New documentary exonerating wild horses and burros

Pine Nut Mustangs. Source: PNWHA on Twitter.

EDITED PRESS RELEASE

Tom Porter, Craig C. Downer

Just released is a new 24-minute video documentary featuring the many positive contributions that wild horses and burros make to ecosystems and effectively disproves many of the lies made by their biased enemies.

As an ecologist who cares about the future of the naturally living horses and burros, Craig Downer is fighting to protect them from elimination on the lands that are legally theirs according to the unanimously passed Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFHBA).

These species are classified by biologists as Keystone Species that critically restoring and maintain native biodiversity, benefiting many diverse yet interrelated plants and animal.

Many people unfairly blame horses for water and forage scarcity, when in truth they take only a minor fraction of the forage and water resources on the public lands compared to that taken by privately owned cattle and sheep as well as the gargantuan mining and energy industries, among other nature exploiters.

Also it is important to recognize that these national heritage species are only being allocated a small fraction of forage, water and appropriate habitat even within their legal areas on BLM and US Forest Service lands. These are areas where they should be the principal resource recipients according to the true intent of the WFHBA.

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Quoted text is from the documentary.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Note: The narration begins about 1 minute in.

Horse Racing — Injury, death and slaughter fueled by gambling

Dead racehorse. Source: Pinterest.

What the Raced to Death video report by Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel does not mention is what fuels the so-called “sport” of horse racing. In a word — gambling. It is the people who gamble on horse racing who sponsor racehorse abuse, doping, breakdowns and death on the track, and thousands of racehorses at the slaughterhouse.

Without gambling horse racing would not exist. History points to this truth. By the end of 1910 virtually all gambling was outlawed in the United States. Horse racing collapsed.

Then came the Depression. In 1933 the gambling prohibition is repealed, and horse racing returns to the United States. This is when Seabiscuit becomes the hero of a depressed nation that had little to nothing to cheer about. And horse racing begins to thrive once again.

As horse racing escalated in the 1940’s and 50’s almost all states change their laws to allow parimutuel betting on horses which significantly increased the “handle” or how much was bet by the public.

THE TAKE

Every wager placed at a racetrack, whether live or simulcast, trickles down from the gambler’s pocketbook to the track and the horsemen involved. Generally, a track’s purse structure comes directly from the projected amount of handle (the total amount bet by the public). A percentage of each race’s total purse is awarded to the highest finishers.

Trainers of course also make money via training fees paid for by the horse’s owner and there’s prize money of course. But this would barely keep them in business, if at all.

So it is “the take” that they train for — a percentage of the multi-million dollar gambling revenues generated by horse racing.

Without gambling horse racing would not be in business, the business of doping, maiming and destroying racehorses on the track and at the slaughterhouse.

If you haven’t seen Raced to Death by HBO’s Real Sports with Brian Gumbel, go here.

 

Aussie racehorse kill buyer speaks out

An image from ABC's 7.30 program showing a horse being killed at a Queensland knackery. CREDIT:ABC

INTERVIEW WITH A KILL BUYER — HOW RACEHORSES END UP AS MEAT
by Chip Legrand
Sydney Morning Herald, 21 Oct 2019

“Peter Loffel is the face of horse racing’s unpalatable truth.

“He is known as a kill buyer, although he prefers the term horse trader. He buys horses no one wants and trucks them to a place no horse wants to end up – the Meramist abattoir featured in last week’s 7.30 expose on ABC.

“The horses he buys are nearly all retired racehorses or trotters, he tells The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He says he buys most of his gallopers direct from trainers, licensed participants in an industry which has spent the past four days claiming it has no idea so many thoroughbreds are sent to abattoirs.

‘Most of them are some sort of racehorse. We don’t buy people’s riding horses or saddle horses.’

“If what Loffel says is true, the industry’s claim that horses are being slaughtered beyond their sight is bunk; any trainer who sells a horse to Loffel knows exactly where [he] is going.

“The kill buying business is not complicated. Loffel buys some horses from auctions, but most of them he picks up cheaply from trainers and breeders.” Continue reading »

WHERE THERE’S RACING THERE’S SLAUGHTER

In addition to the hundreds and thousands of horses racing kills on U.S. racetracks, they send hundreds and thousands of racehorses across our borders to be mercilessly killed for their meat in Canada and Mexico. And it’s just as brutal and terrifying as anything shown in the undercover investigation that has shaken the people of Oz and everywhere else it has been seen.

You can’t help Australia’s racehorses but you can help American racehorses. Take action today on behalf of our racehorses by asking your U.S. Representative to cosponsor the anti horse slaughter bill, H.R.961. If they already have, contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to cosponsor its companion bill, S.2006Go here for tips and guidelines to ensure your success »

ALSO ON TUESDAY’S HORSE

Australian racehorse slaughter allegations prompt investigation »

MORE COVERAGE BY SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Lifetime guarantee to save horses from slaughter »
Ian Smith, the owner of Edinburgh Park Stud, says that if anyone owns one of his horses and can no longer keep it, he’ll pay $1000 to take it back so it won’t share the fate of those animals graphically featured in last week’s ABC 7.30 program.

Horse racing on the nose, industry insiders warn »
Influential racing figures are bracing for the fallout from the horse slaughter scandal to impact on the remaining spring carnival and beyond unless racing authorities can restore public trust in how thoroughbreds are treated after they retire from the sport.

How is horse racing cruel? »
A recent investigation puts animal welfare in the spotlight while activists have been saying horse-racing is cruel for years – but exactly how? And what do the industry and experts say in response?

 

American wild horses 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.