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."