Tag Archives: horse slaughter

Equine Welfare Experts to Converge on Wellington

CHICAGO, (EWA) – Equine welfare advocates from several countries will meet this weekend at the fourth annual International Equine Conference (IEC). Invited guests who are expected to attend include Governor Charlie Crist, and Representatives Ted Deutch and Patrick Murphy. The IEC is organized by the Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and will be hosted by Victoria McCullough at her estate in Wellington, FL. The event brings together a wide spectrum of people dedicated to the welfare of domestic equines and the protection of wild horses and burros.

Speakers will address issues ranging from the plight of cart horses in Israel, to saving a nearly extinct Abaco Island horse. Representatives from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition will give update reports on horse slaughter in Canada and the dangers of the hormone replacement therapy that is derived from pregnant mare urine.

The event provides both an educational and a coordinating function. The first conference grew out of alarm caused in 2011 when a ban on funding for horse slaughter inspections was dropped from the Agriculture budget, leaving the way open for horse slaughter to return to the US.

The last US horse slaughter plants were closed in 2007 under state laws and kept from moving to other states by the inspections ban. Since 2011, the concerted effort of the welfare advocates, and especially Victoria McCullough herself, has resulted in the restoration of the ban.

“We dodged a bullet in keeping the plants from coming back,” explained EWA’s Vice President Vicki Tobin, “but over a hundred thousand of our horses are still going over the border to slaughter in Canada and Mexico.”

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 310 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,100 individual members worldwide in 22 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)3 status. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. www.wildhorsefreedomfederation.org

Contacts:

John Holland
540-268-5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org

R. T. Fitch
713.632.4573
rtfitch@wildhorsefreedomfederation.org

Last Proposed Horse Slaughter Plant Claims Unfair Treatment: Withdraws Application

CHICAGO, (EWA) – Following an extended legal battle, Blair Dunn, the attorney for the Valley Meats slaughter plant in Roswell, New Mexico today submitted a letter to the state Environmental Department withdrawing the plant’s application for a permit to operate a waste water discharge lagoon. The action would appear to mark the end of plans to reopen the former cattle slaughterhouse to slaughter horses, and takes place only a week before the final report of the hearing officer was to be released.

The plan to reopen the cattle plant as a horse slaughter plant had begun in 2011, following congressional reinstatement of USDA funding for required antemortem inspections. However, since the hearing in October of 2013, other setbacks had made the plant’s opening problematic. In January the omnibus budget had restored the prohibition on spending for inspections, and the 2015 appropriations bills in the Senate and House have continued that prohibition.

The battle over the issuance of the required permit was one of several legal struggles facing the plant. Additionally, the hearing officer had indicated that she intended to recommend against the permit on the basis of the history of violations by owner De Los Santos, when Valley Meats was slaughtering cattle.

At the time Valley Meats announced its intentions to slaughter horses it had been one of five plants with such plans. With the withdrawal of the application, Valley Meats appears to be the last to give up.

Dunn’s letter sites the “predatory litigation” brought by the New Mexico Attorney General’s office as well as the Humane Society and Front Range Equine Rescue as further reasons for the withdrawal.

EWA’s John Holland, who testified against the plant at the October hearing, explained: “In reality, the plant faced strong opposition from the state level all the way to the Obama administration where Vice President Biden and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack had strongly opposed the return of plants to the US.”

The last three horse slaughter plants in the US closed in 2007, but horses have continued to go to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. Almost 153,000 horses were exported to slaughter last year.

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 310 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,100 individual members worldwide in 22 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

Contacts:

John Holland
540-268-5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org

Vicki Tobin
630.961.9292
vicki@equinewelfarealliance.org

Update about ‘Defund and Stop the Wild Horse & Burro Roundups’ on Change.org

Dear Friends of Wild Horses and Burros,

Here is the latest problem we are facing to stop the roundups and protect all the threatened herds of wild horses living in freedom on public land:

We encourage the public to stop panicking and read everything they are asking their senators and representatives to do on their behalf.

Are wild horses really at risk of being slaughtered if they aren’t sterilized?

Is something in that form letter you received that you don’t agree with? Do you want wild horses sterilized using EPA approved restricted use pesticides?

These pesticides are not safe for domestic horses so why are they being pushed for use on wild horses? Are you giving up the fight for their freedom to live in natural family bands?

Why is an advocacy group encouraging their supporters to write members of Congress–via click and send form letter–asking them to sign on to the pledge to sterilize wild horses (already in non-viable herds) when BLM overpopulation claim is false?

We found their pitch citing a quote from the National Academy of Sciences 2013 report in their form letter being circulated around the Internet. It reads:
“…  Considering all the current options, [porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccines and GonaCon vaccine for females and chemical vasectomy for males] either alone or in combination, offer the most acceptable alternative to removing animals for managing population numbers…. ”

Even worse is the pledge they are requesting members of Congress sign and return the advocacy group’s office.

Senators and representatives will think the public wants “[porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccines and GonaCon vaccine for females and chemical vasectomy for males] either alone or in combination.” Is that what you want?

Or do you want to stop the roundups with a 10-year moratorium (suspension) on roundups for scientific research to investigate what’s the best way to manage the underpopulated herds of wild horses left in the West?

Why is this group pushing an elected official “pledge” to use “available fertility control” without scientific studies on population, migration, and holistic land management? What is going on here? Who is funding this scare-tactic-based campaign to sterilize America’s wild horses?

Why isn’t the group mentioning to members of Congress that the National Academy of Sciences report also said there is “no evidence” of overpopulation–why omit this?

Why hasn’t the group done any independent aerial or in-the-field research on population? Is it because it would not support the BLM’s faulty overpopulation claim?

See for yourself how many wild horses are left in the 800,000 acre Twin Peaks area during a recent aerial survey: VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/81195843. Read the scientific report exposing an underpopulation crisis on public land: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6278.

The group appears to know wild horses are not overpopulated. Recently they were quoted in an Associated Press article debunking the BLM’s overpopulation claim in comparison with livestock on public land.

Why then are they attempting to lead the public into blindly supporting a plan lacking good science–a plan calling for permanent and temporary sterility actions against indigenous wild horses?

Is the group alluding to a false risk of all wild horses going to slaughter if they aren’t sterilized?

Why create all the panic so people will quickly click, sign and share the pledge with their senators and congressional representatives asking them to “take the pledge” for sterilization, etc.? Is the public reading what they are signing on to?

Why is the group pushing for “fertility control”–using sterilizants passed by the EPA as “restricted use pest control”? Wild horses are a native species. How can restricted use pesticides be used on native species? Read more here: http://www.thedesertinde.com/Articles-2012/EPA-Calls-Wild-Horses-Pests–0511.html.

Many other valid concerns about PZP were brought up in this 2010 article as well: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2010/10/220.shtml#axzz2tlL9dGaX, and in Ecologist Craig Downer speaks out against using PZP in the Pryors: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4178.

Did you know that International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) wild horse herd study shows that functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

Even the National Academy of Sciences reported roundups resulted in abnormal increased birthrate. Are wild horses and burros fearing extinction now?

What if you follow the money?

Are American wild horses becoming lab rats for immunocontraceptives for other species including humans? Read the reference section at the bottom this research paper: http://randc.ovinfo.com/e200501/yuanmm.pdf.

How can man (BLM and others) decide which wild horses to sterilize on the range and who to breed? That would be the end of survival of the fittest and the beginning of domestication of the wild horse and burro.

Is the group’s paradigm flawed because it focuses on the individual wild horse and neglects to view the herd as most important–as the lifeblood?

Sanctuaries might need to sterilize wild horses because they have limited space but policy for native wild horses living in the wild should not be modeled after a sanctuary model–unless it is based on reserve design.

America’s native wild horses and burros are wild animals who benefit the ecosystem and fill their niche, reduce wildfire fuel, and help reverse desertification. They are not back alley cats that should be spayed and neutered because of an overpopulation problem. (No offense to cats.)

The alleged overpopulation problem for wild horses and burros is a farce.

Now the question is: What do we do to save the wild horses from those who are pushing for risky temporary and permanent sterilization using EPA approved “restricted use pesticides” on non-viable herds?

1.) Share this petition widely and don’t forget friends and family. http://www.change.org/petitions/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice

2.) Sign and share everywhere the petition for a moratorium on roundups for scientific research. http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-scientific-research?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice Good science will find real solutions to protect wild horses and burros on the range.

3.) Send an email to your senators and your representatives if you don’t want America’s wild horses to be sterilized. Let them know you didn’t read the fine print of the form letter you signed and sent to them, if that is the truth.

4.) Meet with your senator’s aides and your representative to request they intervene in the wipe-out of America’s wild horses and burros by defunding the roundups and granting a 10-year moratorium on roundups for scientific research on population, migration, reserve design, holistic land management, etc.

5.) Visualize miracles of wild horses living in natural family bands in freedom.

Remember don’t let anyone scare you into believing wild horses are going to be slaughtered if they aren’t sterilized. Fight the good fight for our symbols of freedom and our national living treasures–America’s wild horses and burros.

Links of interest:

Contact your senators and representatives: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Petition for a Moratorium on Roundups: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-scientific-research?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice

The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences by Craig C. Downer: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

American wild horses are indigenous: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3842 and http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

January 26, 2014 Washington Post (Viral) U.S. looking for ideas to help manage wild-horse overpopulation: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-looking-for-ideas-to-help-manage-wild-horse-overpopulation/2014/01/26/8cae7c96-84f2-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

Ecologist Craig Downer speaks out against using PZP in the Pryors: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4178

International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) herds show that functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057
Public outraged over the EPA approving pesticides for NATIVE wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3866

GASLAND 2, a film by Josh Fox, the plight of wild horses is featured: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

Wild Horses and Renegades, a film by James Anaquad Kleinert: http://theamericanwildhorse.com/

EPA calls wild horses pests, Desert Independent: http://www.thedesertinde.com/Articles-2012/EPA-Calls-Wild-Horses-Pests–0511.html

Protect Mustangs’ letter requesting EPA repair error classifying iconic American wild horses “pests”: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=1191

EPA Pesticide Information for ZonaStat-H: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

AVMA Reports: Vaccine could reduce wild horse overpopulation: http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/apr12/120415k.asp

Wildlife fertility vaccine approved by EPA: http://www.sccpzp.org/blog/locally-produced-wildlife-contraceptive-vaccine-approved-by-epa/

Oxford Journal on PZP for Humans and more: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/12/3271.long
PZP research for humans http://randc.ovinfo.com/e200501/yuanmm.pdf

Wild horse predators: http://sg.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080302002619AADTWzh

Princeton reports: Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in search for food: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S32/93/41K10/index.xml?section=featured

Visit our website: www.ProtectMustangs.org

Contact us if you want to help the wild horses and burros survive the politics that are trying to bring them down. We need volunteers, donors and people to help get this petition out there! Email Contact@ProtectMustangs.org.

Thank you for helping the wild horses and burros by signing and sharing the Petition to Defund and Stop the Roundups!

The star studded documentary, ‘Wild Horses and Renegades’ by James Anaquad Kleinert requests a moratorium on roundups.  See the video clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay1FUpzBIGs.

It’s time to pick the torch back up and continue the fight. Never give up. We the people must take back the power for the voiceless wild ones we love!

Please share this petition far and wide: http://www.change.org/petitions/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice

Together we can turn this around.

In gratitude,
Anne Novak
Executive Director of Protect Mustangs
www.ProtectMustangs.org

Omnibus Budget Will End Chances of Horse Slaughter Plants Opening in US

L-R: State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, Victoria McCullough, and Vice President Joe Biden.

CHICAGO, (EWA) – The omnibus bill pending before Congress this week contains language that will end the possibility of proposed horse slaughter plants opening in New Mexico and Missouri. The last three plants were closed in 2007 under state laws, and Congress had defunded required inspections which made it impossible for them to open in other states until 2011.

In 2011, the GAO produced a report claiming that these closures had caused a dramatic increase in the rate of abuse and neglect. This report was used by members of a small conference subcommittee to justify stripping the defunding language that had been placed in the 2012 House Agriculture budget but not in the Senate version. The GAO report was later discovered by EWA to have been falsified.

The new defunding language contains not only defunding, but also a stipulation that funding not be restored until and unless the Food and Drug Administration makes a determination that meat from American horses can be made safe to enter the food supply. The FDA regulates which drugs are safe in meat animals as well as their withdrawal times. The FDA currently categorizes horses as companion (non-food) animals. Such a determination would most probably require a reduction in the drugs available to treat horses and an increase in the required tracking of such treatments as is currently done with meat animals.

Defunding language was passed by both the House and the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committees in 2013 with super majorities, but neither budget reached the floor for a full vote. Last week with key support from Vice President Biden and congressional leaders, the defunding language was put into the omnibus bill.

“Victoria McCullough was the one who made this happen,” explains EWA President John Holland. “It was the fact that Victoria, an accomplished international equestrian and CEO of Chesapeake Petroleum, was spending her own fortune without regard for any personal gain that I believe gave her the credibility to accomplish this.”

In a conversation with EWA, McCullough asked that her gratitude go out to the many friends of horses in government who helped her, including VP Biden, Frank Biden, State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (FL), Rep. Tom Rooney (FL), Senator Mikulski (MD), Senator Mark Kirk (IL), Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Jessica Feingold-Lieberson and many others.

The success of this effort surprised many in Washington, since this budget has uncharacteristically little in the way of riders. Separate legislation will be needed to be passed to stop the export of US horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 310 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,100 individual members worldwide in 22 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

Contacts:

John Holland
540-268-5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org

Vicki Tobin
630.961.9292
vicki@equinewelfarealliance.org

Missouri Turns Away from Horse Slaughter

January 5, 2014 – CHICAGO, (EWA) – Missouri, one of four states where horse slaughter plants were planned, is no longer on that list. On January 4, 2014, the Rains Natural Meats Company quietly filed a motion to dismiss their appeal with the Missouri Environmental Department, which had issued the Company a discharge permit that excluded equines. The move leaves only Valley Meats in New Mexico still fighting to open a plant.

The battle in Missouri started in Mountain Grove in early 2012 where it was immediately opposed by citizens organized by attorney Cynthia McPherson and other community leaders. The effort, led by Sue Wallis, next targeted a shuttered slaughter plant near Rockville, MO. In Rockville, despite early support from some town leaders, the effort also amounted to nothing.

Finally, the announcement was made that the Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin would be slaughtering horses. In 2013 they received a permit from the USDA for the required meat inspections, leading to almost constant speculation as to when the plant would open. Now it appears they too have dropped their attempt in light of intense local resistance and the fact that Congress may once again defund the required inspections.

“Missouri has been spared a most unpleasant, unprofitable and debasing experience,” said EWA’s president John Holland, and we all have many people to thank. “We are particularly grateful to Front Range Equine Rescue and HSUS for their incredible legal battle to defeat this attempt to bring back horse slaughter.”

Holland also extended particular thanks to the influential Busch family, who built the Anheuser-Busch brewing company that has become known for ads featuring its remarkable Clydesdale horses. Andrew, Billy, Adolphus and Peter, used their extensive political and business connections to help turn the state away from becoming the first in seven years to slaughter horses.

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 310 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,100 individual members worldwide in 22 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

Contacts:

John Holland
540-268-5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org

Vicki Tobin
630.961.9292
vicki@equinewelfarealliance.org

Horse Slaughter Plant Approved in New Mexico

In a disturbing move that opens the door for horse slaughter to resume across the U.S., a federal court ruling just gave a New Mexico slaughterhouse the green light to kill horses. This is the first time a horse slaughter plant has been approved to operate on U.S. soil since 2007. Companies in Iowa and Missouri also plan to open horse slaughterhouses. While the Court of Appeal granted a temporary injunction, we need to push for an all-out ban.

Now, more than ever, your legislators need to hear from you in support of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act! The SAFE Act would ban horse slaughter in the U.S., as well as banning the export of horses to other countries to be slaughtered for human consumption. Please contact your legislators today to urge them to support the SAFE Act. It is important that legislators know that their constituents support the humane treatment of America’s wild and domestic horses.

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

Navajo Nation Reverses Position and Now Is against Horse Slaughtering

Black Mesa, AZ (September 16, 2013) – The Nohooká Dine’, Elders and Medicine People of the Dine’, unanimously approved a Resolution opposing any and all action that leads to the slaughter of horses. The Horse is sacred to the Dine’ and is a central part of our culture and tradition. The Resolution, approved on August 26th, states in part that “The Great Horse Nation is a part of the Great Covenant. As a supernatural being, it possesses incredible power. It is inextricably tied to our spiritual way of life and our cultural traditions. When our children are born our families look to the horse spirit to see what they have delivered to us. If we fail to honor the place of the horse in our spiritual way of life and in our cultural traditions, then we jeopardize the very cycle that renews the life of our people. The Horse must be given respect and honored for their sacred place within the Creation, as they possess the same fundamental right to Life as we, Five Finger Ones, do.”

This past week, a spokesman for the Navajo Nation administration affirmed this position. During an interview on the radio program Native American Calling, Communication Director Erny Zah stated that: “Slaughtering is not a solution. As the Navajo Nation we are against slaughtering of these horses.”(Airdate – Thursday, September 12, 2013.)

“This statement from the Navajo Nation administration is more aligned with who we are as Dine’ people,” stated Leland Grass of the Dine’ for Wild Horses. “We urge the Navajo Nation to formally adopt a moratorium on horse slaughtering and to only legally contract with horse buyers that agree not to sell horses for slaughter or not to slaughter the horses themselves.” The people of the Navajo Nation were encouraged by Zah’s statement. There has been great concern over past comments that have been made by Navajo Nation President, Ben Shelly. He once voiced concern that the horses were causing environmental damage. These claims appear to have been based on misinformation. We are encouraged to see a shift toward conscientious resource management. The amount of money that is currently being spent to round up the wild horses for slaughter is capable of feeding and watering those animals for years. Grass believes that the Navajo Nation “could use these animals to teach our children;, we can care for them; we can sell them to people and organizations that don’t want to torture them.”

The Nohooká Dine resolution urges the Navajo Nation to be mindful of the foundations of their cultural and spiritual way of life. It concludes by stating: “The Nohooká Dine’ strongly urges Navajo Nation President, Ben Shelly, The Navajo Nation Council, The Navajo Nation Judicial Branch, US Department of Interior, and US Department of Agriculture to stop the desecration and destruction of the Dine’ Way of Life and Spiritual Foundation by recklessly promoting and supporting the round-up and mass execution of our spiritual relative the Horse.

“We are sending the Resolution to all legislators in Washington, DC to show our support for the Horse and to urge them to pass the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, currently pending before Congress,” said Grass. “While it is important for protecting the Horse within the Navajo Nation, a national bill is critical to ensure there is no incentive for horses to be taken from our lands or elsewhere in the United States for slaughter.”

For more information, contact:
Leland Grass, sacred4s@hotmail.com

Saving America’s Mustangs
www.SavingAmericasMustangs.org

Press Conference to Address Horse Welfare Issues Will Be Held on Opening Day of International Equine Conference

September 18, 2013 – Lexington, Kentucky (EWA) – The Third Annual International Equine Conference, hosted by the Equine Welfare Alliance, will be held September 27-29 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

On the opening day of the conference, Friday September 27, horse welfare organizations will come together to hold a special press conference to provide expert information on equine welfare to the media and advocates that cannot attend the full conference.

Michael Blowen, owner and founder of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Facility, will open the press conference. Participating in the press conference will be key individuals from The Equine Welfare Alliance, Respect4Horses, the Cloud Foundation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Wild Horses of the Abacos, and the Humane Society of the United States.

The press conference will cover the potential re-opening of horse slaughter plants in America, BLM’s mismanagement of America’s wild horses and burros, horse tripping, the over breeding of horses and other current issues pertaining to equine welfare.

Where:
Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm
1841 Paynes Depot Road
Georgetown, KY
502.863.1775

When:
Friday, September 27, 2013 from 11:00a to 12:00p

All press, media and public are welcome to attend the Press conference. Refreshments will be served.  Please be seated at 11:00a.

After the Press Conference, the three day International Equine conference will continue with a tour of Three Chimneys farm in Midway, Kentucky, Old Friends Farm and a meet and greet reception at 7:00p at The Kentucky Horse Park. On Saturday, presentations will commence and will end on Sunday. The soon to be released documentary “America’s Wild Horses” will also be previewed at the International Equine Conference.

For the agenda, list of presenters, additional information or to register, please visit www.equinewelfarealliance.org.

The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, all volunteer 501(c)(4) umbrella organization representing over 300 member organizations and over 1,000 individual members worldwide in 21 countries. EWA and its members are involved in a grass roots effort dedicated to ending the slaughter of American Horses and the preservation and protection of our Wild Horses & Burros on public lands. www.equinewelfarealliance.org

Respect4Horses is a horse welfare organization whose goals include providing information and documentation to educate the public, the media and legislators in order to promote changes in legislation in regards to current horse welfare issues such as horse slaughter and the roundups of our last remaining wild horses and burros. www.respect4horses.com

Wild Horse Freedom Federation is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)(3) status.  WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands.  www.wildhorsefreedomfederation.org

The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands with a focus on Cloud’s herd in the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana. www.thecloudfoundation.org

Old Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing a dignified retirement to Thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. By promoting these one-time celebrated horses through a campaign of education and tourism, we hope to raise awareness of all equines in need.  www.oldfriendsequine.org

The Wild Horses of Abaco organization is dedicated to saving the Wild Horses of Abaco, the world’s most endangered breed with only one mare, Nunki, remaining. Abaco is the northernmost of the larger Bahama Islands located of the southeast Florida coast of the United States.  http://arkwild.org/blog/

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We’re there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – on the Web at humanesociety.org.

Contacts:

Simone Netherlands, Respect4Horses
928.925.7212
simone@respect4Horses.com

John Holland
540-268-5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org

Ft. McDermitt Unbranded Wild Horses Saved

Team effort secures a future for slaughter bound mustangs

RENO, Nev. (August 23, 2013) – On Wednesday, US District Court Judge, Miranda Du, lifted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which allowed for the sale of 149 unbranded wild horses captured by the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe in northern Nevada. Realizing that these unbranded wild horses were likely bound for slaughter in Canada and Mexico, Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation (TCF) reached out to Victoria McCullough of the Triumph Project in Wellington, Florida. McCullough in turn asked Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo to begin negotiating with the tribe and an offer was accepted today.

Behind the scenes, this effort was a collaboration of not only the Cloud Foundation but other organizations committed to horse protection. These include Suzanne Roy and Deniz Bolbol of American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), Ellie Phipps Price, a northern California businesswoman, Madeleine Pickens of Saving America’s Mustang, Jim Hart of Liberty for Horses, Sally Summers of Horse Power, and Neda DeMayo of Return to Freedom, who agreed to provide homes for the 149 animals, which includes 16 mares with foals.

“What an incredible, collaborative effort by all involved,” said Ginger Kathrens. “Acting as a team, and with Victoria’s tremendous support, we are able ensure a future for mustangs that were a heartbeat away from a long journey to slaughter.”

Through the collaborative efforts of the wild horse advocacy groups, and private parties, the purchase of all 149 wild horses has been negotiated. The horses will be going to their permanent and temporary homes in California and Nevada today and tomorrow.

This purchase would not have been necessary if the US Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) weren’t negligent in their duties to protect wild horses and burros as charged by the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The Wild Horse & Burro Act imposes criminal liability for “willfully” removing wild horses from public lands converting wild horses to private use, maliciously causing the harassment of a wild horse or selling a wild horse on private land. This entire roundup should have been stopped by the BLM and USFS until they determined that no wild horses would be included. Instead, the very agencies charged with protecting our wild horses turned their backs.

Initially the USFS planned to bankroll the helicopter roundup of horses from USFS, BLM and reservation land and transport of horses to a slaughter auction, but the USFS issued a “stand down” when TCF, AWHPC, Return to Freedom, and Western Watersheds threatened to file suit for noncompliance with environmental regulations and violation of first amendment rights. Unfortunately the tribe proceeded with the roundup and removal with the intention of selling all the horses at the Fallon Auction house, known for selling to kill buyers.

Both the USFS and tribal members claimed that all the horses were domestic and owned by the tribe, but after examining each of the 467 horses, 149 were discovered to be unbranded. Under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States. The horses were rounded up in an area only a few miles from the Little Owyhee Herd Management Area, and many were driven onto the reservation from federal land with BLM and Forest Service approval.

“The entire deal was fraught with subterfuge. Had it not been for the secret leaking out, all of the horses rounded up would have been transported to a slaughter auction at taxpayer expense,” states Kathrens. “This is a blatant misuse of American taxpayer dollars. With 80% of Americans opposed to slaughter, why should taxpayer dollars be used to fulfill this action?”

Over 300 branded horses were sold at auction on Saturday. Approximately 150 were purchased by local residents and rescue groups, the remainder were purchased by kill buyers.

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

A Statistical Analysis of Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis

Hi, my name is John Holland, and I am a data-holic. I usually spend my day furtively downloading statistics and information, analyzing it, graphing it, correlating it and trying to glean insights into the true workings of the horse world.

But today is different. Today, I was inspired to opine by a thing of great rarity in our struggle; a well-researched article. It appeared in the Saint Louis Post Dispatch titled Horse slaughterhouse plans stalled in Missouri and it convinced me we are winning this struggle, at least for the moment.

No, the article did not contain a new revelation about the outcome of a court case, or the result of a vote. It contained something even more telling: It documented Sue Wallis slipping beyond the gravitational pull of reality and into an alternate universe of anti-logic, where up is down and dark is light.

Sue begins the interview with her now familiar claim that she chose Missouri because, “If you draw a 500-mile circle from western Missouri you encapsulate 30 percent of the horse herd in the U.S.” After musing over the concept of the US horse population constituting a single “herd”, I began wondered where she got this statistic.

You see, Sue and I share different forms of compulsion. I am a compulsive fact checker while Sue is a compulsive fact creator. So I ran the numbers and the result I got was 23.6% of the US horse population being within 500 miles (as the crow flies) of western Missouri.

This means Sue’s exaggeration coefficient for this statement is 27% (i). This modest exaggeration would prove to be her perigee with reality before she would slingshot past it and off into the abyss of deep space.

After describing the law suit that had resulted in the Cole County judge’s directive to the Department of Natural Resources to hold off on issuing Rains the discharge permit, the story returned to the interview with Sue.

“The horse industry has been decimated,” Wallis said. “We have worthless horses being turned out and abandoned.”

As I read this, I again felt compelled to calibrate Wallis’ definition of decimation. The original term came from quaint custom of the Roman army by which they would execute every tenth soldier of a disgraced unit so as to improve morale. Was every tenth horse in America being abandoned?

The only state I could find that keeps abandonment data is New Mexico. During my research, they provided me with a very detailed list of all the estray horses they had picked up since 2006. Last year they picked up exactly 124 horses. Given the estimated 147,181 horses in New Mexico, this means that the abandonment rate is 0.06% or one horse in every 1,186. Since decimation would be one in ten (10%), Sue’s exaggeration coefficient had suddenly rocketed from 27% to 16,666%.

Parroting the discredited 2011 GAO report, Wallis went on to say “People take care of animals that have value. It’s when they don’t that they neglect them.”

This was the conjecture used to excuse why the GAO studied horse prices instead of actually studying neglect as it had been assigned to do. It is, of course, utter nonsense. Few household pets have any monetary value, yet most people take good care of them.

It gets better. “Every breed registry is down 70 percent since 2007. Fewer colts are being born,” Wallis said.

Apparently Wallis has data I have not seen, data showing among other things that only the birth rate of colts is in decline. Is there some strange gender asymmetry going on here? Or is it possible that the Executive Director of the International Equine Business Association, the expert of CNN interviews and countless articles does not know that colts are males and the proper term would have been foals?

As for “every breed registry being off 70% since 2007”, Sue’s exaggeration coefficient is pretty substantial. According to the Jockey Club, thoroughbred foal registrations are off 34.5%, not 70%. Some breeds appear to have been almost unaffected, but the AQHA’s annual report does show about a 49% reduction in foal registrations from its peak in 2007.

The pattern with Quarter Horses is a familiar one for those of us who have been around the horse world for a few decades. Breeds come into favor, resulting in indiscriminant breeding spurred on by the greed of their breed registry. Then the bubble bursts. Just before the decline began, the then executive vice president of the AQHA, Bill Brewer, gave an impassioned speech at their annual convention urging more breeding so there would be “enough good horses in the future”.

A great breed has been degraded in the process. Quarter Horses now commonly suffer from a wide range of maladies such as GBED, HERDA, HYPP, and Navicular. The most common complaint of owners is that they “bred the feet off them.” This could explain why AQHA membership is down 18.6% since 2007. I wondered to myself, would Sue suggest killing off a bunch of their remaining members as a solution to the decline?

Sue continues, “That’s 70 percent less feed being sold, 70 percent fewer jobs, 70 percent fewer veterinarians.”

Apparently Sue believes that a short term drop in foal (excuse me – colt) births means that the whole horse population suddenly drops by the same percentage. Despite Sue’s best efforts, horses do often live well into their 20s and beyond, meaning that recent foal crops would represent only a few percent of the population.

With a nearly 50% decrease in foals, the population of registered quarter horses dropped from 3,218,113 in 2007 to 2,978,776 in 2012 according to the AQHA annual reports, a decline of just 7.4%. Here Sue gets an exaggeration coefficient of 945%.

But at this point her thinking turns to what I will call anti-logic, because if it came into contact with rational thought the two would annihilate each other with a thunderous clap, probably decapitating their host. She is proclaiming that all of this devastation is because we have too few horses as a direct result of not killing enough of them! This would be laughable if 2012 had not seen more US horses slaughtered than any year since 1994!

One survival strategy of prey animals is to synchronize their birthing so as to overwhelm their predators. Sue has adopted this strategy with her spontaneously created facts. She spews so many at one time that at least a few have a good chance to get past us unchallenged.

At this point in the interview, Sue seems to sense her interviewer is not buying her nonsense. So she throws her hyperbole engine into warp drive, saying, “This has wrecked communities — all because of the elitist snooty arrogance of this bunch of people telling us what’s culturally acceptable to eat.”

The community of Boggy Bottom, the neighborhood behind the Dallas Crown slaughter house, was truly devastated by the pollution, stench and crime caused by the plant. I witnessed it firsthand. But where is Sue’s example of a community devastated by a lack of slaughter? Apparently with anti-logic you automatically get an anti-logic twin to Boggy Bottom, at least in the brain of Sue Wallis.

It is impossible for me to calculate the exaggeration factor for this statement because, since there is no truth at all to be exaggerated, it would require dividing by zero. I think I now fully understand Einstein’s quote about only the universe and human stupidity being infinite.

Yet the second half of the outburst is the most interesting of all.

Sue had apparently learned that the influential Busch brothers (former owners of Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch) had thrown their considerable weight into the battle on the side of the horses. Victoria McCullough had sent them a link to our report How the GAO deceived Congress, and Victoria said she thinks the outrage at this government deceit had caused them to weigh in.

Lately there has been an avalanche of high profile support for ending horse slaughter completely. In the government sector, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Vilsack have all come out against horse slaughter. At the state level, New Mexico’s Governor Susana Martinez, former governor Bill Richardson, Attorney General Gary King and others have spoken up for the horses. Celebrities such as the incredibly influential Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg have also taken a stand.

But most aggravating of all for Sue are the “snooty, arrogant billionaires”. This is because Sue knows that the money from big agriculture was the only advantage she had in this battle. Internationally known equestrian Victoria McCullough and her “snooty arrogant” friends are serving to balance the scales by using their resources to multiply the impact of the tireless grass roots work of thousands of horse lovers and animal welfare organizations. This combination may well bring Slaughterhouse Sue crashing back to reality.

(i) How does a 6.4% error become an exaggeration factor of 27%?

Use this formula ((30-23.6)*100)/23.6), or ask your friendly local nerd.

Contact:
John Holland
540-268-5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org