Sunday, December 25, 2011

Calico roundup note of interest and a Gag Alert

1, 048 wild horses and 10 burros total rounded up = 1,058.

111 of these were foals per the BLM own gather statistics which gives you an average population increase of 11%.

At the end of the 2009/2010 gather, the BLM announced they had flown over the Calico HMA and counted 600 horses remaining. The press release also states they would do an additional fly over in the spring of 2010.

The BLM press release of September, 2011 estimates 1600 wild horses on the range in the fall of 2011 which means they must have missed a LOT of horses in the first count, but there is no mention (that I can find) of how many they found during the spring 2010 flyover.

Since phase one is now over, we'll have to see if they find enough horses for phase two. Based on their estimated number at the end of the 2009 gather and the foaling rate for 2011 they won't, but if you rely on the BLM for an accurate count you probably also like spitting into the wind.

Also of note .. and a Gag Alert: BLM response to Kathren's video of December 8th where burros were hot shotted repeatedly in the face during an attempt to get them to hurriedly load into a truck so that the helicopter could bring in 5 more horses. As usual, no mention of disciplinary action against the wrangler OR the vet standing a few feet away when the incident happened.

And, oddly, this just appeared on the website. There is no date of when it was written or who issued the statement. I guess one Big Brother is just that same as the next one ....

BLM Response to Cloud Foundation Video

" On December 8, 2011, representatives from the Cloud Foundation observed the Tri-State Calico gather operations northeast of Gerlach, Nevada. As part of the day’s gather operations, ten burros were gathered. One of the observers videotaped the loading of the burros into a trailer. This video shows one of the wranglers holding an electric prod to get the burros to load. The video was published on the Cloud Foundation’s website.

The BLM has reviewed the video and heard the concerns of the Cloud Foundation. According to the BLM’s policy, aggressive and rough handling of wild horses and burros is unacceptable. The BLM will reinforce with its staff and contractors the following:

According to BLM guidelines, electric prods (hotshots) will not be used routinely on wild horses or burros. Electric prods are never to be applied to sensitive areas such as the face, head, genitals or anus. They can be used when animal or human safety is in jeopardy. Sometimes a wrangler may use an electric prod turned on to shock an animal to get their attention and sometimes they may be used, turned off, as a prod to keep the animal moving or to stay in the trailer.

A BLM wild horse and burro specialist from Arizona with extensive experience gathering and loading wild burros has been requested to visit the McGee Mountain Herd Management Area portion of the gather to provide assistance and training to the BLM staff and the contractor prior to gathering wild burros from the HMA. The gathering of the McGee Mountain burros will be the final part of the Tri-State Calico gather.

The welfare and care of wild horses and burros is a very serious matter to the BLM. The Bureau appreciates the interest of all individuals and organizations in its National Wild Horse and Burro program."

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