising worldwide awareness to the loopholes in U.S. legislation that allows U.S. equines (horses, donkeys, mules and burros) which are laden with pharmaceuticals, into the global food supply. Listen HERE.

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Call to Action: Please Comment to Stop the Dangerous and Cruel Adobe Town Wild Mare Radio Collar Study

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Published on WildHoofBeats

“This herd is not even above AML by the BLM’s own count, only 648 adult horses in the flyover count in April 2016”

Adobe Town mare and foal - by Carol Walker

Adobe Town mare and foal – by Carol Walker

The BLM is planning to roundup wild horses in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area in 5 separate locations in order to put radio collars on 30-40 wild mares. The study will begin in December 2016 and end in 2020.

All the documents are here: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=80504

This study, which will be conducted by the University of Wyoming’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management  has the following purpose:

“The Proposed Action is to implement a five (5) year research study (Appendix 1) that would document habitat selection, movement between habitats, seasonal use, and migration patterns of wild horses, within and outside of the ATHMA. The research objective is to understand how horses move across the Colorado-Wyoming border, how the removal of horses from the checkerboard portion of the HMA influences the movement of mares from non-checkerboard portions of ATHMA (i.e. creation of a void), how horses select landscape resources relative to their proportional availability, and how site fidelity of horses is influenced by season.”

Originally they were considering using bait trapping to capture the mares which would have much less chance of injuring or killing the horses than a helicopter roundup. They do not even discuss it as an option in the EA despite the response to the public’ comments to the Scoping Document which requested them to use this much less stressful and harmful method. Bait trapping also allows the family bands to be kept together, intact, much more easily.

The BLM dismisses very easily any impact on the wild horses that are rounded up using helicopters. Many will be injured and die, most will lose their families, foals will be separated from their mothers, and they will most likely be disrupted in a very substantial way from their normal areas and routines which DOES impact the outcomes of the study. Helicopter roundups use fear to drive the wild horses which is inhumane and also leads to extreme fear of helicopters.

This herd is not even above AML by the BLM’s own count, only 648 adult horses in the flyover count in April 2016.

My second biggest problem with this study is the use of radio collars which in past studies have led to injury and death when horses become entangled with brush or on fences or get a hoof caught. They say that they have remotely detonated release mechanisms on the collars so they can release the collar if the collar stops moving – but there are a tremendous number of questions that are unanswered:

  1. Why are they not using breakaway collars that break if the horses re in trouble, which have been used successfully before?
  2. How close to the collar does the person have to be to trigger the remote release mechanism?
  3. Does it work from say 70 miles away at the Rawlins BLM office or does the person have to be within view?
  4. What happens in winter when it is impossible to drive into the area?
  5. If they cannot drive into the area do they have the funds to charter a helicopter to fly over so they can detonate the remote release? If so, have they considered the stress upon the horses when a helicopter gets near them?
  6. Will it work when the temperatures get below -10 Fahrenheit? I was at a “gather” in Adobe Town in December 2013 when they released 40 wild mares and it was -19 degrees before I got to the highway.
  7. Does it hurt the horse when the release remotely “detonates?”
  8. What if the remote release fails? How can they help the mare that is in trouble?
  9. How often are they monitoring the collars to see if one has stopped moving? What about weekends?
  10. What about the reactions of the mare’s family members to this strange device now around her neck? What if she is rejected by the other horses because of it?

(They cite testing the collars at a short term holding facility, Palomino Valley. This is a completely different situation than the horses will face in the wild. Horses are not in families in holding facilities and there are not brush and fencing to get hung up on).

  1. Why can’t they use a small GPS under the skin? This would be so much safer and less intrusive for the mares. These “collars” are very old and low tech.

For all of these unanswered questions and because wild horses have been injured and died because of radio collars in previous studies: https://www.nap.edu/read/18466/chapter/5  I again suggest that they do NOT use radio collars but instead use Interns to follow, track, observe and photograph horses from specific areas.

This would remove the need for a helicopter roundup, which would provide far less stress and injury on the horses, and if would also provide more accurate data from people on the ground. Ten horses in Adobe Town are very colorful, and easily distinguished, so it would not be impossible to follow specific horses. It does not matter than some horses are less easy to find and see because if they have a few horses from each area, it does not matter which horses are less easily observed. If you round them up by helicopter this will be a complete disruption to the horses’ families and movement patterns. If you observe them without rounding them up you will obtain much more accurate data on where the horses are and move to.

My final argument is that this study is in no way, shape or form in the best interests of the horses. The researchers are seeking to prove that wild horses will “move into a void” created by rounding up and removing horses from the Checkerboard, so they can “prove” that it impossible to remove horses from the Checkerboard and keep them out. They are also hoping to “prove” that wild horses degrade riparian areas. There is no attempt to account for livestock grazing. They do not care about wild horse behavior or band fidelity, or they would use human observers. This cruel and dangerous study which is slanted toward proving that wild horses have no place on the HMAs in the Checkerboard should not be allowed to move forward. Since BLM has now formally withdrawn the 2016 Checkerboard Removal Decision Record – which was not the case at the time it issued the Draft EA – BLM should not move forward with the radio collar research because a major underlying premise (that 500+ wild horses would be removed from the Checkerboard before the radio collar research began) has now been eliminated.  In other words, the entire purpose behind this roundup was to see how horses move in response to a Checkerboard roundup; since there will be no Checkerboard roundup, there is no legal basis for the radio collar research as currently described in the Draft EA.

Please select alternative 2.2 No Action

This study is poorly conceived and planned and does NOT take the well being and humane treatment of the wild horses involved into proper consideration. This is not managing wild horses in the least invasive way possible, as they are mandated by the 1971 Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. They should spend the next few months revising the study and if then they do decide to move forward they should use another capture method, which is bait trapping which they said they would discuss in the EA but failed to do. It is far more humane and will result in many less injuries and deaths. They should come up with a new EA including Bait Trapping or no rounding up at all but using direct observation as alternatives. And they should use a newer, safer  technology if they do wish to proceed with tracking the horses and eliminate the proposed use of radio collars.

The earliest they could start this roundup is December. They should not do it in December – it can get very cold, the horses are at greater risk of colic and injury when run in extremely cold temperatures. They should wait until next year in late summer or fall and address the questions that I have listed about the study and issue a new EA.

Please send your comments to the BLM here by November 1, 2016 at 4pm Mountain Time:

Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
Bureau of Land Management
Wyoming High Desert District
Rawlins Field Office
1300 North Third Street
P.O. Box 2407
Rawlins, Wyoming 82301
Fax: (307) 324-4224

Electronic comments must be sent to the following email address to be considered:

blm _ wy _ adobetown _ hma@blm.gov

(Please include “Adobe Town EA Comment” in the subject line.)

From the BLM: Public comments are most helpful if they are specific. The regulations (40 CFR 1503.3), state that comments on a proposed action ‘ shall be as specific as possible and may address either the adequacy of the statement or the merits of the alternatives discussed or both.” The most valuable comments are those that cite specific actions or impacts in the document and offer informed analysis of what is presented.

Also, pleased do send personalized comments in your own words. The BLM will count all of the form letter comments as one, which is not helpful for the horses.

BLM PATS WELFARE RANCHERS ON THE HEAD IN ADDITION TO THEIR FEDERAL $UBSIDIES

Story by Grandma Gregg

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Privately owned welfare cattle being herded onto public land and wild horse habitat DURING a BLM roundup at Antelope Complex, NV. ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation


The Bureau of Land Management announced its Rangeland Stewardship Awards for 2016 and gave the awards to welfare ranchers. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year.

The Rangeland Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Mori Ranch in Tuscarora, Nevada

USDA subsidy information for Mori Ranches LLC

Mori Ranches LLC received payments totaling $464,477 from 1995 through 2014

PLUS

USDA subsidy information for Mori Ranches LLC

Mori Ranches LLC received payments totaling $140,486 from 1995 through 2014

The Sage-Grouse Habitat Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Drewsey Ranch in Burns, Oregon

USDA subsidy information for Drewsey Field Ranch Company

Drewsey Field Ranch Company received payments totaling $243,900 from 1995 through 2014

https://farm.ewg.org/

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2016/september/nr_09_09_2016.html