(It Appears) Chopper Knocks Over Wild Horse At Ongoing Roundup
(WENDOVER, NV) At the ongoing roundup at the Antelope Complex pilot conduct is extreme. High speed stampedes are causing foals to be left behind, collisions and reckless actions including the skids of the chopper (appearing) to knock over a wild horse!
Wild Horse Education (WHE) has sent notification to the agency of the incident and a request to immediately address the situation according to policy. In addition, the organization requested a meeting to address ongoing issues of abuse and a notification of the unfortunate necessity for legal action should the agency fail to take appropriate measures.
For years, beginning in 2010, Wild Horse Education (WHE) took BLM to court again and again over abusive actions at roundups. This litigation drove the creation of the current Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) that was included into contracts and official underlying paperwork in fall of 2015.
The agency has failed to review, revise and enforce the policy on numerous occasions.
“The cases we have already brought into a courtroom include rulings against the very type of pilot conduct we are documenting at the Antelope Complex,” stated WHE founder Laura Leigh,”It was absurd that we had to take the agency to court just to get a policy to stop things like electric shocking babies in the face and hitting wild horses with helicopters. It is gut-wrenching that it looks like we need to go back into a courtroom to get the agency to take the welfare of wild horses seriously.”
“During this same run, that lasted over an hour,” said eyewitness Marie Milliman, WHE volunteer, “a very young baby was trampled. The mare that goes down appears to be the tiny foals mom. The pilot could easily see the baby being trampled and he just kept running the horses! No one from BLM stopped this. I can not describe how it feels to watch this type of incident and have the representatives of my government act like this is just fine.”
“Watching these kinds of roundups where foals get left behind, trampled, wild horses run in chaos,” choked Milliman, “Over and over it breaks my heart, year after year. This is our tax dollars at work to protect our wild horses? It really makes you physically ill.”
“The next step would require that we take the agency tasked with managing wild horses and burros humanely back into a courtroom to prove, yet again, when BLM says ‘we care’ it is nothing but words that never match their actions.” stated Leigh, “How can the public believe that any action the agency takes is in the best interests of the wild horse if they can not even capture without trampling babies and hitting wild horses with choppers?”
“BLM can try to defend these types of actions all they want. They are absolutely indefensible.” Leigh
We are editing video of this incident and other incidents that have occurred at this operation. WHE is a small organization and our priority is preparing this for legal review and getting this information to the appropriate authorities.
We will load video as soon as time allows; we are moving as fast as we can.
Edited to add: as soon as these images and statement came out, BLM is apparently being aggressive with our representative on the ground. Not only does the agency want to limit and control what we can see, they want to control what we say. If we report on what we see, they get aggressive and intimidating. Instead of BLM asking what happened, so it can be addressed, they immediately began verbally attacking, criticizing and intimidating our observer. Our observer is (again) the only member of the public at the trap.
Why wouldn’t BLM want to discuss ways to make things better for the horses? WHE has proven our credibility on these issues over and over in the courts. Why doesn’t the agency that claims to “care” see us as a resource? We want to remind BLM that every time we have stepped into a courtroom to address abuse, we have won. We have proven our credibility on this issue again and again.
When the BLM creates a decision we disagree with we can appeal the decision, and we do. When BLM treats wild horses badly we can write and inform and litigate, we do and have. Our actions are within our rights and upheld by the courts. BLM employees are being overly aggressive and argumentative with our observer simply claiming what we documented did not happen (and apparently BLM PR acts like they have a law degree and is judge and jury without even knowing the history of litigation on abuse). What BLM employees are doing on the ground today to our representative is not “ok.” (note: Our editor can hear the BLM employee in the background of the video recordings of the capture.)
Edited to add video.
Categories: Wild Horse Education