“The BLM’s disruption of wild horses in the beautiful Calico mountains of Nevada is more than removing animals . . . It is also destruction of the American West . . . for money,” writes Michael Blake, Oscar-winning screenwriter and author of Dances with Wolves.
Michael Blake and The Barbi Twins speak out against wild horse roundups
Do the death counts dupe Congress?
LOS ANGELES (November 28, 2011)—Academy Award winner-Michael Blake and the Barbi Twins join the American public and Protect Mustangs in their outrage over the death of Old Gold, a palomino wild mare who was euthanized by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) after being rounded up. Cat Kindsfather’s photos were released on the Protect Mustangs website showing the traumatized wild horse slammed into a metal panel at the trap, yet the (BLM) reports the mustang was euthanized because she was more than 20 years old—with a lack of body condition and worn teeth. The BLM counts Old Gold’s death as ‘not gather-related’. California-based Protect Mustangs believes the horse’s death is roundup-related and must be counted as such. They want Congress to be informed and taxpayers to know how their money is spent. Protect Mustangs asks the Obama Administration to freeze all roundups now, end inhumane treatment of wild horses and burros, save taxpayer money and conduct an exact head count on the ranges to know exactly how many treasured wild horses and burros exist in the wild.
“Old Gold was traumatized at the trap and slammed into a metal fence where she surely was injured,” explains Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs from Berkeley. “Congress hears about a 1% death rate at roundups but how can that be? BLM’s accountability is in question now that the agency lists Old Gold’s death as ‘non gather-related’”.
As of November 27th, six deaths have occurred at the Calico roundup. Five were listed as ‘non gather-related’ deaths—including killing Old Gold. Only one death has been classified as a “gather-related” death, according to the BLM death report.
“Killing the wild mare, Old Gold, is nothing new. The United States government has allowed its BLM and other agencies to kill animals forever . . . just for money,” states Michael Blake, Academy Award winning screenwriter of DANCES WITH WOLVES.
BLM must correct its policy to insure that the welfare of wild horses and burros is considered above the contractor’s payment per head for each animal rounded up and delivered to BLM.
Protect Mustangs is requesting transparency from the BLM about the amount paid per wild horse (adult and youngster) and at what point is the horse considered “delivered” for payment. Also they want to know if the contractor gets paid if a horse is euthanized after “delivery”.
“American taxpayers don’t want to pay for animal cruelty,” states Novak. “We don’t want wild horses and burros to be traumatized, injured and killed at the hands of our government. We want the roundups to stop now.”
Two winters ago BLM rounded up Calico wild horses in what was the deadliest wild horse roundup documented. Of the 1922 mustangs rounded up, more than 158 deaths are attributed to the roundup.
Protect Mustangs is concerned the 2011 Calico roundup will virtually wipe the wild horses off the half a million acre landscape near Gerlach, Nevada where Burning Man is held. They are circulating a petition to stop the Calico roundup.
“If it weren’t for horses, we wouldn’t have a country or a flag,” say The Barbi Twins (Shane & Sia). “Why can’t there be laws to protect them, like there are for the flag? Horses are living beings. Their blood’s been used to make the red in the red, white and blue, as you can see in the forthcoming movie, WAR HORSE.”
The wild horse advocacy group asks Congress for a full investigation into deaths at helicopter roundups and resulting from roundups 4 months after capture.
Protect Mustangs is a California-based non-profit whose mission is to inform the public about the mustang crisis, protect America’s wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.
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Anne Novak 415-531-8454 Anne@ProtectMustangs.org
Kerry Becklund 510-502-1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Photos, video and interviews available upon request.
Links of interest:
KPFA Evening News Interview at 26:25 http://bit.ly/rssRl5
Questions over fate of “Old Gold” http://bit.ly/vr1MX9
Protect Mustangs asks Obama to stop dangerous Calico Roundup http://bit.ly/vgqIOv
BLM Death Report: http://on.doi.gov/vttLwA
Protect Mustangs’ Petition to Stop Calico Roundup: http://chn.ge/rBoej7
CBS reports on deadly 2010 Calico roundup stampede http://bit.ly/sZaHZ