Tag Archives: Equine Protection

Cloud Foundation Director Ginger Kathrens to Apply as Humane Advisor to BLM

For the past three years, TCF Founder and Executive Director, Ginger Kathrens, has served a critical role as humane advisor to the agency tasked with managing our wild horses and burros on our public lands. As her first term comes to a close, we are thrilled to announce that she will reapply for a second term of service.

The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is stocked with people from all sides of the “issue”, many who are not friendly to these magnificent animals. It’s crucial to the humane management of our wild herds to have an advocate with Ginger’s breadth of knowledge and compassion in the body of advisors.

We know that you care as much about the freedom and well-being of our wild horses as we do, and so we ask you to take action now and support Ginger’s reinstatement as Humane Advisor.

Read the full nomination details.

How can you help?

It doesn’t take much time at all. Here are the simple details:

1) Write a short letter in support of Ginger Kathrens’s renomination to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Some points to make:

  • 25 years spent documenting wild horses
  • Her award-winning series of Cloud films reintroduced America to their wild horses
  • Tireless advocate for the preservation of wild horses and our public lands
  • Thought leader in the horse advocacy community, her voice and opinion are widely respected
  • Committed to working with the BLM to find humane management solutions

2) Mail your letter to the address below before April 1, 2019.

Division of Wild Horses and Burros, US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Room 2134 LM
Attn: Dorothea Boothe, WO-260
Washington, DC 20240

The Cloud Foundation would not be here without your generous support. Our mission and to preserve and protect all of America’s wild horses and burros, and the land which was dedicated to them, would not be possible without your contributions.

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

FEI Issues Guidelines on Equine Influenza Outbreak

Lausanne (SUI), 8 February 2019 – The FEI has issued guidelines to the equestrian community to protect horses from and prevent transmission of equine influenza, following confirmed outbreaks of the virus in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and the United States of America since the beginning of the year.

Equine influenza is a highly contagious virus which causes respiratory disease in horses. The virus is endemic to most countries in the world and outbreaks can have a severe impact on the equine industry, potentially resulting in restrictions on horse movement and cancelled events.

“Vaccinating horses against equine influenza is key to combating the spread of equine influenza,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Åkerström said. “It is important that all horses are vaccinated, regardless of whether or not they compete or come into contact with other horses, but there are also biosecurity measures that should be put in place, including best hygiene practices.”

All FEI horses must have an up-to-date vaccination history in their passports and checks are carried out on entry to all FEI events.

The air-borne virus can spread up to two kilometres, depending on the environmental conditions, and can be easily transmitted between horses that are in close contact, such as attending events, group training and hunting, or between vaccinated and unvaccinated horses in the home yard.

Any horse that displays any signs of illness should not leave their home yard. This also applies to any horse that has been in contact with a horse or horses that have equine influenza.

“This year we are seeing a return of the Clade 1 virus in infected horses. Vaccinated horses have suffered only mild clinical signs of the disease and recovered quickly, but unvaccinated horses have been much more severely affected,” FEI Veterinary Advisor Caterina Termine said. “The key message is: get your horse vaccinated, monitor horse health extremely closely, and call your veterinarian if you have any concerns.”

The FEI’s comprehensive question and answer document on equine influenza is available here. Please visit FEI Campus for a course on Equine Influenza: A Horse Owners Guide.

FEI contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+ 41 78 750 61 41

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Vanessa.Randin@fei.org
+ 41 78 750 61 73

EquiJet Addresses USDA Miami Animal Import Center Closing

Miami, Fla. – Jan. 24, 2018 – During this especially busy travel season for horses, EquiJet wants to make sure loyal clients and friends stay up to date on current happenings. As was reported earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has closed the Miami Animal Import Center (MAIC) to new arrivals as of January 19, 2019 due to a series of horses falling sick, with three animals unfortunately dying. The MAIC quarantine stalls will be closed to new import arrivals through March 31, 2019, affecting many competitors involved in South Florida equestrian competitions such as the Winter Equestrian Festival, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, among others. For anyone affected by this issue, please reach out to us if you have questions or need assistance making or changing your travel plans for your horses.

As of the news breaking, no horses shipped by EquiJet were affected or in danger of becoming ill. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency (APHIS) is investigating to determine the specific cause of illness, but salmonella is suspected, and the facility is stepping up biosecurity and taking added precautions to prevent any further disease spread.

The EquiJet team is working closely with other quarantine centers and trusted airports and airlines to continue to provide you the outstanding service our clients have come to expect. While this development is a setback for many equine travelers and their owners, we thank you for your patience while the USDA works to decontaminate the facility in Miami and ensure that it is up to code.

To request a quote or for more information, please visit EquiJet.com.

Media Contact: Lenore Phillips
561-753-3389 | lrb@phelpsmediagroup.com

Forest Service Adoption Event Poses Potential Health Hazard

Nearly 1,000 Devil’s Garden wild horses captured in October’s roundup are in danger of being sold for slaughter. Despite public opposition and California law, which makes it a felony to sell wild horses to slaughter, the Forest Service may get away with this heinous act.

To compound this tragedy, to date the Forest Service has destroyed 6 horses rounded up from Modoc National Forest after they showed signs of Pigeon Fever. While we know this is a curable illness that does not warrant death, the fact remains that it is a communicable disease – transmittable to adopters’ own livestock.

Despite deeming it serious enough to kill 6 animals, the Forest Service plans to move ahead with adoptions starting Nov 16. Action is needed urgently!

Due to a 3-4 week incubation period during which animals may appear asymptomatic – and lack of quarantine in the holding corrals, there is no way to know how many of the 962 horses rounded up may be affected or how many potential adopters’ animals will be at risk.

Your voice is needed to protect these vulnerable animals!

What you can do to help

Please speak out on behalf of the wild horses and domestic animals at risk if this adoption goes forward. Just a few minutes of your time will make a huge difference.

US Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Veterinary Services (VS)
Toll free: 1-877-741-3690

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Animal Health and Food Safety Services, Animal Health Branch
Email: ahbfeedback@cdfa.ca.gov

CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Email: xavier.becerra@doj.ca.gov

Sample message:
The Forest Service MUST halt the Nov 16th adoption of horses in the Double Devil Corrals in Alturas, California. It is public knowledge that 6 horses from this herd have been destroyed after showing signs of Pigeon Fever. This is a communicable disease that is easily transmitted to adopters’ animals. That the Forest Service would pursue this course of action after deeming the illness so grave as to warrant death is gross negligence and could result not only in public outrage but in potential lawsuits. Moving forward with this event would be inexcusable, as the Forest Service is knowingly putting the public and their livestock at risk of harm.

Act now to protect these animals

America’s wild horses are federally protected species, and yet they are in danger of being sold to slaughter by the truckload if the Forest Service is allowed to proceed.

We need your help to keep these American icons safe. We ask for just a few minutes of your time to speak on their behalf.

Visit www.thecloudfoundation.org for more information and ways to take action.

Lawsuit Filed to Stop “Barbaric” BLM Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments

Citing violations of the U.S. Constitution and three federal laws, an alliance of wild horse protection and animal welfare advocates filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland. The groups seek to enjoin the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from proceeding with controversial and dangerous surgical experiments to remove the ovaries of wild mares at BLM’s Wild Horse Corrals in Hines, Oregon.

The complaint was filed on behalf of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and its executive director Ginger Kathrens, who is also the Humane Advocate on the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board; the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC); the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI); and wildlife photographer Carol Walker, who is also a Director of Field Documentation for the Wild Horse Freedom Federation, by Nick Lawton of the public interest law firm Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks LLP.

A key demand of the legal action is the right to meaningful public observation and video recording of the experiments to improve public awareness of how the BLM is treating these federally protected wild horses and help the public inform BLM that this inhumane form of sterilization is not socially acceptable.

“To date, the BLM has refused to allow a meaningful opportunity for media or the public to observe and record these procedures,” said Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks. “The BLM’s refusal to allow meaningful access to observe and record these experiments thwarts the important newsgathering objectives that Plaintiffs aim to achieve by observing and documenting the BLM’s treatment of wild horses, and thus violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

The legal action also alleges that the experiments, which involve performing an outdated surgical procedure called ovariectomy via colpotomy (a blind surgery in which a veterinarian inserts his arm into a mares’ abdominal cavity through an incision in the vaginal wall, manually locates the ovaries, then twists, severs and removes them using a rod like tool with a chain on the end) are unscientific, inhumane, and dangerous, and will result in pain, suffering, and potentially life-threatening complications for wild mares.

Video of the procedure, which has been called “barbaric” by equine veterinarians, can be seen here.

This is the BLM’s second attempt to conduct research on the surgical removal of the ovaries of wild mares. In 2016, AWHC and TCF sued to uphold their First Amendment right to observe the experiments, a major objective of which was to determine the social acceptability of the procedure. The BLM cancelled the experiments, which it intended to conduct in partnership with Oregon State University — instead of providing public observation.

In its renewed attempt to conduct the research this year, the BLM dropped the objective of determining social acceptability in order to avoid providing meaningful observation. Instead, the BLM is offering limited observation through the doorway of a room adjacent to the surgical suite on a first-come, first-served basis with no independent veterinary observation provided.

When the agency re-released the sterilization research proposal, the BLM announced that it would be conducting the experiments in conjunction with Colorado State University (CSU). The University was to provide expertise in monitoring and assessing the welfare impacts of the surgeries on the wild mares. However, in August, CSU withdrew from the project. Instead of finding another academic institution with expertise in animal welfare monitoring and assessment, the BLM dropped CSU’s scientific observation of animal welfare from its study design.

Then, on September 13, 2018, the BLM announced that it was moving forward with the spay feasibility study despite opposition from the public and veterinarians, a warning from the National Academy of Sciences that the procedure was “inadvisable” due to health risks, and after two major research institutions – CSU and OSU – ended their affiliations with the project.

As soon as next month, the BLM plans to start rounding up 100 percent of the wild horses in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in southeastern Oregon. An estimated 685 horses will be permanently removed and another 100 mares will be surgically sterilized. The experiments carry a high risk of mortality from bleeding, infection and evisceration (fatal protrusion of bowel through the surgical incision) and will subject pregnant mares to risk of miscarriage and associated complications. (More details on the BLM’s plan can be found here.)

“It is unconscionable to conduct invasive and dangerous surgeries on wild mares, ripping their ovaries out with a chain, destroying their fetus, then returning them out into a dirt corral with little to zero pain management before releasing them into the wild,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation and the Humane Advisor on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. “This is a rare, last ditch operation in the world of domestic mares. I would hope we, as a society, are beyond this kind of cruelty, particularly when humane, safe, and scientific alternatives to control wild horse reproduction have existed for decades.”

Contact: Lisa Friday, Director of Communications
lisa@thecloudfoundation.org| 804-389-8218

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

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council to Meet Oct. 9-11 in Salt Lake City

Photo: Ginger Kathrens – Humane Advocate on National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Come Out and Show Your Support for Our Wild Horses and Burros

BLM has announced that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will be meeting October 9-11 at the Courtyard Marriott in Salt Lake City Downtown. As a member of the board, TCF’s Executive Director Ginger Kathrens will be in attendance. Please consider attending this meeting if you can to show your support for our wild horses and burros as well as for Ginger as she does her best to stand up for them in her capacity as the Humane Advocate on the board.

Even if you can’t attend, BLM will be accepting written public comment until October 2nd. Written comments and statements must be mailed to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Attention: Dorothea Boothe WO-260, 20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003, or emailed to: whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov by October 2, 2018, in order for the Board to consider them at the October meeting. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.

A public comment period will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MDT). There will also be a field tour from 7am to noon on Tuesday, October 9th of the Onaqui Horse Herd Management Area. (The field tour is open to limited public attendance with advanced sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees must provide for their own transportation (high-clearance vehicle recommended) and personal needs. Field tour attendees will depart from the Courtyard Marriott at 7:00 a.m. To sign up, contact Dorothea Boothe by email at dboothe@blm.gov by September 28, 2018.)

For more details on the meeting, please refer to the full BLM notice linked here.

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

What Happens to NC’s Wild Horses When a Major Hurricane Like Florence Hits?

A filly was born to North Carolina’s wild horse herd in Corolla on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. She’s pictured here with her mother. Cathy Forgnone.

BY ABBIE BENNETT 

North Carolina coastal residents are evacuating or battening down ahead of Hurricane Florence — at least the human ones.

The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone.

Hurricane Florence is a category 4 storm as of Monday evening — 400 miles wide and still gaining strength and speed as it bears down on the Carolinas coast.

North Carolina’s wild horse herd has seen its share of storms, though. They’ve been around for 500 years, after all, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) said on Facebook Monday.

Currituck County, where the herd lives, ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Outer Banks communities, Corolla and Carova, beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Neighboring Dare County — where much of the staff that looks after the herd lives — and other coastal counties along the coast issued evacuation orders for all residents and tourists.

“The horses have lived on this barrier island for 500 years, and they are well equipped to deal with rough weather,” the CWHF said on Facebook Monday. “They know where to go to stay high and dry and are probably in better shape right now than most of us humans who are scrambling with final preparations.“

And CWHF staff believe the horses won’t need any human help.

“Anything we might do in the hopes of ‘protecting’ them would probably end up being more dangerous and stressful for them than the storm,” the CWHF said.

Florence could bring storm surge flooding to the Outer Banks reaching 8 to 15 feet or higher, according to the National Hurricane Center.

There are 18 rescued horses at a farm the CWHF cares for, and staff is “making sure they are ready to ride the storm out safely. They have shelter, but also the option to stay outside.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM Backs Down on Removing Horses from Pryor Mountain

Thank you from Rio (left) (Garay & Jacinta), Quahneah (right) (Baja & Washakie).

There will be no removal of young wild horses from the West’s most famous wild horse herd this year!  Like Cloud, we did not back down. He would have been proud of all of you who contributed to this victory. So, thank you from some of the horses whose freedom you protected.

Your donations made it possible for us to hire an outstanding law firm and to make a compelling case. (Read Ginger’s declaration.) And it didn’t hurt to have the expertise of those of you who read the documents and pointed out deficiencies in BLM’s Environmental Assessment and Record of Decision. Thanks to you all!

We hope that this victory for the Pryor Wild Horse Herd (read judge’s ruling) might help to protect other small herds in the West, many of whom are managed at disastrously low levels — below the genetic minimums of 150-200 animals.
Happy Trails!
Ginger

The Cloud Foundation is represented in the lawsuit by Katherine A. Meyer and Elizabeth Lewis of the Washington DC public interest firm Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Eubanks.

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

Cloud Foundation Wins Reprieve for Pryor Wild Horse Herd

Photo: Galaxy’s band and Knight’s band atop the Pryor Mountains, summer 2018.

Temporary Restraining Order Prevents September 2 Trapping and Removal

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – Susan P. Watters, United States District Judge, has ruled in favor of Ginger Kathrens and the Cloud Foundation in their efforts to protect the small Pryor Mountain mustang herd from capture and removal, stating, “Plaintiffs’ application for TRO is GRANTED. Defendants are hereby ENJOINED from conducting the wild horse gather set for September 2, 2018, pending a hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction.”

“We won,” stated a jubilant Ginger Kathrens, who brought the herd to international prominence with her documentaries about Cloud, a charismatic palomino stallion she documented from the day he was born. “I hope that the TRO and what we believe will be a permanent decision later next month will ensure a lasting future for this unique Spanish herd.”

In her ruling, Judge Waters acknowledged that BLM fell short in managing for both rare genetics and the unusual colors.

The Pryor Mustangs are descended of Crow Indian horses (the range borders reservation lands) and before that, the horses of the Conquistadors. Genetic and color experts have concluded that this is a rare Spanish Colonial herd. Their range is located on the Montana/Wyoming border east of Yellowstone National Park. Kathrens, who began her journey with wild horses in 1994, was ridiculed in the Government’s brief for her repeated efforts to protect the Pryor Herd. “I hope this is a turning point for America’s beleaguered wild horse herds that have been so cruelly treated and that the BLM will finally adopt humane methods of management that take into account the essential need for family structures and the basic right to live in freedom as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” Kathrens said.

In her decision to grant the TRO, Judge Watters states: “BLM argues that one removal action will not result in the permanent loss of genetic diversity of the Pryor Herd.… This conclusion is contrary to the evidence before the court. Extinction of a bloodline or phenotype is, by its nature, loss of genetic diversity. And extinction, meaning forever, is certainly a long duration. This court finds that Plaintiffs have established a likelihood of irreparable harm absent a TRO.”

“We could not have brought this suit without a high level of confidence in our donors.” Kathrens continued. “Cloud fans are loyal to wild horses and understand that maintaining the family structure and genetic strength are the essentials to living wild.”

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, the first nationally designated area established to provide a home for free-roaming horses. “What a grand way to celebrate!” Ginger Kathrens concludes.

The hearing in Billings, MT is set for September 28 at 9:30 am.

The Cloud Foundation is being represented in the lawsuit by Katherine A. Meyer and Elizabeth Lewis of the Washington DC public interest firm Meyer, Glitzenstein, and Eubanks.

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

Pryor Herd Legal Action Update, from Ginger Kathrens

Hopi, her daughter Quintasket, and Demure. Quintasket is targeted for removal. Pic: Kristen Collett, 2017.

I am discouraged and shocked by the statements made by the BLM person in charge of managing the Pryor wild horse herd. A bait trap removal is to begin on September 2nd. Our attorneys requested that the operation be delayed so that legal arguments on both sides could be presented before a judge. BLM says they cannot delay because BLM “key personnel would not be available later in September as some have approved leave for vacations that they have already paid for.”

Their lack of caring for animals we love takes my breath away. With their timeline, the young males targeted, Okomi (Firestorm/Jackson), Quanah (Flint/Halcyon), Oak and Parry (Hidalgo and Fresia), Orlando and Quaid (Greta and Garcia), Quasar (Kitalpha/Hickok), and Rio (Jacinta/Garay), would be captured, hauled to the Britton Springs corrals at the base of the mountain, gelded, and offered for sale on September 18th. What’s the hurry, you might ask?

Here is what BLM says about this:  “Government travel in September becomes more problematic as BLM approaches the end of the fiscal year.”  And If the young Pryor mustangs are still there in late October BLM has indicated they will move them to “other BLM facilities with space for short-term holding.” Again, a horrifying lack of concern.

We are fighting as hard as we can for our friends on the mountain. Please do your part. Call your Congressional Reps and Senators and let them know about the needless and cruel measures BLM is planning. And stress not only the intangibles of kindness over cruelty but the economic benefits to the Montana and Wyoming communities who play host to visitors from around the world, visitors anxious to glimpse the unforgettable sight of wild Spanish colonial mustangs in their spectacular mountain stronghold.

Other points you will want to make to your Congressional Representatives and US Senators:

–The wild horses in the Pryor Mountains are a genetically unique, rare Spanish Colonial Herd, descended from the horses of the Conquistadors. Their range is dedicated to wild horses and other wildlife. The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range was the first public wild horse range created in the United States and precedes the passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

–Currently, the Pryor Herd is at the same population level as after the 2015 removal: 152. That means there has been no population change in the last 3 yrs., so BLM could easily delay another month or two or even a year rather than hurrying up to meet “vacation” schedules. Despite the facts on population, BLM claims that the population is increasing by 8% annually. This is not true.

Find phone numbers here:
https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Please call and help our Pryor wild horses today and we also need your help with DONATIONS to our fund on our webpage:
https://www.thecloudfoundation.org/checkout/donate

We can’t let this happen to animals so many of us cherish!

Thanks to each and every one of you for caring so much.

–Ginger Kathrens

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