On October 7, the following members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill on behalf of protecting wild horses and burros: Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Dina Titus (D-NV).
The bill, called the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Protection Act of 2022, is a significant step in the right direction for protecting wild horses and burros from federal mismanagement.
Some of the major reforms to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Wild Horse and Burro Programs includes:
Repeal the Burns Amendment, which amended the original 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to allow for the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros;
End the cash incentives for adoption that have resulted in hundreds of wild horses and burros going into the slaughter pipeline;
Prevent the use of killing as a population control method and restrict the use of euthanasia only to life-threatening situations;
Prioritize humane population managementwith tools like fertility control instead of inhumane helicopter roundups and removals; and
Encourage partnerships with military veterans and non-governmental organizations in order to keep wild horses and burros wild.
We thank Neal Schaffer at Double D Trailers for sharing some important trailer loading tips.
You’ll probably need to use a trailer to transport your horse at some time. While some horses load onto trailers without incident, others get fearful and refuse to do so. We have put up this information because we know how irritating it can be when the horse refuses to load despite all of your attempts to convince them to do so.
How can a horse be made to load onto a trailer? By doing the following, you can make them load.
Observe the necessary safety precautions when loading your horse.
Desensitize your horse to the trailer’s other features, including its small compartments.
To persuade the horse to board the trailer, employ simple groundwork techniques.
Provide a positive experience for your horse as soon as they enter the trailer.
Be constant in practicing getting your horse on the trailer.
If you just want to compete, go to competitions, or even take the pony to the vet if required, you’ll need to trailer your horse. You’ll avoid a lot of stress if you can securely put your horse onto a trailer, we know. For the above reason, here is the lifesaver Double D Trailers Safetack Reverse Living Quarters.
The Double D Trailers reversing horse trailer is a wiser choice, thanks to a number of important features. The Safetack Reverse Slant Load trailer aims at the shortcomings of everything other companies are doing. The main aim of the company was to build something that could actually be more relevant.
Designs for rear-facing trailers have been there for a while. Instead, the company applied a fresh layout and additional safety measures to an old concept. Most of these additional layouts also have side entrances, segregated stalls, and reverse slant load configurations.
The area in which the horse may escape the trailer is constrained by the tack storage room, which also decreases the lifting area for the back doors. The Double D Trailers design has an additional wall behind the back horse as another safety precaution. This divider keeps the horse from attempting to unload as soon as the trailer’s rear ramp is opened.
Drop-down glass on both sides of the horse trailer and overhead pop-up vents at the horse’s head and tail are features of the Safetack Reverse Slant design. As a result, owners can face their horses either rearward or forward without compromising accessibility or ventilation.
We have step-wise demonstrated the following actions to train horses to lift onto a trailer:
STEP 1: Make the appropriate safety preparations before loading your horse
There are various safety risks that you should be aware of while dealing with a horse to load properly on a trailer.
Always connect the trailer to a vehicle
Prior to trying to load your horse on the trailer, ensure it is constantly connected to a stationary vehicle. Horses may weigh up to one ton; therefore, if a trailer isn’t connected to a vehicle, the weight of a horse might easily cause the trailer to shift.
Respect your personal space
A horse may begin to disregard any degree of self boundaries you may have when they become agitated over a task you are asking them to complete. By being aware of this beforehand, you may perform groundwork activities to teach the horse to respect personal space.
When dealing with a horse and a trailer, keep yourself out of potentially hazardous situations
Once your horse is inside the trailer, these zones may include the space between both the horse and the trailer wall. Never enter the area; your horse might easily squash you or become frightened and badly hurt you.
Avoid standing immediately behind a trailer with a horse that isn’t restrained inside; the animal could escape and strike you by mistake. Always keep an eye on the horse’s whereabouts and stand to the side.
Know how your horse would respond in this circumstance
You may get ready and be safe in advance by being aware of how a horse that is hesitant to load into a trailer might behave. The most frequent movement we observe in horses trying to board a trailer is a backward run, or of the trailer or out from it. When working with your horse, be sure nobody is standing behind the trailer.
As you guide the horse onto the trailer, exercise caution since the animal might jump on and unintentionally knock you down. By training your horse to self-load, you may avoid danger.
Before tying your horse up, be always sure to lock the panels or door of the trailer.
You are creating a very severe and hazardous scenario if the horse is restrained, yet there is no barrier to prevent them from backing out and stepping off the trailer. Always lock that rear panel or door before putting your horse up to prevent this.
STEP 2: Work on desensitizing the horse to confined spaces
It might be simpler for your horse to endure the entire process if you take the time to get your horse ready for loading onto the trailer. You may give the horse greater confidence during loading by acclimating them to confined areas beforehand, as well as by moving up and backing off of anything. Try the following exercises as a warm-up:
Create Difficult Obstacles to Surmount
The cramped and small area that a horse trailer offers may be the reason why the horse is hesitant to board it. Since horses are predatory animals, feeling confined, as in a trailer, may undoubtedly cause them to go into flight mode. Desensitize your horse to restricted spaces to help him feel more comfortable in the trailer.
Create tight-space challenges first; it is suggested to frequently construct a tiny funnel using ground poles or two barrels placed side by side for walking through. Simply getting the horse acclimated to these confined spaces is the main objective here.
Practice getting your horse to step onto and off of a cliff or slope
Your horse would enter the trailer without difficulty, but pulling out of it would be a major hassle. The horse might develop a fear of backing up the trailer as a result. You wouldn’t believe how many horses there are that are like this.
We’ve found that practicing sliding the horse down a descent, such as a little hill, is a fantastic exercise to fight this. It will feel like backing down a ramp when you do this. Train backing off of tiny cliffs or perhaps even stakes on the ground if your trailer doesn’t have a ramp. The horse will be more comfortable when the trailer is backed off in this manner. After some practice, many were able to back their horse out of the trailer with ease.
STEP 3: Encourage The Horse to Board the Trailer Using Simple Groundwork
Groundwork Suggestions for Novice Riders
Before we continue, we want to stress the importance of maintaining calm when working with the horse and the trailer. If you get impatient and put your horse in a stressful situation, the horse may become resistant to loading onto the trailer.
When loading your horse, pressure and release are the basic foundations you’ll utilize most frequently. A training method is known as “pressure and release” teaches horses how to respond appropriately by releasing pressure. For instance, you could exert pressure on the lead if you want your horse to advance. We’ll let off the strain after the horse moves forward appropriately in response. If the horse rejects or resists the pressure, we’ll keep applying it until the horse reacts in some way. We’ll next demonstrate how to apply this idea while loading your horse onto the trailer.
Getting Close to the Trailer
The first thing you’ll do is confidently and assertively bring the horse up to the trailer.
The more assured you are, the more assured the horse will be. Encourage the horse to move forward if it hesitates; if it begins to back away, stay still and command the animal to come back up to you. Hold the pressure while escalating it gradually until they comply.
Reward Even the Tiniest Forward Progress
You can let the horse relax and stand for a while if they seem a little more confident about approaching the trailer. It might not first appear as though the horse is loading the trailer. The horse can only appear to be placing one of its front feet inside the trailer. Release any force you may be using as immediately as they accomplish this, and then give your horse some praise.
If your horse is wary of reaching the trailer, remember to praise him or her for even the smallest forward movement.
Regularly Give Your Horse Breaks
Give your regular horse breaks, and don’t put too much pressure on them when loading them onto the trailer, if you want them to enjoy this experience. Making horses focus for extended amounts of time on something they might become angry with can be demanding because they can only focus for around 20 seconds at a time. Instead, take breaks for your horse every few minutes as you work them with the trailer. This might serve as a motivational tool for approaching or boarding the trailer.
A break entails briefly leaving the trailer and simply guiding the horse about. Never do this unless the horse yields to pressure appropriately. Whenever the horse is resisting you and applying pressure, taking a pause will actually encourage the animal to behave in that manner.
The groundwork phase of teaching a horse is regarded as its core. Check out some Foundation Exercises for Your Horse if you’d like to learn some fundamental groundwork methods.
Step 4: Make a positive experience for your horse
It’s crucial that you make absolutely sure your horse enjoys every moment inside the trailer in order to help them develop positive associations with it.
Give them a trailer to rest in after their shift
Your goal is for your horse to see loading up on the horse trailer positively. This suggests you to underline that boarding the trailer equals a well-earned nap and a sense of accomplishment. You must give them all the praise you can muster once the horse is in the trailer and let it know it’s doing well.
Remember that it is a significant improvement if your horse is very reluctant to board the trailer. Don’t take any actions that might fast reverse this progress and force youto start over. Simply because your horse was first frightened of the trailer does not warrant rushing them or being irritated with them.
Show them that it’s fun to be on the trailer
As per the horse owners, when their horse found out it would be riding in the trailer, the pony used to become very happy. As soon as it started moving in the direction of the trailer, it would simply get aboard and take a seat by itself. Why do the horses act this way? She was aware that within was a lovely, fully-filled hay net. Horses enjoy eating, and often they prefer the locations where they are fed. You may make your horse feel completely at home by just having them stay on the trailer and munch hay.
Since horses are pack animals, they naturally like to be among other horses. Put other horses on the trailer with yours so that it becomes a familiar place for your horse. Pick a horse that is accustomed to riding on trailers and won’t cause a scene. Your horse will stay relaxed thanks to its composed temperament.
Horses learn by consistency, so if you utilize the trailer frequently, that’s only reasonable for them to become accustomed to it. Although it can seem like a pain, this is actually a lot of fun. You can start attending events, outings, and off-site trail trips after you can load your horse onto the trailer. Every weekend, you should trailer your horse away from the ranch.
Never forget that horses require consistency in order to comprehend what you are asking of them. Be persistent in your training techniques and the commands you give the horse. Your horse will be better able to respond to your signals as a result of this.
Horse Trailering Tips, November 2014. Meadows, D. and Henton, J. eXtension.
Knot Tying: Quick Release Slip Knot, February 2015. eXtension.
This week marked the 50 year anniversary of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Sadly, America’s wild horses and burros’ future is in grave jeopardy, in spite of becoming a federally protected species 50 years ago.
The decades-long fight by powerful and wealthy special interests to rid our public lands of these iconic animals has continued to this day. And too many in Congress have been grossly misled by profiteers who continue to exploit taxpayer-funded public lands for commercial and private gain.
President Nixon signed the Act into law on December 15, 1971 and indicated that only about 20,500 wild horses and burros remained on public lands. According to Nixon, “…competition for forage used by domestic livestock, construction of new roads and urban areas, and expansion of agricultural areas have reduced their numbers and sharply decreased the areas where they are free to roam.”
Today America’s wild horses and burros face unprecedented and massive roundups, proposals for dangerous sterilization methods and a continued elimination of millions of acres of lawfully designated wild horse and burro habitat.
It is up to the American people to fight back against commercial interests and continue to pressure elected officials to stand up for wild horses and burros in order to protect and preserve them as intended by the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
Front Range Equine Rescue’s education coordinator, Marion, is a full-time teacher who has put together a variety of horse-related curriculums for students of many ages. She has fostered horses for FRER for over 15 years and hosts the annual horse camps at her 5-acre facility.
A few years ago, Marion developed a home school enrichment program where students participate in a unit of study called “Heroes Who Changed the World in a Positive Way”. In her program, students learn about Hilary Wood, founder of Front Range Equine Rescue, how she started the 501c3 nonprofit organization, what the rescue’s mission is, and how students can get involved and help.
Students watch a video featuring some of the rescued horses who have been rehabilitated. Next, they visit workstations that depict learning through hands-on activities for horse anatomy, read information displays about wild horse roundups, horse breeds, horse slaughter, horse instincts, and volunteerism.
Students play a running true/false game after gaining knowledge and also look at Front Range Equine Rescue’s website to gain more insight into the rescue and its various programs to help abused horses. Finally, the students work in pairs reading through FRER’s past calendars to learn more about horses who have been rescued and horse welfare issues. Afterward, they give a short presentation to the class to share these stories.
The participating students are all in middle school, grades 6th-8th, and range in ages 11-14 years old. In 2021, there are two sections for this special class reaching about 40 students overall, with 20 or so per class. 22 students signed up for the first section. This is now the 7th year Marion has taught this very popular special course.
Currently, thousands of wild horses are being rounded up over 3 million acres of land in Wyoming.
Meanwhile, the House and Senate appropriations committees gave the BLM a budget increase for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) to go towards BLM’s helicopter roundup programs.
America’s wild horses and burros are in grave jeopardy and need change now!
Your voice is needed to tell the BLM’s Director (Stone-Manning) to:
Stop funding inhumane, costly roundups and allocate those funds to scientifically sound on-the-range management methods. This should include safe, effective, and humane population control vaccines to keep horses on taxpayer-funded lands which have been allocated to them by law.
Stop the “Adoption Incentive Program” which pays adopters $1,000 per horse and investigations found that truckloads of wild horses and burros ended up in the slaughter pipeline as people took the money and dumped the horses.
Roundups need transparency — ensure that cameras are located on helicopters, traps, and at holding pens; allow appropriate public observation of roundups where observers are not kept at great distances or banned from seeing the capture, transport, offloading, and management of horses at holding facilities.
Balance the allocation of commercial livestock grazing permits within wild horse and burro habitats so that livestock (cattle, sheep) do not grossly outnumber wild horses.
Strengthen and enforce the BLM’s “Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program” (CAWP) guidelines.
The largest roundup in history began weeks ago with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) helicopter contractor targeting a capture of 4,000 wild horses across five Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the Wyoming Checkerboard.
This unnecessary, massive roundup will continue into February 2022. Over 3,500 wild horses will be permanently removed from over 3 million acres of land. Based on mortality rates connected to roundups, it is estimated that at least 50 horses will die horrible deaths as a result. The BLM estimates that just over 1,600 wild horses will remain on the 5 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) equaling one horse for every 2,141 acres.
Wild horses which survive the onslaught will be confined in feedlot pens that provide about 700 square feet of space per horse. These horses were used to roaming freely 10-12 miles daily!
It is fully expected that a large percentage of the horses to be adopted through the BLM’s cash incentive program will end up shipped for slaughter. This $1,000 per horse incentive program was proven to fail as evidence surfaced showing “truckloads” of wild horses ended up in the slaughter pipeline, per reporting by The New York Times. The horses escaping this brutal ending will remain in captivity having lost freedom and family forever.
And what is all of this for?
For decades, livestock special interests have lobbied to have wild horses removed so that private (and corporate) cattle can graze on our taxpayer-funded public lands. Right now the lives of thousands of Wyoming’s wild horses hang in the balance as the BLM’s massive roundup rages on, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
In January, the BLM released a proposed amendment to its Resource Management Plan (RMP) which effectively zeroes out wild horses from 3 of the 5 HMAs and then gutting the number of wild horses allowed on a fourth. This would remove over 2 million acres from wild horse use, and include “management” tools like the dangerous, inhumane and costly surgical sterilization of wild mares.
In drafting the RMP, the BLM appears not to consider solutions more in line with the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. These solutions would include the use of land swaps or increasing a program utilizing safe, proven, and humane fertility control. Doing so would help to stabilize wild horse populations and reduce the number of wild horses rounded up only to end up warehoused in overcrowded off-the-range holding facilities.
Send a message to BLM that it must not approve its preferred Resource Management Plan amendment, www.blm.gov:
The recently appointed Director of the Bureau of Land Management is Tracy Stone-Manning.
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) aggressive roundup schedule continues to capture and warehouse wild horses and burros by the thousands into existing and overcrowded holding facilities. Meanwhile, the BLM ignores that lawmakers have appropriated millions of dollars for safe, proven, and humane fertility control as a management tool.
In a joint FY2021 statement, both House and Senate Interior Appropriations Committees stated that “The Committees expect … a robust expansion of fertility control utilizing methods that are proven, safe, effective, and humane.”
During June, the BLM’s roundup schedule showed just over 2,400 mares were to be treated with fertility control this year. By the end of August, that number was cut to treating just over 1,170 wild mares. These numbers are a feeble attempt at “management” especially when the BLM claims that there are about 86,000 wild horses and burros on the range.
Meanwhile, the BLM intends to round up close to 17,000 wild horses and burros this year as they continue to avoid increasing humane fertility control or have in place contingency plans to deal with well-known issues such as range degradation or drought conditions.
Ironically, the BLM manages to fire up quickly to handle increased roundups, yet for decades they’ve refused to create an effective fertility control program. Their “manage to extinction” policy appears to be their true goal.
Contrary to what historians have said, the horse was here well before the settlers.
The original theory accepted by the Western World was that there were no horses in the Americas prior to Columbus’ arrival in 1492. The Western World concluded that all horses of Native American peoples were, therefore, descendants of horses brought from overseas.
This theory was forced to change after paleontology pioneer Joseph Leidy discovered horse skeletons embedded in American soil in the 1830s. They were dated to be the oldest of any found in the world. The American scientific community was outraged and questioned his findings. Ultimately, they were forced to accept the evidence he provided.
Roundups using helicopter or bait-and-trap methods are well underway across the West as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has amped up what it calls “emergency gathers” due to conditions of heat and drought. The BLM plan is to remove close to 50% more wild horses and burros from their home ranges than originally planned for this year. That additional number comes to over 16,500 horses being torn from their homes on taxpayer-funded public lands.
This is a tragic situation due to the long-time Bureau of Land Management’s failure to make use of practical and viable solutions to keep wild horses and burros safe on the range. In fact, these solutions have been available for over 25 years. For almost 50 years, wild horses and burros have suffered due to gross mismanagement by the BLM’s program which has long been dictated by powerful, wealthy special interest groups. These include livestock, “big Ag”, oil & gas, and mining industries that want to use public lands for their own profiteering.
It is also a tragic situation as other solutions exist right now. There are wild horse sanctuaries that make use of safe, non-hormonal fertility control to manage the population growth of the horses they care for. With the decimation of most predators in the wild, fertility control has been shown to be a safe and humane way to slow reproduction and also maintain herd health, including genetic viability.
Sadly, the BLM’s decision-makers have a lengthy history of refusing to establish an infrastructure to create a sustainable, effective fertility control program on the range. Instead, they continue to use cruel and unnecessary roundups every year as an excuse while claiming they are waiting for the development of longer-acting population control vaccines. The BLM is well aware that safe, proven and humane fertility control is readily available now, and their limited use of it could be expanded.
Sensitive habitats out West are known to be vulnerable to drought. There is no excuse for the BLM not to have in place a solid plan of how to keep and protect wild horses and burros on the range during such conditions.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced they will conduct mass roundups of the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin, White Mountain and Little Colorado wild horse herds across an area known as the Wyoming Checkerboard.
The BLM plans to remove over 3,500 wild horses from these taxpayer-funded public lands. The result would leave little more than 1,500 wild horses on 4 million acres.
For years now, the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) has let its members graze private livestock on these public lands. For over a decade, the RSGA has heavily lobbied the federal government to remove wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard.
The special interests of the RSGA must not prevail causing the removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands allocated to them by law.
For years, wild horse advocates have brought lawsuits on behalf of these Wyoming wild horse herds. It is critical that the BLM’s plans are challenged. The first step in that process is to have comments sent directly to the BLM asking them to halt the planned roundups.
Private livestock interests cannot be allowed to dictate whether federally-protected wild horses and burros get to live on our taxpayer-funded public lands!
To receive information on submitting comments, www.blm.gov; click on Wild Horse & Burro Program.
Summertime educational camps featuring some of Front Range’s rescue horses are always a huge hit with participants and their families. Age-appropriate curriculums give campers a chance to learn about basic horse care, responsible horse ownership, an introduction to various breeds, colors, and even some horse anatomy. Learning occurs with a combination of audio and visual aids along with actual hands-on opportunities. There are even guest speakers and demonstrators including an equine vet, farrier, and horse rider or trainer.
This year featured the very popular “The Care & Keeping of Horses” camp along with a brand new one titled “The History of the Horse” which finished its 3 days with campers performing a play (Sybil Ludington’s Ride) for an audience of 50 family members.
We Love to Hear Feedback:
“I never got a chance to tell you how special your camp was for Miranda and Savanna! Miranda has always had a love for horses, but being at your camp just opened up her eyes even more to a future in the horse world. She told me she looks at horses now as if she’s trying to understand their story and figure out if they’re in need of help or if they’re happy. You’ve planted this seed in her heart to give every horse she meets a shot at a beautiful life. I’m so glad she was able to experience your camp!!”
The “History of Horses” camp debuted this summer as part of annual educational events. Participants learned about the various roles horses played in our history as well as the role of horses today. Several horses (including FRER rescue horses Cricket and Cookie) took part in the camp, which also included a play (a short re-enactment of Sybil Ludington’s night ride) which was presented to parents and other family members on the last day of camp.
Most of us have heard about the midnight ride of Paul Revere, but Sybil Ludington’s night ride was a part of history that many don’t know about.
A young American patriot, Sybil Ludington was just 16 years old when she made a night-time ride rallying Patriot soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
Born in New York in 1761, Sybil was the oldest of twelve children. In addition to working as a farmer, her father was a gristmill owner who served in the military for over sixty years. He was loyal to the British crown until 1773 when he switched sides and joined the Patriots in the American Revolution. He was promoted to Colonel of his local regiment. His land was along a route between Connecticut and the coast of Long Island Sound that was vulnerable to British attack.
On April 26, 1777, Colonel Ludington received word from a rider that the nearby town of Danbury needed help as it was under attack by British troops. Unfortunately, Ludington’s regiment had disbanded for the planting season meaning his men were miles apart at their own farms. As the rider was too tired to continue and Colonel Ludington was preparing for battle, young Sybil rose to the occasion. She rode her horse Star through the night alerting the Colonel’s men of the danger and urging them to return to the fight. She rode all night through dark woods and in the rain, covering anywhere from 20 to 40 miles. By the time she returned home, hundreds of soldiers were gathering to fight the British. Ludington’s troops arrived too late to win the battle, though they did fight with departing British soldiers. It was a very dangerous ride for anyone to take, but especially so for a young woman.
The “History of Horses” camp also included learning some basic horse handling skills, grooming, and a scavenger hunt for “Revolutionary War” items.
Burros are amazing equids which play a very important role in desert ecosystems. Like wild horses in the West, many wild burro herds are under the control of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program.
Like the wild horses, wild burro herds endure brutal roundups and other inhumane treatment. A BLM plan for the “Lake Mead Complex” (near Las Vegas) would zero out wild burros from two of three habitat areas. According to the plan, a very minimal number of burros would remain in the third area. Adding insult to injury, the BLM would like to capture and remove all wild horses living in the same area.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Roundups (CO & WY)
Colorado’s well-known Sand Wash Basin wild horses are also a BLM target for mass roundup and removals. Their herd management area (HMA) is just over 157,000 acres of taxpayer funded public land. It is estimated that just over 900 wild horses call this area their home. The BLM’s proposal calls for removing just over 770 wild horses which leaves barely 169 horses remaining.
The Sand Wash Advocate Team (“SWAT”) has worked tirelessly implementing a PZP program for population control in this area. But the BLM still intends plans for their mass removal. The current plan allows for ongoing use of PZP, but wants to allow the use of untested (and dangerous) IUDs as alternative population control.
The BLM is also targeting wild horses in an area known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. This would be a massive helicopter roundup with the intent of removing about 3,500 wild horses. That number is approximately 40% of Wyoming’s entire wild horse population. The horses currently live on about 3.5 million acres in the southern part of the state.
The plan would gut the population to just over 1,500 wild horses left to roam free. The BLM’s proposal includes population control measures to treat, then release 290 mares with PZP and use unproven/untested IUDs. An alternative plan being considered calls for the surgical sterilization of 100 mares, castration of 100 stallions, and would skew the sex ratio of the population to 60% stallions and 40% mares (leading to negative behavioral effects).
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Round Up Plan
Wild horse and burro herds not under the management of the Bureau of Land Management fall under the direction of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The Forest Service models its management plans after those of the BLM.
Currently, the USFS wants to allocate taxpayer money (up to $18 million) to fund 6 to 8 years of wild horse helicopter roundups in the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory. This herd is located in California’s northeast corner (Modoc National Forest). The Forest Service plan would reduce the wild horse population to a fraction of its current size so that commercial livestock grazing on these public lands would be increased.
Speak Up for Wild Horse and Burro Herds
Contact your elected officials to let them know the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service need to provide on-the-range management of the horses, use safe, humane population control methods such as PZP, and work with public-private partnerships to put the welfare of the equines first.
During the last few months, Animals’ Angels conducted extensive research on the current state of the US/Mexico horse slaughter trade. Our investigators spent many long hours compiling and analyzing almost seven years of data in order to evaluate the true state of the horse slaughter industry and to detect emerging trends in the global horse meat market.
The results of our study are truly remarkable, revealing the significant impact on the industry caused by legislative changes and recent commercial disruptions.
While our findings demonstrate that real progress has been made through our animal advocacy efforts, they also highlight the need for continued action if we are to achieve our ultimate goal of ending the slaughter of US horses for good.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a mass helicopter removal of wild horses living in what’s known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. The BLM is proposing to round up 3,500 wild horses, nearly 40% of wild horses living on 3.4 million acres of habitat in southern Wyoming. The plan would reduce the mustang population to a low Appropriate Management Level (AML) set at 1,550 wild horses which includes 5 federally designated Herd Management Areas (HMAs). These HMAs are known as Adobe Town, Great Divide Basin, Salt Wells Creek, Little Colorado and White Mountain. The BLM also proposes to treat and release 290 wild mares with PZP (a proven, safe form of population control).
However, they also intend to use unproven IUDs which pose a variety of serious (even dangerous) complications. Also being considered as an alternative plan would be to (1) surgically sterilize 100 mares, (2) castrate 100 stallions, (3) treat the remaining released mares with an immunocontraceptive vaccine, and (4) skew the sex ratio of the population to 60% stallions and 40% mares.
The cost to taxpayers for this massive roundup runs in the millions of dollars as these historic wild horses lose their families, freedom, and even their lives. The BLM’s plan is pushed by for-profit, commercial interests, especially the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA). RSGA members graze both cattle and sheep on taxpayer-funded public lands. Over the past ten years, they have averaged more than 8,000 privately-owned cattle grazing in the above listed 5 HMAs.
The RSGA views federally-protected wild horses as competition for cheap forage on the public lands and has demanded their removal for years. Fortunately, wild horse advocates have fought them in court and have multiple wins for the horses against the RSGA which continues its fight against the horses.
Please take time to let the BLM know why this massive roundup and cruel plan is not in the interest of protecting these iconic wild horses. Public comments are due by April 30, 2021 (link listed at the end of talking points).
Examples of Talking Points (Use your own wording please):
The wild horses living in the Wyoming Checkerboard are important for ecotourism as they have a positive impact on local tourism as recreational users of these public lands come for wild horse viewing and photography.
The BLM’s plan would destroy the wild horse population in the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop area outside of Rock Springs, WY. The scenic loop receives heavy promotion from Sweetwater County as a tourism destination which gives a glimpse of the “pure and untamed West” and proof that “the American spirit still thrives.”
The plan calls for the removal of the Wyoming wild horses to a low AML, leaving a mere 1,550 mustangs on over 3.4 million acres of habitat. The AML needs to be re-evaluated to keep a self-sustaining, genetically viable population of wild horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard area.
The BLM’s plan proposes alternatives including indiscriminate use of non-permanent fertility control, such as IUDs, once the majority of wild horses have been rounded up and removed. Humane, non-permanent fertility control, like PZP, needs to be prioritized over mass roundups, as noted in past recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences.
In alternative IV in the BLM’s Environmental Assessment (EA) it calls for surgical sterilization of 100 mares, castration of 100 stallions, treatment of the remaining released mares with immunocontraception, and to unnaturally skew the sex ratio of the wild horse population to 60% stallions and 40% mares. The BLM’s final EA needs to reject alternative IV, the surgical sterilization option, and instead prioritize humane, fiscally responsible, and proven on-the-range management.
PZP has over 30 years of safe, humane, and positive results as a method for population management that the BLM should use in the WY Checkerboard region.
IUDs have no proven humane or effective use in wild horse herds and should not be considered as part of this plan.
The BLM plan wants the removal of wild horses who have traveled outside of the HMA boundaries. The BLM should make every effort to relocate those horses within the boundary instead of removal.
SUBMIT COMMENTS NO LATER THAN APRIL 30, 2021:
Since 2018, the bodies of 28 horses from the Heber wild horses of the Sitgreaves National Forest (eastern Arizona) have been found shot to death in the Forest. To date, not a single person has been brought to justice.
Adding insult to injury, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released a Territory Management Plan to include a mass removal of these iconic mustangs.
USFS wants to reduce the population of these mustangs to as low as 50 animals on nearly 20,000-acres of public land.
In the meantime, USFS permits thousands of cattle to graze within the horses’ allocated habitat.
Here are a few ways to help the horses which could make a huge difference on their behalf.
The Forest Service is using a portal to accept comments on its Territory Management Plan. Comments should be submitted before April 22, 2021.
Talking points listed are a guide for your own comments on the Heber Wild Horse Territory Plan. Please write any comments IN YOUR OWN WORDS (submit comments using the link provided at the end of talking points):
The current plan sets the Appropriate Management Level (AML) at just 50-104 wild horses on 19,700 acres. Even at the high end of this AML, that comes to one horse for every 394 acres! This AML range is far too low for horses to have a self-sustaining, genetically viable population in the Territory.
The suggested new AML, at the low AML number, means that wild horses are given only 600 Animal Unit Months (AUMs) yet cattle are allotted 5,730 Animal Unit Months to graze within the Territory. The Forest Service needs to adjust livestock use in the Territory so that wild horses receive their fair share of the resource.
The last population survey for this Territory showed that many of the horses were outside of the Territory boundary. The Forest Service should make all efforts to relocate those horses within the boundary instead of using immediate removal.
The plan provides for fertility control to control the population growth rate of the horses. The Forest Service must consider that:
Using these options impacts the health of the herd when the population is maintained at such a small population;
PZP has more than 30 years of proven safety and effectiveness and should be the preferred method for use in the Territory:
IUDs have not been proven as either humane or effective in wild, free-roaming herds. It should be removed from further consideration.
The current Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus (spending bill) contains a prohibition to prevent the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from the following:
Destroying healthy wild horses and burros
Selling them for slaughter
Does not allow federal funding for U.S. horse meat inspections which stops horse slaughter plants from opening and operating;
Includes strong language making it clear that the BLM must “include a robust expansion of fertility control utilizing methods that are proven, safe, effective and humane” in its Wild Horse and Burro program.
However, the final bill does not include a House-passed amendment to require the BLM to spend at a minimum $11 million to use PZP fertility control as a humane alternative to BLM’s expensive and cruel roundups.
Additionally, the bill contains an additional $14 million designated for the BLM to implement its wild horse and burro management plan. Because Congress did not specify a minimum amount for PZP fertility control, the BLM could spend most of the funds on roundups.
By including the strong language telling the BLM to “include a robust expansion of fertility control utilizing methods that are proven, safe and humane,” Congress did make its intent clear.
Fortunately there is a chance for some real progress in 2021 to increase protections for wild horses and burros. With wild horse champions like Rep. Deb Haaland slated to be Secretary of the Interior Department and Rep. Raul Grijalva continuing to lead the House Natural Resources Committee (which has oversight of the BLM), progress might be made at last.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is poised to gut wild horse herds that live in an area on the Nevada-California border called the “Surprise Complex”. The BLM will roundup and remove over 1,000 mustangs in this area, and because the BLM “doesn’t manage” wild burros living here, all burros are also slated for capture and removal.
The BLM’s goal of leaving 283 mustangs left in the complex, one horse for every 1,400 acres, opens up more land to thousands of sheep and cattle allowed to graze on public lands in the area. Currently, the BLM allows 7,483 cows to graze within the complex.
Wild horse advocates are outraged by this plan and are encouraging the public to submit comments advocating for use of the PZP birth control vaccine and revising the plan that favors commercial livestock over federally-protected wild horses and burros.
The brutal roundup and removal of wild horses from the Eagle Complex outside of Panaca, Nevada continues in the midst of too often frigid winter weather. The BLM has prevented daily viewing of the temporary holding pens, making it difficult to assess the condition of just-captured horses. Any public observer(s) has been kept distanced, making it hard to document what’s happening to the horses as they are chased into traps. It should be noted that this roundup has an unusually high number of deaths.
This roundup is the third time in just 4 years that the BLM is capturing wild horses from the Eagle Complex. By early February, this roundup captured 872 horses with 22 horses dying as a result.
Once the Eagle roundup ends, the BLM’s helicopter contractors will move to the Silver King herd management area (HMA) on or about February 5. This HMA consists of almost 575,000 acres of public land. It is home to just over 340 wild horses, including last year’s foals. The BLM claims that this close to 900-square-mile habitat can only support 60-128 horses. Their intention is to permanently remove up to 258 of the horses.
Part of the death toll (late January–early February) includes:
12-year-old stallion euthanized by BLM for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates a physical defect or deformity
9-year-old mare euthanized by BLM for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates a physical defect or deformity
1-year-old stallion euthanized by BLM for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates a physical defect or deformity
14-year-old stallion euthanized by BLM because of a clubbed foot
3-year-old mare euthanized for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates “soft tissue”
Front Range Equine Rescue’s strong financial health, commitment to accountability, and transparency have again earned it a 4-star rating (the highest) from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent evaluator of charities.
Since 2002, by using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations with its 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 additional metrics which focus on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors.
On June 1, 2016, Charity Navigator upgraded its methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health with “CN 2.1”. These enhancements further substantiate the financial health of the four-star charities.
Front Range Equine Rescue’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Front Range Equine Rescue to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Front Range Equine Rescue.”
Front Range Equine Rescue knows the importance of having donors trust that their donations are used appropriately to support Front Range’s mission to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education. FRER’s 4-star Charity Navigator rating shows supporters that Front Range is committed to good governance and financial accountability.
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) is again using an arbitrary “Appropriate Management Level” (AML) as an excuse to roundup and remove approximately 3,500 wild horses living in northern Nevada’s “Pancake Complex”.
The BLM’s goal is to keep only 361-638 mustangs remaining which means opening up even more land to thousands of sheep and cows allowed to graze within this Complex.
Now is the time to speak up for these innocent wild horses! Cruel and inhumane helicopter roundups along with barbaric sterilization procedures must be replaced with humane and proven fertility control methods.
You can speak up for the Pancake Complex wild horses today by submitting a public comment to the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Specialist. Comments can include advocating for the PZP vaccine as a safe, proven population control method, and firmly requesting a revision to the BLM’s current plan which favors commercial livestock over federally protected wild horses on taxpayer funded public lands such as this Complex in northern Nevada.
Hempward Farms is a family-run farm business in Boulder, CO. Using organic farming practices, they grow their own hemp to create high-quality CBD products for humans, horses, and dogs.
In the spirit of giving, Hempward would like to help Front Range Equine Rescue in an effort to thank us for our good work. For the month of December, Hempward pledges to donate 10% of all sales from this site. We can help the horses while helping ourselves!
Thank you for caring and please feel free to share with friends and family.
The person ultimately responsible for a horse’s well-being is you, the owner.
A critical part of the horse industry is to promote responsible horse ownership which includes education on the ways to safely place horses into new situations. The job of horse rescues and sanctuaries should be to help abused and neglected horses. While some owner surrender cases are rescue situations, other owners just need guidance and information on how to safely re-home a horse.
The reasons for giving up a horse might include job loss, moving, divorce, family tragedy, loss of interest, injury (to horse or human), illness, or wanting a horse that possesses different abilities. During times of economic downturns, horses suffer when owners face financial difficulties. When this occurs, there are practical solutions to helping owners keep their horses such as short-term assistance programs that may be offered to assist with hay/feed and veterinary care needs.
One of the most important things to consider when re-homing a horse is to allow enough time to advertise for a new home in order to locate a safe, qualified placement. Never send your horse to a livestock auction attended by horse dealers and kill buyers (those who purchase horses for slaughter purposes). Especially in tough economic times, your horse will more than likely end up sold for slaughter. It is far kinder to humanely euthanize a horse than to have it endure the brutality involved in the slaughter industry – from dangerous transport to inhumane killing. It is also important to put a fair market value on your horse; never advertise it for free.
The following are some options to consider when you can no longer afford or properly care for your horse:
If you bought your horse from a private owner or breeder, contact them to see about taking the horseback. They might also be a source for recommending other contacts if unable to take the horse themselves.
If your horse is in good health and can be ridden, consider the option of offering a half-lease or a full-lease option. This way you retain ownership of your horse but have some financial assistance with the expenses.
Spread the word! Let your equine veterinarian, farrier and other horse professionals (such as trainers) know that your horse needs to find a safe, new home. Advertise in local horse magazines or on reputable internet sites. Be prepared to carefully screen any responses to your ads. With any form of advertising, describe your horse and its abilities honestly. If he/she has not been ridden for some time, inform potential new owners the horse will need to be reconditioned for work. If the horse has special dietary or medical needs, say so. Many people lie or provide deceptive information about horses which hurts the horse even further.
Contact therapeutic riding or equine-assisted therapy programs in your area. While they do have specific requirements for the type of horses they can use, it might be worth a try if your horse has a quiet temperament, good ground manners and can do some riding. But be sure to check out these facilities and get references if someone might take your horse in. Advertise at local feed and tack shops, boarding barns and even places like Petco or PetSmart if they accept advertising for horses needing homes.
Contact a local 4-H club, pony club or similar associations if your horse might work in these types of programs. There may be a family or two looking for a horse. Horse rescues and sanctuaries generally operate at full capacity, but you can check with them regarding openings and if they do take in owner surrender horses. Occasionally they might be able to refer you to someone looking to give a horse a home.
A final word is to also consider the quality of your horse’s life.
Is it time to consider humane euthanasia as an option for a horse with a chronic medical condition, in decline from former use or injury or has other illness? As a horse owner, you are responsible for your horse’s safety and wellbeing. Only a few emergency situations require a horse to be re-homed immediately. Making the time to safely locate a qualified home for your horse is the right decision.
In an investigative report released on January 22, Animals Angels details recent findings when looking into a Colorado kill buyer’s actions. It’s not the first time AA has documented abuses to horses by this horse trader/kill buyer. Read more of their first-hand account here.
Fabrizius Becomes a Kill Buyer Kingpin Using Social Media
The once small-scale Colorado horse trader is now a large-scale kill buyer funded by an active online and social media following.
Jason Fabrizius, operator of Fabrizius Livestock, has long made money off the backs of innocent horses, but in the last few years, his once modest operation has evolved into a highly-lucrative kill buying enterprise that consists of multiple tractor-trailers actively transporting horses to slaughter and a large kill pen in Eaton, Colorado.
The subject of ongoing Animals’ Angels’ scrutiny over the years, Fabrizius is well known to our investigators for his bad temper and abusive treatment of the poor animals he buys and sells in his merciless quest to make a profit at any cost. We were thus appalled to observe the increasing success of his online business, which exploits the well-meaning attempts of his followers to save horses from the kill pen when in reality their money is being used to fuel Fabrizius’ growing enterprise and perpetuate the cycle of suffering and slaughter.
So, how does Fabrizius convince people who love horses to help fund his kill buyer operations? He plays on their compassion, asking them to buy a horse online to prevent him from sending the poor animal to slaughter. Unfortunately, the money paid to Fabrizius to “save” a horse is then used to fund and expand his operation, enabling the once small-time horse trader to become a kill buyer kingpin that has the growing resources to buy more and more horses.
The Bureau of Land Management is moving fast with devastating fall roundups. Just recently, they finished a roundup in the Challis Herd Management Area (HMA) located in central Idaho. The herd size consisted of only 429 horses.
The roundup of 295 wild horses occurred during November 5-11. Next, the BLM is expected to complete a census flight to determine how many wild horses will be returned to the 169,000-acre area. As of now, two horses died as a result of this forcible removal.
The BLM also announced their intention to move forward with a plan to cut the size of the wild horse and burro population in the Twin Peaks HMA located in northeast California by 80% over the next 10 years.
The vast majority of wild horses removed from taxpayer-funded public lands will never be returned to the wild. Many will be confined to living in the BLM’s holding facilities for life. Even more troubling the horses face being killed or sold for slaughter if Congress refuses to provide funding for their long-term care.
Roundups will greatly increase if the Senate approves a $5 billion plan, pushed by the livestock industry and BLM’s Acting Director, to reduce wild horse populations in the West dangerously close to extinction levels.
The BLM has released a management plan for the wild horses and burros of California’s Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) which includes future helicopter roundups and fertility control over the next ten years.
The Sierra Sun Times reported that the BLM’s plan “calls for several approaches, including using helicopter drive trapping, bait-and-water trapping, and fertility control to reduce the herd … over ten years.”
While the use of safe, proven and humane fertility control keeps more horses living free, a majority of wild horse advocates do not support the drastic reduction of herd sizes for wild horses and burros in this HMA (or others).
Close to 90% of the current wild burro population is slated for removal over ten years, leaving only 72 burros on the range which completely destroys the genetic health of this herd.
The plan’s goal for the Twin Peaks wild horses aims to gut the herd by 80% and release castrated stallions (geldings) onto the range. Not only does this negatively impact the herd’s genetic viability and survival, but the wild horses’ natural behaviors will be destroyed. There is a chance legal action currently in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals might delay/stop the proposed permanent sterilization of the stallions.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced their decision to round up and permanently remove ALL wild horses from Nevada’s Caliente Herd Area (HA) complex.
Continuing to use horses as scapegoats for land issues, the BLM did not bother to consider any reduction to domestic livestock in the same area. The intention to destroy this group of mustangs is shameful but not a surprise since the BLM’s Acting Director repeatedly sides with private livestock owners over the legal rights of America’s wild horses.
This decision is not about a single roundup. It is intended to eradicate mustangs in eight of the nine Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the Caliente Complex.
There are numerous reasons this is absolutely wrong, including the fact that more than 500% of BLM land is authorized for livestock than for wild horses and burros in the West. Many private livestock owners benefit from as much as half a billion dollars annually via taxpayer subsidies. Claims of wild horse “overpopulation” by the BLM and others are lies, further evidenced by the factual reality that wild horses are not found on 88% of BLM lands.
Stand strong on behalf of wild horses and burros by contacting your elected officials to ensure their protections on taxpayer-funded public lands remain. Reach Senators through www.senate.gov and House Representatives via www.house.gov.
On September 19, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee included a provision in the FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill which would maintain a ban on slaughtering horses in the U.S. This effort was led by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill’s language disallows the use of taxpayer dollars for horse slaughter inspections, which prevents horse slaughter plants from operating.
Similar language was included in the House FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill in June. Right now, it is expected the defund will be included in any final spending bill passed by Congress.
Horse slaughter is animal cruelty, unnecessary, and taxpayer dollars should not pay for it. America’s horses are not food animals and are not regulated as such. There are over 115 banned substances for use in food animals which appear in a variety of products and medications used on horses.
America’s horses are unfit for human consumption.
Previously, U.S. horse slaughter plants operated until 2007 and were shipping the meat overseas for human consumption. Some horses were shipped into Mexico and Canada for slaughter as well. When U.S. plants closed, all horses were sent to Mexican and Canadian plants (along with several hundred annually into Japan).
Slaughter is a frightening and torturous ordeal for horses who are victims of this predatory industry. Many horses are severely injured during transport from auctions or kill lots to horse slaughter plants. Some horses regain consciousness after initial stunning or misfired gunshot (2 methods used in the kill box) and are fully aware while being killed.
The language to defund horse slaughter has been maintained via yearly spending bills; however, it is not a permanent solution. At this time only federal legislation which specifically outlaws U.S. horses from being slaughtered on American soil and across our borders will end this vile trade.
Just after the July 4 (Independence Day) holiday, helicopters took to the skies to stampede terrified wild horse herds across public lands in the brutal summer heat. Foals were cruelly separated from their mothers, many dropping to the ground from sheer exhaustion. The overcrowded capture pens teamed with masses of wild horses, trapped with no means to return to freedom.
Results from Nevada’s Triple B wild horse roundup which ended last week showed 802 wild horses captured with fourteen horses dead.
Behind unnecessary annual roundups lurks greed and cruelty where private ranchers and profit-driven corporate special interests dictate what happens to America’s wild horses left on taxpayer-funded public lands.
The BLM’s 10-year plan for the Triple B and Antelope complexes includes the removal of thousands of wild horses from their lawful home on our public lands with castration of 50% of the stallions still in the wild, thereby destroying their natural behaviors. In other words, a 10-year plan of mass destruction.
Until roundups end, these wild horses and thousands more across the West await an uncertain and inhumane future.
Contact your elected officials to protest unnecessary roundups and dangerous surgical procedures causing permanent sterilization. Locate your two Senators at www.senate.gov; your House Rep at www.house.gov.
Progress was made this past week as H.R. 693, the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with 333 votes! This is a tremendous victory for equine advocates in a lengthy battle to end this cruel practice.
In short, this H.R. 693 addresses the practice of soring horses. Soring includes various actions taken on a horse’s legs to produce higher gaits. These “actions” are known to cause pain, distress, inflammation and/or lameness.
Specifically, the bill expands regulation and enforcement of soring practices at horse shows, exhibitions, sales and auctions, including establishing a new system for inspecting horses for signs of soring. The bill also increases penalties for violations.
Click here to read more about this great victory in the U.S. House toward ending a cruel and horrific practice inflicted for decades, particularly in gaited horse shows.
At the end of June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved language for the FY2020 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations budget bill regarding wild horse and burro management.
The House decision appropriates $6 million to implement a plan to remove large numbers of wild horses over several years. This plan has been promoted by special interest lobbying groups and been met with opposition by many wild horse advocates.
Pressure is expected to be put on the U.S. Senate to maintain wild horse protections in their version of the budget bill regarding wild horses and to not allow the proposed plan to move ahead.
Due to the imminent threat of slaughter for wild horses rounded up last year from the Modoc National Forest in California, the House did include appropriations language to stop the U.S. Forest Service from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter. There is also existing law which disallows the BLM from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter.
Chairman of the House Natural Resources, Raul Grijalva, and Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus championed the important provision to stop the Forest Service from selling wild horses for slaughter.
It is believed that the Senate will take up its version of FY2020 spending legislation late summer or early fall. Constituents are urged to contact their U.S. representatives to ensure America’s wild horses and burros receive full protection under the 1971 law.
You can locate and contact your elected officials thru www.house.gov and www.senate.gov to let them know that humane on-the-range management options should be a priority along with safe, proven population control methods such as PZP. They should not vote for plans which promote dangerous, permanent sterilization procedures.
The educational camp “Hanging With Horses” is offered to those who complete “The Care & Keeping of Horses” camp. This year’s Hanging with Horses was full of enthusiastic campers who learned even more about basic horse care and handling through arts/crafts, story telling, videos, books and additional hands-on experiences with a full-sized horse (Splash) and two of FRER’s rescue horses (a pony named Cricket and a miniature horse named Tilly).
Campers also learn information on horse abuse issues (in an age appropriate curriculum), how to report potential abuse, and the basics of emergency/disaster evacuation for horses.
They also had a chance to put together horse-related skits using information learned from the camp curriculum.
Here is a brief summary from Day One of the annual “Care & Keeping of Horses” Camp:
Thank you for sending your awesome children to Horse Camp! We started by going on a horse hunt, finding horses everywhere! We learned about different breeds, and how horses move. We were visited by Farrier Dave and learned the parts of the hoof. We played a horse/trainer game, learning how to safely lead a 1,000 pound animal as well as how to correctly use a halter and lead rope. We watched a short DVD about Front Range Equine Rescue. Each camper should have come home with a calendar. We appreciate your family understanding our hope to educate the younger generation to help us stop the abuse and neglect of horses. We groomed all three horses and we mucked the field. We played a prey/predator game to learn about the trials and hardships of wild horses. We ended our time together hearing the story about “Molly” the horse who got a prosthetic leg after hurricane Katrina. Campers are encouraged to read their horse books and hopefully share something they learned from their book with others in the morning.
Yours in Horses,
Marion and Gianna
(Note: Marion is FRER’s Executive Director and in charge of education/events/volunteer activities based in Colorado; her daughter Gianna is her #1 assistant at the summer educational camps).
On other camp days, participants learned about basic veterinary care, general horse anatomy, watched demonstrations from different types of riders and trainers, put together horse related collages and more.
The following is an excerpt from a media release by Animal Wellness Action:
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to coddle and tolerate serious violations of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), meting out token and virtually meaningless penalties for people who’ve repeatedly harmed Tennessee Walking Horses in order to win ribbons at horse shows.
Using a legal mechanism called a consent decree, the supposed targets of the USDA essentially maintain their claim they did nothing wrong, and then promise never to do it again. The agreements would allow scofflaw trainers to continue to compete in events during the 2019 show season, with several “penalties” not even barring the alleged violators from participation in events that drew scrutiny, until after the 2020 season.
“The ‘penalties’ imposed by USDA on chronic abusers of horses are so weak as to be meaningless,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “To allow admitted abusers to compete uninterrupted until the end of 2020 and 2022 is despicable and is an invitation to other horse abusers that they may continue soring horses and they won’t have to pay a cent or miss a horse show for years.”
Soring is a practice that results from intentional infliction of pain to Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses’ front limbs to achieve an artificial, manufactured exaggeration of their gait, known as the “big lick,” that’s exhibited throughout the Southeastern U.S. Trainers apply caustic chemicals, such as diesel fuel, kerosene, and mustard oil, to the legs and insert sharp objects in the hooves to achieve this grotesque appearance that’s rewarded at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
“Now more than two years into the Administration, we see a distinctive pattern from the new leadership at USDA: they either won’t investigate or won’t mete out meaningful penalties when it comes to people who hurt animals,” said Joshua Marquis, director of legal affairs and enforcement at Animal Wellness Action, and former Oregon District Attorney for 25 years. “We ask USDA to show us even a single case when they sent a clear signal to animal abusers that their conduct won’t be tolerated. Simply allowing them to say, ‘we didn’t do anything wrong, and we won’t do that again for an upcoming two-year period is barely enforcement.”
USDA has recently posted numerous “consent decisions” related to walking horse trainers who have long records of violating the federal law. Suspensions for the trainers Herbert Derickson, Dick Peebles, Larry Edwards, and Gary Edwards don’t begin until after the 2019 show season that will be kicked off at the Walking Horse Trainers’ Show in Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 21st. Both Derickson’s and Gary Edward’s suspensions don’t begin until December 2020, and September 2022 respectively, allowing those trainers to continue to compete for the next 2-3 years before receiving any punishment. Each of these individuals are “World Grand Champion” trainers who have served previous years’ long federal suspensions for violating the HPA.
The Horse Protection Act of 1970 bars exhibiting horses in shows if they had been subjected to soring. Veterinarian U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), have introduced the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings’ Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693 to update and upgrade the 50-year-old statute, and Animal Wellness Action continues to lead the charge on Capitol Hill to pass this critical measure. The PAST Act would eliminate the use of large stacked shoes and ankle chains integral to the soring process, replacing the industry’s failed self-policing program with licensed USDA inspectors at no cost to the taxpayer, and increasing penalties for violators. The measure currently has 174 cosponsors in the House and garnered 290 in the previous Congress. A Senate companion should be introduced soon by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).
Thanks to the great people at FLOAT we are raising funds to help keep our rescue horses fed!
From March 4 thru March 11 our limited edition “Protect America’s Horses” tees are available for purchase here. For every shirt sold, FLOAT will donate $8 to the rescue. Our goal is to raise $1,000 which will help buy feed for our Colorado and Florida rescue horses.
This unique offer is only available for one week!
Join us in speaking up for America’s horses and ending their abuse. Wearing one of these special tees shows others you care about horses and their welfare. We cannot buy better advertising than having “human billboards” educating others about the plight of neglected horses.
We’ve committed to several new horses in need to arrive at our Colorado location between mid-March and the first week of April.
Equine Facilitated Therapy (EFT) is a fast-growing, highly effective therapeutic mental health treatment being used across the nation. EFT is used for everything from trauma and addiction recovery to therapeutic riding for special needs, including autism. The therapy may involve learning horse care, riding or to simply be around and learn to trust the horses. These types of programs involve a mental health counselor and equine specialist.
“Horses have the special ability to make you be totally in the moment, making talking about the trauma I went through so much easier and less painful,” says Dugard, now 38. “The work Dr. Bailey was doing really resonated with me. The way she incorporated horses into our sessions was so much more impactful than just regular talk therapy.”
Click here to read “The Healing Power of Horses: How Equine Therapy Benefits Veterans, Victims of Abuse & More”
The U.S. Senate appears to be on the verge of passing a bill called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act), that would establish malicious animal cruelty as a federal felony. The PACT Act was introduced in the house by Democrat Rep. Ted Deutch and Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan.
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan said. “Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I look forward to working with Congressman Deutch on this important issue” (KRDO News Coverage).
If the bill is signed into law, malicious cruelty would be considered a federal offense and it could send violators to prison for up to seven years.
At the end of 2017 we received a desperate email plea for help from an animal sanctuary in severe financial trouble.
They have over 500 domestic and wild animals including close to 85 equines (horses, ponies, donkeys).
The disturbing message indicated there was no money available for purchasing quality hay; the grass was dead and veterinary care could not be provided if needed.
We’ve been rescuing the most urgent needs horses first but there are dozens more which require help now before this situation becomes a tragedy.
It’s a very challenging situation for many reasons. The majority of these horses must place with equine sanctuaries. A few will be released to private homes as companion only horses. A handful of the horses might be suitable for responsible owners looking to adopt a horse.
Conditions found in horses removed to date include lameness, lack of professional farrier care, thrush, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, heaves, malnutrition, cancer, arthritis, Cushings disease, neuropathy and training issues.
Donations are needed to ensure proper feed and medical care can be provided for horses removed.
It’s been a very challenging year with rescuing horses from abusive situations, continuing legal actions to protect wild horse herds, managing preparations for and the aftermath of Hurricane Irma along with the huge battle against the 2018 federal budget bill allowing funding for horse meat inspections as well as allowing the unlimited sale, mass killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros.
We are so proud of and thankful for all of our supporters around the country who speak up and stand with us on behalf of America’s beloved horses. You are all true Horse Warriors!
Donors have helped to ensure at-risk horses are rescued, rehabilitated, undergo training evaluation and either successfully adopted to qualified homes or safely retired. Our supporters have signed thousands of petitions against horse slaughter and to protect wild horses which we forwarded to elected officials. And hundreds of phone calls to Congress in support of keeping wild horse protections and stopping the return of horse slaughter on American soil have flooded Congressional offices.
The federal budget bill has yet to be finalized.
This battle continues into early 2018. We need everyone to remain committed to speaking up for innocent horses. It’s truly a life and death situation.
In the meantime, we are at the beginning of an emergency situation here in Florida. We are at the early stages of working to remove horses from a failing animal sanctuary. More details to come shortly.
Please take a moment to view our 2017 slide show with photographs of our work in Colorado and Florida. We wish you and your family the very best for the coming New Year.
Great news for a wild horse herd in Idaho thanks to legal efforts by The American Wild Horse Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, and Return To Freedom with Virginia Hudson.
Here is an excerpt from their press release:
The decision finds that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a variety of ways in deciding to sterilize the entire Saylor Creek herd. The court agreed that BLM violated NEPA by failing to consider the National Academy of Science (NAS) report, by failing to adequately respond to public comments, by failing to consider reasonable alternatives, and by failing to consider inconsistency between sterilization and the agency’s duties to maintain self-sustaining and free-roaming herds. This precedent-setting decision is a major win in that it could make it difficult to sterilize healthy herds elsewhere in the west.
This case challenged a controversial and precedent-setting plan by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) to permanently sterilize an entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (“HMA”) — an action that would have disrupted and destroyed the natural, wild, and free-roaming behavior of these horses, as well as the social organization and long-term viability of the herd to which they belong. The BLM authorized sterilizing this wild horse herd in its recently approved Jarbidge Resource Management Plan (“RMP”).
Judge Lodge’s decision states, “The BLM has not considered nor explained how the herd will maintain its wild horse instincts, behaviors, and social structure if it is entirely non-reproducing. Further, the BLM has not taken a hard look at how the introduction of horses from holding pens, where they may have become domesticated and reliant on humans, or from other herds that are unfamiliar with the area and terrain will impact the herd and its wild horse behaviors and survival instincts. In sum, the BLM has failed to consider, in the FEIS, any of these significant impacts on the Saylor Creek herd’s behaviors or on the HMAs environment itself. The Court, therefore, finds the BLM violated NEPA by failing to take the requisite “hard look” at these aspects of the decision.”
Most importantly, this precedent-setting decision will allow for future decisions in favor of wild horses that the BLM wishes to sterilize. “This decision recognizes that the BLM must carefully consider the harmful impacts of sterilization on wild horses’ behavior and herd dynamics,” said Nick Lawton, the attorney with the public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks, LLP who represented the plaintiffs.
Senate Appropriations Committee Takes Up Interior Department Budget Bill
Wild Horse and Burro Lives Are On the Line!
The federal government’s fiscal year runs October 1 to September 30. Each year an omnibus budget bill is developed, reviewed, edited, and voted on to fund the government. A new approved budget is often delayed meaning the prior year’s bill often carries over into a new fiscal year.
Government agencies submit their appropriations budget bills to make up the omnibus package.
The 2018 Fiscal Year (FY18) budget is currently in the reconciliation phase with final voting expected in early December.
Horses and the Budget:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture appropriations bill determines whether funding for horsemeat inspections (i.e., horse slaughter) is allowed or not.
The Interior Department’s budget bill is where funding is allocated for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage programs like the Wild Horse and Burro Program.
The House of Representatives Appropriations failed America’s horses not once, but twice, when (1) failing to vote “NO” on funding for horsemeat inspections by USDA and (2) by not including an amendment to stop the killing and sale to slaughter of America’s wild horses and burros.
Note: The House Rules committee also refused to allow the introduction of amendments to the House Appropriations bills which would protect wild horses and burros from killing and slaughter (Titus-King-Polis amendment) and to prevent funding for horsemeat inspections (Buchanan-Roybal/Allard amendment).
Fortunately, the Senate Appropriations Committee had already voted “YES” on the Udall-Graham amendment to prevent tax dollars from being used for horsemeat inspections (no horse slaughter).
At this time it is critical that the Senate Appropriations Committee allows an amendment to include language in the budget bill to protect wild horses and burros from unlimited sale, killing and slaughter because the House version has stripped away these protections.
It is also critical that the Senate’s version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill which includes language not to allow funds for horsemeat inspections remains in the final budget bill.
The reconciliation process involves keeping the House and Senate versions of budget bills which are in agreement, but it must reconcile the differences. Right now, the fate of America’s horses depends on the U.S. Senate as the budget heads into its final version.
What You Need To Do To Save Horses Now:
Call, write and/or email your U.S. Senators. If your elected official is on the Senate Appropriations Committee, he or she needs to hear from you asap.
With all of the crises in this country and desperate need to use taxpayer dollars wisely, the idea of butchering America’s horses is not only cruel and appalling but clearly a fraudulent waste of tax money.
The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act allocated 242 million acres for use by wild horse (and burro) herds. Over the years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reduced their land use to 27 million acres. The BLM has catered to special interests like the livestock industry which has depleted and overgrazed public lands with a million cattle and tens of thousands of sheep. For decades they’ve lied and used wild horses as scapegoats for issues of range degradation and over grazing.
In a nutshell, the current administration intends to allow the mass killing of wild horses so that the BLM can balance its budget. There are numerous humane solutions to managing the Wild Horse and Burro Program and bringing fiscal responsibility to the budget. To date, “cut and kill” remains their primary solution.
Taxpayers should be outraged at this horrific use of tax dollars. We stand by America’s flag and don’t burn it. We stand by our wild horses and burros — living symbols of our history — we don’t murder them!
Your help is urgently needed to protect horses against the cruel fate of horse slaughter in our country.
If your U.S. Representative sits on the House Appropriations Committee (check here ), please call her/him immediately and urge a YES vote on the Dent/Roybal-Allard Amendment to keep horse slaughter plants out of our country.
Horse slaughter plants are rearing their ugly heads to re-open, and they most certainly will if this amendment fails in committee where it will be voted on as soon as next week.
Take two minutes today to place a quick call to your member of Congress if he/she serves on this committee to ensure that no U.S. tax dollars are wasted on propping up this horrific and foreign-owned industry.
America’s horses are not raised for food! Population control, retraining, and re-homing are just a few practical alternatives to slaughter.
We thank the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition for working hard to expose and stop the horror of horse slaughter in Canada.
Tens of thousands of American horses are shipped to Canada each year.
However, their suffering begins long before reaching the border as we (and many others) can testify to. There are four horse slaughterhouses in Canada, and horse slaughter is legal. Some of the meat is shipped to Japan, which we’ve covered before.
There is NO excuse for horse slaughter. Not now, not ever!
The current administration’s budget for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program proposes a “cut and kill” agenda.
The federal budget looks to cut $10M from the BLM’s budget. Other decreases in spending would occur from reducing roundups and population control measures, but also from gutting wild horse numbers by allowing their sale for slaughter.
Act now before it’s too late to stop this inhumane and reckless attempt at budget management. Practical solutions already exist to responsibly protect and care for wild horses such as management on the range, use of PZP for population control, gentling/training programs to improve adoption rates, eco-tourism and sanctuaries.
Contact your Congressional representatives today to voice opposition to the cruel and irresponsible treatment of America’s wild horses. America’s mustangs are not numbers on paper, but are living symbols of our history! www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
Voice your opposition to Ryan Zinke, head of the Interior Department which oversees the BLM: [email protected]
It’s the official home of Stolen Horse International, where you can file a report of your missing horse, order various types of identification, and search reports to help locate missing or stolen horses.
Wild horses, often called “Icons of the West”, deserve to be treasured as a vital part of American history!
However, wild horses are now part of a “cut and kill” budget plan in a feeble attempt to solve decades of mismanagement by a government program set up to protect them. The budget proposes “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals” to help control rising costs of long-term holding corrals and other expenses.
The proposed budget will save $10 million annually but at the cost of thousands of innocent horses’ lives.
Havasu Canyon, a popular tourist location at the edge of the Grand Canyon, has been abusing horses, burros, and donkeys for years.
However, this suffering has mostly been hidden or ignored by staff and visitors alike. It is a beautiful location, but nearly everyone who goes into the canyon is carried on the backs of these equines. They carry people, camping equipment, ice chests, and more down a rocky 10-mile trail that zigzags down the side of the canyon about 2,000 feet.
These animals are severely malnourished and made to haul heavy loads up and down the canyon. Their skin is often rubbed raw by the loads they carry, and tourists report animals being left by the side of the road to die. A Las Vegas CBS syndicate, Las Vegas Now, wrote a story about this horrible practice and Susan Ash, a woman who started SAVE to help stop the abuse at Havasu Canyon.
Have your members of Congress signed on as co-sponsors for ending horse slaughter?
Check this link below to give your member a thank you or urge them to sign on to end this brutal industry!
H.R. 113 – Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2017 is an attempt by members of the House of Representatives to “…amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to deem equine (horses and other members of the Equidae family) parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug. The bill prohibits the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption.”
If this passes it will mean great things for horse advocates in the United States!
Details of the federal government’s large Omnibus spending bill to cover the rest of Fiscal Year 2017 (through September 30) were released early this week.
Some good news — the bill includes language to prohibit funding for horse slaughter inspections.
This means no horse slaughter plants can operate in the U.S. However the “reprieve” is only for the next few months when a new budget bill must be passed.
And mixed news for wild horses — the bill contains language to prevent the BLM and its contractors from sending wild horses to slaughter. However, there is concern that some language in the bill could be used to argue for the illegal transfer of mustangs into the slaughter pipeline.
Advocates are very concerned about Section 116 of the spending bill which allows the BLM to remove federal protection from wild horses and transfer them over to states and local governments to use as “work animals.”
Up to 50,000 wild horses could lose protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act due to this provision.
We need to thank and support those in Congress who stand up against horse abuse!
Be sure to contact your Congressional representatives to get on board with ending horse slaughter now.
According to a recent article on Tuesday’s Horse, Representative Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR) issued a statement about his work with the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and the recent March Against Horse Slaughter.
His statement was highly encouraging to animal rights advocates, and he has great hopes that the SAFE Act will pass.
“Whether it’s fighting to strengthen existing laws, or working to push forward new ones, we must continue to fight for policies that protect animals in the United States and abroad. Today’s briefing was a small, but significant step in this Congress, and I am proud to have worked to provide a glimmer of light amidst this strange and unusual time.” – Rep. Earl Blumenhauer
Horsemeat is not just consumed by some European countries. Japan has put its own twist on this disgusting industry.
Japan is one of the world’s leading importers or horsemeat, and apparently they are now importing horses from Canada. The horsemeat is used in a specialty sushi, and oils from the horses’ bodies are used in beauty products.
Real Time Pain Relief is a company that produces a topical pain reliever for humans, and recently established a line for animals.
Their mission is to spread relief.
From Christine, who works for Real Time Pain Relief:
“I found your website and read about the great services your program provides. I admire how your organization saves horses and helps them find good homes! Real Time Pain Relief would like to give Front Range Equine Rescue a case of our Pet Formula for any of your horses that deal with arthritis or any other type of soreness and stiffness.
I grew up around horses and know that as some age, they can develop ankle, knee, hip, or back pain. When any of them developed pain, I could see how it affected them and it made me sad. My horses were an incredible influence on my life; I don’t know if I would be the same person I am today without their influence. It would make me incredibly happy to send some relief to a horse who needs it!
The product is a special blend of 15 gentle Ingredients from Nature, all of which are known to cause a relaxing effect in the area needing it. It does not contain any potent medications or anything that would cause worry. When applied, this spray delivers a gentle cooling sensation. We have had many animals show vivid signs of relief; it is visible in their eyes and an enlightened spirit.”
Thank you to Christine for reaching out to us with a very generous donation offer from the company she works for and her own compassion for the horses we all love dearly.
Wild horses deserve forever homes, but those homes require certain qualifications.
This article from The Horse does a great job of explaining some things to consider before owning a wild mustang.
“Since becoming available for adoption or purchase, Mustangs have earned high-profile status as adaptable partners for riders engaged in a variety of disciplines, ranging from trail riding and eventing to dressage and reining.”
A very interesting read for horse owners, farriers, and practitioners of equine dental care — a potentially strong connection between a horse’s teeth and hooves!
Dr. Tomas Teskey, DVM, is one of the few, but perhaps slowly growing number of vets who advocates barefoot hoof care.
He recently agreed to a second interview with The Naturally Healthy Horse, this time focusing on a fairly new discovery about horses–the connection between their teeth and hooves.
He answers such questions as: “Is there both a right and wrong way to go about floating or balancing horses’ teeth?” and “What are some of the most common dental problems you see in horses and how should they be addressed?”
Last Thursday, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (part of the USDA) removed several categories of information from their website, where the information had previously been available to the public to review.
This information included lists of violations of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act (which covers soring only).
This action is shocking and outrageous for protecting animals including horses covered by the Horse Protection Act (HPA).
Sherlock was found at a Colorado auction last week. Very thin and afraid, this poor boy has some unusual health issues. His enlarged jaw made us fear severe injury, fracture or the result of an untreated dental infection. But just as concerning is his inability to retract his penis into the protective sheath… the tip and several inches are both swollen and frostbitten. I cannot imagine his pain!
Will you help Sherlock? He’s only 4 years old!
We need $2,500 to provide surgery to remove severely damaged tissue to his penis which will be able to heal and have normal function as well as to help with other rehabilitation costs including feed, farrier, and much needed dental care. Please help Sherlock!
Sisters Hanna and Josie were huddled with their pregnant mother and father (intact stallion) at a Colorado auction. Little Josie was still nursing and had never been weaned. She was abruptly separated from her family after all were sold during the bidding to new owners. Fortunately, the man who bought Hanna asked us if we wanted her (he had only bid to keep her from the kill buyer). Reuniting the two helped both young fillies as their world had been turned upside down. We could not let these youngsters go to the filthy, disease-ridden kill lot in northern Colorado where countless horses have been sickened by illnesses for years.
Young horses are costly and we have many mouths to feed this winter. Please help us with feed, vet, and training (basic handling) expenses as our budget has been stretched thin by other expenses.
Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!
For the horses, ~Hilary
P.S. – We’d like to schedule Sherlock’s surgery as soon as possible before Colorado has any more “arctic” blasts. Even an enclosed barn can’t keep out that kind of cold. Please send your most generous gift today! Thank you.
Your Cyber Monday shopping can help us with upcoming veterinary expenses for Pete, Benji, Serena, Gidget, Waylon, and Tango.
Shoppers who use Amazon.com can get the same great deals by using the link to help charities through Smile.Amazon.com
Just use the Amazon link above and type in Front Range Equine Rescue as the charity to benefit from a percentage of your purchases.
It costs nothing extra to you but helps our horses in a big way!
Help Meet Winter Hay Needs:
Have you heard of #GivingTuesday? The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become part of a national movement during the holidays dedicated to charitable giving.
The goal of #GivingTuesday is to bring together retailers, charities, online groups, community centers, individuals, and families to participate in one common purpose — to help others and encourage ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of generosity through charitable contributions and volunteerism.
Kicking Off #GivingTuesday with a Matching Gift Offer!
Front Range Equine Rescue received a matching gift offer from a very compassionate and generous donor. If we can raise $1,500 by midnight on November 29 (#GivingTuesday), she will send us $1,500!
Can you help us meet this very generous offer so we can purchase a winter hay supply?
We are just 370 bales shorts of our 1,000 bale goal to feed our rescue horses in CO and VA over the coming months.
P.S. – You can double the amount of your contribution with a matching gift from your employer! Please check with the human resources department to see if your company offers a charitable gift match program.
We truly value your loyal support of our work.
Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!
2017 does not bode well for America’s horses, domestic or wild.
Their friends in Congress will be less than ever. We expect a full on assault for the return of horse slaughter and also the final decimation of wild horses and burros on public lands and in government holding facilities.
We know that those who truly care about the welfare of horses in this country come from all political views. It will be imperative for everyone to put strong pressure on elected officials to keep in place the defunding of horse slaughter inspections while pushing for federal legislation to ban horse slaughter, and to change the current, ineffective management of wild horses and burros to a plan which truly protects them on our taxpayer funded public lands and provides humane solutions for those in captivity.
With your help, we will escalate the fight for America’s horses!
You can help save abused horses like Sammie (pictured) with a tax deductible contribution to Front Range Equine Rescue by clicking here.
We are well aware of BLM “double-speak” and like all advocates are remaining vigilant and prepared!
Sept 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Wednesday it has no plans to euthanize a large share of the more than 45,000 wild horses and burros removed from lands mostly in the U.S. West, after an advisory panel’s proposal to kill some of the animals sparked outrage.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they struggle to find people to adopt the growing number of wild horses and burros, which costs the agency millions annually to maintain in corrals and pasturelands.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on Friday recommended the bureau consider euthanizing the animals that cannot be adopted, or selling them to companies that might slaughter them.
On Friday we learned that the BLM decided to withdraw its decision to partner with Oregon State University to perform unsafe sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares in Oregon. [Read More at the Denver Post]
On the heels of this victory came another announcement. The BLM Advisory Board voted on a proposal to “euthanize” wild horses in holding facilities. This means the mass murder of approximately 44,000 innocent horses!
Front Range Equine Rescue is wholly committed to doing its part to save these horses. I know you will join with us to escalate our fight like never before!
Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenged Inhumane Experimental Surgery
HINES, Ore., September 9, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today, just six weeks after a lawsuit filed by FRER, that U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has withdrawn its program to perform experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The BLM’s decision was formally vacated by the Interior Board of Land Appeals this morning.
FRER’s suit contended that the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands of more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.
The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM, to be carried out in collaboration with Oregon State University, included three untested, dangerous, and potentially fatal procedures.
“We are relieved that the BLM has withdrawn its decision, both for the targeted 225 horses and for the future of wild horse management, said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “FRER remains committed to ensuring the BLM uses humane and reasonable efforts to protect the herds while considering all interests in the process.”
On July 25, Front Range Equine Rescue filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares in Oregon (many in various stages of pregnancy). The BLM admits these experiments are dangerous and potentially fatal. Expected outcomes include infection, hemorrhaging, aborted foals, colic signs, and death.
Soon after the filing, FRER was informed by the BLM that the start date for the experiments has been postponed until mid-November.
We thank all of our supporters for contributing to this critical legal effort on behalf of these innocent wild mares. We also thank the AWHPC for its tireless work on this issue and their support of FRER’s effort:
BREAKING GOOD NEWS:
The BLM has agreed to delay the mare sterilization experiments in response to a lawsuit filed by Front Range Equine Rescue. The agency has pushed back the start date from October 1 to November 16 to allow time for a court hearing on the case. Everyone send good luck and energy to Front Range for success in shutting down these cruel BLM experiments! – AWHPC
Near the end of July, we filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to conduct barbaric sterilization experiments on 225 wild mares in partnership with Oregon State University (OSU).
Our case challenges the shocking decision by the agency (BLM) responsible for caring for America’s wild horses, to perform dangerous and untested surgical sterilization procedures on captive wild mare, many of them in varying stages of pregnancy. This radical departure from the bounds of science and humane treatment is unauthorized, uncalled for, and illegal.
Less than two weeks ago we had a last minute call to help horses before they transported to a Western feedlot, and then onto a Canadian slaughterhouse.
We were very thankful that many of our supporters were able to help raise part of the funding needed to spare these horses. Sadly, several of these horses had pre-existing, chronic conditions which it was too late to treat, and too late to offer a pain-free quality of life. Instead of past owners doing the right thing, we were again put in the position to provide humane euthanasia.
On a happier note, a few of the horses are able to be treated for various health issues.
But we need your support to ensure they get every chance we can offer!
Riley is a former track horse with two bowed tendons and a super friendly personality. He has several veterinary and nutritional needs we need funding for in order to restore his health.
Sunnie is a little two-year-old filly needing TLC! Our guess is that she was thrown away due to her umbilical hernia which a former owner could easily have fixed. Her time in less than ideal conditions has left her sick with a respiratory virus which we are treating. She also requires veterinary care to assess potential shoulder/hind end issues which were reported to us. Once we get her past all of that, we need funding for surgery to repair her umbilical hernia.
Front Range Equine Rescue was honored to be one of fifteen equine rescues awarded a matching grant from the ASPCA for expansion needs. We have raised $7,600 of the $10,000 needed in order to receive the grant match of $10,000.
This funding will finish fencing and barn/shelter projects we’ve worked on for many months. Please consider helping us make your donation a 2-for-1 match so that our rescue horses have more turn out pasture options and stall accommodations.
Despite strong opposition, the Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), intends to move forward with gruesome and dangerous sterilization experiments on wild mares.
The proposed research procedures are risky-to-deadly and to move forward is irresponsible, unethical and inhumane.
Thanks to caring and compassionate donors like you, Front Range Equine Rescue is able to initiate legal action against the BLM’s plan.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Front Range Equine Rescue Files Suit to Stop Surgical Sterilization ‘Research’ on Oregon’s Wild Horses
Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Challenges Inhumane Experimental Surgery
HINES, Ore., July 26, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue, advocacy and education, announced today it is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to stop the BLM’s experimental sterilization of wild mares in Oregon. The lawsuit was filed late yesterday in federal court in Washington D.C.
FRER’s suit contends the BLM’s intention to conduct surgical experiments on 225 wild horses, many in various stages of pregnancy, and potentially thousands more horses over time, causes harm and suffering in violation of federal law.
The sterilizations on wild mares proposed by the BLM, to be carried out in collaboration with Oregon State University, include three untested, dangerous procedures:
Slicing open the mare’s vagina while sedated, but awake and standing, and blindly pulling out her ovaries – a risky and controversial surgical procedure even for tame mares under the best of conditions, let alone captive wild horses in a holding facility
Burning and then cutting the sedated, but conscious horses’ fallopian tubes, a procedure that is surgically untested on horses
Using a laser, inserted through the vagina, to scar and seal the ovaries – another surgery that has never been studied in horses
“It is unjustifiable for the BLM to conduct such barbaric sterilization experiments with a host of known risks, including death, on captive wild horses,” said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. “Performing unproven surgeries in a holding pen, let alone on the open range, is contrary to the BLM’s congressional mandate to care for wild horses, especially when responsible alternatives like the PZP contraceptive vaccine already exist to maintain population levels and ensure herd viability.”
Earlier this year, FRER filed formal comments opposing the “research” that will be done on conscious animals in long-term holding. These comments – and comments submitted by more than 20,000 members of the public – were disregarded, prompting FRER to file its suit.
“These sterilization procedures are not documented, practiced, or analyzed in non-surgical settings; they are overly invasive, and they are unlikely to have applicability for mares on public lands,” said Laureen Bartfield, DVM, an expert in population control of wild horses and the social structure of herds. “Two of the three procedures have virtually never been performed on horses, and the unvisualized removal of the ovaries, while documented in the literature, is disfavored by reputable veterinarians. The BLM’s plan is not just clinically ill-advised, it constitutes animal cruelty on a large scale.”
The plans for eventual widespread sterilization of horses on the range will also run up an estimated cost to the taxpayers in the millions – and the first of the funds could be handed to OSU in the form of a BLM grant. This first group of mares to go under the knife are in BLM custody in the Hines Corral in Eastern Oregon.
FRER’s lawsuit says the experimental sterilizations represent a conflict of interest, and are not in the best interests of wild horses, but rather in the BLM’s own best interest by reducing their management load without considering their mandate to properly manage the horses.
This is not the first time the BLM has pursued surgical sterilization for wild horses. In 2011, a federal court found the bureau’s plans to castrate wild horses captured in Wyoming was of an “extreme and irreversible nature.” In 2012, the BLM was again forced to defend similar plans in federal court, and abandoned its efforts to castrate Nevada’s wild horses.
The grim reality facing these innocent wild mares includes
Invasive surgery performed in a non-sterile environment
No known studies on domestic mares for the tubal ligation procedure
No known studies on domestic or wild mares for the Hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation procedure
Procedures to be performed on wild mares in varying stages of pregnancy
Infection, hemorrhaging, colic signs, aborted foals, potential for abnormalities in foals born, and death “If any gestational group in any procedure meets a major complication rate greater than 20 percent” then the procedure will be stopped
Major complications leading to death or the need for euthanasia are “expected” to be less than 2 percent (225 mares are slated for the research; 25 in a control group; 200 divided up for the three procedures)
Wild mares will be frightened as they are separated from their herd mates They will be even more terrified when driven into a confined chute to be sedated and restrained for the surgery
Ovarian function plays a significant role in the endocrine (hormonal) system. To destroy this biological function will damage behavior and health of surviving mares
I thank everyone who was able to contribute to allow us to initiate this lawsuit. Legal action is expensive and can be lengthy. We need funds for the next phases of our lawsuit against the BLM.
Please give to help the fight to spare the wild mares!
I need your help NOW to move ahead with the next phase of our legal effort to stop this waste of taxpayer funded research and blatant cruelty to innocent wild mares.
The time to act is NOW. I can only do this with your help.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for donating to launch this lawsuit. Now we need to raise $7,500 to cover the next steps to help these wild horses. We truly value your loyal support of our work. Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!”
Over 100 years ago it was estimated that two million wild horses roamed freely. Tens of thousands ended up slaughtered for dog and cat food, captured and treated most cruelly. A wild horse advocacy movement began and gained massive public support. By 1971 the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (of 1971) was unanimously passed in Congress.
However, opponents have relentlessly poisoned politicians to amend the Act in favor of special interests such as livestock grazing, oil and gas
exploration, and even big game hunting. Lands designated by law for wild horse and burro use have been drastically reduced. The mustangs and burros have been kept from water sources by livestock grazers who fence off areas for cattle grazing. Wild horses and burros have been shot and killed or left to die. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has rounded up wild horses until most herds are well below genetic viability. More mustangs are crammed into government holding facilities than remain in the wild. Wild horses and burros are injured and even die due to yearly removals.
And our taxpayer dollars fund all of this to the tune of millions of dollars!
I need you to help us continue to fight against the BLM’s mismanagement of the Wild Horse and Burro Program and the powerful, wealthy special interests whose lobbyists spread lies about over population, over-grazing, and promote a “management to extinction” policy.
Just last week, dirty politics were in full force at a hearing by the House Natural Resources Committee’s Public Lands Subcommittee. Here are a few of the comments made by wild horse opponents:
A Nevada rancher and livestock vet (J.J. Goicoechea) put forth his ‘solutions’ for managing wild horses and burros (1) round up 100% of the herds; (2) remove 40,000 animals to get down to the low Appropriate Management Level; (3) use mass euthanasia and/or sale for slaughter to dispose of the 40,000 horses and burros captured, and for the 44,000 already in government holding; and (4) surgically sterilize all horses and burros who remain on the range.
Rep. Cynthia Loomis (R-WY) promoted “lovely and peaceful euthanasia” of wild horses “whose wild lives are over.”
Committee Chairman Tom McClintock claimed that animal rights groups are responsible for “mass starvation” of wild horses on the range. He went on to state that wild horses should be managed like livestock and “harvested” when their numbers increase.
Democrats were not present as they were holding a sit-in regarding gun control. One lone advocate, Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation, stood steadfast for the wild horses and was treated with disdain and extreme rudeness.
Save the Mares
Now at least 200 wild mares held captive in Oregon are facing cruel, unnecessary and barbaric experiments in attempts to “just see” if sterilization procedures might work. It is well known that some of these procedures are not even performed on domestic mares… and certainly none have been done on wild ones.
The BLM has ignored the thousands of public comments opposing these appalling procedures which you can read about more here (click here for BLM’s decision record on the dangerous to deadly sterilization experiments).
The BLM’s document clearly points out the lack of a sterile environment for the procedures where attempts will be made to ‘make the best of it’. It indicates that major complications leading to death or necessary euthanasia of a mare are anticipated to be less than two percent. They note that if any gestational group in any of the three procedures meets a major complication rate of greater than twenty percent, then the procedure will be stopped.
The mares are to be monitored for post-operative complications which can include pain (such as colic, anorexia) as well as bleeding, infection or signs of abortion.
Pregnant mares and fillies as young as 8 months of age are slated to be part of this appalling research. Not long after the surgeries, surviving mares will be exposed to stallions.
What We Know:
There are more humane and cost effective alternatives for wild horse and burro population control that are being under-funded and under-utilized. The fertility vaccine (PZP) is a primary example of population control available for over 20 years which keeps horses managed on the range. Sterilized herds will ensure wild horses are forever removed from our taxpayer funded lands – public lands allocated to them by law.
Wild horses value freedom and family just as we do. Their beauty, independence and strong family bonds are qualities we admire. Escalation of removals, macabre sterilization experiments and slaughter are NOT viable options.
Will you help us demand an end to the BLM catering to special interests?
Will you speak up for America’s dwindling wild horse herds before it’s too late?
Contact the BLM to voice your opposition to their cruel sterilization research, [email protected]
Contact your Congressional representatives and inform them of these unnecessary experiments and the need for humane, common sense alternatives to be implemented. Locate your reps at www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.
Front Range Equine Rescue continues to fight and advocate for America’s fast disappearing wild horse herds. We’ve rescued mustangs from auctions and kill buyers and waged legal battles on their behalf. Please join us in continuing to spare them from more cruelty at the hands of powerful special interests and uncaring politicians.
The sterilization procedures proposed on wild mares are nothing short of barbaric, cruel and simply put – outrageous. These procedures are rarely performed on domestic horses because of the complications under the best of circumstances. The fact that the procedures will be carried out in the field versus under sterile surgical conditions alone will result in complete failure and the death of many if not all of the mares. The fact that the procedures are proposed to be done on wild mares is negligent and unethical – it is impossible to monitor these mares and provide needed antibiotics and pain control. The risks far outweigh the benefits. I would urge the BLM to continue to expand on the use of range management of wild horse populations through the use of PZP – a safe and effective fertility vaccine. This system has been proven to work without jeopardizing the lives of the horses that are part of our heritage. – – Laureen Bartfield, DVM cVSMT Director, SNAP-NC
It’s not too late to continue to fight for these innocent horses.
This research is cruel, unnecessary, barbaric and a waste of taxpayer dollars. Alternatives for population control exist and have been under-utilized.
Dirty politics continue to play a key role in eliminating America’s few remaining wild horse herds.
Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee’s Public Lands Subcommittee hearing made this blatantly clear when Rep. Cynthia Loomis (R-WY) called for the “lovely and peaceful euthanasia” (i.e., killing) of all the wild horses and burros in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) holding pens because their “wild lives are over.” A Nevada rancher, J.J. Goicoechea, called for mass roundups and sterilization.
Other wild horse and burro haters demanded lifting the prohibition on sending them to slaughter, actually suggesting 40,000 in holding pens be shipped for slaughter.
Democrats for this subcommittee were not present as they were at the sit-in on gun control. Wild horses and burros had only one friend to testify truthfully on their behalf, Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation, who was treated with rudeness and contempt by these public servants.
Contact BLM to voice your concerns against their cruel sterilization research: [email protected]
Inform your Congressional representatives of these unnecessary experiments. The 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was not intended to allow for brutal experimentation on these national icons.
Horse rescue is full of highs and lows, the work heart-warming and heart breaking.
Once again, horses overlooked by so many people were dropped off for us in Colorado. Both were humanely euthanized to end their suffering.
The description from the vet says it all:
Sorrel 8 y.o. mare, 600#, severe bilateral flexor contraction, walking on dorsal fetlocks, very reluctant to move…
B/W 9 y.o. pony gelding, left hind leg locked in extension, cannot be flexed, chronic…
– Sarge and Sadee’s Vet
I cannot imagine what could have happened to both Sadee and Sarge to have them so crippled up (and also starving for Sadee) nor the amount of pain both of these innocent animals endured for far too long.
Front Range Equine Rescue urges anyone seeing suspected (or obvious) abuse/neglect of horses to contact their local animal control to file a cruelty report.
Don’t be afraid to follow up as well to ensure someone provided a welfare check. Any photos you can send to animal control may be helpful with starting an investigation.
The Care and Keeping of Horses camp just completed a fun-filled week of learning about horses.
From their history with humans to basic anatomy, colors, breeds, grooming, and demonstrations by an equine vet, farrier, and types of riding, the campers learned what it takes to own a horse. Campers learned through visual aids and hands-on practice. Arts, crafts, and story-telling were also part of the age-appropriate curriculum.
Your help is needed to keep horses cool and ward off flies, skin conditions like fungus and rain-rot or other summertime woes…
Summer has arrived in almost full force here in Florida. The Virginia foster farm is starting to feel the heat (and humidity) and even our horses in Colorado are seeing some hotter days.
The summer season brings special needs for horses including protection from temperature extremes, heat or precipitation issues, and flies or other pests like ticks. Front Range Equine Rescue works hard to provide optimal care for each and every horse in our rescue program. Unfortunately summer conditions are tough to completely fight.
I hope you can contribute to help fulfill our hot weather wish list. Supplies run low quickly!
These are used to keep as many flies away as possible. We have other methods to work on the fly population as well, but the sprays and traps as well as using masks to protect horses’ eyes are a mainstay.
We go through a lot of a garlic-based supplement (Bug-Lyte) and organic Apple Cider Vinegar. These products are given to the horses’ with their food and have various health benefits including immune boosting and fly protection.
With over forty horses under our care between CO, FL, and VA we go through many bottles of fly spray and other products. And because horses will be horses, sometimes fly masks get torn during play so we like to keep extras on hand. I’m sure you can imagine that fly traps are a constant purchase as well!
Can you help us ward off flies and treat skin issues caused by summer conditions? Donate to Help.
We are in need of fans to keep horses in FL and VA cool. While our barns are well ventilated, it’s critical to keep air circulating. We keep fans hung for each stall as well as using larger agricultural fans in barn aisle ways.
Right now, we need to replace 5 fans at the VA foster farm and add another large agric-ultural fan here in FL for the retirees. Stall fans cost $70 each; the large ag fan is $385.
I greatly appreciate any assistance you can give so we can stay on top of these weather related challenges. Several of the rescues at the VA farm developed rain rot after very wet conditions during May. They are being treated with a special shampoo and other products. Here in Florida, I’ve dealt with “summer sores” and signs of skin fungus on a couple of the horses. All are doing well with treatment, but we need to stay on top of it. Thanks so much for anything you can do!
At first glance, people often think just feeding a skinny horse will restore its health. Or, in the case of “Windsor” pictured, having a hoof trim (or two) is the answer.
At Front Range Equine Rescue, we believe that legitimate rescue provides thorough assessment and proper rehabilitation, not some quick fix or the “save and flip” mentality where horses are obtained and sold off in whatever condition to the next person. Too often this leads to more neglect, abuse, suffering and even death to these horses.
While the majority of horses with Front Range Equine Rescue can be rehabilitated and adopted to qualified homes, for horses like Windsor it is too late. Damage to internal hoof structures and lower leg joints was irreparable and the level of pain he endured from it could not be successfully alleviated.
Horses should not be viewed or treated as disposable trash. They require owners with knowledge of proper horse care along with the time and financial commitment to provide it.
There’s a new project called the Havasue Horse Project that is shedding some much needed light on the animal abuse associated with tourism in the Grand Canyon. Channel 12 News of Phoenix Arizona discusses the reality of the situation below.
Though animal abuse has been frequent for over 20 years in Arizona, most tourists are unaware of it. Many tourists unknowingly travel to Havaspui and pre-book travel arrangements, unknowingly designating their belongings to be carried by pack horses.
Katie Migliavacca and her sister from San Francisco were looking forward to their hike to Havasu Falls last April. However, shortly after their walk into the canyon, she says they witnessed horses with large open wounds on their backs from carrying heavy objects up and down the trail. She said the animal abuse they witnessed ruined what could have been a trip of a lifetime.
“We’re not animal rights activists, and I’m not overly sensitive to knowing horses are work animals, but what we saw was horrible,” she said. “We saw horses on short leads and tied to posts on the trail, with no shade or water and they couldn’t lay down because the lead was too tight. One horse had its body lying on the trail, but his head was still up off the ground.”
– Katie Migliavacca
Front Range Equine Rescue’s sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.
The 4-start achievement is the highest possible rating and indicates that Front Range Equine Rescue as an organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that Front Range Equine Rescue exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in our area of work. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets Front Range Equine Rescue apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.
A wise vet once said to me that “lameness is pain”. We know that pain means suffering.
There are varying degrees of suffering — at times there can be rehabilitation leading to a significant reduction of pain with careful management to follow. Other times, it is too late and the merciful decision is humane euthanasia. I don’t know what is more disturbing (to be polite about it), the owner who is so ignorant they have no clue about their horse’s condition or the one who just dumps it at auction to squeeze another $ from it.
Front Range Equine Rescue again teamed up with Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue (in CO) to give Shayla some peace at last.
Horses have played important roles in human history.
Where human footprints are found, so too are hoof prints.
Equines were our primary mode of transportation helping to settle ancient lands as well as sending Americans westward.
The Pony Express delivered the mail as other horses and mules worked on ranches and farm lands. Paddy wagons and fire trucks were pulled by horses. Thousands of horses were injured or died as they carried brave soldiers into battle.
From the right, from the left, and from the front, shot and shell poured in upon us. Many a brave man went down, many a horse fell, flinging his rider to the earth; many a horse without a rider ran wildly out of the ranks: then terrified of being alone with no hand to guide him, came pressing in amongst his old companions, to gallop with them to the charge. Fearful as it was, no one stopped, no one turned back.
-‘Captain, An Old War Horse’ from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Today, horses are used for pleasure, sport/competition, ranching, and as companion animals. Their therapeutic benefits have aided countless special needs children and adults including great advances with autistic youth. Programs using horses with wounded warriors are producing extremely positive results.
We honor those who serve our country.
My father, a retired Army captain, used to drive past the stables at Fort Myer in Virginia so his horse crazy daughter (me) might catch a glimpse of the horses kept there. It was a bittersweet day decades later as we walked behind the horse drawn caisson to bury my dad at Arlington National Cemetery.
In Loving Memory
Front Range Equine Rescue’s work is both heart-warming and heart breaking. We want to thank all of our loyal donors for allowing us to save the lives of horses in need, particularly those in danger of slaughter both domestic and wild.
To the “forgotten ones” where the suffering and abuse have gone on too long or to an extreme where humane euthanasia is the only option…
To the track horses who are over-drugged, raced too young, breakdown, die or end up at slaughter…
To stopping the war on America’s mustangs with cruel roundups taking away their freedom and destroying family bands forever…
To those rescued, rehabilitated and with a happy ending…
And we honor our brave horses whose lives we seek to change for the better. We salute the brave men and women of our military this Memorial Day weekend.
We are very grateful to everyone who donated to help ongoing veterinary expenses for Melody, Tilly and Whiskey.
While we wait for results from Tilly’s bloodwork, Whiskey’s results came back negative for Cushings disease.
Now the challenge is to find out what combination of nutritional supplements will boost his final weight gain needs.
Melody’s bloodwork did not indicate a genetic disease as feared, but she was low on several protein indicators. It is unclear why her levels are low as the hay provided has good protein content. She does have Epiphysitis* and treatment is going well. Melody has been stellar about having daily support wraps.
*Epiphysitis is a generalized bone disease of young, growing horses that is characterized by the enlargement of the growth plates in long bones such as the tibia, radius, and cannon bones. It is most commonly seen in horses four to eight months of age, when they are undergoing rapid growth.
Cricket’s scar from surgery is barely visible as she grazes with a friend.
We truly value your loyal support of our work. Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!
The pro horse slaughter agenda remains active, yet again, as a move was made to reinstate funding for horse meat inspections in the appropriations budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee just adopted an amendment, advanced by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Christopher Coons (D-DE), to stop horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States. The Senate action reflects last month’s House of Representatives vote on its version of the agriculture spending bill to deny funding for inspections of horse meat by USDA inspectors.
The House vote was a hard fought win, with Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Charles Dent (R-PA) securing their amendment by a narrow margin, a 25-23 vote.
Kill buyers and others behind the horse slaughter industry pretend they are providing “help” for horses by shipping them to slaughter, but there is nothing commendable about this gruesome business. Horses are whipped, beaten, even dragged into trucks and suffer long transport without food, water or rest just like they did when U.S. plants operated. Long before they reach the kill box, many die or sustain injuries during transport, including broken limbs, backs, and punctured eyes.
Providing veterinary care to a slaughter-bound horse is unthinkable to these profiteers because horse slaughter is only about greed, corruption, cruelty, cheap disposal and making a fast buck.
Our horses deserve far better than this and alternatives to slaughter already exist. Federal legislation must be passed to close the borders and end this brutal, unnecessary practice. There is a nationwide coalition ready to do better for the one-percent of the horse population which ends up brutally killed annually.
A kill buyer had “Klara” dropped off to us in Colorado.
She was humanely euthanized due to severe injury to her hip and right hind leg joints (hock and stifle).
America’s horses are not raised as a food animal. Their meat is dangerous, even toxic, for human consumption as they are given numerous banned substances/drugs over the course of their lives.
As you know, Front Range Equine Rescue secured additional victories in NM federal court in recent months on outstanding lawsuits to stop new U.S. plants from opening. The formerly proposed NM plant intends to appeal to the 10th circuit on one of their losses.
Rescue horses Tilly, Melody and Whiskey have all hit a ‘bump in the road’ during their rehabilitation phases and need some special veterinary diagnostic services.
Tilly joined us early this year with Mowgli. Both had horribly overgrown hooves and we’ve worked diligently to help them recover normal hoof shape and function. Tilly is a very sweet, well-mannered mini mare around 20 years old. We strongly believe she has Cushings disease and we need bloodwork to give a diagnosis. If positive, Tilly will also require a prescription drug, Pergolide, for the rest of her life. Symptoms of Cushings can include trouble with maintaining proper weight and a long, often wavy, hair coat that doesn’t shed properly. Tilly has both of those symptoms.
Can you help us pay for Tilly’s blood work and medication if the diagnosis is Cushings?
We need to raise $250 to cover the blood work and cost of initial medication supply.
Melody (aka Zara) was saved from a kill auction at 2 months of age with her mother, Harmony. Melody appeared perfectly normal until a few weeks ago. Both hind legs at the lower joints have begun to buckle and now she is losing weight with no apparent cause. We’ve started various supportive treatments but must find a cause.
The vet has informed us it’s highly likely Melody’s leg issues are genetic. Apparently, the type of overo pattern she and her mom are often carries a lot of “junk genes” from bad breeding practices.
Can you help us pay for additional diagnostic tests to help Melody?
We need to raise $400 to help with her current treatment and additional testing.
Whiskey is a sweet gelding saved from a kill buyer. We’ve spent many months helping him heal from recurring hoof abscesses and malnutrition. In spite of Colorado’s continuing snow storms and up/down temperatures, other horses have shed their winter coats. We believe Whiskey, like Tilly, may have Cushings disease and need bloodwork done to help us progress with his final rehabilitation needs.
Can you help us pay for Whiskey’s bloodwork and, if needed, initial medication for Cushings?
We need to raise $250 to cover these expenses for a kind horse who should never have been in the hands of a kill buyer.
In 2015, Front Range Equine Rescue filed appeals with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) on behalf of the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds (OR) and the West Douglas Creek herd (CO). IBLA has denied the appeals claiming that we do not have legal “standing”.
In response, our attorney filed in federal court against IBLA’s decision on the Oregon case.
A conference hearing with a judge has been set. Additional filings will be required to keep this critical case before the court.
Meanwhile, our legal team must prepare a similar reply against IBLA on behalf of the West Douglas herd in Colorado. Federal judges must rule that Front Range indeed does have legal standing.
It is critical we have this opportunity so that the actual cases for each herd can be brought before the respective courts.
As you know, legal efforts are very costly and time consuming. We have very strong cases on behalf of these wild horse herds.
Just as we fought to stop the expansion of horse slaughter in the United States and succeeded where no one had gone before, we hope to make new inroads against the ongoing destruction of America’s wild horses.
Will you help our wild horses by supporting our strong legal efforts?
Our legal fund is being drained with multiple efforts and your tax deductible contribution will truly make a difference for giving the wild ones their day in court.
No donation is too small to keep this effort moving forward!
Please pledge now to help the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds and Colorado’s West Douglas Creek herd.
Earlier this year, the BLM announced their plan to work with Oregon State University (OSU) to experiment on 225 wild mares at the BLM’s short-term holding facility in Hines, OR.
Wild mares will be subjected to brutal and invasive sterilization experiments where the procedures cause infection, hemorrhaging, and even death, not to mention sheer terror and pain to the horses. Most of the wild mares are pregnant. Fillies as young as 8 months are included in the experiments. BLM’s environmental assessment noted that many pregnant mares may abort and more than a few will die during the “research” process.
The BLM wants three sterilization methods tested — ovariectomy via colpotomy, tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation. The last two procedures the BLM describes as “minimally invasive” but they have never been done on wild mares (and rarely on any horses). The ovariectomy via colpotomy is not commonly done with domestic mares. When it is, it’s done in a sterile environment, usually done with an assisted laparoscopic camera, and the mares are not pregnant. They are also not wild. There is nothing sterile about a holding facility. The pre-operative and post-operative procedures do not comply with acceptable veterinary standards of care.
Barbaric Research Terrifies Mares
The wild mares will be completely terrified being confined in a chute and having an incision made in their vaginas so a veterinarian’s arm can reach in and tear out their ovaries. The possibility of the mares panicking in spite of sedation is high. They could break their necks in the chute, die from sedation, or their hearts can stop from sheer terror.
This barbaric research does not help to address the current issue of wild horse population management. However, it does further delay the use of PZP which is a reversible birth control vaccine. PZP does not alter herd structure or the hormonal balance of wild horses and was recommended by the National Academies of Science as a well-proven methodology, unlike surgical sterilization.
OSU’s Animal Care and Use Committee is expected to make a decision this week about moving
ahead with the proposed research.
We have been honored with one of the first Top-Rated Awards of 2016 from Great Nonprofits. As you know, our work is both heart-warming and heart breaking so being appreciated in this way means a great deal to our dedicated team.
Thanks to all of our wonderful supporters who make our critical work on behalf of abused horses possible. We want you to be part of sharing this recognition because by working together we have truly made a difference for horses in need.
You can read about the horses in our rescue program which you have helped us to save from abusive situations, learn more about our program efforts on behalf of domestic and wild horses, browse through the merchandise at our easy-to-use store and sign up to sponsor one of our retired horses.
There are many ways you can help at-risk horses. Please share our website on social media with your friends and family — ask them to join our email network for special alerts and information on our critical efforts. Click here for more ways to help
We truly value your loyal support of our work.
Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!
I’m happy to report that funding to help rescue horses Cricket and Duke for their veterinary needs has been raised.
We greatly appreciate everyone contributing to make sure these two deserving horses receive the care they need to continue recovering from abuses they’ve endured.
Special thanks to Jan in Texas and Gary in Florida to ensure we reached the goal needed for both horses.
You may recall that Cricket was close to full health except for a recurring abscess on her right hip. We were told this sweet girl had been used at low-end Mexican rodeos in the illegal “sport” of horse tripping.
Her veterinarian suggested surgery to see if a bone fragment was the possible cause. Cricket recently underwent surgery and it was discovered that a patch on the hip bone’s surface had died and needed to be scraped off with some tools.
When a bone is hit hard enough (as with a sharp fall), it can cause bone to die off.
Cricket sleeps off the sedation post-surgery.
Cricket undergoing surgery.
Duke’s Healing Process
Duke is scheduled for additional chiropractic treatments to assist with recovery from back injuries. As you may recall, poor Duke was terrified of entering a starting gate at the race track. Clearly he fought attempts to force him in and suffered injuries as a result.
Once healed of his physical pain, Duke will have his trust and confidence rebuilt for going into enclosed spaces. It was so sad to see him trembling with fear when asked to load into a horse trailer the day we saved him from heading to slaughter.
Duke’s future treatments will be in 2-3 week intervals. He has shown some improvement after two initial treatments. We are cautiously optimistic he will be able to carry a rider again and become a pleasure/trail horse. Click here to learn more ways you can help.
SNOW STORMS POUND COLORADO!
The recent March blizzard, followed by more snow storms over the following week, wreaked havoc in Colorado. We have 14 horses currently under our care in northern Colorado at a private farm. While all of our horses are okay, portions of a hay supply were ruined as the relentless wind drove snow underneath the tarped hay.
“It was so nasty out that the visibility was only about 40 feet at times, and the wind and snow completely overran our barns, practically making them useless.”
Can you help us replenish the damaged hay supply?
We need $500 to replace the damaged bales and would like to have it delivered as soon as possible. To learn more ways you can help, visit our What Can You Do? page.
I know you have many options with your charitable giving. Thank you so much for supporting Cricket and Duke and the many other horses under our care.
Together we truly make a positive difference for horses.
For the horses,
No gift is too small and everything will truly help!
Your tax deductible donations to Front Range Equine Rescue save the lives of at-risk horses. We need funding to provide feed/hay, veterinary care, farrier services, as well as expanded facility projects including fencing and barn construction at the new NC farm.
SANTA FE, NM, February 5, 2016 – Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education, in collaboration with the Attorney General of New Mexico, has obtained a court order that permanently ends any possibility of horse slaughter for the purpose of human consumption at Valley Meat slaughterhouse in Roswell, New Mexico.
The court’s order, issued by Judge Francis J. Mathew in Santa Fe yesterday, is the culmination of three years of legal efforts by FRER, local residents, and the state to prevent horse slaughter in New Mexico.
The order permanently banning Valley Meat and any associated company or individual from slaughtering horses originated in a 2013 lawsuit initiated by the Attorney General’s Office, joined by FRER and four residents of Roswell whose health, safety, and enjoyment were threatened by Valley Meat’s operations.
This suit successfully obtained an injunction against Valley Meat’s horse slaughter operations. FRER was the first group to discover that Valley Meat was applying to slaughter American horses, and FRER’s investigations exposed the company’s decades-long record of violating environmental and animal welfare requirements. Over the course of two decades, Valley Meat has accumulated more than 5000 violations of state laws protecting the environment, groundwater, rivers, and other waterways.
Among the most egregious of its misconduct, Valley Meat operated a cow slaughterhouse for nearly three years without any state approval to discharge water at all, thereby avoiding any oversight that might have helped monitor any damage being done. For years, Valley Meat illegally dumped and buried cow carcasses and pieces of dead animals, despite repeated requests from state regulators to cease and desist and clean up its mess.
The BLM is planning barbaric, archaic and dangerous sterilization experiments on captured wild mares at its Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon.
These experiments have never before been performed on wild horses or, in the case of two of the three proposed procedures, in horses anywhere at all.
The agency is accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) through February 10.
Warning (graphic description): At least 100 mares — 75 of whom will be pregnant — will be subjected to “ovariectomy via colpotomy,” a dangerous procedure in which a veterinarian makes an incision in the mare’s vagina, inserts his arm into the vaginal cavity, manually locates the ovaries and rips them out using an “ecraseur,” a rod-like device with a chain on the end. The painful procedure will subject mares to the risk of infection, hemorrhage and evisceration (intestines coming through the incision) and cause mares in the early to mid-stages of pregnancy to abort their fetuses.
In domestic mares, this procedure is not common, but when performed, requires a post-surgical 4-7 days stall confinement, during which the first 48 hours are spent in crossties to prevent the mare from lying down. No such restraint is possible in wild mares, and the BLM intends to turn them out to corrals after the surgery with open incisions and no restrictions on movement. This fact led the National Research Council (NRC) to conclude that the fatality rate for the BLM’s proposed experiment would be “higher than the one percent reported in the published literature,” which is based on surgery performed in domestic mares. The NRC stated that less invasive techniques would be preferable to this procedure in wild mares.
Less Invasive Procedures
Two less invasive experimental procedures also proposed would use endoscopes to achieve sterilization without removal of the ovaries. These procedures have never been done in horses, domestic or wild.
Front Range Equine Rescue has submitted comments to BLM in opposition to this heinous research plan as have other advocacy groups and thousands of individuals.
By the end of 2015, FRER had filed appeals with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) on behalf of the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds (OR) and West Douglas Creek herd (CO).
The BLM filed to have our appeals dismissed; our attorneys filed replies to the BLM’s opposition.
Just recently, the IBLA failed to follow long standing precedent with regard to “standing” and ruled that Front Range could not pursue its claim against the BLM with regard to the Oregon herds.
On January 27, FRER sued the BLM and the IBLA in federal court. We are pursuing our case because the BLM is in violation of the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act with respect to the Kiger and Riddle Mountain herds.
The BLM is artificially manipulating the genetic make-up of these herds to produce a “specialty” breed of horses it can sell for a profit. Our argument states the BLM is in direct violation of the Congressional mandate to let wild horses remain in their natural state, and to never create a zoo-like atmosphere on the range.