Friday, July 15, 2016

Havasupai Tribe Halts Commercial Hiking Trips Following Horse Abuse

KNAU.org

The Havasupai Tribe this week closed all access by commercial hiking guides to the Havasupai Campground. The closure follows animal abuse charges recently brought against a member of the tribe whose horses packed gear for the companies’ clients. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


The falls at Havasupai Campground
CREDIT GRANDCANYON.NET

Hundreds of guiding reservations were canceled this week after the Havasupai Council halted the trips. Tribal officials say they’re devising a new plan to manage pack animals contracted by guiding companies to haul gear nearly 10 miles to Supai Village.
A member of the tribe was charged with felony animal abuse in April. Several of his horses were found malnourished and in need of medical attention.
At least half a dozen companies lead trips to the waterfalls at the Havasupai Campground on a regular basis, often guiding more than 20 clients at a time.
Access to Havasupai is still available for non-guided visitors with reservations. No other details are available at this time.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Resurrecting a Decades Old Problem at Havasupai



We were first made aware of these problems in 2009, in a post here, although complaints have been documented long before that, possibly decades.

Should we apologize for the graphic image?



Horses and burros are left to die on the trail, or off the trail, left to the elements and predators, carcasses eaten by dogs and wolves.

Other abuses, such as sores, dehydration, underweight horses, working at extreme temperatures with no food or water, have been documented by many observers.


Source:
https://www.facebook.com/StopAnimalViolenceFoundation/

More fallen animals:



"4 pack animals still roped together, had apparently 
been spooked by coyote or so overnight, fallen off trail, pack loads still on. 2 dead.
we cut them lose. the small donkey managed to eventually get on its own feet.
removed load from mule, and tried foe almost two hours to get it onto its feet."

Source: https://www.facebook.com/havasuanimaladvocates/posts/265406387148513

______________________________

If you have witnessed these abuses, or posted them here on the blog in the past, PLEASE visit the Facebook page (Click HERE) and share your photos and experiences.

https://www.facebook.com/StopAnimalViolenceFoundation/

THIS NEEDS TO STOP NOW.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Burrowing to the Truth in Arizona

The Desert Independent

John McCain & Jeff Flake say burros are out of control. Arizona Fish & Game calls them "invasives." The facts tell a different story.

By CHARLOTTE ROE
To The Desert Independent
June 2, 2016














Burros have long endured lack of respect from humans, but lately the barbs have become mean as well as misguided. Mojave County Supervisor called for shooting wild burros, later explaining he simply wanted to pressure the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to take action. Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake called for a Congressional hearing, saying burros’ “out of control” population growth burdens taxpayers. Arizona Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Chair Kurt Davis proclaimed they do untold harm to “native wildlife and communities” and that AGFC should round up these trespassing “invasives.”
The facts beg to differ.
Burros first arrived in the Americas centuries before the USA was born. They packed along southwestern trails beginning in the late 1700s. They transported goods and firewood, and helped open new, previously inaccessible towns. They hauled prospectors’ equipment to remote mines. Some became blinded from working underground. Eventually, they were turned loose to fend for themselves.
These wily, sure-footed animals adapted to the stark landscape. They became one with the desert and canyons, their mournful cries echoing at night through the wilds. They graze on lower quality forage, and dig deep water holes that benefit bighorn sheep, mule deer and other species. Although cattle and other livestock vastly outnumber wild burros on public lands, the long-eared equines are scapegoated for range degradation. Not one validated study has demonstrated that wild burros destroy fragile habitat. The myth persists, because it suits a certain political narrative.


Under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act ensures, wild burros and mustangs are to be protected on the lands where they roamed as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that “contribute to the diversity of life forms…and enrich the lives of the American people.” The BLM’s first count in 1974 showed an estimated 15,000 burros in the West. Today, less than 11,000 remain in government-managed herd management areas (HMAs). 1,314 captured burros are incarcerated in dismal, costly government holding corrals.
The Black Mountain HMA, Arizona’s largest, contains over one million acres. In 2013 the BLM stated there were 700 wild burros in this herd area. Today, the Agency claims there are over 1500. And they want that number reduced to a population target (appropriate management level or AML) of 478, or one burro per 2000 acres. At this reported growth rate, the Black Mountain burros would be miraculously fertile. Yet the BLM has never conducted an accurate, credible census. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) urged the BLM to revise all its AMLs based on rigorous, up-to-date population statistics and genetic testing to assure viability of the herds.
This was not done.
The BLM is not the main culprit. Livestock ranchers, trophy hunters, oil and mining company owners often view public lands as their private domain. Many commercial interests fight reform and pressure the Agency to get wild equines out of the way. In contrast, local communities and tourists appreciate the burros. It’s time for stakeholders to defend the public interest and preserve these long-eared equines that are living legends of the West. There’s a better way to coexist:
  • Conduct an accurate population count of HMAs based on scientific census techniques, not random flyovers.
  • Halt the roundups. BLM helicopter “gathers” harm burros and waste taxpayer money. Post-roundup, foalings increase sharply in a biological response called “compensatory reproduction.” Keeping a burro in the wild costs nothing. Roundups cost $600 per equine, and keeping a burro in permanent holding costs $50,000.
  • Work with advocate groups and local volunteers to stabilize herd levels using PZP, a safe, reversible, dartable fertility control vaccine that protects herd genetics. Cost per vaccine: $25 annually, or $240 for a longer-lasting, hand-injectable PZP-22 vaccine.
  • Prevent road accidents by reducing speed limits in areas where burros cross the highway; use signage and night lighting similar to that provided for species such as elk.
  • Designate a Black Mountain Wild Burro Range, a call recently made by The Cloud Foundation. Retiring livestock from this range and allowing the return of predators would enable natural controls on herd size. It would promote wildlife diversity and restore these desert rangelands for generations to come.
Charlotte Roe is a conservationist, burro adopter, retired foreign service officer/science attaché, and a founder of the Wild Equid League, an affiliate of The Cloud Foundation.

Friday, May 27, 2016

2017 Budget for the BLM Leads Toward Slaughter and Sterilization for Our Wild Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, as published on Wild Hoofbeats
Wild Horses in Short Term Holding – a Target for Slaughter
After the proposal to experiment on sterilizing wild mares at the Burns BLM Facility in Oregon, I wondered how the situation facing our wild horses could be come more dire. Now there is news about the Bureau of Land Management’s Budget Proposal for 2017. In this proposal, there is a clause that would remove the protection for wild horses and burros from being sent to slaughter.
Here is Section 110 of the President’s Interior Budget Request:
TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS
SEC. 110. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior may transfer excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals: Provided, That the Secretary may make any such transfer immediately upon request of such Federal, State, or local government agency: Provided further, That any excess animal transferred under this provision shall lose its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
You can look at the whole document here:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2017/assets/int.pdf
This extremely disturbing proposed change to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act puts thousands of our wild horses held captive in Short and Long Term Holding by the BLM at risk of getting sent to slaughter. The BLM may say that this is to expedite the transfer of horses to other agencies that might have jobs for the horses, but in actual fact, stripping the protection of the Act from the horses makes them a target for slaughter, with no over site, and no responsibility taken by the BLM. Remember the 1794 wild horses sold under the sale Authority Act, without limitation, to Tom Davis that ended up at slaughter?
Given that state and local authorities in many states have repeatedly called for the slaughter of wild horses in holding facilities, it is easy to see that once transferred to the states and other agencies, they will in fact be sold for slaughter. This becomes a convenient way for the BLM to get rid of some of its “wild horse problem” – those pesky “excess horses” whose care absorbs so much of the BLM’s budget.
But the American people do not want the slaughter of our wild horses – the vast majority would like to see wild horses remain wild and free on our public lands, and managed on the range, not rounded up with helicopters, warehoused in holding facilities, and secretly shipped off to slaughter.
Another section of this budget includes the BLM’s “Budget in Brief” which indicates a priority for the BLM in the coming year will be to continue to carry out dangerous and cruel experimental sterilization methods on our wild horses.
“The BLM will also continue expanding the use of contraceptives and the application of spay and neuter to begin to reduce program costs and help address the unsustainable proliferation of wild horses and burros on public lands.”
The American public would like to see wild horses and burros managed humanely, not experimented upon and sterilized.
As far as “unsustainable proliferation of wild horses” – the simple facts are that wild horses are in only 12 percent of our public lands, and there are currently more wild horses that are captive in holding facilities than on the range. Their numbers are completely dwarfed by the vast amounts of livestock that graze on these same public lands.
The news is not good, but at least now we have the ulterior motives of the BLM laid out in the budget: Opening the door to slaughtering wild horses and burros, sterilizing herds of wild horses and burros without regard to their sustainability, welfare, and continued presence on our public lands.

Friday, May 13, 2016

BLM: Liars, Liars Pants on FIRE

Straight from the Horse's Heart

“We were about to post the BLM’s latest propoganda and lie-fest when Grandma Gregg sent an email that lit me up.  Instead of posting her comment after the article we are using it as a ‘forward’ to the idiot article, it’s just too much…so Grandma, tell us what you think and take it away…!” ~ R.T.


photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of 
Wild Horse Freedom Federation


FYI although BLM has claimed that the 1971 population was about 25,345 they FAIL to include the over 70,229 wild horses and burros that were “claimed” by anyone who wanted to round them up from 1971 to 1979. These would be “mustangers” in the truest form of the word and these WH&B would have gone to slaughter – i.e. sold by the pound. And these over 70 thousand are ONLY the ones that were reported and I don’t think anyone familiar with the wild horse and burro issue would disagree that many many many others would have been captured by mustangers and NOT “reported”.
So although we will never know the exact population of WH&B on the day the 1971 Act was passed there is no way in ‘ell you can convince me that it was 25,345 and that those other over 70 thousand were already owned by the people who captured them. No way. I personally have no problem believing that the true wild horse and burro population in 1971 was well over 100,000 and they were not over grazing their lands. The domestic private/corporate livestock were over-grazing since there were many many many more of those on public lands (millions from what I can figure out (http://www.law.gonzaga.edu/law-review/files/2013/11/Coggins.pdf) but the wild horses and burros were not overgrazing their legal lands simply by comparing the numbers of WH&B versus the domestic private/corporate cattle and sheep.
And then we can ALSO talk about their unsupported and non-defensible annual population increases they puke all over us each year and on each and every EA.
Cindy Macdonald (American Herds) wrote a summary about this subject.
Time to get our 100,000 plus wild horses and burros back on their legal lands where they belong.
(Please excuse my rant … but just felt I had to speak up) ~ Grandma Gregg

THE LIE:
BLM seeks to expand initiatives to address problems with new legislative authority
  • 46,000 Horses Already Being Cared for Off-Range
  • Off-Range Care of Unadopted Horses Would Exceed $1 Billion
  • Necessary Horse Gathers Exceed Available Space and Funding
The Bureau of Land Management announced today that as of March 1, 2016, more than 67,000 wild horses and burros are roaming Western public rangelands – a 15 percent increase over the estimated 2015 population.
The updated numbers show more than twice the number of horses on the range than is recommended under BLM land use plans. It is also two and a half times the number of horses and burros that were estimated to be in existence when the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed in 1971.  To help address the problem, BLM is seeking legislative authority for additional initiatives.
“Over the past seven years we have doubled the amount of funding used for managing our nation’s wild horses and burros,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “Despite this, major shifts in the adoption market and the absence of a long-term fertility control drug have driven population levels higher. A number of program reforms are underway, but assistance is needed from our local, state, and federal partners.”
While herds of wild horses consistently double in size every four years, there has also been a dramatic decrease in adoptions in recent years. In the early 2000s, nearly 8,000 horses were being placed with private adopters each year.  Due to a number of economic factors, that number is now down to roughly 2,500 animals each year, compounding an already difficult management situation.
The total lifetime cost of caring for an unadopted animal that is removed from the range is substantial. Costs for lifetime care in a corral approaches $50,000 per horse. With 46,000 horses and burros already in off-range corrals and pastures, this means that without new opportunities for placing these animals with responsible owners, the BLM will spend more than a billion dollars to care for and feed these animals over the remainder of their lives. Given this vast financial commitment, the BLM is now severely limited in how many animals it can afford to remove from the range.
To address these issues the BLM is taking a number of steps, including sponsoring a significant research program focused on fertility control; transitioning horses from off-range corrals to more cost-effective pastures; working to increase adoptions with new programs and partnerships; and requesting two new pieces of legislative authority — one to allow for the immediate transfer of horses to other agencies that have a need for work animals and one that would create a congressionally-chartered foundation that could help fund and support adoption efforts. Additional tools and resources are needed to bring this program onto a sustainable path.
The table below shows the 2016 West-wide, on-range population on a state-by-state basis as of March 1, 2016.  This year’s 15 percent increase over the 2015 population compares to an 18 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.  The BLM plans to remove 3,500 wild horses and burros from Western public rangelands in 2016.
Wild Horse and Burro On-Range Population as of March 1, 2016
 State Horses Burros Total Maximum AML
 AZ 318 5,317 5,635 1,676
 CA 4,925 3,391 8,316 2,200
 CO 1,530 0 1,530 812
 ID 468 0 468 617
 MT 160 0 160 120
 NV 31,979 2,552 34,531 12,811
 NM 171 0 171 83
 OR 3,785 56 3,841 2,715
 UT 5,440 400 5,840 1,956
 WY 6,535 0 6,535 3,725
 TOTAL 55,311 11,716 67,027 26,715

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Arizona Horse Imprisoned In Stall For Years Learns To Trust Man Who Set Him Free

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source:  the dodo
The first step he took out of his stall was the hardest.
Monty, a horse locked away in a filthy stall for years, did not seem to understand what was going on. He was hesitant and frightened about coming out of his makeshift prison, where the only attention he received was when his owner threw in some hay, food and water. His only friends were the flies that circled and landed on his gaunt frame.
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Monty locked in his stall  (Michelle Forster)
When his rescuer, Travis Underwood, first saw Monty, he didn’t know what to expect when he opened the gate.
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(Travis Underwood)
Monty was one among many horses and dogs found on a 10-acre property in Scottsdale, Arizona, in the summer of 2014. Trisha Houlihan, founder and executive director of Saving Paws Rescue, AZ of Phoenix, had been alerted about neglected dogs on the property, Michelle Forster, a volunteer with the organization, told The Dodo.
980x
(Photo: Michelle Forster)
The woman who owned the property, known only as Donna, had been left with animals after her husband died in the summer of 2014 after a long illness, and everything at the property went into disarray. “Her husband kept her isolated,” Forster said.
According to Forster, Donna’s husband had been breeding German shepherds and owned roughly 21 horses. The widow reached out because she needed homes for two of the dogs who had been severely neglected. When Forster did a courtesy call to check on the dogs and take photos, she had no idea she would find an animal hoarding situation in the process. However, the animals did have food, water and shelter, as required by Arizona law.
Due to the horrible conditions, Houlihan accompanied Forster on a subsequent visit to document the animals. She reached out to Underwood, a longtime volunteer with Saving Paws, for his assistance.
980x
Travis gains Monty’s trust (Lisa Cramton)
Initially, Donna wanted to sell the horses, mainly Arabians and quarter horses. “But the market was saturated at the time,” Forster said. “Everyone was trying to get her to understand that the horses didn’t have the value that she originally thought.”
The horses had been badly bitten by flies, and they had not received any general care. They were not let out of their stalls, had not been exercised, and were denied hoof care, vet care and basic grooming. Although some of the horses were worth money on paper, most were not marketable because they had not been trained and were in bad condition.
Read the rest of this article HERE.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The elephant in the room at BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meetings

Straight from the Horse's Heart


elephant-in-the-room
The elephant in the room (photo: bassamsalem)
This is a public comment letter that K.R. Gregg, Environmental Researcher, sent to the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board:
April 10, 2016
National Wild Horse and Wild Burro Program National Advisory Board Members
Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147
I request that this letter be provided to all board members and also be included in the official minutes and the administrative record for the meeting.  Thank you.
Re:  National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Public Comment
Dear Sirs/Madams:
I have heard people talk about the “elephant in the room” during BLM meetings and then ignore the REAL elephant in the room, which is that there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their congressionally designated legal lands.
Do not allow the BLM and USFS and Farm Bureau, the extractive and mining giants, hunting lobbyists and the domestic livestock grazing associations to pull the wool over your eyes. There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.
Per the 1971 Congressional Wild Horse and Burro Act, the land is to be devoted PRINCIPALLY, although not exclusively, to the wild horses and wild burros’ welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands. 

Definition of “principally”: First, highest, foremost in importance, rank, worth or degree, chief, mainly, largely, chiefly, especially, particularly, mostly, primarily, above all, predominantly, in the main, for the most part, first and foremost.
There is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures … because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.
In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than about 250,000 wild horses and burros, but even after 22,200,000 acres were stolen from the American people by government agencies, the remaining 31,600,000 acres could support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today.
It is currently independently estimated that less than 20,000 wild horses and burros are living on their legal land today and yet the government continues its aggressive removal and destructive management toward total wild horse and burro extermination.

There is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land.