Sunday, July 31, 2011

4th Horse (at least) Injured at 2011 Cheyenne Rodeo

Environmental & Wild Horse Organizations File for Injunction to Block Wyoming Wild Horse Roundup

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Scientist & Experts Weigh in Against Mass Mustang Removal & Sterilization Plan
Washington, DC (July 29, 2011). . . Today the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition, and Western Watersheds Project, a leading environmental organization and filed a motion with U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson requesting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Preliminary Injunction (PI) to halt the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from implementing an unprecedented plan that initiates the destruction of two wild horse populations in southwestern Wyoming.
Supporting the motion are leading scientists and experts in the fields of wild horse behavior, genetics, biology and reproduction, who filed expert declarations in the case outlining the irreparable harm to individual horses, the herds and the permanent destruction of “wild” and “free-roaming” behaviors which would occur if the government’s plan is not stopped.
At issue is the BLM’s decision to convert federally-protected wild horse populations in the one-million-acre White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to “minimally-reproducing” herds by removing 90 percent of the wild horse population and returning only castrated stallions to the range. The White Mountain/Little Colorado roundup is scheduled to begin in mid-August 2011.
At issue is the BLM’s decision to convert federally-protected wild horse populations in the one-million-acre White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to “minimally-reproducing” herds by removing 90 percent of the wild horse population and returning only castrated stallions to the range. The White Mountain/Little Colorado roundup is scheduled to begin in mid-August 2011.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this week by the Washington, DC-based public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal. Other plaintiffs include Donna and Greg Duckworth, a local Green River, Wyoming couple who enjoy wild horse viewing in the HMAs, and Carol Walker, a well-known wildlife photographer who has photographed the wild horses in this region for many years. The complaint alleges that the action “will irreparably disrupt and destroy the social organization, natural wild and free-roaming behavior and viability of these herds,” in violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA). In addition, the agency’s failure to “solicit public comment or . . . analyze or explain the environmental consequences of its decision” flagrantly violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the complaint charges.
Excerpts from the Expert Testimony
Neda DeMayo, founder of Return to Freedom, a sanctuary for wild horses in Lompoc, California: “In light of what I have observed, releasing gelded horses onto the range would be not only inhumane, but also harmful to the herd. It is one thing for gelded studs to live in our small and protected sanctuary, where we supplement food and water as necessary and where the horses enjoy a mild climate. It is quite another matter for geldings to survive in the harsh environment and vast regions of the open range where wild horses live. Survival in the desert often requires horses to range over long distances between forage areas and water. Without the energy and drive that is provided by testosterone, a gelded stallion will not have the same ability to survive.
Jay Kirkpatrick, Ph. D., Director of The Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Montana explained, “[t]he very essence of the wild horse . . . is the social organization and social behaviors. Geldings (castrated male horses) will no longer exhibit the natural behaviors of non-castrated stallions,” and “gelded stallions will not keep their bands together, which is an integral part of a viable herd. These social dynamics were molded by millions of years of evolution, and will be destroyed if the BLM returns castrated horses to the HMAs.”
Ann Perkins, Ph.D., Professor of Anthrozoology and Psychology at Carroll College in Helena, Montana: “Castrating freeroaming wild stallions and releasing them to public lands is essentially creating populations of ‘domestic horses’ on public land which has no value for scientists or the public…. If you castrate stallions and release them back into a wild herd, they will behave much like domesticated animals because their physiology will be irreparably altered.”
Lori Eggert, Ph.D., Research Associate for the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History since 2003 and Assistant Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at University of Missouri: “In my professional opinion, the proposed BLM action will leave the White Mountain and Little Colorado herds unviable without significant future intervention. It does not appear that the BLM has analyzed the impact of its chosen course of action on the genetic viability of these herds, which, in my opinion, could be detrimental to their ability to survive over the long term.”
Allen Rutberg, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Population Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and former appointee to the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board for the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture (1998-2000): “The proposed herds will no longer be “wild horses” from a conservation, population ecology, or behavioral viewpoint. The castrated males will also not retain their “free-roaming nature,” except in the literal sense that they will be able to move around the HMA’s without physical restraint because these horses will not be hormonally prompted to protect their mares, compete with other stallions for reproductive mates, or cover as much geographical distance as they would in their natural state. The castrated horses will behave much more like domesticated horses, with diminished aggressiveness and competitiveness. If the newly designed action is implemented, members of the public who view horses at the White Mountain and Little Colorado HMA’s will be misled and mis-educated about the true nature of wild horses and their behavior. Non-castrated males will not behave like fully intact wild stallions which, as described above, will also adversely impact the behaviors of the herds as a whole.”
Bruce Nock, Ph.d., Associate Professor of Neurobiology in Psychology, Washington University School of Medicine: “[r]emoving a horse’s testes will have irreversible effects on both the individual horse and the herd. Castrate a horse, and it will no longer exhibit ‘wild’ or ‘free-roaming’ behavior … this unnatural physiology will undoubtedly affect the horse’s ability to survive and compete in the wild.”
Copies of the expert declarations, TRO and complaint are available upon request. Photographs of the White Mountain and Little Colorado wild horses can be found here.
# # #

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nevada Tribal Leader, 81, Sues BLM for $30 million

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Article by Scott Sonner as it appears in
“The perversity the permeates Obama’s BLM runs deeper than just massacring the last of our native wild horses and burros, they target our Native American brothers, as well!” ~ R.T.

Violating Constitutional Rights is the Core of BLM’s Business Plan

photo courtesy of Danny Brady
The federal government seized Raymond Yowell’s cattle — all 132 head — and hauled them across the state and sold them at auction.
Then the U.S. Bureau of Land Management sent Yowell a bill for $180,000 for back grazing fees and penalties, and later garnished part of his Social Security benefits.
Now, nearly a decade later, the 81-year-old former chief of the Western Shoshone National Council is fighting back. He’s suing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Treasury Department and others for $30 million. Yowell claims the government violated his constitutional rights, broke an 1863 treaty and saddled him with a debt that he doesn’t owe.
“There’s no other way,” said Yowell, a member of the Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone, who still works a small cattle ranch with his son in northeast Nevada’s high desert.
“I kept writing letters to them saying I didn’t have a debt with them, that I never signed a contract,” he told The Associated Press. “But they just ignored it. There’s no use talking to them.”
Yowell said in the lawsuit filed earlier this month he was exercising his “treaty guaranteed vested rights” to be a herdsman when he turned his cattle out in May 2002 to graze on the historic ranges of the South Fork Indian Reservation.
BLM officials said the tribe’s Te-Moak Livestock Association held a federal permit to graze cattle on the public land in northeast Nevada from 1940 to 1984, but had quit paying the fees to the BLM in 1984, claiming the tribe held title to the land.
Despite earlier federal and U.S. Supreme Court decisions against them, the Indian leaders asserted then — as Yowell does today — that the land is still theirs as dictated by the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863.
Under the treaty, the United States formally recognized Western Shoshone rights to some 60 million acres stretching across Nevada, Idaho, Utah and California. But the Supreme Court’s 1979 ruling determined the treaty gave the U.S. government trusteeship over tribal lands, and that it could claim them as “public” or federal lands.

Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety

TheStar Dirty little secret: Canada’s slaughter industry under fire

TheStar Dirty little secret: Canada’s slaughter industry under fire

SHIPSHEWANA, INDIANA–Tucked away amid the pristine beauty of American Amish country lies one of Canada’s dirtiest secrets.

Near the end of a quaint rural main street, where clip-clopping horses pull carriages and children ride ornate carousel ponies, less fortunate equines are paraded before buyers who supply a burgeoning Canadian slaughter industry. Read MORE...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wild Horses Are (Again) Losing Their Home On The Range

Straight from the Horse's Heart

article by Andrew Cohen from the pages of the Atlantic
America’s wild horses are in trouble, and the federal government isn’t helping
An excellent must read for all!” ~ R.T.
Why did this animal that had prospered so in the Colorado desert leave his amiable homeland for Siberia? There is no answer. We know that when the horse negotiated the land bridge… he found on the other end an opportunity for varied development that is one of the bright aspects of animal history. He wandered into France and became the mighty Percheron, and into Arabia, where he developed into a lovely poem of a horse, and into Africa where he became the brilliant zebra, and into Scotland, where he bred selectively to form the massive Clydesdale. He would also journey into Spain, where his very name would become the designation for gentleman, a caballero, a man of the horse. There he would flourish mightily and serve the armies that would conquer much of the known world.

– James Michener

Photo by Terry Fitch
It’s been a hot, stormy summer on the Red Desert range in southern Wyoming, around Rock Springs and the state’s southern boundary with Colorado, where Interstate 80 takes long-haul truckers and tourists through one of America’s least hospitable landscapes. The desolate land even includes Sweetwater County, one of those romantic cowboyesque names that mockingly crop up from place to place in the Rocky Mountain West, more an aspiration than a reality when you consider that there isn’t much water there and what there is isn’t so sweet.
In this forlorn place are two “herd management areas” called “White Mountain” and “Little Colorado,” places were some of America’s wild horses roam free pursuant to federal rule and regulation. According to Bureau of Land Management statistics, the federal government owns or controls 849,033 acres of land in the area, Wyoming owns another 15,877 acres, and private entities own 149,647 more. BLM officials estimate that, after the 2011 foaling season, there are approximately 970 wild horses on White Mountain and Little Colorado lands.
If you do the math, based only upon the federal land figure, it comes to 875.29 acres per horse. Do a little more math and you learn that 875 acres equals approximately 1.37 square miles. Ask any horse owner you know if she could get by on that horse-to-land ratio and the answer is an immediate and emphatic “Yes!” At first glance, it seems like a perfectly harmonic arrangement; our nation’s wild horses peaceably tending to our nation’s less desirable lands out of the way of most human traffic. The symbol of our nation’s history and growth simply left alone to graze land most of us would never see if we were to live a hundred lifetimes.
But alas it’s a lot more complicated than that. Intertwined private ownership of lands within the management areas, differing land-use priorities, a lack of bureaucratic courage and creativity, and a 30-year-old deal between ranchers and a long-gone horse group, all have eliminated the possibility of simply working the acreage numbers for the benefit of the horses. The herd areas themselves are part of a “checkerboard” pattern of public and private land (the ratio is close to 50-50, say ranchers) and the horses themselves haven’t helped their own cause. During the winter, they often migrate from public land onto private land, where they are considered a nuisance to some property owners.
This natural pattern has persisted for generations and it’s been closely monitored by the feds for at least the past 30 years. With this history, geography, and horse biology in mind, the BLM announced last month that there were, again, too many wild horses on the two Wyoming ranges. Wildlife officials now plan in mid-August to begin to cull roughly 70 percent of the herds out of Little Colorado and White Mountain in a particularly controversial way. And, in response, wild horse advocacy groups and others filed a federal lawsuit Monday in Washington, D.C. seeking a restraining order that would halt the roundup.
All the time and all over the West, horse advocacy groups battle the federal government over the fate of wild horses. The story is almost always the same. The “horse lobby” cannot compete politically (i.e. financially) with the cattle or ranching industries. Invariably, it’s the wild horses which lose out to the cattle or to the sheep or to other business interests. And invariably, its the federal government, acting through regulators who are captive to the industries they are supposed to regulate, which helps ensure that this occurs. In this case, for example, we see the federal agency responsible for protecting wild horses struggling to justify a decision that undoubtedly will harm a great many of those horses and, indeed, the future of those herds.
Sell the cow, buy the sheep, but never be without the horse. — Irish Proverb  
On June 14th, the BLM announced a plan to remove all of the wild horses on Little Colorado and White Mountain and to then return a small number of castrated or spayed horses to the range. Here is how the Bureau describes how the roundup occurs:
Multiple capture sites (traps) would be used to capture wild horses within the White Mountain and Little Colorado HMAs… Capture techniques would include the helicopter-drive trapping method and/or helicopter-roping from horseback. Bait trapping may also be utilized on a limited basis, as needed.
(These roundups can be so disturbing that they warrant their own treatment in a future article. I will try to get to it later this summer). Just one week later, however, under heavy fire from mortified advocacy groups, the Bureau partially changed its tune. It increased the number of horses that would be returned to the lands and decided not to spay the mares. Still, nearly 700 of 970 or so horses now on the Little Colorado and White Mountain range will soon be gone if the BLM gets its way. Here’s how Interior Department officials described their new plan:
This modified decision returns about 177 geldings to the two HMAs to reach appropriate management level (AML). AML is the point at which the herd’s population is consistent with the land’s capacity to support wild horses in balance with other public rangeland uses and resources. The projected wild horse population remaining on the range following the gather would be about 205 in the White Mountain HMA and about 69 in the Little Colorado HMA.
There is no evidence that the horses are harming each other. And no factual detail about how their population has created an “imbalance” upon the vast range lands. Instead, Lance Porter, Field Manager at the Rock Springs office of the BLM, justified the “modified” decision” by writing that he had “concluded that gathering the excess horses is necessary to preserve and maintain a thriving ecological balance and multiple-use relationship” on the land. By bringing back only castrated stallions to the two Wyoming herds, Porter’s plan was meant to “prevent the necessity to gather more frequently due to lower population increases over time.”
Going forward, the two herds will be genetically limited in ways the government has not yet fully evaluated. This is perhaps the most significant part of the new BLM plan. It doesn’t just purport to addres the current “overcrowding” it sees on these ranges. It seeks to impact the ability of these herds in the future to breed the way wild horses have bred for thousands of years. It’s a sort of genetic engineering which horse advocate groups say needs a lot more scientific review before it can be implemented in the wild.
Among the many options that were considered and rejected by the BLM was the concept of revising the existing “management level” so that more than 205-300 horses would be considered an “appropriate” number to graze on the hundreds of thousands of empty acres. Those figures (205-300) arose in 1981 as part of a settlement in a federal lawsuit over the fate of the horses. The party that sought (and obtained) the drastic limitation on the number of wild horses on the lands is an organization known as the Rock Springs Grazing Association. In 2007, according to the Wyoming Business Report, the Association celebrated “100 years of unity.”
Here’s what else the business paper had to say about the group:

Click (HERE) to read this article in it’s Entirety

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CFD officials should review horse's death - Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online

CFD officials should review horse's death - Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online

Uncle Jack's Cats (and dogs!) IN TROUBLE! PLEASE HELP!

Uncle Jack's Cats and Sandy Sheldon

It is with a heavy heart that I pass along that Sandy with Uncle Jack's Cats has been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.  As you know the most important thing to Sandy was to find loving homes for the animals that have learned to trust her .  Many of her precious animals have been abused and have issues so she is especially concerned for their welfare.  As Sandy meets with doctors for her health care etc.  she will need some manpower to take care of the cats and dogs in her rescue.  She needs help with cleaning, feeding etc.

Sandy will also need help with getting the cats and dogs that are adoptable to adoption centers.  In the past, Sandy has made do with adoption centers close to her house.  These places do not provide the best setting nor do they have the traffic to generate a lot of adoptions.  If anyone could take some of her animals to adoption centers  that may be helpful  in finding them good homes.  Sandy is passionate about screening prospective adoptee's to make sure they have a good fit and will need some follow up help in that area as well.

Sandy has some sanctuary animals that are her biggest concern.  They will need special homes to live out their lives with people that are capable of working with the dog or cat.  Sandy has learned their personalities so that she can communicate the best situation for these pets.  Sandy will stay involved to the best of her ability and will delegate a trusted person to oversee adoptions of the cats and dogs she has now.  As you can imagine, Sandy is overwhelmed and deeply saddened with this devastating news.  All that matters to Sandy is that the animals she has are taken care of an not in jeopardy.  Sandy does not have any family that lives in Arizona.  She has been on her own fighting for the animals for a long time.  There are no words that I can think of that could possibly describe the fear, anger and anxiety that she must be feeling.  Sandy is not capable of focusing on her health unless she knows the animals are being taken care of.   I hope that many will come forward to help her out so that she can focus on her health and pray for a miracle she so deserves.

At this point Sandy needs a person to volunteer between PM-fpm to feed special needs cats, cleaning some litter boxes and close down for the night.  Volunteers have come forward for other times for now.   

  The following list are items that are necessary for her operation.  

Regular cat food supplies -Purina Cat Chow in a blue bag

Special needs cat food supplies-kidney, allergies, liver, etc

Clump Cat litter supplies

Adoptions on weekends

Transportation to Vet appointments as needed

Donations for vet expenses, phone, electric, water expenses.

Lots of prayers

Please cross post far and wide to persons that will help.  Please feel free to contact me if you are able to help in anyway so I can let Sandy and her caregivers know how to continue until all animals are carefully placed.   Cindy Keas 480-488-5705 or  I will provide more information as things develop.  Thank you for your understanding and support for Sandy.

address for drop off is 6648 W. Nancy Pl. Glendale, AZ or 6540 E. Ashler Hills Dr. Cavecreek, AZ

PLEASE help! Small animal rescue in trouble. Uncle Jack's Cats and Dogs.  Owner is in failing health. PLEASE DONATE and SHARE. Thank you!

Prayers and candles welcome:

Wild Horse Deaths Mount at Contested BLM Helicopter Stampede July 28, 2011

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Eyewitness report by Laura Leigh, VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Day Four of Bloody BLM Triple B Stampede

 This is the last video that will be posted for a bit. Editing video takes an incredible amount of time. I will go back to archiving the video in case the documentation is required and posting still images. But I think this series of three days gives you an idea how frustrating this is. It will not give you a clear picture of the wear and tear on your vehicle, the damage done to your equipment or the toll it takes on your face.

Day 4 began at holding and the lame excuses about the medical treatment of these foals (that were now euthanized) set the tone. Sometimes my hands will shake from the stupidity. It is like being a teacher in Kindergarten… but the Kindergartners make the rules.
Yes, the tone of this report is terse. But being with this contractor every day but two during Antelope, and now watching this at Triple B, is like chewing on tin foil.
I am usually very patient and quiet. I do my observations and reports.This time I am trying very hard not to allow the frustration to drive me.
On another front there may be some good news soon, but that will have to wait for another day. So pray that sanity can begin to take root somewhere.
Day 4 brought with it frustration after frustration.
It began with the excuses about water and food, with no indication that anything would change. It continued with the absurd assertions about the injured foals.
At the trap the radio was again left so I could not hear anything until one time Heather Emmons left it loud enough that I could pick up a call. It was the pilot asking Alan Shepherd to glass a horse that could not keep up. I was given no further information as to the age or reason the horse could not keep up… and of course I was held to a position that did not allow me any observation.
The horses the pilot drove into the trap came in two groups.
Then 4 runners went out and the pilot. The pilot asked Shepherd the location and was told it should be “right under you.” It was apparently a bush.
I asked if I could go to the rise and look. I said that all eyes should be utilized. I was not granted permission, nor was it denied. I stayed behind the tape. It is my belief that this agency attempts to push the limits of control until we are tempted to break them… only to utilize the unreasonable restraints against us.
After almost an hour of no information, BLM personnel reading newspapers, I asked to go give my dog water and check on him. That permission was granted. I hung out in the vehicle with the dog, as it is much cooler there. I saw two runners beating it back to the trap so I went back to the observation area only to find out that the runners were coming back… not because they had found anything… but because the pilot was driving horses to the trap.
Shepherd had given the authorization for resources to abandon the search and begin operations. The other two runners also returned to the trap. I expressed my outrage in no uncertain terms. I informed personnel that I had called people from my vehicle and the public knew they had stopped looking. I informed them I was not leaving until the horse was located.
After the drive Heather was called down to speak with Alan.
Miraculously the horse that had now been missing for over an hour and a half had been found. It had “run back home” and hooked up with a stud. A trailer went down the road and in less than ten minutes came back… with a load that looked much like it did when it left.
As I am not permitted to travel the same road as the trailer it would take me about an hour longer to reach holding. I would not see this animal unload.
The animal was allegedly a 4 month old that was so deformed it couldn’t run correctly and was euthanized. The same animal that ran almost to the trap and back again… I can not confirm that there was an animal even picked up off that range.
Have you pulled out all your hair yet? Have you gritted your teeth so badly that you have broken molars? Have you bitten your lip so hard it bleeds? Have you vowed to god you will not allow this “spoiled child agency” to continue without challenge… no matter what it takes?
If you can help me with expenses please donate to


Wild Horses Are (Again) Losing Their Home On The Range - The Atlantic

Wild Horses Are (Again) Losing Their Home On The Range - The Atlantic

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wild Horse Babies Killed by BLM at Triple B Roundup

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Report from Laura Leigh ~ VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Injured Babies in this Report were later Killed by the BLM

At the roundup we had runners go off with no explanation. We had a baby come in that I could see was injured.
So I added an extra two hours of driving to my day and headed to holding.
There I saw three youngsters treated for injury. I do not know how many were treated prior to my arrival. (note: it is interesting that I asked about the injuries and am only given information on the treatment I actually saw, with no other information offered. It always seems like “If they don’t see it, it didn’t happen”).
A big bay stud and his band have really hit me hard. He was in the last group (or at least the last group I knew of). One of his foals (the only one that came in with his band) was injured. They put his mare and injured foal in the pen next to him. He kept all the other horses from the fence line. He called to them non-stop while I was there. He was there at the fence line when I arrived in the morning. I was pretty upset by some comments Alan Shepherd made so I got a few quick takes and did not get one of his calls as they began to load that am.
I quickly headed to the roundup site instead as the day before they had already captured 40 horses before my arrival. Leaving holding early didn’t change anything, they still had about 40 prior to my arrival on Day 4. Keep in mind we leave our “meeting” spot at 4:30 am, that’s how much driving is involved.
The comments from Shepherd that were so distressing go like this:  ”The palomino foal had weak tendons. The little chestnut has a bad mom. The other foal that was treated has a laceration to a leg, but it’s pre-existing. The animals drain the water and it needs to be refilled a couple times.”
Did that hit you like it hit me from the State Lead for Nevada’s Wild Horse and Burro program, Alan Shepherd? Did that hit you like it hit me from the man that constantly blames the animal for it’s situation? (Old Mare at Antelope) Did that hit you like it hit me from the man that took part in several “Final solution” conversations for our wild horses? (2009 Article animal Law Coalition) Did that hit you like it hit me from the man that answered in Federal Court that there were “no fences, no cows, no water” in the Owyhee HMA? (Gorey’s explanation to Horseback)
At the Antelope Complex Roundup this past winter there was the exact same situation with this contractor, Sun-J (it is a pattern). When I pointed out the deficiency Ben Noyes, the WH&B specialist in Ely, simply grabbed more tubs for water and placed them in the pens. He directed the contractor to appropriately distribute feed. He made no excuse.
Perhaps a man like Ben Noyes, that is able to admit a deficit and comprehends that the equation for the amount of horses translates into water consumption, should be the state lead and Mr. Shepherd should go muck at the Burns Corral until he comprehends what horses are?
I was told the runners went out to get the two injured foals. We already know that is also not the truth.
This IS foaling season. ALL foals have weak legs, that is why you don’t run a foal. It IS over 90 degrees during the day and horses need water. The fact that this conversation has to occur at all with an agency tasked for the last 40 YEARS with the humane treatment and management of our wild herds is OBSCENE.
note: and the more I review my tapes the more I believe that the roan is NOT that little chestnuts mom. The chestnut mare at the trap is most likely his mom. They even look alike. A bay dad and a roan mom will most likely not produce a chestnut baby. That baby was leaning against ANY family member he could because he could NOT stand. I’ll bet that’s why she was so agitated. I wonder where her baby is? I wonder so much about the ability to actually OBSERVE and not just process inventory in this agency. I need to see that chestnut foal.

Week 1: Triple B Complex Roundup

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

The Massive Removal Begins

Photo by Laura Leigh
After legal efforts to block the roundup did not meet with success (information on the lawsuit available here), the Bureau of Land Management is began the Triple B roundup on July 20, 2011. The action will permanently remove 1,700 wild horses from their families and homes on public lands in Northeastern Nevada. Due to the timing of the roundup, very young foals will be stampeded in the helicopter drive. Horses will be run for miles in the middle of the hot desert summer. In addition, the horses have adapted to and are operating on low water resources, meaning they are prone to dehydration after being subjected to miles long helicopter chases.
Reports from the front lines of this mass capture operation follow.  READ MORE.

Triple B Wild Horse Roundup: Day 2 

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2nd Horse Injured, 2011 Cheyenne Rodeo

Follow      for MUCH more!

Uploaded by on Jul 25, 2011
July 25, 2011, one day after killing another horse, this horse is injured. The announcer doesn't even mention it. When the horse goes down, they make fun of her. They don't want to sled another horse out, so they force him to run, even though he is clearly trying to stop.

Additional injuries include four calves and four steers, all but one of which were hauled out, and the rodeo is only half over!

The shame of Cheyenne is the shame of the US.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

VIDEO FLASH: Steven Spielberg's War Horse Movie Trailer Released

Theater Mania

By: Andy Propst · Jun 29, 2011  · Los Angeles
Dreamworks Pictures has released the first trailer for the forthcoming movie version of Michael Morpurgo's novel War Horse As previously reported, the movie will open in theaters on December 28.
Set against the backdrop of World War I, the book follows the friendship between a boy and a horse who are separated but whose fates continue to intertwine over the course of the Great War. Tony Award winner Lee Hall and Richard Curtis have written the screenplay for the film.
The film features Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Emms, Patrick Kennedy, Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, Niels Arestrup, Celine Buckens, David Kross, Rainer Bock, Nicolas Bro, and Leonard Carow.

The stage adaptation of the work, by Nick Stafford, which began at the National Theatre in London in 2007, continues to run at the West End's New London Theatre, and on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater, where it won several 2011 Tony Awards including Best New Play. As previously announced, a U.S. tour of the play is scheduled to launch in June 2012 with an engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. 

Fitch Outs BLM Employee Who Advocates Hunting Season on Wild Horses

Horseback Magazine

July 21, 2011

By Steven Long
Photo by Terry Fitch
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – An employee in the Denver office of the federal Bureau of Land Management has been outed as advocating a hunting season for wild horses in the west.
The employee’s email was traced after it was sent to author R.T. Fitch’s “Straight From the Horse’s Heart” blog. Fitch, a fierce opponent of current BLM stampede, capture, and hold, policies traced the email address to BLM NOC OC-330, Denver Federal Center, Bldg 40 – the agency’s National Operations Center.
The employee wrote: “The deer populations up north are so big and beautiful, but down south there are far too many deer and they are all malnourished and fighting for little food sources. We regulate the populations through hunting permits and kill-quotas. Why is it such a faux-pa (sp?) to hunt a horse? If we leave the horse populations alone, all the press and citizens would look at the sickly and starving over-abundance of horses and beg the government to do something about it!!! Rediculous. (sic) Why is a horse’s life more important than a deer’s life? Or a chicken’s life? (sic) The populations must be regulated to ensure good healthy strong ones are around for future generations to enjoy.” 
BLM national spokesman Tom Gorey quickly repudiated the statement saying, “The BLM is committed to the well-being of wild horses and burros, both on and off the range. Our agency categorically repudiates the remarks of the individual quoted on R.T. Fitch’s blog, which in no way reflect the views of the BLM.”
Yet in the blog, Fitch fears the statement of the Denver BLM employee who wrote to him is characteristic of the attitude of agency employees throughout the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Horseback  Magazine as well as others has repeatedly exposed abuses ranging from threatening media with arrest while reporting and photographing “gathers” of horses, denying press and public access to the capture of wild horses, denying ongoing access to giant holding pastures paid for by taxpayer funding, use of veterinarians unlicensed in State of Nevada, and closing air space over its roundups in violation of Federal Aviation Administration rules.

Why Are Local Leaders Advocating for Horse Slaughter?

Why Are Local Leaders Advocating for Horse Slaughter?

When local leaders lobby Congress, it’s usually to request money for key programs or to ask for an end to regulations viewed as expensive or onerous.

But lately, local government advocates have been picking a more unusual fight with Congress: They're urging to preserve the United States' role in the horse slaughter industry. Read MORE...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too funny not to share....

Abandoned horses rescued by San Tan Valley neighbors

Abandoned horses rescued by San Tan Valley neighbors

Wild Hoofbeats

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Beautiful pictures here.  Enjoy!

T & M Horse Auction, Smiths Grove, KY 6/25/11

Animals' Angels

Animals’ Angels investigators arrived at the large, bi-monthly horse auction at 4:00pm. It was a hot & humid day with temperatures of 90 degrees. While fans were installed in the barn, no fans were running, which created a very stale and dusty atmosphere. No water or food was provided for the animals.
Approx. 300 horses, 15 donkeys & mules and 10 minis were present. Three mares had foals by their side. While all the riding horses were put in front pens close to the overlooking catwalk, all the “slaughter” horses were put in 4 large pens all the way in the back, out of reach from the public eye. b_300_0_16777215_0___images_stories_horse_with_forehead_injury.jpgWhen investigators checked on these horses, they noticed that several were emaciated and many very thin. One horse was observed with a fresh forehead injury that was bleeding profusely. All the “slaughter” horses were moved through a narrow chute, 3 at a time, where kill buyer Tim Ryan took their blood for Coggins testing. The handling around the chute was rough and many of the horses did not want to go in there.
b_300_0_16777215_0___images_stories_r__r_backed_up_to_loading_ramp.jpgSeveral kill buyers were present and ready to buy. Ryan, who appears to manage the sale, had brought his large stock trailer. R & R livestock arrived with a semi and single deck trailer at 5:18pm. The truck & trailer of William Middleton was parked in front of the barn.
b_300_0_16777215_0___images_stories_slaughter_horses_2.jpgRegistered horse /riding horse sale started at 6:00pm and continued well into the night. The auctioneer took a very long time trying to sell each individual horse. After the sale, when the majority of the public had left, the “slaughter” horses were sold. Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor

Message to Oprah from Celebs: I Care About Wild Horses

Message to Oprah from Celebs: I Care About Wild Horses from Madeleine Pickens on Vimeo.

Cloud Foundation Lawsuit Temporarily Halts Massive Triple B Roundup

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

July 19, 2011 by admin
On Thursday, July 14, 2011  more than 50 wild horse advocates gathered at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Reno, Nevada to lend support to the Cloud Foundation’s lawsuit to stop the massive roundup of wild horses in the Triple B Complex in northeastern Nevada.

attorney Rachel Fazio
Representing the Cloud Foundation, ecologist Craig Downer and wild horse advocate Lorna Moffett, environmental lawyer Rachel Fazio presented oral arguments before U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben for an emergency Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to stop the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from moving forward with the planned removal of 1,700 horses. Ms. Fazio, accompanied by local counsel Julie Cavanaugh-Bill, outlined the violations of the law and irreparable harm that Plaintiffs would suffer should the Court allow the pending removal to go forward. The BLM had delayed the roundup for ten days pending the Court hearing and stated in court that it would begin the roundup on Saturday, July 16.

AWHPC banner was a standout at the rally. Photo by Reno Gazette Journal
The Department of Justice, defending the BLM and other named defendants, claimed that due to the lack of water in the Triple B area, the BLM had just the day before the hearing began to truck in water for wild horse in the Cherry Spring area. Ms. Fazio pointed out that the BLM had trucked in water to the Cherry Spring area each year for the past five years because the spring dried up every summer.   After more than one hour of questioning both plaintiff and defendant counsel, Judge McKibben thanked both parties and the audience for being respectful and said he would issue his decision the following day.
Judge McKibben issued his ruling late on the afternoon of Friday, July 15, 2011, denying Plaintiff’s motion for a  TRO and thereby allowing the BLM to proceed with the roundup the following day. Ms. Fazio immediately filed an emergency review with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Just hours after Judge McKibbens released his decision, the Ninth Circuit issued an emergency stay to prevent the roundup from beginning until the appellate court had time to consider Ms. Fazio’s emergency appeal. The unprecedented emergency stay has given the mustang of the Triple B area a temporary reprieve.
As of this posting the Ninth Circuit Appellate Court has not issued its ruling on Judge McKibben’s order.
The Associated Press article on the lawsuit is available here.
Rachel Fazio, attorney for The Cloud Foundation, Craig Downer and Lorna Moffat, issued the following statement on the status of the lawsuit:
We were disappointed that the District Court did not feel that it was necessary to actually scrutinize the BLM’s decision or apply the plain language of the Wild Horse Act.  The Wild Horse Act is clear, rouding up wild horses can only be done if the agency has demonstrated that a particular number of horses is preventing the agency from maintaining a thriving natural ecological balance. Today in the Triple B Complex, a thriving natural ecological balance is presently being maintained.  We are encouraged that the Ninth Circuit has decided to temporarily enjoin the roundup so that they can fully consider the merits of our request for an injunction pending appeal.  We are hopeful that wild horses might finally get their day in Court, before they are removed from the range.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How YOU Can Help the Wild Horses and Burros

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Sunday Post by R.T. Fitch ~ President/Co-Founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Every Single Advocate Plays a Vital Role

" Family Ties: The American Mustang" by Lee Mitchelson ~ Click on Image to vote and help the Wild Horses
Today is Sunday and as all of you regular readers know, we try to pull away from the bad and highlight the good.  Likewise, my lovely bride rarely asks me to highlight a topic but from halfway around the world she is politely asking me to speak up on how everyone is so very precious and important to our ultimate mission to gain equitable justice for our national icons, the “federally protected” wild horses and burros.
Terry mans the phone and responds to dozens of email inquiries as I travel about and one of the most pervasive questions that staunch animal welfare advocates, from around the world, ask is;
“How can I help?”
Folks, just being here is step one.  By reading and learning you garner a tremendous wealth of qualified and quantified opinions of, God help us, not only me but thousands of equine enthusiasts and animal welfare advocates from around the world.  On an average we log between 1,500 – 2,000 unique hits a day with a peak of over 5,000.  Not a big deal in the real world but considering the small niche that we occupy this sort of participation tremendous.  I am only the paperboy and you good people are the customer so when you comment you afford a worldwide audience a glance at how we think in our small corner of the globe.
Secondly, you don’t have to live in the western states to be pro-active in what we do, we live in Texas and there are no HMAs in our neck of the woods.  But a simple phone call, email or fax speaks volumes when we ask for your help in waking up our publicly funded legislative representatives in what we REALLY want and need in the way of change regarding the management or our wild horses and burros.  (Stay tuned as we are about to ask your help in replying to the EA that was released by the BLM on their proposed “zeroing out” of North Piceance herd which we have been legally fighting over for the past year.)
Thirdly, if you can travel to a protest, stampede, conference, please do so.  We know that money is tight but for myself I feel that if I do not do anything else with my life but help and aide in saving our wild horses and burros for future generations then I have done what I was placed on this world to do.  I am elated to report that the West Douglas herd is still running free because of the efforts of dozens of people over the years and then the recent intervention of our Wild Horse Freedom Federation and esteemed plaintiffs.  Sadly, if this is ALL I accomplish in my life then I can lay my head down on my death bed knowing that 120+ horses are running free due to our efforts, my mission would be complete.  But being a Type A personality that is not enough, we need to set the record straight across the board.  So I am asking you, and me, to witness for the horses in any physical way possible.  If you can do it, your companionship would be greatly appreciated at all publicized events.
And finally, there are a multiple of FREE ways that you can help the wild horses and please allow me to give you an example or two.
We are blessed with many artsy-craftsy sort of folks in the wild horse advocacy.  For crying out loud WHFF has two authors, two award winning photojournalists and two artists on our Board of Directors.  Likewise our Advisory board is peppered with professionals like Emmy award winning cinematographer Ginger Kathrens, producer/director James Klienart, award winning equine photographers Pam Nickoles and Carol Walker.  But besides these good folks donating their time we, also, have other artists donating their work to help the wild ones.
Right now, world renowned wild horse artist Lee Mitchelson has a stunning wild horse painting entered in an online competition.  By simply clicking (HERE) and voting for Lee’s beautiful painting you have moved one step closer to helping the wild ones, for free.  Currently she is donating funds to help the Fallon horses formerly what was once the Calico herd.  She had been in contact with Terry and has expressed an interest in supporting WHFF so let’s pile on and help her help the wild ones. The original painting is still for sale so, if you are interested in owning an original Lee Mitchelson painting, please contact her directly at: Lee Mitchelson.
Likewise, besides sending your hard earned cash to our Wild Horse Legal Fund to pay our legal staff you can, again, for FREE, help us by using GoodSearch as your main search engine, Click (HERE).  The search engine is driven by Yahoo but for every search that you conduct, if you are like me it is several dozen a day, one penny will be donated to the Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s legal fund.  That may not sound like much but pennies DO add up and if you take into consideration that we have almost 5,000 friends and fans on FaceBook, alone, it quickly becomes a true source of income.  Likewise, click (HERE) to learn about how a portion of your online shopping, at no expense to you, can be donated to the WHFF’s legal fund.  How flipping simple is that?  I just LOVE technology.
So in review; you ALL are a very important and integral cog in the wheel of saving the wild horses of the United States of America.  We all do what we can do, when we can do it and extend ourselves as far as we can physically and fiscally allow ourselves to go.  I consider each and every single advocate to be a very special and bright light glowing in a sea political of darkness…and if you simply mention our cause to  your family and friends then you are a Superstar in my book and I love you from the bottom of my heart.
May the “Force of the Horse©” be with each and every one of my very special friends and associates…I am so proud to know you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Judge grants Temporary Injunction in Triple B Roundup

Tuesday's Horse

Breaking News: Federal Judge Rules Against Wild Horses and American Public

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Unedited Press Release from BLM Propaganda Central
Judge McKibben Rules in Favor of BLM Triple B Wild Horse Stampede
The Horses Lose AGAIN!!!
Reno, Nev. — Today U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben issued a decision in favor of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which allows the BLM to proceed with the Triple B gather to remove excess wild horses on Saturday, July 16.
“The BLM is pleased with the decision of the court that allows us to move forward with the Triple B gather, where the wild horse population is five times over the minimum appropriate management level,” said Amy Lueders, BLM Nevada Acting State Director.
The BLM will gather and remove approximately 1,726 excess wild horses from in and around the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine and Antelope Valley herd management areas (HMA) and the Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory located approximately 30 miles northwest of Ely and 70 miles southeast of Elko, Nev.  Removal of the excess wild horses is necessary to prevent degradation of rangeland resources and to ensure sufficient forage and water is available for the wild horse population.
The estimated population for the entire gather area is 2,198.  The appropriate management level (AML) for the entire area is 472-889 animals. Any horses gathered above targeted removal numbers will be released back to the range so that the remaining population is within AML.
Any gathered mares released back to the range will be vaccinated with the PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine.  Additionally, sex ratios of gathered animals to be returned to the HMAs may be adjusted to achieve an approximately 60 percent male/40 percent female ratio.
The gathered animals will be transported to the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley (PVC), in Reno, Nev., Gunnison Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah, and the Delta Wild Horse Corrals in Delta City, Utah.  The animals will be prepared for the BLM adoption program or for long-term holding.
The Cloud Foundation, Craig Downer and Lorna Moffat filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, June 29, 2011, and moved to enjoin the Triple B gather. Judge McKibben held a hearing Thursday morning and denied the motion to enjoin the gather.

Federal Judge could Stop BLM Wild Horse Roundup - My News 4 - KRNV, Reno, NV

Federal Judge could Stop BLM Wild Horse Roundup - My News 4 - KRNV, Reno, NV

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BLM Roundup of Alleged “Estrays” in Oregon

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Information supplied by Wild Horse

Obama’s “Transparent” BLM Up to Covert Operations, AGAIN

Wild Horse Education has discovered that an unscheduled, unannounced, secret roundup was being carried out east of Baker City,(Baker County) Oregon today, July 14, 2011.  This removal of 30 to 70 horses is in the Vale BLM District.  There is a question if these “estray” horses could actually be wild horses.
“Looking at the BLM schedule, the contractor was not scheduled to fly again until August 2,” said Laura Leigh founder of Wild Horse Education “This lead us to investigate other areas where operations could be occurring.”
Marilyn Wargo was told this roundup was taking place by Vale District BLM employee Kelly Skerjanec, who said District manager Pat Ryan and BLM WH&B Specialist, Shaney Rockefeller were at this roundup.  BLM Baker City Office employee Mark Pierce confirmed that this action was set up on the ground yesterday and was carried out today.
Wargo was told the private rancher, whose property adjoins BLM land, was not claiming these horses (there was a court case in 2004 in this matter). BLM considers them feral estray.  Pierce stated this was not a BLM Oregon helicopter and that a contractor was involved and it could be the one used at Kiger/Riddle just South of Vale District. This would be the Cattoor Livestock Company.  At this time no operations official will confirm or deny the contractor.
Pierce elaborated saying: BLM intended to remove horses found only on the BLM lands and not the private property. The horses are considered “trespassers” on public land. The ranchers name was not available at this time.
Piece also said the mares with foals would be sent to Vale District and all others to Prineville.
These offices do not have holding facilities and the destination of these horses is being investigated.
Natural Resources Specialist John Raddemacher from the BLM Baker Office is in charge of this action.
Mark Wilkening of the BLM has confirmed that this operation may be going on tomorrow as well. He has informed us that the horses have no brands. Wilkening has said that this area has never had horses before.
This is in addition to discovering the pending roundup at Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, in Oregon and Nevada.

Ms. Leigh is the Founder of Wild Horse, Vice President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation and writes a blog about her wild horse and burro advocacy.

Update: Prison Horses Found in Waco

Horseback Magazine

July 15, 2011

Story and Photos by Steven Long
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – At least some of the horses once belonging to the State of Texas and in custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have been found after being sold at auction. The TDCJ prison horses were located at a facility owned by a former Texas prison inmate and equine kill buyer whose wife confirmed that the horses were the same ones purchased Monday night at a Huntsville, Texas livestock auction.
“We are not selling these horses for food,” said TDCJ chief spokeswoman Michelle Lyons. “They were sold at a public auction to the public.”
The horses were sold as culls from the prison system’s extensive livestock program.
 “We cannot speak intelligently as to the buyers’ intent,” Lyon’s told Horseback Magazine late Thursday, “but have been informed by the auction house that there were at least 10 different buyers of TDCJ horses.”
Asked if TDCJ was aware of recent concerns raised about the chemicals used to medically treat U.S. horses, Lyons said “Without an extensive review of the horses’ veterinary records, we cannot make assurances regarding what medications they have or have not taken.”
Drugs such as phenylbutazone (Bute), wormers, and a variety of other drugs routinely administered to horses here, possibly including prison horses, are strictly prohibited for use in food animals.
One of the most genetically perfect herds of horses in North America was hit hard by the selloff of 61 animals at a public auction, their most likely destination, a Mexican slaughterhouse notorious for unspeakable cruelty. The herd is genetically and historically important because they have been part of a captive breeding program for more than a century with little outside genetic influence. On the rare occasions other horses have been introduced, they have been foundation pedigreed lines.
The horses were part of a herd of 1,600 owned by the State of Texas and managed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville, according to Lyons.
 The state’s captive herd is subject to the most advanced breeding techniques and is held to exacting standards that are world class. The horses are not grade horses but are beneficiaries of the very best techniques of modern agricultural science. The livestock managers are products of the renowned schools of agriculture at Texas A&M University and the nearby Sam Houston State University. The horses are primarily Quarter Horses with substantial Percheron blood.
The information that the horses had been sold at auction came to Horseback Online Monday night when a confidential source who was at the Huntsville cattle auction called and said that a large number of prison horses had been sold to slaughter and had been loaded on a truck south heading down I-45.
“People who work at the prison are really upset about this,” the man said during a phone call to the magazine’s offices.
The Texas prison system holds “Premium Auctions” of horses only rarely where the public is invited to bid after extensive advertising of the sale. No such ads were placed for the 61 horses sold Monday. They were quietly sent to auction where a large truck was already waiting, according to the source who said the horses sold for about 40 cents a pound.
Lyons confirmed the prison system auctions 90-100 “cull” horses each year from its program.
Livestock auctions are the primary sources of horses sent abroad for food.
The Texas prison system breeds big horses, big enough to hold a 300 pound guard for an eight hour shift in the fields, hence the draft horse bloodlines brought into the herd. The stout corrections officer is known in prison parlance as “The Boss.” The horses and their human counterparts guard men dressed in white garb as they work fields with a garden hoe called by the derisive name, an “aggie.” The horses are bread for Texas’ 176 prison units which boast approx. 75 mounted guards or more.
There is one boss for each 25 inmates.
The prison horses are almost as wide as their bellies are deep. They hold saddles made behind the walls. The animals and men herd the system’s 20,000 cattle that are sold on the open market by the state. None of the meat is kept by TDCJ. The cheaper cuts fed to prisoners are bought at market price for the institution’s commissaries. Officials are quick to point out that prison inmates don’t eat steak but consumers may be lucky enough to eat beef raised behind prison walls.
Besides security and agriculture duty, the horses follow dogs chasing escaped convicts.
The state’s ideal prison horse is three quarters Quarter Horse and one quarter draft horse. Throughout his life a prison horse is freeze branded so that extensive records can be maintained in the system. The markings include a tattoo on the inside of the lip, a Texas star, the birth year, and ID number on the back left, and an additional identification on the horses left cheek near the anus. Like their fellow inmates, the horses have no name, only their number to identify them. The records are so extensive that a manager can track the record of a 20 year old horse and know every significant event of its life just by looking up his record.
The auction buyers Monday didn’t get the records of the horses they bought. When a horse leaves the prison system, only its Coggins certificate and ID sheet follow.  
The state has achieved its ideal confirmation of broadness, horses that have hardly any withers, and are short of back.