This may be the first time that protected mustangs are being auctioned off for slaughter en masse and publicly with the tacit approval & cooperation of federal officials.
Today Protect Mustangs filed a lawsuit with Citizens Against Equine Slaughter and are seeking an order immediately halting the actions of the USFS that authorized the roundup of potentially hundreds of wild horses. We named the USDA Forest Service and the BLM in the complaint. Our case focuses on violations of WFRH&B Act and NEPA. It’s not over.
Disposing of native wild horses by sending them to an alleged slaughter auction is wrong, Wild horses are an integral part of the ecosystem and belong to the American people. They don’t belong on a dinner plate in a foreign country.
471 horses are going up for sale tomorrow. 150 mare and foal pairs will be sold at the alleged slaughter auction. This is horrible. We need a miracle at this point.
We have only tonight and early Saturday morning to find a way to save these horses. All the horses need to be saved from the slaughter buyers.
If any rescues, ranches or horse people can come to Fallon, Nevada (about one hour east from Reno) Saturday with their trailers to rescue wild horses and reservation horses from probable slaughter and if they need information please have them contact Protect Mustangs by calling 415-531-8454 or Citizens Against Equine Slaughter at 570-637-3000. Coggins and health certificates are needed to enter some states from Nevada.
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?”
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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:
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
Your government at work
APHIS NEWS RELEASE
United States Department of Agriculture • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service • Legislative and Public Affairs 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737-1232 • Voice (301) 851-4100 • Web: http://www.aphis.usda.gov
Contact: Gail Keirn (970) 266-6007 Lyndsay Cole (301) 538-9213
USDA-Developed Vaccine for Wild Horses and Burros Gains EPA Registration
WASHINGTON, February 13, 2013—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services’ (WS) National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted regulatory approval for the use of GonaConTM – Equine immunocontraceptive vaccine (GonaCon) in adult female wild or feral horses and burros. GonaCon was developed by NWRC scientists and is the first single-shot, multiyear wildlife contraceptive for use in mammals.
“Since 2009, GonaCon has been available for use in female white-tailed deer. We are pleased to be able to expand the vaccine’s application to include wild horses and burros,” said NWRC Director Larry Clark. “This nonlethal tool will provide another option to wildlife managers working to reduce overabundant wild horse and burro populations in the United States.”
Overpopulation of wild horses and burros is a significant concern in the United States, as these animals can overgraze native plant species and compete with livestock and local wildlife for food and habitat. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that approximately 37,300 wild horses and burros (about 31,500 horses and 5,800 burros) are roaming on BLM- managed rangelands in 10 Western states. The estimated current free-roaming population exceeds by nearly 11,000 the number that the BLM has determined can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. Current management options are limited with the majority of actions involving the removal of horses and burros from the range and either offering them for adoption or holding them indefinitely in captivity. The BLM estimates there are more than 49,000 wild horses and burros off of BLM-managed lands that are fed and cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures.
The GonaCon-Equine vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies that bind to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in an animal’s body. GnRH signals the production of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). By binding to GnRH, the antibodies reduce GnRH’s ability to stimulate the release of these sex hormones. All sexual activity is decreased, and animals remain in a nonreproductive state as long as a sufficient level of antibody activity is present. The product can be delivered by hand injection, jab stick, or darting.
GonaCon-Equine is registered as a restricted-use pesticide, and all users must be certified pesticide applicators or persons under their direct supervision. Only USDA-WS and Veterinary Services, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Defense, Federally recognized Indian Tribes, State agencies responsible for wild or feral horse and burro management, public and private wild horse sanctuaries, or persons working under their authority can use it. In order for GonaCon to be usedin any given State, it must also be registered with the State’s pesticide registration authority. Additionally, users are encouraged to contact their State fish and game/natural resource agency to determine specific State requirements. The vaccine is currently manufactured by NWRC; however, the WS program is interested in licensing the vaccine to a private manufacturer.
Future NWRC research with GonaCon will likely involve studies to support expanded registration to other species (e.g., prairie dogs and feral dogs) and aid in preventing the transmission of wildlife diseases.
WS-NWRC is the Federal institution devoted to resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society. The center applies scientific expertise to the development of practical methods to resolve these problems and to maintain the quality of the environments shared with wildlife. To learn more about NWRC, visit its Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/.
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