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The following is an update from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.
Yesterday, wild horse advocates, led by the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, packed a hearing room at the Arizona House of Representatives Committee on Federalism and States’ Rights meeting. Despite strong public opposition, the Committee approved HB2340, a bill that would allow for the state takeover of the Salt River wild horses, who reside on federal land in the Tonto National Forest. This is a deceptive bill that appears to help the horses, but would actually allow for their removal, relocation and slaughter. Click here to read more about the hearing and our efforts to defeat this dangerous bill.
The following is an Action Alert from the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.
In a stunning reversal, the President’s Proposed 2017 Budget seeks to amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act to allow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to turn over captured wild horses to state agencies and strip these animals of the legal status that currently protects them from slaughter. If approved by Congress, the amendment would allow the BLM to place unlimited numbers of wild horses directly into the hands of state and local governments that have vocally lobbied for mass removals and slaughter of these iconic animals. The proposed appropriations language also calls for sterilization of wild horses and burros in the wild. This is a grave threat to our remaining wild horse and burro herds. If ever there was a time to show united and strong opposition to the BLM’s anti-wild horse and burro policies, this is it! Please take action below and share widely.
Honey Bandit is doing well and proof that together we can beat all the odds.
Well Foal Season is fast arriving, with little ones popping up in NV already. Just today we received the first bags of Foal Lac Powder and Pellets and the first shipment of Colostrum. It makes it real hauling in 160 pounds of milk products. :)
Helping the sanctuary move to TX put us several unexpected weeks behind, (don’t ya love arriving to “drive” and having to pack up the entire place lol) so we are working hard to be ready for that first phone call. It is amazing how much stuff you need on hand to give these babies the ultimate care. We are re-packing the trailer and ordering supplies like crazy.
As I worked on the tax donation receipts, (there are still a few folks out there who’s receipts are on the way), I could hardly see for the tears sometimes. There were so many wonderful notes and prayers for Lil Maverick and people really came together for the Rolling Foal Hospital. Y’all are amazing and have the most beautiful hearts. (So often you hear about trailers being purchased and used once or twice. The Rolling Foal Hospital has already been instrumental in saving numerous lives and continues rolling on a regular basis.)
Thanks to all of you and your generosity and support for what we do and for the wild ones we were able to help keep the 65 out of slaughter, save 11 orphans who needed special help and start gentling two more babies.
This is an update from The American Horse Council.
Three key changes have been made that can potentially impact how horses are exported from the United States. These changes are;
- The new revisions allow for the pre-export inspection of horses at facilities other than an export inspection facility associated with the port of embarkation. As few facilities specifically built for horses are available to the export industry, this change should have a positive impact on both horse and handler safety.
- Several requirements for export health certifications, tests, and treatments have been removed from the regulations, and instead direct exporters to follow the requirements of the importing country regarding processes and procedures. While few issues arose due to the previous regulations, this change should prevent conflicts from developing between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and authorities in the importing country in the future.
- Under certain circumstances, the revisions replace the specific standards for export inspection facilities and ocean vessels with new performance standards. The adoption of these performance standards should allow for approval of more specialized facilities and vessels, increasing the options available to the industry at large.
This is an excerpt of an article at the Equine Chronicle.
Every day in Ethiopia, 9 million working horses, donkeys, and mules are supporting 54 million poor people who depend on them. Now, as Ethiopia is struggling through its worst drought in 50 years, these animals are not only fighting for their own survival, but doing so while helping people access emergency supplies. While these extremely important animals are being utilized to help people, the Brooke has launched an emergency response to help those animals.
The Brooke is the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, dedicated to alleviating the suffering of working equines in the developing world. Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the Brooke, exists to support vital programs like this one, which will supply emergency feed for 600 working equines each day for a month, and will deliver water for up to 1,800 equines each day.
Brooke USA donors make it possible for the Brooke to be ready during natural disasters like this, to provide very practical aid to the animals and to help ensure the livelihoods of their owners by keeping their animals alive until the rains come again. Please help us to continue to be ready in times of crisis through tax-deductible donations: www.BrookeUSA.org/give-money.
A June, 2013 study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has a deferred trail maintenance backlog that exceeds $500,000,000, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meet the agency’s standard for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on National Forests.
The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110) would direct the Forest Service to take several key actions to help address the trail maintenance backlog. These actions include development of a national strategy to expand the use of volunteers and partners in National Forest trail maintenance and creation of a priority trail maintenance program to identify and direct resources to areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance. This bill is strongly supported by the American Horse Council.
The AHC urges all recreational riders and trail users to contact their Senators and ask them to support the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110) and to please co-sponsor this legislation.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign sent a notice regarding BLM meetings. If you are in the area and can attend, contact them for more information.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming Resource Advisory Council (RAC) is meeting in Rock Springs, Wyoming on February 3-5, 2016. This citizen advisory board has within its jurisdiction all of Wyoming’s 16 wild horse Herd Management Areas.
The RAC advises and makes recommendations to the BLM on public land management. These meetings are open to the public and provide the public an opportunity to make comments to the citizen-based council. We encourage you to attend and provide comments if you can! AWHPC is submitting comments, asking for the RAC’s support for humane reform of the BLM wild horse program and fairer treatment for Wyoming’s last remaining mustangs.
While wild horses are not on the agenda, the topic will likely come up during the meeting and the public comment period on Friday, February 5 at 8 am provides an excellent opportunity to speak up for Wyoming’s mustangs and against BLM Wyoming’s policy of eradicating them from public lands.
WHAT: BLM Wyoming Resource Advisory Council (RAC) Meeting
WHEN: February 3-5, 2016
2/3: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
2/4: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2/5: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. *Public comment period will be held at 8 a.m.
WHERE: BLM Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY
The agenda for the meeting is available here.
The Sable Island horses have been getting attention from the media lately, so for a little background on this herd, we are excerpting an article from the CBC News Network. Follow the link to read the rest of the article, hear audio and see more photos.
The wild horses of Sable Island are synonymous with the sandbar’s mysterious, untamed, romantic image. What is it about the horses that draws people in?
“Wild and free horses — I don’t think it’s too much more complicated than that,” said Bill Freedman, an ecology professor at Dalhousie University.
“I think some people understand that they don’t belong on Sable Island but they admire the fact that once they got there they managed to survive all by themselves without the aid of people.”
How did they get there?
Although a popular story is that the Sable Island horses swam ashore from one of the island’s many shipwrecks, scientists say there’s no genetic evidence to support that theory. In fact, historians believe the horses were deliberately introduced to the island during the 18th century.
The horses on Sable Island today are most likely descendants of animals that were seized by the British from the Acadians during their expulsion from Nova Scotia in the late 1750s and 1760s. Thomas Hancock, a Boston merchant and shipowner, was paid to transport the Acadians to the American colonies.
Hancock either bought or helped himself to some of the horses abandoned by the Acadians and is thought to have transported the horses to Sable Island along with cows, sheep, goats and hogs.
“They were introduced to the island and the idea was that the horses would take care of themselves, they would reproduce, their numbers would build up and periodically they could be harvested and sold at a profit,” said Freedman.
“At the same time that the horses were introduced, other domestic animals were as well — but only the horses survived in the longer term.”
This is an Action Alert from the The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.
The Bureau of Land Management is planning barbaric, archaic and dangerous sterilization experiments on captured wild mares at its Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon. These experiments have never before been performed on wild horses or, in the case of two of the three proposed procedures, in horses anywhere at all! The agency is accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) and now is the time to voice our united and strong opposition to this outrageous proposal!
At least 100 mares — 75 of whom will be pregnant — will be subjected to “ovariectomy via colpotomy,” a dangerous procedure in which a veterinarian makes an incision in the mare’s vagina, inserts his arm into the vaginal cavity, manually locates the ovaries and rips them out using an “ecraseur,” a rod-like device with a chain on the end. The painful procedure will subject mares to the risk of infection, hemorrhage and evisceration (intestines coming through the incision) and cause mares in the early to mid-stages of pregnancy to abort their fetuses.
In domestic mares, this procedure is not common, but when performed, requires a post-surgical 4-7 days stall confinement, during which the first 48 hours are spent in crossties to prevent the mare from lying down. No such restraint is possible in wild mares, and the BLM intends to turn them out to corrals after the surgery with open incisions and no restrictions on movement. This fact lead the National Research Council (NRC) to conclude that the fatality rate for the BLM’s proposed experiment would be “higher than the one percent reported in the published literature,” which is based on surgery performed in domestic mares.The NRC a stated that less invasive techniques would be preferable to this procedure in wild mares.
Two less invasive experimental procedures are also proposed that would use endoscopes to achieve sterilization without removal of the ovaries. However, these procedures have never before been done in horses, domestic or wild, and appear to be infeasible for use in wild mares.
Please take a stand against these dangerous and costly BLM wild horse experiments today. The BLM deliberately avoided public opposition by skipping the scoping stage of this process, so let’s use the EA stage to show the agency just how many citizens and taxpayers oppose these dangerous and costly experiments on our wild mares. Take action below!
New York City’s carriage trade would be down-sized and its horse stables relocated to a renovated Central Park facility under an agreement between Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city’s carriage cabbies, and Teamster carriage driver Steven Malone. The agreement would reduce the number of horses on New York City’s streets from 220 to 75.
In 2014, the nonprofit organization New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets (NYCLASS) called for a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages on grounds that the carriages were inhumane. At that time, 16 members of the city council pledged to support a NYCLASS ordinance that would replace horse-drawn cabs with electric vintage-replica cars.
The proposal sparked controversy between some equine welfare advocates and carriage horse owners and drivers who argued that further regulation would force them to relinquish their horses to new owners. It also spawned several copycat proposals in cities across the United States, including Chicago, St. Louis, and Salt Lake City.
Our friends at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang Equine Rescue are preparing for the orphan foal season. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a rescue that specializes in critical, injured, neonatal or orphaned foals, read the excerpt from their newsletter and see where your contributions go:
As we prepare for the upcoming orphan foal season, I wanted to share with y’all what is happening. As far as the financials go, here are some of the places your donations are going: (Bless your generous and beautiful hearts)
Monthly board for the 40+ wild horses is $1000.
“Our” portion of the total hay bill is $2100 per month
So the total monthly bill “just for feed and board” is at $3100
The other $4000 being spent on hay is being generously donated by the amazing folks at WIN. She donates the $4000 every single month.
ALL of the wild ones need their hoofers done, and this will be approximately $750 for the use of the facility and the trims.
For shots and worming it will be approximately $50 per horse, which will be $2,000 +
Cowboy’s gelding and vet visit was $480 (This also included vaccines for Cicero)
We have another vet bill coming up for one of the slaughter orphans, Cicero, and he appears to be chryptorchid. (This is where one testicle is possibly up inside his abdomen and requires a much bigger surgery.) He had an appointment but they could not find his 2nd testicle. The estimated cost for this is between $ 280 up to around $800. We are praying it is closer to the $280
We just ordered Kerosene for the nursery. (The nursery is on it’s own private tank, solely for feeding the nursery heater.)
This was an expense of $428.38 However, without controlling the temperature and providing the necessary heat, the babies will die. This is a huge reason why often folks can rescue an orphan baby and then when they leave it in the barn overnight, doesn’t make it. These fragile babies can not regulate their body temperatures for some time. They need the temperature stable at all times or it can be deadly.
We also will be purchasing hay at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang in the next week or so, which will be about $620 for the load.
There are so many expenses that we don’t think about when we want to “save the horses from slaughter”. However, this is what we are looking at this coming month, and the expected expenses are at approximately $9,000 give or take, and this does not include the $4000 +/- costs to get the two horses to Colorado. We also had expenses somewhere close to $500 when we lost the mare and had to help end her suffering that are not included in the above figures. We are hoping that Cicero will drop, so that cost will be reduced. However, his behavior and the fact that there are females on the property make it necessary to get this done in a timely manner. We also have 2 additional colts in the mix who need to be rounded up and gelded. So again, there will be even more expenses.
The good thing is that the shots and hoofers are not a monthly expense, and we hope and pray that all these horses have their forever homes before we have to do this again. But after the shots and hoofers, the bare monthly minimum costs at this time are $3100 plus whatever expenses there are to re-home these horse kids when we find the right place for them.
I am working on the end of the year tax receipts for those wonderful donations you made in the year 2015. Unfortunately, Matt and I had agreed to transport wild and special needs kids to Texas, and due to the fact we had to load the whole sanctuary, the trip was delayed and so I am later than I would like to be with the end of year receipts. Thank you for your patience with this.
We have started gentling the two little girls so we can get them halter trained and placed. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE.
This is such a busy time as we clean out and prep the nursery and start to stock it up with much needed supplies. From what we are told the roundups in WA and OR are scheduled to start in March and that will bring more orphans, not to mention the wild kids in NV and the babies that will come this year from the wild ones we are caring for.
Our wish list for the babies is:
Yellow Goat Nipples
Plastic Gloves (for cleaning up)
Foal Lac Powder
Foal Lac Pellets
Mineral Oil (We usually go through multiple gallons)
ProBiotics (Equine specific)
Soft Grass Hay
Soft Cotton Lead Ropes
Antibiotic Creams for wounds
French Clay (by Walter Badet) – EVERY BARN SHOULD HAVE THIS
(Heals infections – even mountain lion attacks and rattle snake bites)
Corner black rubber water buckets
Round rubber feeders for grain and munchies for the babies.
You can go to Youcaring – https://www.youcaring.com/let-em-run-foundation-for-55-wild-horses-orphaned-foals-415297 to help us save these horses. Call 530 474-5197 if you are interested in visiting or adopting one of these beautiful horses.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign delivered nearly 9,000 letters to the National Park Service. Here is an excerpt from their press release:
Durango, CO (January 11, 2016) . . . On Friday, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign submitted official public comments to the Mesa Verde National Park urging protection of the historic population of wild horses there. AWHPC submitted letters from 8,982 citizens urging the Park to explore ways to protect and humanely manage this herd with its comments.
“The horses of Mesa Verde National Park are part of the area’s natural landscape and history. They have been present on those lands since before the park was created in 1906,” said Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC Programs Director, who submitted comments on behalf of the organization. “We urge the Mesa Verde National Park to create a humane management plan for the horses that will preserve this unique and historic herd and protect their free-roaming behaviors, while managing their numbers through the use of humane, safe, and reversible fertility control.”
“The National Park Service (NPS) has a dual mission to preserve unique resources and to provide for their enjoyment by the public,” she continued. “The horses are an important part of the visitor experience, as evidenced by the countless videos and photographs of these beautiful animals that are regularly shared online by park visitors.”
Joining AWHPC in urging protection of the Mesa Verde horses are thousands of Coloradans, including Durango resident Kate Feldman, a psychotherapist and horsewoman who states, “The Mesa Verde horses are an important natural and historic resource in our area. I and many other local citizens value this beautiful wild horse population and urge the National Park Service to protect these horses, not eradicate them.”
Return to Freedom, the American Wild Horse Preservation & Sanctuary and the Cloud Foundation have filed a lawsuit in the Idaho District Court challenging the BLM plan to permanently sterilize the entire herd of wild horses in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area charging that it violates the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 and the National Environmental Policy Act. This is an important action and needs support. Read the press release and find out how you can support them.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign has a new action alert for the Mesa Verde National Park wild horses.
In 2013, the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado announced its intent to rid the park of wild horses that have roamed the public lands there for more than a century. The plan was delayed after the public — including thousands of AWHPC supporters — weighed in against it. Now the park has revived its proposal to remove these beautiful horses, who are not protected by federal law. The Mesa Verde horses desperately need our help! Please weigh in again in favor of humane management and against eradication of this historic herd! Take action today and be sure to share with friends and family!
Thank you to all who have sent not only generous donations, but kind notes as well. I am thrilled to announce that last week’s ‘featured’ donkeys, Elmo, George, and Madeline, have been adopted and will be going together to a wonderful new home for the holidays! And thanks to your donations, our “Hay-O-Meter” continues to rise closer to our fundraising goal of $15,000.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Your donations are invaluable. The cost of running an animal rescue never ceases to amaze (and scare) me. This week, Shiloh had dental work done. He had lost a bit of weight and his chewing looked off to me, so I asked Dr Warner to come out to take a look at him. She filed (or “floated”) some sharp points she found on a few of his teeth, and now he is doing much better. Sweet William is still here, putting away the groceries. His health has been good, and I’m happy to report that he’s put on a great deal of needed weight, but it hasn’t been cheap to beef this boy up to where he needs to be.
We have animals on supplements and some on needed medications. The farrier comes out every eight weeks or so to make sure all our equines’ feet are in good shape (or at least better shape). Our animals do not leave for their new homes without a current Coggins certificate along with rabies and tetanus vaccinations.
And while it’s all FOR the animals, it’s not always the animals that are the expense. There are things like truck and trailer maintenance – our tractor is going to need a new clutch before too long – and fencing and sheds that need occasional repair. We needed several loads of sure pack gravel this year to patch up muddy areas and for footing in the run-in sheds.
Every penny donated to Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue goes to the care and feeding of the animals and upkeep of their “home.” We have one paid, part-time employee who does a lot of the physical work I am unable to now do. Everything else is done by myself or volunteers.
If you have not yet donated, please do what you can. Every donation helps to better the lives of the animals in our care.
Thank you – and best wishes for a happy holiday!
Ann, President & Shelter Manager
Congress has passed a tax extender bill called the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 that includes several provisions important to the horse industry and supported by the American Horse Council.
At the end of 2014, a number of favorable tax provisions for horse owners, breeders and businesses expired. In all, over sixty tax provisions expired; some applied to all businesses, including the horse industry, and one was specifically applicable to owners of race horses. All of the provisions extended are retroactive for all of 2015.
Importantly, the bill would reinstate 3-year-depreciation for all race horses for two more years. From 2009 through 2014, race horses could be depreciated over three years, regardless of when they were placed in service. This change, which eliminated the 7-year depreciation period for race horses and made all race horses eligible for three-year depreciation, expired at the end of 2014. The just passed extender bill would reinstate 3-year-depreciation for race horses placed in service after December 31, 2014 through 2016.
The bill would also increase the so-called Section 179 business expense deduction back to $500,000 and make this provision permanent. It is currently set at $25,000. This would allow anyone in the horse business to immediately depreciate up to $500,000 of the cost of any investment in business assets, including horses, purchased and placed in service. The deduction would be reduced dollar-for-dollar once investment in all one’s business activities hit $2 million.
The bill would restore bonus depreciation for qualifying new property, including assets used in the horse business, such as horses and other equipment, purchased and placed in service during 2015 through 2019. The bonus depreciation percentage is 50 percent for property placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017 and phases down to 40 percent in 2018, and 30 percent in 2019. The first use of the horse or equipment must begin with the taxpayer.
The extender bill would also restore and make permanent favorable tax treatment for land donated for conservation purposes, particularly land donated by farmers and ranchers.
The AHC supported the tax extender bill and originally achieved the 3-year-depreciation of race horses provision in the 2008 Farm Bill and supported its inclusion in subsequent tax extension bills, including this one.
Congress has passed an omnibus appropriations bill, which will fund the government through September 30, 2016, was passed by Congress. This bill is a package that includes all 12 of the FY 2016 appropriations bills, and will fund government agencies and programs until the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2016.
The omnibus bill contains several provisions that impact the horse industry, including reforms to the H-2B temporary guest worker program, the U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) FY 2016 appropriations bill, defunding of horse slaughter, and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
H-2B Temporary Worker Program
The bill includes several beneficial provisions relating to the H-2B temporary, non-agricultural worker program and would roll back some of the most onerous provisions of a 2015 H-2B rule. The AHC has been working to ensure these provisions were included in the omnibus bill. These provisions will make the H-2B program less burdensome for employers, including those in the horse industry to use. The bill will do the following:
- Exempt H-2B returning workers from the 66,000 annual cap;
- Require wages to be based on the job category and experience level required, rather than an artificially inflated median wage;
- Clearly define seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the 2015 H-2B rule;
- Prevent the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the provisions of the 2015 H-2B rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee of work days; and
- Prevent DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the 2015 H-2B rule related to audits and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment.
These provisions will make the H-2B program easier to use and were supported by the AHC.
FY 2015 USDA Appropriations
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Equine Health
The bill appropriates $898 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS is the USDA agency responsible for protecting the U.S. equine industry and responding to contagious equine disease outbreaks. Funding for Equine, Cervid, and Small Rumiant health is set at $19.5 million, the same as FY 2015.
The bill includes language that prohibits USDA from using any funds to provide inspectors at meat processing facilities that slaughter horses, continuing a block that begin in 2005, except for a brief period in 2012 and 2013
No horse slaughter facilities are operating in the U.S. and this bill would effectively prevent any such facility from opening until September 30, 2016.
The language was included in the omnibus bill because the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment that prohibited funding for inspectors at horse slaughter facilities when they debated and approved their respective version of the FY 2016 USDA appropriations bill. The Senate amendment was offered in committee by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and passed by a voice vote.
Horse Protection Act
The bill provides $697,000 for enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), the same as FY 2015. The HPA was enacted in 1970 to prevent the soring of horses, primarily Tennessee Walking Horses.
Because soring continues to be a problem in the “big lick” segment of the Walking Horse industry, the AHC has been working to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (PAST Act) (S.1121/ H.R.3268). The PAST act would strengthen the HPA and end this cruel practice.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund
The bill will also reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for three years with funding of $450 million for the coming FY 2016, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous level.
The program, which expired on October 1, 2015, provides funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water for recreation and the protection of natural resources. The LWCF program benefits recreational riders by providing increased recreational opportunities.
Wild Horses and Burros
The omnibus bill also includes a provision that would prohibit the Bureau of Land Management from euthanizing healthy wild horses in its care or from selling wild horses or burros that results in their being processed into commercial products.
The bill is expected to be signed by the President shortly.