Equine Welfare Groups Ask Congress To Save American Horses From Slaughter

We won this round in the House. The full House passed the Budget with the Moran Amendment intact. Still, this must pass in the Senate without alteration for it to become law.

Also in the Senate, American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176) needs all the support we can muster. Let's DO IT THIS TIME! Let's make this baby pass! The points against horse slaughter in this statement to the House will be just as relevant in the Senate. Let your Senators you want horse slaughter banned in the US once and for all!
Amplify’d from rtfitch.wordpress.com
Equine Welfare Groups Ask Congress To Save American Horses From Slaughter
Agricultural Appropriations Bill to defund USDA Inspections for Post Mortem Inspections of Horses Slaughtered in the U.S. for Human Consumption to be voted on June 15th 2011
  Dear Congressman,

We, the undersigned Organizations urge you to consider the following when voting on the Agricultural Appropriations Bill that currently contains Congressman Jim Moran’s Amendment to De-fund USDA Inspections for Post Mortem Inspections of Horses Slaughtered in the U.S. for Human Consumption.

The major market for horse meat from this country is the EU. FDA and EU standards ban Phenylbutazone in all food animals. After 2012 it will require lifetime documentation proving that they have not received a prohibited substance.

Since our American horses are not bred for slaughter, no record is kept of medications they have received and the EU is currently depending on affidavits from their previous owners. Killer buyers come by these horses at auctions where sellers are supposed to fill out the affidavits.

Advocates were able to photograph 23 of these affidavits (called Equine Identification Documents) at the New Holland auction and found none that had been filled out properly. Most had simply been signed and left blank for the kill buyer to fill in. A subsequent report by the EU [Ref.Ares(2011)398056]found that 27 horses had tested positive for prohibited substances and all 27 were carrying falsified affidavits.Horses that are slaughtered include former pets, riding horses, racehorses, performance horses, wild horses and work horses. Most of them have received the toxic substances like phenylbutazone (bute), de-wormers and inoculations that are not approved and illegal for use in animals intended for human consumption. It clearly states this on the labels of these drugs. Bute is so commonly used in the US that it is sometimes referred to as horse Aspirin.

By allowing American horses to be sent to slaughter, we are encouraging illegal activity and sending a possibly harmful product to other countries for human consumption.

If we were to fund USDA inspection of horse meat, we would put the USDA in charge of verifying eligibility and verifying false documentation in order to keep the banned substances out of the food chain. It will be far more costly than 5 million dollars. It will only benefit foreign corporations and consumers; Americans don’t eat horse meat.

By allowing our American horses who are not bred for slaughter, to be slaughtered anyway, we in fact become responsible for compromising the health of unsuspecting consumers in other countries. The future ramifications of this could be extremely serious.

You will hear from those few with a financial interest in slaughter, that ending horse slaughter will destroy the horse Industry. Their arguments are easy to see through. They are NOT speaking for the horse industry (WE are the horse Industry, millions of responsible horse owners), they are speaking for the Horse Slaughter Industry.

It is an outright fabrication that the horse industry has been negatively affected because horse slaughter is not available, it is available at every auction in the country and they know that. The horse industry has taken a fall because of the state of the economy and because it has damaged itself through over-breeding, in the same way the housing market and the banking industries damaged themselves by overcrowding the market.

Horse slaughter promotes over breeding and creates the overpopulation problem we have today.

Home builders have stopped building homes, because there is no market for them. While breeding has slowed some in recent years it is still being supported by the slaughter market. Some breeders are responsible breeders breeding for quality all around. However many are not. They can still breed 100 horses, pick out the million dollar winner discarding the rest to slaughter. It’s like buying 100 lottery tickets, cashing in the 5 winning tickets, and getting your money back for the loosing 95 tickets.

We need to slow down breeding until the market balances out again. We need to bring back the population of horses to a population that America can sustain, so that they all can have good homes.

Dear Representative, an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the many obvious reasons, which we have not even mentioned here.

We stand firmly together as Respect4Horses Organization (R4H), Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), Animal Law Coalition (ALC), Habitat for Horses Advisory Council, (HfHAC), Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS), representing our combined almost one hundred thousand supporters, members and volunteers when we urge you to;

Please vote against any amendment that may be presented on the floor (possibly from Rep.Cynthia Lummis) that would appropriate funds to the USDA to inspect horse meat. Please vote to keep Congressman Moran’s amendment in the language of the bill to keep horse slaughter OUT of the business of the USDA and illegal in the United States of America.


Simone Netherlands, Director, Respect4Horses Organization, (R4H) (928) 308-6718

John Holland, Director, Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA)

R.T. Fitch, Director, Habitat for Horses Advisory Council

Laura Allen, Director, Animal Law Coalition

Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director, The Cloud Foundation

Richard “Kudo” Couto, Founder/Investigator, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM)

Debra Lopez and Shelley Abrams, Directors, Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS)

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Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis Tips Hand to GAO Report Foreknowledge

How does Sue Wallis - who seems to be losing touch with reality completely - know so much about what is contained in the GAO report on horse welfare since the non-existent loss of the slaughter option in 2007? A report that was nothing but a delaying tactic to stall the passage of the previous anti horse slaughter bill - S277. For the closing of the US slaughter plants to have any effect on the so called "unwanted horse problem" there would have to be a disruption in the slaughter pipeline which DID NOT HAPPEN - not then and not now.

Obviously, this report WAS leaked to pro-slaughter interests as previously reported by HORSEBACK Magazine - and denied by the GAO.

This brings into question not only the motives and truthfulness of Rep. Wallis - as if there were any doubt about her motives and truthfulness - but also the GAO and it's report.

HORSEBACK Magazine has asked the GAO about these issues and so have I as a United States citizen, and neither of us have received an answer.

As a horse owner I HIGHLY resent Wallis' accusations about my motives. I also HIGHLY resent the extreme pro-slaughter lobby getting to see the GAO report months before the general public. Both these things are unacceptable.

PLEASE contact your Congress persons AND the GAO. To give or receive pre-publication information with the intention of using said information to influence legislation is a CRIME. So is lying to Congress.

Personally, I am SICK of Deep Pocketed Lobbyists running our country. If you are too, the write to Congress and the GAO. DO SOMETHING!
Amplify’d from horsebackmagazine.com

In Bid to Congress Wallis Tips Hand to GAO Report Foreknowledge

June 10, 2011

uoh logo
To the Honorable Members of the U. S. Senate and the House of Representatives:Please DO NOT SUPPORT any effort that will impact the welfare of horses or the horse industry without first studying a soon to be released GAO Report!

The GAO Study on the Horse Industry was requested by the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee more than a year and a half ago. GAO has thoroughly studied the effect of the horse processing plants closing in 2007. This study looked at the effect of the plants closing on the welfare of horses themselves, as well as the effect on farm economy.

We respectfully ask that all members of Congress wait for its release before sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or voting on any measure dealing with horses so that your decisions can be made on solid verifiable information.

It is our understanding that the draft report was due to be delivered with the USDA response back to GAO on June 8th. This is the final step in the GAO process and should be delivered to Congress and the public very soon.

Voting on any measure dealing with horses without reviewing the entire report is voting with blinders on.

You and your colleagues need to have all the available information to make any sort of informed decision.

The devastated horse industry continues to be attacked by corporate fundraising animal rights groups led by the Humane Society of the United States and their many minions. They claim to care about horses…but truth be told, they care more about raising money. Selling misinformation, peddling outright lies, and jerking the emotional chains of good-hearted caring Americans is their lucrative stock in trade. When these so-called nonprofits spend less than ½ of 1% of their millions on helping a single dog or cat, let alone a horse, the motivation is pretty clear. They offer no solution to the soaring increase in starving, abandoned, and neglected horses whose owners can’t keep them, can’t sell them, and can’t give them away, nor do they spend any of their dollars to ease the suffering of unwanted horses.

Congressional members who support these destructive bans and prohibitions on the horse industry are stripping a cog in the agricultural wheel in favor of an animal rights industry that does not generate any revenue or jobs. That approach supports only non-contributory, emotionally-charged groups and eliminates a multi-billion dollar, tax-paying and jobs-generating industry. The inevitable end result will be a nation where only the very wealthy and elite few can afford to have a horse in their lives, and the sad demise of our beloved horseback culture.

Because we are the horse industry which has been directly affected by the loss of market for unwanted, unusable, and excess horses, we know that the entire equine industry is liquidating and downsizing. Fewer horses means fewer jobs, fewer horse shows, fewer rodeos, fewer new trucks and horse trailers, fewer training dollars, fewer veterinary services, fewer saddles, bridles, less need for feed – all adding up to a devastating economic contraction.

Efforts like the recent Rep. Moran amendment to the House Ag Appropriations bill , or the apparently soon to be introduced Sen. Landrieu sponsored “American Prevention of Horse Slaughter Act of 2011″ serve only to increase the inevitable suffering of the very animals they claim to protect by removing a moral and humane use of unwanted, unusable, and excess horses. These measures are a direct assault on the private property rights of individual horse owners, and interfere with state’s rights to encourage responsible and regulated businesses to enhance and improve their agricultural economies.

Destroying the U.S. horse industry simply means any ability to provide wholesome products welcomed by a robust worldwide market is denied to our own people, and that any opportunity to profit is exported to other countries. With the ability to ethically produce horse meat under regulated humane conditions in the United States we would create more than 1,000 good paying direct jobs practically overnight, minimize the suffering of horses, and go a long ways towards restoring a devastated U.S. horse market. Without an economically viable secondary market the value of all horses at every level has plummeted, and the entire diverse equine world has been economically devastated. The GAO Report should tell us the true and accurate extent of that damage.

We stand ready with a broad coalition representing horse owners and the horse industry, state and local governments, tribes, animal agriculture, wildlife managers, land and resource management experts, pet animal organizations and sporting dog groups, animal welfare advocates, zoos, circuses, animal research, and literally thousands of individual concerned citizens to offer information and testimony.

We respectfully ask for your support of families who hope to raise their children and grandchildren in our beloved horseback culture. Do not be deceived by the misguided agendas of those who practice “compassion gone wrong.”

sue's sig
Rep. Sue Wallis

United Organizations of the Horse

Wyoming State House of Representatives

Vice Chair – National Conference of State Legislatures Agriculture and Energy Committee
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Drug residues in meat revealed in European report

I feel I must dedicate this post to Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis - better known as Slaughterhouse Sue - and her latest rant because the the House Appropriations Committee voted on an amendment to reinstate formerly existing language in a bill that prohibited wasting tax payer’s hard earned dollars on funding inspections of horse slaughter plants (5 million dollars worth).

That language was voted on and inserted in 2006 representing the opinion of over two thirds of the American public who stand firmly against the inhumane practice of horse slaughter in this country. The only reason that Rep. Moran of Virginia, an enlightened horse supporting state that makes money off from equine development, was forced to add the amendment was due to the back room, special interest finagling of Wyoming Rep. Lummis and her off the wall cohort “Slaughterhouse” Sue.

That's what set off this, Sue's latest screed in which she said - along with many other outrageous statements - that EU inspectors had never found drug residues in any horses. "NEVER," she screeched.

Besides this, EU inspectors recently busted slaughter plants in Mexico for non-compliance. And when they check Canada, they will find the same violations.

Read it and weep, Sue, but don't forget that we told you so.

Amplify’d from www.horsetalk.co.nz

Drug residues in meat revealed in European report

June 7, 2011
A European investigation into drug residues has shown horse meat had a higher percentage of non-compliant samples than beef, pork and sheep and goat meat in key categories
The report by the European Feed Safety Authority Dietary and Chemical Monitoring Unit is based on data for 2009 provided by the European Union member states to the European Commission.

From the total of collected targeted samples, 40.9 per cent were analysed for substances having anabolic effect and prohibited substances, and 63.1 per cent for veterinary drugs and contaminants (group B).

There were 1406 non-compliant samples (0.32%), or 1493 non-compliant results, out of the 445,968 targeted samples.
This was similar to 2008, when 0.34% of the targeted samples were non-compliant.

For non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (B2e) there were non-compliant samples in 0.6% of horse samples, compared with bovines (0.13%), sheep and goats (0.2%), poultry (0.46%), milk (0.03%), and rabbits (1.39%).

In testing for hormones, 0.26% of tested samples were non-compliant. In this category, 1.27 per cent of horse meat samples were found to be non-compliant, compared with bovines (0.34%), pigs (0.3%), sheep and goats (3.65%), poultry 0.05%), and aquaculture (0.46%).
Read more at www.horsetalk.co.nz

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I Don't Believe the World Will End Today. But Just In Case It Does.....

Just in case the world really does end today I wanted to tell everyone that it's been just fantastic knowing all of you. Yesterday was a super day because I finally got to ride! Indy and I only stayed out about 30 minutes because this was my first ride with my new hip, and I didn't want to overdo it, and besides, this was our first ride since last October when I had to quit with my old hip.

Everything went great though. My hip felt like my real hip before it started going bad. Absolutely no pain. I didn't even feel any tightness on the inside of my leg - either leg really - despite being so long since I'd ridden.

Anyway, if it all ends today, tonight, whatever, I wanted to leave you all with this wonderful little story. I found it floating around the Net years ago, the author lost in cyberspace. Too bad, because whoever wrote this really should get credit. Enjoy.

FOR ALL THE GOOD CRITTERS ---------- ... and the people who love them... 

A man was riding his horse down a road, his dog padding along by their side. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that his horse and dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them. 

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He nudged the horse toward the gate, and as he got closer, saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?" "This is heaven, sir," the man answered. "Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked. "Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open. "Can my friends," gesturing downward towards his horse and dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked. "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept animals." 

The man thought a moment and then turned his horse back toward the road and continued the way he had been going. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. "Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?" "Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there" The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in." "How about my friends here?" the traveler asked. "There should be a bowl and a bucket by the pump." They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl and a bucket beside it. 

The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then gave some to the dog while he filled the bucket for his horse. When they all were satisfied, he led his horse back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them, the dog following faithfully behind. "What do you call this place?" the traveler asked. "This is heaven," was the answer. "Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was heaven, too." "Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell." "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?" "No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind". 

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The Winter of Our Discontent

I know my title is not particularly original, but it's such a perfect fit I had to use it anyway. What are we discontented about you ask. Or, maybe you should not have asked....

By far, the most important problem this winter was Ami. She somehow bruised her feet worse than she ever has which apparently led to her first case of active laminitis since her original episode in 1996. Talk about scary! Given that she's always had thin soles and rotation from that first episode, more rotation was the last thing she needed.

We immediately put in an emergency call to Dr. Conley's new clinic with Dr. Koontz, and it was Dr. Koontz who came out. This was the first meeting for all of us including Dr. K and Ami. She was well behaved for him, and he immediately diagnosed the active laminitis. The first thing he did was tape some large Styrofoam-like pads to both front feet, and she immediately went sound in her deeply bedded stall with a stall mat underneath. Dr. K was very happy with our set-up and recommended keeping her in the stall for a couple of weeks, and of course, try to get some weight off.

HELP! I'm being held captive here!

Dr. Koontz coming back next week to do spring shots and check her out. Looks like all is going to be well, thank goodness!

Another problem with this winter is that it doesn't want to go away. We sprang forward just like we are supposed to .....

Spring Forward! THIS otta do it!

but it didn't seem to help. Temps have stubbornly remained in the 40s and 50s, and even when it's relatively mild, the wind is howling at 25 mph and/or it's pouring rain. I haven't even had a chance to see what riding is going to be like with my new hip and my legs being the same length for the first time in my life. Should be interesting and I'm getting frustrated with this rotten weather.

The most depressing thing during this winter though was learning more than I ever wanted to know about the workings of our government and how utterly corrupt it is. Special interests rule, and it's delusional to believe otherwise. Even small things - relatively speaking - like getting horse slaughter outlawed in the US for good and all and preserving the small remnant that remains of our once magnificent herds of wild horses on public lands in the west - are totally under the control of the special interests and the will of the American people is irrelevant. 

I would have considered the things I have learned this winter inconceivable if I hadn't seen them with my own eyes in pictures and videos of those in the front lines. And I'm not talking about the Obama administration either. This has been going on for probably as long as the Department of the Interior/BLM has been in existence no matter which party was in the White House.

Ever since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed in 1971, the BLM have been loading the dice in favor of the ranchers in the Public Lands Grazing Program until by now there are few acres left for the horses despite the Congressional mandate and even fewer horses grazing on them. The BLM rounds the horses up - at public expense - and warehouses them - at public expense while the ranchers lease their land for almost nothing.

Now something even worse is happening. The horses are literally being purged from their legal lands, but not for the ranchers this time, although those good ole boys haven't figured that our yet. No, this time the DOI is planning to allow extractive interests, many of which are foreign owned, to have pretty much everything they want. More open pit mines, shale oil extraction - known as fracking - tar sands extraction - all of which require millions upon millions of gallons of water which cannot be replaced because it is contaminated during the processing. Ain't that a hoot for states like Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, etc. that have no water now?

Meanwhile, the idiots ranchers are pushing for Nevada legislators to pass a law that screws with the definition of "wildlife," and will deny the wild horses the right to drink the water. No, that's not a typo. They want to cut Nevada's wild horses off from access to water. Well, when the water guzzling fracking and tar sands developing are finished with Nevada's aquifers there won't be any water for their cattle - or them either.

As for the pro-slaughter activists who block every effort to get a national ban on horse slaughter for human consumption, I'm even more contemptuous of them.

The big horse organizations like the Quarter Horse Assn., the Jockey Club and others want slaughter back so they can breed and breed and breed, looking for that "special one" while the culls - hundreds of them every year - are dumped off to be slaughtered. Nice, huh? Also, that horse that doesn't run quite fast enough, doesn't spin fast enough or doesn't have enough "cow" doesn't have a happy retirement, he goes to slaughter. Use 'em up and dump 'em off, that's their motto. Who cares how much they suffer or how many dangerous chemicals are in their meat. Not my problem.

Big Animal Ag seems to think that slaughtering traditional food animals might be threatened by banning the slaughter on a non food animal like horses. It's insanity, I know, but they actually seem to believe the "Vast Vegan Conspiracy" - which exists only in their imaginations - is using banning horse slaughter as a "slippery slope" to ban all animal precessing. I can't believe they think this could really happen, but why take chances, right? The only problems horse slaughter causes is intense suffering for horses and, given that American horses are not raised as food animals and are regularly exposed to substances that are banned from the human food chain, meat adulterated with dangerous chemicals is regularly being exported to unsuspecting consumers abroad. But, this bothers the Big Animal Ag fellas not one whit. After all, if there is the slightest minute microscopic chance that they might be affected, well, who the hell cares about anything else?

Lord, Lord! Excuse me while I go out and watch Indy and Ami having a good time, frolicking without a care in the world. And I plan to keep it that way.


Last one to the barn is a rotten apple!

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For High Crimes & Misdemeanors

Please read this and then follow the link to the page where you can tell your Congresspersons and Senators that you too demand that Bob Abbey be impeached. As you can see, there are more than enough crimes committed by this man to impeach him ten times over. It's incredible to me that in America a government agency like the DOI/BLM can lie, break the law, and deny public access to public horses - even after a court order! - not once but many times over many years.

Even worse, this isn't even about horses - it's about the extractive industries, many foreign - that want to dig more open pit mines, build more pipelines, use hydraulic fracturing - fracking - and more. The officials in our Public Lands states are only too happy to take the money offered to allow the DOI/BLM to lease these lands, and have never given a thought about the consequences to their OWN states or America in general. After all, the Public Lands belong to every American, no matter where they live.

The real sticking point is water - something the Western States do NOT have. All of these industries take water, millions and millions of gallons of water. Enough water to actually empty the aquifers in states as dry as Nevada. Fracking has also contaminated the ground water - before it sucks it all away.

The public lands ranchers who have demonized the wild horse for 40 years and have blocked every attempt to force the BLM to obey the law may have shot themselves in the foot. If there's no water for the horses, there is no water for the cattle - and soon, none for the people. Many times I've heard it said that the next war will be about water. Now that I know what is really going on, I believe it.

Impeach Bob Abbey!
Amplify’d from americanherds.blogspot.com
Sunday, March 6, 2011

For High Crimes & Misdemeanors

Last week, Vivian Grant, founder and president of International Fund for Horses in conjunction with Michael Blake, screenwriter of "Dances With Wolves" and two-decade long wild horse and burro champion, released a powerful call to citizens and advocates across the country to exercise their Constitutional rights for the sake of our wild horses and burros.

The timing of the call could not have been better as it coincided with the release of BLM Director Bob Abbey's approved "new" Wild Horse and Burro Proposed Strategy; a regurgitated and misleading pack of cow manure that continues to promote an unyielding agenda of spin and bureaucratic "substantiation" for continuation of their crimes.

"I believe crimes are being committed against our wild horses", says Grant. "Crimes that must be prosecuted and the federal officials responsible removed. We are asking Congress to do just that, starting with BLM Director Bob Abbey."

"Article Two, Section 4, of the United States Consititution states that "The President, Vice President, and all Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors."

International Fund For Horses then goes a step further by providing citizens and advocates alike an easy-to-follow, step by step guide to initiating Impeachment proceedings against BLM Director Abbey.

At a time when the BLM is extending its hand with promises of reform, why should those who are trying to implement change demand the Impeachment of Director Abbey?

I'll tell you why.

BLM has been promising reform and using their bureaucratic weight to generate these kinds of smoke and mirror tactics for decades now while our mustangs and burros have suffered and continue to suffer with no end in sight.

How bad is it?


> After the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed to protect America's wild horses and burros from harrassment, capture, branding and death, between 1971 and 1980 the BLM allowed over 69,000 animals to be taken off the range by private individuals claiming them as their own.

> In 1986, 20,000 horses went to large scale adopters and were sold to slaughter or abused as a result of weakened adoption standards, fee waiver programs and sanctuaries used as fronts for commercial exploitation; many of these while still owned by BLM employees.

>In 1992, Michael Blake funded and organized an independent census of wild horses in Nevada conducted by the Public Lands Resource Council. At the time, the BLM was reporting over 33,000 wild horses were on Nevada rangelands but the independent found less than 8,300. The results of the census were dismissed by BLM officials based on the assertion that BLM used a superior method to count the animals via helicopter while the independent census used a fixed wing aircraft. Today, BLM is making "progress" on new census techniques using fixed wing aircrafts.

> In 1992, an investigation by BLMs own law enforcement officials resulted in the accumulation over 3,000 peices of evidence being compiled about what amounted to little more than a highly organized horse-to-slaughter trade run by the BLM now known as Del Rio. The DOI, Department of Justice and Office of the Inspector General were all implicated in a large scale cover up at the highest level through a systematic dismantling of a Grandy Jury convened to try the DOI for alleged crimes. After the successful shut down of the investigation and trial proceedings, those involved in uncovering the truth about the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro program pleaded with then Attorney General Janet Reno to re-open the case. This request was denied.

> In 1997, Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza began a series of articles filled with investigative research exposing more corruption within the DOI's BLM, which touched off a fire storm of press about the Program.

>In 1998, a Congressional Field Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Public lands regarding Range Issues And Problems With The Wild Horse And Burro Act, which current BLM Director Abbey attended, quotes Congressional representative Faleomavaego raising the question: "And is it true that some 32,000 horses cannot be accounted for since we implemented this program?" Mr. Abbey failed to answer the question nor was an investigation ever initiated to determine their fate.

> In efforts to placate public outrage, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board was re-established after a lenghty hiatus. Predominately stacked with those who had glaring conflict-of-interest, staunch pro-BLM supporters were reappointed time and time again as the list of their recommendations justified each new step in extinction of the herds that continues unabated to this day. Public requests for investigations and removals of Board members were denied.


In March 2000, a Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Natual Resources held a hearing where long-time National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board member Larry Johnson submitted a statement in concert with BLM urging support for a mass cleansing campaign of wild horses and burros throughout the West under the "Restoration of Threatened Watersheds" proposal. Wild horses and burros, not livestock, were cited as one of the top three threats to watersheds in the West. The official testimony has since disappeared but was preserved HERE and was instrumental in launching the largest removal campaign of wild horses and burros since the passage of the Act, which is still ongoing today.

> After four years of massive removals, Senator Conrad Burns slips an eleventh hour amendment in an Omnibus Appropriations Act, without public notice or review, which allows the unlimited sale of our American heritage. BLM officially launches the legal sale of wild horses and burros to undisclosed individuals, a practice that continues today. The original language of the For Sale Authority clauses were found in a Nevada strategy document and linked to Nevada Senator Harry Reid. The majority of both advocates and citizens now consider the secret sales of wild horses and burros a legitimate function of the BLM and rarely call for its immediate repeal.

> Over the next decade the BLM continues to remove wild horses and burros at record levels while simultaneously reducing appropriate management levels and accelerating the elimination of habitat without accountability or review. As the costs of warehousing the now captured animals skyrockets, in 2008 the BLM announces the Program is broke and they no longer have the funding to feed the animals. Euthanasia of tens of thousands of animals is proposed and strategies are developed to kill wild horses and burros en mass and sterilize the remaining herds in documents titled BLM Team Conference Calls and Alternative Management Options.

> In response to the BLM's declaration of considering mass disposal of America's wild horses and burros, Congress orders the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review of the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program and answer questions about the status of the land that has been removed from wild horse and burro use. The GAO comes back with a report that freely admits the majority of the information and data used to compile the report has not been independently verified by the GAO. Instead, the GAO relies on BLM survey data to evaluate the Program and issue their conclusions and recommendations based on BLM personnel responses. With respect to questions surrounding the large scale habitat loss, again the GAO defers answers to BLM instead. After three years, the BLM has still failed to provide a comprehensive overview of the lands status and there has been no independent review as to the accuracy of BLMs summary reports.

> In response to Congressional demands for reform in September 2009, newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar responds with a new initiative a month later. A long-time cattle rancher with strong ties to the oil and gas industry, Salazar presents a vision that utterly fails to challenge the culture of corruption and history of abuse by pushing for so-called reforms that merely continue the trend of decimating America's herds.


> In 2008, U.S. District Judge Collyer rules the DOI/BLM has exceeded its authority by issuing decisions to declare all wild horses in the Colorado based West Douglas Herd Management Area as "excessive" and zero the area out. After the ruling, the BLM proceeds to issue a bushel basket full of new Resource Management Plans that continue to eliminate at least 2 million acres of previously designated habitat and schedule the removals every wild horse and burro they can find.

> In September 2009, the BLM launches a roundup of the Pryor Mountain wild horses and The Cloud Foundation is instrumental in catapulting public awareness of the plight of the American mustang and burro into the spotlight. BLM responds to increases in public scrutiny by closing off public lands to conduct their activities and BLM Field Manager Jim Sparks tells the public, "This is not a democracy".

> In December 2009, the BLM signs the decision to launch the largest wild horse removal operation of the year in the Nevada based Calico Complex. The public submits over 10,000 comments with questions about the legality of BLM's environmenal review process, discovers recent increases in cattle authorizations and that the BLM buried testimony and data from their own rangeland specialist to justify the removals. A lawsuit is filed by Bill Spriggs on behalf of In Defense of Animals, who argues that long term holding is illegal. While the judge agrees this is most likely the case, the BLM moves operations on private land to keep the public at bay and almost 1,900 animals are removed before a verdict is rendered; the case loses on a technicality and answers about long term holding are left answered.

> Advocates and citizens attempt to gain access to wild horses removed from Calico and are greeted by a barrage of law enforcement escorts and restrictions. Despite this, over 100 horses are reported as dead as a result of the removals including known miscarriages and aborted foals. Citizen based photos and videos of the reality of roundups gain national media exposure and the BLM begins to scramble to find ways to justify how roundups are humane.

> In June 2010, the BLM hosts a public forum led by hired spin doctors to sell the Salazar Initiative. This event will culminate in the newly released strategy document referred to above, which coincidentally found three main topics worthy of consideration out of 9,000 public comments, two of which are almost identical to Salazar's new vision.

> In July 2010, the BLM again closes all public lands during the Tuscarora roundup and is greeted by a lawsuit by Laura Leigh and Gordon Coward demanding public access. After filing a request for an injunction, the BLM suddenly announces the wild horses are dying of thirst and a BLM emergency response team is created to provide testimony to the judge. As a result, the judge rules in favor of the BLM and the horses are removed with little to no independent scrutiny.

> In response to evidence of inhumane treatment and allegations of illegal activites, Congress sends a letter to BLM requesting a moratorium on the roundups and urges the initiation of a study by the National Academy of Science (NAS) to review the Program. Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey ignore the request and the roundups continue. While BLM did agree to a review of the program by NAS, signs are already becoming visible that the study will have strict controls on what it will be allowed to review and just last month, BLM refused to upload the prior NAS studies online for public access. (That's assuming NAS will actually be awarded the contract as it is currently up for Solicitation of Bid and may be awarded to another contractor based on a "viable response".)

> On December 3, 2010, the BLM releases what it hails as an "Independent Observers Report" on the methods and procedures used to remove wild horses from public lands. Questions surface as to the allegiance of the observers and their "independent status" due to long-standing ties to the BLM's National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and pro-horse slaughter industry supporters comprising the team.

> On December 13, 2010, the DOI Office of the Inspector General (OIG) releases a report extolling the virtues of Secretary Salazar's initiative and asserts that roundups are humane and necessary. Though OIG inspections are generally conducted at the request of officials, the OIG reports they initiated the inspection themselves due to public concerns. Evidence of a whitewash surfaces one month later and suggests the large scale cover ups of the 1990's attributed to the DOI's OIG are ongoing. At the same time, a collaborative effort by advocates release an alternative report based largely on BLM published information and data that outlines the potential fraud and abuse of the Program and urges for the Defunding of Roundups through 2012. In response, the BLM ignores the report.

> In January/February 2011, a coalition of advocates document and film multiple abuses of helicopter techniques used to drive wild horses to trapsites in the Antelope Complex in Nevada. ("Antelope Roundup a Disaser for Wild Horses" by The Cloud Foundation, "Pictorial Essay of Obama's Wild Horse Stampede at Antelope Complex" by R.T. Fitch/Straight From The Horses Heart, "Antelope Complex Wild Horse Roundup's Final Days - Heavily Pregnant Mares and More Horse Abuse by Contractor" by Herd Watch/Grass Roots Horse, "Antelope Complex Ends With 1,368 Mustangs Captured" by American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign).

> The BLM reviews the Antelope Complex roundups, contractors, methods and treatment exposed by citizens to address allegations of impropriety. The BLM clears itself and the contractors of any significant wrong doing.

> Less than a month later, the BLM unveils its new plan and strategy for the future of America's Wild Horses and Burros filled with the same old rhetoric, misleading statements and craftily presented alternative "solutions". Promises of BLM's proposed reforms supported by well-heeled government lackies ring hollow, both to America's wild horses and burros, as well as within every page of the strategy itself.








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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra