Tag Archives: wild horses

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

Dr. Phil McLoughlin, Sable Island Wild Horse Expert, to Visit Because of Horses March 1

Photo by Dr. Phil McLoughlin.

Dr. Phil McLoughlin, a population ecologist from the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Biology, has been studying Sable Island’s wild horses since 2007. With the help of students and colleagues, he has named and kept track of the life histories and movements of nearly 900 animals over 12 years of research. Renowned for its history of shipwreck and its rugged, wind-swept coastline, tiny Sable Island is considered the home of one of the last remaining herds of completely wild horses in the world.

The 550 horses currently living on Sable Island are the descendants of animals first introduced in the mid-1700s. Their existence is a matter of extreme pride to the people of Nova Scotia, and the Sable Island horse has been noted as a breed of significant conservation interest due to their distinct genetic heritage. Human presence on Sable Island is limited to a handful of scientists, tourists, and the managers of the meteorological station. Its horses have never been handled or managed in any way for over 30 generations.

Using non-invasive techniques, Dr. McLoughlin has taken advantage of this unique outdoor laboratory to better understand how biological and ecological isolation has impacted these special animals. The horses are Sable Island’s only terrestrial mammal and unlike many other wild herds, they are free from predation, interspecific competition, and human influence.

Dr. McLoughlin’s Sable Island research has helped to initiate a new program to better manage populations of feral horses in the Alberta foothills. His work has further implications for the improved management of domesticated horses, from understanding the genetic challenges of closed studbooks to improving best practices which promote equine well-being.

Listen to Elise’s conversation Friday, March 1.

For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.

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

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

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

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

Read the full nomination details.

How can you help?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering War Bonnet

Photo: War Bonnet with Chance as a foal, 1998.

Trips to the Pryors with Ginger often surprise and delight. Just a few weeks ago, blanketed with snow, the rugged landscape looked like a winter wonderland and I found myself marveling at how many generations of wild horses have lived – and died – in this precious untamed wilderness.

During this most recent trip, however, Ginger and I faced a sad goodbye. One of the matriarchs of the mountain, War Bonnet, passed away during our stay. After 26 years of living wild and free, it appeared that she passed quietly, laying down at the foot of a juniper and simply saying “farewell”.

Join Ginger and her wild mustang Trace – War Bonnet’s son – as they remember this special Pryor Mountain mare.

Dana Zarrello
Deputy Director
The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Help us keep War Bonnet’s descendants, and all the Pryor mustangs, wild and free in their mountain home. We can’t do this work without your generous support, and we are so appreciative of all that you do to help us preserve our wildlife and wild lands. Make a Donation.

Forest Service Adoption Event Poses Potential Health Hazard

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

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

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

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

Your voice is needed to protect these vulnerable animals!

What you can do to help

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

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

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

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

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

Act now to protect these animals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BY ABBIE BENNETT 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of this article HERE.

BLM Backs Down on Removing Horses from Pryor Mountain

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

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

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

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

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

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