BLM Seeks Public Comment on Plan to Rip More than 1,000 Wild Horses Out Of Wyoming

“This is Your Chance to be a Voice for the Horses…”

Destruction of Wyoming’s Adobe Town herd by the BLM ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management offices in Rock Springs and Rawlins are launching a 30-day public scoping period prior to preparing an environmental assessment on proposed deadly wild horse stampedes in the Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town, and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas.

The war on Wyoming’s last remaining wild horses is allegedly scheduled to begin in the fall of 2017.

Written comments should be received by April 4, and should be e-mailed to blm_wy_adobetown_saltwells_hma@blm.gov. (Please include “2017 AML Gather” in the subject line).

Mailed or hand-delivered comments can be made during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time) at: BLM Rock Springs Field Office, 2017 AML Gather, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901.

To verbally express your disdain, please contact the BLM at 307-352-0256.

For more details on how the BLM plans to destroy wild horse families and strip them of their freedom visit (HERE)

New Rule Tightens Canadian Horse Slaughter Imports

Story by Pat Raia as published on The Horse

 “False documentation (has) been a proven fact for years, yet nothing is ever done about it…”

Beginning in March 31, all horses imported from the United States into horse processing plants in Canada must be held in U.S.-side feedlots for a minimum of six months. The regulation is intended to address food safety concerns expressed by European Union (EU) buyers.

While some equine welfare advocates hope the regulation will increase paperwork and decrease profits for exporters of horses into Canadian processing firms, others believe the rule won’t reduce the number of horses exported for processing every year.  

Under the new regulation, exporters must certify in writing that the U.S. horses exported into Canada for processing haven’t received any drugs within the prior 60 days. But said horse welfare advocate Jerry Finch, founder of Habitat for Horses, the horse-processing industry has long had a reputation for falsifying paperwork connected to exported horses.

 “False documentation (has) been a proven fact for years, yet nothing is ever done about it, so any such regulation is nothing more than a PR effort to make the consumer believe they are receiving the very best horsemeat available; like so much of the food supply, the image of wholesome, healthy, and safe food is a far cry from the reality,” said Finch. “The killer-buyers simply sign the form, the buyers for the slaughterhouse sign it, and done deal. A horse bought at the racetrack in Kentucky on Monday will still be in the food chain by Wednesday.”

The Canadian regulation mirrors one long in place at processing plants in Mexico, which did not eliminate the EU’s food safety concerns. After a 2014 audit, the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) banned the sale of horsemeat processed in Mexico on grounds that exporters falsified processed animals’ medical and drug treatment records.

An uptick in sales to Russian and Chinese markets resulted, said horse processing proponent Dave Duquette. He expects the same after the Canadian rule become effective.

“All the ban did was up sales to Russia and China–and they don’t have the same welfare (regulations) as the EU or that we do,” Duquette said. “The regulation is a (horse) welfare issue, and it lessens the welfare of horses.”

Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, said that an estimated 5 million horses are processed for human consumption worldwide each year.

“The last time I checked, China was processing roughly 2.5 million horses a year for food,” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of U.S. horses exported to both Mexico and Canada has stabilized between 130,000-150,000 per year, he said.

“I don’t see that changing much,” Lenz said.

In any case, Lenz said import/export rules won’t make tracking the number of U.S. horses exported for slaughter any easier in the future.

“It’s my understanding that starting this year the U.S. Department of Agriculture is no longer keeping track of the number of horses exported for slaughter,” Lenz said. “So, we really won’t know in the future if the numbers are increasing or decreasing no matter what regulations are established on either the Canadian or Mexican side.”

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38935/new-rule-tightens-canadian-horse-processing-imports

Glimpse into Horse Slaughter – Eagle Pass, Texas (raw video)

Video supplied by investigators from EWA and WHFF


“Quietly and behind the scenes the Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation have been watching, taking note and documenting more than just the unnecessary roundups of wild horses and burros by the BLM; but also paying attention to where tens of thousands of American horses and donkeys (domestic and wild) disappear to without even so much as a final wave goodbye.  Horse Slaughter has not been banned in the USA instead it has only moved across our borders and both our beloved domestic equines and our protected wild horses and burros continue to end up on the dinner plates of foreigners across the globe.

Below is simply raw video of what the horses go through as they cross the border from Texas to Mexico in the final hours of their precious lives.  No commentary, no music, no opinions as the footage speaks for itself.  We have simply released it to emphasis the need to act, of things to come and to remind those who participate in this predatory blood business that we are watching and taking names.  Yes, we are paying attention as the victims cannot speak for themselves but we can.  Let the kill buyer beware.  Keep the faith, my friends.  We are paying attention.” ~ R.T.


“Investigators with Wild Horse Freedom Federation/Equine Welfare Alliance spent several days down in Eagle Pass, Texas documenting events prior to slaughter horses being sent to Mexico for slaughter. Video shows horses being loaded for slaughter and them crossing over the border into Mexico, paperwork check by Gov. Official, going to weigh station and trucks coming into pen with slaughter horses.” ~ Investigator

BLM Set to Wage War on Wyoming’s Wild Horses, AGAIN!

Sources: Multiple

“Using poor science and bad numbers the BLM continues to ensure that the wild horses of Wyoming will have no families, freedom or future.  Unedited, propaganda article posted below. (Herds do not double in size every four years – Fake News)” ~ R.T.

Adobe Town ~ photo by Carol Walker

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo.  — The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to remove about 1,000 wild horses from three herd management areas, including Adobe Town, in southwest Wyoming in order to meet population level objectives.

Kimberlee Foster, field manager for the Rock Springs BLM field office, said there are too many horses on the land, and rules require them to remove horses when they are above management levels.

Foster said the gathered horses will go to the Rock Springs Holding Facility where they will be put up for adoption.

The BLM plans to remove 210 horses from Adobe Town, 584 from Salt Wells Creek and 235 from Great Divide Basin.

There are many reasons the BLM must carefully maintain certain population ranges for wild horses in Wyoming. For one, there are no natural predators for horses in the state and equines can be prodigious breeders.

“Typically a herd management area can double in size every four or five years,” Foster told the Rawlins Daily Times (http://bit.ly/2mayVKA ).

If wild horse populations become too large, the natural forage on the land won’t be able to support them.

Herd management is based around the usage of the land, Foster said, as well as the amount of available forage for the animals. Additionally, the BLM has agreed to act to reduce herd sizes should population levels reach a certain point.

The BLM is accepting public comment until April 4 on its horse roundup plan.

LA Horse Slaughter Truck Flips and Kills 19

Report by Dale Williams as published on News of the Horse

Leland, Mississippi – A truck carrying 37 horses for slaughter from the Bastrop Kill Pen in Bastrop, Louisiana flipped on its side on hwy 82, destroying the trailer and killing 19 horses. The driver, Harry Swift, allegedly fell asleep and drifted off the road.

The horses lay scatted up and down a ditch, with trailer parts and tires scattered among them. The scene was truly horrific to all who saw it. The surviving horses were taken to Hamburg, Arkansas where no doubt they will continue their journey to slaughter.

The Bastrop Kill Pen is notoriously cruel to animals, and humans, and has been involved with many investigations and criminal proceedings over the last couple years.

Click (HERE) to view photos and video of disaster…WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC

http://newsofthehorse.com/2017/bastrop-kill-pen-slaughter-truck-flips-and-kills-19/

UW, BLM to Begin Controversial and Inhumane Wild Horse Movement Study

Source: UWYO.edu

“From the destruction of wild horse’s genitals to the installation of dangerous collars the rogue federal agency, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), continues to enlist the aide of America’s institutions of higher learning to be partners in their crimes.” ~ R.T.

It works on cows

“It works on cows, duuuuuhhhh!”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the University of Wyoming are beginning a study to learn more about wild horse seasonal use and movements in the Adobe Town herd management area (HMA).

The study will begin with a bait-trap gather and radio collaring of up to 30 wild mares during February. No wild horses will be removed during this nonhelicopter gather.

UW scientists Derek Scasta and Jeff Beck, both in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, are heading the research. Jake Hennig, a Ph.D. student in the department, also will participate. They will use the information gleaned from the radio collars to learn more about how wild horses interact with their environment. Specifically, the researchers will study migration patterns and herd movements in the HMA. The BLM says it will use the study results to ensure wild horse herds continue to thrive on healthy rangelands.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture has provided $120,000 to start the research. The BLM also has contributed funding.

Bait-trapping involves setting up temporary corrals within the HMA to attract wild horses safely into the corral. When a certain number of horses has entered the pen, the gate to the corral is closed. Once the horses are gathered, trained personnel will load and transport selected mares to the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility. After the horses arrive at the facility, staff from the U.S. Geological Survey will place collars with GPS tracking devices on the horses. The horses will then be returned to the HMA.

The 20-30 mares that BLM will select to wear GPS collars will be 5 years old or older. All other wild horses gathered will be immediately released shortly after the selected mares are sorted and held for collaring. All mares will be released at or near the same location where they were gathered. The selected contractors are in the process of identifying trap site locations and will begin the bait-trapping process soon.

Corrals could be set up in stages over a period of days to allow the horses to grow accustomed to the enclosures. About three to five trap sites are required to distribute radio-collared mares throughout the entire HMA. Bait-trapping is an effective method for capturing small numbers of selected horses.

The number of people in the trap area will be limited to key personnel to ensure a successful and safe gather for the horses.

Public viewing opportunities will be limited. Public viewing is always allowed at the wild horse holding facility overlook in Rock Springs, where the mares will be taken to be collared. Public viewing also will be allowed at the release sites of the collared mares. The BLM will keep a list of people who would like to attend the releasing of the collared mares and notify them at least one day before the releases. Media and interested public can view and photograph the mares being released with the GPS collars. To add your name to the list for public viewing, contact BLM Public Affairs Officer Tony Brown at (307) 352-0215.

The BLM’s Rawlins Field Office released the decision record and finding of no significant impact for the Adobe Town HMA Wild Horse Movements and Habitat Selection Research Gather Environmental Assessment Nov. 9, 2016. The decision was to allow enough wild horses to be gathered by bait trapping, so up to 30 selected mares could be outfitted with GPS collars. The BLM will use two separate contractors to conduct the bait-trapping operations.

Click (HERE) to view BLM Press Release

Wild Horses Deserve a Better Film than ‘Unbranded’

by Libby Blanchard as published on High Country News

“I found the documentary disturbing. Scenes of negligence towards the mustangs abound…”

Unbranded CrueltyA few nights ago, I downloaded the acclaimed 2015 film Unbranded. This crowd-funded film, made by Fin and Fur Productions from Bozeman, Montana, depicts the journey of four young men who ride mustangs from the Mexican border up to Canada, traveling through some of the most beautiful public lands in the American West.

Unbranded is marketed as a celebration of the American mustang, both wild and under saddle. It was featured at the Banff Mountain Film and Telluride Mountainfilm festivals, and continues to be promoted widely. Last year, it was a top download on iTunes and gained over 150,000 likes on Facebook. Outside Magazine and the Los Angeles Times gave it glowing reviews.

But I found the documentary disturbing. Scenes of negligence towards the mustangs abound. A dog drives a horse to jump a barbed wire fence. The horse’s hind leg gets ensnarled in the wire, and the animal struggles to pull free while the boys watch.

Another scene shows a horse limping from a torn muscle in its hindquarters, the after-effect of setting him loose to graze with his halter on. Any real horseman knows that a horse can easily catch its hoof in the webbing of a halter negligently left on, resulting in severe and potentially permanent injuries.

But the most egregious scene is when the boys force their horses up dangerous terrain. Someone notes that the route is a bad idea, but no one has the maturity or leadership to turn back. After struggling up the steep mountain face, one horse — unable to gain purchase in the loose, unstable footing — kneels down in exhaustion. When the boys provoke it back onto its feet, the mustang struggles for a foothold. Unable to find purchase, it tumbles off the mountainside, rolling through the air down a significant drop before crashing onto flatter ground.

At this point, I turned off the film, disgusted. When I finished it later, I discovered — unsurprisingly, given the negligence and ignorance throughout — that one of the horses dies. This fatal injury, likely a cervical spine fracture, is never explained. Instead, the death is romanticized by these self-identified cowboys, who say it is “satisfying to know that he died in the wild where he belonged, not in a holding pen.” Yet there’s little moral high ground for the cowboys to stand on: A horse was fatally injured under their care, a circumstance that is neither common nor acceptable on a horse-packing trip.

The film’s storyline is also troubling. A veterinarian and various Bureau of Land Management officials talk about how hard it is to protect public lands from overgrazing while still conserving the mustang as an American icon. The solution: moving “surplus” mustangs from the range to federally run holding pens to prevent further degradation of the land and starvation of the horses. Yet the filmmakers make only a slight attempt to explore the contentious political context of too many mustangs roaming the public land. The title, Unbranded, by the way, makes little sense as the BLM freeze-brands every horse that it rounds up for adoption or life in a holding pen.

The only comprehensive thread woven through the documentary is the account of four fame-seeking boys who disregard the welfare of their horses to inflate their own egos. Instead of being exalted, the American mustang is treated as a cheap, easily replaceable commodity available for irresponsible use.

While some reviewers have criticized the choices of the protagonists, virtually all conclude that the film is redeemable because of its cinematography. Unbranded does depict sweeping vistas, but this doesn’t excuse the behavior of the people we’re watching. As Aristotle observed, when storytelling goes bad, spectacle is substituted for substance. Richly painted sunsets and the drama of needlessly frightened, panicking horses become ends in themselves.

As wrong as it was for these young men to treat their mustangs neglectfully, it is also unfortunate for the public to accept this behavior. To celebrate this documentary at film festivals, to mount no outcry about it in over a year, is to condone behavior that is neither common nor acceptable. Those of us who love the West and its mustangs should stay away from this documentary.

Pig Cartel Throws Bacon at Horse Vampire Claims

as published on FG/Insight

“The National Pig Association (NPA) has countered accusations that the UK pig industry is involved in cruelty to horses on farms in South America…”

vampire-farmActivists from the German Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) said horses on farms in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile are forced to have large bore needles inserted into their jugular vein to extract a powerful hormone which is then injected into pigs to speed up their fertility cycle.

In order to get the hormone, known as pregnant mare’s serum gonadotropin (PMSG), an individual horse can have up to 10 litres of blood a week taken, leaving them at risk of anaemia, hypovolemic shock, miscarriage and death.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We are aware that a small number of products containing PMSG are authorised for use in pigs in the UK for the induction and synchronisation of oestrus.

Good management

“However, from extensive enquiries, our understanding is that these products are used very little, if at all, in UK pig production as good management such as boar presence, sow nutrition and proper lighting means that sows naturally return to oestrus after weaning which negates the need to use them.

“It is also important to stress that, as an oestrus synchronisation product for breeding pigs, it would never be used in pigs destined for meat.

“Despite suggestions in the media that this is a story about British pigmeat, we want to make it clear the use of the product is not by any means standard practice in the UK.

“The UK pig industry prides itself on the high standards that underpin our pig production.”

The UK National Office for Animal Health said recovery of the hormone was an authorised practice around the world, but veterinary supervision was required and blood collection limits must be adhered to.

Failed Former Wild Horse Sanctuary Attempts to Derail Rescue Operations

By Elaine Nash

The TruthOnce again, for the record. . .

ISPMB is circulating a rumor that Fleet of Angel and our partner organizations are trying to take the horses away from ISPMB. As we have said before, we have made no effort whatsoever to take the horses from ISPMB, and we don’t plan to. Our role in this massive mission is to protect the ISPMB horses from auction and probably slaughter IF the judge does remove them from ISPMB. It’s not fun in any way, it’s not easy in any way, and it’s not profitable for us to be involved in this effort. It’s quite the opposite, in fact.
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In order to stop the auction of the horses that was scheduled for Dec. 20, we had to pay the hay bill that the counties, which was approximately $78,000.00. We did that. We also had to agree to cover the cost of hay and care going forward. We agreed to do that. We also had to agree to take the horses IF the judge ruled that ISPMB could not keep the horses, and we have also agreed to do that.
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Fleet of Angels and our associates do NOT ‘want’ the horses. What we do want is to do whatever we can to prevent any of the ISPMB horses from suffering or dying IF they are taken from ISPMB because of their inability to meet the requirements laid out in the court order that turned responsibility for feeding and caring of the horses over the the two SD counties the ISPMB is in. It is a massive commitment to accept and care for these horses while they’re being adopted and transported, and we’d love to not need to- but we may need to, in order to save them.
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We do not get involved in efforts to remove horses from anyone, but we do try our best to provide a safety net for horses that are at-risk of suffering or going to slaughter if they are in need of homes. In this case, we are willing to be the safety net for the ISPMB horses for long enough to allow their adopters to arrange for transportation for them to new homes- IF they are no longer owned by ISPMB, and need homes to go to.

The hearing on this matter is scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 27. If asked by the judge to take on Phase II of this mission, we will rely on you to help us help these horses. Thank you all for your support in this effort.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ISPMB.Adoptable.Horses/permalink/1224558907634903/

Wild Horses: Please Comment on BLM’s Plan to Reduce North Lander Complex in Wyoming Herds to Dangerously Low Numbers

by Carol Walker~Director of Field Documentation at Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Published on: Wild Hoofbeats and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horses in the North Lander Complex Herds in Danger of Extinction

The Bureau of Land Management’s Lander, Wyoming Field Office has released a Scoping Document for the North Lander Complex in Wyoming. The most current population count has the numbers of the wild horses in the North Lander Complex to be 1026. They do not differentiate between foals and adult horses in their number, they say 1016 “individuals,” so it is misleading – the BLM is not supposed to count the current year’s foal crop because mortality is high for foals in their first year.

Here are the four Herd Management Areas in the 368,000 acre Complex:
Conant Creek, Dishpan Butte, Muskrat Basin, Rock Creek Mountain
They call it a “complex” because “there is no geographic separation of the HMAs and the gates between them are left open a significant part of the year.”
This is the excuse given for bringing the numbers in 3 of the 4 herds down way below the level needed for genetic viability. However, if there is no separation at all, why are there four different herd management areas?
Horses tend to stay in familiar areas, areas they know where the waterholes, shelter and grazing are located. I would seriously doubt that there is very much intermixing of herds – when visiting the Red Desert Complex, where there are adjacent areas, the horses tend to stay in their range, and there is very little intermixing.

They plan to bring the herds down to these numbers:
Conant Creek 60
Dishpan Butte 50
Muskrat Basin 160
Rock Creek Mountain 50

and end up with a total number of horses for the North Lander Complex of 310.
According to Gus Cothran, the leading geneticist for wild horses, a herd needs a population of at least 150 adults to maintain genetic viability. This plan of the BLM’s which not only brings all but one of the herds down to dangerously low levels also includes giving birth control to all the mares that are released. If the herds are at dangerously low levels it makes absolutely no sens at all to give them birth control. Herds below the minimum number of wild horses for genetic viability should NOT be given any type of birth control. That is dooming them to extinction.
The other issue is that fall is the exact wrong time of year to give PZP to the mares – it should be done in January – March to ensure that it works – they are planning the roundup for the fall of 2017.

They are planning to use helicopters to round up the horses – using helicopters to terrify wild horses so that they run into traps and injure themselves is cruel and inhumane. If they need to round the horses up they should use the far more humane and far less costly method of bait trapping. And they need to keep the families of horses together – this is much less stressful for the horses.

My recommendation is to not remove any of the wild horses from the North Lander Complex, keep the herds at genetically viable levels, and to use bait trapping to round them up and give birth control to the mares at the correct time of the year. If they are going to give them PZP they need to follow up in the next few years because otherwise they will not be able to maintain the numbers of the wild horses. Management of these wild horses should be done on the range. Wild Horses should not be removed from their families and their homes and warehoused at holding facilities with no shelter where they become a burden on the taxpayer and are likely to end up at slaughter. Yes, the Scoping Documents and Environmental Assessments should include what happens the the wild horses that the BLM proposes to remove after they are removed – this is extremely relevant to the action that they are proposing.

Please comment by January 31, 2017 by 4pm Mountain Time, and use your own words – the BLM counts the group emails that you sign your name to as one.

Here is the scoping document:

https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/70450/93476/112583/North_Lander_Scoping_2016.pdf

and here is where you can send your comments:
Please email your comments to:

wy_north_lander_gather@blm.gov

Comments may also be mailed or hand delivered to:

Mr. Clay Stott
Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
BLM
Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
Lander, Wyoming 82520
(307) 332-8400

This scoping notice and all other future documents corresponding with this action will be posted on the BLM’s ePlanning site at:

http://bit.ly/2017_North_Lander_Gather

The website can be accessed by the general public. The EA will be posted to this site and there will be a 30-day comment period at that time.

You may obtain a paper copy of these documents by contacting the BLM Lander Field Office at the address or telephone number listed above.

http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/blog/wild-horses-please-comment-on-blms-plan-to-reduce-north-lander-complex-in-wyoming-herds-to-dangerously-low-numbers