Saturday, October 19, 2013

Advocate Alert: Devil’s Garden Wild Horses – Is This What It Sounds Like?

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Guest Commentary by Grandma Greg

USFS will KILL all horses over the age of 10?

devilsgarden4If I understand correctly, no wild horses captured in the USFS Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory over the age of ten will get out alive? If so, this is a GIGANTIC change in procedure by our government agencies to dispose of (kill) all wild horses that they capture over the age of ten (sale authority).
The most important and frightening question is:
Is this the plan for ALL wild horses and burros over the age of ten captured by our government agencies in the future?
This is horrendous.
After reading the Devil’s Garden wild horse roundup decision (Modoc National Forest – NE corner of California) I emailed their office with questions about their decision.  Below are the questions in italics and the USFS official response to the questions, received from Kimberly Anderson of the USFS that strongly implies that all wild horses above the age of ten captured on or near the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory will be disposed of (killed).
More information:  Per the USFS data, there are approximately 132 wild horses over the age of nine on this WHT – i.e. subject to their disposal/euthanasia plan and a total of about 788 wild horses scheduled to be removed.  This capture is scheduled to start immediately.
I hope with all my heart that my interpretation is wrong … but I am afraid that you and I see the writing on the wall.  Read below, contact their office and decide for yourself.
From: ”Anderson, Kimberly H -FS”
Cc: ”Anderson, Kimberly H -FS” ; “”
Hi  – here are the responses to your questions that I asked out lead expert to prepare.   Kimberly
“I read on page two of the FONSI “Disposition of older animals that are gathered will be consistent with law, regulations and policy.”
Please explain to me:
1) what age is considered “old animals” 
Animals that are over 10 are generally regarded as older animals.
2) what the process will be used (on the range or at trap sites or other)
Disposition of older animals will be as stated above, consistent with law regulations and policy.  This may include, but would not be limited to, turning them back out to the range, adoption, placement in long-term facilities, or euthanization. 
3) what method will be used (gun shot or lethal dose or other)
Should animals be euthanized, the manner of euthanasia would  be in the most humane manner possible.  In a field setting, they may be euthanized through the use of  firearms or drugs administered by  a veterinarian.  In a holding facility setting, euthanasia would generally occur through the use of drugs administered by a veterinarian.  
4) how the carcasses will be disposed of  
Carcasses would be disposed of in accordance with state law.  When possible animal remains would be picked up by a rendering company.  In a field type situation, animals carcasses would be disposed of away from roads, water sources and drainages.  Under no circumstances would carcasses be sold.
5) who will determine the “old” age of these animals and any other relevant information regarding this decision. 
As is always the case, the  ages of animals would be determined by USFS or BLM personnel, or veterinarians assigned to a gather or holding facility.
Kimberly H. Anderson
Forest Supervisor
Modoc National Forest
800 West 12th Street
Alturas, CA 96101
Voice: 530-233-8700
Fax: 530-233-8719
Cell: 530-708-0065

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