Wild horses and controversy — Notes from the range

Thanks to our good friend Terry we received an interesting email containing an embedded post.

The controversy surrounding wild horses on public lands and the cruel and often deathly mismanagement by the federal agency Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not news to us and no doubt not news to you.

We have read numerous writings over the years by those out in the field from experts to interested observers.

What is pretty clear is that the BLM and their cohorts simply do not want wild horses off public lands. They want them dead. Historically this is a decades old problem.

Here’s the opening salvo from the post I refer to:

“Soon we will not have available our historic link to wild horses. Ignorance is dominating the wild horse issue, as if trading slaughter for birth control to extinction is an answer to save them! No! It is simply an overwhelming amount of ignorance, from those who have no clue in the matter of wild horse management nor anything of wild horse virtue and necessity. Our American Icon has so many positive attritbutes, and unless one knows of nature, our environment, and our natural ecological systems, they will never know, nor acknowledge the benefits of wild horses on our public lands. Below are notes and from limited distribution, so perhaps new information to many. . .” — John Cox, The Cascades

The writer continues by pointing out problems that the BLM and the federal government continue to ignore.

There are too many cattle on public lands. Check. Wherever they are, the cattle are destroying the ecosystems. Check. The Humane Society continue to promote its pesticide PZP they say to help control herd numbers when it appears to be destroying them. Check.

We have not heard the following before.

The BLM allow public land ranchers (or “welfare ranchers” — we will come back to that in a minute) to do as they please which he says results as follows:

“Public health hazards are developing, aggressively I might add, even while I am writing this, and beef from public lands grazing is diseased.”

Diseased. Interesting.

The writer goes on to say that he does not know to what degree (as in percentage) but cites the BLM’s inadequate checks and balance system as the reason for it.

Now you may think that public land ranchers — some of whose contracts with the federal government go back generations — do not contribute that much to the beef industry. We do not have the data. But even if we were able to get figures from the BLM could we believe them given the BLM’s history of playing with numbers.

We know it’s huge and it costs the American taxpayer an enormous amount of money — in the billions.

Let’s take a look at who some of these “welfare ranchers” are.

Here’s an excerpt from a Tuesday’s Horse post from 2015:

Years ago Ellen Cathryn Nash wrote an insightful report for our website called Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends which she distributed as a Press Release in 2005.

Some of the names listed as “Rolex Ranchers” by Nash are:

Ted Turner
Baron Hilton
Mary Hewlett-Jaffey
JR Simplot
Hunt Oil Company of Dallas

If you will remember, in 2015 Vickery Eckhoff revisited this topic with an in depth look of her own and published “Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List” on AlterNet.

Take a look some of the people on her monied list of who’s who. It hasn’t changed much in ten years has it?

David and Charles Koch (Koch Industries)
J.R. Simplot Corp.
Bruce McCaw (McCaw Cellular)
Barrick Gold
Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA)
W. Barron Hilton (Hilton Hotels)
Mary Hewlett-Jaffe (Hewlett-Packard)
James Barta (Sav-Rx.com)
T. Wright Dickinson
Stan Kroenke (Kroenke Group) & Ann Walton Kroenke (Walmart)
Family of Robert Earl Holding (Sinclair Oil and Hotels)
Ted Turner

Southern Nevada Water Authority is on this list? That raises some interesting questions doesn’t it?

At any rate, that is a helluva a lot of cattle producing a helluva lot of beef destroying a helluva lot of public land.

Wild horses are free roaming by nature. Cattle on the other hand have to be moved. Cattle will graze right down to the dirt. You can imagine how destructive that alone is. Never mind the dung and the enormous amounts of water cattle use.

Eckhoff sums up her report with this statement:

“The .01 percenters are the nation’s biggest welfare ranchers, according to numerous environmental and policy groups; and it’s time they brought some attention to themselves and the federal grazing program they’re exploiting to the tune of an annual estimated one billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies while causing long-term damage to one of the public’s most treasured assets.”

Nash states in her report:

“In reality, the wild horses and burros are not the problem, rather it is the privately owned livestock grazing on public lands subsidized by American taxpayers at great expense. It is important to note that cattle are ‘static’ animals in that they do not move much and they destroy the ground. It takes ten years to reclaim land destroyed by cattle, and longer in arid areas such as Nevada.”

Now back to the writer we started with.

Another point he makes in his eyebrow raising post is one that could possibly explain some of the policies by some wild horse and burro advocates — so called — that have long puzzled us. The writer says:

“We also discover, through factual research and credible sources, several non-profits today are currently, or have done, [are] receiving money from BoLM grants or payroll money as well, applications for grants and even employment from the BoLM – we find this directly a conflict of interest, and a violation of their non-profit status . . .”

We may never get all or even many of the facts concerning most of the issues impacting America’s wild horses and burros.

However one thing is crystal clear. They are a far cry from being protected.

The history of America’s wild horses and burros on U.S. public lands is riddled with cruelty, deception, corruption and death.


Wild Horses and Controversy: Notes from the Cascade Mountain Range; Photojournalist — Journalist; Sept. 22, 2016.

Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List, 10% of BLM Land Lease Subsidy Recipients are Billionaires and Control 65% of all BLM Lands; Vickery Eckhoff; Alternet; Mar. 24, 2015.

Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends, 10% of BLM Land Lease Subsidy Recipients are Billionaires and Control 65% of all BLM Lands; Ellen Cathryn Nash; Tuesday’s Horse; Mar. 25, 2005.


Pesticide PZP Truth; Photojournalist — Journalist; Sept. 13, 2016.


Eureka, Nevada – A group of wild horses wait in a holding pen after a gathering July 7, 2005 in Eureka, Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management is gathering wild horses in the American West, where an estimated 37,000 wild horses roam free. Many of the horses that are gathered are put up for adoption while others are treated with birth control and released back to the wild. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A look at a PMU farm in China — and it’s not all about Pfizer

Pfizer’s international market for Premarin is open game for competitors without the U. S. Food & Drug Administration’s protection of the company’s monopoly trade secret.

The key component for the production of Premarin is the estrogen rich urine collected from pregnant mares. This business has become commonly referred to as the pregnant mare’s urine or PMU industry.

In 2005, a Chinese company — Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. — was formed for the express purpose of creating a Chinese PMU industry based in northwest China’s Nilka County, located within the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Breeding of PMU mares and sales of pregnant mare’s urine has since become the “sunrise industry” for the regional rural farm economy, providing a significant increase in income for the farmers and incentive to expand production and number of horses.

Pfizer is stated to be the reason for establishing Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological, but the relationship described between the two companies is inconsistent.

On one hand, Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological’s founding purpose is to dominate Pfizer’s international Premarin market as a Chinese competitor, while on the other hand Pfizer is said to be the primary contractor for pregnant mare’s urine produced by the “sunrise industry” that Xinjiang Xinziyuan Biological’s created, and which supplies Pfizer with the pregnant mare’s urine to manufacture the Premarin products.

Whatever the true circumstances are concerning Pfizer, the magnitude of gross cruelty to horses resulting from the creation of a domestic market in China for equine estrogen projects is in itself unthinkable.

Chinese version of Premarin cream.
Chinese version of Premarin cream.

The number of middle-age women in China presently within the target demography for estrogen products exceeds the total population of the rest of world.

The corresponding number of horses required to meet China’s domestic demand annually is greater than the the total number of horses used for Premarin production during the 75 years since FDA approval in 1942.

Here’s what a pregnant mare’s urine farm in Xinyuan County, China looks like.

PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).
PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).

PMU Farm in Xinyuan County, China (2012).

This is only tip of the iceberg of what we will be bringing to your attention. The challenge has always been that the information we sought was quite naturally in Chinese. Now of course there are Chinese translation apps but as helpful as they are, they only get you so far.

We are working to find Chinese language translators with good English to help us not only with documentation but also to help us create alerts to the women in China through social media about the carcinogenic properties of drugs made with conjugated equine estrogens as declared by the World Health Organization. We are hopeful they will not be as blasé about it as American women seem to be. There are alternatives. Yet there may be a glimmer of hope on that horizon.

In the meantime, we have also received a tip that the bulk of PMU farms supplying Pfizer are actually in Latin America. Stay tuned.

Revenues from Premarin family of drugs falls 3% in 2016


With a fall in prescriptions and market growth, revenues of the Premarin family of drugs have fallen 3% in 2016.

So what does a 3% loss in the Premarin family of drugs represent?

In 2015, as well as several years previously, these drugs netted about a billion US dollars. The question now is whether this is significant.

Looking at the trend in sales figures since 2013 perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel for the horses, albeit a distant and perhaps faint hope. http://www.pfizer.com/system/files/presentation/2015_Pfizer_Financial_Report.pdf

There has been a steady decrease in sales between 2013 and 2015 and now revenues are down another 3% in the current year.


A 3% decrease in revenues from 2015 represents an estimated profit margin for the Premarin family of about 987 million USD for 2016. When compared to 2013 this is a decline of approximately 9.6% in revenues or in dollar amounts 105 million USD.

Of their total revenue (~ 49 billion USD in 2015) this may not seem like a lot but it is an encouraging trend that we hope means that both women and their physicians are paying heed to the dangers of equine-derived HRT and prescribing alternatives, despite Pfizer’s aggressive ads promoting it.

What we don’t know is how large the drop in prescriptions really is. The revenues we see are of course dependent on the price of these drugs. If the costs have increased this means that prescriptions have declined even more so relative to 2013. The alternative of lower pricing options makes it more difficult to assess.

The saving factor here may be that we all know that Big Pharma is a money-making machine and trimming profits are not in their best interest.

Whatever the case, let’s hope this trend continues.

Spread the word.


Tuesday’s Horse

Alternatives to the Premarin Family of Drugs in the Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms »

Side Effects of Raising Awareness About the Premarin Family of Drugs and PMU Horses »

The Horse Fund

Premarin Horses Fact Sheet »

Protest Big Lick Animal Cruelty at the Tennessee State Fair

Updated 9/13/2016 @ 2:58 pm

“Big Lickers” plan to exhibit recently crowned 2016 World Grand Champion – Honors – at the Tennessee State Fair.

Please join the Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty and fellow horse lovers in protesting “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty.


What: CCABLAC PROTEST – “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty
When: Friday, September 16, 2016, 4:00 pm to 6 pm
Where: Tennessee State Fair, 500 Wedgwood Ave, Nashville, TN
Who: YOU and Friends

Clant Seay, who is organizing the Protest, says:

“Let’s not let them get away with bringing the “Big Lick” World Grand Champion “Honors” to the State Fair this Friday in Nashville especially after our protest resulted in the lowest Celebration attendance in 46 years.”

Contact Clant Seay at cmseaylaw@aol.com. Free t-shirts to wear at the protest.


“Honors”, the newly crowned “Big Lick” animal cruelty hero is a horse connected to a history of soring. How could he be anything else? There is nothing natural about the “Big Lick”. It cannot be gotten through anything other means which also happen to be illegal. Forget being suspended from participating in a show. Why are these people not arrested on the spot when soring is detected?

See Newly Crowned World Grand Champion Honors Owner Keith McSwain Salmmed by USDA in Complaint Filed in Washington »

Blog Horse Fund

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