Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh Lucy! You got some 'splainin' to do!

Dear Joan,

somehow the "new normal" looks a lot like the "old normal".

BTW, Joan Guilfoyle's number at the BLM is 1-202-912-7260 (as of December 15th). At least if you call that number you get someone who says she is Joan on the answering machine.


On December 8th, Ginger Kathrens traveled to the Calico roundup and shot this video. It shows a SunJ crew repeatedly hot shotting wild burros at the Calico roundup in an attempt to load them onto a trailer with an AHPIS vet standing within arm's length. One burro clearly gets hot shotted in the face and you can see its reaction. All this because the helicopter had a few horses coming in and the contractor evidently hadn't made enough money that day. (They would get paid $350 each for the five wild horses being run in by the helicopter) and they wanted to cram the burros onto the trailer to make room for the incoming horses.

Link to video here ... Wild burro gets a live cattle prod in the face and other repeated and gratuitous uses of the cattle prod on other burros.


On December 9th, after months of internal review, this came from the BLM:

In September BLM Director Bob Abbey announced that a review team composed of agency personnel would review existing agency procedures used at the Triple B gather. On Dec. 7 the BLM released the panel’s findings.

After reviewing U.S. District Court materials and conducting interviews with external equine welfare advocates, BLM personnel, and the helicopter contractor used in the gather, review team members reported no consensus among animal welfare experts that animals were treated inhumanely during a single incident during the gather. However, the panel did cite specific incidents of “inappropriate, aggressive practices” during the gather including cases when helicopter operators few too closely to a single horse or pursued small groups of horses or a single horse too long.

As a result of its review, the panel issued 11 recommendations to improve BLM horse handling during gathers including:

  • The review and update of gather standard operating procedures, contractor provisions, procedures and guidelines to ensure that agency personnel and contractors clearly understand management expectations of appropriate gather conduct; and
  • Providing continuous appropriate horse-handing training for all gather participants, and the development of a training program for agency personnel and contractors on ways to handle wild horses at trap sites and holding pens in order to eliminate stress on the animals.

Joan Guilfoyle, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Division chief, said the agency is taking steps to reassess the agencies wild horse handling practices based on the review panel report: “I am instituting a proactive process for conducting internal reviews of many aspects of our program to ensure that we are moving toward the ‘new normal’ of wild horse and burro management. The Triple B review and associated recommendations are already being used to improve on-the-ground practices for gathering and handling wild horses.”

No comments: