Monday, August 10, 2015

Town Hall Meeting Addresses Plight of Salt River Wild Horses

KPHO Phoenix, AZ


By Erika Flores of KPHO.com

“many folks are still concerned about the Salt River horses…”

Click Image to View News Video
Click Image to View News Video
MESA, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) – The U.S. Forest Service originally wanted to round up and remove the wild horses roaming in the Tonto National Forest. But that plan has been put on hold for now.
However, the horses’ fate is still very much up in the air.
More than 100 people gathered for a town hall meeting in Mesa Sunday to voice their concerns and offer solutions.
Residents said the horses are crucial to this state because they are part of Arizona’s identity.
The goal was to discuss what’s next, after controversial plans to round up the wild horses were put on pause.
The U.S. Forest Service originally wanted to remove the horses from national forest land due to safety concerns.
Lawmakers got involved, a lawsuit was filed, and then the Forest Service backed down.
But many folks are still concerned about the Salt River horses.
“I don’t want the next generation to wake up one morning, and say, ‘Oh my gosh. They’re removing our horses in six days.’ We have to protect them now. Declare them wild and create a sanctuary for them,” said Laurie Walker, who was at the meeting.
“People aren’t trained to interact with wildlife. We need to train people,” said Sheryl Styles, who wants a permanent solution for the horses. “It’s learning and teaching people how to interact with wildlife not removing our wildlife from our beautiful areas.”
The lawsuit is moving forward and the group behind it hopes it will help prevent the feds from ever removing the horses.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Salt River Horse Roundup to take place in Tonto National Forest

Fox 10 Phoenix 

Posted: Aug 03, 2015 9:08 PMUpdated: Aug 03, 2015 10:10 PM
By Kristy Siefkin, FOX 10 News

Saturday, August 1, 2015

21 Alleged Stray Horses Killed in Wyoming

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Unedited article from The Casper Star-Tribune
“Have Wyoming’s Welfare Ranchers Raised the Bar on their Wild Horse War?”
Dead HorseTHERMOPOLIS — TheU.S. Bureau of Land Management says it’s investigating the killing of 21 stray horses on federal and state land northwest of Thermopolis.
A BLM spokesperson said the horses were found Wednesday. Investigators believe they were killed sometime in the last two weeks.
Wild horses also roam parts of northern Wyoming but BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith said Friday these horses were stray domestic horses.
The horses were abandoned on public land and have been seen running loose for the past few years, Beckwith said.
Beckwith declined to provide additional information including whether the horses may have been shot or poisoned. She said the BLM doesn’t want to compromise the investigation by federal, state and local officials by disclosing too much information.
The BLM is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.
The Hot Springs County Sheriff’s Department, state officials and a local brand inspector are assisting with the investigation, according to a news release.
In 2010, the Hot Springs County undersheriff shot and killed a horse 100 feet from its owner’s home because he assumed it had been neglected and decided to put it out of its misery.
Chris and Larry Bentley later settled a lawsuit with former undersheriff David Larson, who agreed to pay the cost of the horse along with legal fees.
In a separate suit, a jury awarded the couple $25,000, saying a Sheriff’s Department policy that allowed deputies to kill sickly or dangerous animals was too broad and infringed on the Bentleys’ constitutional rights.
Under Wyoming law, abandoned horses that come under the care of the state can be sold to cover the cost of their care, or euthanized by a veterinarian.
People who abandon horses can be required to pay costs required for the state to round up and care for the animals, and may face fines or jail time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wild Horse Found Shot in Utah

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source: Multiple
“Harassing, capturing or killing wild horses is illegal,”
photo by Chris Detrick of BLM Swasey roundup Feb/2013
photo by Chris Detrick of BLM Swasey roundup Feb/2013


The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the killing of a wild horse found dead from a gunshot wound in Millard County, Utah.
A $2,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who fired a small-caliber bullet and killed the 14-year-old palomino stud.
Responding to a report from a local resident, BLM officers found the dead horse near Middle Pond in the Swasey Herd Management Area about 40 miles west of Delta. Volunteers last saw the animal alive July 5. The body was found July 7.
The area is on the eastern flank of the House Range, north of U.S. Highway 6. The herd is named for Swasey Peak, the range’s highest point.
Fanning the flames in the investigation is the well publicized fact that Utah state and county officials claim the BLM has allowed wild horse numbers to proliferate to the detriment of the range and the livestock industry that depends on grazing on public lands.  Said officials have gone on record threatening the BLM with lawsuits which to date, have failed and only succeeded in painting the state with an unfavorable national image.
“Harassing, capturing or killing wild horses is illegal,” said Kevin Oliver, the BLM’s West Desert district manager. “The BLM is committed to enforcing the act and finding those responsible.”
The BLM spends millions of dollars annually harassing, capturing, and in some cases killing, wild horses where the survivors of the roundups are then placed in gender segregated holding facilities for the remainder of their unnatural lives.
Anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact BLM Law Enforcement at 801-539-4082.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

FEDERALLY PROTECTED WILD HORSES DIE, TRAPPED IN BLM ‘s PALOMINO VALLEY NV FACILITY

Straight from the Horse's Heart

WARNING: Graphic Photo Below

Photo: By Patty Bumgarner Barren shelterless pens, warehouse 1,100 wild horses, in the desert near to the  Burningman festival  site.
Photo: By Patty Bumgarner Barren shelterless pens, warehouse 1,100 wild horses, in the desert near to the Burningman festival site.









On July 10th, at 7:00 AM., Patty Bumgarner, a Nevada resident and wild horse photographer, visited The Palomino Valley Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro holding facility, to see the wild horses she loves and hoping to observe needed shelters and more water troughs provided, but instead Bumgarner discovered, another gruesome tragedy.
A mare and her unborn foal bodies lay within a pen, in mid birth and died a painful and agonizing death. The mare’s body lay lifeless by the gate, of the mare and foal pen, with her baby visibly stuck in her birth cavity.
The location of the mare’s body, appears as if she may have been begging for help, but no help ever came for her and her baby, because the BLM PVC staff, neglected to respond, until it was too late, their response came, after the mare and her new born foal, had already died. According to Bumgarner, the mare’s body was stiff and appeared to be dead for many hours.
There were no BLM staff present, except a hay truck distributing hay, in seeming disregard of the unaddressed dead mare and foal, surrounded by observing mares and foals, who walked about, with low spirit. Bumgarner observed, three BLM male staff come, into the mare and foal pen about 8:00 AM. and start up a backhoe, to move the mother and her unborn foal’s dead bodies. 
Bumgarner stated: “This facility is not properly supervising these pregnant mares and new born foals and if their aim, is to protect these horses, then it doesn’t make sense, that the mares and foals have been moved further away from the BLM office, to the very back of the facility. The further distance from the BLM office, sets up a problem to be able to properly monitor pregnant mares births and new born foal’s well being and blocks the ability to provide immediate needed address, for life threatening emergencies, to end well.”
 
Still, there are no new shelters, in this facility to protect the horses from recent and upcoming triple degree desert searing hot Sun. Bumgarner did observe, this facility put up a few partial shelters, that were used last year, but the 1,100 wild horses and burros held behind bars, do not have equal access to shelter and still are only offered 1 water trough per 100 horses in each pen.
 
The BLM’s continued failure to provide shelter and proper drinking water access, is causing health and life endangerment for all the horses held within this facility.
 
In June of 2013, advocates found another young mare dead, on the hot ground, within this facility.  
In response to the death of a young mare, at BLM facility on June 27th, 2013 issued in a press release the BLM PVC, NV facility was notified the horses needed immediate shelter to survive and adequate water trough access.
Dr. Lester Friedlander, former Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer with the USDA, and veterinarian for the NY State Horse Racing and Wagering Board, says conditions at the Palomino Valley Center call for “emergency action” by the Federal government to ensure the safety of the animals.  He says if the horses and burros are not properly protected from the heat and sun,  “countless numbers will be lost to disease, infections and heat-related deaths.”
The BLM, may again simply sweep this mare and her unborn foal’s death under the rug and chalk this incident to stemming from “unknown causes”, yet the truth and cause of deaths and suffering, point to neglect and animal abuse.
The BLM understands shelter is “preferred and “needed”, because they require adopters of a wild horse or burro, to provide a 3 sided shelter.
Recently, BLM staff demanded for themselves, at the nearby “Burningman site”, construction of a $1 million dollar compound ..”Choco Tacos, M&Ms, licorice and Chobani Greek Yogurt are just a few of the food items officials for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are demanding Burning Man organizers provide them at this year’s festival, according to documents obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal.…” for their comfort and to attend Burningman.
Yet, if the BLM staff feel they require shelter, then the 58,000 wild horses charged by the American people to be protected by the BLM, should receive shelter to survive, and especially because a horse’s body heats up ten times faster then a human’s body.
Nearly two years ago, “The Bureau of Land Management, responded to public concern to end abuse, to create shelters and provide needed water troughs, with a “wild horse comfort workshop”, where shortly there after promises were made to try 3 shelters, to determine, which would be most effective”, today the horses are suffering and dying, still awaiting the shelters to be erected.
In October 2013, the BLM held approximately 2,000 wild horses & burros at this facility, today according to BLM’s John Neil, who aired a press release for Nevada Channel 2 news on June 9th 2015 ( re: the possibility of shade/shelter coming) there are approximately 1,100 wild horses being held at the Palomino Valley center. Then where are the 700 federally protected wild horses and burros now? 
Were they sold without authority, shipped to disappear from public view to private facilities, such as Nevada’s Indian Lakes desert shelterless BLM holding facility, or did they die from duress,or from heat related suffering ?
Simply applying solutions, in erecting shelter and providing more water troughs, to address their deadly management of the captive wild horses at this facility would result in saving thousands of beloved wild horse and burro lives.
Also, the BLM needs to move the mares and foals closer, to be carefully observed in order to survive birth and pregnancy well, in case emergency arises.
Please call your Legislatures and the White House and request they act now to protect America’s captive and free roaming wild horses and burros.

WARNING: Graphic Photo


Photo: By Patty Bumgarner, A federally protected mare, could not survive BLM's management, lays lifeless in mid-birth with her foal, near the gate at BLM's Palomino Valley center, Nevada, in a shelterless, desert pen
Photo: By Patty Bumgarner, A federally protected mare, could not survive BLM’s management, lays lifeless in mid-birth with her foal, near the gate at BLM’s Palomino Valley center, Nevada, in a shelterless, desert pen
Links for Reference:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Media Contacts: 
Jetara Séhart, Love Wild Horses, www.lovewildhorses.org (415)275-4441
Patty Bumgarner (775)301-6512

Monday, June 29, 2015

Canadian horsemeat not drug-free, European audit finds

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By:  Feature reporter,  News, as published on The Star
European Commission monitors have “serious concerns” about Canada’s ability to track health and treatment of horses
 MICHAEL BURNS / MICHAEL BURNS PHOTO Thoroughbred race horse Backstreet Bully finished first in this August 2008 race at Fort Erie. The race horse changed ownership after retirement and was sent to slaughter, despite frantic last-minute pleas to save his life by people who knew the horse had been given veterinary drugs over his lifetime that made him unsafe for human consumption.

MICHAEL BURNS / MICHAEL BURNS PHOTO
Thoroughbred race horse Backstreet Bully finished first in this August 2008 race at Fort Erie. The race horse changed ownership after retirement and was sent to slaughter, despite frantic last-minute pleas to save his life by people who knew the horse had been given veterinary drugs over his lifetime that made him unsafe for human consumption.
Exported Canadian horsemeatintended for human consumption cannot be trusted to be free of toxic drugs, according to a recently released European audit that cites “serious concerns” about the integrity of Canada’s food safety measures.
Among the reported findings, auditors discovered that slaughterhouse tests conducted two years ago on horse carcasses poised to enter the human food chain showed residues of prohibited substances, including a commonly used veterinary medicine called “bute.” Phenylbutazone, or bute, has been linked to bone-marrow disease in humans if eaten in meat.
“It cannot be guaranteed that horses (slaughtered in Canada) have not been treated with illegal substances within the last 180 days before slaughter,” the audit states.
The report also described the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the country’s food safety watchdog, as having “shortcomings” in its ability to accurately trace horses’ identities and complete medical histories.
All horses butchered in Canada for export as human food, including horses imported from the United States, must be accompanied by an equine identification “passport” completed by the animal’s last owner. Owners must truthfully declare on these signed affidavits that their slaughter-bound animals have not been given prohibited drugs for the previous six months and are, therefore, eligible to become human food.
A 2013 Star investigation found these passports, called Equine Information Documents, are open to fraud and error. In European countries, in contrast, horse ownership and medical histories are tracked from birth.
European auditors, who police the meat coming into their market, gathered information from Canadian slaughter facilities during a two-week inspection in May of 2014. In their report, auditors expressed doubt about the ability of Canada’s food safety regulator to always provide untainted horsemeat to European Union markets.
“There are serious concerns in relation to the reliability of the controls over both imported and domestic horses destined for export (to EU markets),” the European report states.
Auditors also found that in Canada “there are no official checks to verify the veracity of the (equine passports) or whether the horses actually match the identifications registered” on the passports.
“The information contained in several (equine passports) checked by the … audit team appeared incomplete, unreliable or false. It can therefore not be ensured that horses slaughtered in Canada for export to the EU have not been treated with substances which are not permitted in the EU, in particular hormonal growth promotants.” Testosterone was mentioned as a prohibited growth hormone in EU meat.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, responding to written questions from the Star, declared that horsemeat exported from Canada is safe to eat.
“Canada has a strong and robust food safety inspection system in place,” the agency said in statement.
“This includes effective ante and post mortem verification and frequent sampling and testing of meat to detect residues with CFIA inspectors and veterinarians present on a daily basis. The number of samples taken is consistent with international standards.”
The federal food safety agency also stated it “welcomes feedback from the audit and is committed to addressing opportunities for improvement identified within the report.”
Horsemeat is Canada’s top red meat export to European countries.
The audit team attached to the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office evaluated the sanitary measures and control systems in place for fresh meat exports (including horse, bison and cattle) from Canada to Europe.
With respect to horses, the European team visited unnamed slaughterhouses, feedlots and one border crossing (the majority of horses killed annually in Canada are imported from the United States).
The vulnerability of Canada’s Equine Information Document was also a key concern in a 2010 European audit. That report found Canada’s ability to trace prohibited drugs in food-bound horses “is inadequate” to protect consumers.
Canada’s equine document is the first step in protecting the public from drug-tainted horse meat. A previous Star investigation found the horse passport that Canada relies upon to keep toxic meat off dinner tables around the world is easily compromised. The Star obtained 10 passports in 2013; nine were incomplete or error-riddled.
The 16 carcasses with bute residues identified in the recent audit were tested in 2013 at one unnamed slaughterhouse. The auditors noted the slaughterhouse operator conducted its own investigation of the owners of the 16 horses who submitted the non-compliant equine passports.
Auditors noted that while “the CFIA puts the responsibility for follow-up of non-compliances largely on the shoulders of the slaughterhouses, the CFIA does not always fulfill its obligations for verifying and ensuring the effectiveness of the follow-up investigations and corrective actions.”