The BLM Sutherland corrals in Utah hosted their public first tour. The 30-acre facility has been in operation less than two years and contains 27 holding pens the agency has stated can hold 1,500. The facility housed about 800 wild horses at the time of the tour.
We estimate more than half the wild horses sent to the facility from the Pancake (NV) roundup had already shipped out of the facility without the public ever being able to perform any welfare check or adoption search.
These tours of closed facilities need to happen much faster if they are used as intake of horses being shipped off the range after capture.
Recently, we did an article that covers issues with living conditions and transparency at holding facilities that includes a few reports from BLM’s newly formed Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) team (you can find the article HERE). The BLM team has yet to visit Sutherland, or any facility in Utah, at this time.
One of our concerns at this facility is the manner in which feed is distributed. Feed is laid directly onto the concrete slab on both sides of the alley. During the day, we were told, they use a grater type mechanism (a way to visualize: vehicle with a scoop or plow fastened) to push the hay back toward the horses. (In the images above a colt had slipped through panels and was accessing the hay from inside the alley.)
We see multiple issues with this procedure including collection of debris and dirt, as well as more dominant animals having unnecessary competitive access to feed (leaving more docile horses trying to reach the available feed).
During the part of the tour that discussed how they process wild horses, we discovered a programmatic change with freezemarks. The alpha angle system used by the agency used to denote the herd code where the wild horse was captured. The agency no longer uses a herd code, they use a facility code. The reason given was that more wild horses are being captured and it was difficult to change the tool each time a horse would be branded with a herd code.
So WHE can no longer read a freezemark toi tell you where your horse is from. You will have to contact BLM directly.
As we litigate to save our beloved Pancake herd still free, we have been searching for those that have been captured to help them land safe far away from the treacherous Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) and the sales program; both carry abysmal oversight that lands wild horses and burros into the slaughter pipeline. (In one instance we were able to help reunite 3 family members with the help of CANA.)
Our search includes looking for “just a bay.” A bay yearling one of our readers fell in love with just weeks after the little baby was born. More on the search for “just a bay” coming soon.
Our teams are in field, at the table and in the courts.
Help keep us in the fight!
Categories: Wild Horse Education