Media Contacts:                

Makendra Silverman 
Tel: 719-633-3842

Anne Novak
Tel: 415-531-8454  

For Immediate Release
The Calico Wild Horse Roundup death toll exceeds 60 as public alarm grows

Fallon, NV (February 25, 2010)— At least 62 federally-protected American wild horses have died due to the controversial Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Calico roundup in Nevada as of today. An additional 35 late term abortions have been recorded in the Fallon feedlot-style holding facility where 1869 captured mustangs are corralled at enormous taxpayer expense. Advocates are being denied access to observe horses as the death toll rises. At least one horse died during BLM "processing" operations. The public and humane observers want access to view how their tax money is being spent and to verify the horses are being treated humanely. Standard processing procedures are generally open to the public to observe without issue. Advocates question if there is something to hide. 

"Moving forward with this winter roundup was a huge mistake on the part of BLM. Two years ago a February roundup in Nevada resulted in the death of 85 horses. I would hope BLM never rounds up wild horses again in the dead of winter," says Ginger Kathrens, Director of the Cloud Foundation.

American taxpayers are paying over $10,000 a day to hold the captured Calico horses at the privately owned Broken Arrow holding facility. Processing (freeze-branding, inoculating, tagging) adds thousands more to the cost. BLM has denied repeated requests for even two humane advocate observers to be present during processing and allows public visits by reservation only for two hours each Sunday. The Cloud Foundation and the public are seriously alarmed by the rising death toll and BLM’s complete lack of transparency and accountability. Promised vet reports have not been posted since February 1st as horses perish daily. 

“The public deserves to have people who can watch and document how our tax dollars are being spent. Allowing humane advocate observers into the facility would be a good first step in restoring trust in an agency that has thumbed their nose at the American public while rounding up and destroying America’s mustang heritage,” states Ginger Kathrens.

Humane observers would not inhibit the processing or frighten horses during processing and would allow the concerned public a view of what is going on during processing of these publicly-owned horses. The BLM removed the mustangs from public lands despite a federal judge’s suggestion that the roundup be delayed and over 10,000 public comments asking the BLM to stop their winter roundup plans. 

BLM has given indications that they will select “impartial” observers to watch the proceedings. “I think that the public and wild horse advocates should be able to send their own humane observers, not hand picked and selected people that will not criticize the BLM. That would be much like the skewed public Advisory Board that also fails to represent the welfare of our wild herds,” stated Julianne French, an Arizona wild horse advocate. 

Wild horse and burro advocates will protest in Washington DC on March 25th. The rally  “March for Mustangs” will start in Lafayette Park at 1:00pm with a press conference at 1:30pm, concluding with a march to BLM offices.

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Links of interest:

News Story on Calico, rising death toll & skewed numbers from George Knapp (KLAS- Las Vegas):

A Cruel Waste – explanatory youtube video:

Don Glenn public statement on openness of roundups to public:

Rebuttal to Salazar’s plan in LA Times:

The Cloud Foundation position paper on DOI plan—Oct. 2009:

Good Morning America at Calico

New York Times “Horses Die in Roundup”

Feds Deny Gas Pipeline Related to Wild Horse Roundup

Ruby Pipeline: The Smoking Gun?

Wild Horse Emergency PSA with Sheryl Crow, Viggo Mortenson

After campaigning for Obama, Sheryl Crow at odds over his administration’s wild horse plan (Associated Press) 

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit. 
America’s Disappearing Wild Horses - A History

Frequently Asked Questions on Wild Horses 

Unified Moratorium letter and signatories

Roundup Schedule- updated January 11, 2010 
Photos, video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation