February 9, 2010
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management has released a veterinary report to Horseback Magazine that was requested by several individuals and advocacy groups. The report provides sketchy details on the final days of a foal filmed by photo journalist and videographer Laura Leigh on assignment for Horseback during a Nevada “gather” of wild horses.
In the report, BLM veterinarian Richard Sanford wrote that “The gather most likely caused the hoof trauma in this case…” He went on to state that “poor body condition and weakness was most likely present before the gather.”
The vet report states in its entirety:
February 6, 2010
History and Report on Sloughed Hoof Colt
An eight month old colt arrived at the Indian Lakes Facility on about 1/20/2010 and was in very poor body condition and had sore feet. It was placed in the sick pen area where treatment could be administered. Over the next ten days, the colt was treated with phenylbutazone (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), penicillin (an antibiotic) and foot bandages (one front foot and both hind feet) on three occasions before it was euthanized on 1/30/2010.
The colt alternately improved and regressed. The colt would be standing while eating and drinking one day and not on the next day. The colt never was able to actually gain weight, improve body condition or show increased energy. Lameness improved with treatment but eventually the colt became too weak to stand. Hoof wall separation occurred on the front foot and one hind foot. The colt was euthanized for humane reasons.
The gather most likely caused the hoof trauma in this case. However, the poor body condition and weakness was most likely present before the gather.
Richard Sanford, DVM
NV # 565
The roundup was held in the Calico Mountains. Wild horse advocates claim that horses were stampeded as much as 15 miles before being driven into pens. One horse, dubbed “Freedom” by advocates escaped and was photographed in dramatic still shots.
The treatment of horses by BLM has sparked protests from coast to coast. On Sunday, another planned roundup was abruptly postponed by the agency.
CATTOOR LIVESTOCK ROUNDUP, INC.
Additional Note: On New Year’s Day, the BLM rounded up 10 wild horses but only captured 9 because a 6-month old foal died en route. APHIS vet at the scene, Dr. Al Kane, reported that after being chased by the helicopter for “1/4 mile” the little foal was behaving strangely, lying down periodically. It is reported that the pilot radioed Dr. Kane that this foal was having problems and Dr. Kane went out to see the foal who was found dead. Dr. Kane said that he did a necropsy in the field and discovered congenital heart defect and said that foal couldn’t have handled any exercise and probably wouldn’t have lived to adulthood. They left the body in the field and refused to allow the public observers to witness the body.
Calico Complex Roundup – 2010
Today is Sunday December the 26th. We are moving our equipment to the Paiute Meadows ranch in northern Nevada to start gathering the Calico Complex. This Calico Complex is a huge, and very remote area. It is actually five different HMAs. We will start on the east side of the Black Rock Mountains, then move around on the west side of the Black Rock Mountain to do the other four areas. We will move our holding facility at least three times and will probably use 12 to 15 different trap sites. We will probably be gathering for at least six weeks.
These wild horses are being gathered because there are too many horses for the land to support. The BLM is doing their job which is to manage the wild horses for the people of the United States. If the BLM just left them alone, that would be irresponsible to the people because they would be allowing the range and wildlife habitat to be damaged and the wild horses to die a cruel death from starvation. The wild horses in these areas will not all be captured because these areas are areas where the wild horses tend to move away from the helicopter and after the roundup return. It would be impossible to capture all of the wild horses in these areas during just one roundup.
We (Cattoor Livestock Roundup) have gathered these areas several times in the past. All but one time, the gathers have been done during the winter months. This is the best time to gather these areas because of where the wild horses live in the winter. To humanely capture wild horses, lots of things have to be considered and that is what we always try to do. Each area is different and the wild horses in each area are different.
The East Black Rock wild horses usually are always just above the Paiute Meadows ranch. We always try to set our traps as close to the wild horses as possible so they will have less distance to travel. We have always in the past set up our trap on this ranch because it is the best place to trap the animals. We are not setting the trap here because we are trying to hide anything. We are setting it here because it is the very best place to humanely capture the wild horses. This ranch is pretty much at the end of the road, so there is not much access except thru the ranch. We may set one more trap on this side of the mountain if some of the wild horses are further east of the ranch. We will be staying at a ranch about 15 miles from the Paiute Meadows ranch. I believe the BLM will be staying at a Bed & Breakfast about 15 miles from there. The closest rooms are at Denio which is about 70 or 80 miles from the ranch.
Then, we will move over and set up on the Soldier Meadows Ranch. This is the West Black Rock areas. This ranch is a beautiful working ranch with a lovely Bed and Breakfast. We will be staying there. We will set one trap and our holding facility on this ranch for the very same reasons as we set up on Paiute Meadows. Because it is the very best place to humanely place to capture the wild horses. That is always our first priority. More than one trap will probably be set up here also depending where the wild horses are staying this winter.
Then we will move on down closer to Gerlach. I will update later as we move along on the roundup.
I would like to add one more thing. Each and every day all of us and all of our wranglers go out and try to capture and process and transport the wild horses the most humane way possible. We all love animals, especially horses and wild horses or we would not be here. We are working with untamed horses and sometimes one can get injured or even die. I have kept track of every wild horse that has died or been humanely destroyed on all of our roundups since 1991 and it has been less than .1%. Most of the animals lost were for other reasons than because of the roundup. I have never kept track of just gather-caused deaths but I am going to do that from now on.