Tag Archives: Equine Protection

We’re In; Are You?

It was difficult to keep my mouth shut as a first-time attendee at last week’s BLM Advisory Board meeting in Washington, D.C. Thankfully, Ginger was there to hold me in my seat during the usual ‘party line’ rhetoric.

We heard that our “wild horses are overpopulated and starving,” that “PZP doesn’t work,” and perhaps the crowning jewel of ignorance and anti-democratic sentiment came from Acting BLM Director Pendley, as he referred to the required NEPA process as a “terrible burden” (a process which allows the public to have a voice in governmental actions, and requires that environmental impacts be assessed). Sadly, I believe he was sincere when he made that statement.

With this comment, Pendley displayed his gross disregard for the democratic process and the preservation of America’s cultural and natural resources. After observing the new Advisory Board in D.C., it was painfully obvious they’re toeing the party line.

It is clear the Department of the Interior is stacking the deck, and in such an overt way that it could come back to bite them in the long run.

They sent a clear message with their highly unusual move not to reappoint Ginger Kathrens, a board member more than willing to serve a second term. Their message was: we do not entertain opposition, and the “humane advocate” role is only a nominal title.

We have only to look at Ginger’s replacement on the Advisory Board to see the truth of this. She has some domestic equestrian experience, but has no evident experience with wild horses and burros at all, according to her own BLM bio. Compared with Ginger’s more than 25 years of observing and documenting these animals in their natural environment, we can draw no other conclusion than that they don’t want real advocates with real experience voicing real facts about what’s happening on the range.

As you know, The Cloud Foundation has always prided itself as being a voice of reason, not reaction. And yet, we must concede the writing is on the wall this time.

Our wild herds face an unprecedented attack and a smear campaign that was highly organized by people spouting livestock lobby rhetoric – from the old “non-native” nonsense to the claim that wild horses are overrunning our western rangelands (laughable when they only exist on 12% of BLM lands to begin with).

Make no mistake, this is a marketing campaign with one objective: to sell Congress and the persuadable public a story, one that vilifies our horses and romanticizes the tiny percentage of mom-and-pop livestock permittees, while deliberately obscuring the damage to public lands from livestock grazing and energy development.

Sadly, two of the nation’s largest domestic animal welfare groups – ASPCA and HSUS – along with a once-respected wild horse sanctuary – Return to Freedom – have fallen prey to this anti-wild horse PR campaign. They have joined with a coalition of private livestock interests to launch a “plan” whereby 130,000 wild horses and burros could be removed from our public lands in the next 10 years and warehoused at taxpayer expense – a cost of “5 billion dollars over 15 years,” according to Acting BLM Director Pendley.

Is there a more sinister objective lurking behind the scenes? Our wild horses and burros are the only wildlife species that is defined by the land on which they live. The 1971 Act protected them “where presently found” – remove them from the land, and the land could be vulnerable. In a political climate where the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management doesn’t even believe federal public lands should exist – well, the danger is clear, and it is present.

Now is the time to act. Now is the time to speak up.

While in D.C., Ginger and I, along with other advocates, spent days meeting with Congressional and Senatorial staff members – the real people on the ground who wanted to know what the real issues are.

What we heard time and again was encouraging:

1) Your letters, your emails, and most of all, your calls DO matter! So many times, we heard that “whenever wild horse issues come up our phones are ringing off the hook” – they said THIS more than anything made them sit up and pay attention. So NEVER feel that your efforts are in vain. Your voices are heard. You ARE making a difference.

2) “They don’t have a plan.” The staffers we spoke with are understanding the message – they’ve been given bogus information. They no longer trust BLM or the lobbyists from ASPCA and HSUS pushing the misguided idea for massive removals. They are seeing through the fake news that wild horses are overpopulated. One conservative congressman’s aid threw up his hands and exclaimed, “They’re asking for millions of dollars and they don’t even have a plan!”

Things often look darkest before the dawn, so this is not the time to give up. This is the time to raise our flags, mount our metaphorical steeds, and charge.

The Cloud Foundation will be hard at work with other advocates and organizations in the days ahead. We’re educating the people who matter and we’re offering alternative solutions.

We need your help! No matter who you are or where you live, your voice can make a difference. Call the offices of your legislators today. Find their phone numbers here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

  • Let them know you want America’s – YOUR – wild horses protected from mass roundups and surgical sterilization.
  • Tell them it’s unacceptable to commit billions of YOUR tax dollars to a failed system that does not work.

We always urge you to call, as this action makes the biggest impact.

But here’s another option, an amazing organization that gets your voice heard: they’re called the Herd on the Hill (we have to smile at the ‘herd’ pun!). They will hand-deliver your letters or other materials to your representatives, help you schedule calls with relevant staff, or even set up in-person meetings if you’re in the D.C. area.

Whatever you choose to do, we urge you NOT to remain silent. We need every voice in this fight to combat the misinformation out there. We need to let government know we care. We need to take back the power of our representative republic. This government of the people, by the people, for the people needs to serve the people once again.

And the people – 80% of them – want America’s wild horses protected, living wild and free as symbols of the spirit of this nation.

Find your senators here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.

Find your member of congress here: https://www.house.gov/representatives.

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

Stop BLM Plan for Ovariectomy

Photo credit: Ginger Kathrens, Sandwash Basin.

Despite three successful lawsuits stopping this procedure, two universities pulling out, and enormous public outcry, BLM still plans on moving forward with its plans to rip the ovaries out of mares.

Please stand with us to tell BLM “NO!” Send the linked sign-on letter to your veterinarian. Most have an email address listed on their website. The more signatures we have, the more influence.

No caring person wants to see these mares go through this torturous procedure with little in the way of aftercare. Together, we can tell BLM that scores of licensed veterinarians do NOT endorse this cruel procedure.

CLICK HERE, copy the link into an email, and send to your veterinarian. We’ve provided sample text for your email below to make it as easy as possible for you.

We have 47 signatures already; our goal is to have 100 by Oct. 25th. We will then present it to the BLM Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. On October 30th.

Thank you for your efforts to save our wild horses and burros from human cruelty.

You can read more about “The Case against Ovariectomy” here.

For details of the latest on-going legal action, click here.

Sample Text:

Dear Dr. XX,

I’m a client of your practice; you might remember my pets (insert names here). I’m also an advocate for America’s wild horses and burros.

You might not be aware, but the Bureau of Land Management is preparing to perform a sterilization procedure on wild mares, with the intent of eventually taking it into the field. Many reputable equine veterinarians advise strongly against this procedure due to the non-sterile environment, risk of infection, colic, and even evisceration.

I’m asking you to please take a moment to read the letter linked HERE and add your name to the long list of veterinarians who opposed this procedure.  

Thank you for your time,
(Your Name)

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

The Journey Home

Thanks to many generous supporters, the Freedom Family is home at last. It was a huge undertaking from start to finish, but we made it. And all 11 of our rescues are now safely roaming their new pastures.

Now the next phase of the project begins. The Freedom Family needs some time to settle in. And we need some time to plan, create and implement what we hope will be an incredible new project. Keep your eyes open for more news on that in the coming months.

We could never have done this without the support of wild horse lovers everywhere, and we’re so grateful. If you’d like to see their journey in photos, please click here; we hope you enjoy.

Thank you for all that you do to support our wild horses and burros on and off the range.

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

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.

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.

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.