Shocking meeting minutes reveal Nevada wants to slaughter wild horses

Reno: Damonte wild horses trapped w/ cruelty

Issue: The Nevada Board of Agriculture minutes reveal a discussion on how to open up a horse slaughter plant for the Virginia Range horses.Date: January 3,2013For some months horse advocates have predicted two things. That the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s claims that they aren’t trying to sell horses for slaughter is the pure nonsense that it is, and that the end game is to test public opinion to see if the public would stomach having our free-roaming horses go to the slaughterhouses.In reality advocates apparently underestimated theactual situation. After struggling to get documents from the Department of Agriculture, Carrol Abelhas been going through the minutes of meetings of the Board of Agriculture and is discovering that some startling conversations have taken place.The minutes also reveal that the Department of Agriculture is flat lying to the public when they put out statements that horses that they dump off the livestock auction aren’t at risk of going to the slaughter buyers.

The following text is from the December 6th, 2011 meeting of the Nevada Board of Agriculture. A complete copy of the minutes can be downloaded here.

We chose to print the entire discussion about the Virginia Range horses in order to provide more complete context. The slaughterhouse issue, and references to discussions with Governor Sandoval, start in the 5th paragraph.

(Typos that appear below are the same as they appear in the minutes.)



Name of Organization:           Nevada Board of Agriculture

Date and Time of Meeting:	December 6, 2011

Place of Meeting:	        Nevada Department of Agriculture
                                405 S. 21st  Street
                                Sparks, Nevada  89431

Minutes December 6, 2011

Board Members Present:	        Board Members Absent:

Alan Perazzo, Chairman          Ramona Morrison
Paul Anderson
Dean Baker
Charlie Frey
Grady Jones
Paul Noe
Jim Snyder
Boyd Spratling
Dave Stix, Jr.
Hank Vogler

Staff Members Present:	        Guests:

Jim Barbee                      Don Alt,NLSA
Bryan Stockton                  Jerry Lentz
Mark Jensen                     John M. Wildlife
Jay Ludlow                      Trish Swain, Trail Safe
Joann Mothershead, Elko         Joey Hastings, Governor's Office
Jodi Protopappas                Audry Spratling
                                Doug Busselman, NV Farm Bureau
                                Don Molde
                                Billy Howard, Trail Safe

(Jump to item in Director's Report, bottom of Page 3.)

October 4, 2011- conference call meeting with Board to go to
workshop.  Met with Dept. of corrections and worked thru Gov
office dealing with VR Horse issues.  Horses up for sale at the
Stewart Correctional facility we are giving the horse advocacy
groups an opportunity at the horse we have collected first come
first serve, identified cost to Agriculture to collect horses in
traps take horses to prison, feed, processing, branding on left
hip if they do not buy horses today then horses will be
transported to fallon on Wednesday can't afford to hold and feed
horses with the budget restraints we are in.  We will continue
to keep horses off the roadway for public safety.  We continue
to have horses hit on the highway.  Don Alt shared that along 95
route looking at completing fence line by dept. of 
transporation.  Word from DOT putting in a horse underpass past
moundhouse around stagecoach area that will hopefully help with 
the horses coming across the roadway.

October 13,2011-  met with Amy Lueder, USDA re: V. Range issues
felt there is a connection between the pinenut herd and the
Lahontan herd areas.  They are adamate there is no genetic
connection between those horses and Carson river keeps horses
from moving back and forth.  I have walked across the Carson
river when things are pretty dry, Director questions that stand. 
They are willing to support us with equipment, traps but they 
believe they have no responsibility or liablility with the horses
that are on the Virginia Range.

Dave Sticks Jr. comment: -for the record can you tell everyone
where the funding is coming for for state personnel to do this?

Barbee answers: Animal identification which is fee based thru
Brands, and registrations, certificates, trip permits is the fee
source.  Advertised price for this mornings sale is 90.00 per

Charlie Frey comment, question: for the record: - Have you had
meetings with Governor re: the slaughter of horses, how is public 
conception being changed?

Jim Barbee:  Briefly talked about it.  Have not seen it as huge
impact relative to VR horses immediately.

Charlie Frey: Thought if we could create demand it would take
some of the responsibility off this dept. and open up a market
place.  I think it is something for the general public to
consider in view that overseas some of that meat is real good

Jim Barbee:  response:  We are continuing based on motion you
guys passed 2 meetings ago to look at other opportunities to the
dept of Ag managing the VR horses, working with AG's office
regarding statutes and what option we have there and continuing
to work with Gov office on ideas and ways we could more
appropriately transfer that authority to a better place.

Dean Baker for the record:  Put on agenda to say ability to
slaughter horses because we are agriculture and it is an 
important thing to do.  It would cause up controversy and 
problems there are many putting that out.  I am not pushing this
just putting idea out.

Jim Barbee: As I understand it with the uplifting of the band it
is anywhere that you have a slaughter house it is legal now.

Dean Baker:  But if we supported it, legislators couldn't do
anything in legislation about wild horses like the water thing,
they got hammered in the ground.  We would not get hammered the
same way it would be a subject we could put out.

Boyd Spratling:  Financial strategy on getting slaughter house
going because that is when the river is going to meet the road
is when they slaughter the first horse.  Think looking at
putting facilities on Indian reservations which takes
legislature and everybody out of the equation.

Dean Baker: I would hope it might some help to some of the
legislators if the Board of Agriculture would take a clear
position.  Just throwing it out.

Dave Styx Jr:  I think we should trust that the private sector
will handle this eventually if slaughters increase, need to talk
with Gov office have to be careful where this Board goes with
that because it may take care of itself, however brings up issue 
you need to be prepared as well as the Governor that prior to 
today there has only been 1 buyer at the sale yards purchasing
horses and that is why market is so bad.  This could increase
more buyers at the sale like 10 years ago.  If we take VR horses
to the sale we need to be prepared for that.  Right now with 1
buyer everyone knows where those horses are going.

Jim Barbee:  I think you are right about how it will play out in
private industry but one would assume that it would affect that
issue and we have to make justifications one way or another.



Paragraph Eleven in This discussion serves as a good exampleas to why members serving on any policy making bodies need to be elected and be directly accountable to the voters! Those whoare appointed to secure positionsappear to get the sense that they can do anything they want.Carrol will likely file a more complete report once she goes throughadditional documents.


Persons trapping horses for the Nevada Department of Agriculture
demonstrate how to bring in an approx. 3 week old foal. (NOT!)
Get twine aruond its neck.
Choke it and drag it.
Then shove it when it resists.

Where they go…


If you have an opinion on this issue, you can express it to the following officials:

Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell (runs the BLM)

Bring signs and bullhorns March 26, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. outside Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley Campus 2222 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720 Info on Secretary Jewell’s panel discussion

Secretary Jewell

Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Phone: (202) 208-3100


President Obama


Help save Nevada’s Virginia Range wild horses from cruelty and probable slaughter

The public around the world is outraged at the photos showing cruelty toward young native wild horses.

We want Governor Sandoval to stop allowing the Nevada Department of Agriculture to let citizens cruelly trap wild horses.

We strongly encourage you to call, email and/or fax Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval,

Office Phone: (775) 684-5670

Office Fax: (775) 684-5683

The baby horse was manhandled–the men put twine around her neck and inhumanely pulled her into the trap. Next the Nevada Department of Agriculture processes the wild horses and sells them at an auction where kill buyers shop for horses to sell to slaughter. This is heinous!

Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund has been buying all the Virginia Range wild horses at the auction. They are saving them (125+) but they are a small volunteer nonprofit and can’t afford to do this anymore unless you help them to help the wild horses in this crisis.

What’s the long term answer? Cooperative agreements with Nevada and local advocate groups such as Hidden Valley to help those wild horses labelled a nuisance by developers because urban sprawl has encroached on the mustangs’ wild lands.

Nevada is a fence out state. Developers, such as the one who hired the men in the photo to catch wild horses, should fence out their property if they don’t want wildlife on their land.

Native wild horses should never be treated this way. Nevada needs to stop this condoned cruelty now.

Here is a comment from the photographer:

Bo Rodriguez says:

“The foal was three weeks old, an the developers DiLoreto and Damonte are responsible for this also. They have allowed an continue to allow Nevada Department of Agriculture to trap horses on their properties. I have photos of them there at the trap an heard Mr Damonte say he didn’t care for the horses, an wanted them all gone. Tom DiLorreto said he followed states guide lines to the tee. But as you can see, the state must have changed its policy of handling animals humanly to do what you have to, to get rid of it an get the money from the kill buyers as fast as you can.

I did not enjoy taking these photos of the three week old foal being drug around by a piece of bailing twin, it was a long and traumatic for both protesters and horses. There has to be a better solution.”

Please send your donations directly to Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund so they can keep saving the Virginia Range wild horses from going to slaughter. The link is here:

Thank you for taking action to save Nevada’s wild horses from cruelty and probable slaughter.

All my best wishes,

Anne Novak
Executive Director of Protect Mustangs


Wild horse fans worldwide outraged over photos showing cruelty in Nevada

3 week foal under attack

3 week foal under attack by hired security ~ picture by Bo Rodriques

Reno Wild Horse Advocates are not only outraged by the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s war against the Virgina Range horses but also the documented cruelty exhibited with the manhandling of the these wild horses upon capture.

R.T. Fitch received testimonials and pictures regarding the inhumane practices of the Ag dept. and developer Diloretto from outraged advocates.

Included, here, are two photos of hired gun security cruelly manhandling a 3 month old foal at the Ag Dept trap on private land.  This needs to stop and it needs to stop now.

We strongly encourage you to call, email and/or fax Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval,

Office Phone: (775) 684-5670
OfficeFax: (775) 684-5683


photo by Bo Rodriques

and let him know, even if you do not live in Nevada, that you do not approve of the state’s attack upon the Virginia range horses and that you will spread the negative news far and wide until such actions cease.

Likewise, please contact the office of the Department of Agriculture’s Director Jim Barbee and express your concern.

Office Phone: 775-353-3600
Office Fax: 775-668-1178

Please remember that these captured horses will go to auction and historically, if not rescued by advocates, will be purchased by kill buyers and go to slaughter, that is a given.

Cross-posted from Straight from The Horses Heart

Breaking News: Historic Virginia City wild horses going to auction October 24

Protect Mustangs (Photo by Cat Kindsfather)

Iconic wild horses will need adopters

Famous for the classic TV series, Bonzanza, Virginia City’s wild horses have been trapped and are being processed to be sold at an auction frequented by kill-buyers.

On Oct 24th, twenty-nine Virginia Range wild horses are going to be sold by the State of Nevada at the Fallon Livestock Auction.

Historic Virginia Range wild horses are loosing their freedom due to urban sprawl. Wild horses create biodiversity on the range and reduce fuel for wildfires.

“Nevada has a four legged goldmine but they don’t realize it,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “These native grazers reduce the fuel for multimillion dollar wildfires. Tourists from around the world love taking photographs of historic wild horses living in freedom–living symbols of the wild West. We hope Nevada will get hip to their assets on the range and stop selling them off to the highest bidder.”

Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund will spearhead the rescue lead by Shannon Windle. Protect Mustangs will lend their support to help save the historic wild horses from going to slaughter for human consumption.

Last month 53 Virginia Range wild horses were trapped and sent to the auction. All the horses were rescued thanks to a huge team effort Lead by Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund with Protect Mustangs, Let ‘Em Run, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Least Resistance Training Concepts, HorsePower, Starlight Sanctuary, other groups and individuals around the world.

Read about it in New Zealand’s Horsetalk and Australia’s HorseYard.

Adoption information is here. Contact if you want to adopt a wild horse or two.

Contact Governor Sandoval if you don’t like Nevada removing indigenous wild horses and selling them at an auction with kill-buyers. Let them know if you are from out of state or out of the country because Nevada seems to care about tourism.

Politely ask Governor Sandoval to step in–to stop the removals and the sales. Ask him to RELOCATE all the wild horses who have been trapped already by the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDOA) and bring them food and water if needed on the range.

Contact the Governor here:

Governor Sandoval
Tel: 775-684-5670
fax: 775-6845683

Emails can be sent via this link.

Donations may be sent directly to Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund.

Links of interest:

Horsetalk reports: Charities pay three times the going rate for wild horses

HorseYard reports: Horse lovers unite to save Nevada’s wild horses from kill buyers

Notice of sale from the Nevada Department of Agriculture:

29 VIRGINIA RANGE HORSES from Virginia City, Nevada


AS PER N.R.S. 569.070 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the following described animal(s) have been taken up as an Estray Animal(s) VRE Horses #1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, and 1926. The

Estray Horses were captured in Virgina City, in Storey County. The described animals are being held at The Nevada Prison Ranch, 5500 Synder Ave., Carson City, Nv. The Estray Stallions 1 year and older will be gelded prior to placement.Estray #1898 VRE Bay Stud
5 years

Estray # 1899 VRE Bay Stud
4 years

Estray #1900 VRE Bay Stud
Offset star
4 year

Estray #1901 VRE Bay Stud
2 years

Estray #1902 VRE Black Mare
5 year

Estray #1903 VRE Bay Stud
Star, LH & RH socks, LF pastern
6 months

Estray #1904 VRE Bay Mare
Star LH coronet
5 years

Estray #1905 VRE Bay Stud
Star, RH pastern, LF coronet
2 years

Estray #1906 VRE Bay Mare
RH coronet
8 years

Estray #1907 VRE Bay Stud
Large star and snip, RH &LH pastern
10 months

Estray #1908 VRE Black Mare
Small star and snip, RH & LH socks
10 years

Estray # 1909 VRE Bay Mare
Small star
7 years

Estray #1910 VRE Bay Stud
Small star, LH & RH pastern
5 years

Estray #1911 VRE Bay Mare
Star, RH stocking
8 years

Estray #1912 VRE Bay Stud
3 years

Estray #1913 VRE Bay Stud
2 years

Estray #1914 VRE Bay Mare
Star,short strip, large snip LH &RH stockings, LF coronet
4 years

Estray #1915 VRE Bay Mare
Star, RH pastern, LH coronet
5 years

Estray #1916 VRE Bay Mare
7 years

Estray #1917 VRE Sorrel Mare
Star, strip, and snip
10 years

Estray # 1918 Bay Stud
RH coronet
1 year

Estray #1919 Bay Filly
4 months

Estray #1920 VRE Bay Stud
Star, snip, RH sock
2 years

Estray #1921 VRE Bay Stud
Large star, offset snip
1 year

Estray #1922 VRE Appaloosa Mare
5 years

Estray #1923 VRE Bay Mare
2 years

Estray #1924 VRE Bay Stud
4 years

Estray #1925 VRE Bay Filly
4 months

Estray #1926 VRE Bay Stud
Star, RH pastern
1 year

AS PER N.R.S. 569.080, if an estray animal is not claimed within 5 working days after the last publication of the advertisement, as required before sale or placement, said animal (s) will be available for sale or placement by the Division of Livestock Identification on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at the Nevada Livestock Market, Fallon, NV.

4780 East Idaho Street
Elko, Nevada 89801

First four Virginia Range wild horses move to Colorado

Nevada’s historic wild horses arrive safe and sound

Virginia Range wild horses Brittany and Spencer arrive in Colorado 2012 Photo curtesy HVWHPF


Virginia Range wild horses Jesse & JJ arrive in Colorado Photo curtesy HVWHPF

Thanks to everyone’s participation to save 53 Virginia Range wild horses from being sold to possible slaughter!

23 wild horses have been adopted, they are waiting to have their Coggins tests and be shipped out.

30 wild horses need their forever homes. Please help if you can.

Adoption applications are on Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund’s page.

Governor Sandoval: Stop the sale of Nevada’s wild horses to kill-buyers

Governor Brian Sandoval ~ Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Call Governor Brian Sandoval and politely let him know you want the trapping and selling of Nevada’s indigenous wild horses at auctions frequented by “kill-buyers” to STOP now.

80% of Americans are against horse slaughter.

Does he want Nevada to stay on the top of the bad list as perceived by Nevadans and everyone else?

The first auction is this Wednesday in Fallon, N.V.–a town where he once lived.

More than 22 Virginia Range wild horses from ‘The Meadow’, on the outskirts of Reno, are going to be sold by the pound. Kill-buyers will be bidding on America’s icons to sell them to slaughter for human consumption in foreign countries.

Politely ask Governor Sandoval to step in–to stop the removals and the sales. Ask him to RELOCATE all the wild horses who have been trapped already by the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDOA) and bring them food and water if needed on the range.

Rotten development planning and urban sprawl is removing habitat from wildlife–including wild horses. Not only is the sprawl causing global warming but now it’s causing strife in communities over wild horses.

It’s the developers’ responsibility to fence out wildlife to prevent entry on their property if that is what they wish. Nevada is a “fence out” state by law.

Back in August several wild horses were taken by people connected with a development. The horses ended up at the prison where they process wild horses to go to the auction frequented by kill-buyers. Who were these people and are charges being prosecuted against them? Are they connected to the current trappings at a development now conducted by the NDOA?

Taxpayers should not pay for the NDOA to remove wild horses when the developer is not taking responsibility for putting up fencing. Nevada wants fiscal responsibility.

Land development does not need to ruin indigenous wild horse habitat, break their families apart and sell them at auctions where kill-buyers purchase horses to sell to slaughter.

We are asking for a win-win NOT for Nevada’s wild horses go to their brutal death–to slaughter.

More wild horses are needed to stop Nevada’s mega-million dollar wildfires. According to a report by CoreLogic, U.S property exposed to wildfire is valued at $136 billion.

If some wild horses do need to be brought in then the mustangs should NEVER be sold at an auction frequented by kill-buyers but should be cared for by the State of Nevada or given to sanctuaries and rescue groups. Their lives are the responsibility of the Silver State if they are not on Federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. We know Nevada can do the right thing.

80% of America’s population are against horse slaughter. If Governor Sandoval wants to run for President someday, then he needs to be aware that he is smearing himself by delaying taking action to stop the sale of Nevada’s beloved wild horses to kill-buyers. His character is being measured during this time of crisis.

He has an opportunity now to make history and win the endearment of 80% of Americans nationwide.

Contact the Governor here:

Governor Sandoval
Tel: 775-684-5670
fax: 775-6845683

Emails can be sent via this link.

Send us a copy of emails you send him. Our email is

Also contact Governor Sandoval on Twitter  @GovSandoval

Here is an example of wild horses not causing damage from Barbara Warner’s comment against the Sheldon Refuge wild horse wipe out:

“The 1990-91 GAO ( Government Accounting Office) study proved that horses do not over-graze or destroy riparian areas. Sheldon is still recovering from the damage that cattle have been proven to cause. Horses have flat hooves which don’t cut into the ground and constantly move as they graze. The increased population of pronghorns proves that wild horses benefit them and no doubt many other species as well.”

Here is an excellent scientific example of wild horses as native wildlife:

Indigenous wild horse families living in peace on the Virginia Range in Nevada, January 2012. (Photo © Anne Novak, all rights reserved.)

This photo shows several Virginia Range wild horse families at ‘The Meadow’ on the outskirts of Reno.

These wild horses are loved around the world. Tourists enjoy observing them at ‘The Meadow’ and elsewhere. Eco-tourism businesses could boom taking customers on wild horse safaris. This would create jobs for Nevada.

Now the Virginia Range wild horses are being trapped, castrated and ripped apart from their families only to be sold at a series of auctions, frequented by kill-buyers in Fallon, N.V. starting September 19th, 2012 and ending around October.

As of this date, the Nevada State Department of Agriculture has trapped more than 60 indigenous wild horses–of all ages–and is planning to dispose of them by selling them at the auction frequented by kill-buyers.

Please contact Governor Sandoval and ask him to take this opportunity to make history.


Links of interest:

Governor Brian Sandoval’s website:

Governor Brian Sandoval on Twitter:

News 4 reports: Sixteen Virgina Range wild horses captured

Nevada policy change ~ sells its wild horses by the pound:

U.S. property exposed to wildfire valued at $136 billion:

2012 Nevada wildland fires:

Nevada is a fence out state: Rural Fencing Rules in Nevada |

Video of wild horses in ‘The Meadow’: