OBSERVER REPORTS: Scroll down to view most recent
Day 1 and 2 (Denio, NV) Yesterday, September ninth, the removal of the last of the horses that have called the area of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge home for at least a century began.
Observation was at least 1.5 miles from the trap allowing for no positive identification of individual animals being removed from the range. After a hike of over 1 mile observers could see that horses were being run distances of at least 8 miles repeatedly as bands fractured. The terrain is extremely rugged and many horses were noted to be limping. However no observation was possible of handling or loading. No observation was possible to note any specific issues surrounding condition including lathering, injuries, etc.
No meaningful observation was allowed at the Dufferena facility. The condition of horses can not be documented. However it was noted that no feed had been distributed in the facility as the roundup contractor left. Feeding horses is apparently the responsibility of Fish and Wildlife.
Approximately 100 horses were taken from the range on the first day with no official count given. As observation was so far away we can only provide an estimate. Condition of horses feet, injuries and ages could not be accurately documented.
The traget for this year is 400 horses and the final removal of horses is scheduled for next year.
It should be noted that the range itself was extremely healthy with five types of native grasses noted, healthy crust, abundant antelope and signs of many thriving species. The horses that ran past the observation area and those documented prior to the roundup all fall into a body score average of 5 (perfect).
WildHorseEducation.org (WHE) is actively addressing the underlying issues at Sheldon that include the continued practice of the Refuge (USFWS) of placing horses in jeopardy of slaughter. Please consider supporting this work and the three active federal lawsuits carried by WHE.
DAY 3 (trapsite also used Day 4)
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Day 3 Update
As of the end of day 3 Sheldon NWR had removed between 220-240 horses. An exact count of removals was not given onsite. It should be noted that only 5 foals have been taken confirming WHE observations of less than a 5% foaling rate at the Refuge.
Observation was slightly better than the first two days. However no meaningful observation to assess animals for injury was given at the trap. Sheldon continues to maintain that the holding facility (permanent structure) is off limits to the public. No assessment of condition or injuries possible. All photos required significant enlargement. Onsite it was impossible to determine appropriate actions during loading. Footage being enlarged and reviewed.
Operations on Thursday Sept 12 at the same trap site as Sept 11. Operations expected to continue at least into Friday.
Sheldon plans to remove all horses by next year.
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