February 8, 2008

February 8, 2008

  • The Lompoc Record published an emergency call by wild horse rescue, Return To Freedom, as a mare named Scout, one of 28 other horses that were rescued from the floor of Cavel's Illinois slaughterhouse, requires life-saving surgery due to a sudden emergency. Return To Freedom is requesting help in paying for this surgery that will save Scout's life. Click Here to read the article in full. To help with Scout's surgery, send any contribution to: Scout's Surgery -Return To Freedom, P.O. Box 926, Lompoc, CA 93436 or call (805) 737-9246 for debit or credit card donations. Scout thanks you for your love and support!
  • The Utah State University, Equine Teaching and Extension Team have just released a paper titled, "Effect of the Closing of the Horse Harvest Facilities on the Horse Industry" The paper examines 4 arguements against horse harvesting and leads the charge by frequently citing the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The undergraduates who produced this paper also quotes an increase in abandoned horses as per the Associated Press and cites the cost of humanely euthanzing a horse can run upwards of $400, something they claim is "quite expensive" (ah...the college days, huh?). A low-income household is cited in this report as up to $75k with a household average of $50,000 with merely 25% of America's horse owners falling in this income category that the horse slaughter industry, or lack of it, is affecting. Other economic factors cited are loss of jobs in the previous three "horse harvesting facilities" (known to have high turn overs and immigrant workers), $26 million in economic loss and an additional $20-29 million in disposal costs. Brian Dees, President of the Georgia Equine Rescue League is quoted as stating, "the number of unwanted horses has gone through the roof, the number of request to take horse off a person's hands has gone up by as much as 5000 percent" (no source provided as to where Mr. Dees got this figure from) and "not having the harvesting facilities is one of the worst things that has happened to the U.S. horse industry." Many of the references and quotes taken to support the reinstatement of the horse slaughter industry are merely 30-60 days old with little evidence offered as to whether those involved in the study bothered to substantiate these statements. Despite using the majority of studies and quotes cited in the last 60 days, somehow the students fail to include the "Deleting The Fiction Report" released on 12/23/07 that provided real evidence that all abandoned horse reports had so far proven to be false. Also not considered was the Animal Welfare Press Release citing the AVMA was part of a coalition of companies that own the now defunct slaughter houses and has blocked every effort to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, nor was the Veternarians For Equine Welfare's press release "White Paper on Horse Slaughter", created to address misinformation being circulated by the American Veterinary Medical Association included in their examination of the issues. One other odd note - somehow the University fails to examine the fact that horse meat has a total lack of medication regulations that are applied to other "food-producing animals" despite their focus on the necessity of providing horse meat through horse harvesting for human consumption. The undergraduates conclude that the "facts" are haunting those that made the "wrong decision" as the industry and horses suffer everywhere.
  • A group of students at the University of Georgia, Speak Out For Species, hosts its annual film festival throughout February on various topics to help raise awareness for the plight of animals. They will showcase "Last of the Spanish Mustangs", an award winning powerful documentary by Len Johnson that highlights some of the most dramatic issues facing both what's left of America's wild horses, the agency in charge of protecting them and horse slaughter in America. A must see! To purchase your own copy of "Last of the Spanish Mustangs", Click Here for more information.
  • The Nokota Horse Conservancy, founded a decade ago, will provide four Nokota horses to initiate a breeding program in France due to the Francois Marchal families interest in the Nokota horses. The Nokota Horse Conservancy believes the horses are descendants of the last surviving wild horses in North Dakota and have been working to preserve them. Click Here to read the article in full.
  • Mona Jerome, founder of the Ever After Mustang Rescue shares stories of her adopted mustangs and the Rescue. Mona is the Maine State coordinator for the American Mustang and Burro Association and describes why she is so intent on saving America's wild horses. Click Here to read Mona's story titled, "No Way To Treat Proud Animals".
  • Ruben Villasenor has been selected as one of 50 horse trainers in the Extreme Mustang Makeover's next competition. Mr. Villasenor describes what the financial benefits of being selected are and as it turns out, probably not much! He's doing it he says because of concerns that wild mustangs not adopted end up at slaughter and has asked for help from the community to defray costs of the two months of training. Click Here to read the article in full.
  • The BLM is seeking bids for one or more new pasture facilities to care for and maintain wild horses. With over 70,000 wild horses and burros being removed from public lands in the last six years, there are now more wild horses and burro in containment centers than roam free on "their range". BLMs estimates that as many as 2,500 will continue to be removed annually. The solicitation for bids ends March 24, 2008. Click Here to read the article in full.
  • The BLM Forest Service has announced their new 2008 Grazing Schedule Fee still the same as 2007 - $1.35 per month to feed one cow and one calf on public lands. Click Here for more information.
The Bureau of Land Management is offering multiple adoptions for wild horses and burros at the following locations.

Ohio Expo Center - 70 wild horses and burros - February 16th and 17th, 2008.
Click Here for more information.

Warm Springs Correctional Facility, Nevada- 16 horses - February 9th, 2008. Click Here for more information.

Navarro County Expo, Corsicana Texas - 90 wild horses and burros - February 14th-16th, 2008. Click Here for more information.

Ridgecrest BLM Facility, CA - February 23, 2008. Click Here for more information.


Ruben Villasenor said...

In regard to the post about Ruben Villasenor there are a few inaccuracies. First, I (and he) do not believe he said horses not adopted were bound for slaughter. After the piece ran, he spoke to the reporter who stated it was all true and based on her research and her interviews ftom various sources. It is not the Extreme Mustang Makeover which takes place later in the year in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the Midwest Mustang Makeover Challenge that takes place in Madison, WI in conjunction with the Midwest Horse Expo April 18-20, 2008. The training period is 100 days, not 2 months. I do agree it is costly to take a wild mustang and train it, transport it, board it, vet it etc. The payback is not there monetarily. However, it does give trainers the chance to validate their training methodology and gives good trainers exposure. Thanks for the posting the information and if you would like to read more, a Google search should take you to Ruben's web site, a blog, an article by the Tri City Herald, information from Hands on Horses and the Horse Affairs expo where the mustang performed remarkably. Thanks again!

Preserve the Herds said...

Thanks Ruben for the clarifications!

I can understand your frustration at not being accurately quoted as I find myself shaking my head at the stuff I see in print that is wrong that I KNOW was easily verified if the reporters did even the most basic research! While I can understand the reporter "reporting" that mustangs were sent to slaughter based on HER research (am not stating this as fact myself), including it as a quote made by you was really unfair.

Thanks also for your clarification of the Midwest Mustang Makeover versus the Extreme Mustang Makeover. BLM is currently offering an entire gallery of the wild horses and trainers for the event, which can be accessed at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/midwest_challenge/photo_gallery7.html

Good Luck Ruben!!!