Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The BLM and America's Horses

I've copied a response from the BLM to Horseback Magazine, on their reporting. The BLM doesn't even know that Cloud is a Golden Palomino. Mr. McGuire calls him a "white horse". Also, Paul McGuire states that the horses weren't lame after the Cloud Roundup. You can read more about all that happened, here: http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/ and great coverage can be found at Horseback Magazine, by Steve Long: http://www.horsebackmagazine.com/archive.html

The BLM, in the dead of night (over Labor Day weekend) when we could not reach our senators and congressmen, rounded up Cloud's family. They are still holding 57 horses, one being the 19 year old stallion, Conquistador. And to achieve their goal of no one stopping this roundup, they paid their staff overtime! That's where your tax dollars are going, i.e., the decimation of OUR wild horses. The BLM needs to be fired!

BLM Responds to Pryor Mountain Coverage

The Bureau of Land Management has taken issue with the coverage of its “gather” of wild horses in the Pryor Mountains of Montana over the Labor Day weekend. The iconic Palomino stallion Cloud, made famousby Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens in the PBS series “Nature” by was captured and later returned to the wild limping. The following is the federal agency’s response to Horseback Magazine’s coverage. We stand by our stories and everything said in them.

Steven Long, Editor

Photo by Terry Fitch

From BLM Spokesman Paul McGuire

Dear Editor:

We appreciate your efforts to keep your readers informed about important issues relating to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. We know your readers value these cherished icons of the West. We know, too, that your readers value accuracy in reporting.

Unfortunately, recent reporting in Horseback Magazine about the gather of wild horses from the Pryor Mountain herd in Montana falls short of that standard. Let me point out several errors and mischaracterizations that warrant special attention.

In one article you use the term "equicide" in connection with the gather. That term, however creative it might be, has no applicable meaning here. By using such inflammatory language to describe proper actions taken under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, you veer into fringe territory hardly befitting a reputable equine news publication. It is true that BLM possesses the legal authority to euthanize healthy horses for which no adoption demand exists, but the agency has not exercised that authority since 1982, nor was it ever a management option posed for the Pryor Mountain herd. To suggest as much by calling the gather “equicide” is false and irresponsible. As for an internal document prepared last year by BLM staff (made public through the Freedom of Information Act, not “leaked,” as your article suggests), the agency looked at how it might implement all aspects of the law, if directed to do so by leadership. There was and is nothing sinister or devious about examining a contingency that is predicated on full compliance with existing law.

Second, in one article you report, “Several horses, including Cloud, were released lame…” That is not true. As Horseback Magazine itself has correctly reported elsewhere, Federal regulations governing the program define lameness as a wild horse or burro with one or more malfunctioning limbs that permanently impair its freedom of movement. No adult horses or foals suffered from this condition after the gather. The famous white stallion known as Cloud was gathered along with most of the rest of the Pryor Mountain herd and safely released back into the wild, along with a healthy and diverse group of 124 other members of the herd.

With regard to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued last fall on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, Horseback Magazine quoted an unidentified Senate staffer as saying the GAO cited "the [BLM's] utter mismanagement of this program." Horseback readers can review the report themselves (at www.gao.gov/new.items/d0977.pdf ) to determine whether that accurately summarizes the GAO’s findings. The GAO identified several areas where BLM could improve its management of the program and offered some practical recommendations as to how it might do so. In a statement issued Nov. 10, 2008, BLM fully agreed with the GAO's findings and recommendations (see www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2008/november/NR_10_11_2008.html).

Thank you again for your efforts to keep the public accurately informed. Further information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, including extensive documentation about the Pryor Mountain gather, can be accessed at www.blm.gov.

Paul McGuire

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Oklahoma Field Office

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Wild Horses

Monday, November 10, 2008

I received this message this morning on a group I belong to, evidently this was an unannounced roundup:

I just got a call that BLM, Cedar City Office is gathering the Sulpher Springs herd. Did anyone get notice of this. A herd of sheep were just released on a decimated range.

And then as the day went on, I happened upon these two articles:


The pertinent part to this article is this:

The executive orders of the Bush administration are among the many items that are being reviewed by the new Obama team. The transition operation that was set up in August, even before Obama was formally nominated at the Democratic convention, included a plan to scrutinize the policies that could be reversed through the power of an executive order of the new president.
The federal Bureau of Land Management is poised to open about 360,000 acres of public land in Utah to oil and gas drilling, a plan that the Bush administration has argued would not harm the land. Environmentalists have opposed the idea, a sentiment echoed by Podesta on Sunday.

And then I saw this:


The pertinent part of this article is this:

One of Mr Obama’s first acts could be to use the power of executive authority – which enables presidents to take action without an Act of Congress – to block the expansion of oil drilling in the Utah wilderness authorised by Mr Bush. He is also looking to use the same power to lift the limits on stem cell research imposed by the current Administration.

Please, if you do nothing else, please x-post - the world must know about this.

And let's not forget that the BLM, the protector of Bush (because it's certainly not a protector of our horses) will be meeting on November 18th, to discuss what to do with all of the horses they cannot feed. If they can't feed them, why are the rounding up more? Well, now we know! We can't be lied to any longer.

In conclusion, I wonder if what Bush is doing is even legal, i.e., removing our horses not for their welfare, but to drill for oil. Does anyone know, is there anything we can do?



Sunday, June 1, 2008

How does Horse Slaughter affect you?

After seeing a picture of a dead horse in a chute, I wrote this. It aptly describes my feelings after viewing the picture:

As I saw your broken body lying in your own blood
My heart sunk to the bottom of my soul
Your beautiful, still shiny coat was smeared
with the last remaining essence of your life
The life that was taken from you needlessly and with no remorse
Your beautiful mane tangled and matted
Your beautiful face turned into the dirt
Your beautiful life snuffed out, as if it meant nothing
But, you are remembered
You are loved
You are and will always be, a beautiful horse

Marjorie Caruso

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Horse Slaughter Promotes Abuse

Yesterday, this video was posted on MetaCafe: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/448941/take_me_away/

Take Me Away - The best video clips are here

Besides the fact that these horses were about to meet a cruel and horrific death, they stood in a crowded pen where they could not move or lie down, standing on concrete with very little food and water for 12 days.

My questions are: Where were the animal patrol officers? Where was the SPCA? Where was the USDA who is supposed to be overseeing the care of our horses. Why does no one care? Why aren't they doing their jobs? Do we allow this type of cruelty and abuse in the United States?

I thought the United States was above this type of behavior, but evidently not. What makes this worse is, where are all the TV News crews? I have not seen one thing about this abhorrent behavior on any news station. I've written to Keith Olbermann and others, but not one word nor one response.

Can't anyone hear the anguished screams of these horses? Has America become numb and uncaring? I don't think the latter is true, but I do know that our TV stations should be talking about this and they are not. I wonder why.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Horse Slaughter is Unethical

A horse in obvious distress, being hauled to his death

There are three horse slaughter plants in the United States, two in Texas and one in Illinois. Presently, the two in Texas are closed to slaughtering for human consumption, due to a 1949 law that the Texas court decided was in effect, as of January 19, 2007. At least one of these plants is still in operation, slaughtering at a reduced level for zoos.

In addition, Kentucky, Illinois and New York all have pending State legislation to ban horse slaughter for human consumption. If you live in any of these states, please contact your State Representatives and Senators and ask them to vote in favor of these bills.

Our horses are sent to slaughter traveling for days without food or water, crammed together in trailers designed for cattle to be served as a delicacy to Europeans and Asians. Some do not even survive this horrific journey to the slaughter house.

The horses are slaughtered inhumanely with a captive bolt gun to their head designed for cattle. More often than not, because horses are flight animals the killer misses its mark, the brain of the horse. Instead, the bolt is shot into the horses eye, face, ear, or neck. Since this is a mass kill (hence the word “slaughter”) they don’t wait to see if the horse has been rendered unconscious. This conscious horse is then hoisted by his rear leg and his throat is slit, thereby suffering a slow death by being bled out.

You can see this process here (very graphic videos): http://www.saplonline.org/slaughtervhumaneeuth.htm or here in Mexico where they believe that torturing the horse makes its meat more tender (some of our horses are sent to Mexico to be slaughtered): http://www.hsus.org/video_clips/horse_slaughter_cruelty.html

The horses slaughtered are not old, nor are they sick. Foals, yearlings, pregnant mares and sound horses of all ages and breeds are slaughtered. Would you want to eat an old sick horse? In addition, two Kentucky Derby winners were slaughtered, Ferdinand and Exceler. Ferdinand was slaughtered in Japan and the sign in the restaurant read, “Come dine on a champion”.

Dogs in America are used with our police forces, our military, and with the general public as seeing eye dogs, for the hearing impaired and for therapy. We do not slaughter dogs.

There are police horses, military horses, seeing eye horses and therapy horses. Many thousands of Americans have benefited, both physically and emotionally, through equine therapy. Yet, we still slaughter horses. We teach our horses to trust us and then without thought send them to slaughter when we have no wish to behave responsibly. Those who would prefer to receive $200 rather than pay that to humanely euthanize their animals can be called nothing less than, Judas. Their 30 pieces of silver snug in their pocket, while the poor horse that worked for them is dropped off at a slaughter auction to begin the nightmare journey leading to unimaginable cruelty and death. It is simply put, unethical. It is immoral. It is wrong.

Laws were introduced last year to the Senate and House. H.R. 503 passed the house in 2006, by 263 to 146, but when it was time to bring S. 2915 to the floor, Conrad Burns, former Senator of Montana, put a secret hold on it. I'd also like to mention that Conrad Burns was the person who slipped in a bill to the Appropriations Bill in 2005, which made it possible to also send our wild horses to slaughter. This favors the ranchers who are using the land that we, as taxpayers, maintain for these horses. But, Conrad Burns had other interests, i.e., the ranchers who are able to lease the public land for very little money so that their cattle can graze, instead of our treasured wild horses. You and I pay for our wild horses to be safe on federal land, but the ranchers who raise cattle for food are benefitting from our tax dollars, rather than the wild horses for which the money is intended. Conrad Burns was defeated in the last election and is no longer a Senator.

I’d also like to mention that these slaughter houses make millions of dollars, but because they show a loss in the United States and take their profit in Europe where they spend their money, they pay the U.S. /no/ taxes. American tax payers, until recently, paid millions for USDA inspectors to serve the foreign owned horse slaughter houses.

American’s do not eat horse meat and for a very good reason: Horses are our companions! Isn’t it time we stopped this atrocity?

If you are outraged by this, please call your representatives and senators to end this atrocity, ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 503 and S. 311. You can also download a flyer at: http://horses.generitek.com to help educate people about horse slaughter and sign a petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/631181096

For a list of the organizations and individuals who support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, please go to: http://www.horse-protection.org/info.php?id=37

A man of kindness, to his beast is kind.
But, brutal actions, show a brutal mind:
Remember, He who made thee, made the brute,
Who gave thee speach and reason, formed him mute;
He can't complain, but God's omnicient eye
Beholds thy cruelty - He hears his cry!
He was designed thy servant; not thy drudge,
But know - That his Creator is thy judge.

Unknown author from The Ladies' Equestrian Guide, 1857.