Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Video from BLM Diamond wild horse roundup

Wild Horse Education

Diamond Complex roundup 2013
Diamond Complex roundup 2013
New video from the Diamond Complex roundup in Nevada. Please see our blog for posts and more photographs:
The adoption at the trap side has been rescheduled to February 9th. There are some really adorable youngsters coming off the rane that need a safe understanding place to land. Contact Shawna Richardson of BLM if you are interested in  Diamond for Valentines Day:
We have three active cases in Federal court that we are working on, working on investigations and reports and need your help!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Horse Meat DNA Now detected in Spanish Burgers

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Tainted Horse Meat Scandal Spreads to Spain
unexpected_horse_in_bagging_area_horsemeat_horseburgerUndeclared horse meat DNA has been found in Spanish burgers, a leading consumer organization revealed today (29 January).
Following the discovery of horse meat in burgers sold at retailers in the UK and Ireland, Spanish consumer watchdog OrganizaciĆ³n de consumidores y usuarios (OCU) undertook independent tests to examine whether horse meat had entered the supply chain of retailers in Spain.
According to the organization, two of 20 products tested came back positive for horse meat. These products were on sale at Alipende and Eroski, the OCU said.
A spokesperson for the consumer body told just-food that the organization was concerned because the burgers labels, which claim to be 100% beef, “deceived” consumers.
The spokesperson added: “With this, you must think can you trust the labels of products?”
Alipende and Eroski were not available for comment at time of press.
According to Irish food safety officials, the horse meat DNA in UK and Ireland has been tracked to a filler ingredient from Poland. However, Spanish food safety officials have been helping Ireland’s Food Safety Authority with its inquiry.
Click (HERE) to Visit Just-Food and to Comment


Other news:
Limerick plant one of only five licensed to slaughter horses for meat - Local Business - Limerick Leader
Fresh Allegations of Wild Horses Going to Slaughter « Straight from the Horse's Heart
Irish authorities wrap up beef burger probe - News -
BLM Writes to WHFF: ‘Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility Update’ « Straight from the Horse's Heart

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fresh allegations of wild horses going to slaughter

Wild horses in the Desatoya area.
Wild horses in the Desatoya area of Nevada.

The latest allegations emerge as authorities continue an investigation sparked by a storypublished late last September which questioned the fate of 1700 wild horses.
That report explored the dealings of Tom Davis, 64, a livestock hauler and proponent of the horse meat industry who has purchased more than 1700 wild horses from the bureau since 2008 – amounting to roughly 70 per cent of all horses sold by the agency.
Late in October, Edwin Roberson, assistant director at the Bureau of Land Management, told KSL Television: ”I can confirm right now that the inspector general of the Department of Interior is investigating, (and) has an ongoing investigation into those allegations.”
No word has emerged yet to satisfactorily explain the fate of the horses bought by Davis for $US10 a head, and wild horse advocates have expressed fears the animals went to slaughter in Mexico.
Now, in what it is calling a citizen investigation, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation has released evidence it says exposes a Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse long-term holding contractor selling wild horses to an alleged “kill buyer”.
It alleges the horses probably went to slaughter.
Debbie Coffey, volunteer director of wild horse affairs with the federation, uncovered evidence purporting to show the contractor selling at least 34 federally protected wild horses.
“This evidence shows that the BLM is not protecting our wild horses and is allowing alleged kill buyers to purchase them,” explains R.T. Fitch, volunteer president of the federation.
“The public wants Congress to enforce the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act that they unanimously signed into law in 1971. A Congressional Investigation needs to happen now.”
The federation joined with Protect Mustangs to call for a freeze on roundups, access to documents at all holding facilities as needed, as well as an immediate Congressional investigation into the bureau and its contractors allegedly selling America’s iconic wild horses into the slaughter pipeline.
The executive director of Protect Mustangs, Anne Novak, said: “It’s time for a deep investigation – done by an entity outside the BLM – to bust these crimes against the American mustang and champion the public who were deceived by officials in charge of protecting our icons of freedom.
“The public is outraged. Protests are being planned as a result of the evidence.”
Coffey, with the help of Animal’s Angels, researched and released an in-depth article based on her inquiries. Evidence was obtained through South Dakota Brand Board Inspection records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Coffey continued: “The BLM leads the public to believe that captured wild horses are living out their lives grazing peacefully on long-term holding pastures, and claims they do not sell wild horses to slaughter, but at least one contracted middleman did sell BLM wild horses to an alleged kill buyer and the horses very likely met a horrific fate at a slaughterhouse.
“We want a freeze on roundups, immediate access to document all long-term holding facilities as needed and a Congressional investigation into all aspects of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.”

Too Cute!

Friday, January 25, 2013

U.K. Horsemeat Scandal and more....

UK Burger King Drops Firm That Supplied Horse Meat

(Straight from the Horse's Heart)

“This is a voluntary and precautionary measure…”
London Burger KingBurger King, one of the most popular fast-food chains in Britain, said on Thursday it had stopped using one of the firms caught up in the scandal of supplying grocers with beef that contained horse meat.
The British food industry has been rocked by the revelation last week that retailers including market leader Tesco and smaller chains AldiLidl and Iceland had sold beef productsthat contained horse meat.
Food safety experts say the horse meat discovery has raised concerns about the food supply chain and the ability to trace meat ingredients.On its website, Burger King said it had decided to replace all Silvercrest products in Britain and Ireland with products from another approved Burger King supplier.
“This is a voluntary and precautionary measure,” Burger King, famed for its flame-grilled burgers, said. “We are working diligently to identify suppliers that can produce 100 percent pure Irish and British beef products that meet our high quality standards.”
The beef burger products from the grocers, which were revealed last week to have tested positive for horse DNA, were produced by Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in Britain.
Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, immediately withdrew from sale all products from its supplier, Silvercrest, which is owned by ABP Food Group, saying it was working with authorities and the supplier to urgently understand how horse meat came to be in the product.
ABP Foods said at the time that the source of the contamination was a beef based product bought from two third-party suppliers outside of Ireland.
The discovery of horse meat could be both embarrassing and damaging for the retailers involved. The mass-selling Sun newspaper carried the Burger King announcement on its front page on Thursday with the headline “Shergar King”, in reference to a famous racehorse that was kidnapped and never seen again.

Other News:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Breaking News: Wild Horses sold to Kill Buyer by BLM Contractor

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Debbie Coffey PPJ Investigative Reporter ~ Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved
Director of Wild Horse Affairs ~ Wild Horse Freedom Federation
“I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.”
While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to convince the public that the BLM does not sell wild horses to slaughter, Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained proof that a BLM Long Term Holding contractor sold wild horses directly to kill buyer Joe Simon, who is well known for sending horses to slaughter, and who owns JS Ranch (“Farms”) in Perkins, Oklahoma.
To give you a little background, the BLM uses lame excuses to remove wild horses from their federally protected Herd Management Areas while letting other “uses” take over.  For instance, BLM claims wild horses cause “degradation” to the range, but then allow oil and gas drilling (and fracking) on the same land.  The BLM uses helicopters to round up the wild horses, then puts the horses in short term holding facilities, maintenance facilities, and ultimately, ships horses to same-sex long term holding pastures, where the public is led to believe the horses spend the rest of their lives.
Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for a long term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.
Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.
Animals Angels has written about kill buyer Joe Simon (scroll down to the 2nd article “What is the Price Tag for Suffering”)
It is important to note that state brand boards do not “recognize” BLM freezemarks  (which BLM puts on the left side of wild horses’ necks after they are captured) as official “BRANDS,” so the state brand board inspectors may completely ignore the BLM freezemarks and instead, note that wild horses have “NO BRAND.”
It is also important to note that if someone BUYS a wild horse from the BLM, they can then put their own brand on the horse, and state brand board inspectors may then note only the new brand in their records (since it is “recognized”) and NOT the BLM freezemark (which they don’t “recognize”) which would identify a horse was a wild horse on public records.  State brand inspectors can omit any traces of wild horses on their official records.
On the Spur Livestock 11/8/2008 sale (besides the fact that 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” were sold), the words “Freeze brand” are written under the brand symbol for the other 36 horses in this sale (a total of 70 horses).  The words “Freeze Brand” aren’t written under this brand symbol on any other Local Ownership Inspection Certificates, or under any other brand symbols.
Another important detail stands out.  In looking at over 3 years of Local Ownership Inspection Certificates of horses by Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Spur Livestock, this sale of 70 horses seems to be the largest sale of horses.
Looking at the fact that Spur Livestock claimed itself to be the “Owner” of the wild horses on this South Dakota State Brand Board Local Ownership Inspection Certificate, did Spur Livestock claim to own the wild horses that the BLM warehouses on this property?  Or were these horses the wild horses that Jim Reeves BOUGHT from the BLM?
BLM Sales records obtained through a Freedom in Information Act (FOIA) request indicate Jim Reeves bought 72 wild horses (2 truckloads) from the BLM about one and two months before he sold the 34 BLM wild horses with BLM freezebrands and 36 branded horses directly to Joe Simon.
On 9/9/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 geldings, ages 11-13, from the Canon City Maintenance Facility (prison) in Colorado.
On 9/23/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 mares, ages 11-12, from the BLM’s Palomino Valley BLM holding facility in Nevada.
Jim Reeves already had wild horses on his property, including younger horses, and he could easily have arranged to buy 72 of those wild horses.  So why would he buy 72 wild horses from Nevada and Colorado and pay shipping costs (or make the BLM pay shipping costs with your tax dollars) to have them shipped out to South Dakota?
On the Sales Questions Document (application) form for Spur Livestock, a handwritten note at the bottom of page 1 claims: “Horses will be used as pack animals.”
Pack Animals? 
How easy do you think it would be to train 11-13 year old wild geldings (castrated stallions) to be pack animals?  If he was so knowledgeable about wild horse behavior, why wouldn’t he have bought younger horses that would’ve been easier to train?
In a telephone conversation with Jim Reeves, when asked about the 72 horses he bought as pack animals, he said “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.”  He said “I can’t talk about this” and “That’s BLM business.”
There’s more
While the information below may not involve any wild horses, it seems to show that Jim Reeves, Lyle Anderson and Spur Livestock have sold horses directly to slaughter buyers more than once.   (However, keep in mind that BLM freezemarks can be noted as “NO BRAND” and a new brand may be added and recognized as the ONLY brand, so the public has no absolute proof that these horses were NOT wild horses, either.)
In reviewing other South Dakota Brand Board records of Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson, horses sold included:
12/4/08 – 48 “No brand” horses were sold by Jim Reeves, and 2 “No Brand” horses by other Reeves family members, to Rusty Williams in George West, Texas. (not a known kill buyer)
2/25/09 – 31 branded horses belonging to Jim Reeves and other Reeves family members were sold directly to slaughterhouse Canadian Premium Meats, Lacombe, AB, Canada.
11/18/09 – 9 “no brand” horses and 3 horses Jim got only 6 days before (on 11/12/09) from Jess Starr of Dupree, SD, were sold to kill buyer (Randy) Musick of Mitchell, SD.
11/18/09 – Jim Reeves sent 19 horses, including horses owned by Reeves family members, 3 branded horses Spur Livestock got from Vernon Starr of Dupree, SD only about 10 days before, 3 branded horses Jim Reeves got from Larry Long only 17 days before, and 6 horses from Jeff Hunt (Jim Reeves got 3 of these horses on 10/3/09) to kill buyer (Randy) Musick of Mitchell, SD.
7/17/12 – Lyle Anderson sent 2 horses, (1″No Brand” horse and a palomino mare noted “Brand no registered.  Horse comes from No Brand Area.” to an unknown buyer (the buyer line was left blank) in Pueblo, CO.
Canon City Prison – a BLM “Maintenance Facility”
Oddly, in reviewing FOIA documents of “Animals Shipped” out of the Canon City (Prison) Maintenance facility, and comparing these to FOIA documents on BLM sales, in September, 2008, when Jim Reeves bought the 36 wild horses, records from Canon City Correctional Facility indicate that no horses were shipped out in September, 2008, and only 1 horse the following month (October, 2008), and only 33 horses the month after that (November, 2008).  So did the 36 horses that Jim Reeves bought from the BLM at this facility just walk past a SWAT team and out a back door?
This was not the only discrepancy in Canon City Maintenance Facility records.  Tom Davis bought 120 horses in January, 2009, and Harry Vold bought 36 horses that same month (120+36 = 156), but Canon City records indicate only 4 horses were shipped out in January, 2009.
Anthony Nafe bought 33 horses in February, 2009, but Canon City records indicate only 1 horse was shipped out in February, 2009.
Tom Davis (only one of many this month) bought 111 horses in March, 2009, but Canon City records indicate only 77 horses were shipped out in March, 2009.
This goes on and on and on…the numbers don’t add up.  I hope the person who’s counting the wild horses isn’t the same person who’s counting the prisoners.
My call to Mr. Fran Ackley (Program Lead for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in Colorado) for clarification on this issue was not returned.
So what, exactly, is “BLM business?”
Question #17 on Jim Reeves’ BLM sales question document was “Do you intend to resell these animals?  An X was typed in the YES box.
Right off the bat, the person in the BLM sales office should’ve wondered who the horses would be sold to, and for what purpose, really.
It was odd that although all of the answers were typed, there were handwritten notes at the bottom of the page indicating the horses were to be used as pack animals.  It seemed like an afterthought.  Did Jim Reeves write this?  Or did a BLM employee write this?  The document wasn’t signed, either.  The BLM seems to keep very sloppy legal documents.
On the Bills of Sales for the horses Jim Reeves bought, above the line that indicates Authorized Officer, the words “Virtual Migration Person” was typed in.  Who was this?
It is also unusual that the BLM’s contract with Spur Livestock (NAC070071) was dated 4/9/2007 and signed by BLM’s contracting officer, but this was almost 2 months BEFORE the Environmental Assessment (EA) was issued (July, 2007).  Usually, EAs have to be completed to determine whether or not a federal undertaking would significantly affect the environment, before a project can go forward.  Did the BLM jump the gun and skirt NEPA requirements?
Spur Livestock 
The base year (2007) of the Spur Livestock 5 year contract with the BLM was for $506,250.  Looking at, it seems Spur Livestock has made $2,952,210 since 2007.
(Links to Spur Livestock contracts are included at the end of article.)
  • Jim Reeves also received $198,604 in USDA subsidies 1995-2011.
  • Reeves is a member of the West Central Cattlemen’s Association in South Dakota.
  • Reeves’ wife, Janna, is the office manager for the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, and
  • Janna’s sister, Jodi Hickman, is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.
  • In 2010, horse slaughterhouse pusher Sue Wallis’ now defunct United Organizations of the Horse claimed that the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association made a “financial contribution” to the pro-horse slaughter cause.
  • Jim and Janna Reeves, along with Jodi Hickman, are principals in the 3J Cattle Company.
  • Jim Reeves’ brother is Tom Reeves, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Saddle “Bronc” rider.
  • Jim Reeve’s partner in Spur Livestock, Lyle Anderson, has had a string of business ventures which the South Dakota Secretary of State now lists as “inactive.”
  • Anderson also owns Anderson Construction, LLC, which is listed in the Secretary of State records as “Delinquent.”
  • Lyle Anderson is also listed as the owner of Anderson Ranches Partnership.
  • Lyle Anderson received $260,110 in USDA subsidies 1995-2011.
In August, 2012, Reeves and Anderson appealed a decline of their application for the U.S. Small Business Administration Business Development Program.
While the BLM cons the public into believing that the captured wild horses live out their lives on long term holding pastures, it seems that the BLM knowingly allows middlemen to cover their tracks in a pipeline of wild horses going to slaughter.
What the BLM consistently seems to “maintain” is fraud against the American taxpayer in its Environmental Assessments, a long history of inhumane handling of wild horses, lack of oversight and accountability, a waste of tax dollars, and lies to both the public and Congress, so every aspect of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program needs to be investigated in a long overdue Congressional Investigation.
Joe Simon Invoice
SOURCES: (Scroll down to 2nd article: “What is the Price Tag for Suffering?”)
SPUR Livestock contracts: “”&HYPERLINK “”sortp=rHYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”detail=3HYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”datype=THYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”reptype=rHYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”database=fpdsHYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”fiscal_year=HYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”submit=GO
Click (HERE) to visit PPJ Gazette and to Comment

Monday, January 21, 2013

Animals' Angels FOIA Request Provides Windfall of Information January 2013

Animals' Angels

New evidence secured refutes the myth surrounding the return of horse slaughter in the U.S.
In a windfall of information, Animals' Angels recently received over a thousand pages of documentation confirming violations and horrific treatment of horses transported to the Cavel slaughter plant in DeKalb, IL. Almost 1,100 photographs were provided along with written documentation describing the extent of violations, injuries, and penalties. The information was provided after submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to the USDA on July 28, 2012.  

Documented in the information Animals' Angels received werewell over 100 incidents; each individual case detailing a multitude of violations involving the transport of horses for slaughter to the Illinois plant from 2004 to 2007. 

horse with face injury (Cavel)

The conditions shown were dreadful and are clearly indicative of the horrific suffering perpetuated upon horses caught in the slaughter pipeline.The photographs brought to light by our FOIA request demonstrate the true horrors of slaughter & transporton US soil.

The deplorable conditions & horrific injuries documented in the USDA records are identical to those found during our numerousinvestigations as well as in USDA records pertaining to the Beltex horse slaughter plant in Texas, obtained by Animals' Angels in 2008. 

 (Warning - Graphic content)  
 horse at beltex 1

Horses lay dead or dying on the floor of an overcrowded trailer with other horses forced to stand over them due to the lack of room. Other photos  showed horses with double eye injuries, missing eyes, deep gashes on forehead, nose and mouth. Many photos showed broken legs with bones exposed and deep gashes exposing muscle. Others depict horses with their hooves and legs caught in the sides walls of the trailer,causing devastating injuries. Pools of blood could be seen on the floors of the trailers along with copious amounts of blood splatter all along the trailer side walls. In one particularly gruesome view, a horse appears to have had his hoof/foot severed after it became stuck in the side wall. In a subsequent photograph, the hoof could be seen, still lodged in the side wall.  

horse down on trailer (Cavel) 

Additional violations involved countless instances of missing documentation, lost back tags, severe overcrowding, and slipshod or improper paperwork.  

 (Warning - Graphic content)

The Myth

Some would still like you to believe that the conditions for transporting horses to slaughter in the US would be better than crossing our borders to Mexico or Canada. This evidence, once again, unmistakably proves otherwise. The photos we received at Animals' Angels highlight how in recent history horses suffered intense pain, injury, and intolerable conditions -all for slaughter within our very own country.

chest injury (cavel) 
These pictures were taken by USDA inspectors over a four year period.  It is important to stress that the evidence of mistreatment continued to pile up during this time -all while the transport companies continued to operate.

The USDA did not shut them down. Instead, simple fines were imposed in some instances, but not all.
Many offenders received nothing but a warning letter.
And in those cases where fines were imposed, it sometimes took years to get a hearing and judgment.  

Most upsetting of all is the fact that the few offenders that received high fines such as Charles Carter ($234,000) or Leroy Baker ($173,000), are still allowed to operate without having ever paid for their egregious violations.  

  horse and foal down (cavel)     

Do not be mislead. The propaganda promoting horse slaughter in the U.S. wants people to believe that it is in the best interest of the animals to be transported and slaughtered here - that they will receive better treatment as a result. The overwhelming evidence we have received directly from our countless investigations as well as straight from the USDA in 2008/2012 clearly demonstrates this "myth" is simply not true.  

Kill buyers and transport companies will not suddenly follow regulations they have routinely flouted in the past because of the change in destination for their cargo. 

And as is made clear by the USDA records, there appears to be no violation egregious enough to warrant or secure significant repercussions. What good does it do to impose fines of $150,000 or more, if these fines are never collected and offenders are allowed to continue to operate?

Do not be tricked into thinking that re-opening slaughter plants in the US is for the "benefit" of our horses.  It is strictly for the benefit of those who make money from the suffering of these fine animals. In the U.S. we do not eat horses. We should not transport them or slaughter them for those countries that do. 

Please support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.



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