Fleet of Angels Update: WE’RE PACKIN’ UP AND MOVIN’!

by Elaine Nash

“…we have transported most of the 313 remaining horses to Colorado to our beautiful new adoption hub in Fort Collins.”

After a two-month long stay in Faith, SD- 30 miles from the ISPMB location, Barbara Joe Rasmussen and I are heading to Fort Collins, Colorado today to join the Hallelujah Horses and our new crew there for the final phase of this massive mission.
.
Fleet of Angels launched this mission on October 14, 2016 at the request of the SD State’s Attorney. We all dove in and worked like mad to set up a workable process, and as a result, we were able to adopt out over 270 of the 900+ at-risk ISPMB horses by December 22, 2016- the number that was allowed by the court order that was in place at that time.
.
We continued working to recruit adopters through the holidays, assuming that more horses would need us as soon as the state’s legal maneuverings allowed it. We returned to the project on January 26, 2017 when a new court order was put in place that removed all but 20 of the 600+ horses from ISPMB ownership and turned them over to Fleet of Angels to care for, manage, and find good homes for. (We were not involved in the legal aspect, but had offered to be a safety net for the horses if the courts removed them from ISPMB, to prevent their being sold at auction and the likely slaughter of most of them. In order to save them, we- thanks to a group of incredible donors, reimbursed the counties over $150,000.00 to prevent their being auctioned on December 20, 2016.)
.
Now, five and a half months later- with the help of a LOT of people and organizations, we have adopted out and transported a total of almost 600 horses to approved homes, and we have transported most of the 313 remaining horses to Colorado to our beautiful new adoption hub in Fort Collins. (Our two shippers will make one more trip this week, and then all of the remaining horses will be in Colorado.) Of the 313 still under our care, about 175 horses still need homes (IF all pending adopters who have committed to take from two to a herd of 75 horses come through).
.
For the month of April, we will be working to get the remaining horses adopted and transported, with the goal being to finish this mission by the end of the month of April. PLEASE HELP US IF YOU CAN. We need adoptive homes for 175+ horses, and we need funds to cover the costs of feed, facility use, ground team workers, lodging for some of the workers, and transportation. Literally every dollar helps, and every penny is pinched. 🙂 Our donation page is: www.ispmbhorserescuemission.org.
.
Special thanks for helping us get this far, so far, to Neda DeMayo and Return to Freedom and the Wild Horse Sanctuary Alliance, Patricia Griffin-Soffel and the Patricia Griffin-Soffel Equine Rescue Foundation, ASPCA, Victoria McCullough and the Triumph Project, Lauri Elizabeth Armstrong and Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang, Shirley Puga and the National Equine Resource Network, HSUS, and MANY OTHERS for helping us help these horses. Please help us finish this job, so every horse in this mission has a good, loving, lifetime home.

Teamwork works!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ISPMB.Adoptable.Horses/permalink/1283727228384737/

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

‘Skin Trade’ Donkeys ‘Waiting to Die’ at ‘Horrific’ Markets

by as published on Horse and Hound

“There’s about 700 donkeys coming here to wait to die. There’s no food, there’s no water…”

The ‘horrific’ conditions facing donkeys in markets in Tanzania have been highlighted by welfare groups.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Alex Mayers and Thomas Kahema, founder of The Tanzanian Animal Welfare Society, recently visited a donkey market in Tanzania believed to be serving the skin trade.

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

During an emotional video, Mr Mayers described conditions for the donkeys as they waited to die.

“The market is far worse than I expected,” he said.

“There’s about 700 donkeys coming here to wait to die. There’s no food, there’s no water.

There’s very little reaction from the donkeys to the people, they’re very stressed.”

“Lots are showing signs of dehydration and hunger. Everything about these donkeys is really switched off — it’s really hard to see.

“The donkeys are dying every day.”…(CONTINUED)

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/skin-trade-donkeys-waiting-die-horrendous-markets-613811

Scientists Agree: It’s Time To End The War On Wildlife

By Collette Adkins, Contributor as published on The Huffington Post

“Wild horses and burros survived centuries in perfect balance and harmony without the intervention of humans.  The removal of natural predators upsets the natural balance and the crisis rolls downhill initiating even more violent intervention by humans.  If we, as humans, would step back and cease attempting to manage something that does not require to be controlled the world would be a much better place to live for humans and animals alike.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.


“Today’s predator control is widespread in the American West…”

coyote-crueltyKilling large predators to reduce livestock conflicts or benefit game populations has long been thought to be ineffective — and devastating for ecosystems — and a growing body of scientific literature criticizing the widespread practice is confirming those fears.

Most recently, this month, the Journal of Mammalogy — a highly respected international scientific journal and flagship publication for the American Society of Mammalogists — published a special collection of articles criticizing lethal control of predators such as wolves and grizzlies.

Today’s predator control is widespread in the American West and has its origins in barbaric 20th century, government-sponsored predator eradication programs. Those utilized poisons and bounties to drive grizzly bears and wolves to the brink of extinction.

Thanks to the protection of the Endangered Species Act — which has saved more than 99 percent of the plants and animals under its protection and put hundreds on the road to recovery — the grizzly bear and wolf have begun to recover. But as these large carnivores expand their population size and range, people have once again called for lethal control to address livestock depredations and inflate game populations.

In states where gray wolves have lost their federal protections, such as Idaho, state managers dead set on killing the predators established aggressive hunting seasons and lethal depredation controls. After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing Yellowstone grizzly bears from the list of federally protected species, states like Montana moved quickly to establish hunting seasons.

Then there’s the coyote, a predator lacking protection at state or federal levels and a primary target of predator control programs across the U.S. Tens of thousands of these resilient predators are killed each year by a highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture known as Wildlife Services.

The numbers of predators killed by Wildlife Services is staggering. The latest kill report shows Wildlife Services in fiscal year 2015 killed more than 3.2 million animals, including 68,905 coyotes (plus an unknown number of pups in 492 destroyed dens), 385 gray wolves, 284 mountain lions, 731 bobcats and 3,437 foxes.

This level of human-caused mammalian predator mortality is damaging native ecosystems and biodiversity. The lead article in the Journal of Mammalogy’s special feature on lethal control — “Carnivore conservation: shifting the paradigm from control to coexistence” — summarizes studies on the essential role of apex predators like wolves and grizzlies and mesopredators like coyotes and foxes in maintaining ecosystem function. A well-known example is how wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone created a trophic cascade that enriched riparian songbird communities.

Given the ecological importance of wolves and other predators, scientists are calling for implementation of nonlethal methods to prevent livestock depredations.

The authors of “Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf-sheep conflict in Idaho” in the special feature document a seven-year pilot project in prime Idaho wolf habitat, highlighting the adaptive use of a suite of nonlethal deterrents to protect sheep. Those nonlethal methods reduced sheep depredation by more than three times the reductions seen on sheep allotments in Idaho that used lethal control.

Another study featured, “Cattle mortality on a predator friendly station in central Australia,” found that ending lethal control may in itself — even without implementing nonlethal methods — reduce livestock losses by simply enabling the predator’s social structure to stabilize.

Not only are aggressive lethal controls ineffective, they have actually been found to increase livestock losses, as was found among gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. Scientists demonstrated similar results from aggressive lethal control of cougars, which replaces adult males with immigrating adolescent males that are more likely to depredate. Other studies show that lethal control of wolves may be merely shifting depredation from cattle to sheep because coyotes replace the wolves and target smaller livestock.

As for predator control to benefit game populations, a meta-analysis of 113 predator removal experiments found that the intended beneficiary prey population actually declined in 54 of them.

In addition to the ecological and wildlife policy concerns with lethal control of predators, public acceptance of lethal predator control methods appears to be declining. While the public supports the need for livestock producers to protect their animals, foot or leghold traps, snares and poisons are viewed by the majority of the public to be so inhumane their use should not be allowed.

With all the issues surrounding lethal predator control, one would hope livestock producers would have help in implementing nonlethal alternatives. Yet very few states have any permanent programs to protect livestock from depredations using nonlethal methods comparable to the federal Wildlife Services lethal control program.

With scientific evidence against carnivore controls mounting, it is time to finally stop the cruel, senseless killing and start utilizing smart, nonlethal methods that actually work, benefiting both livestock and these majestic wild animals.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scientists-agree-its-time-to-end-the-war-on-wildlife_us_58a77e73e4b026a89a7a2b08

People Are Killing Millions Of Donkeys Just For Their Skins

Story by as published on The Dodo

Warning: Graphic Content – What they’re used for is such a waste

Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro affairs at WHFF, and her good friend Miss Abby ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro affairs at WHFF, and her good friend Miss Abby ~ photo by Terry Fitch

For centuries, in rural cultures across the globe, one animal has been an important part of the family, helping to keep farms and villages running.

Not only do millions of people depend on donkeys for practical purposes — many donkeys are seen more and more as smart and loyal pets.

But this friendship between people and donkeys is increasingly threatened by a growing trade in something you’ve probably never even heard of: “ejiao,” (also known as “colla corii asini” or “donkey hide glue”) a kind of gelatin made from donkey skin — and demand for ejiao is killing literally millions of donkeys per year.

A new report from The Donkey Sanctuary in the U.K. shows just how massive this emerging global trade really is. At least 1.8 million donkey skins are being traded each year — but it could be between 4 million and 10 million. The trade is difficult to track and until now hasn’t been studied at such a large scale.

“Our report reveals the shocking scale of this global trade and how it’s causing a chain of welfare issues for the donkeys at every step, from sourcing to transport and finally to slaughter,” Mike Baker, chief executive of The Donkey Sanctuary, told The Dodo in a statement.

“Ejiao is a medicine with ancient roots and has been promoted as a product worthy of emperors,” the report says, explaining that traditional herbalists in China claim that ejiao can increase libido, slow aging and prevent disease. But ejiao has not been recognized as having medicinal properties by western medicine.

dead-donkeysThis belief means that donkeys are becoming more valuable for their skins, and therefore harder for rural families to afford. Even the loyal donkeys families already have are at risk. It is becoming more common for donkeys to be stolen right out of a family’s yard and slaughtered for their skins.

While exports of donkey skins come from South America and Asia, the largest source is in Africa, where donkeys (many of them stolen) are rounded up in “donkey markets,” where they are often packed together and left without shelter from the hot sun and without food or water, while they await slaughter.

Often, after the skins are removed, the bodies of the donkeys are burned.

“The market is far worse than I expected,” said Alex Mayers, program manager at The Donkey Sanctuary, from a donkey market in Tanzania last week. “There are about 700 donkeys basically coming here to wait to die. There’s no food or water. The donkeys are very stressed. There are lots of signs of dehydration and hunger.”

But there is hope.

Some countries have already taken action and banned exports of donkey skins, making their donkeys much safer. This includes the African countries of Niger and Burkina Faso, and Pakistan, in Asia.

The Donkey Sanctuary is calling for a stop to the trade of donkey skins worldwide, so that the damage already done to donkey populations and the people who depend on them can be assessed.

overview-mapIn particular, we urge other countries affected by this trade to follow the lead taken by Burkina Faso and Niger and ban the slaughter and export of donkeys for their skins,” Suzi Cretney, public relations manager for The Donkey Sanctuary, told The Dodo.

Cretney said that raising public awareness about where ejiao really comes from could help consumers make better choices.

“We are asking countries to follow the lead by Burkina Faso and Niger to end the slaughter and export of donkeys for their skins because it could help thousands, if not millions of donkeys — their welfare, and their real value supporting people’s livelihoods is at risk,” Baker said.

“This has to stop,” Mayers said, standing by a pen packed with donkeys awaiting their fate. “This absolutely just has to stop.”

To get action alerts about how you can help save these donkeys, join the campaign.

Click (HERE) for video and graphic photos!

https://www.thedodo.com/donkey-skin-trade-2230693220.html

Utah Rep. Withdraws Public Land Sale Bill After Massive Public Outcry

as published on The Idaho Statesman

“A Clear Victory for Native Wild Horses and Burros…”

keepitpublicUtah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he will withdraw a bill ordering the Interior Secretary to sell or dispose of more than 3.3 million acres of public land.

Chaffetz had just reintroduced the bill when his office and Instagram account were flooded with protests from angry hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

“I am withdrawing HR 621,” Chaffetz tweeted late Wednesday. “I’m a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands.”

H.R. 621 was based on a 20-year-old report that Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt ordered to see what among the possibly disposable Bureau of Land Management land was available for sale or trade to complete the Everglades Restoration effort.

The 1997 report clearly showed that many of the parcels spread out across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming had impediments to sale, including high disposal costs, critical natural or cultural resources, wildlife habitat, mineral claims, leases and hazardous conditions.

When he rolled out the bill earlier this week, Chaffetz said the land serves “no purpose for taxpayers.” His bill also would open the door to sales of other lands.

But he changed his tune Wednesday…

Welfare Ranching Grazing Fee Drops in 2017, Further Undervaluing Public Lands

Source: The Wildlife News

“This has got to be the cheapest all-you-can-eat buffet deal in the country,”

Welfare Cows eat more of your wallet and Wild Horse & Burro Habitat

Welfare Cows eat more of your wallet and Wild Horse & Burro Habitat

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The public lands management agencies announced the grazing fee for federal allotments today, which the federal government has decreased to a mere $1.87 per cow and her calf (or 5 sheep) per month, known as an Animal Unit Month, or AUM.

“This has got to be the cheapest all-you-can-eat buffet deal in the country,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “Our public lands are a national treasure that should be protected for future generations with responsible stewardship. It makes no sense to rent them to ranchers for below-market prices to prop up a dying industry that degrades soil productivity, water, wildlife habitat, and the health of the land.”

Two hundred and twenty million acres of public lands in the West are used for private livestock industry profits through the management of approximately 22,000 grazing permits. The low fee leaves the federal program at an overwhelming deficit. This year’s fee is a a decrease of 11 percent from last year’s fee of $2.11 per AUM far less than the average cost for private lands grazing leases.  The fee is calculated using a decades-old formula that takes into account the price of fuel and the price of beef, and this year’s fee falls far below the level of $2.31 per AUM that was charged in 1980. Additionally, the fee doesn’t cover the cost to taxpayers of range infrastructure, erosion control, vegetation manipulation, and government predator killing – all indirect subsidies that expand the program’s total deficit.

“The subsidy to public lands livestock grazers just got bigger,” Molvar said. “It’s a totally unjustified handout that persists for purely political reasons, with little or no benefit to Americans.”

Under the Skin – Donkeys at Risk

Source: The Donkey Sanctuary

donkeys-at-risk

Right now, millions of donkeys from Asia, Africa and South America are at risk of being stolen and slaughtered for their skins – the gelatin in the hide being a key ingredient in the prized traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao (e-gee-yow).

A new report by The Donkey Sanctuary reveals the shocking scale of this global demand for donkey skins – a demand that is unsustainable, whilst simultaneously causing mass-scale suffering to donkeys and risking the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on them.

Read here about the serious issues being faced and act now to add your voice to our campaign and help us curb this trade.

To learn more: https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/under-the-skin

Travel Spotlight: Meet the Wild Burros of Oatman, Arizona

by Shannon Cheesman as published on 10news.com

“Oatman’s burros are quite used to travelers and we found them to be very friendly…”

Oatman Wild BurrosOATMAN, Ariz. (KGTV) — It was just beyond a weathered ‘Welcome to Oatman, Arizona‘ sign that we saw them — the famous wild burros we heard were a staple in the old mining town along historic Route 66.

“There they are!” I proclaimed excitedly.

My husband smiled and slowed the car, then rolled down his window to get a better look. One of the wild burros came straight to the window and my husband, completely bemused, reached out his hand to pet the animal.

After a quick hello, the burro rejoined the rest of its group and we followed them in to town. And like every other tourist who stops in Oatman, we took plenty of pictures with the burros. It’s what you do.

Oatman’s burros are quite used to travelers and we found them to be very friendly, although once they discovered we didn’t have any feed (which can be purchased in town), they started to lose interest.

A local from nearby Bullhead City, Arizona, did, however, have some feed for the burros and they quickly circled him. “I come up here all the time,” he told us. “I love the burros.”

He did have one smart tip for us — don’t ever stand behind them (because they just might kick). They are wild, after all.

A hundred years ago, the ancestors of these wild burros were indispensable to miners who set up camp in Oatman — they hauled rock and ore, and carried essential supplies.

Oatman’s mining days are long gone nowadays, but burros have remained in the area and become quite the attraction.

According to the townsfolk, the burros come down from the hills in the morning, spend the day in town, and then head back in the evening.

If You Go

Oatman is located in Arizona’s Black Mountains and it’s quite a drive from San Diego — about 5 1/2 hours — so you’ll want to plan to spend at least a few days in the area to make it worth the trip.

Laughlin, Nevada, for example, is about 45 minutes away and offers reasonable hotel rates at the casinos. And for RVers, there are plenty of scenic spots to set up camp along the nearby Colorado River.

VIEW MAP

 

Oatman is a living, breathing town with shops, eateries and plenty of things to look at that take you back in time to the old mining days.

Stick around long enough during your stop and you just might catch a good old-fashioned shootout — ‘cowboys’ put on daily shows right on Main Street.

And you won’t want to miss the Oatman Hotel’s ‘Dollar Bill Bar’ — a saloon covered floor to ceiling in dollar bills. Visitors are invited to write a message on their own dollar bill and staple it to the wall. Digital Journalist Kari Van Horn with our sister station in Phoenix recently shared this backstory of the Dollar Bill Bar:
Back in the early 1900s, Oatman, Arizona was a tent city turned mining town located along Route 66. The Oatman Hotel, called the Drulin Hotel, was established in 1902 and served as a popular rest stop. Travelers would rest their feet at the Restaurant and Bar then try to catch some z’s in one of the famously haunted rooms and get there with some great discounted travel deals. Guests share tales of playful spirits that find entertainment in raising glasses and lifting money off the bar at the saloon.
When the miners received their paychecks, they would write their name on a dollar and stick it on the wall. This served as a tab of sorts. If the patron needed extra cash to pay their tab during return visits, they would find their name on the wall and bring the dollar to their waitress.

The town also puts on some great events throughout the year, like the ‘Great Oatman Bed Race’ that’s coming up at the end of January and their annual July 4 ‘Egg Frying Contest.’

For more:

FUN FACT: Actors Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon at the Oatman Hotel on March 18, 1939. You can see their honeymoon suite if you visit the hotel. Gable was fond of Oatman and often returned to play poker with the local miners.

Latest on Lantry SD Former Wild Horses: Court Showdown Looms

as published in the Rapid City Journal

“…if a judge approves the transfer of ownership, the two groups said, they will attempt to place the horses in safe homes…”

15894876_10212499251582885_2861906781713127176_nDUPREE | State and local authorities have filed a motion to permanently remove hundreds of wild horses from a troubled north-central South Dakota sanctuary, and lawyers on both sides of the case will make arguments to a judge later this month.

The motion, filed Thursday at the Ziebach County Courthouse in Dupree, seeks to transfer ownership of the horses to “a suitable caretaker.” The motion does not name the caretaker, but a pair of nonprofit organizations said in a joint release Friday evening that they would assume the role.

They are Fleet of Angels, a North American network of trailer owners that provides emergency assistance and transportation to at-risk horses, and Habitat for Horses, a rescue group based in Texas.

If a judge approves the transfer of ownership, the two groups said, they will attempt to place the horses in safe homes, including sanctuaries and rescue organizations. Another group, California-based Return to Freedom, would assist with the adoptions.

“This would be one of the largest known equine rescue and adoption efforts in U.S. history,” the release stated.

An estimated 540 horses remain at the small, overgrazed ranch of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) near Lantry, where 810 horses were impounded by state and local authorities in October following a finding of neglect by a state-employed veterinarian. Fleet of Angels already has overseen the adoption of 270 of the horses, the organization reported.

The horses have been under the care of Dewey and Ziebach counties since the impounding began. Court documents filed with Thursday’s motion say the counties have borne a total of $156,735 in costs, of which $52,000 has been covered by the ISPMB, $11,714 has been covered by donations to the counties and $15,000 has been covered by a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, leaving the counties on the hook for $78,021.

According to the nonprofit groups that want to assume ownership of the horses, The Humane Society of the United States and other donors have contributed to a fund that will cover the counties’ remaining costs if the transfer of ownership is approved.

Court documents also show that the ISPMB has retained attorneys Nathan Chicoine and Quentin Riggins of the Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore law firm in Rapid City ahead of a hearing scheduled later this month before state Fourth Circuit Court Judge Randall Macy.

The ownership-transfer motion was filed jointly by Sherri Wald, deputy attorney general for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board; Steven Aberle, Dewey County state’s attorney; and Cheryl Laurenz-Bogue, Ziebach County state’s attorney.

Donations sought for care of wild horses

Ongoing costs to feed, care for and treat the 540 wild horses impounded in north-central South Dakota will be an estimated $40,000 per month, according to the nonprofit groups who want to assume ownership of the horses and find new homes for them.

The groups are encouraging donations to the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance, either online at wildhorsesanctuaryalliance.org or by mail to The Animals Voice, 1692 Mangrove Ave. #276, Chico, CA 95926.

Anyone interested in adopting a horse or horses is encouraged to contact Fleet of Angels by email at HoldYourHorses@aol.com or go to the ISPMB Horses/Emergency Adoption Mission page on Facebook.

When allegations of starving wild horses surfaced at a sanctuary in remote north-central South Dakota, it seemed like a stunning and sudden fa…