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."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pro slaughter shows its true colors?

Or just the rantings of a cranky, nasty old man?


Bob the birther said on: December 18, 2011, 8:58 pm
Big Jakesaid on: December 18,

they just think horses are like dogs or cats. I say eat them to if somebody will buy them, they are animals. I dont eat them and never will, but who the hell are all you lefties to tell anybody what to eat?
In many poor countries they eat anything that moves.

Read more:

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.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's NOT What they say that counts, it's what they do ....

This is what they say:

Restore humane horse slaughter to improve horse welfare, stop needless & wasteful suffering & create jobs. and 1 other petition
Ensuring the Humane Treatment of Horses
UPDATE: December 13, 2011

By Dr. Elisabeth Hagen

Thank you for writing to relay your concerns regarding horse slaughtering. We appreciate your involvement in the We the People project and value your input on issues facing our country.

The humane treatment of horses reflects the values of our Nation.

Recently Congress lifted a ban prohibiting federal funding for the inspection of horses, which had prevented the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the past five years. While Congress has technically lifted the ban, USDA does not expect horse slaughter to resume in the near term as a number of Federal, state and local requirements and prohibitions remain in place. Furthermore, there have been no requests that the Department initiate the authorization process for any horse slaughter operation in the United States at this time.

While some horses continue to be exported to other countries for slaughter, USDA makes it a priority to ensure that these horses are transported and treated humanely. For example, USDA recently extended protection to horses delivered to collection points prior to export, reflecting the Administration's commitment to protecting animal welfare.

Thank you again for your input on this important issue.

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen serves as Under Secretary for Food Safety at the USDA

This is what they do:

Monday, December 12, 2011

This needs to be here but even I can hardly stand to watch it, and I'm tougher than many when it comes to these videos.

Pasture to Plate:

Why do I watch when others can't? To remember the horses who have died and to thank the people who have risked their job and safety to take these videos. They are true warriors in this fight.

Some of the analysis is copied below:


The evidence is clear: it is impossible, even in well-designed, conscientiously-managed, assembly-line conditions, to humanely slaughter horses. As Dr. Dodman states, "...many head shy or apprehensive horses...presented the operator of the captive bolt gun with a moving target."

Examples of stun box failures noted:
  • - More than 40% of the horses were not stunned after the 1st shot as required by "humane slaughter" regulations. Captive bolt pistol placement was poor - some horses were shot into their temples, under their ears or at the base of their brain. These horses showed clear signs of ineffective stunning or revival in the form of remaining standing, standing back up, winnying or head-shaking. Up to eleven attempts were made to stun one horse (Horse 33 Day 1) who suffered for almost 4 minutes.

  • - While we were not able to see into the area where the horses were suspended and butchered, at times the shooter carried a captive bolt pistol out from the area to hose it off as it became too bloody. This captive bolt pistol was a different style and higher calibre than the one normally used in the stun box. Only with excessive bleeding, such as during bleed-out, would the pistol become so blood covered. Blood was not seen or sprayed off the pistol used in the kill line, which raises the question whether horses were shot while being bled out.

  • - Over 80% of the horses showed signs of fear: their knees trembled and buckled, they lost their footing and repeatedly fell.

  • - 14% of the horses vocalized (provoked by stress or agitation). Some whinnied even after being shot.

  • - Government inspectors turned a blind eye to violations of the "humane" slaughter regulations. Over the course of 2 days a government inspector could be seen looking into the stun box (sometimes with no horse present) for a total of just 3 1/2 minutes. One horse revived (Horse 64 Day 1) while the inspector was observing, but while it seems the inspector requested another shot be given, the shooter simply winked at him but delivered no further shots.

In our opinion, the system brought in by the CFIA to meet European standards for food safety and traceability is flawed and incomplete, and appears to invite fraud. Examples of issues include:

  • - Incomplete owner information

  • - Incomplete agent information

  • - Poor identification of horses/erroneous information given, such as age, colour markings, tattoos, primary location, sex of animal etc.

  • - Information often appeared to be filled out by auction mart not the owner

  • - Use of a stamp instead of original signature by agent

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Comment: I can't quite understand the use of the word "majestic" in reference to horses. Is he trying to placate us by saying, in a roundabout way, that they will do the best they can? Majestic or not, they will still die and the USDA simply does not have the budget to ensure our current food supply, much less horse meat for export. Plus, his blog only means a plant license hasn't been applied for yet. He doesn't know if one is on the way, nor does he say how long the licensing period can take.

Simply put, Deputy Administrator Derfler's blog only reflects what he knew at the time he wrote it. Things might already have changed for the worse. Take a deep breath and keep calling. Ask the President for an executive order banning the slaughter and export for slaughter of American horses. Remind him of the legislation for the same that he co-sponsored as a Senator.

Call the President


Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414


Setting the Record Straight on Congress’

Lifting of the Ban on Horse Slaughter

There has been a lot of talk in the past week about Congress’ lifting of the ban prohibiting federal funding for the inspection of horses, which prevented the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the past five years. The issue is understandably a sensitive and emotional one for everyone who loves these majestic animals, but it is important that the discussion be tempered with the facts.

While Congress has technically lifted the ban, horse processing will not resume anytime in the near term. Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, horses are an amenable species, which means that horse meat cannot be shipped or sold for human consumption without inspection.

To date, there have been no requests that the Department initiate the authorization process for any horse processing operation in the United States. In the two states where horse processing took place prior to the Congressional ban, Illinois and Texas, there are laws in place prohibiting the slaughter of horses. Even if these laws were changed, any processing facility will still need to satisfy a significant number of requirements, such as obtaining a federal grant of inspection, conducting a hazard analysis, and developing a Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan prior to the processing of any animals.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Details Emerge on theft and death of Credit Card

Disturbing Details Emerge; More Arrests in Arkansas Horse Theft

Dark details have been released regarding the death of Credit Card. Photo provided by SAU.

by RMHP Staff
She wanted the horse killed and watched as Credit Card was shot in the head and his throat slit.
As more disturbing details become available related to the arrest of Jaci Rae Jackson, two more arrests have been made in the case, this time in Oklahoma.
Mickie Lynn Carter and Charles Tramble were both picked up on warrants and are being charged for knowingly concealing stolen property, which is a felony. Jackson’s Mom, Wendie Cox is Carter’s cousin. Cox told Carter that “there was a horse trailer at her [Carter's] house and that it was full of tack and she could help herself to it” according to court documents. Rate My Horse PRO contacted Cox and she denied having any first-hand knowledge of the events surrounding the theft.
The investigation continues and more arrests are expected, but disbelief runs thick through the small Arkansas community. Rodeo Coach Rusty Hays says he believes jealousy is what led to the scheme. "Shaun is team President and Mr. Popular and I think it was a way for her to seek revenge. Contrary to many reports, the two did not have a romantic relationship."
A freshman at Southern Arkansas University the barrel racer was new to the rodeo team. According to investigators, she allegedly sought the help of a man who is known to many as a "horse trader" and livestock thief - William "Billy" Hamilton. Investigators say Hamilton currently has open warrants for unrelated incidents in Arkansas. "I think they took the roping horses and were going to sell them to get her barrel racing horses that would be competitive at this level – that’s just my opinion," added Hays.
Documents state Hamilton is dating Jackson's mother, although Cox denies having a boyfriend when we spoke with her. When asked what part she played in the thefts and killing of Credit Card, she said, "I am a nurse and I worked sixteen hours that day."
Rodeo team member Ashley Mills says the group “is very close.” Four horses including Mills’ gelding Badger were found tied to trees without food or water in a rural part of Oklahoma, left to die. Credit Card’s body was “quartered” into numerous pieces according to statements given by Jackson for easier transport and disposal. “It’s hard to believe one of us could to that to us,” Mills reflects stoically.
Rodeo team member Ashley Mills (left). Photo provided by SAU.
Jackson has been charged with three counts of theft of property over $25,000 and three counts of theft of property between $5,000 and $25,000. She is also being held on three felony charges out of Oklahoma, including moving stolen property into the state, knowingly concealing stolen property, and animal cruelty.
Warrants have been issued for additional suspects in the case in Arkansas. The only suspect with an outstanding warrant in Oklahoma investigators say is Jackson, who remains behind bars on $150,000 bond. Her first appearance is tomorrow.
Carter and Tramble both posted $15,000 bond each and are scheduled to make appearances tomorrow.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Every poll says NO to Horse Slaughter

Every poll, every petition, shows a clear and overwhelming support for continuing a ban on horse slaughter inspections as well as the legislation to stop the export of American horses to slaughter. We know most of our legislators aren't listening, but take these links and copy the poll results and MAIL them to your representatives. Don't fax them to your 24 year old staffer who is only thinking about his next cushy job as a lobbyist and doesn't want to do anything to reduce his chances of employment making the big bucks (LA's usually aren't paid jack), MAIL them. They have to respond in some way to a letter.


13,037 FOR


MSNBC (vote and click on view results)

Live Poll

Do you think people should be allowed to eat horse meat?

  • Yes, the economy is tough and it's cheap protein
  • No, horses are a treasured icon
  • Not sure

Votes: 35778


77% Support
23% Oppose
(2302 people)


(Ridiculous choices on this poll from Huffington Post but nevertheless...)

Would you eat horse meat?

Sure, if it's tasty, why not?


No, it grosses me out.


Not sure.



Palm Beach Post: 01/05/2012

Should horse slaughtering resume in the U.S.?

  • Yes
    10 votes

  • No
    105 votes

115 Total Votes


Kentucky news station online poll:


Thank you for your vote!

Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections. Do you agree with the change?

  • Absoutely not
  • 1284 votes

  • 71.9%

  • No, but I understand why
  • 103 votes


  • Yes, why should horses be treated differently than cows?
  • 244 votes

  • 13.7%

  • I really don't care either way
  • 154 votes


  • __________________________________
Another Closed Poll from Sheridan, Wyoming

Would you support building a horse slaughtering plant?
The Bank of Sheridan
Yes- in Sheridan County
15% (200 votes)
Yes- in Wyoming
10% (131 votes)
Yes- in the U.S.
6% (78 votes)
69% (905 votes)
Total votes: 1314




Closed Petition: vs re-opening the plants which has 3,000 fewer signatures (also closed to new signatures)