Heinous BLM Roundup = Slaughter 4 #Mustangs

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Free Roaming Wyoming Horses Rounded up by BLM and sold to Canadian Slaughterhouse by Wyoming Livestock Board

No public comment period and no transparency

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (March 31, 2014) – On March 24, The Cloud Foundation received an anonymous tip that BLM had rounded up and removed 41 free-roaming horses from public lands in northern Wyoming.  Further investigation revealed that BLM conducted a helicopter roundup of the horses and turned them over to the Wyoming Livestock Board who sold the horses directly to the Canadian Bouvry Slaughterhouse. The taxpayer-funded roundup was conducted with no notice of sale after the horses were impounded, giving no one the opportunity to step in and negotiate a deal to purchase any of the horses. Even Bighorn County Sheriff, Kenneth Blackburn, was surprised that he received no notification of the roundup, which was conducted in his jurisdiction. The horses were driven to Shelby, Montana, to the Bouvry-owned feedlot, the jumping off point to their Canadian slaughterhouse, the largest slaughterhouse in Canada.

“These were colorful wild horses I spotted several years ago while driving to the Pryor Mountains,” stated  Ginger Kathrens Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “They lived on what we’ve been told was a wild horse Herd Area southeast of the Pryors.” The small, remnant herd roamed a starkly beautiful landscape east of US 310 between Lovell and Greybull, WY. ‘”We stopped to admire them on March 10th on our way back to Colorado.” Kathrens adds. “The sight of these lovely, free-spirited animals, some with their newborn foals, against the backdrop of the snow-covered Bighorn Mountains was glorious. It’s hard to think about the horror they suffered just days later.”

On March 18, only eight days after Kathrens last spotted the horses, the BLM Field Office in Cody, WY supervised their roundup and removal. A BLM spokesperson told a Cloud Foundation representative that the horses would be held at the Worland Livestock Auction for 10 days and then sold.  However, later investigation revealed that the 41 horses rounded up by Cattoor Livestock Company on March 18-19 were delivered to the Worland Livestock Auction for brand inspection. Just a few hours later, once the brand inspection was completed, 37 horses were loaded onto a truck paid for by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and hauled to the Canadian border.

“According to Wyoming, Statute, Title 11, Chapter 24 entitled Agriculture, Livestock and Other Animals, ‘Estray horses rounded up must be held for not more than 10 days before going to auction,'” reported Paula Todd King, Communications Director for the Cloud Foundation. “These horses were rounded up and within hours they were on their way to the border. We found no notice announcing the roundup.”

The history of these horses is debatable. The BLM contends they are not wild, stating that they once belonged to an area rancher who died and his horses have only been in the area for 40 years. However, the Wild Horse and Burro Act (WHB Act) defines a wild horses as an “unclaimed, unbranded horse on federal lands in the United States.” Wyoming brand inspector, Frank Barrett, verified there were no brands of any kind on any of the animals.

Less than a mile from where Kathrens had been observing the horses is the boundary of the “zeroed out” Foster Gulch/Dry Creek Herd Area, designated for wild horse use after the passage of the WHB Act in 1971. “As they have done over a hundred times, the BLM decided not to manage wild horses in the area in 1987,” explains Kathrens. “If the horses have lived in the area for 40 years as BLM states, it is entirely possible that these horses were descendants of the herd eliminated from management in 1987.”

It is clear that these horses have survived for many years on their own, living in wild family bands, and thriving without human intervention.  Conflicting reasons have been given for the timing of this BLM roundup when the horses had newborn foals. BLM indicated that private landowners in the area have complained about horses trespassing on their land.  Sarah Beckwith, BLM spokesperson said that the horses were a threat to public safety – vehicles had killed two horses.  However, after further investigation, TCF found that a train struck one horse 6-8 years ago, and a private vehicle struck another around 5 years ago. Jack Mononi, Supervisory Rangeland Management Specialist for Cody BLM, told Todd-King that if the Agency did not spend the federal dollars by the end of March, the funds would no longer be available.

Kathrens called the Bouvry Exports Shelby facility in an attempt to negotiate purchase of the 37 horses. The woman who answered the phone would not confirm that the horses had arrived in Shelby and told Kathrens that “these horses were rounded up and removed for slaughter and that is where they are going.” Kathrens offered to pay more than the going price and was told that this was not possible. “I was shaking when I got off the phone,” Kathrens said. “To think that this could be happening sickens me.”

Kim Michels of Red Lodge, MT, purchased all that appears to have survived of the small herd, four tiny foals born this year. “We will do all we can to see that these babies not only survive but thrive as a fitting legacy to their lost freedom and their families,” said Michels. The foals were rescued by Stacey Newby, co-owner of the Worland Livestock Auction, who fed and cared for the foals, bottle-feeding the tiniest, a 3-week-old filly. The foals are now in the care of equine veterinarian, Lisa Jacobson, in Colorado.

TCF continues to investigate the legality of what appears to be a carefully planned and executed operation at taxpayer expense. “Was it legal?” Kathrens questions. “It is clear to me that it was not moral and certainly inhumane. I do not believe that American taxpayers want their money spent to roundup and send horses to slaughter.”

Protect Mustangs suggests links of interest™:

Bouvry: http://www.vianderichelieu.com/qui-sommes-nous.php

Bouvry Investigation: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs161/1101655399670/archive/1111647580202.html

Cloud Foundation: http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/

Catoor Livestock: http://www.wildhorseroundups.com/

Helicopter roundup gets attention of horse advocates: http://www.greybullstandard.com/?p=2364


13 thoughts on “Heinous BLM Roundup = Slaughter 4 #Mustangs

  1. So now this… It has finally started. The BLM will now start rounding up horses and send them straight to slaughter! Leaving babies to starve to death and stealing from tax payers who are led to believe that they protect America’s native horses. Sally Jewell needs to be removed from her posistion as Secretary of the Interior. Her focus is on special interest and not on indigenous wildlife. She will do anything to satisfy these enemies of wildlife. Even render a native species extinct.

  2. The BLM is carrying out the directions of lawless global megacorporate energy banks with the complicity of the federal government. The actions described in this article violate numerous federal laws and the perpetrators should be criminally prosecuted.

  3. The worst thing about this is that horses are not even in any way shape or form suppose to be food, we have truly failed as a species, we are destroying the earth and the animals, which God put here, but then the idiots of the human race step in and do wrong to the animals for money, and there will be payback for this, guaranteed.

  4. Somewhere along the minutes of History we Humans have lost sight of our past and the very animal that carried us through in so many ways,, Although for most of us we think and say often Oh!! nothing will ever change, But you know what i have learnt even the smallest of ripples can create a huge wave and bring down the mightiest of walls. Thanx to people Like Anne and many others across the world for bringing to the Attention of those who have lost the way of the old days.
    Unite for our wonderful horses Across the world and never give up,, Where would we be if the very animal we destroy wasn’t by our side all those years ago Xoxoxox Love and Light from Australia

  5. I can’t possibly tell you how angry I am to read this tonight … BLM continues to waste their budget — they are trying to make sure they spend all their budget so that they can ask for more in 2015. BLM staff continues to lie through their rotten teeth!

  6. Why does the New Mexico Livestock Board care about horses in BLM holding pens and horses on tribal lands????
    See this link where the new Mexico Livestock Board plans for “New Mexico Solutions” for the BLM horses in holding pens, tribal horses, and “feral” Horses (Placitas Wild Horses and others in NM) http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/handouts/Unwanted%20Horse%20Population.pdf
    1. Sterilization= “Contraception”, 2. Triage and Mass Composting = “area euthanasia”, and 3. Humane Slaughter for Zoo Animal Protein.
    Advocates have been understandably DUPED by actions of NM Governor Martinez and Attorney general King in court. It appears that horse slaughter rejects from the border of Mexico have been used to pressure tribes to go toward slaughter. In this way, everyone can look good in court but still have slaughter on tribal lands where the US courts can’t reach. Both Democrats who own the NM House and Senate, and Republican Gov. Martinez refused to pass anti-slaughter legislation HB121 which would have banned horse slaughter, banned horse slaughter transportation and there by closed the NM border with Mexico. This would also have banned transportation to and from tribal lands…..Two legislative sessions, no ban on slaughter and it’s transportation as has been done in Illinois. This is the legislation we copied, to no avail in NM….

    And Yes the linked presentation is from summer of 2011, just before Valley meats Horse slaughter facility was announced in April of 2012, but the state of NM has been working on this plan right up to a month ago, most of the time through the Governor’s “working group” on horse over population…(See the letter from special interests calling for this “working group” on horse over population just 5 days after Valley meats in Roswell NM was announced). See pages Appendix pages 41, and pg 43-47 http://whoanm.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/UNITED-STATES-equine-slaughter-feasibility.pdf It is clear they have ill intent toward the BLM horses, the Placitas horses, and tribal horses. There is not an over population of horses in NM. There has been no counts on Navajo lands or anywhere in NM as proven by inspection of public records request. see pages 6,7 and 9 of the last link. Tribes in NM that are anti-slaughter have been specifically targeted for kill buyer dumping of skinny horses to push them toward slaughter. They are then vilified unwittingly by horse advocates. Horse advocates have been DUPED again, please be done being duped by NM.

  7. There are so many saddening aspects to this article – including Ginger Kathren’s comment about the color & beauty of these particular horses – as if they somehow have more value because they are colorful. A comment like that does nothing to further the case against sending wild horses to slaughter. Regardless of the reason for the round-up – as it seems the BLM does not ever have to have any validity behind their motivation for a gather (too many, too few), Ideally, a criminal investigation can be opened to explore / determine if there was impropriety on the part of the BLM or any of the individuals who happen to be employed by the BLM. Hopefully Bighorn County Sheriff Kenneth Blackburn can be outraged over this rather than simply ‘surprised’ and produce some arrest warrants since there appears to be a violation of the state statute.

  8. I see further intent in this action and if the state of New Mexico opens a Euthanization Plant for Estray, Reservation and BLM WILD MUSTANGS we are in for a hard fight.

    We have lost another part of our heritage in the deaths of these protected wild horses. The system is being manipulated to suit the task so look for this and be aware! If roundups are illegal the way they have been orchestrated then look for more illegal activity. This is what BLM is into in order to clear the lands of wild horses and burros. This is the challenge to us now.

  9. This is a crime and must be reported and as a citizen of the United States of America and as shareholders using our tax dollars to keep them safe, a crime has been committed and this must be stopped!


    Regarding the article posted by Greybull Standard (see http://www.greybullstandard.com/?p=2364) it is clearly stated in their article that the BLM rounded up wild horses and stated that they were NOT wild, but domesticated horses.

    The Wild Horse and Burro Act states;

    Sec. 2. As used in this Act-

    “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior when used in connection with public lands administered by him through the Bureau of Land Management and the Secretary of Agriculture in connection with public lands administered by him through the Forest Service;

    “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;….

    According to this news report, these wild horses were on public land and were rounded up and sent to slaughter according to Sara Beckwith, an employee with Cody BLM office.

    This is the official office of the Inspector General that will conduct an investigation into this crime.

    Interior, Department of
    Mary L. Kendall, Acting Inspector General

    Main Phone Number: (202) 208-5745
    Mailing Address: 1849 C Street, N.W.; Mail Stop 4428; Washington, D.C. 20240
    Hotline Number: (800) 424-5081

    Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct or mismanagement
    involving the U.S. Department of the Interior should call or write the Office of Inspector General’s Hotline (please choose the method of contact which best suits you):

    Telephone – OIG Hotline’s Toll Free Number: 1-800-424-5081
    Fax – Complete and submit the Complaint Form to:
    (703)487-5402 (Attention: Hotline Operations)
    US Mail – Complete and submit the Complaint Form to:
    U.S. Department of the Interior
    Office of Inspector General
    1849 C Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20240
    Attention: Hotline Operations
    E-mail – Complete and submit the Complaint Form by pressing the submit button below:
    You may also report fraudulent activities to the nearest regional OIG offices at the following locations:

    Eastern Regional Office, Herndon, Virginia (703) 487-8057
    Central Regional Office, Lakewood, Colorado (303) 236-8296
    Western Regional Office, Sacramento, California (916) 978-5630

  10. It would appear that the BLM has a new tactic and have stepped to a new low of POACHING!

  11. BLM’s ‘trigger man’ Jack Mononi and the Cody BLM office BLM’s WIld Horse & Burro Program should all be sued in federal court, “jointly & severally” for violation of the 1971 Wild Horse & Burro Act, for the maximum penalty allowed per infraction (i.e. per horse) to make their counterparts think twice before doing anything similar in the future. If they aren’t punished where it hurts, -in the wallet, then we are creating a moral hazard, -wherein bad/illegal behavior is rewarded & encouraged. This could result in a new wave of herds being zeroed out, particularly those which live between official herd areas or on herd areas considered defunct by the BLM, as these were, -particularly with the current saturation of BLM’s short & long term holding facilities.

    This herd was selected for slaughter not only because the BLM believed that there was a legal loophole that they could exploit, but also because all of the horses were healthy (chemical-free) and hearty -prime specimen for a slaughterhouse which views mustangs only as so many pounds of steak on the hoof.

    Moreover, this herd was a prime example of what so many advocates have insisted in vain for many years: that much BLM management is disruptive and counter-productive -in terms of population control, and that many herds self-regulate very well, thank you, -without BLM’s heavy hand. BLM clearly doesn’t want examples of such herds left in plain view as reminders of how much of their mega-million$ $pent on the wild horse & burro program is superfluous and hence a waste of taxpayer $$.

    The saddest thing is that apparently this herd of mustangs embodied the true spirit of the American mustang: wild, independent & free everything that the BLM and their welfare rancher fat cat clients despise. If we don’t make them pay dearly for this dastardly deed soon there won’t be any truly wild & free mustangs and burros left in America !

  12. Definitely signing… This shouldn’t be happening! This is there home! Let’s take them out of there home and see how they like it. >:(

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