Friday, September 30, 2011

Saylor Creek’s Wild Horses Return Home a Year After the Long Butte Fire

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

AWHPC Note: In the summer of 2010, the BLM rounded up all the wild horses (196) from the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area in Idaho after a wildfire. Despite receiving over 3,500 public comments urging the return of all horses after it had regenerated, the BLM decided to release just 30 horses to the range. The rest of the horses are being put up for adoption, but due to the low adoption demand, the majority of horses will likely spend the rest of their lives in long-term holding facilities, never to see their families or experience freedom again.

The 30 horses returned to this 57,000-acre range will leave this HMA below the already-low allowable management level of 50 that BLM has established for this area. As in other areas, the BLM allocates the majority of forage in this federally-designated wild horse habitat area to private livestock, with 19 times more Animal Unit Months (AUMs) designated for private livestock than for wild horses.
By Kimberly Kruesi, Times News/Magic, September 30, 2011

GLENNS FERRY • For the past year, Sheila Fraser has helped feed, clean and monitor wild horses in Boise corrals.
But all that stopped the minute she watched the herd step out from the confines of a trailer and gallop off into the wild.
“It’s an emotional day for me,” Fraser said. “I adopted my first horse out of this herd. This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to see them out here like this.”
Close to 30 wild horses from the Saylor Creek Herd returned to their home range Thursday. The herd lost its habitat to the massive Long Butte Fire a little more than a year ago. As a result, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials were forced to gather the 200-horse herd and house it in the Boise corrals.
Only a fraction of the herd was returned to the area because the BLM’s resource management plan dictates that the agency must leave room for herd growth, said spokeswoman Heather Tiel-Nelson. The BLM estimates that horse herds increase by 20 percent each year.
As for the remaining horses, some have been adopted, while the rest were moved to corrals near Salt Lake City and Carson City, Nev., Tiel-Nelson said.
Over the next few weeks, the BLM will monitor the returned horses closely to make sure the herd is adjusting to the area properly.
“The horses depend on us to provide water,” said Krystle Pehrson, a BLM wild horse and burro specialist. “We’ll be out here two to three times a week, monitoring to see how they adjust.”
The horses should be able to make the transition fairly easily since the herd contains a blend of old and young horses, Pehrson said.
The older 13-year-old horses have been raised in the area all their lives, except for the tiny stay in Boise, she said.
“These horses are creatures of habit,” she said. “They will stick together and the older ones will lead the others to food.”
Jody Pickel, a Mountain Home rancher, also adopted several horses from the herd. She said she was excited to see the horses returned to the wild.
“This herd has some beautiful horses in it,” she said. “They deserve to be out in the wild.”
Read more here:

MCSO: 2 emaciated horses taken from Buckeye home

Posted: 7:41 PM
Last Updated: 17 hours and 55 minutes ago
BUCKEYE, AZ - Sheriff deputies seized two horses in Buckeye on Wednesday after an investigator said the owner was not feeding them.
Sheriff investigators said one of the horses would probably not have survived much longer had deputies not rescued it.
Cory Romanoff was arrested and faces misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.
“My horse, I admit, was underweight," said Romanoff. "It wasn't anywhere near dying."
According to a sheriff's report, deputies have been out to Romanoff's Buckeye home, near 300th Avenue and Van Buren, five times in the past five months.
In three of those visits, there was no horse food on the property.
According to the MCSO report: "Dr. Hendrix responded to the scene and examined the two horses. For the sorrel horse named 'Havana' she gave a Body Condition Score of 1 out of 9, with 1 being severely emaciated and 9 being obese. Dr. Hendrix said this horse is on its last reserves and would probably not survive much longer.
For the horse named “Katie” she had a Body Condition Score of 1.5 out of 9. This horse was also severely emaciated."

“It just seemed to be that the opportune moments whenever it was time for us to go get hay or whatever need be, people do run out of hay, the sheriff's office would show up at that opportune moment or the Department of Agriculture and it's one of those things where they never show up when I have food here,” said Romanoff.
Romanoff claims one of his horses got sick and lost weight and, with the summer heat, has had a hard time putting the weight back on.
He said the other horse was a rescue who was already underweight when given to him recently.
“No matter what I never, never, never would abuse any animal," said Romanoff. "I love animals."
Romanoff told ABC15 he does not plan on trying to get his horses back.
“I feel at this time for the love of the animal and everything that's going on I myself have been [looked] at as not getting my horses up to the grade of health they need to be so for the right of the animals I am going to donate the animals to either MCSO MASH, whatever need be to make sure they get the proper care,” said Romanoff.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New BLM Wild Horse and Burro Honcho Sends Advocates Into Twilight Zone

Straight from the Horse's Heart
(In My Humble Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ President Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Aliens Take Over Washington

"Don't Ask Me Nuttin" ~ Joan Guilfoyle, new chief of BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program

Please excuse me while I slip off my sport coat, dress jeans and Sunday boots. We’ve been busy, the last several days, at the first annual International Equine Conference in D.C. and proper protocol required that I look, and act presentable. Which, I might add, was quite a chore when it came time to introducing the new director of the BLM’s broken Wild Horse and Burro program, Joan Guilfoyle; you know, the federal employee who appeared in an article in the New York Times, last week, spouting misnomer, incorrect facts and high school girlie sort of spew about how much she loves the pretty little horsies; that’s the one. It’s time for me to put my muck boots, crumpled straw hat and holey jeans back on because we got a few stalls to muck out.

Well gang; ole Joan volunteered to “introduce” herself to the equine advocacy community during this outstanding and one of kind equine convention. At first glance that was sort of cool and even kind of gutsy as there was not one living soul in attendance that agrees with her agency’s ongoing war and helicopter massacre of our federally “protected” wild horses and burros. Plus, many of us have yet to scab over from the abuse and arrogance doled out by her predecessor, Donn Glenn, who was a documented two-faced stooge and puppet for his boss, BLM Director Bob Abbey…BUT, and there is always a butt with some being much larger than others (and this one is huge), she would not answer any questions. Like a seagull she wanted to fly in, crap on our picnic table and then fly out, and we agreed.

Being one who has no opinion and spends lots of time sitting on the fence over major equine welfare issues I had a difficulty in swallowing that lack of transparency, disclosure and goodwill but (there is that butt again) I was told, even by my wife, that perhaps this would be a new beginning and that we should strive to build bridges instead of chewing at the pilings like I enjoy doing. (You see, Terry is a nice person and is always seeking ways to make things right between folks; she is the good side to my personality and to this day I don’t know what she sees in the other) So I agreed to bite my lip and go for the gold, “be a good boy, R.T.!” So off to the conference we went.

There really must be a rather twisted, yet enjoyable, sense of humor to that great spirit that guides our lives and opens up a variety of doors that we can choose to enter because when I stepped into the hotel’s lobby elevator, to head up to the conference room, who do you think was in the elevator…yeah, you got it, Joan, and thrown in for additional comic relief and Twilight Zone flashbacks was our good ole BLM buddy, Dean Bolstad. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven because you know that I just could not keep my snarky little mouth shut. Dean and I politely greeted each other, and he next introduced Joan to whom I promptly quipped:

“I sincerely have to give you credit for voluntarily walking right into the den of lions.”

“What do you mean?”, she asked, “I don’t get it, den of lions?”

Dean harrumphed and I instantly knew that the horses and burros were in a bind and my lip was going to be bleeding while I bit it off during the course of the upcoming morning.

We exited the elevator and as we walked down the hallway I continued,

“I will be introducing you, this morning, and understand that you do not want to answer any questions while in front of the audience but would you like to make yourself available for interested attendees during the break?”

The new director of the Wild Horse and Burro program quickly snapped her reply,

“Oh no, simply no questions what so ever.”

“Why is that?”, I asked.

And out of her mouth came a response that made all of time stand still,

“I have only had my job for five weeks and I really don’t have a full understanding of it, yet.”

You know that scene in the movies where the main character is standing in a hallway and all of a sudden the reality of the scene is lost as the hallway suddenly stretches out into infinity with this sort of vertigo instilling “whoosh” type sound effect comes into play; IT HAPPENED TO ME!!! Somewhere echoing inside my vacant head I heard myself scream;

“What sort of dumbass, idiotic, lamebrain remark is that? Did you not post or apply for the position that you felt your qualifications and experience were well-balanced against the federally documented requirements and expectations? And after five weeks if you don’t have a clue as to the scope of your responsiblity and the associated deliverables that you are held accountable for shouldn’t you be begging someone, somewhere to help you pull your head out of your ass as not a single soul in the private sector would still be employed in a management position if they didn’t know what it was all about after sitting behind the desk for OVER a MONTH?”…then my heart began to beat again, my mind cleared and I muttered, from my real mouth,

“That’s interesting.”

So the time came to introduce the clueless leader of the BLM’s Wild Horse War Department and I calmly walked up to the podium, said what I was required to say, bit my lip, evacuated my bladder and excused myself to the men’s room to throw up every last bit of moral fiber and good conscious that I had. It wasn’t pretty.

With a sore and beaten spirit I dragged myself back to conference room and subjected myself to a vintage high school dissertation on “what I did over the summer” except it encompassed an entire, self-centered life. I felt faint so I began pushing my pen into my right eardrum in an effort to center myself. I heard something about how “I always liked horses” and the hilt of pen disappeared into my skull. “I like being in D.C. cause I can ride my bike to work”, I found a pencil on the registration desk and began to work on my left eardrum because I could still hear. “I come from Minnesota, the land of the lakes, and I like to do water things”, the pencil disappeared into my brain faster than the pen, I scanned the area for a firearm to finish myself off with but none came into view. “You need to come out to a roundup and see what goes on, it will really, really help you understand how much we love the horses and are dong what is best for them.” My next conscious memory was waking up in the ICU at Alexandria General.

Dumbfounded, shocked, aghast…an entire Thesaurus of expletives does not even come close to the feelings experienced by that room full of intelligent, professional, aware equine advocates as the self-adulating pearls of governmental brain washing fell upon the conference room floor. It was stunning, unreal and at the very best, just plain stupid.

But to the rescue, with vital oxygen and Adrenalin in tow, rode Ginger Kathrens who was the very next speaker and the conference was saved from the terminal case of dribble and BLM disrespect and disconnect. We shall forever be proud and thankful that Ginger stepped up to save us but the taste of idiocy and unfairness still lingers in my mouth today.

“I get to tell you what I want but you can’t say anything to me cuz I said so” is the BLM’s new leader of the Wild Horse and Burro program’s mantra.

“If I begin to talk you might realize that neither myself nor the BLM leadership knows the first thing about what we are doing and that we fully intend to do all of the wrong things that we have been doing for years simply because, (insert evil laugh) we CAN!”

Let me repeat what I said as Joan left the podium,

“Consider this a good opportunity, Joan, to connect names with faces because you will be hearing from us on the range, in the media and in the courts of this great country!”, because ladies and gentlemen, we ain’t going away and nobody is getting away with thinking that WE are THAT stupid.

Tainted US horse meat puts world consumers at risk: welfare body

Tainted US horse meat puts world consumers at risk: welfare body

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BLM Alleges Internal Investigation on “Inhumane” Charges

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Story by: Pat Raia of The Horse

Likelihood of Impartial Findings Remote

photo by Laura Leigh
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will review the operations during a Nevada gather that some wild horse welfare advocates allege put animals at risk.
In July the BLM began gathering animals collectively from the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and the Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory, in Nevada. More than 1,200 animals were removed from the ranges during the gather, which was completed on Aug. 31.
On Sept. 23 BLM Director Bob Abbey announced that a review team composed of agency personnel would review existing agency procedures used at the Triple B gather relative to the alleged instances of animal abuse including those depicted in a video when a helicopter was seen striking a horse during the roundup. The BLM team will consult with specific non-agency experts during the review, Abbey said. The review and subsequent findings would be used to “inform” the agency’s development of a comprehensive animal welfare plan for the Wild Horse and Burro Program, Abbey said.
In a written statement Abbey said, “This fact-finding review is aimed at advancing the BLM’s ongoing efforts to strengthen humane animal care and handling practices. Any resulting changes in Bureau-wide standard operating procedures will apply to gather contractors, BLM employees, and volunteers.”
BLM Spokesman Tom Gorey said the agency is in the process of formulating its list of BLM personnel and non-agency consultants who would take part in the gather assessment.
Laura Leigh, vice president of the wild horse advocacy group Wild Horse Freedom Federation, questioned the value of a review conducted by BLM personnel: “As long as the (review) committee does not include individual members of the public and animal welfare organizations who aurally witnessed these atrocities, the review means nothing.”
Gorey said the review team is slated to report its findings on Oct. 12. Thereafter, review results will be posted on the BLM website.

Monday, September 26, 2011

D.C. Rally for Horses Fires Up Capitol City

Straight from the Horse's Heart

(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Truth Rang Loud and Clear in D.C. on Sunday

Pint-Sized Protester Lends Support ~ photo by R.T. Fitch
From across the United States and beyond, equine advocates converged on Washington D.C., Sunday Sept. 25th, to proclaim their support for equine protection at the “Unified Stand for Horses“.  Representatives from both sides of the Pro-Horse movement were present as Wild Horse and Anti-Slaughter advocates combined their efforts to tell not only the politicians who reside in D.C. but visitors from around the world the need to preserve our national heritage in the last remaining wild horses and the cruelty and danger of slaughtering American horses for human consumption.
The event was sponserd by Animal Resuce Unit (ARU) whose leadership, Brogan Horton and Cinimmon Gully, were on hand to host and encourage as speakers from across the movement shared insights and motivation with the event’s attendees.  Likewise groups from across the nation were present to lend their support America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) from Las Vegas were in attendance as was the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) from Houston.
International visitors stopped by to talk and to listen with most departing with a renewed interest in not only the American horse and burros but the undercurrent of disruption and abuse that threatens their very existence.
Sister rallies where held a cross the U.S. in support of the D.C. effort.

BLM to Review Nevada Gather Operations

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will review the operations during a Nevada gather that some wild horse welfare advocates allege put animals at risk.
In July the BLM began gathering animals collectively from the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and the Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory, in Nevada. More than 1,200 animals were removed from the ranges during the gather, which was completed on Aug. 31.   Read MORE...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

BLM Legal Worries Intensify over “Inhumane” Treatment of Wild Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Press Release from Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Additional Evidence Added to ongoing Wild Horse Case

One of many images added to mounting evidence in ongoing "Humane Treatment" case ~ photo by Laura Leigh
HOUSTON,  (WHFF) – Late Friday, Sept. 24th,  a second supplement was filed in the ongoing case against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that alleges inhumane treatment of wild horses during roundup activities.
The case was successful in gaining a temporary restraining order (TRO) late last month as Honorable Judge Howard Mckibben ruled that helicopter pilot conduct was inappropriate. Judge McKibben also cited his “displeasure” of the Defendant’s justification process.
“We have filed a supplement to update the Court that the same type of conduct appears to be continuing,” states Gordon Cowan, the attorney on the case, “in light of the ruling it seems incredible that no specific corrective action has taken place, no protocol or parameters made public.”
On the day of the new filing, that cites BLM’s lack of response to the decision, the agency made a statement via their press release pages on their website. They claim to be forming a committee to investigate the Triple B roundup that spurred the Judge’s decision. The majority of the press release however is a statement of justification for roundups.
At the Antelope roundup, the operation that occurred in this district just prior to Triple B, the BLM conducted another “investigation” into pilot conduct after video of the roundup hit the news media and complaints were made to the local Sheriff.
Laura Leigh, Plaintiff in the case, founder of Wild Horse Education and Vice President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, was onsite during the investigation and was questioned.
“During the actual investigation (Antelope) I witnessed horrific flying by the same pilot where he repeatedly came in close proximity to horses at high speed,” Leigh said “The BLM investigation found nothing wrong, even though they witnessed what I did. I am not surprised by the BLM response: self-controlled investigation, no immediate corrective action and a justification process, I have no faith in it.”
“This is an important case,” said R.T. Fitch, President co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation and author of Straight From the Horses Heart, “the public has had enough talk. This agency has been tasked with humane management for 40 years, it is time to stop talking and put a protocol into action.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Action Alert: Comments Needed Immediately for NAS Study Review

The Cloud Foundation

Action Alert: Comments Needed Immediately for NAS Study Review
Tentative Panel Stacked Against Wild Horses

Dear Friends of our Wild Horses and Burros;

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is accepting comments on their provisional committee members. The study will be reviewing the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. However, the current provisional committee makeup is vastly unbalanced.

An NAS committee is supposed to be balanced and free of conflicts of interest, as mandated by federal law. But the current committee members chosen for this study do not represent this impartiality. Some of the committee members have strong ties with largely anti-wild horse organizations, such as the Nevada Cattleman’s Association and the Wildlife Society.

The future of America’s wild horses and burros may rest in the hands of this NAS study. The scope of the study itself is expected to take two years to complete and is to include information on total populations, genetic diversity, annual growth rates, population control, immunocontraception, appropriate management level (AML) establishments or adjustments, and managing a portion of a population as non-reproducing.

Two wild horses from the White Mountain herd in southern Wyoming

I encourage everyone to make their own comments (which are only being accepted electronically here) on these tentatively selected committee members. Below are some talking points you can make in your comments.

You can submit your comments here no later than September 26th.

Here are some talking points you can include when you write your own comments (please use your own words):There is no one on the provisional committee who is well versed in the behavior and social structure of wild horses, which is a must for understanding the consequences of BLM management techniques.
  • One member of the committee, Dr. David Thain, has clear ties with Nevada Cattleman’s Association – a clear conflict of interest.
  • Two provisional committee members are tied to the Wildlife Society, an organization that has staunchly opposed wild horses.
  • Some members of the committee are supportive of the drug GonaCon, a contraceptive drug that has raised serious health/side-effect concerns if used on wild horses.
  • There is no one on the provisional committee who recognizes the scientific evidence that supports wild horses as a returned native species.
  • The distinct lack of balance of the provisional committee needs to be rectified before the NAS conducts this review, otherwise millions of tax dollars will be wasted and the wild horse and burro populations will suffer.

Wild horses and burros again need your help. It is my sincere hope that you will take a few minutes to comment on the lack of fairness currently awarded to these national icons.

Happy Trails!
Cloud's granddaughter, Jewel

Today's News

Thanks to Laura Allen for creating and posting the petition. Here is the link to the White House Petition. We only have 30 days to get 5,000 signatures. Please direct everyone to this petition. It doesn't do us any good to have a dozen petitions. If everyone goes to one petition we have a greater chance of reaching the required signatures in record time.

Short URL:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Complaint Filed Against BLM Oregon for Lack of Transparency at Wild Horse Roundup

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Public Observation of Capture Operation at Barren Valley Blocked as 7 Horses Die To Date

Washington, DC – September 23, 2011 – The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition of environmental, public interest, and humane organizations, today filed an official complaint with the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over the shutdown of public observation and refusal to provide basic information during the Barren Valley Complex wild horse roundup currently underway in southeastern Oregon.

AWHPC and its coalition partner the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), sent Deniz Bolbol to witness and document the roundup. However, BLM failed to provide meaningful observation of the capture operation between September 14-18 and shutdown all observation beginning September 19. The BLM Oregon also continues to withhold information from the public about captures and releases that is routinely provided by BLM offices in other states. 

Public observation area placed behind hill, blocking view of mouth of trap. BLM personnel observed from hill, but public prohibited.

“The BLM Oregon’s actions in the Barren Valley roundup are unacceptable and make a mockery of the agency’s promises of transparency in capture operations,” said AWHPC director Suzanne Roy, in a letter to Ed Roberson, Assistant Director of the BLM and Joan Guillfoyle, BLM wild horse and burro division chief. “The lack of public observation is particularly egregious in light of the high number of horses who have died so far in the roundup, including two mustangs who broke their necks at the trapsite. We urge the BLM Washington to act to correct this unacceptable situation without delay.”

Helicopter flies dangerously close to horses before they disappear behind the hill and out of view of public observers.

Other deaths include four horses “euthanized” due to vision problems, club foot, “Grade 2” body condition, and one who was killed for being a “dangerous aggressive horse.” This two percent fatality rate is higher than the death rates generally reported by BLM for roundup operations.

The letter requests the BLM Washington office to take steps to correct transparency problems and immediately disclose all information regarding the horses captured at the roundup – including the release of photographs of the horses who have died.

For more information about the roundup, including photographs and videos, please click here. The AWHPC would like to acknowledge the grant from the ASPCA that funded this public observation project.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), supported by a coalition of over 40 organizations, is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. For more information visit


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Put out to pasture

The Economist

IT SHOULD be a majestic sight: a line of mustangs galloping through the sagebrush, muscles quivering as they crest each ridge, a cloud of dust in their wake. But this is no natural migration. These creatures are being pursued by a high-tech wrangler who has traded a horse for a helicopter. As they run towards a trap of steel fencing, many of them face a future far from the range.   Read MORE....

Submit Comments on Proposed National Academy of Sciences Study Panel

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

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Urge Balance and Objectivity in Reviewing the Wild Horse and Burro Program

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Will the NAS review rise above the influence of the powerful livestock interests that drive the mismanagement of our public lands?


Comments Are Due Monday, September 26, 2011


The future of America’s wild horses on Western rangelands could very well rest on the outcome of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse and burro program. The NAS has appointed a provisional committee to conduct the review and is currently accepting public comments on the provisional committee members.
The first meeting of the review committee has also been scheduled for October 27-28, 2011 in Reno, Nevada.
The NAS is required by federal legislation to appoint a committee that is both balanced and free from conflicts-of-interest. AWHPC is concerned, however, that the proposed committee, which is provisional until public comments are reviewed, does not meet this mandate.
The outcome of the NAS review will affect federal wild horse and burro management policy for decades to come, so it’s critically  important that we get our comments in today!
Please submit comments by clicking here.  The NAS is only accepting comments via their online comment form. For your convenience, you can use the messages below to help guide your comments.
Subject: Imbalance on Provisional Panel Must Be Corrected
  • The provisional committee lacks any member with expertise in the most recent scientific evidence indicating that the horse is a native North American species. An expert in this area must be added to correct the current imbalance of committee members who hold the outdated scientific belief that wild horses are a “feral” and “invasive, non-native” species. The status of the horse and its relationship to the ecosystem has profound implications for the management of this species.
  • The provisional committee lacks expertise in  the subject area of natural behavior and social organization of wild horses in the West. This fundamental understanding of wild horses is essential to evaluating management policies, therefore this deficiency must be corrected in the final committee configuration.
  • The provisional committee is imbalanced in favor of those who accept the status quo with regard to livestock grazing on public rangelands and lacks any member with expertise on the environmental impacts of livestock grazing on public lands. At least one panel member, Dr. David Thain, has close ties to the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, yet there is no corresponding member who has expressed concern about public lands grazing. Since conflicts between livestock grazing and wild horses on public lands lie at the heart of the wild horse controversy, it is imperative that this imbalance be corrected in the final committee membership.
  • The provisional committee includes two members who hold official positions with the Wildlife Society, a group which has consistently taken a strong position against wild horses, testifying at public hearings, issuing press releases defending current BLM policy, and promulgating a policy statement that espouses the scientifically disproven theory that wild horses are a “feral,” “invasive,” and “non-native” species. If these members remain on the committee, then they must be balanced with members from organizations that have taken a pro-wild horse/pro-conservation stance. Both the Western Watersheds Project and the Humane Society of the United States have individuals qualified to serve on this committee.
  • The provisional committee includes a number of members who have been proponents of the contraception drug GonaCon, about which there are serious concerns regarding side effects and behavioral impacts. However, the committee lacks a proponent of the fertility control vaccine PZP, which has a 20-year history of use in wild horses and is considered to be both safe and effective. If any of the pro-GonaCon panel members remain, then they must be balanced with committee members who have knowledge of and extensive experience with PZP fertility control and have advocated for its use  in controlling wild horse populations.
  • Federal legislation requires NAS committees to be balanced and free from conflicts-of-interest. As a result, the imbalances in the current provisional panel for reviewing the wild horse and burro program must be corrected.
  • If the current imbalances on the provisional committee are not corrected, the tax dollars being spent to underwrite this review will be wasted. The controversy over the BLM’s wild horse program has continued for decades. If progress is to be made, the NAS must provide an unbiased and objective look at the scientific basis of the program.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TCEQ cites company for dumping dead horses on river bed News

by KVUE News
Posted on September 19, 2011 at 8:33 PM
Updated yesterday at 5:35 PM

PRESIDIO -- KVUE News has a follow-up to a story on the horse export pens on the border.
Horses in this country headed to slaughter in Mexico are held in livestock pens in this tiny West Texas town before they cross the border. A recent report revealed allegations of abuse and neglect at one facility. Now, the Texas Environmental Agency has cited that same company for illegally dumping dead horses along a river bed.
KVUE News has obtained video shot by investigators with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. They flew over the export pens in a DPS helicopter after complaints this summer about dead horses dumped in a dry river bed.
"The smell is horrendous," said Amber Taylor, who works with a horse rescue group in Virginia.  She shot her own video of the illegal dumping site.  Taylor came to Presidio to document allegations of abuse and neglect of horses kept in the Texas export pens before they’re sent to slaughter in Mexico. 
"You can just look up where these horses are and see the buzzards flying around," she said.
Taylor said she saw dying and dead horses at the export pens leased by the C-4 Cattle Company.
"I have to believe there are so many more," she said.
Environmental investigators also videotaped a path they discovered at the illegal dump site. It lead straight to the C-4 export pens.
The investigation details four serious violations. Most focus on the C-4’s failure to document the number of horses that died at the facility, the cause of death, and proof that the animals were disposed of at an authorized dump site.
In an e-mail, the owner of  C-4 said his lawyer would appeal the decision to cite his business.  The environmental agency has not imposed a penalty yet.
The company faces up to $10,000  a day per violation.                                    

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Barren Valley Roundup September 16-18: BLM Makes Mockery of Public Observation; Six Horses Die

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Trap Site

BLM has moved the trap site and established a public observation area more than three miles from the trap, rendering public observation of this roundup entirely meaningless. The BLM continues to withhold information regarding the breakdown of wild horses captured on a daily basis (i.e. how many mares, foals and stallions are captured each day.)
The above photo, taken with camera on full zoom, shows the BLM trap site near the end of the butte.   Read MORE...

Barren Valley – September 14-15, 2011

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

BLM Oregon Withholds Information from Public

Report by Deniz Bolbol, on behalf of the ASPCA and AWHPC.

Public Observation Sept 14-15, 2011: Poor visibility. The mouth of the trap is behind the hill - this is the area is critical for the public to observe as it is where the Sun J pilot has been documented getting dangerously close to horses as he stampedes them into the trap.
This is the first roundup I have attended in Oregon. On Wednesday, September 14, Mike Mottice – BLM Oregon’s Deputy State Director for Resource Planning – attended the roundup. Therefore what is taking place at the Barren Valley roundup is being overseen by those in charge of the BLM in Oregon. The Barren Valley roundup and observation is handled differently from the Triple B roundup which ended last month in Nevada. In addition to the contractor rounding up horses until 5:30 p.m. or later each day (at Triple B the contractor ended flying at or about mid-day), the BLM Oregon is far less forthcoming with providing the public information.  Communication between the BLM Oregon’s wild horse team and the PR personnel dealing with the public appears to be poor. Read MORE....

Barren Valley Sept 14, 2011 - Heli Close 


Monday, September 19, 2011

House Moves to Protect American Horses Here and Abroad

Animal Welfare Institute

Monday, September 19, 2011

American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 2966) Reintroduced

Washington, D.C. -- As Congress heads into their busy fall season, Representatives Dan Burton (R-IN) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), along with 55 bipartisan cosponsors have reintroduced H.R. 2966, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The bill, similar to the one approved by a strong bipartisan vote in the House several years ago, would outlaw the slaughter of American horses here and - most urgently - would stop these horses from being exported for slaughter.

"I personally believe in the importance of treating all horses as humanely and respectfully as possible," said Rep. Burton. "That being said, I look forward to working with Rep. Schakowsky to end the cruelty, after decades of effort to stop these practices."

"The Animal Welfare Institute commends Reps. Burton, Schakowsky and their colleagues from both sides of the isle for their continued leadership and commitment to protecting America's horses," said Chris Heyde, the Institute's deputy director of government and legal affairs. "They realize the cruel slaughter of horses must stop. It is certainly not fiscally responsible or humane to resurrect slaughter in the U.S. Doing so would require new federal regulations and increased bureaucracy while spending millions of taxpayer dollars - all in an attempt to 'manage' rather than simply outlaw the abuses perpetuated by this industry."

Recently, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report assessing horse welfare since 2007 and the closure of the last three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the U.S. However, the GAO was not asked and did not consider the impact slaughter had on America's horses while plants were operating in the U.S., or the impact should slaughter be restored - both vital to understanding the welfare implications. In the end, one of two recommendations was to ban slaughter in the U.S. and the export of horses for the same purposes - what the Animal Welfare Institute has said for years and the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act would do. Our elected officials should follow GAO's recommendation that Congress "...consider instituting an explicit ban on the domestic slaughter of horses and exports of U.S. horses intended for slaughter in foreign countries."

"I am proud to join Rep. Burton in supporting this bill to put a stop to the cruel practice of shipping horses abroad for slaughter," said Rep. Schakowsky. "As a strong supporter of animal rights and a horse lover, I recognize the need to protect animals that aren't able to protect themselves. Protecting animals ought to be a bipartisan issue and this bill is a strong step in the right direction."

The Animal Welfare Institute is calling on all Americans to demand that Congress halt horse slaughter by passing H.R. 2966, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, immediately. For far too long, the few who profit from this cruel industry have been misleading Congress and the public, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of horses. Since the Animal Welfare Institute began its national campaign to end horse slaughter in 2001, horse owners, veterinarians, agriculture organizations, equine rescues and the American public have all come together to help advocate for our horses. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act represents a critically important opportunity to safeguard American horses. The choice is clear. Rather than sanction cruelty, Congress must provide American horses permanent sanctuary from the slaughterhouse.


Media Contact:
Chris Heyde, AWI, (202) 446-2142

Be sure to take action on the Senate version of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S. 1176, and check back for the H.R. version as soon as it is available.

Children at Risk from Slaughter of US Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Information Supplied by the Equine Welfare Alliance

Politicians Out to Poison School Children for Political Gain?

In a feverish attempt to profit from the bloody sale of butchered horse flesh Wyoming State Rep. "Slaughterhouse" Sue Wallis proposes to feed tainted horse meat to Wyoming school children and prisoners
Chicago (EWA) – As Senator Max Baucus and the horse slaughter lobby make a concentrated effort to persuade Congress to reverse the 2007 defunding of USDA horse slaughter inspections, evidence is growing that the main consumers of US horse meat are not likely to welcome the move.
An Irish Veterinary Journal white paper, released in December of 2010, has recently come to light. The paper gives an inside account of the EU (European Union) deliberations that are leading to tough new restrictions on drug residues in animals, including horses, intended for human consumption horses. The new EU regulations clearly define food animals and the risk to humans, particularly children, of ingesting horse meat containing banned substances.
Focusing on one such banned substance, phenylbutazone, the paper outlines the extreme dangers to children and warns veterinarians, “It is a statement of fact that if the European Commission on its audit of this country find evidence of bute use in animals not excluded from the food chain, then the product will immediately lose its license Europe-wide. If samples prove positive for phenylbutazone or its metabolite in equine meat of Irish origin, it will be traced back, and the prescribing veterinary practitioner will be in the firing line of prosecution.”
The paper states “The difficulty with phenylbutazone is that it, or its metabolite, can cause aplastic anemia in children. If a child were to consume an animal-based product containing even the minutest amount of bute or its metabolite then the child may develop aplastic anemia.”
Horses have always been shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. The closing of the plants didn’t save U.S. horses from slaughter as the industry began shipping all horses across the borders. Moreover, phenylbutazone is one of the most popular and effective drugs used in equine practice in the U.S.
In a 2010 paper in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, doctors Marini, Dodman and Blondeau found that all 18 of the race horses that the study tracked to slaughter had been given phenylbutazone. The study further explains that the drug can take up in injured tissues and be released back into the blood stream later as the tissue heals, and that there is no acceptable washout period for the drug.
Ignoring food safety laws, outspoken slaughter proponent Sue Wallis has declared on several occasions that she wants to feed US horse meat to children and prisoners in Wyoming, as well as the starving children in Africa. Wallis went so far as to sponsor a Wyoming law, HB0122, which would provide that seized animals be slaughtered for use in such state institutions.
European Regulations [(EU Comm Reg No 504/2008] require all horses in Europe to have a passport [tracking system]. All passports issued to horses over six months of age will automatically be excluded from the food chain as will horses with duplicate passports. By 2013, the EU has announced that all third countries, including the US, will have to meet the same traceability standards.
Both Canada and Mexico are instituting tracking programs based on RFID tagging technology in order to meet the new requirements. However, after years of resistance from ranchers and horse owners, the U.S. scrapped a similar program called NAIS (National Animal Identification System) in 2010.
It is a well known fact that horses in the US are not raised or regulated as food animals. The US has no mechanism to remove animals from the food chain that have received substances banned in food animals or any way to trace horses back to the owner(s) or veterinarians that allowed the animal to enter the food chain.
Congress must start taking food safety seriously and realize the risk to the U.S. for knowingly allowing unsafe food into the foreign markets. Horse slaughter in this country is not used for food production but as a dumping ground for owners that no longer want to be held accountable for their animals and breeders that continually produce excess horses that far exceed the demand for horses. These animals should never enter the food chain.
Equine Welfare Alliance calls on Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 [S 1176] to protect US horses and foreign consumers.

Texas Stop Killing Wild Burros!


    1. Texas Governor, Texas Wildlife Commission, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

    Milwaukee, WI

Less than 300 wild burros remain but Texas Parks and Wildlife intends to kill these nationally protected burros to the "maximum extent possible". The national protections do not extend to this State-held land. What Texas is doing may be legal, but we think its an atrocity.
This horrid policy is carried out quietly, behind the scenes, with efforts to keep visitors to the Big Bend Ranch State Park from realizing wild burros are there and wild burros are being killed. We want the world to know how Texas chooses to kill their own living legacies of natural, cultural and historical heritage of their State, the region and America.
Only 5,800 wild burros are held in the protected areas managed by the BLM. Texas has their own small but vitally precious relic herd of wild burros, documented as laying claim to these lands as their ancestral home for hundreds of years. Officially, the Parks Department states that these wild donkeys harm the resource of the Park.
As evidence they provide ancient documents from 1974 and videos produced by the US China Lakes Naval Base where a 1981 court case revealed the base killed 648 wild burros illegally. In addition, Parks staff have stated on the record, that they needed to kill these wild burros to ensure that they could release restored "native" bighorn to the park.
The bighorn are a high profile species that are prized by big game hunters. Their restoration is heavily subsidized by private individuals who believe that the wild burro is an "enemy" of the bighorn. The hunting permits for the bighorn are sold in an auction format, with the highest recorded winning bid being $152,000.
Texas is killing wild burros to make way for hunting opportunities for wealthy hunters. The local community supports bighorn restoration, but not killing wild burros. Please help the community to stand up against these powerful forces that have refused to hear pleas to keep the wild burros, alive.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Band Together To End Horse Slaughter" Campaign!

Americans Against Horse Slaughter

Dear Friends,

Please see the article below. Kudos to Animal Angels and their unwavering efforts to expose animal cruelty. This is Huge!

Blow to European Horse Meat market expected to hit the US

Belgian and Dutch consumers were shocked to learn of widespread horse slaughter-related cruelty in North and South America. Undercover video footage aired on three major news programs showed horses designated for slaughter are routinely starved, dehydrated, injured and abused.

Click here for the entire article.

Thank You!

We also wish to thank everyone who participated in our online event

"Band Together To End Horse Slaughter" Campaign!

It was a HUGE success and has guaranteed that more American citizens will learn about this cruel and brutal practice. This event will help us implement phase I of our "Band Together To End Horse Slaughter" Campaign.

If you have not purchased your campaign support writst bands, you may still do so until midnight eastern time this evening. After midnight, the wrist bands will still be available however an additional shipping and handling cost will be added to your purchase.

Log on here to purchase now!

Members of Congress To Attend The International Equine Conference

This first International Conference on Equine Welfare will be a two part symposium to discuss issues related to (1) America's Wild Horses and Burros and (2) Slaughter: the Equine Welfare, Human Health and Environmental Implications.

Read more here:

Blow to European Horse Meat market expected to hit the US

Animals' Angels

Blow to European Horse Meat market expected to hit the US

Belgian and Dutch consumers were shocked to learn of widespread horse slaughter-related cruelty in North and South America. Undercover video footage aired on three major news programs showed horses designated for slaughter are routinely starved, dehydrated, injured and abused.

Horse meat is commonly available in Belgium and the Netherlands where consumers are almost completely unaware of the cruelties of horse slaughter. Most believe what suppliers claim on their websites, that the meat on their dinner plate comes from contented, grass-eating, healthy horses. The story begins by asking, "Do they [consumers] really know where it comes from?

The 8½ minute news segment was produced by GAIA, a respected animal welfare organization from Belgium, with much of the footage provided by Animals' Angels USA. The dire conditions of horses at slaughter plants, feedlots and markets in Mexico, Brazil and the U.S., have generated talk of boycotts and moratoriums on the import of horse meat from these countries.
Viewers are told "Cruelty goes hand in hand with incompetence", as undercover video shows a worker knowingly crushing the lower leg of a live horse as he forces the iron gate of an overcrowded trailer shut.
An English version of the story is available on youtube:
Consumers responding on television websites demanded action. "They [importers] told us the meat is of superior quality because the animals live a life of luxury and freedom on green pastures...well cared for with plenty of food. But it's a horrible lie."
On importer Chevideco's website, horses are said to be treated with respect and to live without stress. An accompanying photograph depicts well-proportioned horses standing knee deep in grass. Importer such as Visser & van Walsum make similar claims.
Within hours of the story's broadcast, supermarkets responded with promises to investigate. Delhaize, the second largest retailer in Belgium asked their supplier to remove affected meat from their shelves. Two other major grocers have told consumers they do not import horse meat from outside Europe.

Fenavian, the Federation of Meat Producers in Belgium, issued a response denying any wrongdoing and offering reassurances that adherence to safety and European Union animal welfare rules were standard practice.

"However, the evidence is quite overwhelming," said Sonja Meadows, president of Animals Angels U.S. "Up until recently, officials may have been able to claim that to their knowledge, the animals were treated properly. But now such claims are quite obviously false. Unfortunately we have plenty of documentation to prove that animals caught up in the horse slaughter pipeline are horribly abused."

Animals' Angels' began focusing efforts on the issue of European consumers' awareness about horse slaughter in November 2009 after meeting with the European Commission. AA shared with committee members evidence of extreme cruelty uncovered at Mexican horse slaughter plants, U.S. feedlots and government export facilities. AA filed an official complaint with the commission soon after the meeting.

Last month Gaia asked Animals' Angels for footage from Mexico and the U.S. to help with a European campaign to publicize the conditions endured by horses in the slaughter pipeline. Gaia had recently finished undercover investigations in South America and had gathered their own ample evidence of brutality.

Other organizations in the Netherlands and France are also launching consumer awareness campaigns. Most national and regional newspapers have published the story and photographs. Fueled by concerns from both consumers and animal welfare advocates, many more European news outlets are expected to pick up the story.

"I really doubt I'll ever eat horse meat again," said one man. "They may say they fixed the problem, but I'll never trust them again."