Monthly Archive for: ‘November, 2015’

Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan Demands Answers from BLM

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Dept. of Interior Ignored Federal Law, horses ended up in Mexican Slaughterhouse

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, sent a letter today to the Secretary of the Interior demanding to know how 1,800 American horses ended up being butchered at a Mexican slaughterhouse in violation of federal law.

The slaughtered horses were under the care of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which failed in its duty to provide good homes and humane care to the animals, according to a report by the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior.

“It is unacceptable that BLM’s disregard of the law resulted in the use of taxpayer funds to facilitate the inhumane slaughter of iconic American wildlife,” said Buchanan.

The Inspector General’s report concluded that BLM allowed an individual livestock hauler to purchase 1,794 horses between 2008 and 2012.  Using intermediaries, he then sold the majority of these animals to slaughterhouses in Mexico for considerable profit.  It is illegal for BLM to be involved in any way in the slaughter of healthy horses, including the sale of horses to an individual who then sells the animals for slaughter.

In April 2015, Buchanan introduced the bipartisan SAFE Act (H.R. 1942), which permanently bans killing horses for human consumption in America.

Buchanan has long been a leader in the fight against animal cruelty and has been recognized by the Humane Society as a “Legislative Leader” for his work on animal welfare issues.

Full text of Buchanan’s letter below.

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Be the Voice for Wild Horses & Burros: Write a Letter to Your Newspaper

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Join the Wild Horse Preservation Project in giving a voice to the wild horses & burros.  To help increase public awareness and put pressure on the BLM and decision makers to stop the inhumane roundups, forced removals from federal lands and end slaughter, we need your letters.  It’s never been more important than now with the BLM’s admitted and confirmed sale of 1,800 federally-protected wild horses for slaughter and the massive roundup underway in Oregon.

Photo of Spring Creek Basin, Colorado Wild Horses: AWHPC

Click Here To Speak Up

ACTION ALERT: Letters to the Editor of Denver Post Needed

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The following update is from the American Wild Horse Preservation Project

Some of the 167 wild horses from the West Douglas Herd currently being kept at the East Canon Correctional Facility's Wild Horse and Burro Facility near Canon City on Oct. 21. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Some of the 167 wild horses from the West Douglas Herd currently being kept at the East Canon Correctional Facility’s Wild Horse and Burro Facility near Canon City on Oct. 21. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

With the massive roundup of 1,400 wild horses underway in Oregon, and last month’s revelation that the Bureau of Land Management had illegally sold nearly 1,800 wild horses for slaughter, now is the time to hold the BLM accountable for its mismanagement and inhumane treatment of our wild horses and burros.

Here is a link to the guest commentary that was written by Suzanne Roy entitled “Wild Horses Need More Humane Management” and published on 11/14/15.

What You Can Do 

Please send a letter to the editor thanking the Denver Post for publishing our Guest Opinion and supporting our call for reform of the federal wild horse management program.

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Update: A Sad Goodbye to Lil Bit

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The following update is from the Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang Rescue 

LilBit

My heart is breaking, and I can hardly see through the tears as I write this. I am so very sorry to have to tell you that we lost Lil Bit today. The picture above is her out on the range.

Matt and I were at a “meet and greet” with Honey Bandit, when I was called out on an injured horse emergency. While I was there, I called Shirley about the injured mare and this is what she told me. She could barely speak and I knew she was beyond devastated.

Shirley did what she promised and stayed with Lil Bit 24/7. She was watching Lil Bit and standing beside her in case she needed help while she was up and walking. All at once there was a “snapping noise” in Lil Bit’s leg, and she crashed, pinning Shirley under her. It took about 40 minutes for Shirley to get free, but Lil Bit was done. She absolutely could not get up again. Doc was on his way and Lil Bit would be set free from the pain and suffering. No one was expecting this, especially not Doc, but apparently she blew out either her ligament or tendon and it was horribly clear that she cannot recover or have any type of quality of life.

We want to thank everyone who stepped up to help this little angel. As I sit here I am physically ill and the tears won’t stop. Sometimes you wonder “why – why do we keep doing this?” Your heart is broken so many times that you think it may not keep beating, and it is nearly impossible to even breathe, the pain is so harsh. The worst part of it is that every time you lose one, it not only devastates you but brings back all the pain of each and every other one you have lost. Sometimes it is just too hard……

Click Here To Read The Full Article

Glimpse into BLM Holding Facility

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The following was written by Mary Cioffi for the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

tour1On October 23, 1015 I toured the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse Short Term Holding facility referred to as Broken Arrow located on Indian Lakes Road in Fallon, Nevada. I was unsure of what to expect. I have owned and ridden horses my entire life. I am a photographer of wild horses so I spend considerable hours monthly observing and photographing wild horses free on the range. The first time I had heard of this facility I was told by one person it was a “Secret place on Indian Land so they didn’t have to obey the rules.”  The impression I was given was that no one knew about the property and it was hidden and all was secretive so horses could go to slaughter without having to comply with federal regulations. I was told there were trucks coming and going in the middle of the night. Only a few months later I was told I could tour the facility and told that there were tours twice a year. The truth of the property appeared quite different from the public rumors. The other people on the tour seemed to have been aware of the facility which opened 6 years ago according to BLM representative John Neil. One couple was from Fallon and they stated that most people in Fallon do not know that facility exists. Churchill County records show most improvements were installed in 2011.

My initial impression when I drove in was that several high fencing obstacles were at the front and seemed to have been strategically placed in this area to prevent the public from observing what is going on at the facility. From the road I would have no idea that there were over 2500 horses on site. I paused and checked my Iphone map to be sure I was actually there. I actually used my binoculars to look around for the horses before I drove into the property.

Click Here To Read The Full Article

Help Rescue 24 Virginia Range Horses Who Face Slaughter Auction

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The following action alert is from American Wild Horse Preservation

We are desperately attempting to find placement for two bands of horses recently removed by the Nevada Department of Agriculture from the Virginia Range, who will go to slaughter auction in less than two weeks if we are unsuccessful. Additionally, we have eight horses at Horses Plus Humane Society in northern California who were removed from the Virginia Range by the NDA over a year ago. We have been paying Horses Plus to keep these horses and not euthanize them, however they are moving and cannot take these horses with them.

We are spreading the word far and wide about the need for placing these horses.

Must find placement in two weeks or they will be sent to slaughter auction:

  • A family band of ten horses consisting of 2 geldings, 1 colt and 7 mares/fillies
  • A band of three consisting of 1 gelding & 2 mares
  • A single bachelor gelding

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ACTION ALERT: Tell Whole Foods: Don’t Sell HMA-Fed Meat

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The following action alert is from American Wild Horse Preservation

Ranchers who sell beef to Whole Foods Market are behind the largest mustang roundup of 2015-2016 is now underway in southern Oregon. Whole Foods Market is striving toward ethical food sourcing, but there is nothing ethical about the way wild horses and burros are wiped out to make room for more private livestock grazing on our public lands.

Lone Mustang

This lone stallion somehow escaped capture on Sunday in the BLM’s massive Beatys Butte roundup underway now in Oregon..

 

The massive roundup under way in Oregon is being conducted specifically due to pressure from the Beatys Butte Grazing Association, so its members can run more cattle on the public lands in the Beatys Butte Herd Management Area, which is a federally designated wild horse habitat. Several members of the Beatys Butte Grazing Association — including its president — market their beef through a cooperative called Country Natural Beef, which is a major provider of beef to Whole Foods Market.

This means that right now, wild horses are being brutally rounded up, removed from their families and their homes on the range, all so that ranchers can profit by selling beef to Whole Foods, which then sells the meat as “grass-fed” to its customers at a premium.

We can stop this by exercising our consumer muscle! Please take a moment to tell Whole Foods that it should not provide a market for meat supplied by ranchers who graze sheep and cattle in wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs).  Whole Foods must adopt policies that promote protection — not decimation — of America’s iconic wild horse and burro herds. 

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Adoptions and Updates from SYALER Rescue

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The following update is from SYALER Long Ear Rescue

casanovaWhile we’ve had a few animals adopted recently, the rescue is full once again and I have a waiting list of animals to come in when I have room. I’ve taken back two donkeys I had placed, due to a very sad circumstance, and Sweet William is still waiting for his perfect home. It’s such an ebb and flow, and our adoption numbers are down quite a bit this year from where they have been in years past.

Keeping all of these animals does not come cheap. Feeding and caring for these animals is very costly. We have every animal examined by our vet when they come in – they are brought up-to-date on rabies and tetanus vaccines and have blood drawn for coggins. Any other medical or dental issues found during this exam are also addressed.

Thank you, as always, to all of you who continue to do what you can to support us. Please know that your efforts are very gratefully appreciated and allow us to do what we do – rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home donkeys and mules in need.

See the beauties looking for homes and other ways to help and if you will be in Springfield, MA for Equine Affaire from Nov 11-15, stop by their booth and say hello.

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Veterans Day and Longeared Soldiers

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Today we honor the sacrifices that our brave enlisted men and women have made to protect and serve our country. Throughout history, mules have also played an important part, serving alongside soldiers. One occasion where their value cannot be underestimated was the Burma Offensive of World War II. The 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) or more commonly known as Merrill’s Marauders was a US Army long-range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit. In addition to its specially trained soldiers, it also included mules.

The mules came from Missouri, Texas and Tennessee and were shipped to Calcutta. They were then transported into Burma by aircraft, and later in the operations were dropped from planes with special parachutes that consisted of an inflatable dinghy (in which the sedated mule would be placed) and attached to a triple cluster of three 28-foot silk parachutes. Mules were capable of being loaded and packed within 20 minutes of landing.

The terrain of Burma (modern-day Myanmar) was almost impossible for vehicles to transport and deliver supplies. Mules are well-know for their sure-footedness, self-preservation and hardiness and were the perfect four-legged soldiers.  They packed weapons, ammunition, food and water, medical supplies, equipment and radios through a 700-mile trek of what was considered some of the harshest jungles on the planet.

The men switched between being muleskinners and soldiers and many bonded deeply with their mules by the end of the offensive.  One soldier remembered, “We couldn’t have gone half the distances we did and gone half the places we did without the mules.”

Click here learn more about Merrill’s Marauders.

The Roundups Continue – Support Needed

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The following update is from Deniz Bolbol, American Wild Horse Preservation

I’ve just returned from the massive Bureau of Land Management mustang roundup taking place in Oregon right now. It’s so difficult to watch these magnificent wild horses ripped from their homes and their families, all so ranchers can graze more cattle on our public lands. 

I’ve only had a chance to watch some of my video, but I wanted to share something with you as soon as possible.

The BLM did not want us out there. Our lawyers had to threaten to sue the BLM to force the agency to allow the public to observe each day of the roundup.

I’ve seen thousands of horses being rounded up, and I never forget the look of despair in their eyes after their freedom has been stolen from them. So much fear, so much unknown, which they must now face alone, without their families.

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UPDATE: Recreational Trails Program Passed by Congress

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The following update is from The American Horse Council

american horse councilOn November 5, 2015, the House of Representatives passed its version of a multi-year national highway bill known as the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 or STRR Act. The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

During the debate of the bill, two amendments were filed that would have eliminated the RTP Program. However, one amendment was withdrawn and one amendment did not receive a vote. The RTP program will continue un-changed if this bill becomes law.

Read The Full Article Here

 

Rescue Update from Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang Rescue

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The following update is from the Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, Equine Rescue & More

Chilly Pepper Miracle MustangIt’s been awhile, so here is a quick overview of what is happening with our wild ones. The two horses in Utah are settling in well at Best Friends Animal Society.

Goliath and Granny Maude have settled in to their new homes and are doing wonderfully. They were two of our “special needs” kids.

Honey, (the Warm Springs foal who lost her mama to slaughter) has also been delivered to her new home in Southern California and is receiving all the love and care one could hope for.

We continue our “community education and sharing program” and were honored to be invited to participate in the Veterans Day Parade. Our rescue supports all veterans and it is an honor to share the day with them, and the smiles Cowboy brought were heartwarming to say the least.

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Tell Congress to Support the Recreational Trails Program

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The following action alert is from the American Horse Council

american horse councilThe House of Representatives will begin to debate its version of a multi-year national highway bill, called the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR Act) (H.R. 3763) this week.  The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The horse industry benefits greatly from this program.

However, two amendments have been introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) to eliminate the RTP program. The House could vote on these amendments this week.  

Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians.  RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users.   It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.

The American Horse Council urges all recreational riders and trail users to call their Representative and ask them to oppose the Carter Amendment #69 and the Yoho amendment # 158 or any amendment to the STRR Act that would eliminate the Recreational Trails Program. 

H-2B Reform Bill Introduced

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The following is a Washington Update from the American Horse Council

american horse councilOn October 29, 2015 Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the  Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2015.  The bill would make many needed reforms to the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural worker program that will make it less burdensome for employers, including those in the horse industry to use.

The H-2B program is used by members of the horse industry, principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.   However, On April 29, 2015, the Department Homeland Security (DHS) and Department Labor (DOL) issued a final interim H-2B temporary guest worker program rule and a final wage rule. These rules have made the H-2B program even more costly and burdensome for employers who are forced to use the program.  These rules were opposed by theAmerican Horse Council and other industries that rely on the H-2B program.

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Power of the Horse: Counselor Uses Equine Therapy to Teach Leadership Skills

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The following story was written by Mychel Matthews for MagicValley.com

Student Julian Wert plays a part in an exercise about overcoming obstacles by trying to get horses to go to certain corners of the corral during a leadership class Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Castleford.

Student Julian Wert plays a part in an exercise during a leadership class. Drew Nash, Times-News

Horses mirror feelings of the people around them.

That’s why Geianne Choate uses equine therapy in clinical psychotherapy sessions.

“I totally believe in the power of a horse to bring about change,” said Choate, a school counselor in Wendell.

She’s used equine therapy since 2004. All of her horses have been rescued from abuse or abandonment. But with Choate’s help, they become healers.

“Many of the horses come to me scared and with trust issues — a lot of the things people struggle with,” she said.

Horses are large, powerful and intimidating. Working with horses gives her clients an opportunity to overcome fear and to develop trust — and self-confidence.

For her students at Wendell High School, working alongside horses provides insight when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life. As the school’s National Honor Society adviser, Choate put the NHS officers through drills Wednesday at her ranch near Castleford, using her therapy horses to demonstrate leadership strategies.

Wendell senior Casey Clapp quietly monitored the horses’ interaction with the students and the other horses. Clapp is resocializing a rescue horse named Hope for his senior project. Hope will later be used in equine therapy.

Read The Full Story Here