Wild Horse Education

Follow Owyhee Wild Horses (Part 2): Welfare Report

Wild horses were rounded up and removed from the Owyhee Complex area in Nevada. Horses were chased by helicopter, trapped, loaded and trailered to a temporary holding corral, unloaded, and loaded onto semi-trucks the next morning destined for a corral facility in Utah. 

The public should know how the horses were treated during this roundup operation, and the horses deserve it, too.

WHE volunteer Colette Kaluza took on the challenge of attending the long winter roundup and tracking the impacts to the captives. She has prepared a 3-part series: part 1 – the roundup, part 2 – crafting a comprehensive welfare report and part 3 – tracking the wild ones into holding.

Follow Owyhee Wild Horses (Part 2): Report on Animal Welfare:

Owyhee horses were rounded up and removed Oct. 14—Nov. 9, 2021, which we documented and can be found here.

It took BLM over 40 years (and pushed by our relentless litigation) to even begin crafting a standard for handling and care. They gave the program the name Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP). A policy is a document that outlines parameters for carrying out a law. The law states wild horses and burros are to be managed humanely; if policy fails, additional litigation is still our only recourse.

BLM created an internal team to do assessments in 2021. The assessments are woefully inadequate. (You can learn more in our extensive team assessment HERE.)

BLM does not assess every roundup. Out of 43 active trapping operations in fiscal year 2022, BLM had an assessment team at only 7. The BLM team is only at an operation for a maximum of 3 days, no matter how long the roundup lasts.

BLM did not have any assessment team at Owyhee and no other organization creates an assessment (a daily stat report is not a CAWP assessment).

BLM is not clear how the CAWP rating system functions; a system that appears designed to give a passing grade no matter how many infractions.

The WHE team simply maintains 4 categories: Compliant (0 infractions), Moderately Compliant (1-5), Deficient (6-10) and Severely Deficient (over 10). WHE does not differen- tiate noncompliance as “major” or “minor.” Non-compliance is non-compliance.

WHE CAWP Assessment for Owyhee Complex: Severely Deficient (over 10). You can read the full report below:

COLETTE Owyhee CAWP Assessment 2022 (1)

Of note: One of the contradictions we see a lot at BLM roundups, is that cell phones are being used by BLM and contract staff to take cell phone video for their friends and family. At the same time, even if there is only one member of the public that is a trained CAWP observer, that person is placed with an obstructed view or far away.

You can join us and ask that BLM schedule a meeting with our CAWP team members now. If BLM is serious about stopping abuse they need to make change, now.

You can sign onto this simple request:

I, the undersigned, request that you meet with Wild Horse Education (WHE) representatives and address the critical flaws in the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP), immediately. 
WHE has the largest ongoing bank of documentation and data on BLM wild horse and burro roundups in the world. Their documentation is not used for advertising, it has been used in federal court to address the lack of policy, push to create policy and now needs to be applied to improving the policy. 
As a member of the public with an abiding interest in wild horses and burros and their welfare, I implore you to reply to WHE’s request for a meeting before finalizing another roundup schedule. 

To learn more about the failures of the BLM internal CAWP assessment team (and read out recommendation sheets and see a “side-by-side” comparison between our assessments and BLM) go HERE.

To read part 1 in the Owyhee series click HERE.

Part 3, following wild horses after the roundup, will publish shortly and link here when uploaded.

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Categories: Wild Horse Education