American Wild Horses Set On Path To Extinction?

Two Mustangs. National Geographic. 2017.

PRESS RELEASE

by WILD HORSE FIRE BRIGADE

YREKA, Calif. – Oct. 14, 2019 – PRLog — In a certified letter delivered to Return To Freedom, Inc. (‘RTF’) and it’s board of directors on September 16, 2019, key wild horse and burro advocates demanded that Return To Freedom, a 501-C-3 non-profit, immediately withdraw its support of the so-called proposal titled; ‘The Path Forward For Management Of BLM’s Wild Horses & Burros’ (‘Proposal’) [1].

On August 28th 2019, naturalist William E. Simpson II had a phone call with the Executive Director of the Public Lands Council, Mr. Ethan Lane. In that telephone call, Mr. Lane alluded to Mr. Simpson that via RTF’s support of the Proposal, he arguably had the needed majority of all wild horse and burro advocates to support the Proposal’s acceptance by Congress. This is tantamount to an admission that, without the support of Return To Freedom, the livestock industry’s surrogates (BLM, HSUS, ASPCA, AMF, etc.) would have to go back to the drawing board.

A majority of wild horse advocates and organizations, including Friends of Animals (‘FOA’) feel that the current Proposal as written is seriously flawed and would likely lead to the final extinction of native species American wild horses and burros in America. This Proposal is particularly troubling given there is a superior alternative plan for managing wild horses and burros called ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’, which offers savings to taxpayers using an ecologically sound method for rewilding BLM and USFS wild horses and burros [2].

There is more than enough existing and new science, as well as decades of empirical experience, that argues compellingly against the flawed precepts upon which the Proposal RTF supports is built.

The current Proposal posits are premised upon known misinformation, including those found in four key precepts of the Proposal, each followed by a brief counterpoint made by experts who oppose the current Proposal:

Proposal: Conduct targeted gathers and removals at densely populated Herd Management Areas (HMAs) to reduce herd size and make progress towards AML.”

Counterpoint: This has been done unsuccessfully for decades and is by all accounts a draconian methodology only made necessary due to the large-scale decimation of the evolutionary predators of wild horses and burros, namely, mountain lions, bears, wolves and coyotes.

Proposal: Treat gathered horses and burros with population growth suppression tools prior to being returned to the range. Reversible methods must be administered to an appropriate percentage of mares (generally close to 90%) to control populations, with some flexibility depending on modeling of range and herd parameters.”

Counterpoint: The latest science proves that the use of chemical contraceptives in equids leads to the breakdown of critical social structures in family bands of wild horses as well as resulting in varied degrees of sterilization and erosion of genetic viability.

Proposal: Relocate horses and burros in holding facilities, and those taken off the range, to large cost-effective humane pasture facilities funded through public-private partnerships.”

Counterpoint: Here again, this has been an ongoing expensive failure that will continue to burden taxpayers.

Proposal: Promote adoptions in order to help reduce captive populations and costs. The BLM is currently spending $2,250 ($3,250 with incentive) per adopted horse to promote adoptions that ultimately provide considerable cost savings to the agency. Investing in the adoption process for each horse will reduce or eliminate the estimated $46,000 per horse expenditure in off range holding over the course of their lifetime.”

Counterpoint: Another paradigm that has proven relatively ineffective as evidenced by tens of thousands of wild horses and burros that nevertheless end up in off-range facilities at great ongoing cost to taxpayers. Even though a small percentage of native species American wild horses can be successfully gentled and thereby ‘domesticated,’ management of wildlife in this manner is costly and very limited in its scope and effect as any genuine solution.

Leading independent wild burro and horse advocates are of the opinion that if RTF rescinds support of the existing Proposal, it could then be amended to include what are arguably the minimal components to assure a future representation of free-roaming native species American wild horses and burros in carefully selected remote wilderness areas in America where the presence of a proper proportion of the evolved apex predators of equids will certainly control equid populations [3].

The 3 minimal components are:

1) Current management practices amount to an egregious misuse of the WHBA. Not only must helicopter roundups come to an immediate end, BLM and the USFS must provide greater protections to wild equids in existing HMAs by reevaluating HMA boundaries and AMLs, giving priority to wild equids over any human use of these public lands. These agencies also currently ignore any benefit wild equids have on the lands they currently occupy, including the potential to lower the risk of wildfire in the grasslands occupied by wild equids. Congress must ensure that wild equids and their benefits are given more weight in establishing HMA boundaries and AMLs.

2) All wild equids that are rounded up after considerations in no. 1 will be transported, families intact, unmolested (no treatments with any chemicals or castration of stallions) into carefully selected and appropriately remote wilderness areas. Where possible, such equids can also be used to establish larger AMLs on existing HMAs (or expanded HMAs) where such populations would benefit the grassland habitats.

3) A percentage (TBD) of 10-year old (and younger) wild horses and burros held in off range captivity will be rewilded into carefully selected and appropriately remote wilderness areas.

The following *advocates were signatories on the letter to RTF.

* Friends of Animals (https://www.friendsofanimals.org/about-us/)
* Board of Directors Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza Inc 501 c 3 –
Kathleen Hayden, Secretary
* Carla Bowers
* Lorna Moffat
* Darice Massey
* Dr. Sharon Greenleaf La Pierre – Red Raven Farms – Colorado & Kentucky
* Speak Up For Horses
* Jeff Hudson
* William E. Simpson II – Naturalist / Rancher

[1] https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=0869B02B-E9C5-4F0B-9AE8-9A8A1C85293E

[2] http://www.WHFB.us

[3] Impact Of Wild Horses On Wilderness Landscape And Wildfire – Preliminary Findings Report – By: William E. Simpson II -Naturalist – July 25, 2019 (https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6a30c6_98642a78546849f0a94e2687cdf35654.pdf)

FEATURED IMAGE: (not filed with press release)
Credit: Two Mustangs. National Geographic. 2017.

Foals, Mares, and Active Stallions All Decline in 2019

Newly born Thoroughbred foal. Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse.

US HORSE RACING

“The number of 2019 foals is tracking 3.6% lower at 20,363, compared with a year ago.”

The Bloodhorse reports:

The Jockey Club reported Oct. 3 that 1,630 stallions covered 32,508 mares in North America during 2018, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 26, 2019. These breedings have resulted in 20,363 live foals of 2019 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90% complete. The reporting of live foals is down 3.6% from last year at this time when The Jockey Club received reports for 21,130 live foals of 2018.

In addition to the live foals of 2019, The Jockey Club also received 2,405 No Foal Reports for the 2019 foaling season. Ultimately, the 2019 registered foal crop is projected to reach 20,800. A crop of 20,800 would mark a fourth straight year the crop has declined in numbers, and it would be the smallest crop since 1966 (20,228).

The number of stallions in 2018 declined 8.3% from the 1,778 reported for 2017 at this time last year, and the number of mares bred declined 5.2% from the 34,288 reported for 2017. Read more »

PHOTO CREDIT
Anne M. Eberhardt / TheHorse.com.

RELATED READING
Inside a Thoroughbred Nursery; The Horse; April 2019

Wild horses need our voices; Cloud call to action

Galloping wild horse herd. (Stock Photo)

URGENT CALL TO ACTION

Please join The Cloud Foundation with us. Call your U.S. Senators using the following script. If no one answers, please leave a voicemail.

Script:

1. Hello, my name is ____________ and I live in _______________. My phone # is ______________. (Give all that info upfront for simplicity)

2. I am asking Senator _____________ to vote AGAINST funding the Dept. of Interior Appropriations Bill, Fiscal Year 2020, which includes the Livestock Lobby/ASPCA/HSUS plan to remove over 100,000 wild horses and burros from public lands in the next 10 yrs. Our wild herds are protected by federal law and should be managed ON THE RANGE, not warehoused at tax-payer expense.

3. Again my name is ______________________, from ____(town)______. Thank you for the opportunity to weigh in.

 *  *  *  *

Find your Senator’s phone number here: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Not sure who your senators are? Find here: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

BACKGROUND

The disastrous “management” plan that calls for the removal of over 100,000 wild horses and burros from the range over the next decade will soon be up for Senate approval in the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior spending bill.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plan, The Cloud Foundation responded in depth to the proposing organizations. Read it here.

Gas Gangrene in Thoroughbred racehorses

The label reads, "Banamine Injectable Solution in as anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Used in horses for the alleviation of inflammation and pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders and for the alleviation of visceral pain associated with colic. Each ml of Banamine Injectable Solution contains flunixin meglumine equivalent to 50 mg flunixin.

We had a post in the pipeline regarding gas gangrene in racehorses. It just so happens the Ray Paulick Report has written about it too.

One drug that causes gas gangrene and regularly given to racehorses is the drug Banamine®.

The Paulick Report post entitled ‘Gas Gangrene’ An Equine Emergency, begins the article describing this serious, life threatening side effects of this type of drug.

Caslon Quote Left BlackA rare-but-serious bacterial infection, clostridial myositis, causes inflammation, muscle death and the release of toxins into a horse’s bloodstream. Prompt intervention with aggressive antibiotic treatment and wound debridement is key to a horse’s survival.

Also called gas gangrene, myonecrosis or malignant edema, it occurs most often in horses that have received an injection in their muscle. Affected horses will have swelling, heat and pain surrounding the injection site within 6 to 72 hours; the disease progresses swiftly and a horse’s condition may decline rapidly. Death may occur.”

andCaslon Quote Left Black[Gas gangrene] has been reported following IM injections of vaccines, phenylbutazone, ivermectin, antihistamines, vitamins, prostaglandins, and most commonly, flunixin meglumine (Banamine). It is not fully understood how the spores penetrate the muscle, whether they arrive at the time of injection or if the bacteria are present in the intestine and brought to the muscle via the bloodstream.”

__________

What the article describes but doesn’t show you is an image of what the treatment for gas gangrene looks like, such as this one.

The Paulick Report continues:

Caslon Quote Left Black

Treatment involves creating large incisions into the muscle and fascia to expose the bacteria to oxygen and removing dead tissue. Horses should receive supportive care and are typically treated with high doses of penicillin and fluids.

Horses that survive the initial stages of the disease have a good prognosis, though the wounds that are made by the veterinarians to expose the bacteria to air may take months to heal completely.”

__________

“Horses that survive .  .  .  .”

This is just what American racehorse owners and trainers and their apologists are running around the country defending and asserting it is their every right to do. And how dare we, the bleeding heart public and animal rights extremists protest this and call them into question.

The most sickening quote of all from horse racing is constantly saying how much they love their horses. Totally. Nauseating.

This condition is drug induced. They know that this can happen. Yet they ask us to trust them — who support situations like this as “business as usual” and “their right to do” to an innocent animal totally dependent on them for their health, safety and welfare.

We can’t see American horseracing ever doing right by the racehorse.

How can we possibly accept there will ever be reform when it looks such a no hoper? What would that reform actually look like, how long would it last and how can we have even a glimmer of expectation it would actually be implemented?

It’s alright for us to fight, debate, report, and expose horse racing in an effort to make them clean up their act — or better yet simply go away — no matter how long it takes. We aren’t the ones being drugged, tortured and run to death on a racetrack. Whatever we decide, we need to do it quickly and comprehensively.

In the meantime, you the gambler is ultimately responsible. It’s all about “the handle”. That is what keeps horse racing alive. But you wring your hands and bemoan the fate of racehorses, like you really care. It looks to us that what you are truly worried about is that horse racing itself might actually come to an end. Why not admit it? How tragic it all is for the racehorse. It’s not like there is nothing else to bet on.

RELATED READING

The Chemical Horse

by JANE ALLIN

You can find Banamine® in Part 4.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction | Part 2: Historical Aspects | Part 3: The Inception of Drug Testing | Part 4: Drugs and Their Actions | Part 5: Policies and Tactics | Part 6: Class 3 Drugs — Performance Enhancing or Not? | Part 7: Class 4 Drugs — Harmless Therapeutics? | Part 8: The Unclassifieds | Part 9: The Call for Reform | Part 10: Who Rules?