Rapa das bestas Spain 2019

Spain is not a country any of us at The Horse Fund would spend vacation time or money on.

Spain retains a core savagery that is unsettling and disgraceful. Spaniards revel in holding on to their gory, barbaric and outdated customs and festivals, many of which involve the horrific treatment of animals. Horses are too often one of those animals.

RAPA DAS BESTAS

“Every year, wild horses are captured in the hills of Spain and then taken to a farmyard where they are branded and their horsehair cut during a traditional festival known as ‘Rapa das Bestas’ or The Capture of the Beasts, ” reports The Straits Times, from which we corralled the following series of images.

Villagers round up wild horses in Sabucedo, some 40km from Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, on July 6, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
Villagers round up wild horses in Sabucedo, some 40km from Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, on July 6, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
Hundreds of people watch the traditional Rapa das Bestas in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Hundreds of people watch the traditional Rapa das Bestas in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A man takes part in the traditional Rapa das Bestas festival in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A man takes part in the traditional Rapa das Bestas festival in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Wild horses fight during the 400-year-old Rapa das Bestas traditional event in the village of Sabucedo, some 40km from Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, on July 6, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
Wild horses fight during the 400-year-old Rapa das Bestas traditional event in the village of Sabucedo, some 40km from Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, on July 6, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
Men try to ride wild horses during the traditional event Rapa das Bestas, which takes place on the first weekend of July for four days, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO: EUROPA PRESS
Men try to ride wild horses during the traditional event Rapa das Bestas, which takes place on the first weekend of July for four days, on July 7, 2019. PHOTO: EUROPA PRESS
Some aloitadores struggle with a wild horse in the curro during the Rapa das Bestas traditional event in the Spanish northwestern village of Sabucedo, some 40km from Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, on July 6, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
Some aloitadores struggle with a wild horse in the curro during the Rapa das Bestas traditional event in the Spanish northwestern village of Sabucedo, some 40km from Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, on July 6, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

As disgusting as this is, is it any worse than what “we” do to horses in the U.S., Canada or Mexico? The Rapa Das Bestas lasts for a period of 4 days, once a year every year. It’s hard to look at the images of this festival, but can we say we treat our horses much better, especially our own wild horses?

AMERICAN MUSTANGS

No one in the U.S. government in particular seems to take into consideration how mentally as well as physically cruel the Bureau of Land Management roundups of “America’s” wild horses are — destroying their bands, tearing them away from the only habitat they have ever known, cramming them into claustrophobic transport, then forcing them to live unnaturally in captivity, never to have a hint of or enjoy their precious freedoms again.

As you wild horse lovers know, this is the only the beginning of the sorrow American Mustangs must endure, thousands of which at one point or another will be taken away and brutally slaughtered to satisfy the tastes of overseas diners.

HORSE MEAT

Speaking of horse meat, do Spaniards slaughter horses?

Horse meat is not generally eaten in Spain, except in the north, but the country exports horses both as live animals and as slaughtered meat for the French and Italian markets.

CAPULLOS

We thought maybe, just maybe, the Rapa Das Bestas horses might have gotten way with some horrific manhandling and a hair cut, but it doesn’t look that way.

British actor and comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted how disgusting Rapa das bestas is. One replied to him: “Never wanted to see someone’s teeth kicked in so bad in my life.”

Capullos.

RELATED READING

Dozens arrested in Spain for Europe-wide horsemeat scam; CNN; Mon July 17, 2017 »

Members of Congress condemn barbaric sterilization experiments on wild horses

Wild Horses by © John Wheland.
Wild Horses by © John Wheland.

The Bureau of Land Management continue to push for approval to perform “ovariectomy via colpotomy,” which involves manually severing and removing the ovaries of wild mares while the animals remain conscious. Members of Congress condemn it in bipartisan letter to Interior Secretary.


AWI PRESS RELEASE (June 24, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, led a bipartisan letter signed by 30 members of Congress to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt criticizing the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed surgical sterilization experiments on a herd of wild horses from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Oregon.

This is the BLM’s fourth attempt to proceed with a controversial project designed to quantify the risks and complications — including death — associated with an outdated surgical procedure known as “ovariectomy via colpotomy,” which involves manually severing and removing the ovaries of wild mares while the animals remain conscious.

In its comprehensive report to the agency on strategies for improving wild horse management in the United States, the National Academy of Sciences explicitly advised against such surgeries, emphasizing that the “possibility that ovariectomy may be followed by prolonged bleeding or peritoneal infection makes it inadvisable for field application.”

As the congressional letter states:

“The BLM is charged with protecting wild horses under the landmark 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. From a welfare perspective, the ‘spay’ experiment raises serious concerns. Ovariectomy via colpotomy (where a rod and chain is inserted blindly in order to sever the ovaries) carries risks of infection, trauma, hemorrhage, evisceration, and even death. Indeed, part of the stated experimental goal is to quantify morbidity and mortality. . . . It seems that the agency understands the risky nature of the procedure, but is nevertheless aiming to quantify precisely how dangerous it is using federally-protected animals. … The risk of infection or other complications is exacerbated by the fact that, by the agency’s own admission, the surgeries will be conducted in an operating space that ‘may not be entirely sterile.'”

The lawmakers further underscored the lack of independent veterinary oversight and the omission of crucial welfare observations. They urged the BLM to abandon the study and pursue scientifically supported fertility control projects instead – namely the use of humane immunocontraceptive vaccines.

Last week, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) – along with the American Wild Horse campaign and The Cloud Foundation — submitted comprehensive comments outlining the numerous legal and ethical problems with this latest iteration of the BLM’s surgical sterilization experiments.

“We are heartened by the support of the members of Congress who have taken a strong stand against the BLM’s gruesome and unnecessary ovariectomy experiments,” said Dr. Joanna Grossman, equine program manager for AWI. “We appreciate their leadership in urging the BLM to put a permanent end to this misguided research proposal and focus instead on implementing effective and humane fertility control options to manage our nation’s wild horses. Thousands of Americans have already voiced their opposition to the BLM concerning the ovariectomy experiments; spending taxpayer dollars to force this project forward would be an affront to the wishes of the public.”

Read more about the history of the BLM’s “ovariectomy via colpotomy” proposal, as well as AWI’s litigation efforts to stop the experiments here: https://awionline.org/cases/protecting-wild-horses.

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Note: Image not filed with original press release.

BLM Nevada Holding Hearing on Vehicle Use in Wild Horse Mgmt

Wild horse helicopter roundup. National Geographic.
Wild horse helicopter roundup. National Geographic.

The BLM is seeking public input on the use of motorized vehicles and aircraft in wild horse management and monitoring on public lands in Nevada.

EDITED PRESS RELEASE

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles and aircraft in wild horse and burro monitoring and management on public lands in Nevada.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino, Madrid Room, 9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89145.

The purpose of the hearing, required by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, is to solicit public comment on the use of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft to estimate wild horse or burro population size and the use of helicopters to gather and remove excess animals. The hearing will also consider the use of motorized vehicles to transport gathered wild horses or burros as well as to conduct field monitoring activities.

An additional proposal calls for the use of a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros in herd management areas and complexes throughout the state in 2020. The actual number of areas where gathers or population surveys will be conducted will depend on a number of factors, including funding. The hearing will also consider the use of motorized vehicles to transport gathered wild horses or burros as well as to conduct field monitoring activities.

If you cannot attend the hearing, you can mail written comments to:

BLM Southern Nevada District Office
Attention: Tabby Romero
4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130.

Written comments must be received by close of business on June 25 to be considered.

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National Geographic image. Not filed with original Press Release.

BLM Releasing Wild Horses in Idaho’s Hardtrigger HMA

Captured wild horses Boise, Idaho. Bureau of Land Management Image.

This release marks one of the final groups of BLM wild horses to return to their home ranges following emergency gathers due to wildfire in 2015.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will disperse 45 wild horses (24 stallions and 21 mares) in three different locations within the Hardtrigger Herd Management Area (HMA), located south of Marsing, Idaho, at the end of May.

The BLM Owyhee Field Office is inviting members of the public interested in watching one of the releases to meet at the I-O-N Truck Plaza (5644 Buntrock Rd., in Marsing) at 10 a.m. on May 29 to caravan to the release location.

This release marks one of the final groups of wild horses to return to their home ranges in the Owyhee Mountains following emergency gathers due to wildfire. The entire Hardtrigger HMA was burned by the 279,144-acre Soda Fire in 2015. The BLM gathered 279 wild horses from all three HMAs (Black Mountain, Hardtrigger, and Sands Basin) in the Owyhees directly following the fire, placing more than 80 into private care through adoption.

As the 69,910-acre Hardtrigger HMA is the largest of the three, the wild horses will be released in multiple locations to disperse the horses throughout the HMA. The horses destined to return to the range were cared for at both the Boise Wild Horse Corrals and Bruneau Off-Range Corrals, both in Idaho, while the rangeland recovered from the burn.

“We were glad to offer people the opportunity to watch the release of wild horses to the Sands Basin HMA last year,” said Lara Douglas, BLM Boise district manager. “We recognize how important it is to maintain viable wild horse herds on healthy public rangelands and are pleased to see these wild horses return to Hardtrigger.”

Visitors will need to provide their own transportation. As the roads to the viewing area are narrow, rough, and dusty, the BLM recommends high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive vehicles with a spare tire. Additionally, the BLM said it would be helpful if visitors carpool to limit the number of vehicles at the release location. The BLM encourages those interested in attending the release to RSVP to Ruby Kyle at 208/473-9868 by May 28.

For more information about the release, contact Heather Tiel-Nelson at 208/736-2352.


Source: News Release