Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When Horse Slaughter Comes to Town: Environmental Impact

Tuesday's Horse

Mar 29, 2010
Thin Gray Line
by JANE ALLIN | March 2010
Thin Gray Line
Historically, the negative environmental impact of horse slaughtering plants has been well documented. In 2007, the last three horse slaughter plants in the US, all Belgium-owned, closed their doors due to state laws — Dallas Crown, Kaufman TX; Beltex Corporation, Fort Worth TX; and Cavel International in DeKalb IL.
Moreover, it was the administrators and residents of the localities who actively petitioned to have them shuttered, citing the extreme disregard for the welfare of the people and communities in which they existed as well as the merciless suffering of the horses sent there. All three plants amassed numerous environmental violations and overwhelmed the wastewater infrastructures due to dumping of blood, entrails, urine, feces, heads and hooves.
The Dallas Crown horse slaughtering facility had been in operation in Kaufman since the late 70’s and from the beginning had caused problems both economically and environmentally.
The slaughterhouse constantly flooded the town’s drinking water with blood and tissue – literally coming out of the taps – and had never complied with city water standards, or paid fines.”
Furthermore, in May 2002, the City noted that another public health hazard “was the vector attraction due to bones and horseflesh falling off your bone trailer” and that “dogs were carrying the bones into the community.”
In fact, in an open letter to state legislators considering pro horse slaughter resolutions, the town’s mayor at that time, Paula Bacon, referenced Public Works reports regarding effluent and wastewater violations “decaying meat [which] provides a foul odor and is an attraction for vermin and carrion,” containers conveyed “uncovered and leaking liquids,” there are “significant foul odors during the daily monitoring of the area,” and “Dallas Crown continually neglects to perform within the standards required of them.”
Beltex was a Texas Corporation with European shareholders that had been slaughtering horses for human consumption for 27 years. As with Dallas Crown, Beltex had a non-unionized workforce. OSHA records revealed that since the plants inception in 1977 until its last inspection in 1997, Beltex had committed 29 violations of which 28 were deemed serious. OSHA records show that an ammonia leak occurred in 1996, but no one (fortunately) died or was permanently disabled; in 2000 the facility “accidentally pumped blood into the creek” and “in 2001, they were notified that wastewater was flowing into adjacent properties and into the creek.”
Of particular note, the Sanitation Group of DeKalb IL where Cavel International was located identified the incomparable hazard associated with the discharge from horse slaughtering facilities.
This hazard is uniquely acute for horse slaughter because of the wide range of drugs given to horses that are clearly labeled ‘NOT FOR USE IN HORSES INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.’”
These noxious drugs are not only present in the meat intended for human consumption overseas but also in the wastewater and sludge produced during processing. This runoff has the potential to contaminate down-stream water intakes, including groundwater used for human consumption, and can enter the food chain via sludge distribution on crops.
Unlike the aforementioned decades old horse slaughter plants in Texas, Cavel International in Illionis was a sparkling new, purpose built facility that re-opened in June, 2004 with a state-of-the-art pre-treatment system.
Cavel International even had special Industrial Waste Permits that allowed much higher (8 times higher) contamination levels for wastewater leaving the slaughter house. But Cavel was still out of compliance. And not just a few times. This facility was in significant non-compliance hundreds of times. In one report, a Cavel employee acknowledges “chunks” from slaughtered horses were oozing out of tanks. This does not include the numerous safety violations documented by the FSIS.
As a final point, these practices and findings are not limited to the U.S. In Canada, Natural Valley Farms in Neudorf, Saskatchewan, was shut down by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2009 for food safety concerns. NVF went into receivership on September 22, 2008, yet horses continued to be slaughtered at the facility by Velda Group, an international Belgian-based company. Velda was infamous in Illinois for numerous environmental charges and convictions at their Cavel International horse slaughter plant that closed business in September 2007.
Blood disposal appears to have been equally problematic for NVF as with other horse slaughter plants. Not only do horses have twice the quantity of blood as cows, but the blood is notoriously difficult to treat. The bacterial agents used in standard cattle digesters fail to provide acceptable discharge levels because of antibiotics often found in horse blood. As a result, pollution follows the horse slaughter industry where ever it goes.”
And former mayor of Kaufman, Paula Bacon, comments:
In Canada they have apparently become even more blatant, dumping huge untreated piles of entrails onto open ground and even using a tanker truck to discharge blood and refuse into a local river.”
In any case, the negative environmental impacts and the chronic inability of the facilities to comply with local laws pertaining to waste management and air and water quality far outweigh any benefits. A quote by Henry Skjerven an investor and former director of NVF sums it up:
Natural Valley Farms died the day the decision makers chose to kill horses . . . .”
Thin Gray Line
Sources and Notes:– “When Horse Slaughter Comes to Town” is a 24-page, fully-referenced document for use in lobbying against horse slaughter. We are serializing the document in five parts on Tuesday’s Horse to educate the public about the significant negative impacts should horse slaughter come to their community.
Access “When Horse Slaughter Comes to Town” in its entirety for lobbying purposes here. pdf
Please help us send this report to state legislators pushing to return horse slaughter to America by putting a few dollars in our tip jar. Thanks! Click Tip Jar to Donate Online
© Int’l Fund for Horses

Lawsuit seeks return of 1,800 wild horses to Nevada range

RGJ .com

Staff report • March 31, 2010
Wild horse advocates today asked a federal judge in Washington to order the government to return to the Nevada range approximately 1,800 wild horses held in pens about 200 miles from their home range in Nevada’s Calico Mountain Complex.

The suit filed by In Defense of Animals, ecologist Craig Downer and author Terri Farley cited Judge Paul L. Friedman’s preliminary analysis that long-term holding of wild horses in the Midwest is likely illegal and asked the court to order the Department of Interior and Secretary Ken Salazar to find room for the captured Calico horses on public lands designated as wild horse herd areas.
Oral arguments were scheduled April 30.

Western Watersheds Project Wins Victory in Nevada Against Faux Rancher Barrick Gold

Western Watersheds Project

Posted with Permission


~ Jon Marvel

Western Watersheds Project has just won an administrative appeal1 MB in Nevada, halting a BLM decision that would have renewed a grazing permit for Paris Livestock, a welfare rancher who subleases a BLM grazing permit held by Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining mega-corporation in the world.  "Custom and Culture" indeed ! 
Often criticism of environmentally destructive public lands ranching is downplayed in the media and by industry groups who characterize public land ranchers as the "salt o' the Earth". 
This Cowboy Mythology is pervasive across the country where the general public is led to believe that a majority of public lands are grazed by 'mom and pop', 'cowboy' operations whose business enterprise and "custom & culture" would be extinguished if not for their commercial use of our public lands.

The facts are otherwise; the top 10 percent of public lands grazing permit holders control a breathtaking 65 percent of all livestock on BLM lands and 49 percent of Forest Service lands.  The bottom 50 percent of public lands grazing permit holders control a miniscule 7 percent on BLM lands and 3 percent on Forest Service land.
Golden-CalfMuch of your public land is grazed by the likes of Mary Hewlett Jaffe (heir to the Hewlett-Packard mega-fortune), who is the largest public land rancher in Central Idaho.  The largest welfare rancher in the country is Simplot Inc., a multibillion dollar corporation headquartered in Idaho.  Even huge international corporations like Barrick Gold, the largest pure gold mining company in the world, graze vast expanses of public land in Nevada, not because it is an economically viable enterprise, but because it is a politically prudent way for these international coorporations to 'buy-in' to the Cowboy Mythology and gain the political support of local county commissions who might otherwise resist these international companies' acquisition of water and control of land for their environmentally destructive mining operations.
WWP enjoys sending this little tap on-the-shoulder to Barrick Gold.

Off-Topic, but C'mon. You need to sign this one!

Punishment for the man crippled Mima

To Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov
Sponsored by: 
On March 26th Dobromir Donchev from Drianovo,Bulgaria found Mima lying crippled near his home. All four paws of the 5-years -old female dog were axed. Donchev took Mima to the vet immediately where she was stabilised. Nevertheless Mima will be most probably put to sleep. Her paws were cut in such a barberic way that  it is almost impossible to be replaced.
Mima's owner is sure the crime was done by a neighbour because of an old fight. But there is nothing he can do about it. There is no zoo police in Bulgaria and no proper punishment for such acts.
Young people from Drianovo now, are gathering signatures asking the Bulgarian Prime Minister for justice. Please show your support and hopefully this case will set the long waited changes of  Bulgarian Law against Animal abuse.



MO House Passes Scary Bill!

Americans Against Horse Slaughter

Dear Friends,
Please see the following urgent matter!  If you live in Missouri and can help organize a group of constituents, please email us at
Thanks for all you do for our American Horses!
American's Against Horse Slaughter
Your Help is Needed to defeat Missouri  Legislation H.B.1747
This bill was originally introduced to promote horse slaughter and it still does that. Read Animal Law Coalition's report below for more on this bill and what else all of us must do to stop it.
(Courtesy of Animal Law Coalition)
Update April 1: H.B. 1747 has passed the Missouri House of Representatives.  This bill now moves to the state senate
The version passed by the House is basically the same as the introduced bill, except for one significant change: If this bill becomes law, "[n]o law criminalizing or otherwise regulating crops or the welfare of any domesticated animals shall be valid unless based upon generally accepted scientific principles and enacted by the general assembly." 
Please click on the following link for more info on how you can lend your voice

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Humane Observer Elyse Gardner

Our wild horses are learning about city living.  Pigeon Fever has come to roost.
©3/28/10 Photo by Craig C. Downer

Pigeon Fever is a bacterial infection, highly contagious, generally not fatal, just awful, nasty uncomfortable/painful, smelly.The condition can be very painful, and affected horses may be very lame or reluctant to move.  The infection also causes fever, lethargy and weight loss. In some cases, it can be fatal. 
General practice is any barn or ranch where even one horse has Pigeon Fever, a "Do Not Touch" sign is put on the horse's fence/stall, a note of "Pigeon Fever," the horse is quarantined.  If the individual is touched -- and of course they usually are! -- one just makes sure to wash one's hands thoroughly.
Clinical signs: Pus sacs form on chest (hence resembling a pigeon), can form on jaw, sheath, and mammary areas, and more. They can form internally, and those can be very difficult to treat properly. They can need lancing if they don't break themselves.  Accepted veterinary procedure when Pigeon Fever is present is to disinfect with bleach before allowing other horses into an area previously occupied by a horse with Pigeon fever; to disinfect boots; to wash hands before touching another horse.  Bleach on dirt is not effective, so keeping pens or stalls mucked and clean is super important.  There is no vaccination or inoculation, and antibiotics are not necessarily recommended at first.
©Photography by Craig Downer

"Because this disease is so highly contagious, it is very important that veterinarians accurately diagnose these cases to tailor treatment and control," said an expert named Torres.  "Horse owners should be aware of the clinical signs and understand that veterinary care must be timely. Infected horses should be isolated, the abscesses properly treated and the drainage properly disposed of. The area where the infected horse is kept must be properly cleaned and completely disinfected because this is a very hardy bacterium. Pest control is extremely important. 

Apparently on this last Sunday (I wasn't able to get to Nevada in time after D.C.) no one saw Tomahawk or Lightning since they've been processed.  I want to see their demeanor, see how they are doing, see what pens they're in now, see if they have Pigeon Fever.   And little Mouse... all these horses I have not named -- they all have their own names anyway -- but who are dear and familiar. 

Here we take these pure, beautiful, healthy horses from their homes and coop them up and expose them to a disease that, like human herpes, they will carry the rest of their lives, having possible outbreaks.  How tragic to do this to these otherwise content individuals that so beautify and enliven the stark Nevada mountains. 
1)   WHY IS IT BUSINESS AS USUAL?  Why are not these infected horses placed in the ample hospital pens at Fallon?  There were plenty of extra pens three weeks ago.  Why are they are leaving Pigeon Fever-infected horses, horses with active abscesses, out with the general population, given how contagious this is?  
2)   BLM HAS CANCELED next Sunday's visitation due to the celebration of Easter but said they will not offer an alternative day although we have asked for one.    People have been steadily filling up the visiting appointment slots.  People are ready and waiting to go this week.  Why cancel?  BLM's decision is disregarding the clearly expressed desire and will of the American public.  In view of the horses' illness and BLM's laissez-faire approach, is BLM grabbing the opportunity to exclude the public? What do YOU think?

Equine Welfare Alliance Press Release


March 29, 2010



John Holland

Vicki Tobin                        

Shouts of Wild and Free, Let Them Be From Protestors of Obama Administration Policy
CHICAGO, (EWA) – March 25 will be remembered by equine advocates across the United States and the United Kingdom as the day the international cries for the wild horses and burros were raised loud and clear.
Rallies held in Washington, DC, London, England, Las Vegas, NV and Los Angeles, CA culminated with a report on CNN that exposed the propaganda being fed to the public by the Department of Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The video footage of the “starving” horses was released on a prime time report and left no doubt, the rationale given for the round-ups is pure fiction.
Mariana Tosca, Actor and Social Activist, was among the advocates attending the Los Angeles rally. Ms. Tosca delivered an impassioned speech that moved the crowd to tears. Ms. Tosca commented, "It is an honor to stand united with the citizens of our global community to bring attention to this urgent matter, which being left virtually unchecked is eroding the landscape of our national heritage."
The London rally took place outside the US Embassy. In attendance were Maria Daines, Singer/Songwriter and Melita Morgan, International Actress. Melita Morgan commented on the rally, “After working hard on our Mustang Mission, I hope we are very rewarded by all of our combined efforts, that have made such a difference. All these efforts long term will open eyes, tune ears and turn heads as to the plight of these very precious horses. Just being at Grosvener Square on that day, in front of The American Embassy in the grounds amongst the statues and words of great U.S Presidents of the past, gave me such food for thought. It brought to mind the words of Dwight David Eisenhower’s first Inaugural Address on January 20, 1953 – ‘The faith we hold belongs not to us alone, but to the free of all the world.’"
Maria Daines added, “There is danger in removing the beauty of living nature from its natural surroundings. For when the last horse is rounded-up, then shall we look back and regret that we could not live and let live, not even for the sake of the generations that will come after us, who will never know what it is we lost and how careless we were to lose it.”
Despite high winds, the Las Vegas rally was a huge success. Advocate Arlene Gawne commented that 500 petition cards were signed along with great coverage from KLAS-TV8. A smaller group of advocates continued the rally on Saturday at the opening of the Clark County Shooting Center and received honks of approval from event attendees. Senator Harry Reid commented that he supported Madeleine Pickens in her efforts for a western home for the captured horses and it was terrible how the horses were being penned.
The Washington DC protest moved from Lafayette Park to the steps of the DOI building. As the rally was winding down, the mounted police arrived. One can’t help but wonder if they were sent for crowd control or came to stand in silent protest with equine advocates. Proudly standing amongst the crowd were the living examples of why advocates are calling for an end to the slaughter of domestic and wild horses. Our horses are not food animals and deserve a humane end to their lives after racing, serving, performing, working or inspiring us as we provide for all non-food animals in our country.
The majestic horses under their mounts spoke volumes of the important role horses play in our society and throughout the history of mankind.
The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 100 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.



BLM Calls Death Stampede at Calico “Humane”

Horseback Magazine

By Steven Long
The federal Bureau of Land Management has challenged Horseback’s terminology calling a Northern Nevada Calico roundup “ill fated.”
“The Calico gather wasn't "ill fated." It was conducted in a professional and humane manner and achieved the goal of bringing an
overpopulation of wild horses in the Calico Complex within the established appropriate management levels,” spokeswoman JoLynn Worley said in a note to the magazine.
The note failed to mention well over 100 deaths and miscarriages, protests from London to San Francisco, and calls in Congress for the Will Horse and Burro Program be stripped from the BLM due to gross mismanagement.
The horse deaths at Calico and Fallon, allegedly a result of helicopter driven stampedes, equal all of the 2009 fatalities during the bureau’s roundups.
Worley also acknowledged that Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz signed the Calico environmental assessment decision record finding of no significant impact.
Two vets have worked the “gather” and holding facility at Fallon since late December. Neither has professional vitae on file with the bureau, and one does not hold a veterinary license in that state.

Breaking News: National Billboard and Text Message Campaign Launched to Protect America's Wild Horses

For Immediate Release
Media Contacts: 

Suzanne Roy, AWHPC Campaign Director

Makendra Silverman, Associate Director, The Cloud Foundation

Anne Novak, Media Relations Director, The Cloud Foundation

Wild Horses Jockey for Attention of Kentucky Horse Enthusiasts through First-of-a-Kind Billboard Campaign

Wild Horse Preservation Billboards Debut This Week in Lexington and Louisville in Time for Biggest Horse Events

Lexington/Louisville, KY – March 30, 2010 – As horse enthusiasts flock to Lexington and Louisville in April to attend the big three equine events -- Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, Keeneland Race and Sales, and the Kentucky Derby -- they will be greeted by billboards urging them to take action to save America's wild horses. 

"STOP WILD HORSE ROUNDUPS" - "Text MUSTANG to 44144" is the message of the billboards showcasing large ominous photos of helicopters chasing horses. The billboards debut this week and are sponsored on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) by coalition partners Return to Freedom's American Wild Horse SanctuaryMadeleine PickensThe Cloud Foundation and Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue. 

"Kentucky is an important international hub for equine enthusiasts and we're thrilled to launch this billboard and text advocacy campaign with the message that America's wild horses are facing their last stand on Western rangelands," said Return to Freedom founder and CEO Neda DeMayo. 

"The American public, as well as the Congress, has made it clear that wild horses on federal land are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the American West and must be protected," said Madeleine Pickens. "We must all work together to preserve these magnificent animals to create a legacy all Americans can be proud of."

"America's iconic mustangs are threatened by a destructive federal policy that rounds them up by the thousands off the Western range, stockpiles them in government holding facilities in the Midwest at taxpayer expense," The Cloud Foundation director and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens. 

"The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) wild horse policy is bad for taxpayers, bad for the horses and bad for our nation, which, year by year is losing an important part of our heritage. It's time for change," said Jill Starr founder and director of Lifesavers. 

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is using the same cell phone advocacy tool that recently gained notice after the filmmakers of the documentary The Cove held up a sign during their Academy Award acceptance speech asking viewers to “Text DOLPHIN” to help their cause. Respondents to the MUSTANG text outreach will be asked to join the effort to save wild horses by asking Congress to suspend BLM cruel wild horse roundups 

The brutal helicopter stampedes routinely run dozens of horses to their deaths. At least 79 horses have died so far as a result of the recent BLM roundup in Nevada's Calico Mountains. More than 40 heavily pregnant mares spontaneously aborted after being chased and terrorized. Two young foals were run so far and hard over treacherous terrain that their hooves literally separated from the bone, requiring euthanasia. Dozens more horse suffered illness and injury due to the roundup. 

The BLM continues to perpetuate the myth that wild horses are starving and must be rescued. The BLM's unwarranted removal of horses from the range in numbers that far exceed adoption demand has resulted in the stockpiling of over 36,000 horses in government holding pens and pastures. That number exceeds the estimated 33,000 wild horses left on the range. The program costs taxpayers over $44 million annually. Costs continue to rise as the BLM captures thousands more horses each year. (Nearly 12,000 are targeted for removal in Fiscal Year 2010 alone.) 

The AWHPC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Its grassroots efforts are supported by a coalition of over forty organizations representing 10 million citizens nationwide. For more information see  www.wildhorsepreservation.comThe billboards are located on major arteries into Louisville and near the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. High resolution images are available upon request.

Chambers of Carnage - A Sweeping Undercover Investigation of Canada's Leading Equine Slaughterhouses

Canadian Newswire

Horse Welfare Group calls for immediate closure of Canada's horse slaughter plants

WESTBANK, BC, March 30 /CNW/ - In late February 2010, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) received hidden camera footage of horse slaughter practices at Quebec's Viandes Richelieu and Alberta's Bouvry Exports - the latter known as North America's largest exporter of horsemeat. The CHDC has asked a panel of veterinarians, the BC SPCA and the World Society for the Protection of Animals to review the footage, which contains numerous instances of improper stunning and horses showing signs of returning consciousness.

Early audit results of the footage show automatic failures of both facilities.

The CHDC has compelling proof that puts into question the effectiveness of the assembly-line slaughter of horses. The evidence demonstrates that both the facilities in Alberta and Quebec fail to meet humane slaughter standards used by the CFIA to audit Canadian slaughterhouses.
The CHDC's June 2008 report on Natural Valley Farms - the now bankrupt horse slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan ( documented the inadequate stunning of horses with the penetrating captive bolt gun.
At both plants in the February 2010 investigation, a .22 rifle was used, and again horses were shot incorrectly, with some regaining consciousness. As stated by Alberta veterinarian Dr. Debi Zimmermann: "I conclude that the wary and flighty nature of the horse, coupled with the poorly designed kill plant systems currently in place at Bouvry Exports and Viandes Richelieu, results in unacceptable levels of suffering endured by horses (both in number of horses and degree of suffering), and poses inherent dangers to plant personnel." Dr. Zimmermann adds: "The shooters are seldom able to adhere to the required protocols for euthanasia by firearm, due to a combination of horse and human factors."
As there are only two government-approved methods of stunning horses in Canada - captive bolt gun and rifle - and both methods have been shown to cause prolonged suffering in numerous horses, we conclude that these animals cannot be slaughtered humanely in today's slaughterhouse assembly lines.
The CHDC therefore calls for the immediate closure of Canada's horse slaughter plants.
To view footage, go to

For further information: Twyla Francois, Central Region Director, T: (204) 296-1375; Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director, T: (250) 768-4803, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition,,

Man pleads guilty to aggravated animal cruelty in Lousiana equine case

Man pleads guilty to aggravated animal cruelty in Lousiana equine case

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, March 29, 2010

Equine cruelty case to Louisiana mare gains national attention

Equine cruelty case to Louisiana mare gains national attention

Posted using ShareThis

Marching in memory of La Belle, the first Calico mare shot by the BLM

Marching in memory of La Belle, the first Calico mare shot by the BLM

Posted using ShareThis

Elyse Gardner gets up close and personal with captive Calico wild horses

Elyse Gardner gets up close and personal with captive Calico wild horses

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PNGI Tracks Adopt Anti-Slaughter Policy


PNGI Tracks Adopt Anti-Slaughter Policy

Updated: Monday, March 29, 2010 3:10 PM
Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010 2:35 PM 
Penn National Gaming Inc. has adopted a policy that punishes horsemen that sell horses for slaughter.
The company, which currently owns five horse racing tracks and has an agreement to purchase a sixth, released the company-wide policy March 29. It is similar to those in place at other racetracks.
The policy states: “Any horsemen stabled at a Penn National Gaming Inc.-owned or -operated horse racing facility who knowingly, or without conducting proper due diligence, sells a horse for slaughter, directly or indirectly, will have his or her stalls revoked and may, in addition, be barred from all of our racing properties.”
PNGI said horsemen are required to conduct “proper due diligence on those buying horses.” The company said it encourages horsemen participating at PNGI facilities and industry-wide to support rescue and adoption efforts and to seek humane means of dealing with horses unable to continue racing.
The policy took effect immediately at Black Gold Casino at Zia Park in New Mexico; Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia; Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway, a harness track in Bangor, Maine; Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania; and Raceway Park, an Ohio harness track.
“We need horsemen to become educated and use best efforts and practices in how they manage their equine charges and to act in a responsible way when those athletes no longer are able to race,” PNGI vice president of racing Chris McErlean said. “We plan to assist our respective horsemen’s organizations in promoting and advertising available options.”

One Terrific Speech at the D.C. Rally: A Must-Read!

Rob Pliskin

Art and Horses

(Laura Leigh's Blog)

Rob Pliskin (photo by Mom and Tom)

Laura Leigh is a freelance artist and Subject Matter Expert for The Equine Welfare Alliance in the research department.
All photos and video on this site are credited to Laura unless otherwise noted.

The conference is supposedly a dialogue toward solutions to issues surrounding the management of public range land. The conference provides continuing education credits for Bureau of Land Management employees. If you have the extra money order a copy of the event, it is pretty interesting. It has little gems on it that include Tom Gorey of the BLM admitting that the Salazar plan was created because of fear of ROAM. Repeatedly they express a lack of confidence in any Congressional legislation… often to laughter from the audience. A priceless statement to the credibility of the event, Sue Wallis was the Ethics speaker at the conference (OK, stop choking). But I’m getting off track.
I was told to look for Rob that he might have some questions. He sat next to me for the entire second day. (Three day conference). I watched Rob become increasingly vocal and passionate.
Rob Pliskin is a volunteer for the BLM. You may differ in opinion on some of his positions, you may not. In truth we all have subtle differences that in the big picture wont amount to anything if current protocol does not stop now.
I asked Rob if he would send me a copy of his speech from DC and a photo.
These are Rob’s words….


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wild Horses and Burros Available for Adoption in Kingman

BLM Website

Release Date:  03/23/10   
Contacts:         Mike Brown     , 928-718-3756     

Wild Horses and Burros Available for Adoption in Kingman

Kingman, Ariz. – If you have ever wanted to adopt a wild horse or burro, here's your chance. From March 29 - April 3, and April 5- April 7, 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Kingman Wild Horse and Burro Staging Corrals will have 12 wild horses and 5 burros available for adoption by appointment only.

“We’ve got a limited opportunity for folks in the Kingman area to adopt wild horses or burros while they’re here at our corrals,” said BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist June Wendlandt. “Please call the BLM Kingman Field Office at 928-718-3700 for information and to set up a time to adopt a wild horse or burro. The animals will be adopted on a first-come, first-serve basis.”

Wendlandt added that the wild horses are two to three years old and from California, Nevada, and Wyoming. There are three geldings and nine mares. The five burros are one to three years old, from California, and include three jacks and two jennies.

The cost is $125 per animal. Successful adopters may be eligible to “Adopt-A-Buddy” horse for $25. Every horse and burro up for adoption has been vaccinated for common equine conditions and diseases. Adopters will receive complete health care records, as well as herd management and other information for their newly adopted animals.

To qualify to adopt, citizens must be at least 18 years of age, and have no convictions for inhumane treatment of animals. Adopters are required to keep each newly adopted horse and burro in its own corral measuring at least 400 square feet, and constructed of sturdy pipe or rail (no field fencing or barbed wire). Required corral heights vary from four-and-a-half feet high for burros, to five-feet high for horses younger than 18 months of age, and six-feet high for horses 18 months and older. Corrals must also include a shaded area and water trough. Adopted animals must be kept in their own corral until they can be approached, handled, haltered and led. Open pastures or any areas that include barbed wire or field fencing cannot be used.
About 33,000 wild horses and burros are currently roaming on public lands in the western states. More than 215,500 animals have been placed in private care since the BLM Adopt-a-Horse or Burro Program began over 30 years ago.

For additional information on the BLM visit our website: for the adoption website and downloadable application.

The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

Kingman Field Office   2755 Mission Boulevard      Kingman, AZ 86401 

DC March for Mustangs – The Nation is Speaking but is Anyone Listening

Straight from the Horse's Heart

March 28, 2010

Obama still turns Deaf Ear to Wild Horse Deaths

Wild Horse Advocates before mounted Police - Photo by Terry Fitch

It sort of turns the average citizen on their ear when they write, call, fax, email and even go directly to Washington D.C. only to be greeted by a wall of total silence.  For years Americans have been demanding that the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cease their senseless stripping of native wild horses from public lands yet they have continued to do so.  In fact, this year the pace has accelerated to the point that there is true doubt over how many wild horses still exist in their native habitat.

This past week, dozens of law abiding citizens left their homes, family and jobs to participate in a rally in Washington D.C. called “March for Mustangs’, an effort to highlight the the need to stop the deadly helicopter round-ups conducted by the BLM.  Participants not only walked the halls of the Congress and Senate but they joined in a rally before the White House and marched to the Department of Interior building.
Everyone attending was a celebrity for taking the time and spending their own funds to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.  There is an Op-Ed/Commentary stirring within this story but oftentimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  So we share with you a pictorial collage of the people who are battling the federal government in an effort to save our wild horses from extinction (Please see below)

This Video is Dedicated to all of the Advocates who give of Themselves for the sake of the Wild Horses



Saturday, March 27, 2010

Say Something!

American Herds



For months now, American citizens of all ages, political affiliations, and backgrounds across the nation have been calling on President Obama to step up to the plate and speak out to rein in the government’s management of the Wild Horse and Burro Program and America’s mustangs and burros.

Despite campaign promises that he was squarely for protecting our wild herds, once elected, the President’s ongoing silence has become a deafening roar as concerns and pleas for intervention continue to be meet with nothing more than a Presidential cold shoulder.

Mr. Obama is obviously capable of taking swift and decisive action to speak out on issues of national importance, such as his immediate confession that “he loves Las Vegas” to appease the political fallout out and media backlash resulting from his targeting of Vegas as the national Icon of Excess.

However, it appears the President’s compassion doesn’t extend as far for the ongoing plight of America’s mustangs and burros or their own national iconic status as it does for dinging the reputation of glitzy and glamorous fabulous Las Vegas.

While President Obama’s limousine cruised down the streets to make amends and present apologies over champagne, wild horse and burro advocates tracked his brigade in efforts to be heard.

Catapulted into office by a world hungry for change, Mr. Obama baited his audience with such promises as transparency, open government and giving the people a voice. Since his arrival at the White House, too often we have only seen more of the same!

In late January, 2010, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a long-standing organization developed and dedicated to protecting government whistle blowers who tell the truth about what is really happening behind the scenes, issued a news release detailing how the Obama administration planned to deal with the transparency issue and government workers.

The new release was titled, “Obama Gag Ordered On Federal Workers Like Those Under Bush”, and it summarizes the issues by stating, “Despite proclaiming new levels of transparency and accountability, the Obama team remains rooted in a ‘message control’ mentality that punishes workers for unscripted candor.”

Highlighting key issues and tactics being used to shut down government transparency, PEER outlines how, after President Obama issued a “signing statement” in March 2009, he authorized extending his control for restricting information and public access to even include restricting federal employees’ ability to provide information to Congress, [which includes] “his inherent authority to ‘supervise, control, and correct employees’ communication with the Congress”.

While I may not have the credibility or long-standing weight of PEER, since President Obama’s arrival on the American scene with his promises of transparency, open government and change, my own experiences mirrors PEER’s report as communications with government personnel have all but dried up.

As public affairs specialists have taken center stage to orchestrate spin, myths and continued propaganda, the agencies themselves are echoing the same deafening Obama silence that continues to ring across the nation and abroad as the war on America’s mustangs and burros continues, unabated.

On Thursday, citizens from across the nation went to Washington D.C. to "March for Mustangs", with support from simultaneous protests in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and London. It has been reported that the Washington protesters were met with mounted police, armed guards, had their photos snapped by some secret service type guy and were forbidden to set foot on the steps of the Department of the Interior.

Across the sea, London protestors raised their voices in support and unison demanding real change and a halt to the destruction of these - our national treasures.

Included in the protesters were singer/songwriter Maria Daines and guitarist Paul Killington, whose passionate words and praises for these fast-disappearing American icons show how these magnificent animals are loved throughout the world!

Below is a video of Paul Killington leaning against a monument to former President Dwight D. Eisenhower in front of the American Embassy as he joins the call to President Obama to SAY SOMETHING about the war being waged against America’s mustangs and burro.

I thought it would be appropriate to reminisce about what former President Eisenhower had to say before he departed from the American stage – since President Obama still has nothing to say….

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961


President Obama remains mute on wild horse roundups


Protest against the capture and warehousing of America's wild horses and burros continued Thursday with simultaneous demonstrations in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Las Vegas and London.  President Obama remains silent on the issue.


The Last Mustang



EWA Chair Calls BLM Handling of DC Protestors Heavy Handed

Horseback Magazine

By John Holland.
WASHINGTON, (EWA) - The demonstration was great, but you really got the feeling of being in a dictatorship! Much of this might be because of the recent anti-health care bill demonstrations and threats, but I have not felt this atmosphere since the 60s.

A guy came around us, climbed the stairs and stood at the top with the armed guards and used a zoom lens to take photos of all of us individually. Funny thing was that one of the guards thought he was with us and tried to throw him off the steps because we were not allowed to touch a single step. Another of the other guards stopped the first guard. It just shows what a stupid bunch we are dealing with. I just couldn't help thinking about the Keystone Cops.

 I especially loved it when they called out the mounted patrol on us. Many of us immediately migrated toward them. One of the horses was a huge gray that did not have a body shape we could identify. I asked his mount what breed it was and he ignored me. Only their leader would talk and he was an asshole. I was so tempted to say "I have been around horses all my life and never seen one before who had two assholes" but discretion got the better of me.

I told him that if they were looking to intimidate us, they picked the wrong crowd! I said I face three times that many horses every morning for their feed. He said "We are not here to intimidate you." So I figured that meant hey must be have been there to do something more physical.

I used to marvel that I was able to roam the halls of Congress as freely as I was, but that is changing. It is get darker and more brooding every time I go. Reuters and AP were both there, so we should see more!

Maria Daines Speech for the Wild Horses of America



Paul Killington speaks up for the Wild Horses of America



Friday, March 26, 2010

From the White House Protest Rally

Horseback Magazine

CNN Airs Cruelty at Calico "Gather" in BLM Scandal

By Steven Long
Photos by Terry Fitch
WASHINGTON - Protesters gathered in front of the White House as President Obama spoke in support of health care at a packed house at the University of Iowa today.
The protesters were met with armed guards when they reached the U.S. Department of Interior. One protester reported back to supporters of the tnd of federal Bureau of Land Management roundups. 

 "We congregated at Layfayette Park and there
was a podium with microphone and speakers," said a wp,am wjp declined to be identified. "Ginger Kathrens, RT Fitch, Nancy Perry from the Humane Society of the United States, John Holland if the Equine Welfare Alliance, Elyse Gardner, James the film producer, Rob, a BLM volunteer who is very much on our side, and Craig Downer, spoke to the crowd. 

"There were about 100 people at the rally," she reported. "After the speeches, we walked to the Department of Interior with our signs and we chanted slogans like 'tell the truth' wild and free let them be, no Salazoos."
But the peaceful protesters were met with force when they reached the office of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
"We were met by several armed police officers standing at the top of the steps with their guns in their holsters. More police on foot came to the DOI, a policeman on a motorcycle and then 4 mounted police officers stood in a line across the street where there is a park. I couldn't believe that they felt so threatened."
Anger and frustration wereat American horse lovers being treate like foreign terrorists were voiced by those who marched.
"It was pretty amazing and shocking that Salazar and company called out essentially the National Guard," a protester told Horseback Online. "All they needed were RPGs and Armed Personnel Carriers to complete the military style posse."
A Washington area protester was nostalgic about the DC of old and tje Department of Interior structure..
"This imposing building hides all of the secrets, deception and the selling out of our public land to special mining interest. The figures were standing by the large windows on the upper floors looking down on us and we crossed the street to the park so we could stand in front of the horses of the mounted police. Their silence was deafening despite gestures to start a conversation with them."

Is Horse Round-up Deadly?




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Animals' Angels Report: ABUSE at Horse Slaughter Holding Facility

Animals' Angels

Recent horse slaughter investigation exposes neglect at collecting station in Louisiana - Calls needed

Animals' Angels needs your help - We have filed a complaint with the Bastrop, Louisiana police department against the Stanley Brothers regarding their treatment of a lame, emaciated horse whose suffering is flatly illegal in the state of Louisiana.
But we are asking your help in pressuring the City Attorney of Bastrop to file charges against Stanley Brothers for violating state animal cruelty laws mandating veterinary care. 

The Stanley Brothers, with their long involvement in the horse slaughter trade, have had numerous convictions and complaints filed against them. Their sad history, coupled with calls to Animals' Angels from concerned citizens triggered our investigation. 

The Stanley Brothers history includes:

1. Cruelty complaints filed locally concerning dead animals on their property, with the officer finding dead horses, cows and sheep both inside and outside the barn. However, no investigation was launched and no charges filed (a local official told AA investigators that the Stanleys have money and influence and are thus unlikely to have any problems with such complaints).   
2. Conviction and fine of $10,550 for violating Equines to Slaughter Regulations, which included a violation for transporting a horse blind in both eyes.  
3. Conviction and fine of $12,800 for the illegal shipment of EIA infected horses, breaking the laws regarding both the Animal Health Protection Act and again the Equines to Slaughter Regulations. 
4. Violations of Federal Motor Carrier laws include: False or no log book; False report of drivers record of duty status;No medical certificate on driver's possession.

 We found that despite their convictions, fines, and complaints from the local population, the Stanley Brothers continue to operate inhumanely and animals continue to suffer terribly.
Summary of investigation:
Please click here for a copy of the full investigative report. (Scroll down to Stanley Brothers investigation)
Arriving at the Stanley Brothers Collecting Station the Animals' Angels investigators soon observed a lame and severely emaciated horse. The horse held her swollen, left front leg out in front of her, completely unable to bear weight on it. A green USDA slaughter tag was affixed to the horse's withers. 
Unable to tell if this horse was among those loaded for slaughter the next day, investigators followed the trailer to the export pens in Eagle Pass, TX. Observing the truck unload at the pens the investigators could confirm that the white horse was not there.

Relieved that the horse had not been shipped, but concerned about its pitiful condition and that it continued to suffer in Louisiana, the investigators called the Bastrop police department to file an animal cruelty complaint. We asked the police to locate the white horse and ensure that the animal received much needed and legally required veterinary care.
According to the police report, the dispatched police officer located the white horse and another horse in need of veterinary care. Police Chief Black informed us that the Stanley Brothers had been advised to obtain veterinary care for both horses and that the police report and all the evidence had been forwarded to the City Attorney John Bentley.
When we did not receive any further information during the next few days, we contacted the police department again for an update. We were informed that when a police officer went to check on the condition of the white horse again, it was gone. Surprisingly, he did not inquire what had happened to it nor did he found it necessary to investigate further.

We then contacted City Attorney John Bentley but he seemed to have no or very limited knowledge of animal cruelty laws in his state. He informed us that he would have to do further research and would get back to us. We provided him with a copy of applicable animal protection laws.
It has been almost three weeks now with no new information or knowledgeable response from any of the Bastrop officials involved.
Please call Bastrop City Attorney John Bentley and politely ask why, with the recent history of existing animal cruelty complaints, the substantive evidence provided to them, and their own police report confirming our findings and finding new violations,-why he has not effectively pursued this matter and charged the Stanley with animal cruelty. Mitchell and Gregory Stanley, d/b/a/ Stanley Brothers, seem to operate with little or no regard for the humane treatment of animals or the laws.
We believe that with your help, by making a phone call, the Stanley Brothers will be called into account.  

Thank you for your help-it is essential-and for continuing to stand firm in fighting animal cruelty. We count on you!
Please call:
Bastrop City Attorney
John Bentley