Tag Archives: Equine Protection

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.

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

Comments Needed on BLM Experiment to Spay Wild Mares

The Cloud Foundation and other wild horse advocate groups are once again fighting to protect the Warm Springs mares. Despite having been stopped time and time again by our legal actions, the Bureau of Land Management has again revived its abhorrent plan to carry out cruel experimentation on the mares rounded up from the Warm Springs HMA.

Your comments are needed, and the deadline to submit is June 12th. BLM had originally scheduled the deadline for Memorial Day. This was an underhanded tactic that allowed for only 9 business days to comment. Thankfully our legal team filed a motion and we were able to get that unreasonable time frame extended.

The link to TCF’s comments is here. We know passions run high on this issue, ours included, but as always, we ask you to remain professional and courteous in your comments.

A step-by-step guide for submitting your comments:

1) Enter a title for your comments.
2) Ignore “Chapter Reference” & “Section Reference”
3) You can enter your comments in the space provided and/or as an attached document.
4) Click “Next” and enter the required personal information on the following page.
5) Click “Next”, agree to the disclaimers on the final page, and click “Submit”.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Read the details of the BLM ovariectomy plan here.

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

Mustangs’ Insides Viciously Ripped Out: Stop the BLM!

The Bureau of Land Management is once again callously planning to permanently sterilize wild horse mares using a gruesome procedure so deadly and inhumane that many veterinarians refuse to perform it. Don’t let the BLM rip out the ovaries of wild mares!

The proposed surgery, called ovariectomy via colpotomy, is controversial even for domestic mares who are used to human handling and given normal surgical protections such as sterile conditions, anesthesia, and complete long-term aftercare. The situation at the Burns Corral in Oregon, where the deadly experiments are slated to take place, is not conducive to any of those conditions which makes the already risky procedure all the more dangerous and life-threatening.

This is the third time that the Bureau has tried to perform this barbaric experiment on defenseless wild horse mares, under the guise of a “study.” After two major universities dropped out, lawsuits were filed, and massive public outcry occurred, the first two attempts were abandoned by the Bureau. Many thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters wrote to both of the universities initially involved, and also to the BLM in protest of this vile procedure from its past attempts.

Take action on this issue.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org

Racing to Extinction: New Management Plan Will Devastate Our Wild Herds

For the past couple of weeks, we have been in contact with the ASPCA and HSUS, the main drivers behind a new management proposal for America’s wild horses and burros. We learned of their concerns for our wild herds in response to growing impatience on the part of lawmakers. We have also listened to the comments of other wild horse advocates and all of you wild horse lovers.

We share your deep concern, especially if this plan moves forward.

In its current form, this “management” plan lacks the safeguards and oversight that would keep our wild herds safe from inappropriate, unscientific, and cruel management practices. We have tried to work with the organizations supporting this plan, asking them to add language which mandates that funds be allocated for humane, reversible fertility control and provide for meaningful accountability on the part of BLM.

Sadly, we understand that the proposal will soon be put forward to Congress as-is. This does not end our efforts. We will continue to fight for the protection of America’s wild horses and burros. We are actively working on alternative solutions to this disastrous proposal and we will see the fight through.

We want to thank you all for your support of our mission and our work, and for loving our wild herds as much as we do. Transparency is at the core of meaningful communication and that is why we’d like to explain our concerns about this proposed plan, so you can decide for yourself whether or not it seems right to you.

Our wild horses will need your voice in the coming months, and being informed is the first step in taking effective action. I have learned in my 25 years of advocacy that one passionate voice can make a difference, but an army of informed, passionate voices can create lasting change.

Thank you for standing with us and with our wild ones.

We know that we can count on you to lend your voice, as needed, to champion our wild families, who cannot speak for themselves.

We encourage you to call your representatives and senators and urge them not to support this proposal as-is.

Click here to find your elected officials.

Ginger Kathrens
Founder and Executive Director
The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Misguided Management Plan Threatens Beloved Wild Herds

Since the recent announcement of a new management proposal for America’s wild horses and burros, The Cloud Foundation has been working hard behind the scenes to craft a measured, science-based response. We know that you rely on us for accurate, actionable information rather than reactionary rhetoric, and thoughtful commentary takes time.

TCF supports the Unified Statement, which outlines a humane, cost-effective plan for on-the-range management and is signed by over 100 wild horse and animal advocacy groups. It is our opinion that the proposal supported by ASPCA, HSUS, the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, et al. presents a danger to our wild herds in its current form. This proposal does not provide for any meaningful accountability on the part of the BLM to follow through on its responsibilities and we can find no scientific backing for its claims.

We agree that change is needed. Our western rangelands are suffering from the effects of climate change and overuse by multiple interests, including energy development and livestock grazing. We are at a tipping point and a new path forward needs to be blazed.

This is an opportunity to alter the course of a broken system and affect meaningful change for the betterment of all. We need to look at not just what is convenient for the BLM or the private interests, but also consider what is right for the land, for our wild horses and burros, and for the American people who love them.

Let’s not forget – these are not “the BLM’s wild horses.” These are America’s wild horses. They belong to each citizen of the United States, and they are beloved symbols of freedom. Americans do not want to see or pay for their wild mustangs to be rounded up by the tens of thousands and incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives.

Collaboration between groups of stakeholders is needed, and compromise will likely be required – but it should happen across the board. If everyone comes to the table willing to talk with an open mind we can come up with a solution and plan for the future that will truly serve our nation, its ecosystems, natural resources, and wildlife.

Sadly, no wild horse advocate groups with nothing to gain from this proposal were included in its formative stages. Our wild horses and burros deserve a seat at the table, and not one group with knowledge of the complexities of the on-range management issue was invited to speak for them as this plan was being drafted. That fact speaks for itself.

The Cloud Foundation always has been and will continue to be a thoughtful, passionate voice for safe, humane, cost-effective on-the-range management of our wild horses and burros. We are very willing to lend our 25 years of experience to a rational and open-minded discussion in order to build a logistically and fiscally sustainable strategy for management of these incredible animals.

We are fighting for the lives and future of our wild herds right now. There are some government and private interests that would wash their hands of them, given the chance. We know that we can count on you to lend your voice, as needed, to champion our wild families, who cannot speak for themselves.

Thank you for all you’ve done and will continue to do for these majestic animals.

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

Push the PAST Act to the House Floor

Bill Gains 219 Sponsors

Since being introduced in January, the bipartisan “Sen. Joseph Tydings Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act” (H.R. 693) has gained 219 cosponsors, which is more than half of the members of the House of Representatives.  Under new House rules, any legislation gaining 290 or more co-sponsors will receive an automatic vote on the floor.  As soon as H.R. 693 gains 71 more supporters – a target the horse industry can reach with your continued advocacy – House leadership will schedule the bill for a vote on the floor, where it’s assured quick passage.

H.R. 693 will strengthen the Horse Protection Act and finally end the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses, and Racking Horses. The American Horse Council, along with most major national horse show organizations and state and local organizations, supports the PAST Act.  To send a letter to your representative urging him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor, please click here and follow the prompts.  For more information related to H.R. 693 and how to move the bill forward, please contact AHC’s Bryan Brendle at 202-296-4031.

American Horse Council Mailing Address:
1616 H Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006

Defend the Onaqui Wild Horse Herd from Devastation

The world-renowned Onaqui wild horse herd just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah is in grave danger. The Bureau of Land Management has plans to forcibly remove over 300 of the beloved wild horses and possibly risk their lives with eventual sale for slaughter. A successful rally by advocates has opened negotiations with the Bureau, but we urgently need you NOW to keep the pressure on to prevent the devastation of this beautiful herd.

The Onaqui mustangs are among the most famous and most photographed wild horses in the world, visited by tourists far and wide. The Bureau of Land Management’s cruel plans would sever family bonds en masse, ripping 80% of this herd from their lands and their companions.

Animal activists from across the country gathered in Utah to speak up for the horses on Friday, April 5.

Advocates met with Utah Bureau of Land Management officials after the rally and made some progress in protecting these wild horses. Although more meetings between the advocates and the BLM are scheduled in the next few weeks, the mustangs’ safety is far from secure. Without your urgent help, their future is bleak. It is crucial that we keep up the pressure to let the Bureau know we will not let up in our efforts to protect this herd.

  1. Call the Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office Wild Horse & Burro department (801) 539-4001 ext. 4050.

You may wish to say:

I am calling to urge you to cancel all plans for a BLM roundup of the Onaqui wild horse herd and work with wild horse advocacy groups to expand the existing PZP fertility control program instead. This will save taxpayers millions of dollars and allow these beloved horses to stay free with their families and be photographed and enjoyed by eco-tourists from around the country and the world.

  1. Send our email (with your personal touch) to the BLM’s Utah Office.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org

Our Wild Horses and Burros Need Your Voice

BLM is seeking to fill three open spots on the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. For the past three years, Ginger Kathrens, TCF Founder and Director, has served in the critical role of humane advisor to this board and is reapplying for a second term of service.

We don’t have to tell you the importance of having a voice for our wild ones within this body of advisors! With private interests being over represented, these magnificent animals need someone to speak for them.

Please take action NOW and support Ginger’s reinstatement as Humane Advisor.

How can you help?

Easy! Follow the simple instructions below:

1) Write a short letter of support for Ginger Kathrens’ renomination. (This is not a formal nomination but a letter of support in your own words).

Some points you can 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 wild horse advocacy community, her voice and opinion are widely respected
  • Committed to working with the BLM to find sustainable 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

Connect with your representatives

Do you frequently call or write your senator and US representative?  This is the time to ask them specifically to support Ginger with the letter. Or, even better, provide a letter using the points above which they can easily sign and send. Don’t forget the deadline of April 1, 2019!

ABOUT THE FORMAL NOMINATION PROCESS

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