Video above of “halftime highlights” from the Antelope Complex (Antelope/Triple B mega complex Environmental Assessment).
The massive BLM roundup of wild horses of the Antelope Complex has passed the halfway point toward meeting their goal. 1245 (455 Studs, 566 Mares, and 224 Foals) of the 2200 targeted have been captured. The BLM website notes 5 deaths but only specifically notes 4 (we are trying to clear up that confusion). You can follow the ongoing roundup HERE.
Our team has been onsite at the operation since the beginning and has documented much of the chaos. Barbed wire incidents, the helicopter flying dangerously close, foals falling way behind, a large number of horses needing to be roped and more, creating even more controversy during intense drought. The agency seems to have spent most of the time over the last decade, as this drought slowly intensified, crafting new grazing schemes for livestock and approving mining than protecting our wild places and wild things and the “blame the horse” business as usual is in full force and effect.
Wild Horse Education has filed an internal complaint and a conference is scheduled. Litigation on these issues (abuse and access) has been fully fleshed out in the courts by WHE in the past. Litigation is reserved as a last resort out of respect for the courts time and our (public donors) resources. We hope the BLM can also demonstrate some respect for past court rulings and, the public and we can resolve some of these conflicts.
We will keep you updated as quickly as we can. Our teams are stretched thin, every single person in field on drought or roundup or addressing our active legal actions that are striving to gain real management planning.
“I am at the roundup, but not at the trap,” said WHE founder Laura Leigh. “I am in a time warp that needs to be ripped to shreds. Exactly ten years ago I sat out here writing the first legal case in history against abuse at roundups. We won an amazing ruling after BLM presented a defense to the court of ‘nothing wrong here,’ where there obviously was.
Today, the agency is doing is exactly what they did ten years ago. Fly dangerously close (with probable contact) and claim ‘trick/fake photography.’ Run a horse into barbed wire and claim all is fine because the horse did not bleed to death. On and on it goes.
We had to litigate relentlessly and deal with BLM excuse after excuse in court for years. We won every case. It took over 40 years, from the date the Act was passed, to treat our wild horses humanely to craft a humane handling policy and actually include it as a legal part of paperwork and into contracts.
Nearly ten years to the date of the first court ruling against abuse (Aug 30, 2011), and nearly 6 years since the CAWP policy was included into the contracts, we are exactly where we were before.
The most egregious offenders remain in control of the policy and what is considered appropriate. Those same offenders are hiding most of what happens at roundups and is entirely restricting the ability of the public to even view actual processing of wild horses at the temporary corrals.
Instead of the agency admitting things could be done better they deny and hide and blame and harass those that have exposed the abuse. This is not only abuse of power and dereliction of duty… it is morally reprehensible and sick.”
BLM claimed this was a camera trick and never happened. The Judge said he could see with his own eyes what happened and called the defense a “blame the horse affront.” The courts became repeatedly perplexed why BLM simply denied anything was wrong and defended such actions.
The next roundup in NV on tap is Owyhee. Ironically Owyhee was the location of another one of WHEs wins in court against abuse.
Will we need to repeat the litigation began a decade ago? Seems absurd. We will keep you posted on the outcome of our internal complaint and “where we go from here” soon.
The roundup schedule has truly accelerated to levels we have not seen in a decade. Multiple roundups in multiple states will be taking place at the same time. Many of these operations wont have much notice and the schedule will continue to change rapidly.Help keep us in the field and in the courts.. Thank you.