Courtesy of Saving America’s Wild Horses
Bloggers Note: Many across North America continue to fight to “Save America’s Wild Horses”, Monika Courtney is one such person, and I am very proud to have come to know her. Please take the time to read her passionate letter below and to view the links which she provided.
Thank you Monika for your dedication, commitment and courage.
Below is the unedited email and contents which I received from Monika (published with her permission).
Wild Horse Roundup at Warm Springs Oregon. November 6th, 2010.
Added on 17/11/2010
http://protectmustangs.org/?p=1588 and Press Release below
MONIKA’S LETTER TO BLM
As you are well aware of the public and many experts continue to plea for a halt of helicopter use. We are given the opportunity for input, yet our input seems to be part of some protocol without bases for consideration by all BLM superiors ?
When more humane alternatives are available and round ups in general are unnecessary while cattle receive priority on same ranges – I ask that you now make a responsible and humane decision for this herd. To gather during foaling season is cruel and untimely – isn’t that obvious after all these years ? Why is this still the course when so many are deeply concerned on the welfare of our horses ?
Please halt the round up and consider Ginger Kathren’s input as well as ours. The BLM owes us and the horses delivery of reform as so highly acclaimed by Director Abbey recently.
You have the ability to protect the horses from suffering by motorized trauma so please do it. And suffer they do – see below. Stop the repeat mistreatment against these defenseless animals – they are not to blame for the political power trips and you owe them utmost respect and humane treatment.
Monika Courtney, Colorado
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM_V4TIGrrA Helicopter Round up
One viewer’s words:
“GOOD GOD !!”
This video footage ought to make the news and be shown to the
American public !! Touchdown of a helicopter on a mustang
Helicopter gathers are not humane, no matter what speed the horses are forced under, or how high the aircraft flies. It is time the failings in regards to BLM’s systematic removals of entire herds, inaccurately determined HMA’s/AML’s numbers, more horses in holding than in the wild, no long-range plan that is ethically, morally and fiscally appropriate, and the irresponsible use of taxpayer’s dollars to finance the current claims to gather, which are in violation with the 1971 WFRHB Act, are fixed.
The public is calling the BLM to stop round ups now. Despite thousands of calls and letters, BLM ignores the public and Congress.
Videos are of BLM contracted helicopter animal abuse ….
*Antelope Roundup Video – Elder Mare Collapses After Helicopter Stampede: ….
*Video of blatant animal abuse, a Burro being chased then knocked down by a BLM contracted helicopter: …..
*Video of a BLM contracted helicopter skid pushing/touching the back of a Wild Mustang yearling: ….. Sept. 16, 2010,
Contractor: Cattoor livestock round up…..
RESPONSE FROM BLM with Monika’s Comments to the right.
Dear Ms. Courtney:
Thanks for your continued interest in the Wild Horse and Burro Program.
An enhanced animal welfare program will definitely be part of our final STOP THIS ROUNDUP
strategy; in fact, the BLM is already piloting one element of our new
Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program — the use of outside observers to
monitor and report on gather activities.
The BLM takes many precautions during gathers to ensure humane treatment
of the horses and the safety of all involved in the gather operation.
During the gather, horses are driven to temporary corrals that serve as
a trap. The BLM recognizes the stress and potential danger to the DOES IT ???
horses inherent in a gather operation. Helicopter operators are
experienced professionals who take reasonable measures to move the
horses at an easy pace, maintaining pressure on the horses only as SEE LINKS ABOVE
needed to keep them moving towards the trap.
The mortality rate resulting from helicopter-driven gathers is less than
one percent. In 2009, the number of gather-related fatalities out of
more 7,500 horses gathered was only .51 percent. While we regret the
loss of even one horse during our gather operations, this is a
remarkable accomplishment, a tribute to the experienced, trained BLM
staff and contractors who conduct the gather operations.
Senior Public Affairs Specialist
Bureau of Land Management
For immediate release
BLM Plans Helicopter Roundup of Pregnant Mares and Tiny Foals
Wild horse groups unite to protest proposed action in the Jackson Mountains
RENO, Nev. (June 6, 2012)—
Wild horse advocates are united in protesting the planned helicopter roundup of the entire Jackson Mountain wild horse herd at the height of foaling season. The Bureau of Land Management’s Winnemucca District Office is scheduled to issue their Decision Record regarding the mustangs in this drought stricken area of northern Nevada at any time.
Representatives of Sun J Livestock, a helicopter roundup contractor for BLM, are already in Winnemucca, awaiting the decision from District Manager, Gene Seidlitz. During the few short years the now infamous roundup company has been in business hundreds of mustangs have lost their lives. Despite significant input from wild horse advocates and even those from within BLM, Gene Seidlitz, seems willing to take a chance, opting for the harshest possible measures in dealing with the herd which, according to him, includes “mares heavy with foal and tiny foals.”
“When I spoke with Mr. Seidlitz yesterday, we emphasized the risks involved in running these animals for miles during peak foaling season,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “He has been given contacts for water and bait trapping experts who have successfully captured hundreds of wild horses and burros using these far less dangerous methods.” Kathrens fears her pleas may have fallen on deaf ears.
Ironically, privately-owned cattle still graze in the Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) and advocates have been asking Manager Seidlitz to use his statutory authority to remove the livestock first, then continue hauling water to wild horses and set up roundpen panels around the water sources for water trapping.
“Why are they still leaving livestock on the range if it is so bad?” asks Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. “This is peak foaling season—the most dangerous time of year to be chasing mustangs.”
Spontaneous abortion of late term mares is likely as well as lethal injuries to foals too young to keep up with their mothers. In the past the hooves of these young horses have literally fallen off during and after helicopter stampedes.
“I can’t think of anything more irresponsible or cruel,” says Kathrens. “If BLM would only opt for water trapping rather than a helicopter stampede it would allow us to support the agency rather than continually battling their harsh tactics.”
The Cloud Foundation in conjunction with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Animal Law Coalition, Colorado Wild Horse & Burro Coalition, Equine Welfare Alliance, Front Range Equine Rescue, International Fund for Horses, Protect Mustangs, Respect4Horses, Wild Horse Education, and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation encourages the public to urge BLM Winnemucca District Manager, Gene Seidlitz, (firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-623-1501) to opt for humane wild horse management methods.