Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wild Horse foal dies at the Broken Arrow

Visitors went to the Broken Arrow facility as they do every Sunday. Observers have been traveling to the remote privately contracted facility to document the conditions our wild horses are held in after being rounded-up by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this past winter. 

Dean Bolstad of the BLM led the tour. Bolstad informed the visitors that there had been over 300 births at the facility and the daily number of births had slowed.

As the tour was ending observers came across a severely emaciated foal. The mare was present and protective but appeared to have no bag. They notified Bolstad who said he would contact the vet immediately after the tour.When questioned as to how often the horses were observed by the on staff veterinarian Bolstad responded that the vet was out to the facility daily. 

"I'm assured repeatedly that these horses are cared for," said Elyse Gardner "so why does it seem that it is the public observers that continually need to bring so many overlooked injuries, illness or orphaned foals to the attention of the BLM?"

The foal was euthanized Sunday after observers vacated the facility.

Births and deaths of foals are not counted in inventory until they are freezemarked at 4-5 months of age. So the death of this foal is not expected to appear on the BLM update page.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The War Against the Horse

Article by Deanne Stillman

One front in this war involves agencies tasked with wild horse management, primarily the Bureau of Land Management. It recently carried out a mandated although deadly mustang roundup in Nevada during which foals were harried by helicopter over rough terrain until their hooves apparently fell off and other horses later died of stress and exhaustion.

The other front involves lone operators who venture into the wilderness and kill wild horses—which is illegal, although arrests are rarely made and when they are, the cases often fall apart. Many of these incidents have occurred in Nevada, where more than half of the country’s wild horses still roam, having gone there like others to hide. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” may be a cute reflection of the local condition, but behind that is another statement that surfaced in an official piece of state travel literature several years ago: “Seize life and throttle it like a rag doll.”