Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wild horse advocates say the BLM jeopardized public process

News 4 KRNV Reno

CARSON CITY, NV (KRNV & -   Wild horse roundups are a controversial topic in Nevada and across the country.  But at a public meeting at the Bureau of Land Management office in Carson City today, that was not the only issue.
The BLM holds an annual public comment meeting at one of their district offices each spring. The topic at this meeting was the use of motorized vehicles and aircraft during wild horse and burro roundups.  "I'm totally against that. I think it's a horrific way to treat the horses," said Carson City resident Rosette Moltz.  Moltz showed up too late for the meeting and was not able to put her comments on the record.   Read MORE.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Horses for Slaughter

The New York Times Student Journalism Institute Tucson 2012

Many horses bought in Arizona are sent to meat processing plants in Mexico despite the recent lifting of a ban on horse slaughtering in the United States. The ban was lifted to stop horses from being killed after grueling journeys across the border.

Miami Illegal Horse Slaughter

Animal Rescue Unit

Just a hop, skip and a jump from the bronzed glittery world of south beach is a horror for animals unlike anything else in this country. I'm referring to the C-9 Basin located just 15 minutes outside the city of Miami.  Hidden in the out skirts of Miami's walls are upwards of 200+/-  illegal slaughter operations. These farms are some of the most horrible places you could ever imagine. Horses, cows, pigs, chickens, sheep and goats. There are no limits to the cruelty. They even house 100's of puppy kennels for side of the road puppy sales... illegal and down right disgusting. These butchers get their hands on horses from local ads , from unsuspecting owners, auctions, and direct from the race track.  Pony handlers have been documented selling race horses DIRECTLY to illegal slaughter farms.
(Photo Courtesy South FL SPCA)
They slaughter the horses and dump the remains on the sides of roads in     the area. On any given day you can open a trash bag on the side of the road in the C-9 area and it will most likely contain animal remains along with a 50% chance  of horse remains. Horse meat on the black market goes for between $10-40 a lb. It is seen as a medical cure for aids, diabetes, cancer, healthy child birth etc. When in all reality, it causes all those things! Toxicology reports have established that horse meat contains unhealthy amounts of carcinogenic drugs such as Phenylbutazone.This drug is more commonly known as " Bute" and is given for the same purpose, and as often as Aspirin.It is banned for use in any animal intended for human consumption. It causes serious and lethal adverse effects in human. The known carcinogen even in very small doses can cause bone marrow suppression, cancer, birth defects and early Alzheimer disease. 
                          Horse meat for sale... would you eat ANY meat sold like this?
                                                          (Photo Courtesy South FL SPCA)            How can they get away with it, you might ask? The C-9 Basin is mainly a wetlands area with a buffer zone to the protected Florida Everglades. These farms are breaking  multiple laws including the following.. Animal Cruelty, Slaughtering without a license, Operating a Business without a licenses, Food Safety, Sanitary Nuisance, Environmental codes, Zoning Codes, Building codes, Neighborhood Compliance’s Codes, Land Squatting, Feeding Garbage to Animals Without a License, and  now they are also breaking a new law, slaughtering a horse.  You can drive down any given road in that area and see advertising for these farms.              
(Photo Courtesy South FL SPCA)What these farms are doing environmentally is a disaster.  The properties have blood collecting in unlined pools, dumped in reservoirs and poured in ground wells. This is certainly having an effect on the areas ground water, as well as the city's water reservoir. The buildings , the drains, the electric power,  everything on these properties is not permitted. The properties should basically be swamp or fields... not terror filled torture farms.

 ( This is a picture of a carcass of a horse. 2 young men broke all of her legs, slit her neck, cut off her meat, and set her one fire WHILE she was alive for ALL of it! Her helpless foal watched his mother burn alive)
                                                   (Photo Courtesy South FL SPCA)The butchers use anything from knives, axes, hammers, flame throwers,and their own fists to kill these animals. There is no mercy, these animals are butchered alive, right before the other animals eyes. 
 Where are the local officals? That's a very good question. Ask them. Due to recent press, they have started to step in, but this has been going on for 30-40 years?? Where were they then?  Police officals have been quoted saying that the C-9 is an area they wouldn't want to go...  hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved had they stepped in faster.
(Photo Courtesy South FL SPCA)Unfortunately, a lot of this meat is entering some restaurants in the Miami area. Farm owners pick up  the leftovers and scraps and use it as food for the animals and in return sell the restaurants meat at a cheaper rate!!

 Call, Write , Fax Miami's Official's to put and END to the slaughter!

Write to Governor Crist!
  • Telephone:
    • Citizen Services Hotline: * (850) 488-4441*
    • Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: * (850) 488-7146* [Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time]
  • Fax: (850) 487-0801
  • For individuals with hearing loss or speech disability:
    1-850-922-7795 (TTY)
    711 (Florida Telecommunication Relay)
  • Mailing Address
    • Office of Governor Charlie Crist
      State of Florida
      PL-05 The Capitol
      Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
  • Delivery Address
    • Office of Governor Charlie Crist
      State of Florida
      The Capitol
      400 S. Monroe St.
      Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

            Make them put and End to the Pain!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CLOUD Update 2012

Watch Cloud Update: 2012 on PBS. See more from Nature.

Swedish News story

Link to Swedish Publication

English Translation:
PUMPED full of drugs - sold as food

Toxic. HORSE meat imported into the EU and Sweden from South America and above all Mexico may contain substances which are directly dangerous to humans.

Several Swedish meat processing companies state that they import horse meat from South America and that the importation to a large extent takes place via Belgium.

- Meat that is inspected at any border of the EU is free to be sold on the Swedish market and is not affected by the NFA controls, writes Susanne Thofelt Berger at the National Food Administration in an email.

Many of the horses that are slaughtered in Mexico are old end-of life competition horses - and race horses - from the United States. Where, during their competition careers are often treated with different types of preparations, such as phenylbutazone - a means which according to Irish Veterinary Record can cause serious and fatal allergic reaction, and serious blood disease in humans.

In Sweden, the horses at some point in their lifetime been treated with phenylbutazone never be used as food.

A study the New York Times made showed that 99% of race horses in California 2010 competed with phenylbutazone in the body, and that the majority of these went to slaughter.

Horses from the United States to be slaughtered in Mexico must be accompanied by a document where the owner certify that the horse has not been received no unauthorized substances at least 180 days back in time.

The problem is that those transporting horses to slaughter houses and signs the certificates, at best, bought the horses within the month, at worst, within only a few hours. It is thus impossible for the last owner to know something about horses' history.

Consignments of horse meat from Mexico must under EU-directive tested for hormonal and growth promoting agents. But in the controls they do not trace other active substances. In reality, the horse meat as consumers throughout the EU buy very well may contain residues of potentially deadly substances.

Horses are tortured during transport

Horses slaughtered in Mexico and Canada for the European market are subjected to unimaginable suffering. This has animal rights organizations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico reported on for years.

The horses are bought up by "kill buyers" at auctions in the U.S. and then shipped long distances by truck to Mexico or Canada - but food and water. According to regulations, the horses are fed at least six hours prior to departure, but may then be shipped in 28 hours.

Recent photos show horses that are densely packed in more than 20 hours in 35-degree heat on overcrowded truck beds on their way through Texas, to Mexican slaughterhouses. At the border, the truck was stopped for more than four hours before it was allowed to run again. The heat rose significantly under the plastic roof.

Documents from the border between Texas and Mexico from one day in January of this year show that out of five loads of horses on the way to a slaughter house which export horse meat to Europe, twelve of the animals so severely injured that they were not brought into the country. The injuries were bone and vertebral fractures, serious damage to eyes and large wounds. Five horses were so weak they could not stand up.

Reports of abuse and violence against slaughtering horses even at auction, loading and unloading and at slaughter are both from Canada and Mexico.

Charleroi PA Passes Resolution to Support Federal Ban on Horse Slaughter

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: May 29, 2012 by R.T. Fitch

by ~ Pittsburgh Pet Rescue Examiner
“the right to govern is derived from the governed”
Although recent polls indicate that a vast majority of Americans are opposed to the slaughtering of U.S. horses for human consumption, a small minority of individuals have launched a  backdoor  misinformation campaign designed to re-open US horse slaughter facilities and in the worst case scenario factory farm horses for food.
Political support for  federal and state bans on horse slaughter continues to gain momentum. One political arena where elected officials have taken a stand aginst the slaughter of American horses is the borough of Charleroi Pennsylvania located along the Monongahela River in southwestern Pennsylvania. Once dubbed the Miracle City, Charleroi’s stand against horse slaughter and its support for controlling the feline population through trap/neuter/return may earn it a new name: the City of Compassion. In a proclamation supporting a ban on horse slaughter the Mayor and Council acknowledge that horse slaughter is inhumane and contrary to the values of its citizenry and the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Charleroi’s  proclamation urges state and federal officials to support a ban on horse slaughter.
While some may argue that the proclamation is purely symbolic, that claim ignores the more significant aspect of the issue of horse slaughter. As all Americans know the United States is a nation founded on Locke’s belief that “the right to govern is derived from the governed.”  Recent polls by such groups as the ASCPA suggest that 80% of Americans are opposed to horse slaughter.
The action taken by the Charleroi council and its Mayor suggest that those elected to office in Charleroi take the concept of a representative republic to heart. Their stand against horse slaughter reflects the values and sentiments held by a majority of Americans. Simply stated, “Americans do not eat horses.”
The Borough of Charleroi is to be commended for its willimgness to take a stand against a practice which a majority of Americans oppose. It seems the the state of New Jersey will soon follow with a statewide ban on horse slaughter.  The only question that remains is why in a representative republic where the majority of the citizens oppose horse slaughter are other elected officials dragging their feet in passing a federal ban on horse slaughter?
Click (HERE) to visit Faith’s Examiner and to Comment

Monday, May 28, 2012

Government Transparency and Public Process on Wild Horses and Burros Jeopardized

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: May 28, 2012 by R.T. Fitch


Wild Equine Advocates want 30 days notice for public hearings on use of Helicopters at roundups
RENO (May 28, 2012)—Protect Mustangs has discovered that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) scheduled an important public hearing for 10 am the morning after Memorial Day weekend without adequately notifying the public. The hearing is scheduled for 10-11 a.m., at the BLM Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, in Carson City, Nev. The wild horse preservation group is requesting the BLM reschedule the public hearing—regarding the use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles for roundups and management—in order to give the public at least 30 days notice.
“What happened to government transparency and public process?” asks Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “With 80% of America’s federally protected indigenous wild horses and burros living on public land in Nevada, the whole country should be given adequate notice to participate in person as well as via email. Most members of the public are against helicopter roundups. Is BLM trying to sneak this by without public input?”
On Saturday, the preservation group’s website alerted the public about the hearing, after they saw it posted in the Mesquite News online.”Through our social media channels the public began to hear about the public hearing that no one knew about,” said Novak. “Even horse advocates in Carson City hadn’t heard about the hearing.”
The group is collecting comments against helicopter roundups to take to Tuesday morning’s hearing. Members of the public may email them to
In the letter addressed to The BLM, Novak states, “The requirement for the public hearing was set in place to protect the public’s rights to participate in government and this must not be ignored.”
The BLM press release reads:
Before helicopters or motorized vehicles can be used, a public hearing is required in order to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The BLM proposes to use a helicopter, fixed wing aircraft and other motorized vehicles to estimate population numbers and obtain seasonal distribution information for wild horse and burro herds throughout Nevada. Also proposed is using a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros on gathers and complexes throughout the state during the coming year. The actual number of areas where gathers will be conducted or inventoried will depend on a number of factors including funding. 
Members of the public can fax the BLM head office in Washington DC to request the helicopter hearing be rescheduled with a 30 day notice given to the public. The fax number is: 202-208-5242
Controversial helicopter roundups have harassed wild horses and burros—stampeding them for miles, often resulting in lameness and sometimes in death.
Besides being concerned about animal cruelty at helicopter roundups, Protect Mustangs believes that helicopters flying in the desert for days or weeks emit pollution that harms the environment and contributes to global warming. The group believes motorized vehicles damage the ecosystem—hurting many forms of wildlife, such as sage grouse, and other endangered species on the range as well.
The group opposes the use of helicopter and motorized vehicles (except in a state of emergency or for an accurate population head count—not an estimate.)
“If wild horses and burros are facing a water or food emergency then bring it out there but roundups must stop now,” states Novak. “A drought isn’t an excuse for roundups to zero out indigenous wild horses and remove them from their home on public land forever . . .”

Up to 45,000 Wild Horses Face Slaughter by the U.S. Government

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: May 28, 2012 by R.T. Fitch
By Candace Calloway Whiting
“The BLM has stacked the deck”
Thousands of America’s iconic wild horses may be headed to slaughter at the hands of the U.S. government; some herds may face extinction. Oil, mining and cattle interests are driving down the wild horse population and the space left for them to roam.

Click Image to visit Digital Journal

According to Habitat for Horses’ Jerry Finch, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may actually be warehousing as many as 45,000 wild horses. He writes an impassioned and often eloquent blog on the subject of horse abuse, and he is outraged that the government has taken countless healthy horses from the natural environment to benefit cattle ranchers and private industry.

“The BLM continues to decimate the last remaining herds beyond the point of viability. Gelded males, mares filled with PZP, yearlings being rounded up “because the land cannot handle the pressure horses place on it,” yet hours after the last BLM trailer leaves the welfare ranchers unload truckloads of cattle on the same land and remove the fences around the water holes.

The killing of American horses has increased by 38% in 2011 to 133,241. That’s 2,562 per week, 366 per day, 46 per hour – trucked to Canada and Mexico and slaughtered in the most inhumane way possible”

Finch explained to Digital Journal that “Ages ago, Senator Conrad Burns stuck a small amendment into an appropriations bill that gave the BLM authority to sell protected horses if they were offered for adoption three times without any takers (Called “Three Strike” horses).

Under this ruling, the horses are completely removed from the protection of the Wild Horse and Burro Act and placed ‘sale authority’ in the hands of the BLM.

It was proposed several years ago that excess horses be “euthanized.” The public raised such a stink about that proposal that it was removed.

About the same time, the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) said the captive bolt, as used in the slaughterhouses, was “humane euthanization.”

According to those terms, the BLM has the authority at this time to sell horses to operators to be euthanized. I think we can all read between the lines on that one.”

The BLM addresses the points brought up by horse advocates on their “Myths and Facts” page, but that information does little to reassure concerned citizens that the public lands are being fairly managed, since much of what the BLM states as fact is open to interpretation.

Those who believe that public lands should not be damaged by industry and those who consider the wild horses to be part of our heritage are disturbed by what they see as the government’s support of corporations instead of the public interest, as exemplified by the Ruby Pipeline project, completed in 2011 but with environmental mitigation measures just completed last week.

Two years ago construction was begun on the natural gas pipeline, which now snakes 675 miles through public lands from Wyoming to Oregon.

The route traverses pristine wilderness, cuts through old growth forests, and crosses over a thousand water bodies in 11 watersheds. In spite of protests, years of negotiations and court battles, and questionable removal of wild horses, the government permitted the project, and staged a massive horse roundup.

The Ruby Pipeline was given permission to draw 402 million gallons of water that is desperately needed by the horses in that arid region, and in their environmental impact statement (EIS) they admitted that “Impacts on groundwater could be significant because of the volume of water proposed for use and the limited availability of groundwater in the region”.

The BLM conducted a roundup of the wild horses in part of the Calico Mountain Range, removing almost 2,000 in 2009-2010 from the land destined to be utilized by the Pipeline. According to a news report at the time, “as of April 15, 2010, a total of 79 of the horses captured from Calico have died — some as a result of injuries suffered during the capture, such as a foal which literally ran its hoofs off. The rest because they could not adjust to eating the rich hay fed to them at a new holding facility in Fallon.

In addition, at least 40 mares suffered miscarriages during or after the roundup.” The Calico Roundup was repeated this year, and another 1,000 or so horses were removed:

Calico is known for beautiful horses and the approximately 75-80 horses who were captured today were no exception. Gorgeous family bands were rounded up one after another. As it is with all roundups, it was heart breaking to witness the tragedy beset on these tight-knit families – watching them spend their last minutes together after running for their lives and knowing that they will be forever separated from each other, their homes and freedom. As of Friday, January 6, 2012, the BLM reports that 1,203 horses and 10 burros have been captured since the Calico Complex roundup began on November 19, 2011. The BLM reports that 186 of the horses rounded up have been released to the Complex, releasing more stallions than mares to artificially skew the sex ratio to favor males 60 to 40 and administering the fertility-control drug PZP to all released mares.

While the BLM denies any relationship in the timing of removing the horses from the pipeline area, their track record shows improprieties, and the organization was involved in payoffs and other scandals during the period when the Ruby Pipeline was approved.

Also during this period the BLM was found to have “exceeded its authority” in another wild horse population, and the BLM was blocked by the courts from efforts to completely remove an entire herd from a Colorado range.

The Ruby Pipeline management denies that it has anything to do with the roundups.

The removal of wild horses/burros is not addressed in the Ruby Pipeline Final EIS, because it has nothing to do with the removal of wild horses or burros. Gathers such as the Calico Mountains Complex operation are conducted as part of the BLM land use management plans, and are conducted to remove excess animals, achieve Appropriate Management Levels, and achieve a thriving natural ecological balance in an effort to maintain healthy rangelands and ensure through our management practices that we have adequate food and water for the remaining wild horses and burros, wildlife and permitted livestock on the public lands.

Keeping their agreement to mitigate the environmental impact on the public lands, Ruby Pipeline hired Conservation Seeding and Restoration (CSR)to replant the entire length of the pipeline with native plants, which completed their contract on May 18th. However, according to BLM documents, the government’s only apparent consideration of the wild horses in this restoration was in how to keep them off the restored areas (BLM wild horse and burro resource specialists were consulted in developing this management approach):

POD Appendix K, Draft Restoration and Reclamation Plans for Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and Oregon filed with FERC in July 2009, specifies actions to minimize wild horse and burro grazing “within the reclaimed ROW”: Ruby will work with the BLM to minimize wild horse and burro grazing along the “restored” ROW for three years. “Possible management actions would be to provide water sources away from the ROW, include low palatable plant species in the seed mix such as sagebrush, temporary fencing with gaps, and/or reduce wild horse populations following BLM policy in appropriate management areas.”

Wild horse advocate and author RT Fitch explained to Digital Journal that “The BLM has stacked the deck with their advisory board and filled it with only hunting, cattle and as of late slaughter interests. Without admitting it the BLM wants to deem all long term and “three strikes” horses as “sale authority” horses so that they could be sold off for as low as $25.00 each with no further inspection which would mean that some 45,000 held wild horses could be sold directly into the despicable slaughter pipeline. This, I am most certain, is a move the BLM will soon make while they continue to inhumanely pull thousands of native wild horses off from their rightful land.”

Meanwhile, the BLM continues to remove horses from the open range and pays ranchers to take care of them, hoping that 30,000 or more homes can be found for those once wild American icons, a tough sell in this economy.
Visit the Digital Journal (CLICK HERE) for associated videos, documentation and to comment

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Tribute to The War Horse

Horseback Magazine

May 27, 2012
By Steven Long
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Around this time of year I have a particular sensitivity to things military. My mother wore a gold star. I grew up always trying to measure up to the standards set by my older brother Billy who died in a gun turret on the U.S.S. Pennsylvania in February, 1944. It was a needless loss, identical to the explosion on board the U.S.S. Iowa a few years ago (today Iowa is being towed to San Francisco to end her career as a museum). So when Memorial Day weekend rolls around, I lower my head in tribute to guys like Billy and the women who died in the service to their nation as well.
What I’ve only recently started doing (since I began running a horse magazine) is thinking about the incredible war horses that have served man in war since time immemorial.  Horses such as Traveler, who carried Lee throughout the Civil War, Nelson and Blue Skin, who were Washington’s mounts during the revolution, Wellington’s 15 hh chestnut stallion Copenhagen who carried the British general to victory at Waterloo, and the great Comanche, the only survivor of the massacre at the Little Big Horn, the most honored horse in the military  -  these are names that have been immortalized in the pages of history.
But massive numbers of horses without names went to war. We are told that in WW I, America sent a million to battle in Europe. Only a handful came back.
Today, horses in the military serve primarily ceremonial duties such as the magnificent funeral horses used at military cemeteries around the nation. They are a symbol of another American hero who gets all too little recognition for its sacrifices.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Duquette’s Hometown Mayor Says Horse Slaughter Stinks

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: May 26, 2012 by R.T. Fitch

Story by by By ANNA WILLARD of the East Oregonian
Hermiston mayor opposes slaughterhouse for several reasons — especially the smell
As of late, Dave Duquette, alleged president of the anti-horse/pro-slaughter organization United Horsemen, has been touting the prospect of destroying his local community of Hermiston Oregon by opening up a predatory horse slaughter plant virtually right in his own backyard.  With wide-sweeping boasts of acquiring land, in town, and plans to build a multimillion dollar plant for a product with no market Duquette has run into some local resistance from not only the mainline townsfolk but from the very town mayor himself.  Duquette, along with his partner in horse butchering Sue Wallis, is hell bent on acquiring attention and grasping a spotlight, or even a flashlight, with no regard to whether the attention is positive or negative.  But one thing is now glaringly true, we have been saying it for years and now it comes to us in bold print, “Horse Slaughter Stinks, right along with Duquette and Wallis; it’s enough to make you lose your lunch” ~ R.T.
“Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette at their first and last Slaughter Summit of the horse in early 2011 ~ photo courtesy of Summit of the Horse
Hermiston Mayor Bob Severson opposes the horse slaughterhouse proposed in Hermiston.
The potential odor is the thing that troubles him most, he said Thursday. But the mayor said he opposes the idea of slaughtering horses for consumption itself.
“The biggest thing I’m concerned about is, I don’t want anything with odor or anything like that to detract from the community we have today,” Severson said.
The U.S. in November 2011 lifted a ban on horse slaughter. Soon after, Hermiston resident David Duquette, president of United Horsemen, a non-profit, pro-slaughter group, proposed a slaughterhouse at the intersection of Interstate 84 and Westland Road.
In March, Duquette said outside investors and five Northwest American Indian tribes are backing the plan, which would employ 80-100 full-time workers. Neither the investors nor the tribes have been named. Duquette said an anonymous donor gave the 252 acres proposed as the project site.
Severson said he recognizes a problem with neglected or abandoned horses, and with high hay prices and a suffering economy the problem is compounded. However, Severson said he doesn’t think much of slaughtering horses in general.
“To me a horse is a recreation animal or a work animal. We don’t need to slaughter them for food,” Severson said.
According to the Southwest Farm Press, China, Mexico and Kazakhstan are the world’s top consumers of horse meat. About 4.7 million horses a year are produced for human consumption, the paper reported in December 2011.
Severson also said he wants to see concrete information about how problems like odor will be managed.
“I need to know more rather than they just say so,” he said.
Severson said he has not met with Duquette.
Duquette said odor wouldn’t be an issue. Offal would be cooled and disposed of daily and hides also cooled and hauled weekly.
Severson said a slaughterhouse would do nothing to improve the livability of Hermiston.
“I cannot see where a horse slaughtering plant would do anything to improve our community or our image for attracting new business and industry,” Severson wrote in a letter read May 14 to city council in his absence. Severson wrote in response to a letter to the editor from Kaye Killgore of Portland published May 17 in the East Oregonian. Killgore, who described herself as a frequent visitor to the area and with friends here, wrote that slaughterhouses elsewhere can be environmental nightmares, among other criticisms of Duquette’s plan.
The facility would be 20,000 square-feet and process between 100-150 horses per day. The land is also set to be the site of a rescue and rejuvenation facility employing 20-30 people, Duquette has said.
Severson said the city has turned down other facilities looking to place facilities in Hermiston such as a “humus” plant — a waste composting facility to produce fertilizer.
“We opposed other things too, a while back a rendering plant was proposed for this area and I felt the same thing there,” Severson said Thursday.
Click (HERE) to visit the East Oregonian and to locally Comment

Friday, May 25, 2012

CBS Lays Egg on Horse Slaughter Report

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: May 25, 2012 by R.T. Fitch
OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Network Highlights Embattled Butcher and Misses Outstanding Infractions
CBS This Morning” highlighted the alleged “plight” of a rural New Mexico slaughterhouse owner who wants to capitalize on butchering companion horses while ignoring and sweeping under the carpet outstanding the USDA suspension of inspectors for cruelty violations.
Click (HERE) to download USDA document
Rick de los Santos speaks to CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker who never asks about his current inhumane and abuse allegations from the USDA
In a televised broadcast, this day, CBS centered a three minute clip on one Ricardo De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meats in Roswell, NM and his alleged “struggle” to bring “outsourced” slaughtering of American horses back to the U.S. and to save his business from total collapse.
Click (HERE) to read text of broadcast
As is the way with most mainstream media CBS failed to include the fact that Santo’s slaughter plant was shut down in February, by the USDA, due to the inhumane manner in which he and his staff handled animals intended for slaughter.  Likewise CBS used inaccurate and leading statements such as:
“Over a hundred thousand of these animals are already rounded up every year and slaughtered across the border…barely making a dent in the U.S. horse overpopulation problem. Domesticated horses are abandoned and wild horses simply left to breed unchecked.”
Such statements are unsubstantiated and false to the core.  There is no noted overpopulation problem with the exception of the major breeding conglomerates such as the AQHA, APA, the racing industry and the BLM has all but eradicated the few remaining wild horses and burros from their rightful land in ten western states.  To make such broad sweeping comments while showing a known and documented animal abuser somberly walking amongst his kill pen, hooks and chains (not to mention kissing his wife) is unconscionable.
CBS owes a direct and immediate apology to the 80% of the American public who denounce and object to the concept of horse slaughter being brought back to the United States while the network reassess it’s practice of propagating pity about a documented abuser who deserves nothing less than scorn and shame for the atrocities that he has already committed.
Uptick: the show’s hosts were appalled at the prospect of horse slaughter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2 former race horses left for dead in AZ

KPHO CH 5 Phoenix AZ

(Source: After the Homestretch) (Source: After the Homestretch)
RAINBOW VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) - From the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness Stakes, horse racing is no doubt popular in this country. But after their fame and glory is over, some former race horses are being abandoned in Arizona.
A mare was recently dumped in Rainbow Valley, south of Buckeye.
"We picked her up Saturday while the Preakness was going on," Danielle Marturana said.
Marturana started a horse rescue called After the Homestretch about a year ago just for thoroughbreds whose owners didn't want them anymore, but what she saw Saturday took it to a whole new level.
"This is unreal, she doesn't know how to fend for herself out there, there's no water, there's no shade trees," Marturana said.
She said the horse would have died had it not been found.
"She hasn't had enough to eat, her bones are sticking out," Marturana said.
It's the second retired race horse she rescued that was dumped in the middle of nowhere in just the past two months.
"The economy is one thing, people can't afford their horses, not having respect for horses, that's another thing," Marturana said.
The former race horses have tattoos on their upper lip that Marturana is using to help identify the animals' owners.
Click here to learn more about the horse rescue or to donate.

U.S. Covers Up Terrorism on the E.U.

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Guest post by Vicky Johnson
Want to know how to poison a country?   Feed them U.S. horses!
Suzy and Echo…Lost!
Horses aren’t regulated food animals in the United States and so little testing is done for residue or adulteration that there can be absolutely no confidence level of ‘safe’ horsemeat from the U.S.
And to top that off, there is basically no traceability despite any claims you may have heard. In the U.S. a horse can be designated for “slaughter” at any time, by any owner, even if that owner has no previous knowledge of the horses medical history.
There is a form that has to be completed by an owner, called an EID or Equine Identification Document that identifies a horse for “slaughter”. The EID requires that the owner declare that the horse has not had any prohibited medications, or medications that have no withdrawal period, during its entire lifetime. The EID also requires the owner to declare that if the horse was given medications that do have a withdrawal period, that it was withheld, or not given to the horse for the last 180 days.
However, the EID allows the owner to make that declaration “to the best of my information or believe”, thereby rendering the entire document useless. Traders, dealers, and their agents designate a horse for ‘slaughter’ and make those declarations when they have owned that horse for 5 minutes.
Who in their right mind would ever allow such a system for human food traceability? If such a traceability system was permitted to exist, you would think it would be mandatory to test each and every horse for chemical residue or adulteration.  If the situation was reversed, I would expect the U.S. government to test each and every one.
Horses in the U.S. are gathered one by one by traders, dealers and their agents from auctions, sales and individuals. Horses aren’t ‘produced’ like cattle in the U.S., where they would have been bred, raised, maintained or regulated as food animals by owners that know and understand food animal production. A large percentage of everything U.S. horse owners use on their horses is labeled ‘not intended for use on food animals’. “Bute”, the U.S. horse aspirin, has no withdrawal period and can never be used in food animals. The majority of horse owners just call the vet and don’t even keep a record of medications. Rarely does a horse transfer in the U.S. with medical history. In developing a sampling plan, it is important to establish a ‘lot’ or ‘batch’ that are the ‘same’ so that a smaller sample can be taken instead of testing 100%. There is nothing the ‘same’ about U.S. horses except that they are horses. There can be no confidence level of obtaining safe U.S. horsemeat on a ‘sampling’. Each and every one should be tested for residues or adulteration. In taking just a sampling of unregulated animals entering a human food chain, the probability and risk of adulterated or residue contamination is very high.
Suzy and Echo
My two mares were stolen by deception from me on April 15th, 2012. Both have had “bute”, a chemical that has no withdrawal period. One was recently treated with penicillin and both were de-wormed with invermectin that would have required 180 day holding period for withdrawal..
Once I learned they were missing, I called the Meeker County Sherriff in Minnesota, which is the county they were supposed to be in, to file a report. After a few days, I was informed that I had to file a report here in McHenry County, Illinois, where they were taken from. I filed a report and was informed it could take a week to get the report. I called to get the report and was told I had to write a FOIA and that could take another week. A week later, I received the report and it was marked civil and closed.
Why is the law selectively enforced? Who is the responsible authority? Does anyone care that horse owners are being deceived by traders that take their beloved pets and kill them? The ‘authorities’ don’t have any responsibility to prosecute. It is not ok to lie and take something that you otherwise would not have gotten if the truth were known. You can’t pick just the part of the sentence you like and ignore the rest.
I have been informed that my horses were sold to Keith Tongen, a known ‘kill’ buyer or someone that buys horses for slaughter. Does anyone think that my horses are still there after a month of trying to get help through our law enforcement? Not likely, but I am praying they are and I’m holding on to every shred of a possibility that they are still living. Probability is far greater that they have been slaughtered, consumed and are in a compost pile already. They were not safe to eat. Is anyone going to be able to trace where they were sold? Not likely.
Where are horse owners suppose to report horse theft to prevent their toxic horses from becoming someone’s dinner?
I am devastated that I can’t find my horses and those that eat them surely should have some concerns too. The U.S. doesn’t care. If there had been an actual investigation when I first discovered they were stolen, I may have been able to bring them home.
Does anyone care enough to expose the truth?
The U.S. is allowing a system whereby unregulated animals enter a human food chain with virtually no traceability and a high probability of adulteration or substance residues.
That could be termed ‘Terrorism”.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New York seizes control of horse racing tracks

Tuesday's Horse

Cross-posted from ABC News


Aerial view of Belmont Park.  Google image
Aerial view of Belmont Park where I’ll Have Another will bid for the first Triple Crown since 1978. Google image.
With the Belmont Stakes — and a potential Triple Crown victory for I’ll Have Another – just weeks away, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state will seize control of the scandal-plagued organization that operates the Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga racetracks.
Under the terms of a deal completed Tuesday morning, a 17-member “turn-around” board will run the New York Racing Association for the next three years. The board will include elected members of the state legislature, appointees chosen by the governor and representatives of the NYRA and the horseracing industry.
The article points out:
The president and general counsel of the NYRA, a private agency, were fired recently after state regulators alleged that they knew the NYRA had shortchanged bettors by $8.5 million over 15 months. Continue reading >>
Cuomo earlier called for a full investigation by an independent panel into the deaths of 20 racehorses at Aqueduct, which is currently underway.

Killing them softly…

Habitat for Horses

Fifteen years ago, on one of my notorious rants, I claimed that the goal of the BLM was to send all the wild horses to slaughter. Any number of people considered me as having gone off the deep end back then. During the years between then and now, the combined forces of the pro-horse groups managed to shut down the American slaughterhouses, only to see Mexico and Canada increase the number of American horses slaughtered (up 38% since last year).
While the propaganda machine continues to spout lies about starving horses and make false accusations of thousands of horses wandering the backstreets and parks, the forces of evil are plotting to do exactly what I had forecasted.

Unloading horses at the border
Consider: The failure of the Federal Government to deny inspectors to equine slaughterhouses, the gathering storm of  anti-horse forces trying (and so far failing) to open a slaughterhouse in the States and the wildly insane gathering of wild horses off the protected Federal lands to the point where 45,000 now reside in holding pens.
Consider that the BLM is now complaining about the cost of maintaining horses in the holding pens and the discussion now going on is that in order to reduce the cost, they want to change the status of the horses so the BLM can sell them to whomever wants them. Translated: off to slaughter they go.
The long term plan to eradicate wild horses enters its final chapter. The Wild Horse Advisory Board, those wonderful folks who are allegedly members of the general public that advises the BLM, are pro-slaughter advocates. Ex-BLM employees are now players in the organizations promoting slaughter. Everything is set. Expect the word to come dribbling out of DC – all wild horses in the holding pens, all 45,000 of them, will be “euthanized.”
And the BLM continues to decimate the last remaining herds beyond the point of viability. Gelded males, mares filled with PZP, yearlings being rounded up “because the land cannot handle the pressure horses place on it,” yet hours after the last BLM trailer leaves the welfare ranchers unload truckloads of cattle on the same land and remove the fences around the water holes.

Are you angry yet? Do you need to be reminded that these are YOUR horses? Congress controls the Department of the Interior, the BLM is part of that Department. Congress can put a stop to it.
S.1176 and HR 2966, known as the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, closes the border and makes it against the law to kill horses for human consumption. Eighty percent of the public is against the slaughter of horses. If you read this article, chances are you are a part of the majority.
The killing of American horses has increased by 38% in 2011 to 133,241. That’s 2,562 per week, 366 per day, 46 per hour – trucked to Canada and Mexico and slaughtered in the most inhumane way possible. All of them fat, mostly healthy (they don’t buy skinny horses!) and all of them wondering what the hell happened to the loving, caring humans, the 80%, who were suppose to stand by them.
Yes, you guessed it, I’m pissed. I’m sick of do-gooder organizations spouting meaningless words, of suits in Congress sitting on the bills “because it’s an election year.” At Habitat for Horses, we work damn hard to save the lives of horses. Investigations, courts, medical bills, slings to help them stand up, thousands of dollars in hay and feed, and they kill the same number in a couple of weeks that we save in a year.
It’s gotta’ stop, guys, but it won’t until a very angry voice is heard from the 80%. Are you ready to scream?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Take Action

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Take Action

ACT TODAY: Tell California BLM to Reduce Livestock, Humanely Manage Wild Horses on the Range and Cancel Roundup Plan

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) Surprise Field Office -- located in northeastern California -- is accepting public comments on plans to round up and remove wild horses in the Buckhorn, Coppersmith and Carter Reservoir Herd Management Areas.
California's mustangs are part of the state's history and heritage, but over half of their designated habitat has been taken away over the past four decades. Please tell BLM that the buck stops at Buckhorn: it's time to stop rounding up and removing wild horses from our public lands and start managing them on the range, using reversible, PZP fertility control when necessary.
Comments are due this Thursday, May 24th, so please act today by clicking here or below!

Horse Slaughter Increased 38% Over Past Year

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Information supplied by the Equine Welfare Alliance
Anti-Horse Faction’s Propaganda Exposed
A 38% increase over the same period last year.
By week and Month:
1) Slaughter supporters frequently use the logic of a cumulative total of horses that would be roaming the streets over a number of years if slaughter ends.
Using their faulty logic, we did the same thing but started with 1990-the highest slaughter count recorded-as the base year and added the number of horses that weren’t slaughtered in subsequent years. With their logic, there should be 6,198,697 horses roaming our streets! Each year reflects the base year minus the number of horses slaughtered in that year. That begs the question, where did all those horses go?
2) The next column is a count of exported horses during the years the slaughter plants were open.
Although not reflected in this spreadsheet, here is proof once and for all, the slaughter option that they keep saying is gone, is nothing but a flat out lie. We took the 5 years prior to the plants closing compared to the 5 years after the plants closed.
2002-2006   534,156
2007-2011   609,205
Difference      75,046 or a 14% increase
If we take 6 years – 2001-2006 and include this year’s numbers annualized (April numbers) we get an even higher percentage.
2001-2006                            631,638
2007-2012 (April annualized)    745,951
Difference                             114,313 or an 18% increase

Slaughter of wild horses as solution to long-term holding gets mention in the media

Tuesday's Horse

Wild horses removed from federal lands set aside for them, grazing on private lands in Kansas.
Wild horses removed from federal lands set aside for them, are now grazing on private lands in Kansas, costing millions of taxpayer thanks to DOI/ BLM mismanagement. Slaughter the things says local Paint horse breeder, crabbing about the cost.
Well it didn’t take long did it, for the word slaughter to begin appearing in the media as the final solution for relieving the US government of the burden of stockpiling wild horses in long-term holding, who incidentally never needed removing in the first place.
The State is not Nevada where you might expect to hear the word slaughter in connection with our iconic Mustangs, say from someone like Callie Hendrickson. However, it is early days. Instead the words “wild horses” and “slaughter” were uttered in the state of Kansas.
The BLM is stockpiling wild horses in Kansas by the thousands, costing the taxpayer millions.
NBC station KSN Channel 3 Wichita reports:
Today 9,593 Mustangs call Kansas home, occupying almost 77,000 acres of the Sunflower State.
Last year, The Wild Horse and Burro Program cost $75 million. Some goes to horse adoption programs, research and range monitoring but a lot goes to the ranchers, who provide the land and food for these transplanted horses to live.
They’re paid about $1.30 per horse, per day. At one Kansas ranch, where there are 4,400 Mustangs, that equals a paycheck of over $2million each year.
Wasn’t taking wild horses off their federally protected lands to make way for cattle, mining and other interests and then moving them to the prairies of the Midwest central to the Salazar Plan? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember paying private ranchers millions to hold wild horses on private lands being part of it.
The only voice of reason in the entire report comes from Karen Everhardt who runs The Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement:
Karen Everhardt is adamant that the BLM’s program is not only broken, but abusive. Not all BLM horses end up running free on Kansas land.
“Some of those horses remain in those intermediate holding facilities for a long, long time and they’re nothing more than a feedlot. Nothing more. In the mud, with no protection, out in the deserts,” said Everhardt.
Everhardt maintains the program has turned into an issue of greed and cheap grazing units. She says all the BLM has to do is let the horses go back to where they came from and instead focus on birth control and creating water and food for them in the wild.
“What motivates us as human beings to think that we are so omnipotent that we know how to do it better than they know how to do it themselves? They’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. We’ve been doing it for 30,” said Everhardt.
Here comes the kicker.
Not far from Rainbow Meadows, Carl Thurow’s prized Paint Horses devour their afternoon treat.
“Horses are my life,” said Thurow.
Thurow says he loves horses but his answer to the wild horse issue is very different.
“The taxpayer is just paying to keep horses alive, for what?” said Thurow.
He agrees with the BLM, that if left in the wild, the overpopulation would be devastating. Thurow believes it only makes sense to re-open horse slaughter plants.
“Those excess animals, the old animals that they call off, we take them to the horse slaughter [plant] and then they create good for somebody. You know, there’s somebody that benefits from those horses and it’s not a drain on our national economy taking care of these things,” said Thurow.
With the EPA registering PZP birth control as a pesticide categorizing our Mustangs as vermin, terrorizing them as wranglers try to dart them with this experimental drug, and the word slaughter starting to turn up in the media as the solution for the wild horse long-term holding “problem,” has it ever been a worse time to be an American Mustang?
How about the last 30 years?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Horses rescued from huge pot bust receive medical attention

ABC News CH 25
Posted: May 18, 2012 4:59 PM By Christine McCarthy
WACO- Neglected horses suffering from starvation and injuries were rescued Thursday night, after allegedly being used as a cover-up for a huge load of pot hauled along I-35.
A Department of Public Safety officer pulled over Gustavo Garza, Jr., 26, who was driving a truck towing horses northbound near Lorena on I-35 and arrested him. When Garza reportedly began behaving suspiciously, the officer got permission to search the trailer and found 15 bundles of pot - a total of 714 pounds hidden among hay stacks next to the three horses.


ALERT! Smuggled Horses in West Texas Found to be Diseased

AUSTIN - U.S. Border Patrol agents recently seized 10 adult horses and four yearlings as they attempted to enter Texas illegally by walking across the Rio Grande River near Indian Hot Springs, in southern Hudspeth county, south of El Paso.  The animals were turned over to the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Service (USDA/APHIS/VS) officials, who tested the horses in Presidio, Texas for a number of disease conditions that are considered foreign to the U.S. All 10 of the adult animals tested positive for Equine Piroplasmosis (EP). EP is routinely found in Mexico and numerous other countries around the world, but is not considered to be endemic to the U.S. The blood borne protozoal disease can be fatal to horses and could create major constraints to interstate and international movements if left undetected. EP does not affect humans.

According to Dr. Grant Wease, field veterinarian for USDA/APHIS/VS in El Paso, the illegal movement of animals is an ongoing concern in the vast open spaces of West Texas.  "In some places the Rio Grande poses no barrier at all to foot traffic for man or animal." According to the latest USDA information, Dr. Wease indicated that "In 2011, approximately 280 head of cattle and 160 head of equine (primarily horses) were intercepted by USDA officials along the Rio Grande." To further complicate the situation, many of the normal import process for livestock entering Texas have been impacted by border violence, making the attempt to smuggle animals into the state even more tempting.

The investigation by USDA and Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is ongoing to determine not only the source of the horses, but the possible destination as well. The TAHC recently passed EP rules requiring testing of race horses prior to entry into a Texas track, and numerous other states have done the same because of recent cases found in that population of horses. "Racing Quarter horses with some connection to Mexico appear to be at highest risk of testing positive to the emerging disease," according to Dr. Dee Ellis, State Veterinarian and TAHC Executive Director. Although the interdicted horses were described as Thoroughbreds, they were considered to be more likely breeding type animals rather than race ready horses. Dr. Ellis went on to state, "This situation highlights the ongoing border security problems Texas is facing, which leads to an increased risk of disease introduction for the Texas livestock population when animals enter our state illegally. I encourage all citizens that witness unusual activity regarding livestock movement near the Mexican border to contact their local law enforcement or animal health officials as quickly as possible to report the situation."

The TAHC strives to provide quality customer service to the citizens of Texas and works with its USDA partners daily to protect Texas livestock and poultry from foreign animal diseases. With limited state and federal resources however, the two agencies must continually review ongoing surveillance efforts along the border to ensure their actions are as effective as possible.

For more information contact the TAHC at 1-800-550-8242 or visit .

Founded in 1893, the TAHC works to protect the health of all Texas livestock including cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goats, equine animals and exotic livestock.

Horse advocates want fines on NM slaughterhouse

Tuesday's Horse

Cross-posted from the Alamogordo Daily News

Horses tagged for slaughter for human consumption.
Just because there is a market for horse meat in some countries does not mean the U.S. must be their supplier.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A Colorado-based horse advocacy group says a New Mexico company seeking to become the nation’s first slaughterhouse for horses since 2007 should face fines for violating laws on waste disposal.
The Albuquerque Journal reports ( that the state Environment Department received a letter this week from Front Range Equine Rescue calling for fines against Valley Meat Co. The Roswell-area slaughterhouse has hauled 400 tons of composted cattle parts from its property, after two years of prodding by the state Environment Department.
But Front Range Equine Rescue said the company should still be fined for past offenses highlighted by a USDA inspector in January 2010.
Fines can reach $5,000 daily per violation, so Valley Meat could be subject to millions in fines. However, Auralie Ashley-Marx, chief of the Environment Department’s Solid Waste Bureau, said Friday that there are mitigating circumstances, such as the recent removal of the waste and the lack of a market for De Los Santos’ compost.
“This is not a black and white case,” she said. “Sometimes there are limiting factors that are difficult to overcome.” Continue reading >>