Wild Horse Education

Immediate Release: Wild Horse Organization Demands BLM Training on Humane Care

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Foal with face laceration; Triple B 2019

Edit Addition, August 28: BLM has still not responded to our report that shows that BLM is not improving in CAWP (humane handling) for wild horses. WHE has carefully mapped a deterioration, not improvement. We will be taking further action soon. 

You can add your name here if you feel the agency is not taking their responsibility seriously. If you agree that BLM must improve both the policy, and training of employees, add your name below:

Wild Horse Organization Demands BLM Training on Humane Care

(Reno-NV) Today Wild Horse Education (WHE) has sent a report to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) demanding they train personnel in the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP). The report details severe deficits in basic knowledge of the policy and failures of the policy in practice.

“It appears personal opinion may play a large factor in how seriously federal employees carry out their legal responsibility,” stated Laura Leigh, President of WHE, “If a police officer has a personal belief that beating someone up whose ideologies he disagrees with his fine, it is still his duty as a public servant to carry out the law. This analogy is similar to what we are seeing in practice in BLM’s wild horse and burro program today, adherence to personal opinion and not the law.”

CAWP is a welfare policy adopted in the fall of 2015 after multiple legal actions won against practices such as hitting wild horses with helicopters, running them through barbed wire fences, use of electric shock prods in young or terrified animals and running foals until collapse.

“Conduct at a roundup can vary drastically depending on the federal employee designated to run the operation,” stated Marie Milliman, WHE volunteer, “Some employees do not appear to even know the most basic parameters like stocking levels of temporary holding or temperature limits. These limits are set at the maximum allowed; not the boundaries of safety, but the limits of safety. Many do not even seem to understand these parameters at all.”

Three years ago Milliman joined WHE’s CAWP team and began attending roundup operations and contributing to WHE’s ongoing database that spans more than a decade.

“Our database demonstrates a clear and concise deterioration, not a steady improvement, of handling practices at roundups. As this environment deteriorates so does transparency at operations.” Leigh stated, “BLM must renew it’s commitment to both CAWP and transparency by retraining any personnel that get a paycheck off the tax payer and are placed in charge of capture and handling of our wild horses. It’s not an opinion or discretionary measure; humane handling is the law.”


Wild Horse Education is the only organization in history to take the BLM to court over issues of inhumane treatment during capture.

Main website http://WildHorseEducation

Note to our readers:

The report we sent to BLM today outlines the need for training, immediately, of any BLM personnel placed in charge of a roundup operation. Our post-Triple B review shows that specific personnel disregard, ignore and appear to have strong opinions related to CAWP. The environment is not improving, it is deteriorating.

We have engaged the protocol since implementation of CAWP. BLM has provided no updates or improvements to the protocol and appears to have just included it in the “copy and paste” portions of “Gather Plans” without recognition that it is primary to the law.

CAWP is a protocol to adhere to the law. The law has been in place since 1971. BLM is required to follow the law. This is not a debate, it is a fact.

We will update you with BLMs response as soon as it is received. 

As we work to minimize, and even stop, removals (that are also based on opinion, assertion and have no basis in facts), we must continue to hold BLM accountable to the most basic premise of decency in the law, humane handling.

You can learn more about CAWP in our archive of articles HERE.


You can help keep us in this fight.


Categories: Wild Horse Education