Saturday, August 16, 2014

Did BLM ineptness kill another 57 wild horses that were shipped to Scott City, Kansas?

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Did BLM’s inept management of wild horses cause another 57 deaths? Does this “total” include the additional 13 mares that had to be euthanized? Why is the contractor only being informed of the proper feed AFTER so many horses died?

These were most likely the wild horses that the BLM recently shipped from Teterville Long Term Holding in Kansas to the feedlot-like facility Scott City, Kansas. 57 horses are a lot of horses to die in a short period of time. Another BLM “investigation?” There is very little accountability to the public. BLM’s Press Release is below this article. The BLM is having a one day tour for CREDENTIALED MEDIA, but apparently, nobody from any wild horse advocacy groups has been invited. We request an immediate public tour of this temporary short term holding facility. Tax dollars pay for this.


Mares look at the public on a BLM tour of Long Term Holding pastures in Kansas. (photo by Carol Walker)

BLM Investigated Wild Horse Deaths

SCOTT CITY, Kan.(WIBW)– The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is investigating the cause of death for 57 wild horses that had been transferred to a corral in Scott City.

The BLM manages over 49,000 wild horses and burros on range land and 47,000 in open pastures and corrals.

In March an contractor in Kansas notified the BLM would continue a contract for care, but for fewer animals.

On August 5th, the group that had received almost 1,500 mares notified the BLM that 57 of the transferred mares had died.

BLM personnel and a USDA Veterinarian began investigating the deaths and the facility.

Preliminary results indicate the deaths were due to the age of the animals and stress related to relocation and no infections or contagious diseases were involved.


Release Date: 08/15/14


Paul McGuire


BLM Investigates Wild Horse Deaths at Kansas Corral

Scott City, Kan.—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has launched an investigation into the cause of death for 57 wild horses that were recently transferred to a corral in Scott City, Kan. The BLM, which manages 49,200 wild horses and burros on the range and 47,300 in open pastures and corrals, strives to ensure that herd sizes on the range remain in a healthy balance with other public rangeland resources and uses and places a priority on the well-being of the animals in its care.After removal from the range, the BLM aims to place animals that are not adopted onto open pastures, often in the Midwest.

In March 2014, an open-pasture contractor in Kansas informed the BLM that he would renew his existing five-year contract but for a significantly reduced number of horses, requiring the BLM to remove about 1,900 animals (1,500 mares and 400 geldings) by June 1, 2014.

Due to concerns about the older age of many of the animals and the stress associated with being moved, the BLM worked to find an appropriate facility as close as possible to the open pasture. The BLM located an in-state facility that could accommodate the animals and began moving 1,493 mares to the Scott City corral.

The transfers were completed on June 22.On Aug. 5, the contractor informed the BLM that a number of the transferred mares died between June 22 and Aug. 5; as of Aug. 15, a total of 57 transferred mares had died.

On Aug. 12, a team of BLM personnel and a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service arrived on site. The team is investigating the situation; determining the causes of death; evaluating the facility, the corral feed and feeding practices; and taking actions to support the short- and long-term needs of the horses. After arrival, the team euthanized an additional 13 mares that were determined to have little to no chance for survival due to health issues.Preliminary findings from the team’s USDA large animal veterinarian indicate that the animals died as a result of their age combined with stress from the recent relocation, the shift from pasture to corral environment and the change from pasture feed to processed hay feed.

There is no indication of infectious or contagious diseases being the cause.“Our team is working closely with the corral operator to make adjustments to the care of the animals,” said USDA veterinarian Dr. Al Kane, who is on the investigation team. “The horses have been fed three times a day since the beginning. In addition to increasing the amount of feed being offered during feedings, we’ve worked with the onsite veterinarian and the operator to increase the energy density of the horses’ feed by increasing the ratio of alfalfa to grass in the hay mix. This helps support the horses’ nutritional needs during the transition from open-pasture to the corral environment,” he added.

Once the investigation is concluded, the team will complete a report that will be made publicly available.
Credentialed media are invited to attend a facility tour on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Interested members of the press should contact Paul McGuire at (405) 826-3036 for additional information and details.

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