Equine Welfare News

  • Rescuing horses takes hard work and tears

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    Excerpted from an article by Canan Tasci in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

    CHINO HILLS – It’s really tough for Susan Peirce to talk about the horses at her ranch without crying at least once, maybe twice.

    The founder of Red Bucket Equine Ranch and its 400 volunteers are on a mission to save and rehabilitate horses who have been abused, neglected or malnourished.

    The nonprofit was founded in January 2009 by Peirce.

    To date, Red Bucket has rescued 109 horses and found permanent homes for 48.

    “We’ve taken horses that are shattered; they don’t even expect to be fed, let alone us being kind to them,” said Peirce, who has rescued horses from breeding scandals, euthanasia or even being fed to mountain lions.

    “We believe in the intimacy of the horse. When a horse comes to us, they have nothing of their own, so when they come here they get a red bucket and they get a name,” Peirce said.

    Once the horse gets a bucket with its name on it, it also gets a goal and a training plan to prepare it for adoption.

    Every horse’s first goal is to whinny.

    Once they’ve done that, Peirce said, is when she and her volunteers know they’re getting somewhere with the rehabilitation.

    Read the rest of the article here.

  • Hearts & Horses Friends Cliff Uber and Bud Win Big at PATH Intl

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    Cliff with Ms. Molly at the PATH Intl Awards

    Cliff Uber has been recognized as the 2012 PATH Intl. Independent Adult Equestrian award winner!  He will be honored as a special guest at the PATH Intl. Awards Banquet held at the 2012 PATH Intl. Conference & Annual Meeting on November 2, 2012 in Bellevue, WA.  Thanks to Purina Mills for providing travel schloarships for the equestrian award winners.  As the Independent Adult Equestrian National Award Winner he receives scholarship reimbursement funds of up to $1500.

    You may recognize Cliff from his appearance on the “Walk On, Part 1″ episode of Those Magnificent Mules, and we are extremely proud of his success!

    Bud (Sir Rocko) has earned the PATH Intl. Horse of the Year for Region 10 and will also be honored at the awards banquet.  As a regional winner, he is a finalist for the 2012 PATH Intl. National Horse of the Year Award, which will be announced and celebrated at the awards banquet.  Bud has been with Hearts & Horses since 2005 and is a most deserved recipient of this award!

  • Equine Therapy Park set up in Golconda, India

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    The therapeutic riding center is the fourth of its kind in India. Excerpted from an article in The Hindu.

    A physically and emotionally-challenged child enjoys a horse ride at Equine Therapy Park set up at Artillery Centre, Golconda, on Wednesday. Photo: M. Subhash, The Hindu

     

    A few children were curious, a few others apprehensive. Some sat secure, and some were cautious. One or two waved and upped their thumbs at friends sitting in the gallery, while many others just enjoyed sitting on the horseback, perhaps for the first time in their life.

    Coming out of the classroom proved to be a greater learning experience for many of the children with special needs at the Asha School, Artillery Centre, Golconda, where the city’s first ever Equine Therapy Park was launched on Wednesday.

    Inaugurated by the Deputy Director, Family Welfare Organisation, Artillery Centre, Archana Sharma, the park has two trained horses to carry the children, along with two handlers. Each child was assisted over a podium onto the horseback, and allowed to take in the fun of equine saunter around the field, stopping occasionally to play a game of ball or to pluck leaves from tree-branches, as per the directions by the coaches.

    Read the rest of the story here.

  • Activists say horse-slaughter plants face a rough ride

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    Excerpted from an article by Oren Dorell in USA Today.

    Now that Congress has lifted the ban on slaughtering horses, companies plan to open horse-slaughter plants in several states, but animal rights activists say they face a rough ride.

    Businesses have filed applications in New Mexico and Missouri and plan to open other facilities in Wyoming and Oklahoma. Horse-slaughter advocates want to produce jobs and lean meat that some consider a healthy delicacy for dinner tables in the USA and abroad. Animal rights groups promise legal obstacles and public protest to using as food animals that helped settle the West.

    Continue to the rest of the article here.

  • Call to Action: Help Stop This Barbaric Donkey Roping Event!

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    Reader Camilla alerted us to this post rallying equine lovers against an upcoming donkey roping event at the Van Horn Frontier Days festival in Van Horn, Texas. Part of the post is excerpted below.

    Donkey roping is a cruel and abusive practice that includes two cowboys chasing a donkey and roping the neck and hind feet for a score and prize money.

    Donkeys do not handle this kind of abuse well at all, especially when it is repeated over and over and over again. Unlike calves, who are never roped more than a few times because they are too valuable to damage, donkeys in Texas have no monetary value. Because of this, these donkeys are roped over and over again until they either shut down completely from terror and trauma or are too maimed to continue.

    Meredith says: “I have been promoting and training mules and donkeys for more than 36 years, and I can tell you without reservation that this IS animal abuse. These donkeys you are using for your sport in this capacity will be ruined for any normal recreational purpose in the future by anyone else and will result in their demise.”

    Please take a moment to contact the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce (one of the supporters) and ask them to put a stop to this. Their contact info is:

    P.O. Box 762
    Van Horn, Texas 79855
    (432) 283-2043, Monday – Friday
    9:00 am to 3:00 pm
    patriciagolden@vanhorntexas.org

    Visit the original post for more information.

    June 22, 2012 UPDATE

    The following text was added to this petition protesting the event and was sent to us by organizer Diana.

    Jason Owen told Newswest9 in his interview that he “bought them off a slaughter truck and they were “skin and bones” Assuming that this was even true, why would anyone waste their time slaughtering skinny donkeys? If you are going to harvest something for its meat, wouldn’t you want them fat and happy?

    Here are all facts according to the Presidio USDA inspector who is a friend of Mark Meyers of PVDR:

    “Slaughter is off the table. From Van Horn the only crossing into Mexico is through Presidio. Slaughter bound trucks never carry donkeys. The only donkeys that have crossed for slaughter were picked up close to the border and transported to a village where they were slaughtered for local consumption as cheap meat. “

    Please help in politely convincing Jason to give the donkeys to PVDR.

    Also I was informed this morning that there are a number of people going to Van Horn tomorrow. I need to stress that there should be no confrontations started by the petition supporters. Please observe and report, take photos and video. Be professional. Stay on target!

    If you see donkeys being roped or abused in any manner call the Sheriff’s Office at 432-283-2060.

    I have notified the reporter that did the story on Newswest9 that some supporters are going so they may send a crew.

  • Europe closer to ending long-haul horse abuse

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    Excerpted from an article on Horsetalk.co.nz.

    The European Commission now agrees that EU legislation on long-distance transport of animals to slaughter needs to be reviewed.

    Late last week, the EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, agreed with welfare groups that the present Transport Regulation cannot adequately protect animals on long journeys and must be reviewed.

    The charity World Horse Welfare said the statement constituted an important change in the position of the Commission, which until now had maintained that enforcement of the present rules would address serious welfare problems still experienced by tens of millions of animals, including 65,000 horses, transported on European roads for slaughter or further fattening every year.

    Read more on this development here.

  • Feds Round Up Wild Horses, Now Recognize Costs

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    After ridding Western lands of thousands of wild mustangs at the request of corporate interests, the Bureau of Land Management now is worried about the price of its programs. Excerpted from an article by Andrew Cohen for The Atlantic.

    It surely cannot be easy these days being Joan Guilfoyle, the (relatively) new director of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. On the one hand she works for a federal agency, the Interior Department, which is largely beholden to the powerful industries it is supposed to regulate. And on the other hand, she is responsible, under federal law and policy, for ensuring the survival and management of the nation’s wild horses at a time when relentless political and economic forces threaten to decimate the herds.

    “It’s tricky, and it’s hard,” Guilfoyle said last fall in an interview shortly after she assumed her post. “There are a lot of emotions around it, a lot of different opinions.” Indeed, there are. The ranchers and farmers and miners and oilmen see the wild horses as feral pests that should be gone from public and private land. Wild horse advocates see the herds as victims of faulty science, special interests, and spineless federal and state officials. There is, they say, plenty of public land out West where the horses could freely, and safely, roam.

    Read the rest of this story here.

  • BLM to study Pickens’ wild horse plan

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    Excerpted from an article by Scott Sonner for the Associated Press.

    RENO — Federal land managers agreed Thursday to spend the next two years studying a proposal by the wife of oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens to establish an eco-sanctuary for nearly 1,000 wild horses across more than 900 square miles of Nevada.

    The Bureau of Land Management will conduct a formal environmental assessment of proposal offered by Madeleine Pickens and her non-profit group, Saving America’s Mustangs, as a way to minimize the need to round up excess animals on the public range, BLM Director Bob Abbey said.

    The agency also will analyze potential economic and social effects of the reserve that would stretch across more than 580,000 acres of mostly public and some private property Pickens recently bought south of U.S. Interstate 80 between Wells and the Utah line.

    Under the proposal, Saving America’s Mustangs would improve and maintain fencing and water wells and oversee management of the eco-sanctuary horses, which would remain under federal ownership.

    Click Here To Read The Full Article

  • Arizona woman’s hobby may hold key to saving wild horses

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    Excerpted from an article by Derry London for WLTX. Video originally posted on KPNX.

    Phoenix, AZ — One woman’s hobby of capturing pictures of wild horses may be the key to saving their lives.

    The U.S. Forest Service and others have struggled for years to decide how to deal with wild horses inside Tonto National Forest because of worries that they were eating too much of the fragile grasses. But with money and manpower stretched, rangers here never had even attempted to catalog the herd.

    More than a year ago, a friend brought Becky Standridge to the area.

    “I’d heard about these wild horses for several years, but I’d never seen them,” she said.

    For the laid-off Intel worker, it was love at first sight. Standridge brought her camera and began amassing a vast album of the herd.

    “I identify their color, their blaze, their socks. All the characteristics. Who’s who. What’s going on,” she said. “The horses are all very special. Their family bonds are very strong. Their freedom is extremely important to them.”

    Click here to read more

  • Dr. Temple Grandin, team will design horse slaughter plant in Missouri

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    Excerpted from an article by Linda Russell for KY3 News

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A woman known around the globe for her work in autism and animal behavior will design the horse slaughter plant planned for the Ozarks.  Dr. Temple Grandin spoke to students at the College of the Ozarks on Wednesday night.  She spoke with KY3 News while she was in the area.

    Many people got to know Grandin through the HBO movie that told the story of her accomplishments while living with autism.  Grandin is known for understanding animals, and she’s designed livestock handling facilities that are meant to reduce stress and fear for the animals.

    Click here to read more

  • TAKE2 offers racehorses a second chance

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    Excerpted from an article by Bob Ehalt on ESPN.com

    Much of the focus lately at New York racetracks has involved the health and well-being of the horses that sustain the sport.

    Yet for all of the attention centered on what’s been happening five racing days a week at Aqueduct, there’s also concern about the future of the industry’s equine athletes, something that can arrive rather quickly for a horse that might peak at the rather youthful age of three or four.

    Options for a retired racehorse are limited, but the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the New York Racing Association and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., are hoping that the up and down world of show jumping can expand them.

    Together they formed and funded TAKE2, a jobs program of sorts for Thoroughbreds, which intends to open doors so that racehorses can become show jumpers once their days of springing from a starting gate come to an end.

    Read more about this story here.

  • Texas suspends burro-killing policy in state park

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    Excerpted from an article by the Associated Press.

    LUBBOCK — The Texas wildlife agency said Tuesday it is suspending a policy that allows the killing of burros in a state park along the Mexican border after the Humane Society of the United States offered to devise a nonlethal plan to remove the destructive animals.

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will contribute up to $10,000 toward a humane society aerial survey of the wild donkeys at Big Bend Ranch State Park this spring to establish baseline data, agency executive director Carter Smith said.

    “We believe this could be valuable information to assess the problem with burros around the park,” Smith said. “We still have a long way to go to see if a viable, long-term plan can be developed.”

    Officials estimate that only about 300 burros live in the 316,000-acre park on the Texas side of the Rio Grande, he said. Park rangers have killed 130 there since 2007, although not during the peak October-to-April tourist season.

    “We are happy to work with the department and are pleased that they have halted lethal control of the burros while discussions are under way,” Texas humane society director Nicole Paquette said.

    Read the rest of the story here.

  • HBO Cancels “Luck” After Third Horse Death

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    Excerpted from “Critic’s Notebook: Romantic intentions meet ‘Luck’s’ reality” by Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times.

    “Luck” did not happen to feature horses the way shows such as “Game of Thrones” does or “Bonanza” did, as nameless means of war or transportation, seen mostly in thundering aggregate, just another tool, like a sword or a shotgun. In scene after scene, “Luck’s” cameras wallowed in horseflesh, capturing the sweetness and magnificence, the sudden horror of an accident, the satisfaction of a job well done. “Luck’s” horses were more character than prop. Which made their destruction, accidental or not, typical of the racetrack or not, an insurmountable contradiction.

    Read the full story here.

  • They Kill Horses, Don’t They?

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    Excerpted from an essay about the personal choices facing a family after a drought threatens their livestock resources. By Darcy Courteau for The Atlantic.

    I’ve attended livestock auctions with my father since I was a kid. We’d load a couple of horses, donkeys, or mules into a trailer, jury-rig its brake lights, and drive from our northwest-Arkansas farm to Missouri or Oklahoma, or somewhere farther south. At the sale barn, buyers and sellers walked among the stalls: mule skinners, old-timers, girls with project ponies, a trader bitterly lamenting a horse’s flaws—he would bid on it later—and groups of Amish men who fell silent as we passed. Dad always asked around about which men there bought stock for slaughter, and when he rode one of our horses through the auction ring, he announced that he would not sell it to a “kill buyer.”…

    Read the rest of the story here.

  • A Home For Every Horse

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    Industry-wide campaign launched to help “unwanted” horses

    “A Home For Every Horse” on Equine.com is part of an industry-wide effort to reduce the number of homeless horses in America. The program, which seeks to place, foster, and sponsor America’s 170,000 unwanted horses is fueled by donations from sponsors like the Equine Network, Purina Mills, TSC (Tractor Supply Co.), and the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition.

    Efforts began last month to solicit and post free listings for horses available for placement through nonprofit rescue organizations on Equine.com. Bolstered by its sponsorships, The Equine Network will leverage its connection with more than 1.5 million horse owners each month to promote “A Home For Every Horse” in its online and print outlets.

    “Together… we can work with the Unwanted Horse Coalition to improve the lives of America’s unwanted horses and reduce the overall homeless horse population,” said Tom Winsor, Equine Network general manager.

    Visit “A Home for Every Horse” online.

    TAKE ACTION

  • Flying Donkeys Set to Arrive at LAX

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    Kona Nightingales given a new life on the Mainland by the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue

    Upwards of 100 wild donkeys from Hawaii’s Big Island are scheduled to fly into LAX on September 17th, 2011 at approximately 12:30am. These donkeys were captured as part of a population control project organized by the Humane Society of the United States. As there are few available homes for the donkeys in Hawaii, they are being brought to the mainland to the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) , our nation’s largest donkey rescue with facilities all across the country.

    Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue was established as a non-profit organization in the year 2000 in Acton, CA by founders Mark and Amy Meyers. The Meyers, along with their staff, have since rescued thousands of donkeys from abuse, neglect, abandonment in 27 states as well as captured hundreds of wild burros throughout the Western States that were under threat of destruction.

    The Meyers will fly to Kona Airport just prior to September 16th departure to take charge of the loading of the donkeys. Pacific Airlift will be transporting the donkeys aboard a specially modified cargo plane that was designed to transport cattle and horses. The plane will be met in Los Angeles by Peaceful Valley’s transport teams and taken to PVDR’s 140 acre California Facility in the Tehachapi Mountains near Bakersfield, CA.

    Donkeys were taken to the Hawaiian Islands in the early 1800’s to help in the farming of sugar and coffee. As the processes became more mechanized, the donkeys were released onto lava flows where they thrived and multiplied. Residential and commercial developments have come into direct conflict with the donkeys.

    The Hawaiian word for donkey is: KEKAKE.

    These donkeys will be made available for adoption at a special Adoption Fair held during PVDR’s Open House: DONKEY TOWN 2011 on October 29, 2011. Information regarding the open house, adoption policy, where to donate, and other ways you can help can be found on the Hawaiian Donkey Rescue project page or the PVDR homepage.

    TAKE ACTION

  • Donkey Roping – Excerpt of Meredith’s Letter

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    Donkey roping – a barbaric use of donkeys for practicing roping skills – has been reported in many states and detailed in an article about a roping event in Mineral Wells, Texas in 2009.  Meredith sent this response to the editor of the newspaper.

    I have been promoting and training mules and donkeys for more than 36 years, and I can tell you without reservation that this IS animal abuse. These donkeys you are using for your sport in this capacity will be ruined for any normal recreational purpose in the future by anyone else and will result in their demise. I opted publicly on the side of using the donkey to train for roping when there were complaints lodged against the TV show on RFD-TV because I noted the donkey was only used to train a beginner and was not actually roped. The loop was thrown under his back legs and the they allowed the donkey to walk through it, but the beginner could see it would have been a catch. Actual roping of donkeys is appalling and abusive, especially in an event of this magnitude! There are precautions taken when roping cattle that make it more humane (such as horn wraps), but there is no way to protect the donkeys, who should NOT even be involved in this sport because of their inherent nature to be loving and affectionate toward humans. Isn’t it clear to you from their behavior? It is clear to me that you are lacking good judgment, and I will do everything in my power to see that those who continue to abuse donkeys in this way are prosecuted for animal abuse to the fullest extent of the law!

    If you hear of donkey roping activities in your area, let us know and let’s stop this abusive practice NOW.

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