How stress is killing the captive Calico mustangs

The numbers just don’t add up for the captive Calico mustangs

Elyse Gardner reveals a mustang’s eye view of how it feels to be processed for adoption

Humane Society Veterinarian reports previously undisclosed Calico wild horse deaths

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For the last 11 days, the BLM has been trying to make it seem that there is nothing we need to know about the captive wild horses form the Calico Mountains who are currently being held in a closed door feedlot in Fallon, Nevada. Day after day, since April 10th, the agency’s Gather Daily Updates have contained essentially the same message:

“Most stallions and weaned colts are doing well and gaining weight. Mares from Black Rock East, Black Rock West and most Granite horses continue to do well. Mares from Warm Springs and Calico are improving. Mares that have been isolated for poor condition are gaining weight. No miscarriages occurred. Mares are actively foaling and new foals are born daily.”

In the absence of relevant details, observers have no choice but to read between the lines. On Friday, April 16th, we learned that the BLM had started to castrate all male horses aged four and under. It’s hard to believe that the gelding has progressed without incident, but the BLM has been mum. What little we know about how the colts and young stallions are being castrated comes from the report of Dr. Eric Davis, who has inspected the Fallon facility on two different occasions, on behalf of the Humane Society of the U.S.

In his February 13th report, Dr. Davis said that BLM veterinarian Dr. Richard Sanford uses “an ultra short acting paralytic agent,” succinylcholine, to immobilize the horses “prior to the administration of a xylazine and ketamine combination, which causes unconsciousness and analgesia.”

According to Restraint and Handling of Wild and Domestic Animals, by noted veterinarian Dr. Murray E. Fowler:

“Succinylcholine is the most rapidly acting immobilizing agent available. Succinylcholine and other similar agents have been used extensively in wild animal immobilization in the past, but newer, non-paralyzing agents have supplanted them. . .

Animals appear to be bewildered by the whole experience. Psychological stress is associated with being unable to fight or flee–the normal alarm response.”

So in addition to the residual physical pain of the castration procedure, the young Calico mustang males are experiencing profound emotional stress from their inability to control what is happening to them.

Have the gelding operations resulted in any complications? We don’t know. Have any horses had to be resuscitated because they stopped breathing? Dr. Fowler warns that “cessation of respiration is a natural result of succinylcholine immobilization. Procedures should not be attempted without resuscitation equipment available.” And indeed, Dr. Davis’s report confirms that such equipment is on standby for “horses that became apneic (stopped breathing). Apparently, this does happen occasionally using the described anesthesia protocol, and there have been a very small number of deaths occur.”

If any of the castrations have been anything but routine, the BLM isn’t admitting it. All it will say, as it did today, is that “the gelding of four years and younger horses is underway and will continue until completed.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Two For One

While juggling too many things at once, time slipped by and I never even opened the proposals until two days ago. With only just days left, here is what I found….

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) simultaneously issued two press releases and two proposals, both related but neither mentions the other.

The first is a proposal to ram through the establishment of Appropriate Management Levels for 11 Wild Horse and Burro Territories (WHTs) that will be used forever more to round up any wild horses or burros that exceed these levels. The second is a notice that they will be preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate and re-authorize livestock grazing for much of these same areas.

Both are presenting skeletal information and ancient data at best and I have worked unsuccessfully for hours trying fill in the mountains of gaps these proposals are omitting from the public.

Before getting into the few specific details about the area I was able to glean during my research, it is imperative to explain how they are manipulating the public process here.

We have laws that mandate how the agencies must conduct themselves; laws that mandate quality data, accountability for agency actions, specific guidelines about what and how they must review proposals and how they must involve of the public in order to ensure our Nation doesn’t evolve into a dictatorship of secrecy and tyranny.

Read the rest here:

Here is my response from who ? we don’t know  I sent out alot, BLM. Utah governors, Nevada governors and US District Courts where I think this might of came from.  Notice how they all stick together…

Wild Horses and Burros
From: ENRD, WebContentMgr (ENRD) <>Hide
Date: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 7:50 am

 Thank you for your e-mail regarding the recent proposal of the
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, to gather wild
horses and burros.  We appreciate and understand your interest in the
well-being of wild horses and burros on public lands.  The Department of
Justice represents the United States, its agencies (including the
Department of the Interior), and its officials in legal matters and
cannot offer legal advice to private citizens.  Although we cannot
comment on the specific issues raised in your letter, please be assured
that the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior are
committed to the rule of law and to the full and fair implementation of
the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. 


The BLM Slaughter Conspiracy

 By John Holland and Valerie James-Patton

December 20, 2009

“Pure propaganda” was Bureau of Land Management (BLM) spokesperson Tom Gorey’s reaction in a recent AP interview when asked about the growing accusations that his agency is in the process of virtually exterminating the very herds of wild horses and burros that it is supposed to protect.

However, Gorey’s denial of the BLM’s intentions rings false in the light of recently uncovered documents from the BLM itself and of its own published plans and estimates. It is not possible to interpret these in any way other than a plan to virtually eradicate the wild herds.

Two internal-use BLM reports were obtained earlier this year through the Freedom of Information Act; Alternative Management Options Plans from October 2008 and the Team Conference Calls Report from July – September 2008. In these documents, BLM members presented, analyzed and discussed several management plans aimed at reducing the population of the wild horses on the range as well as those in holding facilities.

Proposals for reducing the populations included adjusting herd sex ratios with some of the horses returned being gelded, and an increased use of the contraceptive PZP, the use of other unauthorized fertility drugs called Gonacon and SpayVac and even surgical sterilization of mares (a process that has resulted in 10% mortality).
Also found in the Team Conference Calls report were these notes submitted by Don Glenn:

“Sally had an e-mail from a person in Canada who wants 10,000 horses that he would slaughter the horses and send them to a third world country. Don is going to send the email. Jim said he has a demand for horses going to Denmark, but they are having a problem getting titled horses.”

 Adding further to the plan for sending wild horses to foreign countries, the following recommendations were submitted to BLM from BLM’s advisory board members at the June 15th, 2009, Advisory Board Meeting held in Sacramento, Ca:

“that BLM advertise and market sale eligible animals (with the intent clause) in foreign countries with known good homes by offering “select sales” for sale eligible animals 11 years of age and over, and for younger animals that have been offered for adoption three times during a 90 day period and that BLM continue to explore opportunities to foster foreign aid by providing sale eligible animals (with the intent clause) to foreign countries for agricultural (nonfood) use.”


The BLM’s response to these recommendations was that it is considering these plans as part of a 5 year strategy plan.
Clearly, the BLM has already been corresponding with foreign countries to market the wild horses with the intent to send the horses to slaughter. The board recommendation that the sales include the “intent clause” was clearly a fig leaf. The BLM is well aware that it would be impossible to enforce the intent clause in foreign countries.
But if that were not an obvious enough fig leaf, then the reference to “countries with known good homes” is a laughable one. It comes as no surprise that the notes from Don Glenn, who is also a member of the advisory board, were not mentioned at the advisory board meeting.

While Tom Gorey may continue to claim that it’s pure propaganda that the BLM is in the process of eliminating the wild horses, the notes regarding the slaughter of our wild horses in foreign countries, combined with the advisory board recommendation to sell the horses to foreign countries proves otherwise.

The BLM’s plan is now clear. They will first ignore the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act and gather virtually all the wild herds, working year-round until only a few small, sterile bands remain free. If delayed in one place, they will simply shift their schedule and gather at another as they did with Buckhorn when Calico was delayed.

The cost of feeding these captured horses, along with the 37,000 already in holding, will then precipitate an enormous financial crisis. This will leave the BLM with no option but to euthanize or ship to slaughter most of the horses in holding.

The Big Story

Click Here for More Breaking News


A Horse That Limps Isn’t Lame?

By Steven Long

The English language is elegant, nuanced, but most importantly clearly understood
and spoken.

The Bureau of Land Management is an agency which has nomenclature all its own. The jargon is a juxtaposition of what the outside world calls things – what things actually are it is a language directly opposite the words everyday Americans speak and understand.

In BLM speak a wild horse isn’t wildlife.

In BLM speak a clearly injured horse that limps isn’t lame.

In BLM speak a helicopter provoked stampede is nothing more than a gentle run down a 5,000 foot slope over a rocky ten mile trek. Never mind the rocks, never mind the hooves. Never mind four spindly fetlocks carrying a 1,000 pound load.

In BLM speak there isn’t enough land to feed about 60,000 wild horses in the
261 million acres BLM manages, and more than 34 million acres dedicated to the Mustang.

The agency is a part of the U.S. Department of Interior. It may be more appropriate
to move it to the U.S. Department of Education, if for no other reason than for its employees to learn the English they forgot from school.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) Louisiana passed a bill in late September that could
revolutionize a part of the federal government that has a literal death grip on America’s herds of wild horses. If the bill passes the House and is signed by President Obama, the
BLM will have to reinvent itself. And well it should.

No unit of American government so needs reform. For weeks we have immersed ourselves into the issue of the care and management of our wild herds. We approached the issue with an open mind – in fact a bias in favor of the BLM. After all it has been a consistent advertiser in promoting its wonderful
adoptions of Mustangs in the Gulf Coast Region and elsewhere. And wonderful they are. We have personally seen many happy mustangs adopted from the holding pens
and into wonderful homes.
Another event, Extreme Mustang Makeover, brings knowledge of wild horses to thousands in arena competitions across the nation

Yet what we found in the wake of our investigation of the illconceived “gather” of a historic herd of wild horses in Montana raises concern. Allegations are that the BLM’s goal will eliminate Mustangs and burros from the wilderness. The BLM has
made no compelling argument to counter the charge.

Herd after herd is being decimated by BLM roundups. The BLM currently holds 33,000 wild horses in pens across the American West. So many horses were removed from the Pryor Mountain herd that equine geneticists tell us that the animals taken over Labor Day week leaves it no longer
genetically viable.And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and the public deserves a fair hearing in which all sides are presented. We believe BLM has much to answer for, much will be disturbing.

The House passed the Restoreour American Mustangs Act, or ROAM, by a large majority. It is now in the Senate. The law would reinstate the protection of wild horses removed in the dead of night in 2005 from the 1971 Free Roaming Horse and Burro

ROAM must pass.

Louisiana’s Landrieu has said she would consider moving the BLM’s stewardship for wild horses to another agency. Perhaps that proposal deserves serious consideration.

It’s clear that not enough people working for the Bureau of LandManagement understand enough English to clearly read their mandate under the law.


I-Team: No Straight Answers From Nevada’s Top Wild Horse Official

Updated: Nov 13, 2007 11:37 PM EST

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