We prefer for wild horses to remain wild and free but now there are 50,000 wild horses in government holding who are at risk of going to slaughter if the BLM’s Advisory Board members get their way. We have adopted Blondie and Tibet because as yearlings, they had already accrued 2-Strikes and were facing a dangerous 3rd. We stepped in to save them from being sold for $10 a head by the truckload.
For immediate release:
No accountability for dead foals at Nevada wild horse facility
RENO, Nv. (May 1, 2013)–Protect Mustangs™ calls for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Nevada to provide accurate wild horse and burro death counts for all government funded facilities as well as at roundups. Currently the BLM is not recording the dead foals or other unbranded newborn dead wild horses at the Palomino Valley National Center, a facility near Reno used for processing and adoption. Faulty roundup protocol also allows the BLM to attribute deaths to pre-existing conditions to avoid attributing them to the roundups. The native wild horse conservation group discovered that 37 wild horses died at the Nevada facility from January 1 to April 1, 2013 but the additional deaths of the unbranded have gone unrecorded.
“It’s shocking that the BLM is not counting the unbranded dead foals and dead newborns,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs™. “This lack of transparency and lack of accountability needs to stop. Taxpayers don’t like knowing baby mustangs are dying after roundups–especially when Americans want native wild horses to live in freedom.”
Protect Mustangs™ is very concerned the BLM facilities are not keeping an accurate death count related to roundups and holding facilities. The BLM admits they are not including the unbranded foals, aborted fetuses, animals born dead nor dead newborns in their count. One must ask, “How many are really dying in holding facilities after roundups?
Animals Angels recently uncovered a discrepancy in the mortality numbers at Palomino Valley Center.
“If they are not counting the dead correctly then are some young foals being sold into the slaughter pipeline as well?,” asks Novak. “Why is there no accountability regarding the unbranded young wild horse population?”
Tom Davis, who purchased many wild horses from the BLM said in a Propublica interview, “Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt. What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant?”
# # #
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:
BLM’s email revealing they are not counting the unbranded dead amongst the 37 dead mustangs at the Nevada facility http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4220
Wild-horse advocates: Rallies held in 50 states to drum up opposition to roundups, slaughter http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/80561cc4e8a64b43ae909f7d09a0473e/NV–Wild-Horses-Rallies
Animals Angels investigative report: http://www.animalsangels.org/the-issues/horse-slaughter/foia-requests/497-blm-nevada-mortality-records-a-nevada-rendering-animals-angels-foia-request-reveals-discrepancies.html
ProPublica: All the missing horses: What happened to the wild horses Tom Davis bought from the gov’t?http://www.propublica.org/article/missing-what-happened-to-wild-horses-tom-davis-bought-from-the-govt
Washington Post 4/30/13 USDA secretary says New Mexico horse slaughter plant expected to open soon http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/usda-secretary-says-new-mexico-horse-slaughter-plant-expected-to-open-soon/2013/04/30/95f16c7e-b1b1-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html
Concern mounts over hidden death count
We learned today that the BLM’s public affairs officer (think public relations expert) eventually responded, on April 18th, to our inquiries from April 12, 2013, wherein we requested to know the number of dead wild horses at the Nevada short-term facility since January 1st.
The Acting Facility Manager refused to give us a simple death count. He told us we must file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to know the number of dead wild horses at the facility from January 1, 2013 to April 12, 2013 . This appeared to be a blatant lack of government transparency.
We saw the public affairs’ officer’s email for the first time this afternoon. It was unopened and was lost amongst emails. We don’t understand why the BLM did not respond back to our last email to let us know they had eventually answered our question. Emails can go unseen unlike certified letters.
We are very concerned the BLM facilities are not keeping an accurate death count related to roundups and holding facilities. The BLM admits they are not including the unbranded foals, aborted fetuses, animals born dead nor dead newborns in their count. One must ask, “How many are really dying in holding facilities after roundups?
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Information you requested regarding deaths at PVC
From: “Emmons, Heather” <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, April 18, 2013 3:58 pm
Cc: James Beck <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. As Acting Facility Manager at the Palomino Valley Center (PVC), Jeb sought advice on your question as to what constituted a FOIA request and was originally told that it met those qualifications. Upon further evaluation, we realized it does not and apologize for the miscommunication. Jeb is off for the next couple of days, and we wanted to get back to you as soon as possible, so I am writing to you on his behalf.
To answer your question: How many horses have died at the facility since Jan 1, 2013? According to the Wild Horse and Burro Program System, the number of horses that have died at PVC from Jan. 1, 2013 through April 1, 2013, is 37. This number does not include stillbirths (aborted fetuses, animals born dead and newborn animals found dead) and young foals that died before they were freeze marked. Foals are freeze marked when they are weaned. This varies with the size and condition of the foals and the mares, but usually occurs sometime between three and six months of age.
Additionally, the National Wild Horse and Burro Program is currently reviewing its reporting procedures for modification.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, or my colleague Debbie Collins at the National Call Center:
Heather Emmons: 775-861-6594 or email@example.com
Debbie Collins: 1-866-468-7826 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release:
More than 40 international protests today to stop the roundups and stop horse slaughter
OAKLAND, Ca. (April 27, 2013)–Protect Mustangs™, the Bay Area-based native wild horse conservation group, is holding protests today in Oakland and Rock Springs, Wyoming to save indigenous wild horses from roundups, abuse, slaughter and pass the SAFE Act. The Oakland rally is held outside the Rockridge BART station from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The Rock Springs rally is held at 70 Gateway Blvd at 2 p.m. The group wants all the wild horses in government funded holding to be returned to the range to help reduce wildfires. More than 40 international protests, spearheaded by Nevada’s Patty Bumgarner on Facebook, are being held to save the horses. Protect Mustangs™ requests Congress stop the cruelty, the slaughter and save taxpayer dollars–especially during the Sequester.
“We are united across the country to say no to slaughter, roundups and cruel overectomies in the field,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs™. “We want our wild horses to be protected. Did you know America’s wild horses are indigenous? Are you aware that CalTrans found ancient horse fossils while digging the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel?”
The horse, E. caballus, originated in America over a million years ago and returned with the Conquistadors if it ever went extinct in the first place. With history written by the Inquisition, one must read between the lines. It was heresy for Old World animals, such as the horse, to have originated in the heathen Americas.
Novak points out,”Recent DNA testing proves our iconic wild horses are the same species as E. caballus–the original horse.”
Esteemed scientists Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio explained the following in Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife (Revised January 2010). The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings:
‘The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about ‘breeds,’ but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about ‘species.’
The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.’
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) received $78 million last year to run the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Two-thirds of the expenses went towards caring for the equids in captivity. Despite the federal budget crisis, the program received a $2 million increase in funding for their 2014 fiscal budget–including $6 million for the helicopter contractor.
California’s Senator Feinstein chairs Energy and Water subcommittee as well as rules on Interior issues within the Committee on Appropriations. The Committee gives taxpayer dollars to fiscally irresponsible and cruel wild horse and burro roundups despite public outcry.
Roundups and removals are linked to mining and toxic fracking in the West. It appears native horses are being removed to fast track the extractive industry’s use of public land for private profit yet the public and the environment are hit with the costs.
Native wild horses will soon be zeroed out from Wyoming’s “checkerboard” public-private land–allegedly in preparation for the largest natural gas field in the country. The conservation group has requested a $50 million fund be created to mitigate environmental distress from fracking on the range.
“Tourists love to come to Wyoming to see our wild horses,” states Melissa Maser, outreach coordinator for Protect Mustangs™ in Wyoming and Texas. “We’d like to see native wild horses protected for future generations.”
Advocates are documenting wild horses being removed throughout the West as healthy and with fewer foals. The starving and overpopulation myths from BLM spin doctors are fabricated to sway Congress to fund roundups and removals.
“We’d like to find a win-win for wild horses in the West,” explains Novak. “Native horses will help reduce wildfires that cost insurance companies billions of dollars annually and contribute to global warming. We have requested the BLM put a freeze on roundups and return the 50,000 wild horses stockpiled in holding to public land. This will take the burden off the taxpayer and help to reduce wildfires.”
Protect Mustangs™ is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Their mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.
# # #
Anne Novak, 415.531.8454 Anne@Protect Mustangs.org
Kerry Becklund, 510.502.1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org
Photos, video and interviews available upon request
Links of interest:
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, February 10, 2013: Wild-horse advocates split over interior nominee http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020332496_apnvwildhorses1stldwritethru.html
US property exposed to wildfire valued at $136 billion says report: http://www.artemis.bm/blog/2012/09/17/u-s-property-exposed-to-wildfire-valued-at-136-billion-says-report/
KQED Horse fossil found in Caldecott Tunnel: http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/05/26/new-fossils-from-the-caldecott-tunnel/
Gone viral~ The Associated Press, March 24, 2013: Budget axe nicks BLM wild-horse adoption center http://www.denverpost.com/colorado/ci_22862206
Horseback Magazine: Sequester prompts call for wild horses and burros to be returned to the wild http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/21568
Horseback Magazine, March 8, 2013: Protect Mustangs calls for fund for Wyoming wild horses http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/20979
Horseback Magazine: Group takes umbridge at use of the word “feral” http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/19392
Ruby pipeline and wild horse roundups? http://www.8newsnow.com/story/12769788/i-team-bp-connected-to-wild-horse-roundups
BLM’s 2014 Budget: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/april/04_10_2013.html
Why are the wild horses being removed? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCWWgOugF2U
Wyoming Tourism’s video of wild horses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tRZkBXkbyY
Protect Mustangs™: www.ProtectMustangs.org
Protect Mustangs™ on Facebook
Protect Mustangs™ on Twitter
Protect Mustangs™ on YouTube
Protect Mustangs™ in the News
Information on native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
Saturday April 27 from 3-6 pm outside Rockridge BART on College Avenue
JOIN US to Rally to STOP the Roundups!
RETURN all 50,000 Captive Native Wild Horses to Public Land. (Now displaced from their families and freedom, they are held behind bars n BLM short and long term holding facilities and human prisons)
BAN horse slaughter for human consumption and BAN the export of horses to slaughter. PASS the SAFE ACT
The Sequester puts all wild horses & burros in government holding at risk. Freeze the Roundups due to the Sequester!
Read more here: http://
Please invite your friends!
This is a family friendly rally.
April 27th is an international day to protest wild horse roundups, holding them captive and horse slaughter.
Protect Mustangs’ Advisory Board member offers holistic management based on Reserve Design as opposed immunocontraceptives approved by the EPA as pesticides
April 15, 2013
Mr. James M Sparks, Billings Field Manager
BLM, Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101-4669
Re: 4700 (MT010.JB): Scoping Notice for Increased Use of Fertility Control on Wild Horses within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range
Dear Mr. Sparks and To Whom It May Concern:
Montana BLM has zeroed out six of its seven original wild horse Herd Areas. The only one that still has any wild horses left is the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Refuge, which was established prior to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFHBA). In fact, Montana BLM has decided to zero out 82% of the original legal acreages that should have been set aside “principally” for the wild horses in the wild. This is a greater percentage of zeroing out than any other Western state. New Mexico comes closest at 77%. Given this initial injustice, it would seem that in the remaining area still home to wild horses, they would be treated much more fairly and given the resources and the Appropriate Management Levels (AML) that would assure their long-term viability. But such has clearly not been the case in the Pryors, where the AML range of 90 to 120 falls far short of the 2,500 individuals that is recommended for long-term viability in the wild by the IUCN SSC Equid Specialist Group (1992).
So I take this opportunity to thank you for sending me this scoping notice. I have reviewed this and wish to oppose the intensified use of PZP on the Pryor Mountain wild horses. They have been assigned an AML that is non-viable; and the further tampering with and inhibition of their reproduction would make them even more non-viable, especially in view of their long-term future survival, as well as their ecological adaptation to the Pryor Mountain ecosystem.
As a wildlife ecologist who appreciates these animals for the returned North American natives they are, I am particularly concerned that BLM’s repeated semi-sterilization of mares (often resulting in permanent sterilization of the mares) will cause serious social disruption. The logic is this: those mares who fail to achieve pregnancy quickly become disaffected with their band stallions and go off with other stallions in their futile attempts to achieve pregnancy. Similarly the stallions become desperate in their repeated futile attempts to impregnate the mares. This leads to widespread discontent and disruption, both within and between the wild horse bands composing the Pryor Mountain – as any – herd. This results in the serious neglect by adults of their duties to educate the younger members of their bands who are not as inhibited in their breeding as before. These immature individuals attempt to breed prematurely when the social units are in disarray. If intact they would be learning the very important lessons for survival in the demanding Pryor Mountain ecosystem, with its harsh winters, etc. As the effect of PZP wanes and some mares come back into a fertile condition, many give birth out of the normal Spring and early Summer birthing season, even in the late Fall or Winter when cold and storms cause them to greatly suffer and even die, along with their offspring. This is totally opposite the true intent of the WFHBA!
The intensified PZP approach to reducing reproduction in the Pryor Mountain wild horse herd is not the correct policy to adopt. It does not adhere to the core intent of the WFHBA. It is a major step toward domesticating these wild horses and seriously compromises their true wildness and natural adaptiveness. What I am offering in place of this “quick fix drug” approach to preserving, protecting, and managing this cherished herd (and all herds should be cherished) is a major and widely employed branch of the science of wildlife conservation known as Reserve Design. If properly and conscientiously applied, this would: (a) obviate the need to drug the Pryor Mountain mustangs by creating a naturally self-stabilizing horse population that would truly become “an integral part of the natural system of public lands” (preamble of WFHBA); and (b) “achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” and “at the minimum feasible level” of interference by man. Both of these mandates come directly from Section 3 a of the WFHBA and should be adhered to by authorities of the BLM and USFS, the two agencies charged with fulfilling the act.
To accomplish these goals, you should:
(1) Incorporate the Pryor Mountain’s natural barriers such as the steep cliffs along the eastern side of the refuge that lead down to the Bighorn River. These will limit the expansion of the herd. Where necessary they could be complemented by artificial semi-permeable barriers.
(2) Restore natural horse predators such as the puma and wolf whose effect upon the wild horses would accord with natural selection and produce a more fit and well-adapted population in the Pryor Mountains. It has been a mistake to have puma hunting season reopened in the Pryors, and this should be rescinded in collaboration with Montana’s wildlife department.
(3) Avail yourself of options provided by Section 4 and 6 of the WFHAB in order to secure truly long-term-viable habitat for a truly long-term-viable wild horse population that is not subject to inbreeding and decline. Section 4 allows private landowners whose properties lie adjacent to the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge to maintain wild, free-roaming horses on their private lands or on land leased from the government provided they protect them from harassment and have not willfully removed or enticed them from public lands. This is an outstanding opportunity for the public to help in preserving and protecting the wild horse herds at healthy population levels, i.e. to complement federal Herd Areas (BLM) and Territories (USFS). Section 6 of the WFHBA authorizes cooperative agreement with landowners and state and local governments to better accomplish the goals of the WFHBA. This allows for providing complete and unimpeded habitat for long-term viable wild horse populations. BLM should invoke Section 6 to establish cooperative agreements with both the National Parks Service (USDI, same as BLM) re: McCullough Peak national monument (which I believe already has such an agreement) and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, as well as the Custer National Forest (USDA) in order to expand available habitat for the Pryor mustangs. As concerns the Custer National Forest, the USFS officials should not be allowed to get away with the fence they have erected and that restricts the wild horses’ traditional access to summer grazing meadows. This is on the west side of East Pryor Mountain and consists of a two-mile long buck and pole fence. This area was occupied by the wild horses in 1971 and should be a recognized legal area for them, as was documented by Dr. Ron Hall who did his study of the Pryor Mountain wild horses. It is also a prime public viewing area with great scenic visits, as I recall from my visit there in June of 2003. By erecting this fence, Custer National Forest officials defied their mandate to protect and preserve wild horses under the WFHAB; this is subject of an ongoing legal suit. BLM officials must insist this fence be taken down!
(4) Once a complete viable habitat is secured with adequate forage, water, minerals, shelter, wintering and summering habitat components, etc., the Pryor Mountain wild horses should be allowed to fill their ecological niche here and to naturally self-stabilize. This they will do as ecological climax species, as species belonging to the mature ecological sere, if only given the time and the space and the requisite non-interference by man. Thus, the socially and ecologically disruptive roundups will come to a halt; and the wild horses will harmonize with all the unique and fascinating animal and plant community that is found here. Given the opportunity, the wild horses will enhance the Pryor Mountain ecosystem and people will come to appreciate the virtue of a wild-horse-containing ecosystem.
(5) Semi-permeable fences could be constructed along the refuge’s peripheries but only where necessary. Buffer zones around the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge should be established in order to contain the wild horses and keep them out of harm’s way. Within this buffer zone, mild forms of adverse conditioning techniques could be employed to keep the horses within their refuge. Win-win cooperative agreements with local people whereby they benefit from the wild horses as through giving paid eco-tours, providing lodging and meals, participating in monitoring and protection of the horses, etc., should be stressed. These positive opportunities should be expanded in order to make Reserve Design a success.
I go into greater detail as to how Reserve Design can be successfully applied in my recently published book: The Wild Horse Conspiracy, where I also describe the Pryor Mountain situation. I hope that you can get a copy and read it with an open mind. Look under Reserve Design in the Index. Let me know if you want a copy.
Hoping you will give serious consideration to the points here raised. Anxiously awaiting your response.
Craig C. Downer
P.O. Box 456
Minden, NV 89423
Craig C. Downer is a wildlife ecologist (UCalifBerk, UNevReno, UKanLawr, UDurhamUK) who has extensively studies both the wild horses of the West and the endagered mountain tapirs of the northern Andes. He has given speeches and written many articles, including encyclopedic, and several books. His works are both popular and scientific, in English, Spanish and translated to German. Several of these concern wild horses, their ecological contribution, their North American evolutionary roots, their great natural and social value and their survival plight. Downer is an Advisory Board member for Protect Mustangs, a member of the World Conservation Union, Species Survival Commission and has written the Action Plan for the mountain tapir (1997). Downer’s current book, “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” points directly to the root cause of the disappearance of America’s wild horses. The book is on sale at Amazon
Put a freeze on all roundups due to the Sequester. Return captive wild horses & burros to their public sanctuaries known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Tell the Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board NO slaughter for native wild horses! Contact your elected officials and Sally Jewell, the new Secretary of Interior. Ask them to intervene.
Keep them safe!
Join the international rally on April 27th to stop horse slaughter, stop the roundups and stand up for the voiceless wild horses and burros!
WASHINGTON (April 8, 2013)–Last week Protect Mustangs, the California based conservation group, officially called for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to put a freeze on roundups and return all wild horses and burros, in government funded holding, to herd management areas in the West. They cited the current climate of federal economic instability as putting captive wild horses and burros at risk. As of April 7th, Protect Mustangs has not received a response from BLM officials.
“It’s fiscal folly to roundup more wild horses and burros than they can adopt out,” explains Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “The roundups need to stop now. We are calling for the more than 50,000 stockpiled native wild horses and historic burros to be returned immediately to public land. We are concerned the government won’t be able to pay for their feed and care during the federal fiscal crisis. We need to be proactive to ensure their safety. If a government shutdown occurs, their only chance of survival is in the wild.”
On Friday April 12, Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs™, asked a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee a simple facility question. She wanted to know the mortality rate of captured wild horses at the Palomino Valley facility since January 1, 2013.
Rather than provide an easy transparent answer, the employee dismissed her request and told Novak to contact the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office.
Novak copied many advocates and members of the media on her second and third request for mortality rate information. She is concerned about the obvious lack of transparency in the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.
The wild horse and burro advocate community now wants to know how many have died at the facility since the beginning of the year. Several advocates have sent the BLM employee emails as a result of his refusal to share basic facility information.
Esteemed advocates and members of the public have contacted their elected officials to request government transparency and an answer to Novak’s question.
Members of the greater public are wondering why the BLM is hiding the mortality rate. The big questions are spreading on social media: “What is the BLM hiding? How many died at Palomino Valley since January 1, 2013?”
Below is Novak’s third request:
April 17, 2013
Kindly provide a written response to my simple question from April 12th. You will find the whole email stream on our website as well as below:
How many horses died at the facility since Jan 1, 2013?
Thank you for your prompt assistance.
CC list includes Stacy Peters, Palomino Valley employee and others
BC list undisclosed
San Francisco Bay Area
Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
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Donate to help Protect Mustangs™
Protect Mustangs™ is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the native wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.