Wild Horse & Burro Crisis – Your Action Is Urgently Needed

Support from our good friends at Equine Advocates

Wild Horse Crisis!

Survival of America’s Wild Horses & Burros Threatened!

Horse Slaughter Crisis!

This Repulsive and Un-American Practice Could Return to U.S. Soil for the First Time Since 2007!

Both of these vital equine issues are now hanging like large clouds over our country where the vast majority of Americans disagree with what some politicians are trying to pull off to satisfy special interests in the ranching, oil & gas, mining and horse industries. The history of both issues are long and complicated.

For right now, however, we have a RED ALERT, so please take action now:

The House Appropriations Committee recently passed the Stewart Amendment which would allow for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under the Department of Interior to kill 92,000 healthy Wild Horses and Burros. Most will end up being slaughtered. This is not only outrageous and barbaric, but goes directly against the will of 80% of the American People who want them preserved and protected. The Senate Interior Appropriations Committee can do the right thing and decide to prevent the killing of these animals when they hold a hearing on this matter during the week of September 18th.

  1. Please take the time to call your two U.S. Senators. You can reach them at this number: (202) 224-3121 which is the switchboard for the U.S. Senate.
  2. Please identify yourself, providing your name and address.
  3. Tell them that you want the protections of Wild Horses and Burros in the 2018 Spending Bill for the Department of the Interior to remain and prohibit the killing and slaughter of our Wild Horses and Burros.
  4. Also call the two leaders of the Interior Appropriations Sub-Committee, Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tom Udall (D-NM) and express the same sentiments to them.

There is no time to waste!  Please act now!   Thank you!

After you act, please read on:

  • What we do know is that Americans do not want Wild and Domestic Equines slaughtered for food. We want a law banning horse slaughter and horse slaughterhouses from operating in the U.S. as well as banning the transport of any live equines from the U.S. across our borders into Mexico and Canada for slaughter or to any other country for that purpose.
  • We want our Wild Horses and Burros preserved and protected. We want the round-ups to stop and we want the Wild Mustangs and Burros being held captive in holding facilities “managed” by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) turned back out on the range. We want the BLM dismantled and a new agency with real experts who can get together on ways to humanely manage and preserve these animals on the range to take over with a new approach that honors the will and sentiment of the vast majority of the American People on this issue.

However, right now, there exists a political climate in this country unlike anything we have seen in more than a decade.  There are more horse slaughter proponents in the current administration assuming positions of power than ever before, including two Cabinet members, Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue.

In addition, Forrest Lucas, billionaire oilman (Lucas Oil; Lucas Oil Stadium), rancher, horse slaughter proponent, and founder of the anti-animal lobbying group, Protect the Harvest, has been given access to the executive branch and has used his influence to add horse slaughter proponents and those committed to the destruction of our Wild Horses and Burros to this administration.  These are just three of many horse slaughter supporters, including Members of Congress, Governors and other elected and appointed officials working to take this country backwards and return horse slaughter to U.S. soil.

No Wild or Domestic Equine has been legally slaughtered in this country since 2007.  There also have been many Scientific Studies and White Papers released since 2010 to further support the many reasons why horses should not be slaughtered for food. One is the 2010 landmark study on the serious health risks for people who eat the meat of equines treated with the common drug Phenylbutazone or “Bute” for short. Click here to read that study.

Another is the 2015 Chapman University Study documenting the presence of horse meat in some chopped meat products in the American food supply.  Click here for this study.

On August 1, 2017, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) issued a White Paper, the result of years of research. It exposes the corruption within the BLM and its shocking and deadly agenda for America’s Wild Horses and Burros.

The WHFF documents vast discrepancies in BLM records, including the numbers of horses in certain BLM holding facilities, the numbers captured, the ones that disappeared, as well as many discrepancies pertaining to financial matters, including the misappropriation of funds.

Please take the time to read this important WHFF White Paper and the Exhibits (exhibits are on a separate tab at the bottom of the page).

What More You Can Do:

  • Please use these important documents and take them to your elected officials to illustrate why horse slaughter should be banned entirely and not allowed to return to the U.S. and why Wild Horses and Burros should be preserved and protected – and not destroyed which is the government’s agenda right now.
  • Please use Equine Advocates’ Horse Slaughter Fact Sheet 2016 as a guide as well.
  • It is imperative that you contact your members of Congress in the House of Representatives (we all have just one) and your two U.S. Senators as soon as possible (preferably during this month of September 2017) and let them know that you oppose the return of horse slaughter and that you want protections of Wild Horses and Burros restored and their sale to slaughter banned.

Please stay tuned as we provide updates and new developments about these two vital issues facing America’s horses.  To receive our online alerts, please click here:

Time is of the essence!

Thank you!

 

 Hayden & Nelson, rescued Wild American Mustangs residing at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY.  Photo by Kara Heniges.

East Texas Equine Evacuation / Disaster Relief Network

“Elaine Nash is hard at it again…if you can help, please do so.” ~ R.T.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EastTexasEquineEvacuationNetwork/

Horse Slaughter, Wild Horses & Burros; Senate Save – House Kill, What the Heck Does It All Mean?

Source: ASPCA

“Today we share with you a recap of recent legislative events that impact the future health, safety and well being of not only our domestic equines but also our federally protected wild horses and burros. Today’s news round up comes from the ASPCA and is a very readable article that helps to clarify the whirlwind of events and future legislative action relative to the wild ones, we thank the ASPCA for putting this together.

Likewise, we would like to recognize Neda DeMayo and the efforts of RTF for keeping us up to date and focused on the events of the past several weeks…many thanks.

With all that said, you have not heard much, specifically, from Wild Horse Freedom Federation; there is a reason for that so please allow me to briefly explain why.

As I type, every single member of our Legal Staff, Directors, Officers and volunteers at WHFF have their collective nose’s to the grindstone putting the final polishing on a five year project that is ensured to raise eyebrows, shine a light on the truth and give both legislators and the public the tools that they need to further the protection of our wild horses and burros. We stand at the brink.

Stimulate your curiosity? Then stay tuned, remain focused and keep the faith…we will prevail, my friends. Until then, may the Force of the Horse be with you.” ~ R.T.


photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The ayes have it! That was the Chairman’s call Thursday morning in the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee after it passed the Udall-Graham-Coons-Feinstein-Reed-Collins-Shaheen Amendment to prevent horse slaughter plants from reopening on U.S. soil.

This amendment to the fiscal year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill is the Senate’s response to the House Appropriations Committee’s narrow, disappointing failure to pass a similar provision last week (in a 25-27 final count). It also means we have a fighting chance to retain the horse slaughter prohibition in the final law when it passes.

The House and Senate each work on a different version of the annual Appropriations bill. Once both House and Senate have passed their respective bills, they merge them together and decide which provisions to keep and which to toss. The key to our ultimate success for horses is to ask both chambers, particularly leadership, to retain this important prohibition.

For more than a decade, Congress has rejected the idea that the government should spend our tax money subsidizing horse slaughter. Outcry from voters, animal welfare advocates, equine rescues, horse industry groups, veterinarians, farmers and therapy organizations has been extremely compelling for most legislators.

Polling at the federal and state levels has repeatedly and resoundingly demonstrated that Americans view horses as companions, not food. As work and therapy animals, athletes and friends to young riders, horses have served us well. Allowing them to be served to diners overseas is not acceptable.

While this amendment cannot completely prevent all horse slaughter, we have seen encouraging statistics this year showing a dramatic 44% decline in the number of American horses taken over our borders for slaughter. We are on the right track, and once we are sure horse slaughter plants are not allowed to operate on our soil we will direct our energy to passing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 113). This bill would permanently prevent horse slaughter in this country as well as halt the transport of our horses to Mexico and Canada for this gruesome purpose.

The future of our nation’s wild horses was also considered this week—by the same House committee that opened the door for slaughter last week. Not surprisingly, the committee approved an amendment to allow the killing of thousands of healthy wild mustangs.

The U.S. has protected wild horses and burros from wholesale massacre for decades, but the Trump budget proposal seeks to allow the government to take the lives of thousands of horses held captive in holding pens. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) offered this amendment to remove protections against killing any wild horse, and it passed over the strong objections of many members of the committee. We must speak out against lethal measures like this, and we must prevent the Senate from voting the same way.

Congress takes the month of August off. With this recess looming, we encourage advocates who want to ensure we win these fights to engage their federal legislators back at home in their districts and states. If you want to help wild and domestic horses, please join the ASPCA’s Horse Action Team and we’ll arm you with the information you need.

Today: The Horses and Burros Won a Battle, Tomorrow: The War Rages On

Many thanks to RTF and Neda DeMayo for this update!

“Senate Says NO to Horse Slaughter

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved, on a voice vote, an amendment barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from hiring horsemeat inspectors – keeping alive the effort to prevent legal horse slaughter from returning to our country.

That’s good news — but there’s still much to be done.

In the days ahead, the Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the interior appropriations bill, which includes the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Despite the same committee voting against horse slaughter today, recent votes in the House show that we cannot take it for granted that the committee will reject proposals to kill wild horses.

The situation in Washington, D.C., is much too precarious not to keep pushing.

Please call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (if you reach a full voicemail, look for district office phone numbers on your senators’ webpages and call them) and tell your senators:

* I oppose any provision that allows the Bureau of Land Management to kill wild horses,

* and I oppose any attempt to remove sale restrictions, opening the door for BLM to sell wild horses to kill buyers.

Proven, humane solutions that would enable the BLM to manage wild horses on the range are available. We do not need to kill national icons.

Return to Freedom appreciates the bipartisan leadership of anti-slaughter amendment sponsor Sen. Tom Udall and co-sponsors Sens. Lindsey Graham, Christopher Coons, Susan Collins, Dianne Feinstein, Jack Reed and Jeanne Shaheen.

Most of all, though, we at RTF and other advocacy groups are grateful for all of you who have called Congress – whether for the first time or the 50th – and encouraged friends and family to do the same. Thank you!

It is true that we are up against powerful interests intent on ridding the West of wild horses.

The opposition has been effective in sowing mistruths about wild horses starving across the range and casting doubt on fertility control vaccines recommended by the National Academy of Sciences and proven safe and effective at our own sanctuary and in many other projects and studies.

Not on our watch, we say.

What wild horses have on their side that can be even more powerful than our opponents’ deep pockets are the voices of the American people, who consistently and overwhelmingly reject slaughter and continue to stand by these living symbols of freedom.

So, keep going. Keep calling. Keep spreading the word.

The future of America’s herds depends on all of us.

Horse Slaughter Vote a Setback, but There’s No Time to Let Up!

Source: Return to Freedom, endorsed by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Attention now turns immediately to the 2018 Interior Appropriations Bill that could potentially threaten the lives of tens of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros.  

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation and other advocacy groups on Wednesday expressed disappointment in the House Appropriations Committee’s vote opening the door to horse slaughter, but urged supporters of wild horses and burros to keep the pressure on Congress.

“While today’s vote is disheartening for the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose horse slaughter, there may be critical votes as soon as next week that could further threaten the lives of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom.

“We must redouble our efforts and stand strong for America’s wild horses.”

The full House Appropriations committee voted 27-25 to reject the Roybal-Allard/Dent horse slaughter defund amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Find out how members of the Appropriations Committee voted by clicking here.

Because there is no permanent federal ban on horse slaughter, advocates push annually for an amendment barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from hiring horsemeat plans inspectors to effectively keep a ban in place. Advocates may have another chance to turn back slaughter when the Ag Appropriations Bill goes to the full House for approval in the weeks ahead.

Attention now turns immediately to the 2018 Interior Appropriations Bill that could potentially threaten the lives of tens of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros.  

A draft version of the Interior Appropriations Bill OKed by the House Interior Subcommittee, also on Wednesday, does not include provisions called for by the administration that would have allowed the Bureau of Land Management to kill healthy horses or sell captive animals without restriction.

While that’s good news, advocates must not be complacent. An amendment calling for inclusion of those deadly provisions could be offered when the full committee meets again, likely next week, so it’s critical that advocates continue making themselves heard.

TAKE ACTION

  • Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask to be connected to your representative;
  • Tell staff that your wish to urge your congressperson to oppose any provision that would allow the Bureau of Land Management to kill wild horses or to remove sale restrictions that would open the door for BLM to sell horses and burros to someone who would sell them for slaughter;
  • If your representative is not on the Appropriations Committee, please urge him or her to oppose horse slaughter when the Ag Appropriations Bill goes to the floor, as well as any provisions that could harm wild horses in the Interior Appropriations Bill.
  • Please be sure to mention that humane solutions that would enable the management of wild horses and burros on the range have long been available.

These solutions include not only using safe, proven fertility control but revisiting population targets, based on a fair interpretation of multiple-use land management; providing incentives for ranchers who reduce livestock grazing in wild horse Herd Management Areas; increasing range stewardship, including much-needed water source restoration; and relocating horses, but only if truly necessary.

Feel Good Sunday: Studies Show that Women Who are Horse Guardians Live Longer than Those Who Aren’t

Source: Breaking News247.net

“The next pressing question should be; ‘Do men who live with female horse guardians live longer?’ or maybe more to the point, ‘Do men who live with female horse guardians have more money?’, just asking.  Have a Feel Good Sunday.” ~ R.T.


Equine photographer Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation with several members of the rescued Fitch herd ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

Recent studies done in Western NC, Northern Virginia and northern Florida involving various groups of “horsey” and non “horsey women are showing some startling results. The double blind study followed women in different age groups over a forty year time frame to capture this objective data.

The study grouped women into two groups of horse (for at least five years) & non-horse owners and then further into ten year age spans. The most significant spike in longevity came at the 65-75 age span which showed highest disparity at 20 longer lives for horse women.

Researchers point to the facts of higher forms of exercise, outdoor exposure and socialization of the horse women as likely contributing to the longevity but the women agree that their horses often contribute to their sense of well-being and as a group, these women also tended to be less symptomatic in high blood pressure, diabetes and general heart conditions.

Great News! New York Senate Votes to Increase Penalties for Animal Cruelty Offenses

Story by as published on One Green Planet.org

People convicted of serious animal cruelty crimes will now be banned from owning companion animals.

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

We have some great news for animals! The New York state Senate passed legislation on June 6, 2017, that would increase penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty. This legislation was sponsored by Republican Senator James Tedisco, and it received support from both major parties. According to Tedisco, “It’s the most bipartisan, nonpartisan day of the session … It’s a privilege to have an animal; it’s your responsibility to take care of them.”

People convicted of serious animal cruelty crimes will now be banned from owning companion animals. Additionally, they voted to double the jail time and fines for these crimes, from two years in prison and a $5,000 fine to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Those convicted will also be required to undergo a psychological evaluation. There is also a bill before the assembly that would make harming an animal a felony during the act of another felony, such as a burglary.

This is amazing news considering so many cases of animal cruelty either don’t get reported or when they do come to court, the penalties are hardly enough to deter people from repeating similar offenses. We are thrilled New York has made this major step to fight animal cruelty, especially since cases of animal cruelty have often gone overlooked and underpunished. We hope this is a sign there will be more improvements in animal cruelty laws across the nation.

Please share this good news with your friends and family!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/new-york-senate-votes-to-increase-penalties-for-animal-cruelty/

Remember the Horse Cavalry This Memorial Day

Reprint from Saratoga Stalls

Thank and pay respect to a horse and donkey as you remember our amazing fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance that echoes throughout the United States.  Families, friends and loved ones often gather in celebration of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  The last Monday in May, and the weekend beforehand, is a much needed break in our routine.  Some families take this moment to teach about our country’s history and past relatives who laid down their lives while others simply enjoy the long weekend off of work.  If you view Memorial Day as an opportunity to revisit the sacrifices that have made our country great, don’t forget about the amazing horse cavalry of the American Revolution, Civil War, World War I and World War II.

Though there are still small examples of horse regiments in modern day warfare, using mounts in war started to lose popularity as modern technology, think tanks and Jeeps, soared during the World Wars.  Historically, however, brave battle horses filled numerous roles in supporting the soldiers for more than 5000 years.  They were trained and used for details such as charging enemy lines, reconnaissance, transportation of goods and soldiers, and very importantly, companionship.

When settlers began to arrive in the Americas, they learned military methods from the indigenous tribes that they encountered.  This new style of trench fighting, combined with equine support, was crucial in helping the United States win the Revolutionary War and its independence from England.  Can you imagine where the USA would be today if she hadn’t had the support of horse troops during America’s war of independence?  The United States of Great Britain doesn’t flow well, does it?

The Civil War was a long and bloody conflict, and was especially hard on the horses of America. In our Memorial Day remembrance this year, let’s realize that thousands of horses died in the Battle of Gettysburg alone.  Confederate General J.O. Shelby was reported to have had 24 horses shot from under him during the war.  In total, the Civil War claimed more than one million mares, stallions and geldings, with some estimates of horses and mule lives lost hovering around three million.  That’s five horse or mule lives given for every soldier life lost… horses that had been taken from local homes and farms to fight in the war.  Bullets, bombs, overexertion, starvation, illness, and worse took these horses to their resting place.

Thank and pay respect to a horse as you remember our amazing fallen soldiers.

Poems, songs and stories have been written to honor the multitude of military mounts that have helped the United States military win the fame and freedom it enjoys today.  In a couple of special cases, the horse itself was actually preserved and is still on display for the public.  The KU Natural History Museum currently displays Comanche, the gelding ridden by Captain Myles Keogh at the Battle of Little Bighorn.  Additionally, Little Sorrel, Thomas Stonewall Jackson’s respected Morgan, can be viewed  at the Natural Museum of American History in Washington DC.

Though not as prevalent, horses continue to play an important role in today’s armed forces.  Battle trained horses have mostly disappeared but the US Special Forces and Marines have used mounted patrol in other ways during recent training and conflicts.  Local law enforcement and State Park Rangers also appreciate the mobility of having horse units on patrol for certain events and in difficult to access areas.

So with this reminder of the great role horses have played in America’s military past, let’s take a bit of time out of this holiday weekend to do something special for our favorite horses.  Whether you bring them special treats, take them on an interesting new ride route or simply stop by to give them a little extra time and grooming, your horse will appreciate your attentions.

The Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor our fallen soldiers, their mounts included.  This holiday is a privilege granted to us by the sacrifices of both man and horse, a fact that, hopefully, many will remember.

http://saratogastalls.com/remember-the-horse-cavalry-this-memorial-day.html

Girl Who Couldn’t Speak Uttered First Words to Donkey: ‘I Love You’

by Leigh Scheps of Inside Edition

Feel Good Sunday

The first thing Amber Austwick ever said out loud was “I love you” to a donkey. The 6-year-old is a twin who was born prematurely at 26 weeks. She suffered from complications at birth that forced doctors to perform a tracheotomy. Amber never said a word until she met her four-legged friend at this donkey sanctuary. Her time there is therapeutic, and since her introduction to the donkey, Amber’s become a lot more confident.

To ALL Mothers Great or Small: We Love and Honor You This Day!

“It is my most sincere hope that no Mother visits this blog, today, but instead is with her family celebrating this day of life and hope.  But should some stray, animal loving mom stray a bit and visit us we would like to dedicate the blog to you and all mothers regardless off number of legs, wings or fins.

Today is yours, we love you all!!!” ~ R.T.