Yesterday, the wind kicked up and operations were called off at the Red Desert Complex with no additional wild horses being captured.
A “no fly day” gives our CAWP team time to review, research and address issues that might be missed in the grueling day-to-day of roundups. (CAWP is the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy our litigation drove the creation of, and our litigation drove further improvements on. We still have a lot of work to do. All progress that requires changes in policy and law comes “one step at a time,”)
It is amazing that the young man above kept his hat on, and head, with how low the chopper is flying in the relentless wind. Maybe BLM needs to stop trying to make up FAA regulations to keep the public away and instead focus on how to keep wranglers safe?
Our work spans the many layers of advocacy: land use planning, filing actions against livestock and mining plans, tracking herds to engage policy to protect the herd and habitat. We are filing against the “spay plan.” We track the backside and slaughter loopholes.
When it comes to a roundup our team is hyper focused on potential and actual abuse. Our team members go through training in how to document roundups for the purpose of engaging personnel and/or litigation.
WHE keeps a data base of trap sites that includes things like: configuration, location and injury and death rates.
This particular trap (actual trapping, loading and handling) can not be seen from the observation location. Our CAWP observer always asks to see trap, even if there are no wild horses in it, so we can continue to expand the data base.
What WHE learned by looking at this set up: they expect large groups and expect them to come in fast. They are loading into semi trailers, not stock trailers (probably due to the numbers expected and the road is heavily “wash board”).
We also learned that electric cattle prods are being used to move wild horses down the alley and to load them onto the semi. We can not tell you how often they are employed, or on which animals, because we can not see sorting or loading.
Electric shock devices, often called “Hot Shot” due to the electric current and the name of a popular brand, are manufactured for use on domestic cattle and hogs. Not one manufacturer recommends a “hot shot” for use on horses, any horses.
In one of our court cases we were able to (clearly) show the courts that these “hot shots” were used, not only on adults, but on foals. click text to read more. In the amazing ruling, one of many, the court shut down the operation, gave us specific language to use against BLMs assertion that they had a “CAWP” policy, and the ammunition to push to get those policies included in underlying NEPA. This strengthened the foundation for the next case; no matter what situation you are advocating for, any issue from animals to civil rights, there is always “the next case.”
We know that sounds like “gobble-de-gook” to many; but it was one of those “steps to change law” many of you heard Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and many others that fight long battles of law and policy, speak of.
Recently there are other orgs that openly denigrate the legal fight against abuse; WHE is the only org in history to litigate against abuse. Why would other orgs denigrate that fight? Our roundup teams are trained, work hard and have made direct progress on this specific issue. We know you want abuse fought directly, so do we.
When advocating for wild horses there are many layers in law and process. Each layer must be engaged if we are going to help our wild ones at each step.
The following pictures added by request. Each day we have thousands of images, and a lot of video, to review.
Our readers wanted to see other bands captured the day we featured the amazing escape by “the black” and his family.
The winter schedule is out and it is a clear demonstration of the assault based on politics. The schedule is brutal. We are looking at the schedule and trying to prioritize. The weather will turn bad soon and our teams need to travel safe, particularly in the era of covid-19. Documenting roundups can get expensive. If litigation can be brought, it gets very expensive. (We will have more for you soon.)
More from Red Desert:
Wild horses are part of public lands. It is time we actually create management plans. The lack of accountable planning keeps this program easily corrupted and on the verge of fiscal collapse.
What you can do
Please take action to demand Congress defund any roundups where the BLM has failed to create open and transparent management planning. Click HERE.
Call the Senate switchboard and ask for your rep. Demand that all actions against wild horses and burros halt until William Perry Pendley leaves the BLM. His tenure was ruled illegal and BLM is still moving an agenda forward for Pendley’s former law clients. Switchboard (202) 224-3121
Categories: Wild Horse Education