Monday, April 11, 2011

Action Alert: Wild Horse Abuse in Holding Facility

The Cloud Foundation

A Note from Ginger

By thecloudfoundation

In response to short-term holding report & tips on visiting holding facilities and going out to the wild:

In response to Lisa Friday’s report, I imagine that the Utah BLM will say that what Lisa witnessed was just a temporary incident based on the time of the year and lots of moisture. And I imagine they got out there already to start the clean up, so there is precious little evidence remaining. Here are the arguments I would use to challenge what I anticipate will be coming from BLM (you know–the “everything is just fine” argument): Lisa points out that the build up of urine soaked manure was an issue–not just mud. Maybe they should use the Bobcat to clean up the mess, rather than to harass the horses! I have visited our Canon City Short (and now Long-Term Holding facility) here in Colorado at all seasons of the year, including awful weather with rain and snow, and have never seen what Lisa filmed and witnessed. The facility, which is a Colorado Correctional Facility in Canon City, is on level ground and can become muddy, but dries out because of proper drainage and has people cleaning up all the time. The emaciated mare is unexplainable and troubling as are the injuries and general malaise. Really inexcusable.
I encourage you to visit a facility in your area if the public is allowed, and do try to get out in the wild to document what is going on. Most herds are in remote places, so make sure you have plenty of food and water, a shovel, rain gear, warm clothes, etc. Make sure your camera has extra batteries and take lots of pictures. If you are shooting live action with a long lens, put the camera on a tripod of anything solid so the image is stable. Never try to approach the horses if they are frightened or watchful. Wait and see if they will go back to ignoring you.   What is fun and interesting for me is watching them behaving naturally, not them watching me and then running away. That accomplishes very little if your goal is photography and gaining an understanding of natural behavior.
It is truly a privilege to be out there with them. It goes without saying–always show them the respect that BLM denies them at every step of the capture and incarceration process. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!
Foundation YouTube on conditions at a BLM Short-term holding facility outside of Salt Lake City:
Corresponding Foundation press release:
Cloud overlooks his band in the Pryors
Cloud on top in the Pryors

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