Friday, April 30, 2010



From Front Range Equine Rescue

*Stop over-breeding, irresponsible breeding, backyard breeding*

*License stallion owners; a “nominal” fee can help deter irresponsible breeding practices*

*Promote responsible breeding; quality over quantity; demand must exceed supply for market values to rise in good and bad economic times*

*Increase brand inspection fees and use funds for low cost gelding and end of life (humane euthanasia via a licensed vet) programs*

*Strengthen cruelty statutes and ensure enforcement*

*Connect animal control officers with qualified rescues and other horse professionals for impound/seizure assistance*

*Develop horse related businesses to take in former slaughter bound horses (therapeutic riding centers, riding academies, guest ranches, trail riding organizations, equine assisted therapy programs, youth camps, etc.)*

*Increase # of riding qualified instructors and trainers to take on re-training of former competition horses*

*Encourage non-horse owners to become part of the horse industry (participate in horse related events, sponsor programs, job creation)*

*Develop quality intern/apprenticeship programs to work with horses (domestic & wild)*

*Develop more equine studies programs to bring more people into the horse industry and programs which utilize horses in appropriate ways*

*Support and develop more programs like Front Range Equine Rescue’s “Stop the Backyard Breeder” and “Trails End” programs*

*Improve tracking of stolen horses and prosecute offenders*

*Educate new, existing, potential horse owners on responsible horse care*

*Provide community hay banks, feed co-ops for both good and bad economic times*

*Educate on re-homing of horses (safe advertising, networking)*

*Develop businesses which offer burial/cremation services*

*Educate on injury prevention and rehab services to improve a horse’s chance to return to work, even modified*

*Develop prison and community service programs to help with re-training of horses (i.e., off track, mustang programs)*

For Every Horse Sent To Slaughter, There is One Less Customer For:

Hay, grain, supplements, vet and farrier services

Wormer, fly spray, leg wraps, protective boots, blankets

Tack (saddles, pads, girths, stirrups, leathers, reins, bridles, bits, etc.)

Apparel & Accessories (boots, riding pants, shirts, jackets, helmets, etc.)

Trucks/trailers and accessories

Horse property, fencing, corrals, barns, shelters, arenas

Pest control products, shavings, stall mats, muck rakes/carts

Buckets, feed pans, hay racks, tack racks/trunks

Boarding facilities, riding academies, instructors, trainers, clinicians

Breed association and registry membership/renewals, riding clubs

4-H, Pony Club, trail associations, horse hotel/overnight facilities

Horse shows, competitive events, educational clinics

Grooming supplies (brushes, combs, shampoo, conditioner, hoof care products, etc.)
And so on…




An innovative program designed to discourage over breeding and irresponsible breeding of horses. Not every horse needs to be bred. Program is national in scope.

Partial reimbursement offered to horse owners for gelding stud colts and stallions. Provide itemized copy of vet receipt showing cost of surgery. Send to Front Range Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 307, Larkspur, CO 80118.


A program which provides 50% reimbursement for cost of humane euthanasia and if applicable, hauling fee (50%).

Trails End was implemented to prevent owners from disposing their very old, sick, crippled or otherwise ‘poor quality of life’ horses to auctions/slaughter, and to help during tough economic times. Program is national in scope.

Send copy(ies) of itemized receipts showing cost of euthanasia (and hauling) to Front Range Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 307, Larkspur, CO 80118.


Programs are applicable to all equines (i.e., horses, burros, donkeys)

Applicants can be individuals or rescues/sanctuaries all across the U.S.

If a burial fee applies for Trails End, check with us on availability of funding to reimburse a portion of the cost.

Reimbursements are based on actual line item cost of procedure, does not include costs of farm call or any other services.


Front Range Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 307, Larkspur, CO 80118

719-481-1490; fax: 719-487-9749

Calico Complex Gather In Retrospect

Calico Complex Gather In Retrospect

Posted in the project on April 2, 2010 by Laura Leigh
Click the Theatre link in the menu to the right to view full feature in two parts, free. Below is the “Trailer.”

The Project

Calico Complex In Retrospect is a 22-minute short film illustrating the Bureau of Land Management’s recent wild horse gather of the Calico Complex in Nevada.
Despite a recommendation from a federal judge that the round-up be postponed, the BLM went ahead with plans to roundup 2,700 wild horses. The gather began a few days after Christmas. The total cost of the gather, processing and holding comes in at approximately $2,000,000 US taxpayer dollars.
Despite a public outcry that produced over 8,000 comments on an Environmental Assessment done by the BLM, those comments were found “Of no significant impact.”
At an Advisory Board meeting less than a month prior to the start date of the gather, BLM chief Don Glenn proclaimed, “All of our gathers are open to the public; the public is invited to come and watch all the time.”
The BLM set up their trap sites on private land and then sent horses to the newly constructed privately contracted Broken Arrow holding facility in Fallon, Nevada. The public’s ability to witness their actions was severely restricted and controlled and remains so.
There were several people that made the journey to the isolated regions where these horses would lose their freedom.
The horses and their ranges were documented before a helicopter ever took to the air. Documentation disproves the BLM’s claim of starving horses and degraded range.
The helicopter round-ups run by Cattoor Livestock were documented through the brief, controlled visits the public was permitted. Armed guards stood watch over the observers as they filmed the process. One of the most revealing images documented was of a helicopter coming to within feet of a foal struggling to keep up with his band.
At the Broken Arrow holding facility the documentation includes the endless rows of faces of those now captive. Many of those faces we have come to know as individuals: Lightning, Freedom, General, Tomahawk, and Little Hope.
The round-up is over. The deaths from the stressful capture and confinement continue to mount.
This documentation was inspired by the “March for Mustangs” that took place on March 25, 2010.
The people that contributed to this piece were the eyes of the public.
It is simply what they saw…
To view the piece in two parts click here.

MO Pro Horse Slaughter Bill is Dead for this Session!

MO Pro Horse Slaughter Bill is Dead for this Session!
(Courtesy of Animal Law Coalition)
Update April 30: Following on the heels of Tennessee state Rep. Frank Niceley's announcement that he will withdraw his pro-horse slaughter bill, the chair of the Missouri Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, Sen. Dan Clemens, has stated "there will be no further legislative progress on H.B. 1747". H.B. 1747 is now dead for this session.
The bill was another effort by pro-horse slaughter proponents to try to defeat pending federal legislation to prohibit the slaughter of American horses, convince the American public that horse slaughter is necessary, even humane and create markets in this country for horsemeat. The bill also would have restricted all animal welfare laws.
For more information and additional background regarding this legislation, Go Here:

Making a Difference

NBC Nightly News


End horror of horses led to slaughter


By Jane Velez-Mitchell, HLN
April 30, 2010 2:26 p.m. EDT
  • HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell wants to save all horses in U.S. from slaughterhouse
  • She says the racing industry is creating an overbreeding crisis
  • She urges people to contact their representatives to demand action on bill
Editor's note: Jane Velez-Mitchell hosts "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell," a topical event-driven show with a wide range of viewpoints that airs every night at 7 p.m. ET on HLN.
New York (HLN) -- It's racing season in America! The Kentucky Derby is this weekend. Then it's the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Get out the fancy party hats and pop the champagne!
But it's not a cause for celebration for America's horses. These magnificent, yet voiceless, creatures cannot tell you about the exploitation underlying America's racing industry.
Where do thoroughbreds go after they lose one too many races, throw one too many riders or develop a limp? Many thousands of thoroughbreds end up being slaughtered for horse meat. The unpleasant truth is horse meat is eaten in Europe and Asia.
Despite the myth that they end up knee-deep in grass on some idyllic farm, the reality is that horses are very expensive to keep. When they outlive their usefulness, they often are sent on a hellish journey that ends in a slaughterhouse. Toward the end of the line, these horses are sold priced per pound.
I know. I've bought perfectly healthy horses for a couple of hundred dollars just as they were about to be loaded on a slaughterhouse-bound truck.
The fortunate few end up at a sanctuary. The others are bought at auction, end up in overloaded trailers and travel thousands of miles without food or water to the slaughter plant. Some are dead on arrival.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), tens of thousands of live horses are transported every year across the border to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.
Part of the problem is that the horse racing industry breeds for perfection. For every stallion or mare that looks like a winner, an untold number of foals get left in the dust. As the saying goes, they can't all be winners ... and they can't all be riding or school horses either.
There is a severe horse overpopulation crisis caused by overbreeding in the racing industry. It's time for that industry to accept responsibility for its castoffs and take dramatic action to protect a species that has so loyally served humankind.
They've got the money to create enough retirement homes to accommodate all the horses that pass through their gates.
Horse lovers won a huge victory when America's foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses were shut down several years ago. Before that, the HSUS estimates 100,000 horses were being slaughtered every year in America. Ever since, horse slaughter proponents have aggressively campaigned to reopen such plants, despite public revulsion.
For too long, Congress has been mulling over a Horse Slaughter Prohibition bill (H.R. 503) that would "prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes." This bill passed in the House of Representatives in 2006, but languished in the Senate.
It's time for compassionate Americans to send a wake-up call to their members of Congress and demand passage of legislation to end the wholesale slaughter of America's horses once and for all.
Then, the racing industry will be forced to do something about its addiction to breeding. The time to be oh-so-polite about the industry's dirty little secret is over. This secret is out of the gate. Now, the race to end the cruelty must begin in earnest.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Stop BLM Helicopter Roundup of 100 Burros In Arizona

In Defense of Animals

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to remove 100 burros from their homes in the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area (HMA) in southwestern Arizona, about 20 miles north of Yuma, in the next few weeks. The government claims that the one million-acre HMA can only sustain 165 burros (and 150 wild horses). The BLM estimates the current burro population in this HMA to be 276, but the estimate is not based on an actual count, rather on a mathematical model that is based on a six-year old population estimate.
Wild Burros photo by Mark TerrellThe proposed roundup is unnecessary and inhumane. Helicopters will chase the burros at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour over distances of up to four miles in temperatures as hot as 105 degrees. The devastating terror and trauma caused by these helicopter roundups was on full display in the BLM's recent roundup in northwestern Nevada, in which 86 horses have died to date, including small foals who were forced to run so hard and long their hooves fell off, and 40 pregnant mares spontaneously aborted.
Please complete the form below by May 5 to submit comments opposing the proposal to remove 100 wild burros living in the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area in Arizona.
Please personalize the message. Every comment helps, so please use the Tell-A-Friend link you'll see after completing this form to share this alert with friends and family.
Submitting the form below will e-mail your message to:
  • President Barack Obama
  • James Shoaff, Yuma Field Office Manager
  • BLM Yuma Field Office

Go HERE to send your letter with just a few clicks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Humane Observer: Elyse Gardner

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, this little boy, Legacy, had his testicles removed.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bill to Promote Horse Slaughter in Tennessee Withdrawn from Consideration

Animal Welfare Institute

Bill to Promote Horse Slaughter in Tennessee Withdrawn from Consideration

Nashville, TN (April 27, 2010) - Legislation advocating the slaughter of horses for human consumption will be withdrawn for the legislative session in Tennessee according to the bill's sponsor Representative Frank Niceley. This was following overwhelming public opposition to the proposal from the public, Tennessee Volunteers for Animal Protection, Willie Nelson, his daughter Amy Nelson and granddaughter Raelyn Nelson, long time supporters of the Animal Welfare Institute.
"We are pleased that Representative Niceley has agreed to pull his bill from consideration" said Chris Heyde, deputy director of the Animal Welfare Institute. "There are many more humane and responsible ways of caring for horses in need and we look forward to expanding those in Tennessee. Slaughter certainly isn't an option and we feel many legislators realized this."
Amy and Raelyn Nelson, residents of Tennessee, testified against the bill during a committee hearing earlier this month and plan on returning to Nashville to meet with legislators to discuss equine welfare issues very soon.
"Rep. Niceley has earned his name today. We've had some time to get to know him over the last few weeks, and he really was listening to the facts against horse slaughter and we are grateful for that," said Amy Nelson. "We're looking forward to exchanging ideas with him regarding end of life decisions for at-risk horses. In the meantime, please join the Animal Welfare Institute, the Nelson family and over 70 percent of Americans opposed to horse slaughter and help pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503 / S. 727) currently before the U.S. Congress.
The Animal Welfare Institute is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. More information is available at

For More Information Contact:
Chris Heyde, Animal Welfare Institute - 202-446-2142
Laura Turner, Tennessee Volunteers for Animal Protection - 615-838-9085

Einstein - The Smallest Horse In The World

California and Wyoming Wild HorsesNeed Your Help by May 7

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments by May 7 on two proposals that will affect wild horses living in California and Wyoming.

California: To comment on BLM?s plan to renew livestock grazing in the Massacre Lakes Herd Management Area, while re-evaluating the already extremely low Appropriate Management Level for wild horses, take action here:

Wyoming: To oppose BLM?s proposal to round up of wild horses in the Little Colorado and White Mountain Herd Management Areas, take action here:

Our voices are making a difference for America?s wild horses. Please keep up the pressure by taking the above actions today.

On behalf of the horses, thank you for your support,

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Mud, Blood and Horse Crap: There’s no way to “Pretty Up” Horse Slaughter

Monday, April 26, 2010


Last Chance for Animals

In 1971, Congress passed the The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which required the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands. Congress found and declared that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of the life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene.

Photo Credit: The Cloud Foundation
Congress, with overwhelming public support, intended for wild horses and burros to be protected in the wild, and removed only when necessary, and if removed, guaranteed humane treatment. They were never to be sold for slaughter. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.
Since its inception in 1971, The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service’s (FS) Wild Horse and Burro Program have failed to protect the horses and burros they are responsible for. Unfortunately, the BLM operates in a manner that promotes the interests of livestock industry and other commercial operations over those of wild horses and burros. As a result, wild horse and burro populations and their herd areas have dramatically declined in number and size; the BLM has taken away 20 million acres of wild horse habitat and removed over 270,000 horses from the range.
The "multiple use management concept" included in the 1971 Act has been construed by the BLM to allow multiple uses of public lands on Herd Management Areas. The Act states that herd areas are to be “devoted principally” to the welfare of the wild horses and burros. “Multiple use” was intended to support and maintain a "thriving natural ecological balance" on public lands, with respect to other wildlife and range biology and ecology. The BLM includes under “multiple use” such uses as cattle grazing, mining, development, and oil drilling. Such uses were not intended to justify the removal of wild horses and burros from their herd areas.
To make matters worse, in November, 2004, without a hearing or an opportunity for public review, Senator Conrad Burns from Montana, slipped a rider into the 2005 Federal Appropriations Bill amending the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The Burns amendment authorized “sale authority” for the BLM and FS and since then, the “Burns Bill” allowed the majority of horses being held in government pens to be rounded up, removed and even sold for slaughter.

BLM’s helicopter roundup
Photo by LCA’s Special Investigations Unit
Helicopters, with deafening blades, terrorize and force herds of frightened wild-free-roaming horses to gallop for their lives, not realizing they are being herded to a corral where they will be forever removed from their native land. As a result of the roundups, some of the horses become bloodied, injured, exhausted and some mares miscarriage their colts. Others simply die in the process.

Horses injured during the BLM roundups
Photo by LCA’s Special Investigations Unit
LCA’s Special Investigation Unit witnessed the inhumane way in which the wild horses are gathered, herded and transported at the biggest FY 2010 BLM “Calico Roundup” in Gurlock, Nevada. The roundup is intended to roundup approx 2,500 horses and leave just 600 horses on approx 542,000 acres of this range complex. The family structure of these horses is torn apart. As the horses are herded into the trap, the stallions are separated from the mares and the foals from their mothers. The horses are shipped to another facility where they stand, their spirits broken and all life erased from their eyes, in their own waste with no escape from the elements. These iconic creatures of the Wild West will never see their grazing lands again or their family.

Although the BLM claims the horses are “starving” or malnourished, none of the horses rounded up or in the holding pen are emaciated or unhealthy looking. The BLM admits they cannot give the horses the diet they are used to in the wild and some horses get sick from the feed they are given.

Injured horses from the BLM roundup
Photo by LCA’s Special Investigations Unit

The cost to taxpayers annually is over $60 million dollars. The Obama Administration proposes to spend up to 500 million tax dollars to purchase private lands in the Midwest and East to warehouse wild horses removed from public lands (which the taxpayers already own) in the West. The cost to taxpayers annually for government holding facilities is over $60 million dollars.
What the public is not being told is that the Cattlemen with their millions of cows are getting subsidized grazing rates for their herds at the expense of taxpayers and the wild horses. Additionally, cattle are an invasive species that are much more devastating to the ecosystem than the horses. Wild horses are a small percentage of grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by cattle at least 200 to 1.

The wild horse population today is smaller than in 1974 when the BLM conducted the first census after Congress protected the horses due to their dwindling numbers. There are approximately 33,000 horses left in the wild. By the end of 2010, there will be more horses in government holding facilities than on the range. The interests of these living “historic and pioneers spirits of the West” are being forfeited for those of the livestock industry and other commercial operations. The truth is there are too few horses and burros on our public lands and unless the wild horse numbers are allowed to grow, the survival of these amazing animals is in jeopardy.

 In July 2009, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 1018, The Restore Our American Mustangs Act. This act addresses, amongst other management issues, the setting of AMLs (appropriate management levels) based on scientifically sound methods, voluntary grazing buyouts, negotiations with private land owners to allow for federally supervised protection of wild horses on private lands, the identification of appropriate rangelands and the establishment of sanctuaries or “exclusive use areas” for wild horses and burros.

Call 202-224-3121 and get information to contact your Senators and ask them to support the S. 1579, The Restore Our American Mustangs Act.
2.   Contact President Obama, Members of Congress and Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar via this easy petition and letter sender. The planned roundups by the Obama administration must stop in order to allow time for independent analysis on the true numbers of horses remaining and investigations into the true reasons for removing 12,000 wild horses and burros this fiscal year.
3.   Please watch the investigative report from CBS's George Knapp: "Stampede to Oblivion" and share this online video with everyone.


Jillian Michaels lends her image to LCA’s Stop the BLM Roundups Campaign

Montana zoning ordinance prevents horse slaughter plant


Foaming effluent tank at Cavel during horse slaughter operation

In a statement presented to Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), Mayor Kimberly A. Hammond announced an ordinance that  prohibits  the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period  within the city limits. Montana Representative Ed Butcher's plan in Hardin, MT calls for a horse slaughter facility equipped to kill 200 to 400 horses a week and would have forced the city to construct a new waste water treatment plant. Hammond doubted the city would have been able to get the aid to fund a 6 to 8 million dollar treatment plant.


EWA PRESS RELEASE | Hardin MT 04.26.10

Equine Welfare Alliance

The following press release was just issued.
Hardin Montana Says No Thanks to Horse Slaughter Plant

CHICAGO, (EWA) - Montana Representative Ed Butcher's plan of building a horse slaughter plant in Hardin, MT has ended.

The city of Hardin unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2010-01 that amends the current zoning ordinance to prohibit the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period. The action effectively bars the building of a slaughter plant in Hardin.

Mayor Kimberly A. Hammond provided the following statement to Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA).

"I have no deluded thoughts or feelings about the need for proper disposal or care of unwanted horses.

As Mayor of a small city, it is my responsibility to make information available to our public, especially when it concerns public safety, health, and how their tax dollars are being spent.

The way our City Industrial Park is set up, a business is required to hook up to City Water and Sewer. A horse slaughter facility running at 200-400 kills a week would have brought our waste water treatment plant to a screaming halt.

Our City would have been forced to construct a new waste water treatment plant that would capacitate the slaughter facility, at the cost of our tax payers. The City most likely would not have been able to get aid with funding a 6-8 million dollar treatment plant.

I, as Mayor had our City Attorney draft an ordinance that prohibited slaughter houses within the city limits. Upon 1st reading, our city council did not like the verbiage that there would be NO slaughter facilities. They thought it was unfair to the small mom and pop operations that could be looking for a commercial plot. So we changed the language to only prohibit facilities that would kill more than twenty-five animals in a 7 day period.

Our decision was based purely on the adverse impact that a facility of this size and nature would have had on our City Waste Water Treatment Plant."

Mayor Hammond's concerns were well placed. Horse slaughter plants are notorious for their waste problems. Horses have almost twice as much blood per pound of body weight as cattle and it has proven very difficult to treat. In the three years Cavel International operated in DeKalb, Illinois, their discharge was in violation every month. The operation moved to Saskatchewan, Canada where it was caught discharging blood into the local river from a tanker truck. That operation was shut down last year because of health violations.

EWA applauds the city of Hardin, Montana for this proactive legislation to preserve the environment of their beautiful city.

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. 

Wild Mares Mother’s Day Campaign

Tuesday's Horse

Send a Mother’s Day Card to the First Lady
This is a quick yet potentially powerful campaign to raise more awareness concerning our wild horses who are being rounded up and held captive long-term by the BLM where they are suffering great harm from abrupt displacement from their lands and herds, insufficient care and overall mistreatment and mismanagement.
Included in these roundups are the Calico mares separated from their foals, spontaneously aborting their foals, watching while a callous wrangler lassos her terrified foal by his frail legs, throwing him to the ground in a sadistic game or her foals dying from shock, exhaustion, dehydration, exposure to the elements or literally run off their hooves.
Mustang Mare and Foal. Cropped from an image by David Cramer 
Photography 2009.
Please send a Mother’s Day card to the First Lady.
Write an inscription inside your Mother’s Day card, or enclose a letter with it.
An inscription might be, “In honor of the Mustang Mother Mares who have lost their foals, please ask the President to call a halt to all wild horse roundups and an investigation into the BLM.”
Sign your name, and include your city and state. Youngsters, please include your age.
If you opt to include a letter, this is an opportunity to make it personal, from you. Tell our First Lady how you really feel about what is happening to our wild horses and burros. Sit down with a blank piece of paper and pour out your heart. That will mean more to Mrs. Obama than any number of facts or figures. If you do this, she may even show it to Mr. Obama!
First Lady Michelle Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Note: Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so please act quickly. All mail to the First Lady must go through security before being delivered to her. Thank you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The HSUS Calls on Congress to Enact New Law Aimed at Cracking Down on Cruel ‘Crush’ Videos : The Humane Society of the United States

The HSUS Calls on Congress to Enact New Law Aimed at Cracking Down on Cruel ‘Crush’ Videos : The Humane Society of the United States

USA: New, Improved Crush Act Introduced--Let's Get It Passed!

Off-topic, but IMPORTANT!


Dear Animal Advocates,

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared an important federal anti-cruelty law known as the “Crush Act” (18 U.S. Code Section 48) unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. The Crush Act banned the creation, sale and possession of materials depicting genuine acts of animal cruelty where such acts are illegal. The Court made it clear that its major concern was the broadness of the law’s language, which could make the law applicable in many circumstances not intended by its authors.

While the ASPCA is disappointed with the Court’s decision, we are moving forward! Representative Elton Gallegly of California has acted quickly and introduced a bill to amend the law. H.R. 5092 will make the Crush Act’s language more specific and resolve the over-breadth concerns raised by the Supreme Court.

Passage of H.R. 5092 will help prevent a revitalization of the crush video industry. The original Crush Act was passed with little opposition—help us ensure that this revision passes, too.

What You Can Do
Please tell your U.S. representative that you support H.R. 5092, and that he or she should co-sponsor the bill and help move it quickly through the legislative process. Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center online to email your representative now.

Thank you for helping us fight animal suffering and exploitation.

Public Alarm Grows as BLM Castrates Captured Mustangs Behind Closed Doors

Media Contacts:                

Makendra Silverman 
Tel: 719-351-8187

Anne Novak
Tel: 415-531-8454

For Immediate Release
Public Alarmed at BLM’s Surprise Start to Castrate Mustangs as Death Toll Rises in Nevada Facility
New report on equine stress released as Foundation denied access to view the captured Calico wild horses in Nevada 
Reno, NV (April 23, 2010)—Unexpected castrating of captured male mustangs, four years old and younger, by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) started behind closed doors on Friday, April 16th in the Fallon holding pens of Nevada. Many depressed horses with swollen scrotums have been observed. The public understood that the castration of the Calico wild horses would not occur until the In Defense of Animals court case was heard in May as there is a possibility of returning the wild horses to their protected public rangelands. For months, requests for daily monitoring by humane observers have been repetitively denied at the new private facility contracted by the BLM. Now a request to visit the feedlot-style facility by Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker, Ginger Kathrens, has been denied as well. Outraged members of the public will hold protests in multiple cities because of the BLM’s lack of transparency and cruel roundups. The first rally is planned for Sunday, April 25th near Las Vegas at  Red Rocks Park from 12:00- 2:00 p.m.

“BLM seems determined to create a missing generation of mustangs” states Terri Farley, an award-winning children’s author and a plaintiff in the Calico case. “In their care, 86 horses have died, more than 40 mares have aborted their late term foals and now they've castrated an undisclosed number of young stallions." 

On April 19th Ginger Kathrens, was denied access to visit the private wild horse holding facility in Fallon, Nevada. BLM holds fast to its policy of restricting viewing to Sundays for a few hours— a time when the horses are not being handled by the BLM. An email to Kathrens from BLM Deputy Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, Dean Bolstad, he stated in part “The facility (Fallon) is not staffed adequately to host visitation on a daily basis or upon demand.  Each time we conduct a tour, staff have to travel from Reno or Palomino Valley.” 

Kathrens responded that,  “Since visitation is denied except for a brief two hours on Sundays, it causes your ‘management’ practices to appear less transparent. Consequently, this restriction/limitation ends-up being counter productive to your educational and public relations efforts. I hope that this practice will change in the near future so people such as myself can fully view the facility and the horses -- and feel like we're invited and informed partners in the care of our national wild horse treasures.”

According to a newly released report by Bruce Nock, PhD entitled “Wild Horses, The Stress of Captivitythe deaths and abortions can be attributed in part to the sheer stress of the roundup. This report was released in conjunction with BLM Calico Complex Roundup:  A Case Study of a Broken System for Horses and Taxpayers a report by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC).

Dr. Bruce Nock, Associate Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine and expert on the physiological effects of stress on animals, wrote: “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say, as gathers [roundups] are routinely done in the USA, if a wild horse doesn’t die straight off from the immediate devastation and commotion, it compromises him/her physically and mentally, putting him on a path of accelerated deterioration.” 

Even during the limited once a week visits, members of the public have observed the horses being fed moldy hay, which can cause serious illness and death to horses of all ages. The feeding of the moldy hay was noted and photographedsand colic results from ingesting sand and has been known to be fatal in many cases.  on the automatic feeding trucks most recently on Sunday, April 18. Other photographs underscore the lack of cover for the horses, the extreme dust during frequent windy periods, and the presence of sand and even small rocks in the hay being fed to the once wild and free roaming Calico horses. A serious illness known as

“The reports we get from citizens able to get in to see and document the captive wild horses during the once a week staged tours are awful. This shameful taxpayer funded nightmare behind closed doors must stop!” states Kathrens. 

The Calico Mountain Complex wild horse roundup has drawn intense public attention worldwide.  BLM went forward despite historic public opposition and a recommendation from US District Federal District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman to postpone the roundup. Despite the increased scrutiny, the roundup has been a disaster for the nearly 2000 federally protected mustangs. In late December government contracted helicopters took to the air, rounding up every horse they could find on the vast 500,000 acre Calico range—an area designated principally for wild horse use since 1971 but grazed by thousands of privately-owned, government-subsidized cattle. The roundup and short-term holding of the Calico mustangs has cost at least $1.3 million to American taxpayers while causing injury and death to hundreds of wild horses.

The 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act placed the authority for managing wild horses and burros primarily in the hands of the BLM. 54,000 wild horses and burros comprised 303 herds throughout the West when BLM conducted the first population census in 1974. Since that time, over 100 herds have been completely eliminated and the current range population is believed to be less than half what it was in 1974. This roundup and removal policy is fast leading to the extinction of wild horses and burros in the West. 

"At the same time the BLM strips federal land of wild horses and burros it is supposed to be protecting, it props up a public lands grazing program that costs American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year” states Rob Pliskin, a BLM volunteer and wild horse supporter. 

36,000 wild horses are currently in holding facilities instead of roaming in the lands designated for their use. Over 24 million acres have been withdrawn from wild horse and burro use. The BLM “welfare ranching” practices continue—allowing the land to be leased primarily to corporations at minimum fees of $1.35 per cow/calf pair or per five head of sheep per month along with land leases to extractive and energy industries on Western public lands

Links of interest: 

In Defense of Animals, et al v. Salazar case

Las Vegas Rally, April 25th

Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act of 1971

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Sunday Special by Frank X. Mullen.

CNN Report on Nevada Roundup with Jane Valez-Mitchell

Americans Want to Stop the Roundups in Der Spiegle

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

BLM Daily Reports from Calico Roundup/Fallon Holding:

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Photos of moldy hay:

Photos of horse post-castration:

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions on Wild Horses 

Unified Moratorium letter and signatories

Roundup Schedule- updated February 2010 

Photos, video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation
The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud's herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
107 S. 7th St. - Colorado Springs, CO 80905