Surprise Release (and a note on Hot Shot and Pigeon Fever )

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Today was the first day we observed loading of a semi to go to Litchfield (travel to trap has often taken well over an hour and a half from the meet zone in the morning and we could not make trap if we watched a.m. loading). We saw a lot of commotion (where boards are added on one side of the loading chute) and paid special attention as we enlarged photos of the area.

We saw that “Hot Shot” pop out, never appearing as if it were being used for “human or animal safety,” just convenience. BLM policy clearly states electric shock is not a convenience tool; it was actually made for cattle and hogs, not horses. Note from manufacturer: Application The HOT-SHOT® prod is an electric livestock prod designed to assist in the movement of cattle and hogs. (CAWP was created after years of litigation)

79 (15 Stallions, 43 Mares, 21 Foals) were shipped to Litchfield, the last loads of this operation.

We have been the only org at this operation since it began.

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A “larger-than-normal” number of wild horses reacted “big” as they came toward the chute, including this palomino that was stuck for a considerable length of time before freeing herself. (This led to us looking at the area and noted the “Hot Shot.” We are reviewing video and will add more to our “After Action” report in the coming weeks.)

Release on 10-14: 61 (26 Stallions to Fox Hog, 18 Mares to Fox Hog, 17 Mares to High Rock Complex).

The total released after the operation to get to low AML was 158, of which the 68 mares were treated with PZP-22.

26 stallions were returned to the Fox Hog HMA. We were able to witness only one of the stud trailers releasing wild horses as they were releasing the other trailer simultaneously in another area.

As we noted in an earlier release report, 13 wild horses of this size in one stock trailer is too many.

We saw 2 trailers of mares released into High Rock. We did not see the Fox Hog mare release of 17, as they did the release at the same time.

Video edit very late last night and one glitch at the beginning. We felt you would want to see the video asap so have not redone/exported a new piece.

Totals for the operation posted by BLM:

Captured: 1216  (490 stallions, 522 mares and 204 foals)

Shipped:  962 (378 stallions, 403 mares and 181 foals)

Released: 158, 68 fertility control

21 deaths.

Yes, the numbers do not add up. We have notified BLM and asked they explain the discrepancy. 

Fox Hog mares

We know a reported just published an article about (potential) Pigeon Fever at Litchfield, The article has multiple factual errors including stating some horses “might be released” after the release already happened.

Organizations not here are sharing the article and causing a stir on social media. The 20 horses have been isolated at Litchfield awaiting test results.

We reported pigeon fever on Oct 4, as we are on-site. Pigeon fever is common in CA and is spread by flies. After the first frost and the flies die, the disease runs its course each season. Not usually fatal, yet infectious and messy, complications are possible. Pigeon fever acts much like (something like) Chicken Pox in people.

Pigeon Fever is NOT Strangles. Like comparing Chicken Pox to Small Pox, they are not the same thing. 

More on Surprise Complex 2021:

Ongoing team reports (We have been the only org on-site.)

Last Trap: AML and acreage

5+1 deaths and info on body scoring

A release and some history of the area (journal)

WHE “Next Gen” volunteers interviewed about observation

Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education