(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council
Public Outcry Pushed Proper Buttons to Assist HorsesApproximately 200 captive, wild horses currently imprisoned at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center in Herriman, Utah, will allegedly be relocated according to recommendations made by an investigative BLM appointed team who visited the site earlier this month.
The well respected and world renowned Wild Horse advocacy organization, the Cloud Foundation, issued a stunning video and carefully written report on April 9th outlining and documenting the abuse suffered by the captive wild horses as observed by wild horse adopter Lisa Friday as she visited the Salt Lake facility in mid-March of this year.
The video clearly displayed “suctioned-in” horses that could not move in urine soaked mud knee deep to the adult horses. Several horses remained in frozen positions during Ms. Friday’s visit as they were unable to move. When local facility personnel were notified of the horse’s plight a piece of heavy equipment was run towards the horses in an effort to scare them and make them move yet they remained stuck in place during the duration of Ms. Friday’s visit.
After a deluge of calls local newspaper, the Salt Lake Tribune, published a biased and lopsided report that everything was “Okay” as reported by Tribune reporter Brandon Loomis. Loomis indicated that fault erred with the Cloud Foundation and with Ms. Friday as the facility’s manager, Jared Redington was interviewed, by phone, as saying;
“We don’t have anything to hide,”
Also quoted in the dubious article was dog and cat investigator for the Humane Society of Utah, not to be confused with the Humane Society of the United States, John Fox postulating that he did not observe any violations of animal cruelty laws and that wet conditions are to be expected this time of year while the animals appeared to be in good health.
Since the above article was published both its author and the newspaper have been publicly spanked as the report does not clearly reflect the actual findings of the investigative team. To the contrary, 200 wild horses will be removed to the BLM’s Gunnison facility about 125 miles to the south of Salt Lake under the recommendation of the team’s investigation and it has been further recommended that a agricultural engineer familiar with large animal holding facilities be hired to evaluate the site for improvements.
Where the report falls short is on the issue of abuse and neglect as the internal team stated that more than 90 percent of the captive horses displayed body conditions of between 4 and 6 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale. Inspectors said tooth eruption probably contributed to the condition of a three-year-old mare described in the Cloud report as ‘thin.’
“The cause for her weight loss was unknown but thought to most likely be due to shedding incisors, a molar, or retained cap causing a decrease in appetite or feed conversion efficiency,” the report said.
“We are pleased that they are improving the conditions for this facility, but we hope they use the money Congress has approved for good use such as water improvements and plan treatments rather than roundups,” said Ginger Kathrens, founder of the Cloud Foundation.
“Disgruntled taxpayers are taking to the streets to demand BLM stop costly roundups and lifelong incarceration of the last of America’s wild mustangs,” continues Kathrens, “The immediate solution is to release wild horses back into zeroed out herd areas originally designated for their use by Congress. BLM admits this is an option, but has failed to move on it—perhaps fearing reprisal from extractive users, many of whom are large multi-national corporations trying to enlarge their profits at the expense of taxpayers.”