[Ed. Note: Take action...26 Horses Dead After Excruciating Winter Roundup.]
By Jill Anderson, from Return to Freedom
Over 1300 wild horses have been removed from the Calico Complex in Nevada to
date. After having been herded by helicopter for miles over snowy and rocky
terrain, foals, older horses and pregnant mares are suffering the brunt of this
At least 20 pregnant mares aborted their fetuses, an occurance that happens
when mares are placed under extremely stressful conditions. Foals, orphaned from
their mothers, stand alone in holding pens without even the comfort of a
windbreak to shield them from the harsh winter weather. One foal collapsed and
died after the chase, while another was euthanized after his hooves were found
to be completely separated from the bone. This young foal literally ran his
hooves off and suffered agonizing pain until he was euthanized (likely by
gunshot) 2 weeks later. One mare broke her neck after crashing into the gate of
the holding pen - likely in a state of panic. Others were simply found dead in
the holding pens.
“A horse’s condition is more compromised in the winter, especially older
horses, pregnant horses or those nursing foals. The additional stress of a
roundup, capture and separation only adds to their fragile condition. What is so
sad is that not only do many of these horses have to endure a helicopter chase,
capture and transport, but that some endure it only to be killed in the end.
Some horses are too stressed to eat hay or drink out of troughs when they are in
corrals. These free ranging herd animals suffer more than we can see. They are
wild horses. They are born, live and die on the range and I am sure if they
could speak they would prefer to live out their lives, season to season, on
their range with their herd” said Neda DeMayo, Founder Return to Freedom.
While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) claims to be removing wild horses due to overpopulation, the evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, it is all the more likely that their removal policy is directly related to their recent increase of cattle grazing allotments in the Calico Complex, and the pending Ruby Pipeline - a 1,086 km natural gas pipeline, scheduled to commence in early 2010. The pipeline will begin in Opal, Wyoming, travel through Utah and Nevada, and end in Oregon. The pipeline travels right through the Calico Complex in Nevada.
Return to Freedom is asking Americans to continue to speak out against this
taxpayer funded cruelty. Please write to your Representatives in Congress and to
the White House, denouncing the BLM's mis-management of America's wild horses on
our public lands.