Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BLM to Hold Scoping Meetings on Fate of Near Extinct Wild Burros

Straight from the Horse's Heart

“Attention all wild horse and burro advocates; our disappearing wild burros need your voice at an upcoming BLM scoping meeting to be held April 1-2. If you can arrange to attend please do so and speak on their behalf. Thanks, in advance, for your dedication and commitment…keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

The information below supplied by “The Daily Miner
Wild Burros in BLM holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Wild Burros in BLM holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch ofWild Horse Freedom Federation
KINGMAN – How the Bureau of Land Management manages burros will be the topic of discussion when a pair of scoping meetings are held in Mohave County April 1-2.
The bureau will focus on the management of wild burros in the Black Mountain Herd Management Area, located about 15 miles west of Kingman. The area parallels the eastern bank of the Colorado River for 80 miles, from Hoover Dam south to the Needles Bridge on the Arizona-California border.
The first meeting takes place in Bullhead City from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 1 and the second will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 2 at the BLM Kingman field office, 2755 Mission Boulevard off of Hualapai Mountain Road.
The first half hour features poster presentations for viewing. The formal presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. and the following topics will be discussed:
• The current population estimate
• Vegetation utilization data
• Fertility control
• The appropriate management level
• Burros outside of the herd management area
Attendees can comment on issues, data and any other concerns following the presentation.
For more information, contact BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Chad Benson at (928) 718-3750.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Update on Stallions shipped to Dennis Chavez 2/03/15

Animals' Angels

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 17:45
Investigation Category: 

A follow up investigation conducted by Animals' Angels has confirmed that the 224 stallions and 64 mares shipped by Ole Olson to Dennis Chavez on January 15th were indeed Dann Sister horses.  In fact, Brand Inspection Certificateswere signed by Frank R. Dann on behalf of the Estate of Mary Dann.
We were able to determine that the horses were shipped by Montoya Trucking, a company Dennis Chavez uses for his slaughter transports to Presidio and Santa Teresa. Montoya uses single deck trailers with very small holes in the sides which make it difficult to see the condition of the animals inside the trailer or to check on their well-being.  Several of these trailers also have open roofs, exposing the animals to the harsh elements.  The paperwork suggests that the horses were shipped in groups of 32 horses which leads us back to the question of how they could have possibly segregated the stallions as required by law.  
As you may recall when we first reported this situation, we stated that we had contacted the USDA to file a formal complaint regarding the transport of these stallions and to urge IES to look into the true purpose behind their shipment.  We provided them with this additional information and have since heard back from them with positive news.  IES/USDA has advised that their office has launched a full investigation into this matter.  We will keep you informed of new developments as they become available. 
The question of what Chavez has planned for the horses found something of an answer as well: the horses are to be gelded once he receives them.  According to the paperwork AA obtained from the New Mexico Livestock Board, the stallions were not to be used for commercial breeding and were scheduled to be gelded upon arrival at Chavez’ location. As mentioned in our original report, Chavez’ gelding techniques are questionable at best and is just one more torturous ordeal for these poor horses to endure.  And sadly, with Chavez in possession of these horses, there are few options open for their future. 
Even worse, our investigation revealed that several additional shipments of the iconic Dann Sister herd were also sent off to Dennis Chavez via Ole Olson – another 128 stallions, but also mares, geldings, and a large group of Quarter Horses, all with Brand Inspection Certificates signed off by Frank R. Dann on behalf of the Mary Dann Estate. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Investigation: Horse slaughter and rampant violations continue despite EU ban on Mexican horse meat

Equine Welfare Alliance

March 9, 2015



John Holland

R.T. Fitch, President Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Investigation: Horse slaughter and rampant violations continue despite EU ban on Mexican horse meat

Chicago (EWA) - Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation today released thesecond part of a two month investigation into the Mexican horse meat trade following a ban imposed on the meat by the European Union (EU). The ban that became effective January, 15
th, was imposed following Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audits that found the meat unsafe for human consumption due to drug residues.

As if to emphasize the need for the EU ban, tests on Mexican horse meat found Ractophine
on January 14 th , then  Isoxsuprine hydrochloride and Zilpaterol hydrochloride a few days later.

The two part investigation consisted of observation of the Eagle Pass border crossing in Texas where many horses are exported to slaughter in Mexico, and an exhaustive search of US, Mexican, EU and international trade records.

Before the ban, 87% of the horses slaughtered in four EU approved plants in Mexico (105,406 in 2014) came from the US, and 78% of the meat from those horses was exported to the EU. Given these numbers, the flow of US horses to slaughter in Mexico was expected to dwindle after the deadline.

The investigators at the export pens found and reported multiple violations of the Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter regulations [9CFR88]. Specifically, violations of the mandatory 6 hour offload rest period for the horses were noted. The investigators also observed one violation of a rejected blind horse, and they filmed a donkey being trampled in the back of a livestock trailer as it departed the pens.

The APHIS inspector, who is responsible for enforcing compliance with 9CFR88 was filmed arriving at the Eagle Pass pens in a vehicle registered to El Retiro Livestock, a registered owner-shipper, over whom the inspector should have been exercising compliance authority.

Analysis of the data collected indicated that the four European multi-national corporations that control the plants were able to juggle their shipments so that their plants in other countries, which were still EU approved, picked up the EU trade while the Mexican plants took over their former accounts.

While the exports of horse meat from Mexico to the EU were largely curtailed after the deadline, EWA investigators detected two shipments of horse meat to the EU that were shipped after the January 15th deadline. The shipments were reported to pertinent EU authorities but no explanation was received to date.

While the report did not find an immediate reduction in horses going to Mexico, it did find the trade will likely be disrupted to some extent. Virtually all of the countries now supplying the lucrative EU market have also received unfavorable FVO audits, and face possible banning themselves.

Russia, a significant past customer for Mexican horse meat had itself banned the meat for a year ending in August of 2014 due to drug residues. Russia was expected to be a significant alternative market after its ban expired, but the devaluation of the Russian ruble appears to have derailed that alternative.

The most recently released data portionof the report contains a detailed history of all Mexican horse meat exports over past years, as well as an analysis of market shares. The report predicts a 30% to 50% decrease in US horses going to Mexico in the coming year.

Given the rampant violations found in the investigation, more frequent monitoring is planned for the future.


The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 330 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,150 individual members worldwide in 23 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. 

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)3 status. WHFF puts people between America's wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state  lands.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Terrible Truth About Wild Horse and Burro “Bait Trapping”

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Bait Trapped
by Grandma Gregg
First, I want you to take a close look at the photo above of wild horses that were trapped by a BLM hired and approved bait trapping contractor, so that you will be aware that the so called “safe and humane” bait trapping method is not safe and is not humane.  This photo is from Freedom of Information (FOIA) data.  These horses were obviously seriously injured and likely were euthanized by BLM due to their critical eye injuries.
Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse, is defined as the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival.
Through FOIA data, I discovered that during a 15 month period of wild horse and burro bait/water trapping (October 2012 through December 2013), 634 wild horses and burros were bait/water trapped, and within that same 15 month period, 56 of those were reported as dead.
Unlike the BLM’s usual “injuries and death are not frequent and usually average less than 0.5% to 1.0% [one percent or less] of the total animals captured” propaganda, we can see in actuality these figures prove a 9% (NINE percent, rounded) death rate due to capture by bait/water trapping, by BLM hired and approved contractors.
And, that 9% does not even include the unknown deaths that occurred for these wild horses and burros after that 15 month bait/water trapping period.
How many of these wild horses and burros that were reported as “dead” could actually have been driven “out the back door” and down the slaughter pipeline?  Either way, they are dead.
To assist us with knowledge about bait trapping verses helicopter capture, I am providing my responses to a National Mustang Association/Colorado bait trapping proposal.  (National Mustang Association comments are in bold italics below.)
National Mustang Association (NMA): Why is bait trapping a desirable alternative to helicopter roundups?
  • Far more cost-effective
My response:  I realize that using an in-house (BLM employees) bait trapping process could be more cost effective than using private contractors, but most bait trapping is done by BLM hired private contractors who have proven their disregard for wild horses and burros?  This makes a huge difference.
  • Easier for the horses
My response:  Although I realize that in-house (BLM, with continual public observation) bait trapping would likely be safer for the horses themselves, this is not the norm for the BLM’s current private contractor bait trapping contracts, which clearly state that hot-shots are acceptable (if not used on the head or anus or genitals of the animal) and clearly states that no public observation is allowed.
Since anyone who has researched the BLM’s for-hire contractor documentation of animal abuse knows, even when public observers have been allowed in sight of the capture area, the animal abuse was evident; so how can anyone believe that without constant public observation, that the private contractor is giving safe and humane treatment to the wild horses?  We cannot – and the facts and photos show us the real truth.
  •  Better publicity for BLM   
My response:  BLM’s public image is a NON issue – the entire issue is the 1971 WH&B law that clearly states, “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971.  The protection of the wild horses and burros is the only issue – the BLM’s persona has nothing at all to do with the law and procedures to protect the wild horses and burros.
The above information is only a fragment of the wild horse and burro bait trapping story, but it needed to be shared.  I wish to add here that I am not, and never will be, in favor of helicopter roundups – they have a long history of animal stress and abuse and deaths – but the public needs to be aware that the bait trapping method is also not acceptable to the American people, who own and care about our wild horses and burros.
More information:

Wild Horses: Finding the Adobe Town Family Members at the Rock Springs Corrals

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Editor’s Note: “We were first made aware of this awful story during Carol Walker’s visit to Wild Horse and Burro Radio last Wednesday night; it hit me so hard I performed unprofessionally as a co-host and just went silent with rage…and it was noticeable.  Carol has taken the time to begin documenting the events both in photographs and her written words but this is, once again, a clear cut case of BLM mismanagement that ultimately results in the loss of life of our wild horses and burros and in this case, babies.
Rock Springs is understaffed and the cost is not in dollars and cents but instead the loss of any sort of quality of life for the captured horses and the death of foals.  The BLM can spend countless thousands of dollars transporting PR officials across the U.S. to spout propaganda to the public at roundups yet they can’t manage their out organizational capability issues by sending more personnel to Rock Springs to help out during this emergency that THEY created by ripping wild horse families from their rightful lands?  Incompetency runs rampant in the BLM.  Stay with us at Carol’s WildHoofBeats and here at SFTHH for additional updates.” ~ R.T.

Sabrina and Gwendolyn, Bronze Warrior's Mares
I arrived in Rock Springs on Sunday so that I could go on Monday to the first day that the public would be allowed to enter the BLM Short Term Holding Facility to view the wild horses that were rounded up in September and October of 2014 from the Great Divide Basin, Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town Herd Management Areas.  I was on a mission – get the tag number of the third mare in Bronze Warrior’s family, Sabrina, and look for another appy stallion and his mares in hopes of taking them as well to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.  We were hoping that we could take the horses on Wednesday or Thursday to beat an incoming storm, which would not be good for travel with a horse trailer, but were told that the facility and the horses would not be ready to go until Friday.  I was concerned because not only did we need good weather and roads to go from Rock Springs, WY to Hot Springs, SD, our wonderful hauler Merle Blankenship also had to be able to get here with his trailer from southern Colorado.  I watched the weather reports anxiously.
Flurry, Gwendolyn and Bronze Warrior's 3 Year Old Daughter
I was able to get the last mare’s tag number quickly since she never left the other two mares, whose markings were very distinct, and had been a real boon in identifying Bronze Warrior’s family members.  I noticed that all the mares in the corrals were very skittish and moved away when people were near the pens.  The pens in front with the geldings were much bigger and less crowded than the pens containing the mares, and in all the mare pens it was hard to get a good view of all of them.  I was told two babies had been born overnight, which slowed feeding all the horses down since the staff had to be careful to work around the babies.  They said they were planning to move the mares with the newborn foals over to a separate mare-foal pen with lots of room and more shelter but they had to be careful doing it.
The first foal born, with its mother in the Mare-Foal pen
I was able to spot one of the new foals right up against the fence, and was concerned about all the other mares right around it.  I saw the other foal as I was leaving through a maze of mare’s legs, and I hoped they would be able to move the mothers and their new foals soon.  Luckily there were only a few visitors this morning to the corrals.
Storm, who must be related to Theodore
I took photographs of as many horses as I could so that I could post the photographs online and get the word out about the upcoming adoption in hopes that as many of the horses here as possible could find good homes and leave the corrals forever.
Sundance, the only gelding we were taking
The geldings had only been castrated a few weeks before, so some of them were still rather fiesty and I found so many of them to be just incredibly beautiful.  The mares were lovely as well, and I was alarmed to see how many of them appeared to be extremely pregnant, and ready to give birth.  This was not good for a couple of reasons – first, the conditions were so crowded that the foals could be easily hurt.  Second, once the mare foals, a potential adopter could not take the pair for at least 4 months when the foal could be freeze branded, or in 6 months if they just want the mare or just want the foal, since the potential adopters would have to wait until the foal was weaned.
The larger gelding pens
It was unfortunate for the horses that it had taken the Rock Springs Corrals so long to prepare the horses in its care for viewing and adoption.  I was told that they were extremely understaffed and had lost some employees, and so while Canon City had gotten their almost 500 horses that had come in from the roundup ready to be viewed and adopted by early November, Rock Springs had taken until the very end of February, the beginning of foaling season.  Even during the week of the adoption event, the people responsible for working with the public on the adoptions were having to spend 3 hours each day feeding the horses.
The crowded mare pens
The weanlings were a challenge to photograph because the bottle fed filly the BLM named Cover Girl kept trying to get in front and get petted.  The boys were easier to photograph as they were curious but not as demanding of attention.  It is always the weanlings and yearlings that have the best chance to be adopted, as it is usually much easier to gentle and train them than the older horses.
One of the extremely pregnant mares
I looked for the beautiful varnish appaloosa gelding that I had seen in the wild with his mare and yearling colt in the fall, but could not find him or the mare and colt. I had not seen him in Canon City either, so I became cautiously hopeful that he is among the very few who evaded capture at the roundup.
Aurora, 16, who looks so much like Bronze Warrior
I was also looking for Snowfall and Diamond Girl’s weanling who had a very distinctive marking on his face, but he was not here.  I wondered if he had been one of the 100 youngsters sen to the Axtell, Utah Burro facility since at the end of the roundup Rock Springs and Canon City were bursting at the seams.  I also figured that Bronze Warrior’s yearling filly that I could not find was also there. I had been told by the BLM that these youngsters would be sent to adoptions all over the country.
I could see the foal through the mare's legs
The other newborn foal with its mother
I came back the next day and photographed the horses again.  They had only been able to take one of the mares and foals out of the crowded mare pen, one mare and foal pair was still in there, and so they were preventing people from coming close to the mare pens. So I did not get as many photographs of the mares.  Then later that day I spent time putting together the photographs and posting them online so that people could see them.  Here is the information and the links – most of these horses are still there and still available:
On Thursday I heard from Manda Kalimian who adopted the horses and placed them at the Sanctuary that Kathi Fine had called her and told her that one of our mares had foaled, and they found the foal at the mare’s side this morning.  I rushed over to the corrals to see if I might get a glimpse of them, and also find out which mare had foaled – I was thinking it was probably Gwendolyn, the tall and beautiful mare with the distinctive white half circle around the top of her tail.  She had looked big since I had seen her in the fall.
First sight of the new foal, Gwendolyn with Flurry right behind
When I arrived, Kathi took me out briefly so that I could get some photographs of the new mother and foal.  It was indeed Gwendolyn, and a proud, careful and protective mother she was.  She kept the other mares away by pinning her ears and moving the foal away, and Kathi told me she had been nursing.
Her older daughter Flurry stayed near them, but only as close as Gwendolyn allowed.  She also ran her muzzle gently along the foal’s neck and back.  The foal was bright eyed and seemed healthy, and as far as I could tell, she was a filly, and no one who worked at the corral had checked, so I named her Xena the warrior princess – a fitting name for Bronze Warrior’s foal.  We did not stay long because the mares were moving around and neither of us wanted to see the foal hurt. She told me they would move the two of them to the mare and foal pen later that day.  I was not concerned about Gwendolyn taking care of her foal – she was 16 years old, this was not her first foal, and she looked like she was doing her best to protect her.
Gwendolyn and Xena in the mare pen
While it is always wonderful to see a new foal,  the timing was not the best. If Gwendolyn had just been able to wait a few days, she could have had her new foal at the sanctuary.  But of course she did not know that, and the babies have their own timing.  As it was, we were going to leave her and the foal at the corrals until the foal would be able to make the trip safely.  Manda made sure to let Kathi know that we wanted both mare and foal, and would be reuniting them later with the other mares and Bronze Warrior at the Black Hills Sanctuary.
Gwendolyn with the other mares and foals
When I arrived the next morning, Friday, the day we were scheduled to take the horses, I immediately looked for our horses.  I had been told they were going to be putting them together in a pen to get them ready to go and sure enough I saw the 4 other mares, and they were in the process of bringing the gelding up to join them.  I looked into the mare and foal pen, and immediately saw that something was wrong. There was Gwendolyn, with the two other mares and their foals but she was alone and looked very distressed. She was sweaty and the other mares kept kicking her and keeping her away from their foals.  She was running around and I could not see little Xena anywhere. I asked what had happened to the foal.  I was told that the mare had rejected her, and so they took her to the vet to be bottle fed, and would end up fostering her.  I was very confused because given what I had seen the day before it made no sense that Gwendolyn would have rejected Xena.
Gwendolyn sweaty and distressed
But I decided that we needed to get Gwendolyn out of there and with her family members and take her to the sanctuary as well. Kathi called Manda to make sure this was ok, and then got all the necessary paperwork from the vet and brand inspector so we could take her as well.  I knew she would feel better if she could be with her daughter Flurry and the other mare.  Then I was told by one of the staff at the corral what had really happened.  Apparently they had not been able to get Gwendolyn and her baby over to the mare and foal pen yet and one of the other mares in the corral grabbed Xena.  After that Gwendolyn would no longer nurse the foal, even after they moved both of them to the new pen.  The baby must have been injured, and Gwendolyn knew it would not make it. That was why they took it to the vet.
The horses in the pen ready to go
Finally they moved Gwendolyn into the pen with the other horses we were taking, and they moved up and down nervously, not knowing what was going to happen.  Merle moved his trailer around to the entrance of the chute that led to their pen and got the doors secured so that the horses would go smoothly into the trailer.
Gwendolyn and Aurora in the chute moving toward the trailer
Finally I saw heads moving toward the trailer, and after a couple of tries finally they moved into the trailer, and as the doors were secured, the horses moved around a lot, making a huge racket, we knew they would settle down once we were moving, because they would have to work on finding their balance, so we drove away immediately.
In the trailer
Sadly, two days ago Manda and I learned that Xena had died, and Manda was told it was because the baby had not gotten enough Colostrum.
I will writing about the arrival of the horses at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in my next post.
Related Posts in this Story:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Manda Kalimian’s Cana Project:
The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, where you can visit the 10 Adobe Appys:

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