Full AP Article on Rising Calico Death Toll

copyright AP
NV wild-horse roundup death toll rises – Advocates question number of deaths from wild-horse roundup in Nevada
Martin Griffith (Associated Press Writer) March 19th, 2010

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ Activists are questioning the rising death toll from a controversial government roundup of wild horses from the range north of Reno.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman JoLynn Worley said 77 mustangs involved in the Calico Mountains Complex gather have died so far _ 70 at a Fallon facility where they were taken and the rest at the roundup site.
That’s nearly double the 39 horses that had died when the roundup of 1,922 horses concluded on Feb. 5.
Leaders of the horse advocacy group Cloud Foundation based in Colorado Springs, Colo., are pressing the government for measures to deal with the situation.
“Something has gone way wrong here,” said group spokeswoman Makendra Silverman. “Somehow these horses aren’t transitioning well. It seems to us it’s because they put them through a horrific roundup in the winter,” when wild animals have lower reserves of fat.
Worley attributed the deaths mostly to the poor body condition of mares that were sent to Fallon, where the animals are being prepared for adoption or transfer to pastures in the Midwest.
Many mares also are having difficulty making the transition to a diet of hay in Fallon, Worley said. Forty-eight of the 70 deaths in Fallon involved mares, she said, and the number of deaths varies from roundup to roundup.
“This is certainly higher than we’d like to see,” Worley said. “Given the poor body condition of primarily the mares, the number of deaths is in line with the numbers gathered and the deaths we’ve seen from other gathers.”
According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report in 2008, the BLM has not regularly reported to the public the number of horses killed in the course of roundups.
Silverman questioned whether the quality of hay might have something to do with the deaths, and noted about 40 pregnant mares also have had miscarriages.
Worley said her agency tries to provide the best feed available, and a veterinarian is available to care for the animals.
Some of the mares showed up dead at Fallon, while others were euthanized there, she added.
The BLM maintains that the roundup was necessary because an overpopulation of horses is harming native wildlife and the range itself, and threatening the mustangs with starvation. Activists unsuccessfully sued to halt the roundup, branding it as unnecessary and inhumane.

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39 Responses to “Full AP Article on Rising Calico Death Toll”

  1. Kathy O. Says:

    I don’t understand WHY the Dec. 2009 suing of BLM to stop the round-ups was not successful! Federal Judge Paul Friedman stated ‘The BLM should check with Congress before doing the Calico roundups! It’s the BLM who simply chose to ignore the advice of a Federal Judge & the Free-Roam Act of Congress, 1971.

  2. sandra longley Says:

    The law as it currently stands is contridicary, the law says the wild horses should not be branded harrassed ect but subsequent amendments say that the BLM must remove “excess” horses, The only way we can win in court is by making the BLM prove these horses are “excess”..which they have yet to do…and we have yet to make that the center piece of a lawsuit..I see this as the most winable point..There is a proponderence of evidence that shows the BLM has not managed the land and water resources in any way that could be considered “minimum standards”

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Add up all the deaths and miscarriages, and turn that many horses back out on the range. Period.

  3. Sandra Miller Says:

    Which brings us back to the welfare cattle and sheep! For everyone who belongs to Defenders of Wildlife and receives regular emails from them, you should have an opportunity today to respond online to their survey, which includes a place for comments. Here is mine (you will not have unlimited time to write your comment – I was given a five minute warning):

    I have already written a comment about this on the Defender’s web site, in regard to the fact that I have long supported the wolf reintroduction program and still have your wolf sponsor certificate posted on my bulletin board. I appreciate Defender’s involvement in this initiative and all the others you champion.

    However, I am very disappointed at the silence, at best, and the outright rejection, at worst, of the wildlife organizations in regard to the fate of our American wild horses and burros. And do not give me that silly argument that the horses “are not wild”!

    I will not ever desert the support of wild animals, but I will continue to pressure wildlife advocates who want my support to include the wild horses and burros of the West in their campaigns for funds. The wild horses and burro advocates have goals of benefit to all wildlife on our Public Lands and National Forests – primarily, the removal of thousands of welfare cattle and sheep grazed on those lands by corporate entities who use the grazing program for its subsidies and tax write-offs. Getting rid of the wild horses and burros, which is the goal of the Nevada chapter of the Sierra Club and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, for instance, will do little to relieve the plight of the wildlife in Nevada, because the horse numbers are small in comparison to the numbers of welfare cattle and sheep.

    Join the wild horse and burro advocates in their campaign! It is of benefit to all wildlife in the West!

  4. true15 Says:

    Exactly how is it possible that “Some of the mares showed up dead”? Did they drag their own dead body to the holding pen?
    I am appalled at the lack of support from wildlife organizations as well, but keep in mind they might be mixing up wild horses with feral horses.
    The diversity of the species is not understood.
    People think of a horse as a commodity, not a wild animal, and of course they don’t even want to think of cattle. It’s all happening somewhere “back there” in the country.
    It’s time to raise questions with the public: If you want to protect wolves and mountain lions, why not the wild horse? Education is key.

  5. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    CAN WE GO IN AND COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE? IT SHOULD BE BROUGHT OUT THAT THE PRIVATE RANCH–THE BROKEN ARROW RANCH–HAS BEEN USED–WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS–TO KEEP HUMANE OBSERVERS FROM GOING IN TO CHECK. THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE MADE PUBLIC–BIG TIME.

  6. Sandra Miller Says:

    The only difference I can see between the wild horses & burros and other wildlife (in the eye of the ordinary wildlife supporter, who may also very well be a hunter) is that they are not hunted for food. In fact, all those with practical arguments seem to want to ask, “What “good” are they, anyway, if you can’t shoot them and you can’t eat them?” Now, there are many of us who come from families who hunted to put a meal on the table in the past, and understand that need, but we no longer need or wish to do that. So, for me, and all of you, I’m sure, we don’t need a practical reason to save the wild horses and burros. For those of a practical bent, though, we have many excellent arguments about how the wild horses and burros, unlike domestic animals, actually aid and compliment their natural environment. For those who think cattle and sheep have an economic value which the wild horses and burros lack, we also know that on our Public Lands and in our National Forests, cattle and sheep are primarily raised by corporate entities which take the American taxpayers’ subsidies and tax write offs but give back less that 3% of the beef so raised to be sold in this country. In other words, the American taxpayer is being fleeced by the grazing program. On the other hand, if the wild horses and burros were returned to their assigned ranges where they would live independently without all the cost the BLM and FS presently incur rounding them up and placing them in long term holding, there would not be this economic drain on the taxpayer. The debate over whether the horses are really wild has been manufactured in more recent times by the anti wild horse and burro group, as have the hunting argument and the economic argument given above. Several weeks ago when Ginger Kathren was interviewed on NHN radio (you can access that program from TCD), she explained that she first became interested in the wild horses about 15 years ago when Mary Stouffer, of “WIld America”, asked her to do a segment about them. He said, “I have always wanted to do a program about the wild horses.” Obviously, Marty, with all of the wildlife he had captured on film and presented on PBS, thought the horses were wild! I think he would be a pretty good judge of that.

    I think it is easy to demolish the normal arguments which are given against having the wild horses and burros on the Public Lands because there AREN’T any true reasons why they shouldn’t be there! To say the wild horses are not wild is simply silly – but it serves the purpose of those who want to continue to feed at the public trough by participating in the grazing program. And, boy oh boy, do they ever want that gravy train to continue! The wildlife advocates simply do not want to challenge things as they are, but maybe they would become less timid if they realized they could win something for wildlife, too, if they joined us.

  7. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I THINK THE OTHER WILDLIFE ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO REALIZE THAT THEY STAND TO LOSE IF THEY DON’T JOIN US. THIS IS A GIANT LAND GRAB. ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST AS VULNERABLE AS THE HORSES OR BURROS. PREDATORS JUST GO FOR THE EASIEST PREY.

  8. jan Says:

    i belive because horses are still dying – the hay is no good or too rich – how do we know the hay is not moldy or if horses are given enough water – standing out in the cold day and nite and no room to run around is surely bad on their health – wild horses are used to roaming several miles a day – this is their nature – they are not couch potatoes – they need to be able to move – i just want to go scream in salazar’s ear – do you give a d—; you sure dont act like it

  9. jan Says:

    the humane society came out and said to blm leave the horses alone but they did not file any kind of lawsuit against the blm for animal abuse – if this was a private owner treating these horses as they are being treated – horses would be removed and the owner would be fined or put in jail – other animal protection groups need to file a class action lawsuit against the blm for the management of all the horses in all holding areas – how do we know how other horses are doing in other areas – does anyone report on their health and well-being

  10. jan Says:

    the following comment was on a horse website regarding the calico roundup

    Ray Field, ExecDirector, WHF at 05:52 AM 02-Mar-2010 NZT
    The fact remains that less than 3% of the America’s beef comes off public lands and they are using the entire Federal Land program while wild horses only have protective rights on less that 22% of the federal lands. This leaves the wild horses basically in a box with no where to graze.

    If you want the program to change the first thing is to fire the current BLM staff, completely. On court transcripts one BLM employee stated that he knows nothing about wild horses and yet he works in the wild horse division. How can this be, what a BLM employee working in a job he knows absolutely nothing about, at least he was honest so put him to work in the Post Office.

    There’s many wild horses and only a limited few wild horse groups who actually know the fights over the years. What I see happening today is that more fresh people are coming in but they are refighting last years and the years before fight that many of us have already been there, done that. The BLM loves this fresh idea it keeps them playing the same old play book.

    If you want to make a difference start in November by voting out the dead weight and electing new officers, representatives and senators who will listen and work for us the voters who are America. Even idiot Polesi stated that she needs the old politicians to help her to vote in health care and other bogus issues before they get ousted.

    You want to make an immediate difference, adopt a wild horse don’t talk about it, do it. To keep the Saladbar from opening more public zoos and gathering more wild horses you must show that the need for homes are still there for wild horses. Adopt one take it back out to the public lands and release it. These are our lands not the BLM, they work for us and tell them that. They ask where it is tell them its on your land!

    For more issues and information on wild horses go to: http://www.wildhorsefoundation.org. The Wild Horse Foundation is the largest wild horse adoption organization in the land. From education to prevention about the issues of wild horses.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Well, he’s got a point — it took me months to get “where I am”in my knowledge. I think we need an educational tool for new advocates — when starting out, you don’t know what issues are involved, nor do you understand the history. There is so much to know for a balanced view.

      Websites have boo-coo info, however, if you don’t know the background you can’t avoid the pitfalls, and you waste valuable time.

      Also, I think his suggestion to turn an adopted horse back out on the range is rather creative except I would hope he wasn’t serious.

      The west is detrimental to wild horses’ health.

    • themustangproject Says:

      Whoa! Back up! I’d be very careful in supporting anything – and I do mean anything – that Ray Fields has to say. He was one of the principal supporters of Jason Meduna at 3 Strikes Ranch right through to the end and has been very outspoken about some people that we all love dearly.
      No, they are not the largest wild horse adoption agency in the land.
      Please, please don’t get involved with them!
      T.

  11. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    ONE OF THE PEOPLE ON THIS BLOG IS TRYING TO HELP BY GETTING SOME LAND IN NEVADA FOR THE ONES THAT HAVE BEEN ROUNDED UP. SHE IS HAVING TROUBLE EVEN DOING THAT. SHE FINDS THAT SHE IS SHUT OUT. THE BIG MONEY PEOPLE HAVE THEIR EYE ON THAT LAND AND MANY OF THE PEOPLE OF NEVADA DON’T EVEN SEEM TO REALIZE IT. THEY ARE BUYING INTO THE SPIN.

  12. Sandra Miller Says:

    Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States said that the HSUS had no authority over the BLM, as an agency of the federal government, but they had been working behind the scenes to help in various ways. For one thing, they hired an economist to work with the BLM to show them better ways to run their program that did not continue running up soaring bills – which was mainly leaving the horses on the range and managing them there, with the help of PZP. He commented that his members had been very vocal in demanding that the Humane Society “do something” about the wild horses and burros, but their options were limited. I think you would have to find laws that may have actually been broken, as In Defense of Animals is now pursuing in court. I seem to recall reading that in Nevada the usual humane laws for animals do not apply on ranches, and, I guess, a ranch is what the BLM thinks its running (it’s certainly not running anything like the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act envisioned). Are ranches fiefdoms, do you suppose? I”ll bet our glorious Secretary of the Interior thinks so!

  13. jan Says:

    i got a letter frm the humane society – will go back and dig it out – save everything in a folder on aol – and post on here

  14. jan Says:

    here is letter i got frm humane soceity

    February 11, 2010
    Keep Wild Horses on the Range
    Dear Friend,
    For too long, the Bureau of Land Management has “managed” wild horse and burro populations by unjustifiably — and often inhumanely — removing them from their environment by the thousands. At least 46 horses have died or been killed in incidents related to the roundups taking place at the Calico Complex in Nevada, including two colts who were run for so many miles that the young horses hooves subsequently became infected and fell off. There are more humane and fiscally responsible methods of managing wild horses on the range, such as fertility control, and these cruel and costly round-ups must stop.

    Please urge the federal government to stop its inhumane roundups of wild horses. Thank you for all you do to help animals.

    Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

  15. jan Says:

    remember madeline pickens twice offered to the blm 100 million to take the horses they are holding and run them on land she owns – they turned her down – guess they dont think her money is any good

  16. jan Says:

    the internet is amazing place – can find all kinds of stuff – i found a website that has congress transcripts so emailed that to cloud – just have to have the dates of transcript you are looking for – didnt have the exact month and year of the 1971 act hearings

    in regard in salazar trying to get more money – this is from hearings as of march 4th and what two senators said regarding more funding for rounding up horses

    In her opening comments, Senator Lisa Murkowsi (R-Alaska) expressed her concerns over the Secretary’s plan to continue to move thousands of horses off their western ranges to government holding facilities in the East. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) expressed her strong concern about the cruelty of the recent Calico roundup, in which over 70 horses so far have lost their lives and urged the Mr. Salazar to find a better way to manage this program.

    “I would think that watching a herd of wild horses run free in the West is one of those things we don’t ever want to shut out to our children,” Landrieu said. “In my view, we’re on the verge of a disaster policy if we don’t work hard to change that.”

    The Senators’ comments were not only a result of their admirable personal concern about our nation’s wild horses, but also a reflection of the growing concern by American citizens about the government’s treatment of these iconic animals, who are protected by federal law as important parts of our national heritage.

  17. jan Says:

    just from notes on wild horse annie i found online – boy she was a fighter and like john walsh keeps saying one person can make a difference and she sure did:

    Annie convinced thousands of people of all ages and walks of life to advocate for the wild horses. Congress received more letters on this issue than any other, save the Vietnam War. Annie herself testified before Congress. The result was the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (P.L. 92-195) which was unanimously passed and signed into law in 1971. This gave the wild equids protection on BLM and Forest Service lands “where found” at the time of the passage of the Act in 303 areas.

    Another of Annie’s major accomplishments was to see the establishment of special wild horse refuges, some coming before the Act. The largest such refuge, established in 1966, lies within the vast Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada . The historically significant Pryor Mountain refuge, established in 1968, on the Montana-Wyoming border, and picturesque Little Bookcliffs refuge (dedicated to Annie) near Palisade, Colorado , are two other such sanctuaries.

    During her lifetime, Annie and her dedicated assistants kept a rigorous vigilance on the equid herds to assure their fair treatment. The files of the two organizations she established, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (established before the 1971 Act) and Wild Horses Organized Assistance (established after the 1971 Act), include meticulous field notes (many by Annie herself), maps and photographs of horse/burro spottings (along with individual descriptions of the animals and their activities), witness testimonies, and other documents.

  18. jan Says:

    upon reading that pryor where cloud lives was set aside as a refuge – how did the blm go in and round up all those horses – is that what the burns amendment did – set aside those places as refuges

  19. jan Says:

    if you mean working quick – i just put in what i want to find or know on google and the browser does the rest, sometimes with surprising results – i was not looking for the present hearings – i googled dates for the prior 1971 congress hearings and got the one from this year in the finance committee – internet is always surprising me – you find little gems you never knew were there

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Well done.

      I have to go vacuum and write bills — back later with Lynn’s notes of today. . .

  20. jan Says:

    found on the animal welfare site – all animal laws – regarding the wild horses the following:

    1959

    On September 8, the Wild Horse Annie Act (P.L. 86-234), having been approved by the US Congress unanimously, is signed into law. The Act prohibits the poisoning of wild horse and burro waterholes, as well as the use of motorized vehicles to round the horses up for sale to slaughterhouses.

    1971

    On December 15, President Richard Nixon signed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act into law (P.L. 92-195). The Act is intended to protect, manage and control wild horses and burros.

    Note: While the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act aims to protect these animals, it was undermined when Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) attached a controversial rider to the massive Omnibus Appropriations bill in 2004, eliminating the prohibition on killing wild horses. AWI is pushing to restore the Act (see 2005, 2006, 2007 for legislation aimed at re-establishing these wild horse protections).

  21. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    SPEAKING OF GOOGLE–WE COULD SEE WHAT’S GOING ON IN THOSE HOLDING PENS WITH GOOGLE.

  22. jan Says:

    this is a article from a mustang blog – think she has a link here as she mentions cloud group – how beatiful this would have been to see:

    from the Handbook of Texas Online
    From The Little Rock Arkansas Gazette of July 10, 1839, speaking of the Mustangs of Texas: “The mustang or wild horse is certainly the greatest curiosity to those unaccustomed to the sight, that we meet with upon the prairies of Texas. They are seen in vast numbers, and are often times of exceeding beauty. The spectator is compelled to stand in amazement, and contemplate this noble animal, as he bounds over the earth, with the conscious pride of freedom. We still meet with many in the lower counties, and during the summer hundreds were seen in the neighborhood of Houston, darting over the plains, and seeming to dare the sportsman for a contest in the chase.”

    where i live i dont even see large flocks of birds anymore – so much is gone

  23. jan Says:

    yes you could see into those pens – all you need is a device that picks up the signal from the stallite passing overhead – like direct tv – dont know where you would put it – just have to be able to get the signal – since we can sit in nevada and shoot drone planes in afghanstan and fire missells – cant spell – surely we could see the horses

  24. jan Says:

    ok louis i downloaded google earth and will see what i can see – thot it was not free but it is – just dont know if i need a lot of ram to look

    good luck all of the ones there tomorrow for the march and sure hope i will see it on the news – will tape if on news or email the websites if online

    • themustangproject Says:

      LOL I tried it a little while ago… no dice. The imagery is from 2006. Of course, Broken Arrow wasn’t built then, so it only showed what the place looked like before construction.
      T.

  25. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    I’LL BET SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE HAS ENOUGH RAM.

  26. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    CRAIG DOWNER WORKED WITH ANNIE–HE MIGHT HAVE SOME INFO.

  27. jan Says:

    thats what i found – so we need to hookup to the current pass over of the stallite – how do we do that – guess only the military has that ability – will ck on nasa website – anybody in military??

  28. LOUIE COCROFT Says:

    YOU ALL NEED TO GO BACK TO OCTOBER AND WATCH THIS VIDEO WITH CRAIG DOWNER. HE WORKED WITH WILD HORSE ANNIE:

    Interview with Craig Downer, Wildlife Ecologist
    October 19, 2009

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