Updates on horse issues (Tripping, slaughter and Wyoming wild herds in trouble)

Horse Tripping happens in Nevada!

Horse Tripping happens in Nevada!

SB 72 (ban in horse-tripping) has passed out of committee. This bill died in committee last session. However it appears that the re-write by state Senators Pete Goicoechea and James Settlemeyer may have removed the original intention of the bill. It is our understanding that the bill that made it out of the committee would ONLY have a private individual, out purposely to trip a horse and doing so without a local permit, held accountable.

That’s absurd.

“Yes officer,” says the accused “I threw my rope wanting to hurt the horse,” yea, right.

This bill was created to stop the practice of horse-tripping. The event has participants throw ropes, with the intent to lasso/release the legs (either front or rear, depending on event) of a galloping horse. That act has a reasonable likelihood of causing the horse to fall. (There are several analogies I can think of here. An example would be if you poured gasoline over someone and then lit a match. I guess you could say you did not intentionally light them on fire?)

It appears that the bill in it’s current form makes organizing such events, and taking money for admission, an illegal activity. But the activity is only illegal if you don’t have local government permission.

This bill has become a farce.

This particular “inroad” to corrupting the bill came during hearing. The language of the original bill was against the practice of horse tripping. However the bill had to two caveats: one being laying an animal down for medical treatment and the other used the term “accident.”

Last session those against the bill claimed horse tripping did not occur in Nevada. Before the end of the Senate session they were proved to be lying as an event in Winnemucca was taped and testified to having occurred by Laura Leigh.

However this session a debate ensued to say that what occurred in Nevada was an “accident.” That debate then centered on how to craft the bill so that what happened in Winnemucca could happen again in Winnemucca. That particular opportunity came from a well meaning advocate claiming to know a man that knows the people in Winnemucca and they said it was an accident…. neither of these individuals were present in Winnemucca. But the door was opened…

This is PART of what happened in Winnemucca. (Keep in mind that no other eye witness testimony came in. Third person testimony however was given as witnesses were afraid).

We have to close that door or any bill that passes will be meaningless. Those that lied about the events occurring in Winnemucca and even engaged in smoking in a non-smoking venue in disrespect to local law, are again going to be protected by those that make law!

So please take the following action (one more time) as the bill must make it through one more debate and vote in full assembly.

Find your Assemblyman and write:

Link to NV Legislation Assembly: http://asm.leg.state.nv.us/Assembly/Assembly-Members.aspx

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Horse Slaughter

Horseback Magazine has an article today on the possibility that horse slaughter inspections will once again be de-funded in the US.

Congress could once again ban the use of federal funds to inspect horse slaughter plants in the United States if it follows the lead of the White House—a move that is strongly supported by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI).  President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal includes a request for Congress to block spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect U.S. horse slaughter plants. A similar spending prohibition was put in place in 2005, which effectively shut the door to the grisly horse slaughter industry on U.S. soil. However, it was not renewed in 2011, leading to the potential for horse slaughter plants to reopen in the U.S at the expense of American taxpayers.

There are no horse slaughter facilities operating in the U.S., but the USDA confirms it has received at least six applications and is processing those requests. Humane organizations oppose the slaughter of American horses for human consumption because the practice is inherently cruel to horses. Additionally, horse meat poses a potential human health risk, as horses are not raised for food in the U.S. and are consequently treated with a wide range of drugs that are not approved for use in animals intended for human consumption.

Read the rest here: http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/21599

Wild Horse Education was added to the AWI list of organizations for the purposes of this action.

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Jackson Mountain roundup done during "foaling season" in June tried to exceed BLM authority and take more horses than were justified to take during June

Jackson Mountain roundup done during “foaling season” in June tried to exceed BLM authority and take more horses than were justified to take during June

Wild Horses and Burros

We are entering into a time when space in holding is limiting the roundup schedule. There will be fierce competition this coming year for districts to get areas onto the schedule. Several areas are due for re-treatment with PZP-22, a birth control agent, yet those areas are likely to not make the schedule this year. At this juncture it appears that “drought” will be the watch word and districts are preparing information to gain a place on the schedule based on those terms.

Mining/extractive operations will begin to create more of a “paper trail” in this year and those following. When you see the words “surface disturbance” in a mining document for comment, think reduced forage/reduced horse populations.

Wyoming wild horses in trouble

A court case has been raging between the BLM and the Wyoming grazing association. Several wild horse advocacy groups joined the lawsuit (AWHPC, TCF, ISPMB). However it appears that in the legal course that a “settlement” was reached and the case no longer active.

Wild horse numbers will be reduced in four herd areas as follows:

  1. Salt Wells herd area south of Rock Springs, estimated population around 670 horses will now be managed with a goal of zero horses.
  2. Divide Basin herd area northeast of Rock Springs, estimated population 530 horses will now be managed for zero horses. .
  3. Adobe Town herd area southeast of Rock Springs, estimated 520 horses will have AML set at a low/high ratio of 225 and 450.

In a press release from AWHPC: “We are appalled that the court has put a seal of approval on the BLM’s plan to destroy some of Wyoming’s last remaining and most popular wild horse herds,” Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, said in a release.

The decision also appears to allow fertility control including permanent sterilization to achieve the management to “zero” objectives (spaying mares and gelding stallions).

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Sally Jewell has been confirmed as new Secretary of the Interior

In an article in Politico on her confirmation it states: “Jewell’s nomination was caught up in a dispute between Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and the department over a plan to protect the sage grouse. But Risch dropped the hold after his office said the issue had been “addressed.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/jewell-sails-through-senate-confirmation-89901.html#ixzz2QB0R3DiG

During the confirmation process Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon did ask one question on the BLM wild horse and burro program. Sally Jewell responded saying she would “pursue effective and ecologically sustainable policies.”

To us at Wild Horse Education that sounds like the old regime. Maybe after a few days in office Ms. Jewell will say something more like “reform and repair?”

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Owyhee Complex 2012

Owyhee Complex 2012

Wild Horse Education

  1. We are awaiting a decision in the “access” case, or “press freedoms” case, from the court of Judge Larry Hicks.
  2. The Owyhee hearing for Preliminary Injunction has been pushed back a few weeks and will occur in May as our attorney has a health issue (doing much better now).
  3. We await a Discovery schedule on the Triple B/ Jackson Mountain case from the magistrate after BLM’s motion to dismiss Jackson Mountain was denied by Judge McKibben.
  4. We continue to monitor several areas that could become high tension areas this coming summer over drought/removals.
  5. We are working on several other issues as well and NO, we have NOT GOTTEN AN AIR TIME ON THE TODAY SHOW YET.

More updates soon.

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Help keep us in the field and the courtroom!

Help keep us in the field and the courtroom!

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