Newly Released Video of Downed Horse at Gov’t Facility Shows Plight of Captured Horses – Latest Fatalities Include Horses Dying from Broken Neck, Spinal Injury, Hoof Abscesses, Pelvis Injury
Count now stands at 22 fatalities; up to 25 injuries & 20 spontaneous abortions
Washington, DC – January 28, 2010 – As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reels amidst mounting horse deaths resulting from its unnecessary and cruel helicopter roundup of horses in northwestern Nevada, In Defense of Animals (IDA) today released video of some of the latest fatalities including a downed mare who valiantly fought to stand but could not, and a mare having medical difficulties during a spontaneous abortion.
The BLM reports that the growing death count from the Calico Mountain Complex roundup now stands at 22 horses. According to BLM spokesman John Neill, 20 mares have suffered spontaneous abortions, which occurred after the heavily pregnant horses were stampeded by helicopter over treacherous terrain for up to 10 miles or more at full-gallop speeds. An additional 20-25 horses are being treated for injuries and lameness sustained in the roundup.
Meanwhile, the BLM has severely restricted access for humane observers to monitor the roundup activities, limiting such observations to a few hours just three days a week. Even so, t during limited viewing of the helicopter roundup, public observers have witnessed horses being run at high speeds in frigid temperatures and sometimes over rugged terrain.
“The BLM’s brutal roundup methods clearly violate Congress’ intent that our nation’s wild horses be managed humanely and in a minimally intrusive manner,” said William J. Spriggs, of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. Mr. Spriggs is lead counsel on a lawsuit filed pro bono on behalf of IDA, ecologist Craig Downer and noted children’s author Terri Farley to stop the roundup.
” America ‘s wild horses are protected by federal law as important parts of our national heritage, but they are being brutalized and destroyed by the BLM’s policy of massive roundups, removals and stockpiling of horses in Midwestern holding facilities,” Spriggs continued. “The entire program must be fundamentally reformed.”
The deaths reported by the BLM include:
* a young colt who had been stampeded so long and hard that his hooves were destroyed and his “hind feet abscessed and the outer hoof wall did separate” was euthanized at the holding facility after undergoing a painful two weeks of bandaged hoofs and treatment.
* A mare who crashed into a gate and broke her neck.
* A mare who went down in the transport truck on the four hour drive between the capture site and the holding facility and died shortly after arrival.
* A colt who collapsed and died while being chased by helicopter and separated from his mother
A full fatality list, compiled from the BLM’s daily updates is listed below.
The Calico Complex roundup began on December 28 and is scheduled to last through February. To date the BLM reports the capture of 1,326 horses of the 2,500 scheduled to be removed. That roundup proceeded despite a December 23, 2009 ruling by federal court Judge Paul Friedman — in the lawsuit brought by Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, questioning the legality of the BLM’s long-term holding facilities and suggesting that the BLM postpone the Calico roundup.
If the Obama Administration’s BLM continues its current course initially charted by the Bush Administration, it will capture and remove nearly 12,000 wild horses in FY 2010 from their Western ranges and place them in holding facilities, where they will join the more than 35,500 horses already stockpiled at taxpayer expense. The number of horses in BLM warehouses now exceeds those left on the range.
Wild horses comprise a minute fraction (0.5 percent) of grazing animals on public lands, where they are outnumbered by cattle at least 200 to 1. The BLM has recently increased cattle grazing allotments in areas where wild horses are being removed. Currently the BLM manages more than 256 million acres of public lands of which cattle grazing is allowed on 160 million acres; wild horses are only allowed on 26.6 million acres this land, which must be shared with cattle.
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CALICO MOUNTAIN COMPLEX ROUNDUP FATALITY LIST
(Taken from BLM “Gather Activity Updates“)
NOTE: Although the BLM reports 19 deaths at the Fallon holding facility, it has provided information only on 17 deaths. Three deaths have occurred at the trap site.
One filly found dead of unknown cause
Three mares of poor body condition killed; one spinal injury and one sole abscess and pelvis injury
One stallion was found dead, cause of death unknown
One mare crashed into a gate and broke her neck
Two mares killed due to poor body condition; not able to transition to new diet
One mare found dead in corral
One mare downed on transport truck arrived at facility; subsequently died
One colt suffered hoof sloughing as a result of the roundup; killed by injection after treated for 12 days
“About 20 to 25 horses at the facility have received treatment for various injuries or lameness.”
Foal born on 1/14 was killed on 1/15 because s/he could “not thrive”
Two mares and one stallion found dead; attributed to “failure to adjust to a change in feed”
One 12-year-old mare die after being at facility for four days; “weak and poor condition”
One mare found dead over the weekend; “result of dietary feed change”
*One 20-year old mare was killed; “poor body condition that was unlikely to improve”
*One colt run to death; “pre-existing pulmonary condition”
*One 20-plus-year-old mare shot by riffle at the trap site; “unlikely her condition would improve”
*Indicates death at trap site.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Suzanne Roy, 919-697-938, Deniz Bolbol, 650-248-2289