Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

US Senate Sells Out Wild Horses and Burros

Senate Committee Funds Cattlemen’s Mass Mustang Roundup & Incarceration to Tune of $35 Million

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2019) — The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a Fiscal Year 2020 spending bill that includes a shocking $35 million in funding to implement a potentially catastrophic mass mustang roundup proposal promoted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the so-called “American Mustang Foundation,” and other agribusiness lobbying groups and, shockingly, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the ASPCA, and Return to Freedom, a sanctuary.

The proposal, misleadingly dubbed a “Path Forward for Wild Horse and Burro Management,” will accelerate the removal (by helicopter roundup) of wild mustangs from public lands and allow for inhumane management methods, such as cruel surgeries to sterilize wild mares by ripping out their ovaries. Although billed as a “non-lethal plan,” the proposal is a poorly disguised path to slaughter. It could increase the number of horses to 150,000 maintained in captivity at taxpayer expense with no guarantee of funding for their long-term care.

“We might as well call this what it is: ‘The Path Backward’ or ‘The Path to Extinction,’ since they’re reducing wild horses to the number that existed in 1971,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Director of The Cloud Foundation. “That extinction-level number is what caused Congress to unanimously pass the Wild Horse and Burro Act. This ‘plan’ will rip tens of thousands of horses and burros from their dedicated land and their families at catastrophic cost to the American taxpayer… billions of dollars spent to incarcerate them in cramped corrals for the rest of their lives, except for the few that are adopted. Why? So private livestock interests (subsidized by the BLM through your tax dollars) can run cattle on public lands. It’s time for the American people to stand up and say, ‘No more. Not with my tax dollars. There are better programs to spend these billions of dollars on than this.'”

“The misguided proposal is a road to destruction for America’s wild free-roaming horse and burro herds,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign. “It’s a sweeping betrayal of America’s wild herds by the nation’s largest animal welfare groups. This is a $35 million-dollar giveaway to the commercial livestock industry, which covets the public lands where wild horses roam. We’re shocked that the Senate has appropriated taxpayer funds to perpetuate a failed system of roundup wand removal when humane fiscally responsible solutions are available.”

“This scheme is the biggest threat to wild horses and burros in the West in decades, and the American taxpayer is going to finance the whole shebang,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action and a lifelong horseman. “If this ghastly plan is implemented, we’ll see massive round-ups, swelling captive wild horse populations, and jubilation from cattlemen’s associations that secured political cover from the Humane Society of the U.S., Humane Society Legislative Fund, and ASPCA for their long-time aspiration to secure a government-funded wild horse depopulation program.”

The BLM currently spends 73% of its budget to roundup and remove horses from the public lands and deal with them once removed; zero percent of the budget is spent to implement humane management of horses on the range with birth control. Nothing in the Senate bill would prevent the BLM from spending the entire $35 million to round up and warehouse wild horses and continue the “business as usual” practices that the National Academy of Science called “expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves.”  The BLM could also use the funds to implement gruesome sterilization surgeries on wild mares in which their ovaries are ripped out in an archaic procedure used in the livestock industry.

Key components of the “controversial and dangerous” cattlemen’s proposal include:

  • Unprecedented mass wild horse and burro roundups removals from public lands 130,000 wild horses and burros (more than exist today in the wild) targeted for removal over 10 years.
  • Reduction of wild herds to 27,000 animals — the number that existed in 1971 when Congress passed a law to protect the West’s iconic wild horses and burros because they were “fast disappearing from the American scene.”
  • Use of “fertility control” of 90% of the horses and burros who remain on the range. The language would allow for surgical sterilization of wild horses via invasive methods such as “ovariectomy via colpotomy” surgery on wild mares. The BLM is currently pursuing this method despite the National Academy of Sciences’ warning that the procedure is “inadvisable for field application” due to the risk of bleeding and infection.
  • Near tripling of the population of wild horses incarcerated at taxpayer expense, with no long-term guarantee of funding to ensure their safety.
  • Unprecedented manipulation of wild herds through sex ratio skewing to achieve populations comprised as 70% stallions and 30% mares, which will cause extreme social disruption and aggression on the range.

Humane solutions preferred by TCF, AWHC, and AWA include:

  • Adjusting the BLM’s current population limits (AMLs) to allow larger, more viable wild horse and burro herds and fairer resource allocation on designated public lands habitat.
  • Prioritizing PZP fertility control over roundups and not waiting until AML is reached before beginning fertility control programs.
  • Funding better management and stewardship of the range via projects like water restoration/development that allow horses to better utilize habitat and remain in the wild.
  • Livestock grazing buyouts/retirement in wild horse areas. (Just 17% of BLM land grazed by livestock is also occupied by wild horses and burros.)
  • Protecting predators like mountain lions, which can and do help naturally control wild horse and burro populations when they are not eliminated by hunting and the federal predator damage control program, which kills wildlife for the benefit of the agricultural industry.

Read TCF’s detailed assessment of this misguided “plan” HERE.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act

Before breaking for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2019 (H.R. 693) by a vote of 333 to 96.  In the wake of this historic vote, the horse industry is focusing efforts on the Senate, where there is an opportunity to gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the bill (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).  During August, AHC members sent 200 letters to the Senate urging support for this important bill.  You can put even more horsepower in the PAST Act by sending a letter to your senators today!

Click here to take action.

Just Days Left in Cloud Foundation’s Freedom Family Fundraising Campaign

There are just days left in our Freedom Family fundraising campaign and we are SO close to meeting our goal! Ginger and the TCF volunteer team are already in Montana getting the family ready for the long haul to Colorado.

Through supporter donations we’ve raised over $15,000 to support these beautiful rescued Pryor Mountain mustangs and bring them to their new home. Our goal of $20,000 should help us to cover all the basic costs of the move, from brand inspection, to health certificates, to the hauling itself.

Help us build a bright new future for these horses by donating today! You’ll receive a beautiful 5×7 photograph “Thank You” signed by Ginger Kathrens, founder of The Cloud Foundation.

More than that, you’ll be participating in the start of something new and magnificent, something we’ve never done before… creating the opportunity for people to experience a wild horse family, learn from them, and fall in love. Let’s do something great, together!

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Dorian Now Expected to Reach Category 4 Strength before Landfall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dorian, which strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday afternoon, is now projected to reach Category 4 strength before it makes landfall along Florida’s east coast early next week.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Dorian was moving northwest near 13 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas on Thursday and Friday and approach the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.

Farm & Barn To-Do List

  • □ Make sure ALL horses are microchipped and numbers recorded
  • □ Check and repair fences (walk the fence line)
  • □ Clear trees and limbs
  • □ Remove debris
  • □ Store jumps/tables/chairs
  • □ Examine barn for loose shingles/debris
  • □ Move tractor, trucks & trailers into large pasture
  • □ Spare fuel, store in trailer or stall, four 5 gallon cans, and all vehicle tanks full
  • □ Get tie downs for trucks and trailers
  • □ Store feed, a 7 day supply, in waterproof containers
  • □ Store hay under tarps in a stall off the ground
  • □ Water – 15-20 gal/horse/day (fill up boats, 55 gal drums, pools, troughs). Bleach – 8 drops/gallon (if contaminated)
  • □ CUT OFF POWER to the barn as storm approaches

Farm & Barn Equipment List

  • □ WATER – Hand pump for well (pitcher pump)
  • □ WATER – 55 gal drums (down spout on barn)
  • □ WATER – pond, lake, pool, boats, troughs
  • □ Generator 4 hp or higher (5000 watt)
  • □ Extension cords (50-100 ft)
  • □ Tools – hammers/nails
  • □ Fencing materials – field fence (no barbed wire), fence tape, and posts.
  • □ Chainsaw – extra chain, 2 cycle oil, bar/chain oil/gas
  • □ Ropes and tow cable, chain with hooks
  • □ Ladder
  • □ Wire cutters and pry bar
  • □ Rolls of black plastic and staple gun, large tarps
  • □ Flood lights – work light and handheld car plug-in type (1 million candle power), Headlamps
  • □ Waders or snake boots
  • □ Extra halters and lead ropes (in plastic storage bin)

Preparedness can be your best friend

If you are not evacuating, please make sure you have identification weaved into the mane or tail of your horse.

Have your Coggins and health certificate papers ready. If your horse has a microchip to be used for identification, have it with you.

Please keep in mind, our veterinarians have families to take care of as well. If the bridges and roads are blocked in any way, they will not be able to get to you.

Please have a medical kit ready to go.

If you do not have these things ready for this Hurricane, please make sure they are ready for the next one.

Jacksonville Equine / Southern Georgia Equine
info@jaxequine.com

Hurricane Dorian: Animals in Danger

The ASPCA is gearing up to face the storm head-on and rescue vulnerable animals in the hurricane’s path.

Hurricane Dorian has reached Category 4 status and could grow even stronger and more deadly before it makes landfall in Florida in just a few days. Millions of people are in danger, as are their pets and the region’s homeless animals.

The ASPCA stands ready to assist animals and communities with pre-evacuation efforts and we are actively mobilizing responders and supplies, including field and water rescue vehicles. We are already working with a local shelter to transport its animals out of the hurricane’s projected path to safety.

This critical work is possible only with your support. If you can, please donate today and help us be there for animals when we’re most needed.

Thanks to compassionate supporters like you, we assisted thousands of animals last year during disaster responses that included wildfires and hurricanes. Now, animals in harm’s way need your help again.

If current projections bear out, Hurricane Dorian could require a large, lengthy response — we might be needed on the ground for weeks. We, and the animals, urgently need you behind us. Your gift today represents a lifeline for animals facing the unimaginable, both today and in the future. Thank you.

FEI Researches Equine Health and Performance at Tokyo 2020 Test Event

Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Grisors JRA. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

With optimising performance in challenging climatic conditions high on the agenda during the numerous Ready Steady Tokyo test events, the FEI had already put in place a major research study aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments.

Long travelling times and distances, time-zone disruptions, and heat and humidity pose specific challenges to horses and of course to human athletes. Monitoring of the combined effects of all these factors was put in place prior to the horses’ departure from their home countries en route to Tokyo and throughout last week’s equestrian test event in the Japanese capital. Data collected will be used to provide the FEI, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (TOCOG), as well as National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with detailed information on equine performance in these conditions.

“High level equestrian competitions are increasingly taking place in parts of the world where the climate poses health challenges for both humans and horses,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said.

“The study plays a crucial role in guiding the TOCOG and other Organising Committees on appropriate facilities and support, and will be used to advise and guide athletes and National Federations on the preparation of their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The study monitored horses before, during, and after their journey to Tokyo, with data collected through under-tail temperature monitors and sensors that measure stable and travelling activity, as well as thermal comfort. SaddleClip sensors were used to record gait, speed, and distance, and heart rate monitors were used on the horses prior to and during competition. The technology for the data collection was made possible through the FEI’s partnerships with Epona Biotec, Arioneo, Equestic, and Polar.

Findings from the study will build on the existing framework for implementing measures to run equestrian sports in hot and humid climates that was developed for the Games in Atlanta 1996 and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. Olympic test events prior to Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008 also included organised monitoring of competing horses.

To ensure that NOCs and NFs are fully aware of the climatic challenges, the FEI included an information session on climate mitigation protocols aimed at minimising the effects of heat and humidity in the official Observers Programme, which ran concurrently with the test event.

During next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, equestrian sport will be held at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park and Sea Forest venues. Baji Koen, which hosted the Olympic equestrian events at the Tokyo Games in 1964, has been extensively refurbished by the Japan Racing Association, while the cross country venue at Sea Forest that will be shared with rowing and canoe sprint is on reclaimed land and will be turned into a park post-Games.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Tell Your Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAST Act

Before breaking for the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2019 (H.R. 693) by a vote of 333 to 96.  In the wake of this historic vote, the horse industry is focusing efforts on the Senate, where there is an opportunity to gain a “super-majority” of cosponsors for the senate version of the bill (S. 1007), championed by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Click here to take action.

Old Friends Welcomes Stakes Winner Soi Phet

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 8, 2019 – Old Friends welcomed new retiree Soi Phet, the 11-year-old son of Tizbud who was pensioned following his 64th and final start on June 29 at Los Alamitos.

Bred in California by ARCHA Racing, Soi Phet was claimed by conditioner Leonard Powell for $16,000 in May of 2013 at Hollywood Park for the partnership of Mathilde Powell, the Benowitz Family Trust, and Paul Viskovich. He went on to earn nearly $1 million for his new owners.

He scored his first stakes win in the 2014 Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos (a race he captured again in 2018), and later that year he returned to the one-mile oval to register a 7 1/4-length romp in the inaugural $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile.

In 2018, Soi Phet became the oldest stakes winner in Santa Anita history when, at 10, he captured The Crystal Water.

Soi Phet finished his career with 15 wins, including eight stakes, and a grade 1 placing in the 2013 Awesome Again Stakes, when he finished behind Mucho Macho Man and Paynter. His lifetime earnings total $1,023, 917.

“I’m such a fan of Soi Phet, and I’m so excited to welcome him to Old Friends,” said the organization’s founder and President Michael Blowen. “We hope all of his fans will visit him here, and we thank Leonard and his owners for sharing this great champ with us.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit the website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org

Preparing Your Horse for Fourth of July Fireworks

Question: My neighbors set off fireworks in their backyard (directly over my barn and pastures!) for two nights in a row. The first night, my horses were in their stalls, and I found them sweating and worked up. The second night, I had them turned out overnight – not knowing that there would again be fireworks – and one of them ended up getting minorly injured after trying to go over the fence! Can I take legal recourse?

Answer: You might not like this answer, but chances are probably not. Because the fireworks were set off on your neighbors’ own property, likely in the manner that they were intended to be used, and without the direct intent to harm your horses, your neighbors are not likely to be held liable. You wouldn’t want your neighbors trying to dictate what you do on your property, would you? Unfortunately, that’s largely the scenario at play here.

However, it may be worth looking into and familiarizing yourself with the local firework laws. If fireworks, or fireworks of a certain size or type, are illegal in your town, your neighbor could then obviously be found at fault. If setting off fireworks violated any laws or ordinances – and the purpose of the law was to preserve peace and quiet in the neighborhood – you might be able to bring a legal action for damages. With that being said, this could lead to a great deal of tension between you and your neighbors!

While this does not sound like the situation at hand here, if the neighbor’s fireworks landed on your property, or if they set off the fireworks with the intent to purposely agitate your horse(s), you may be able to bring a claim for, amongst other things, the injury to your horse. An example would be if you caught the neighbor kids shooting bottle rockets aimed at your horse because they liked watching the horse run.

As long as you are given advance notice or know it is a holiday when fireworks may be prevalent, there are also several other things that you can do to best prepare your horses:

  • Ensure that your horses are inside for the night and close all windows and doors to help cancel out noise and block any views. While this doesn’t sound like it applies in your case, for others who keep horses outside 24/7, it may be worth talking to other equestrians in the area to see if they have open stalls available just for the night.
  • Play music in the barn. If you have a stereo system in the barn, put it to use to again help cancel out the noise of the fireworks. (Make sure that the night of the fireworks is not the first time that your horses have heard the stereo system though – otherwise it could potentially have an equally dramatic effect!)
  • If there will be any fireworks visible from in the barn even with the doors and windows closed, leave the lights on to help lessen the effect of the bright flashes.
  • If your horse is used to wearing earplugs, try leaving earplugs in just for the night.

I might advise (kindly) approaching your neighbors – if you have not already – about what happened and requesting that they let you know in advance the next time that they plan to set off fireworks so that you can prepare your horses accordingly. Depending on your current relationship with them, they may offer to pay for a portion or all of the horse’s injuries if you explain how and why your horse was injured, allowing everyone to avoid the uncertainties of legal action.

Visit www.equestriancounsel.com to learn more or email info@equestriancounsel.com with inquiries.

Cloud Foundation Calls for Hearings on Dangerous New BLM Management Plan

(June 11, 2019) Last week, The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a Colorado-based nonprofit organization, sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee (Click here for letter), voicing opposition to a dangerous and ill-conceived management plan that could result in the roundup of over 50,000 horses. The letter calls on the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Raul Grijalva, to hold hearings regarding the failure of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to effectively manage the Wild Horse and Burro program. The Colorado nonprofit also urges the committee to provide oversight and benchmark requirements for a BLM pilot program, embedded in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill.

The legislation, as passed by the House Appropriations Committee on May 22, 2019 and headed to the House floor this week, “lacks safeguards, assurances, and oversight,” said Ginger Kathrens, Director of The Cloud Foundation. (Click here for legislative text and report language.)

“We believe the appropriations language gives the agency far too much latitude on issues where there is disagreement between BLM and the wild horse and burro community. The Cloud Foundation recommends that this pilot program be developed with the oversight and guidance of the House Natural Resources Committee and that the committee initiate a series of hearings to oversee the development of a sound and balanced management plan that holds BLM accountable for implementing humane, reversible fertility control programs.”

The management plan, submitted to Congress earlier this year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) et al. would double the number of horses in off-range holding at enormous cost to the American tax-payer. “While perhaps seen as a compromise, these groups are bargaining with the lives and potential deaths of 50,000 horses,” says TCF Director of Communications, Lisa Friday. “Unless funds are allocated to support those horses in holding for the rest of their natural lives, it is not hard to imagine that slaughter will be their eventual fate.”

TCF has advocated for wild horses and burros since its inception in 2005, and Kathrens has documented these animals in the wild for over 25 years.

“BLM never wanted the job of managing a wildlife species, particularly one that competes with one of their major clients, the livestock industry,” Kathrens states. “We cannot trust that BLM will implement reversible fertility control if we simply ask nicely, as called for in this plan. BLM must spend the money where it is allocated – and we must allocate the majority of funds to humane, reversible on-range management. We believe one way to hold BLM to account is to build oversight into any pilot program.”

Click HERE for TCF’s full response to new “multi-stakeholder” management plan.

Click HERE for the Unified Statement, a plan for humane management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros signed by over 100 wild horse and animal advocacy groups.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org