The Desert Independent

12 Nov

Inquiry on Equine Welfare Standards for BLM / Shelter for Holding


By MONIKA COURTNEY
Evergreen, Colorado

November 11, 2013

The life [the horses] lead now is misery, boredom, loneliness and agony. We as humans have a duty to engage not only to further our own agendas and deeds… but to engage and give our time and ability to those who suffer at our hands, and improve their existence.

The horses in holding suffer. To claim otherwise is inexcusably denying the truth and their perspective, the real understanding of their nature and needs, riding down the usual minimalist path, influenced by agendas.

Dear Ms. Stull,

I attended the workshop in Reno. I was told by the HSUS that you are preparing a much anticipated “comprehensive animal welfare program” for BLM horses in holding. This was said to be released in October.

As some advocates have visited PVC, I got reports that there are a few small structures over sick pens. That is a good start. The media is inquiring on the welfare standards, and I am wondering where we stand with that.

Winter is coming. Still, the majority of horses in the pens have no provision of any form of shelter. While you recommend this very element in your Code of Standards for horses in CA, the lack of shelter or giving the former free roaming animals at least a choice thereof, as they have in the wild and seek out when able – is concerning. I remember the photos of past years’ brutal winter storms affecting young and older horses in holding, they were not pretty.

Any creature seeks comfort. In the wild they do. This has been observed. We need not depend on “studies” to dispute logic but apply common sense and what is humane and doable. To deprive all horses in holding but sick ones of any form of protection, whether it is wind, snow drifts, icy blizzards or hot sun, is cruel. It is not reflecting 21st century values. While we all strive for a more humane on the range management with a management approach other than permanent ovariectomies – those trapped in holding deserve better.

Coming from a country where standards are very high, I would think America can set a standard that mirrors not political correctness, but humane handling/management. The current circumstances are not that. Horses need to choose what is good for them. When given that opportunity, they seek it out. It is their nature. To deprive them of this inborn need, is the human force that embeds their existence into suffering and boredom. PVC is prime example.

I hope you can develop a recommendation that includes the above thought process. The animals deserve care that fits their needs. To having been stripped from their range, put in barren feed lot pens and being deprived from their freedom and families, is enough punishment. To further deprive them from any sort of protection/stimulation is shameful and inhumane.

Until I learned the truth, I always thought highly of equine affairs in this country. It is ugly and at the same time alienating. A country boasting with high intellectual commitments… yet lacking up to date innovation conforming to the needs of those they oversee with our tax funds; is insultingly ironic.

I can imagine BLM put the reins on you. I know how these selective partnerships work. Yet, I am asking you to do your best to enable these horses a life that is endurable beyond bare survival. The life they lead now is misery, boredom, loneliness and agony. We as humans have a duty to engage not only to further our own agendas and deeds… but to engage and give our time and ability to those who suffer at our hands, and improve their existence.

The horses in holding suffer. To claim otherwise is inexcusably denying the truth and their perspective, the real understanding of their nature and needs, riding down the usual minimalist path, influenced by agendas.

I ask that you please do your part to improve their lives. And please update me on your welfare program progress – I would appreciate it, and hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Monika Courtney

Please make comments -> The Desert Independent.

*************

Please note:

We must keep the pressure up or the BLM will do nothing. As Monika says, winter is coming and it’s bound to be more brutal. Already there are snow flurries reported and there is still no shade from the sun or protection from rain or snow.  We all know that when it rains and the wind blows, since there is nothing to buffer the wind or help keep the horses dry, they may suffer from hypotheria. The young and the old horses are at great risk of getting sick; at a BLM holding pen this most likely leads to fatalities.

Photo: Carolyn L Stull


Carolyn L Stull- BS, MS, PhD
Lecturer and Specialist
Population Health & Reproduction

Please contact Dr. Carolyn Stull and ask her where is the comprehensive animal welfare standards for the BLM wild horses in short term holding that she promised to prepare by October that she stated at the Aug 6 workshop in Reno? Please note she is not a licensed veterinarian!

(Please be professional when you contact her.)
Read Dr. Stull’s bio here.

Dr. Carolyn L. Stull, BS, MS, PhD

1337 Surge III

Davis, CA 95616

1 530 752 0855

clstull@ucdavis.edu

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5 Responses to “The Desert Independent”

  1. Monika Courtney November 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    From: Carolyn Stull
    Date: September 30, 2013 at 10:58:05 AM MDT
    To:
    Subject: Re: Second inquiry
    Hello

    I am sorry I did not respond to your original inquiry. The publication that I suggest for assessing a neglect equine situation is addressed in the following publication: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/docs/special/pubs-HorseCareStandardsRev2-sec.pdf.
    It was written for educating animal control officers in investigating equine cases, but will be helpful in many situations.

    I am not a practicing clinical veterinarian. I am a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Animal Welfare at the University of California, Davis. I do research projects and out-reach education. My web site is below my signature; you will find other publications and resources that you may find helpful. Also, please feel free to call me on the phone with any questions.
    Sincerely,
    Carolyn Stull

    Like

    • Monika Courtney November 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      On 9/27/2013 1:23 PM, wrote:
      Dear Dr. Stull,

      With your extensive research curriculum including the concern for starved animals, I would like to ask you what guideline you would recommend to assess such a situation. I helped working a starvation case in which animals were down to a Henneke 2. They were rehabilitated just in the nick of time and sadly returned to the abusive owner.

      What guidelines or applicable system in analyzing starvation / compromised body conditions in horses would you recommend to be used in assessing such situations properly ?
      Additionally, are you a veterinarian practicing veterinarian medicine, if so where is your practice located ?
      I hope to hear from you.
      Thank you for your time.

      Sincerely,
      x.x.
      Second inquiry

      Like

      • WestDeltaGirl November 13, 2013 at 10:12 am #

        Thank you for sharing your correspondence with Carolyn Stull. I didn’t know that Carolyn Stull was not a DVM when I attended the webinar on Aug 6, 2013. The webinar was not as interactive as they made it out to be – in fact I found it a total waste of my time, except for one important thing: the BLM wanted us to think they wanted the public’s input.

        After the webinar the advocates that attended the workshop in person revealed how they were treated when they brought lots of ideas on how to add shade – they were ignored with a total lack of professional courtesy which showed us that they could not respect anyone that were trying to make things better for the wild horses.

        To make things worse, Ms Stull is pro-slaughter. Anyone that thinks that horse slaughter is humane is not capable of understanding what any horse needs.

        Like

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