Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

BLM Plans to Destroy and Slaughter Three Herds of Wild Horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard

Source:  wildhoofbeats.com

It is a very familiar and unwelcome feeling that I have, writing about the BLM’s plans to round up and remove over 55% of the wild horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard. It seems like just yesterday I was writing about this plan that affects wild horses on 2.4 million acres in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin. The last roundup was in 2014 when 1263 wild horses were removed from their homes and lands. 14 died during the roundup and over 100 died in short term holding facilities in the four months following the roundup.

This time, however, the situation facing the wild horses in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Greek Divide Basin is much more dire. The consequences of being rounded up and removed from public lands could not be more serious because right now the BLM is asking Congress to lift the restrictions on killing and slaughtering wild horses, and every one of the 1560 wild horses that the BLM is planning to remove is facing imminent death. The BLM does not consider in its Environmental Assessments what will happen to the wild horses that are removed according to their Proposed Actions. They do not care about the suffering, illnesses and deaths of the horses and they do not care about you and me, the taxpayers, funding a lifetime of each horse being kept in pens, in captivity. It is a wasteful, cruel and insane policy that favors overwhelmingly corrupt livestock interests who get to graze and overgraze their private livestock on our lands, losing millions of dollars on this program each year.

In this Proposed Action, the BLM is pandering to the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which only has 24 members, and whose grazing rights on public land are a privilege, not a right – but they don’t see it that way. Land swaps could have easily solved the problem of the checkerboard of public and private lands, but it is not in their interests to cooperate. They want to control all the land. And they want the horses gone at any cost. But 70% of the land, of the 2.4 million acres in Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin is public land. It should not be managed as if it was all private land, but it is. We stopped the 2016 Checkerboard Roundup because we won an appeal which said that the BLM cannot manage all these lands as if they were private.

This time, we need your help to speak up, write the BLM and demand that they select Alternative C – no roundup or removal.

The BLM should not be allowed to move forward with this roundup only on the basis of an Environmental Assessment.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

By Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice TODAY

Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

We must relentlessly call Congress until they ask for mercy and remove the two offending sections legalizing wild horse killings and enabling horse slaughter in Appropriation Bills.

Focus on all the member of the House and Senate appropriations committees but also contact your own Congressman and two Senators. This is because, in all likelihood, the two pro-slaughter sections (one removing the USDA slaughter inspections ban and other adding language to allow BLM to kill and sell for slaughter wild horses in holding) will be passed by the appropriations committees since western pro-slaughter folks have the majority and they have already discussed the matter and have allegedly agreed to pushing this to the full Congress to bring horse slaughter back. In my humble opinion, it is a done deal.

When contacting both your own legislators and the members of the committees, you must ask:

1. Committee members:

– Ask them to vote no on any language allowing the killing of wild horses in holding and/or their sale without limitation, that is, for slaughter or “processing into commercial products” as they like to call it.

– Ask them to oppose any changes to refund horse slaughter inspections by USDA. Ask them to reintroduce the defunding language by means of a private amendment if necessary.

2. Rest of congressmen:

– Ask them to oppose any language allowing the killing of wild horses in holding and/or their sale without limitation and, if necessary, to introduce or support an amendment striking down any language in the appropriations bill allowing the killing and sale without limitation.

– Ask them to support any amendment reintroducing the ban on the use of tax money to fund USDA horse slaughter inspections.

Contact information for all members of Congress, including the ones from a specific committee, can be found together in this site:

https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Just select the committee you want contact info from the drop down menu and you are ready to go.

In the case of the agriculture appropriations one, whose text is already made but wasn’t formally introduced, they are aiming at removing Section 767 from the former appropriations bill, which contains the USDA defunding language that prevents horse slaughter plants to open up:

https://www.obpa.usda.gov/34gpexnotes2018.pdf

Go to Page 18 where it reads:

«Section 767: Prohibits inspection of horses for slaughter.

[Sec. 767. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel — (1) to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603);

(2) to inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127); or (3) to implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).]

This change deletes the entire section 767. This change is requested in order to permit the Executive Branch to carry out programs in the most efficient manner. » >>> They are deleting the ban entirely.

In the case of the Interior Appropriations Bill there is still no bill text (looks like these welfare ranching cowboys have problems putting two words together) but we have Trump’s budget request where HE VERY CLEARLY REQUESTS WILD HORSES IN HOLDING TO BE KILLED AND TO ALLOW SALES OF WILD HORSES FOR “ALL PURPOSES”, THAT IS, FOR SLAUGHTER:

https://www.doi.gov/…/u…/fy201 8_blm_budget_justification.pdf

Go to page 24 of the .pdf where it reads:

«Wild Horse & Burro Management Shift Management Strategies (-$10,000,000 / -29 FTE)

The WH/B budget is principally consumed by the cost to care for excess animals in off range facilities, […]. Animals for which there is no adoption demand are to be humanely euthanized while others that meet certain criteria are to be sold without limitation. Enacted appropriations bills from 1988 to 2004 and from 2010 to present have prohibited destruction of healthy animals and unlimited sale. […] The BLM must be able to use all of the tools included in the Act to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability o conduct sales without limitation. The budget proposes to eliminate appropriations language restricting the BLM from using all of the management options authorized in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. An estimated $4.0 million of the $10.0 reduction will be achieved through savings resulting from unrestricted sales. »

The markup session where both bills (agriculture and interior) text will be formally redacted and introduced is WEDNESDAY July 12th. Make sure you keep calling and writing until these two languages are killed for good.

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/06/30/speak-up-for-wild-horses-before-its-too-late/

https://www.contactingcongress.org/

Information supplied by Daniel Cordero Fernández.

Grade 1 Winner Bonapaw Euthanized

Bonapaw at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 7, 2017 – Bonapaw, the Grade 1-winning sprinter, was euthanized July 7 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, due to complications caused by the neurological disease EPM. He was 21.

Bonapaw (Sabona – Pawlova, Nijinsky II) was nothing short of a Cinderella horse for his owners, Louisiana-based twin brothers James and Dennis Richard, who purchased the bay gelding as a yearling for $6,500. Bonapaw went on to take his owners far and wide, capturing 18 of 49 starts and earning over $1.1 million.

The horse broke his maiden as a two-year-old at Fair Grounds, and over the years became the pride of the track winning five stakes over the oval.

Bonapaw got stronger with age. His first graded stakes came in 2001 at Oaklawn Park when he won the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap. In 2002, at the age of six, he journeyed to the United Arab Emirates for a chance at the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (he placed 6th) then captured the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup Handicap at Arlington, and his first Grade 1 victory, the Vosburgh Stakes, at Belmont Park.

His Vosburgh win encouraged the Richard brothers to invest $90,000 supplemental fee to enter Bonapaw in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Arlington, but he finished 10th in a field that included Kona Gold, Xtra Heat, and winner Orientate.

Retired from racing in 2005, he was donated to Old Friends in 2009 by James Richard, Jr.

“We are so grateful to have had these years with Bonapaw,” said Old Friends president Michael Blowen. “He was a great race horse, and he meant so much to his owners as well as all of his many fans. Jamie even donated Bonapaw’s Vosburgh Trophy to us, and we will cherish it always.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 175 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

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

Are Wild Horses and Burros Being Categorized for Slaughter?

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at Palomino Valley.

Colorado Springs, CO – The Cloud Foundation received an anonymous tip that Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and/or top Bureau of Land Management officials have ordered all wild horses currently in short term holding facilities be categorized by weight and age in anticipation of the approval of the federal budget.  The current recommendation for this budget would allow for “sale without limitation” many or most of the wild horses currently in holding.  This, of course, can eventually lead to the barbaric slaughter of our iconic wild horses.  The tipster stated that this categorization was to ensure the BLM was ready to “ship out” horses older than five years of age. The only place to “ship out” these horses would be to slaughter.  The caller stated that the shipping would start with the smaller facilities so that wild horse advocates wouldn’t be able to impose an injunction before the plan was already started.  Although anonymous, the caller also told The Cloud Foundation that direction has been given to the one of the government’s top transportation officials to prepare for this shipping.

Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, said, “Surely Secretary Zinke would not allow for this devious, clandestine and under the radar ploy to destroy wild horses when 80% of Americans are against slaughter.  If only Secretary Zinke and other DOI and BLM officials would have implemented tried and proven on-the-range-management ideas as we have asked for over a decade, we would not be where we are today.”

“There are currently in excess of 50,000 wild horses that have been rounded up, torn apart from their families, and corralled at the taxpayer expense because on-the-range-management has not been implemented as hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep graze at little or no cost,” says Lisa Friday, volunteer Vice President of The Cloud Foundation.  “Our indigenous American icons deserve better.”

Media Contact:
Lisa Anne Friday
The Cloud Foundation
1(804)389-8218
info@thecloudfoundation.org
Lisa_Friday@chs.net

Tell Secretary Zinke to Save Our Wild Horses

The persecution of our nation’s wild horses is at an all-time high, and it is disgusting to hear the Bureau of Land Management’s reasons for wanting to wipe out these American Icons. They have said on multiple occasions that they have no other options than to slaughter the horses that they round up – but there are many other alternatives that they refuse to entertain, because they just want this “problem” to go away so that they can appease the special interests in the swamp in Washington.

This is not a complicated issue, and it is absurd that our government insists on wasting time and taxpayer money when we stand ready to come in and fix this issue for them. We have the tools and resources to make this right, and we are ready and willing to work with the new administration to solve this issue once and for all. For years, Madeleine Pickens, Founder of Saving America’s Mustangs, has been working tirelessly, and investing millions of her own money into creating a sanctuary for America’s wild horses, Mustang Monument. Yet, despite her continued efforts, the BLM refuses to work with her, and instead have opted to implement copious roadblocks to keep her from operating her sanctuary, and sharing the wonder of these animals with the public.

Join us as we address Secretary Zinke directly, and tell him that we, the American people, are unwilling to allow this administration to slaughter tens of thousands of innocent horses, when we have real, sustainable alternatives available NOW. Our wild horses need a voice, and our government needs a solution – we ARE that voice, and we ARE that solution. Say NO to slaughter.

Sign our petition!

Madeleine Pickens
Saving America’s Mustangs

Heat Stress: Know the Signs and How to Help

Adobe Stock photo.

Summer’s sultry weather can be more than uncomfortable for your horse or pony; it can be dangerous. It’s important to know the symptoms of heat stress and how to respond to them.

Horses that don’t sweat enough or who are engaged in a lot of physical exertion – like three-day eventers, polo ponies, or horses in sports that involve a fair amount of galloping – are most obviously at risk of overheating in hot, humid conditions, says Dr. Laura Werner, a surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky. Werner specializes in equine emergency services and also has worked as a Fédération Equestre Internationale Veterinary Delegate at three-day eventing competitions in the United States.

But your horse or pony doesn’t have to be an Olympic-level competitor to be at risk in summer conditions, Werner notes.

“Horses can get overheated if both heat and humidity are high, and with the physical exertion that we ask them to do, that can happen pretty easily, just as it does with people,” said Werner. “Certainly, if the heat is in the high 80s and the humidity is about the same, it’s pretty easy for horses to get overheated quickly.”

Things to Consider

One thing to consider is whether the animal is accustomed to the particular climate.

“Some horses are more acclimated to warmer temperatures or higher humidity than others,” explained Werner. “Horses that are imported from Europe, for example, might not be used to heat and high humidity straight away. Just like with a person, it might take them a little bit to acclimate.”

It’s also helpful to remember that your horse generally is warmer than you are. So, if you’re hot, your horse is probably hotter, especially if he or she is working.

“When we’re asking them to perform, they’re doing a lot more work than we are!” Werner said.

Symptoms to Know

  • High rectal temperature. The normal equine temperature is generally around 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Physical exertion in hot conditions can make that higher, but a temperature above 104 or so after a normal workout can signal a problem, especially if paired with other symptoms.
  • A horse is distress will sometimes whinny frequently.
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or struggling to perform.
  • Open-mouth breathing.
  • High respiratory rate.
  • Not sweating.

What to Do

“The first thing to do is to get off your horse or stop working and walk them,” Werner said. “Try to cool them off with cool water. Get the tack off the horse very quickly. Head for a shady area.”

Some horses might require intravenous fluids, but many will respond to a cool bath, some water to drink, and a shady spot or fan.

Electrolyte therapy can also help a horse that has been performing in hot, humid conditions. “We do see some horses having electrolyte imbalances at this time of year because they’re losing so much through their sweat, and horses with electrolyte imbalances can even go on to develop thumps,” Werner said. Thumps, a hiccup-like thumping noise formally known as “synchronous diaphragmatic flutter,” can indicate issues like electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or low calcium levels.

“If horses are actively working at a normal to moderate or heavy level of work, sometimes it is good to supplement their electrolytes at this time of year, because they are losing so much in their sweat,” Werner said. “Ideally, that can help ahead of time. If you have an event coming up that involves travel and/or physical activity, you can support them with an electrolyte paste to make sure they’re getting enough and their electrolyte supply isn’t depleted.”

Water On, Water Off

The best and fastest way to cool a horse is to concentrate cool water on the big muscle groups, says Werner. That means spraying over the rump, back, flanks, chest, and shoulders.

“You want to get cold or ice-water on, and then scrape it right off,” Werner explained, “because otherwise, as the water warms up, it acts as an insulator and can help make them overheat.”

Some people will also put ice around key points, like the jugular, but, in many cases, the “water on, water off” routine will suffice, said Werner.

In the summer, do what you can to avoid exercising your horse during hot, humid conditions. “Try to ride during the cooler times of day if you can,” said Werner. “Whatever you’re feeling is what your horse is feeling, too. Take frequent breaks. And if it’s too hot and you don’t need to ride, don’t ride. If you do ride, try to stick to shady areas or take your horse for a hack instead of working in the hot arena. Just use your judgment: if it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your horse, too.”

By Glenye Oakford
© 2017 United States Equestrian Federation

Wild Horses Killed for Their Meat?

If we don’t act now, thousands of America’s iconic wild horses may be culled — or sold off to meat slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada, where torture and painful death await.

For nearly 3 decades, wild horses have been protected by a ban on the slaughter of healthy animals or any sale that “results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”  But Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would allow “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.”

No horse’s life is “excess,” and these animals do not deserve to be rounded up, slaughtered, and sold for meat just to give more land to rich cattle ranchers, as many speculate will be the case.

Instead of brutally killing America’s horses, the government should enact cruelty free population control measures, such as reducing births. Better yet, they should protect the public land on which these majestic creatures roam free.

Sign the petition to tell Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that he must prohibit the slaughter and sale of America’s wild horses. Thousands of horses’ lives depend on it!

Sign the petition

Launching New on the Range Volunteer Site

It is with excitement we announce the launch of a nation-wide initiative, a guide to the future management of wild horses and burros. It replaces helicopters and holding with on the range tools and committed volunteers who are willing to embark on a grand adventure in the still vibrant wild West.

Imagine every wild horse and burro herd roaming in freedom like they do in the Pryor Mountains (MT), the McCullough Peaks (WY), Onaqui (UT), Pine Nuts (NV), Challis (ID), Spring Creek Basin, Little Book Cliffs and Sand Wash Basin (CO). This is the goal. And it can only happen if you get involved.

We encourage you to read the guide and imagine where you fit in as part of a volunteer team. Is it becoming a PZP darter, photographer, drone pilot, driver, record keeper on the range, or a record keeper at home sitting in front of your computer? Partnering with the BLM you will become a guardian of the herd – ensuring a future for these awe-inspiring wild animals on their home ranges.

Check out the Website: (https://www.whbvresourcecenter.org) review the Resource Guide (https://www.whbvresourcecenter.org/resource-guide) then go to the National Volunteer Registry (https://whbvolunteer.wufoo.com/forms/wild-horse-burro-national-volunteer-registration/) and sign up.

The wild horses and burros are counting on us.

Happy Trails,
Ginger and Team

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

Colic: Signs, Symptoms, and First Aid with Hagyard’s Dr. Liz Barrett

Watch as Dr. Liz Barrett of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute discusses horse colic treatment, what you should do until the vet arrives, and what treatments are available. Colic can be life-threatening for a horse. Dr. Barrett shares tips on spotting colic symptoms and taking early action, explains what can cause colic, and discusses treatment options, including surgery.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

BLM Plotting War on America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs…”

The Department of the Interior, under the leadership of Secretary Ryan Zinke, has signaled its intention to strip decades-old federal protections for wild horses and burros and to allow them to be shipped to slaughter by the tens of thousands. Public comments and Congressional testimony from Zinke and other high-ranking government officials represents the most severe threat to wild horses since the ghastly and cruel killing practices of the 1960s prompted Congress to adopt the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs. It was only in April that Congress passed a spending bill with sensible wild horse provisions for the remainder of 2017. That bill included language preventing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its contractors from sending wild horses to slaughter for human consumption. It further directed the BLM to create a plan to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.

Now, just two months after President Trump signed the 2017 Omnibus spending bill into law, the Department of the Interior is saying it is going to default to slaughter because it’s possessed with no other options. In the president’s budget request for 2018, the department has asked for the ability to maintain wild horse and burro populations at dramatically reduced levels and to get there by slaughtering the animals.

While there are always going to be major challenges in managing wild horses and burros on our western public lands and in satisfying the diverse stakeholders in the debate, there are certain options that should never even be considered because they are simply outside the bounds of how animals should be treated. Mass slaughter is one of those dreadful ideas, an action that flies in the face of the now longstanding prohibition on slaughter and of the instincts of millions of Americans to protect these magnificent symbols of the American West.

The BLM has never been exemplary at managing horses. Far from it. For 20 years, the agency’s primary strategy for wild horse and burro populations has largely consisted of rounding up and removing the animals from our public lands – an effort that has resulted in tens of thousands of wild horses and burros being kept in holding facilities at a cost now approaching $50 million a year — more than half of the BLM’s annual budget for the entire wild horse and burro program. Partly because the costs of caring for so many captive horses are undermining the larger program, the agency has failed to commit any additional money to implement sufficient fertility control programs, which have been long recommended by The HSUS and the National Academies of Sciences.

The aggressive and widespread use of fertility control is the only way to confront this crisis in the long term. The horses need to be managed, but in a humane manner. Fertility control works, but only if there’s a serious investment in the enterprise on the ground. By preventing the birth of foals, the agency will find itself under less pressure to round up so many horses. Fewer round-ups mean substantial cost savings, since not as many animals need to be pastured and fed in short-term and long-term holding facilities. A capture-and-kill strategy, on the other hand, will only make matters worse, because it will cause the horses to compensate by reproducing at a higher rate on the range.

We cannot readily resolve the politics of managing the captive and free-roaming wild horse populations without a struggle. It won’t be easy to get a handle on this. But one thing is for sure: sanctioning the slaughter of tens of thousands of horses is a disgraceful, shameful idea. It is an unacceptable idea that will produce protests in the streets, from Reno to Washington, D.C. Mass slaughter will happen only over the cries, protests, and interventions of the American people.

Tell Secretary Zinke that you do not support the slaughter of America’s wild horses by calling 202-208-7351.

By Wayne Pacelle as posted on Humane Nation

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/06/16/blm-plotting-war-on-americas-wild-horses-and-burros/