Friday, February 19, 2010

Protest Over Calico Mustang Roundups and Denial of Public Access to OUR Horses

Free the Calico Mustangs
We call on you to call on behalf of the Calico Mustangs. Your calls, letters, email and faxes are working! Please keep it up.
Public Viewing of Incarcerated Mustangs Denied
Despite the enormous cost to the American taxpayers and the controversial nature of the roundup, the BLM and the Department of Interior (DOI) are denying requests for independent humane observers during the processing of nearly 1900 mustangs over the next few months in preparation for their long term holding or adoption. During this dangerous time for the mustangs, the public are being denied an opportunity to view BLM running the animals through alleyways and into chutes where they will be freeze-branded, inoculated and neck-tagged.

49 horses have died as the result of the roundup. This does not include the 30 plus mares who have aborted their late-term foals in the feedlot style corrals in Fallon, Nevada. The 4% death rate is over eight times the BLM expected level for a helicopter roundup. Foals are now being born in the pens and the public is not permitted to confirm young, sick and old animals are being humanely treated in a timely fashion.
Mustang Outrage Protest

President Obama is expected to arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada, just when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is asking Congress for over $60 million dollars mostly for more roundups and over $40 million to buy farms in the East to warehouse the wild horses the BLM has condemned to captivity.

In memory of Freedom, the Calico mustang who leapt a high pen wall and burst through barbed wire to freedom, a Mustang Outrage protest is being held today in Las Vegas starting at 1:30 pm in front of the offices of Senators Ensign and Reid, on the steps of the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse, 333 S. Las Vegas Building, Las Vegas NV. Banners will then be carried to over 40 locations across the entire city of Las Vegas so the public can see our Mustang Outrage!

Take Action

Support the Mustang Outrage Protest happening today in Las Vegas.

Please call the White House Comment Line: 202 456 1111 right now.

Ask OBAMA for a Presidential Pardon for the Calico Mustangs.
Set them FREE!!


You may also ask the President to 1. call an immediate halt to all wild horse and burro roundups and 2. call for a Congressional investigation into BLM practices in connection with its management of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.

If you cannot telephone, please email the President. Fax the President at 202-456-2461.

For more information, please see Tuesday's Horse.

Thank you everyone.
Carol Poole
Wild Horse & Burro Advocacy Team

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

BLM Responds to Critics of Wild Horse Roundups with a Shroud of Secrecy

BLM responds to critics of wild horse roundups with a shroud of secrecy

Obviously stung by vocal public criticism of its cavalier treatment of the wild horses it captured from Nevada's Calico Mountain Complex, the BLM is literally circling the wagons in a desperate effort to prevent news of how the horses are faring from leaking out.

The last straw seems to have been the I-Team investigative journalist George Knapp's critical report of the Calico gather and its aftermath:

"A massive roundup of wild horses in northern Nevada turned out to be one of the deadliest in the history of the wild horse program.

Contrary to assurances from the Bureau of Land Management, dozens of horses were killed during the Calico roundup. What's more, the horses are still dying inside government corrals because of injuries suffered during their frightening run across tough terrain.

If a private citizen were to kill dizens of wild horses, that person would go to prison. Yet the government has been killing mustangs for years, with the promise that it's all for the horses' own good."

The best available information indicates that at least 49 Calico horses have perished since the end of December, and another 30+ in-utero foals have been lost--a shocking 4% mortality rate among the 1900 or more horses who were captured from their native ranges.

In just the last few days, the BLM announced it would severely curtail visitors to the Indian Lakes Road short-term holding facility near Fallon Nevada, where the mustangs are being corralled; only 10 observers will be permitted to see the horses on chapteroned "guided tours" during a two-hour period on Sundays, when the actual "processing" (branding, gelding, vaccinations) will be temporarily suspended.

And on Wednesday, February 17th, the BLM quietly took its "Calico Gather Daily Updates" offline. There have been no official reports of fatalities, miscarriages, injuries, or births since Thursday, February 11th, but you can bet that many have occurred. We do know that another stallion was euthanized on Monday, February 15th, but we don't know why. The BLM apparently thinks that the furor over the fallen horses and foals will quiet if it sequesters them behind closed doors, but if anything, the agency's stonewalling is having quite the opposite effect.

Craig Downer, a wildlife ecologist and longtime wild horse advocate, agrees:

"Processing our wild horses in secret does nothing but promote suspicion on the part of the public, who simply request to have independent representatives present to verify that our horses are being treated humanely. Denying American citizens the right to watch over their horses is a very disturbing trend, and simply throws fuel on a spreading fire."

Indeed, recent visitors to the Fallon holding pens have painted a disturbing picture of what's happening there. Terri Farley, the noted author of the Phantom Stallion series of children's books, was one of the last private observers allowed into the site, on Thursday, February 11th. "I've seen the conditions these horses are exposed to--no cover, no windbreaks, except for some of the 'hospital pens,'" she said.


You can "talk back" to the BLM by using its comment form to ask questions, or make complaints or comments.

Vicki | A Voice for Our Horses

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If Citizens Ran the Feet Off Wild Horses..........

if citizens ran the feet off of wild horses they would rot in jail.

Hope Springs Eternal (A Eulogy) By Laura Leigh
written 2/1/2010
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – On January 22, 2010 I was given a tour of the Fallon holding facility after my observation days (Calico gather) had been cancelled by weather twice.
I had witnessed the gather on January 16, and met Gene Seidlitz (Winnemucca district manager) and Heather Emmons, both of the Bureau of Land Management. Both appeared to be very willing to accommodate and provide access in as transparent a manner as possible Gene spoke to me many times about the concept of finding areas for dialogue and co-operation. I had hoped to write an article based on that concept.
On January 22, Seidlitz and Lisa Ross, BLM public relations coordinator for Calico gather met me at the agency’s Fallon facility. John Neill is acting BLM manager at Fallon. I was given free access to photograph and ask questions. I was also allowed to videotape the “hospital” facility at Fallon. I soon saw a row of small pens near the entrance to the facility next to the area being built to process horses. The plywood for windbreaks was stacked but not installed.
The pens held mostly foals and a few mares. Each horse I saw demonstrated some form of lameness. Many had bandages on their legs. Of particular concern was a foal that would not rise when approached.. His eyes were glassy.
Over the next few days I made several attempts to gain information about that foal. I sent e-mails to Gene, Lisa, and John. I was told the foal was up the very next day and doing well. Information I found hard to believe because I did not think he would even make it through the night. I requested a vet report and was told I would have it as soon as one was available. I requested that the foal be released to me and I would facilitate his placement into a facility that could properly care for him. The request was denied, the BLM saying it was not needed.
I named him “Hope Springs Eternal.” I began to make inquiries to find a facility to bring him to. He would have a home.
Several more conversations with John Neill continued to assure me the foal was fine. John said he was busy and if I did not get the vet report to please call him again.
I called today. I was told the vet report is online. It’s not. He was euthanized Saturday because his hooves had begun to slough.
My emotions are many:
So much for a timely exchange of information. So much for the concept that the “guys on the ground” are any different than the guys in DC, something they want you to believe. So much for the idea that co-operation toward problem solving with the best interests of the horses at its heart will ever be a reality. So much for “ Hope Springs Eternal.”
The baby I saw on January 22 was in incredible pain to the point that, as a wild animal, he could hardly lift his head as a strange human, a potential predator, approached. All the others rose and limped away. This baby languished in that facility with no windbreak in agony. A baby that had a chance if the humans involved could have attempted to create an opportunity to work together. Releasing that foal would have cost the BLM nothing… and maybe created the sensation that somewhere in this madness a spirit of humanity could overcome this battle of obstinate adherence to outdated bureaucratic protocol. I had “Hope.”
Little spirit you are now free of this administration’s unwillingness to recognize your worth. “Hope Springs Eternal,” rest in peace. You are loved.