BLM investigates death of 19 wild horses at inmate program facility


killblmcorruptionOh, look. 19 wild horses found dead in Interior Secretary Ken Salzar’s home state of Colorado. The horses were part of an inmate training program.

Local Colorado NBC News Ch. 11 reports:

    A mystery is unfolding at a wild horse inmate program facility in Cañon City.

    Bureau of Land Management officials discovered 19 wild horses dead in a pen Monday.

    Several other horses in the same pen appeared ill.

    The BLM and veterinarians are working with state and federal animal health authorities to find out the cause of the illness.

    Some of the horses that fell ill have been euthanized.

    The facility has been quarantined while investigators try to determine what happened.

The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths:

    Cañon City, Colo.(Dec. 4, 2012) — The Bureau of Land Management is investigating the deaths of 19 wild horses at its Cañon City Wild Horse Inmate Program facility. The BLM discovered dead horses in a pen on Dec. 3. Several other wild horses in the same pen exhibited signs of illness. The BLM is working with veterinarians including state and federal animal health authorities to investigate the cause of the illness.

    Veterinarians have euthanized those horses in the most severe condition with a poor prognosis for recovery. Autopsies were performed on three of the dead horses at the facility, with additional horses and samples sent to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

    “As a precaution, we have quarantined the facility and will not ship animals out this week,” said Fran Ackley, BLM Colorado Wild Horse and Bureau Program Lead. “We are working with a veterinarian to determine the cause of the illness and prevent any potential spread to other wild horses at the facility.”

    There is no estimate of when the lab analysis will be completed. In addition to the autopsies, the BLM sent water and hay samples to a lab for testing. The horses and burros are currently being fed hay from a different source as a precaution.

    The BLM will release additional information as it becomes available.

Source: News Release


If you can stomach it, take a look at the images here (includes this one, left), taken from the Prison Wild Horse Training program, at the Stewart Conservation Camp near Carson City, Nev. castrating and breaking wild horses for auction. Photos by John Locher, © Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jul. 23 at 9:56 p.m.

Just when you think the treatment of our beloved wild horses cannot get any more barbaric. It is criminal. And yes, tax dollars are paying for this.


1. White House phone numbers and link to email form on the right side bar.

2. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign are seeking a meeting at the White House to address wild horse and burro protection issues. However, they are having difficulty securing a meeting with the Administration. They are therefore asking for grassroot support for their Petition to the White House to accept this request.

Link to Petition >>

16 thoughts on “BLM investigates death of 19 wild horses at inmate program facility”

  1. @Nancy and Paula, the problem is that this looks suspiciously similar to images on U-Tube and other social media sites showing animals being castrated without sedation or anesthesia, and with unsterile instruments.

    The BLM has done nothing to prove it is a friend to horses, so it’s not hard to presume the worst.

    I’m sure Vivian will do some more research and follow up with us.


    1. There is no point trying to reason with people who have a high tolerance for cruelty, whether it is the BLM or anyone else who have become accustomed to it because “that’s the way they do it” and they see nothing wrong with it.

      The BLM deny, deny, deny — yet as you say documentary evidence shows otherwise. These are the same people who recommend spaying wild mares in the field. Now what sort of veterinarian would agree to carry out that procedure in those conditions?


      1. I do not condone BLM’s practices and the idea of spaying a mare out in the field is an absolutely ridiculous thing that they have come up with and definitely cruel. Also, the use of cattle prods and helicopters is unacceptable. Also, the fact that the people handling them don’t know enough to back off from an extremely stressed horse and it jumps a corral breaking its hindleg is absolutely idiotic. Another horrible action was trying to drive horses through a practically invisible 16 foot gate when the horses are panicked and running blindly and go through BARB wire fence flipping in the air. I agree that the BLM is out of control.They need a true horseman in there that understands and has compassion for horses heading the mustang division of the BLM, not wranglers. I just feel that the gelding looks like standard practice from all the gelding I have seen.


  2. How do you know they are not just using a paralytic drug as “sedation?” Because if they are, that IS barbaric, horrifically cruel and INHUMANE!! Oh…but its CHEAPER to use..and thats the blm way. They castrated many many MANY stallions rounded up that way, and it was horrible.


    1. I have never inhumanely treated horses, I worked on a farm. We broke babies. They never bucked-my mentor had a wonderful way with horses. I never participated in the drugging of horses and as a matter of fact have commented on blogs about first hand what I have seen go on and what I know needs to change in the thoroughbred industry. I am not sure in what way you think I would have inhumanely treated a horse-I am just saying that is how our very respected vet clinic gelded horses. In the same manner exactly. I worked for a trainer who did not use drugs, did not inject joints and did not race horses who shouldn’t be racing. However, he is a multi millionaire and could afford to do that. If you think an owner wants a horse abused that they just paid half a million for, no, not on my watch. Our horses lived better than I do.


    2. If they used a paralytic drug no one would be having to hold their legs. Why do you think that the blm vets are doing anything that is different than standard practice in the vet industry?


      1. Yes, they WOULD have to have help holding their hind legs apart, so the butcherers could get in there and do their cutting. A paralytic drug does just paralyzes the animal so it can’t move…so of course it has to be man-handled, the legs must be held into a position so the job can be done. And I, too, don’t believe for one minute these were liscensed veterinarians at this PRISON who were doing the castrating.


  3. VGFarrell, What are you talking about? The person doing the castration is obviously a vet. I have been in the thoroughbred industry for 20 + years, licensed from groom, ex. rider, assistant trainer and owner and this is how we castrate horses worth millions of dollars. You don’t need experienced people holding the legs of a anestetized horse to keep it from kicking the vet in the head through reflex movement. This is not a “cruel” practice and is done like that for the safety of the horse and people involved. Please, this is not barbaric, unless you consider castration barbaric, which actually leads to a happier, nontestosterone driven animal who interacts with humans in a positve manner instead of always being punished for biting, trying to jump on other horses, etc.


    1. I wouldn’t rely on your background in the Thoroughbred industry around here in hopes of being seen as an authority on how to humanely treat horses!


  4. Not sure what you’re objection to the castration photo is… Unless you’ve never seen the procedure done before…. and are assuming the horse is conscious…. It is common practice to hold the legs like that to assist the vet… And the horse IS sedated btw…
    If your objection is to the gelding itself… Give your head a shake!


    1. How about starting with the fact that inexperienced inmates and not veterinarians are conducting the procedure. And yes, I have seen it done many times. It is clear from the other images these prisoners have absolutely no expertise with horses, which is what they are supposedly learning.

      Because you see nothing wrong with this barbarity does not mean people who do have no expertise or understanding of the circumstances.


    2. I stand firm on my comment, and yes I have been witness to castrations for over 40 years…..not one of my horses legs were tied & put on their back! The BLM has proven time & time again – they revel in terrorizing our horses!


  5. My second thought, I only wish this “proceedure” could be sentenced on Salazar & all BLM with same technique – hog tie, but with 3 horse advocates holding them down, no anethesia, & no antibiotics! The pleasure of seeing them walking bowlegged would do us all some good….For Our Horses!!


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