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Comment to Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board April 2014

19 Apr

Wilkd Horses and Burro Advisory Board April 14, 2014 © 2014 afroditi katsikis

Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board April 14, 2014

Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting April 14, 2014 ©2014 afroditi katsikis

Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board April 14, 2014

Comment sent to Bureau of Land Management,  Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting held April 14 & 15, 2014, Sacramento, CA

Dear Advisory Board Members:
I attended  the Triple B roundup in August 2011 at the Newark Valley and Butte Valley trap sites which spurred me on to continue observing and reading whatever is available online about the WH&B program and activities.I’m not affiliated with any wild horse non-profit group nor with ranchers. I have some concerns about the BLM Wild Horse & Burro program because I feel it is broken, not to mention a costly program that increases its budget by paying for research and then ignoring the analyses. Continue reading

Take Action: Congress Must Act to End Abusive Practice of Soring Horses | Animal Welfare Institute

15 Apr


End Abusive Practice of Soring Horses - Photo by Randall Saxton

”  The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406/H.R. 1518) would finally remove these shortcomings by amending the Horse Protection Act, to end the industry’s failed system of self-policing, ban the use of devices implicated in the practice of soring, strengthen penalties, and make other reforms needed to finally end this torture, including requiring meaningful USDA enforcement. This legislation already has the bipartisan support of more than 50 Senate co-sponsors and more than 260 House of Representatives co-sponsors.  “


This is not law yet …. please contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them to co-sponsor and vote for it.

Read the rest of this: Congress Must Act to End Abusive Practice of Soring Horses | Animal Welfare Institute.



The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (S. 1406/H.R. 1518) would finally remove these shortcomings by amending the Horse Protection Act, to end the industry’s failed system of self-policing, ban the use of devices implicated in the practice of soring, strengthen penalties, and make other reforms needed to finally end this torture, including requiring meaningful USDA enforcement. This legislation already has the bipartisan support of more than 50 Senate co-sponsors and more than 260 House of Representatives co-sponsors.

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It’s Not About Turtles?

11 Apr

English: Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) ...

English: Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada. Español: Tortuga desertica (Gopherus agassizii) en Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Never thought I would see the day that BLM would turn against a cattle rancher … but it looks like BLM has even better ways of destroying public lands.  Excessive cattle were bad enough but now the BLM must have some other more wealthy and powerful friends! This is more than about trespassing cattle … a realtor states that Bundy has had repeated offers to buy his ranch lands over the years since they are next to I-15. According to Rusty Hill, former NV Land Broker, the plans for this land are:

“Not about turtles, it’s about water. There are developers working for military contractors that want the land and water for mining weapons grade minerals for industry … they want to sell the land by the highway for real estate development because it’s close to I-15 and the Bundys have been refusing to sell what they actually own directly for over 20 years.  Many buyers sent me out there with crazy offers for that land for many years. It’s prime real estate not worthless desert. There is a natural gas pipeline going through there and lots of water underground too. Somebody connected to a military corporation is using political power and the BLM to muscle those people out”


The ranchers in support of Bundy have asked the BLM what are the backhoes and dump trucks doing? This is calving season so the Bundy ‘militia’ feel that the cattle are being traumatized and killed because they aren’t used to being corralled; that cattle or new baby calves are dying as a result of BLM’s roundup; so typical that the cattle aren’t paired up with their calves — not surprising because of how BLM have treated the wild horses, is it?


Pete Santilli describes the events at the roadside protest where a female cancer patient was thrown on the ground – BLM says it was to save her life from a truck…really? Trucks don’t have brakes? Typical BLM spin that we have all heard before that is usually farthest from the truth.




This article published on March 25, 2014, Bundy declares ‘range war’ BLM to impound embattled rancher’s cattle there’s a short history describing the dispute between BLM and Cliven Bundy.  Bundy has not paid grazing fees since 1993 but has continued to graze his cattle on public land and,

“Among other arguments, the government says the rancher’s cattle are trespassing on federal land and eating vegetation that would otherwise sustain the desert tortoise, a threatened species.”  

Read the rest of the article HERE  


But wait, there’s more to this story:

“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher. They want his land. The tortoise wasn’t of concern when Harry Reid worked BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore. Whittemore was convicted of illegal campaign contributions to Senator Reid. Reid’s former senior adviser is now the head of BLM. Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests. BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area. If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor. “

See more at: The Real Story Behind The Bundy Ranch Harassment 


Isn’t it odd that in August 2013 BLM threatened they were going to kill all the desert tortoises due to budget constraints, but now they want to protect them from cattle and spend millions of dollars rounding them up and so what if some cattle or their calves die in the process? How convenient that the BLM remembered that desert tortoises were a threatened species and needed protection from cattle.

Read more at BLM to kill hundreds of desert tortoises as its conservation center runs out of money


By the end of April 9, BLM has rounded up 1077 cattle but no mention of how many cattle or calves died. Sound familiar horse advocates? Many cattle ranchers want all the wild horses removed from their lawfully given HMA’s and now BLM favors more lucrative revenues that don’t include cattle ranching. How does that feel cattle ranchers? I don’t agree with the brutality that BLM uses to round-up wild horses with HELL-A-CHOPPERS, it can’t be any good for the cattle and their calves either.  If Bundy had paid his grazing fees would this have happened.  


I don’t like that the BLM rangers and their contractors have decided to treat the people who are protesting peacefully like they are armed to the teeth with deadly weapons when all they have are cameras. Horse advocates know all about the brutal acts of BLM and lack of humanity, not only for the wild horses but the people who have come to document the wild horse round ups.


Impound Update HERE (Links also on this page to: Trespass Cattle, Daily Public Land Closure Maps, Frequently Asked Questions, Media Information, Public Notices and Court Orders)
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Monero Mustangs Urgently Needs Donations for Hay

1 Apr


The El Rito Spanish Mustang ‘Luz Azul’ (Blue Light) One of the goals of Monero Mustangs is to preserve and protect the vanishing genetic pool of a historic colonial Spanish herd located in the rough mountain country of northern New Mexico (northwest of well known (Georgia O’Keefe Country) Abiquiu, NM).

Monero Mustangs needs donations for hay,  operating expenses, hauling and locating pasture permanently or temporarily. Sandi Claypool, Monero Mustangs founder, does nothing that is not connected to her horses everyday. Through some bad illnesses and without help at times, she has done a Herculean job of caring for and moving her horses as needed.

There is an anonymous donor who has pledged to donate a matching gift up to $2000.00 to help out in this crisis. This  means that for every dollar donated, two dollars will go to the horses.

Donate to Monero Mustangs click HERE

Sandi Claypool announced today that if the horses are not moved before Saturday, April 5, 2014, they will be penned up and fed in corrals starting Saturday. They will be kept in pens until suitable places for them to go can be found!

Earlier this week Sandy Claypool provided this information:

“Monero Mustangs is up against the wall right now. We had pasture for the horses till end of April, and people who would have been ready to take them then. Spring came really early here, earliest I have ever seen in 30 years of living here, and we have been told we need to move them from the winter pasture. The place they were to be moved to is not ready, and we have no where to go, and are running out of hay.

We desperately need places for them or at least temporary pasture. Would be willing to move them in small family bands, or in any way we could. We have around 90 horses needing a place to go, and are working on finding anything right now, but it has been slow. We have babies up to old horses, a couple of expectant mares, etc. Any help or ideas appreciated, we were told to be moving them by this weekend. We are pretty worried right now for the horses.”



Sandi Claypool, Monero Mustangs founder

Background Info

In 2000, Sandi Claypool, founded Monero Mustangs with the help of her now deceased mother, Ila Bromberg.  In 2003, Monero Mustangs became a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Monero Mustangs mission is to keep alive the genetic pool of the original Spanish El Rito mustang by purchasing and selectively breeding horses to produce the genetically pure descendants of the original Spanish mustang. Additionally, Monero Mustang educates the public about the treasure of this regal and adaptive group of mustangs that helped build the west, through wild horse eco-tours and sponsoring select mustangs. A compassion to preserve and protect a small band of vanishing ‘El Rito’ spanish mustangs propelled the vision of Monero Mustangs.

In 2008, Monero Mustangs moved to ‘Yellow Hills Ranch’ in Tierra Amarilla NM, calling this ranch thier home. Over the years Monero has purchased more El Rito mustangs, and mustangs from other regions such as, the Placita’s, the Pryors, Salt River Maricopa Pima mustangs, along with Navajo mustangs and special individual mustangs.

Contact or Donate to Monero Mustangs click HERE

Learn more about sponsoring a horse click HERE

Purchase a Monero Mustangs branded item HERE

Show your support for Monero Mustangs on their facebook page HERE 

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Heinous BLM Roundup = Slaughter 4 #Mustangs

1 Apr

Wild Horses on the Range

Wild Horses on the Range (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t possibly tell you how angry I am to read Protect Mustangs™ blog post (link below) tonight … BLM continues to waste their budget — they are trying to make sure they spend all their budget so that they can ask for more in 2015. BLM staff continues to lie through their rotten teeth!

Read the news article discussed in the Hippies for Horses March 27, 2014 blog post: Helicopter roundup gets attention of horse advocates | Greybull Standard

Shortly after I published it, I got a message from a Cloud Foundation representative who asked me to pull that post for a few days while The Cloud Foundation tried to find and purchase all the horses rounded up in Wyoming round-up. So I un-published it in hopes that the Cloud Foundation could find and purchase those horses before they went to slaughter. 

Blow some steam first and then get on the phone - call your Senators and Representative to complain about how BLM sent wild horses to slaughter and about the waste of taxpayer funds.

No public comment period – no transparency – no opportunity for horse rescue organizations to save horses from a terrible fate.

Read all about it here: Heinous BLM Roundup = Slaughter 4 #Mustangs | Protect Mustangs™.

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How Wild is a Herd of Wild Horses If All the Stallions Are Gelded?

31 Mar

Four Horses © 2011 afroditi katsikis

Four Horses © 2011 afroditi katsikis

Personally, I don’t think a herd of wild horses, when the stallions are gelded, are truly wild horses. Gelding the stallions changes the dynamics of the herds. There will be no real wild horse herd interactions or family bands – family bands in the wild have foals to look after and the stallions will not compete for the mares if they are gelded. Eco- sanctuaries with gelded stallions may draw people to see wild horses behind a fence but actually they won’t see wild horses at all — just a bunch of horses not acting like the wild horses do in the wild.

I see right through these potential sanctuaries: tax dollars via the BLM budget will pay the sanctuaries to keep BLM wild horses every year and will charge for tours of the non-viable herds. Those who want to view the non-viable wild horses in ‘eco-sanctuaries’ will have to ‘book’ a tour in advance which may or may not be at a time or day that is convenient.

The way it used to be (I say used to be because this is getting harder to do as the vast majority of the wild horses and burros have been removed from their law given HMA’s for other interests such as mining, oil and gas production) is to go to those outfitters in the west who can lead you, sometimes on horseback, to the places that wild horses or burros live. There are several wild horse photographers who also know the habits of the wild horses and have taken people to view or photograph them in their natural habitats.

Basically these BLM sponsored wild horse eco-sanctuaries are long-term holding facilities – nothing more! The BLM sponsored wild horse eco-sanctuaries are just another way to make sure that all the wild horses and their bloodlines are lost forever.

If you want to take a tour of intact wild horses at a sanctuary that are not paid for with tax-dollars, spend your money to visit International Society for Protection of Mustangs and Burros or the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota.

(There may be other wild horse sanctuaries with viable herds that I don’t know about, please post in the comments if you know of one.)

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I Support Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013

29 Mar

This is an election year and as such there are a lot more opportunities to meet with your elected officials. Please subscribe to their newsletters to keep informed about their town hall meetings. If you see an event that they will be speaking at, by all means, go to that event and introduce yourselves and shake their hand. They need to know what their constituents are most interested in and what it will take for them to get your vote.

Keep in mind that the current federal budget expires before the elections and if the budget for the following year does not include de-funding language of inspections at horse slaughter plants then it’s possible for horses to be slaughtered in the USA. However, not sure which fools will try to open a horse slaughter plant in the USA considering the lawsuits that were filed last year that so far have been successful in preventing these plants to open. Litigation is very expensive!

Another fairly unique factor is what will the EU do in closing the border to horse meat imported from the Americas (Canada, Mexico and South America)? In the past few days various investigations have awakened the EU to the fact that most of the horses sent to slaughter are not compliant with EU regulations. Several large grocery chains have pulled all horse meat off their shelves and this is very promising. Make sure you tell your elected officials what’s going in the the EU.

Here are some articles  to read and share:

Helicopter roundup gets attention of horse advocates | Greybull Standard

27 Mar

Horses1Helicopter roundup gets attention of horse advocates | Greybull Standard.

BLM says they weren’t wild horses so they had Cattoor round them up…but then Sara Beckwith said:

“These horses were very wild in their behavior, much wilder than the wild horses, actually. That is why a helicopter roundup was necessary,” said Beckwith. “Regular wild horses go willingly into bait traps.”

This article begs a lot more questions:

What is a regular wild horse?

Why is Beckwith comparing wild horses going into a bait trap when these horses were rounded up with Cattoor ‘HELL-A-CHOPTERS’?

Why did Beckwith state they weren’t going to slaughter when Bouvry Exports bought all of them and The Cloud Foundation was not allowed to buy them? 

Did the BLM decide they weren’t wild horses so they could be sold to kill-buyers because there is no more long or short-term holding space available and the cost of storing them in holding pens is eating up their budget?

Whose pockets are being lined with cash?

Speak up horse advocates or this will continue until there are no more wild horses in the wild. They will continue to be butchered at slaughter houses in Canada or Mexico, unless the borders are closed by the Safeguard American Food Export Act of 2013. Right now, the only hope there is that these horses will be saved is the EU will promptly close their borders to horses from the Americas altogether, in light of the recent developments in the Netherlands.

Don’t forget there is a BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting in Sacramento, CA beginning on April 14, 2014;  public comments will be allowed on April 14.

Read more here: Helicopter roundup gets attention of horse advocates | Greybull Standard.

Continue reading

Press Release: Coop stops immediately with horse meat from America

25 Mar


Coop, Fluntern

Coop, Fluntern (Photo credit: Txeski)

Press Release: Coop stops immediately with horse meat from America

Coop stopt per direct met paardenvlees uit Amerika

Naar aanleiding van de uitzending op TROS Radar van 24 maart jl. heeft Coop Supermarkten besloten per direct te stoppen met het afnemen van paardenvleesproducten uit Amerika.

Gerard Koning, Commercieel directeur Coop Supermarkten: ‘We zijn enorm geschrokken van de berichtgeving in TROS Radar. Ondanks het feit dat we geen enkele aanwijzing hebben dat de praktijken zoals door Eyes on Animals zijn geconstateerd ook plaatsvinden bij onze BRC gecertificeerde toeleveranciers, nemen we onze verantwoordelijkheid. Daarom hebben we besloten per direct de afname van paardenvlees uit Amerika te stoppen. We nemen de ruimte om opnieuw ons assortiment te beoordelen. Daarbij willen wij de zekerheid hebben, dat zowel het dierenwelzijn als alle gezondheidsaspecten voor onze consumenten te allen tijde gewaarborgd zijn conform de door de EU gestelde wetgeving.”

Google Translation from Dutch:


Coop stops immediately with horse meat from America

Following the broadcast by TROS Radar 24 March Coop Supermarkets has decided to immediately stop the decline of horse meat products from America.

Gerard King, Commercial Director Coop Supermarkets: “We are extremely alarmed by the reports of TROS Radar. Despite the fact that we have no indication that such practices are detected by Eyes on Animals also take place in our BRC certified suppliers, we take our responsibility. Therefore, we decided immediately from America to stop. Decrease of horse meat We take the space to re-evaluate our product range. In addition, we want to have the assurance that both the animal health for all our consumers are safeguarded at all times in accordance with the set by EU legislation.”

For more information:


Hey kill buyers go drown your sorrows in some cheap whiskey - you are on your way out of business!

I just heard that the impact of the exposé on Dutch television had the response we’ve all been hoping for and it was almost immediate! People need to know what they are eating and what they are eating must be safe.

If we can’t get our own legislators to pass the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, then we must educate the people in foreign markets about where and how their horse meat goes from stable to table. We can stop American Horses from being butchered in Canada and Mexico.

Two of the largest Dutch grocery chains, Deen Supermarkets and Coop Supermarkets, have removed all horse-meat products from their shelves indefinitely! In fact, Deen will immediately stop the sale of horse meat from North and South America altogether! And Gerard King, Commercial Director of Coop Supermarkets had this to say: “…we want to have the assurance that both the animal welfare aspects as well as health concerns for all our consumers are safeguarded at all times in accordance with the rules & regulations set forth by EU legislation.”

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The Ugly Truth About Horse Racing – Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic

25 Mar

Churchill Downs / Reed Palmer Photography / AP

The Ugly Truth About Horse Racing – Andrew Cohen – The Atlantic.

The racing industry has turned a blind eye to the illegal practices of the owners and trainers for a very long time.  I’ve known that drugging race horses has been going on for quite a while but the exposé by PETA was an eye opener!  I had no idea how bad it REALLY was until now - much worse than I expected.  Now that this has been exposed, I cringe thinking about the abuse these horses must endure everyday of their racing career.  Either the horse racing industry must be abolished or be heavily regulated and all those complicit in the abuse must be banned from all racetracks, not just at those that caught them doping these beautiful thoroughbreds. Horse racing in America is NOT horse racing – it IS cruelty and abuse with drugs.

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