Wild Horse Education

Shawave (a glimpse at wild horses and the First Amendment)

EGWDay5 - 1 (26)

Baby captured day 5

The first week of the massive Shawave roundup in Nevada is winding down. This operation that targets 1650 wild horses and 200 burros was cleared for 60 days of trapping.

In the first 5 days 675 Horses (237 Studs, 300 Mares, and 138 Foals) were captured and 7 have died.

note: We are getting the impression that the contractor wants to move through fast and pick up some more contracts for “emergency operations.” 


Mares treated with GonaCon awaiting release

The observation location at the trap was close to a mile away. This did not afford any opportunity to assess the condition of the wild horses. Most days access to the temporary holding facility was denied.

BLM has chosen to send horses to the overflow facility on Indian Lakes Rd in Fallon, NV, Broken Arrow. This facility is classified as an overflow from the intake and adoption corrals north of Reno, Palomino Valley Center (PVC).

The Broken Arrow facility was the center of massive contention when the BLM contracted the facility and began to fill it with 2000 wild horses captured from the Calico Complex on 2009-2010, before construction was even complete.

Broken Arrow is where the foal “Hope” was taken after capture. There were many injured horses and not even a wind break for the foal that lay dying from hoof slough.

The Broken Arrow facility was closed to public view after multiple horrific incidents were witnessed. In 2011 and 2012 the facility logged the highest death rates of any BLM facility utilized to intake wild horses from the range. In 2016 BLM removed all of those record from any online portal.

A view on one stallion in the temporary on range coral. Is that him at the head of the band being pursued? All of the wild horses captured at Shawave BLM has chosen to send directly to Indian Lakes Rd, Broken Arrow.

Most days at Shawave temporary holding was off-limits to viewing. No real view of individuals during capture, no view at holding, shipped into an off-limits facility.


Treated with the temporary fertility control agent GonaCon, awaiting release.

At the Shawave operation wild horses are being treated with a temporary fertility control agent GonaCon, a hormonal vaccine.

At Shawave BLM allowed no observation of the treatment itself.


Mare and foal pen

From 2010-2015 Wild Horse Education carried a massive First Amendment case to gain meaningful access to assess the capture and handling at roundups, information and access to facilities such as Broken Arrow (after BLM closed those doors).

In 2012 that behemoth of a case gained a massive ruling that began to open the doors to roundups. Things like daily observation during capture began to be a reality.

That ruling has even been the basis of cases that have stopped things like spaying. There has never been a ruling against spaying itself, but there was a “if you are going to do it, we need to see it” and a withdrawal of that plan.

After going bak up and down and up the court system we were ordered into mediation. A policy was created to open Broken Arrow timely if used as intake and afford two tours a year to facilitate adoptions and assessment of the facility. The mediation also began to define “meaningful access” to roundups.

In recent years the contractor (as an example) can tell BLM of some fictional case that was never filed in federal court (an observer got scared observing a roundup when a chopper flew over her head) and BLM responds by pushing observers back. No such case ever existed, the incident references someone that was in her car and buzzed by a helicopter while she was on the road after discovering a bone pit near a holding corral at Sheldon.

The actual case that defines access? BLM barely understands it and appears to think the First Amendment has an expiration date. We stand ready to remind them, in whatever forum needed, it does not. 

We will do an extended article next week on the case that has become known as “Leigh v. Salazar,” although there are many cases with that moniker, the specific case is the First Amendment case. It appears that there is a lot of confusion about the meaning of this case.

Our observers were allowed into the temporary holding area for a rushed walk through on day 5, only after our teams pushed the issue. Being able to see wild horses that BLM has chosen to shuffle into an off-limits facility, should not have to be an actual fight. 

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Temporary holding observation is very important to Wild Horse Education. We know others are only interested in the “helicopter shot.” That is not why WHE goes.

WHE goes to continue our fight for the humane handling policy. Our founder is the only person in history to litigate abuse and drive the creation of policy. That policy has stalled for many reasons. We will write an extended article on the history of the policy and the obstructions to continuing that work, soon. We continue our work to change that policy into something effective, not something often simply ignored.

The ability to observe the capture and handling of a public resource, paid for with tax dollars, has actually been a fight. It seems absurd, but the fight goes on.

Our field teams are reporting in. There are several very complicated issues arising with devastating consequence. The root of many of these problems lies in the hands of all the “backdoor deal makers” that held stake in the “Ten Years to AML” plan openly, and those that had the same agenda but denied it publicly. We will explain some of the things they have caused soon, it will be a very bumpy ride.

We really need your help. This agreement with industry began in 2016 and has been running extremely expensive and coordinated public relations campaigns, to sway and control public opinion, the same way big pharma operates.

The only thing the current amendment to the spending bill ($11 million to buy and use the substance PZP) would change at this operation would be that PZP would be used, not GonaCon.

We need responsible and transparent management, not manipulation for industry even if that industry wears a mask of advocacy. 

Can you please take action today? We have outlined a 3-Step action you can take in the Senate. Time is running out. Click HERE.  

Day 5

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Categories: Wild Horse Education