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.
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
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.
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.”
A European Commission audit released this week warns that horsemeat imported from Canada does not fully meet European food safety standards. A similar audit from the Commission last year found similar problems with horsemeat from Mexico – most of it from American horses, cruelly hauled across the border by predatory kill buyers. After the audit, the European Union suspended further imports of horsemeat from Mexico.
The suspension dealt a huge blow to the North American horse slaughter industry. And this audit of the other big horse-slaughtering nation in North America could turn into a devastating second blow.
Every year, kill buyers haul more than 100,000 American horses—working, racing and companion horses and even children’s ponies—across the border to Canada and Mexico in cramped trailers, typically without food, water, or rest. The majority of these horses are young, healthy animals, sold at auctions by owners who either didn’t know, or didn’t care, about their fate. In Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses, these horses—who are naturally very anxious and respond to threats by fleeing—are often inhumanely handled and slaughtered, before being shipped overseas for human consumption.
During the six months prior to slaughter, Canada allows the use of various substances that would automatically exclude horses from the food chain in the EU. Several audits conducted by the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office have echoed our concerns about the inherent weaknesses in the Canadian and Mexican control systems, and concluded that the veracity and reliability of vendor statements on the medical history of the U.S. horses cannot be guaranteed.
The European Commission’s audit also pointed to similar problems with U.S. horses that are sent to Canada for slaughter. The European Commission noted that official export certificates that accompany live horses from the United States do not include any statements relating to public health. This casts further doubt on the controls that Canada has in place.
For years, The HSUS and Humane Society International have repeatedly said that the horse-slaughter industry is predatory and reckless, unwilling, and perhaps unable to establish sufficient controls to meet the basic food safety standards called for in processing chicken, pork, or beef. The fundamental problem is that horses in North America are not raised for food, but for companionship and for recreation or work. That means that most owners administer a wide variety of veterinary drugs forbidden for use in animals destined for the table – practices you’d never see in other industries where animals are specifically raised for consumption.
Recognizing that veterinary drug residues can be an issue, the European Union has since July 2010 required that only properly identified horses with a known lifetime medical treatment history, and whose medicinal treatment records show they satisfy the federal Food and Drug Administration-mandated withdrawal periods, are allowed to be slaughtered for export to the EU. The countries exporting horsemeat say they’ve taken steps to implement measures to preclude contaminated horsemeat from ending up on the EU market, but we have repeatedly pointed out to the European Commission that these measures are fundamentally flawed and virtually impossible to enforce.
Shutting down this cruel trade will also force the U.S. horse industry and owners to take greater responsibility for their animals, and think more carefully about how they will care for them throughout and at the end of their lives. It is a barbaric, opportunistic, and unsafe trade, and it should end not only in the United States, but throughout North America. If the European Commission suspends the Canadian horsemeat trade as it should, we’ll have taken one more big step toward achieving that long-overdue goal.
IN THE HANDS OF KILL BUYERS! When horses are purchased at auction by buyers intending to kill them, they're hauled away in double- decker tractor trailers where they are beaten and often blinded with baseball bats to mollify them. After crossing the border into Mexico, the animals are stabbed on each side-an act to tenderize their meat-and immobilized. Workers, then saw the horses legs off, at the knee and hang them to bleed out-all while the horses are ALIVE! (This is an excerpt, from an article written by Missy Diaz, crediting Victoria Mc Cullough and Sen. Joe Abruzzo for bringing awareness of horse slaughter, to Florida. In 2010 Florida Legislation unanimously passed the Horse Protection Bill, making it a felony to slaughter horses for personal or commercial use.)