Lessons for the BLM

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May 31, 2013

images-3Strange as it may seem, an outfit named World Horse Welfare pulled together a number of other groups in Scotland and tackled a herd of wild horses horses without using helicopters, armed guards, shock sticks or any of the usual BLM methods. In fact, they rounded them up on foot and horseback. 

Separated by sex, they gelded the stallions, trimmed the hooves and picked a hundred or so to train. You really need to see this video. Or maybe you shouldn’t. After all, our very own BLM should know best how to handle wild horses, right?

Watch the video and be inspired.

Ian Stark’s Rescued Horses Thriving in New Job by Horsetalk.co.nz – “The horses and ponies which had naturally separated in different herd groups were rounded up in just two days by eight World Horse Welfare staff who were on foot, 14 Royal Marines, as well as six HorseBack UK representatives who were riding their own horses.”

That’s the positive section for today. On the other side of the news, let me lead you to a story posted in the Star about the system in Canada that prevents drugged horsemeat from entering the food system. Read this, but come back – there’s more.

Star investigation: Drugged horses slipping through ‘inadequate’ food system

The horse “passport” Canada relies on to keep toxic meat off dinner tables around the world is open to fraud and error, a Star investigation has found, confirming the findings of an international audit.
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Yesterday there were two comments posted in the Star regarding that story: one is from a vegetarian that said she didn’t need to worry about it, and the second, that one that really jerked me, was by Dr. Richard Arsenault, Executive Director, Agrifood, Meat and Seafood Safety Directorate, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Dr, Arsenault says:

This article alleges that Canada’s food safety system is “inadequate” to protect consumers from horsemeat contaminated with prohibited veterinary drugs such as phenylbutazone (“bute”) or nitrofurazone.

Protecting the health and safety of consumers is the top priority of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and there are multiple safeguards in place to verify that horsemeat is safe to eat.

CFIA veterinarians and inspectors conduct daily inspections in horse slaughter plants aimed to identify any animal that, based on its appearance and history, may have been treated with prohibited drugs. (For example, racehorses and horses showing signs of arthritis may have been treated with phenylbutazone.) The meat from these animals may be held from the marketplace until testing is performed and no drug residues are found.

In addition to this targeted testing, the CFIA also has a monitoring program to randomly test meat for the presence of veterinary drug residues and other contaminants.

Since 2002, the CFIA has been regularly testing horsemeat for veterinary drugs such as phenylbutazone and nitrofurazone. Results show an extremely high compliance rate.

Furthermore, the vast majority of horsemeat produced in Canada is exported and subjected to testing in other countries. This testing also confirms high levels of compliance with food safety requirements.

Finally, the CFIA is continuing to work with the equine industry to ensure they understand federal requirements. The majority of the equine industry is committed to meeting these requirements and co-operating with the CFIA to address any food safety concerns.

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Sometimes you just look at statements like that in total disbelief. This is a prime example of those who supposedly have the intelligence, education and authority to protect and serve the public, but instead use their position to mislead, cover up and flat out lie. Based on his statement, not one of the thousands upon thousands of racehorses from American tracks have shown any sign of being drugged. He is the authority, so it must be true, right?

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Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of this morning, we have 162 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate 

 

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
8 Comments
  • Arlene

    Make it MANDATORY for EVERY BLM employee to watch this video , and also send All of the Blm to them for training……………

    May 31, 2013
  • shirley mix

    The BLM does not care. No body in Government has sense enough to care and do anything.

    May 31, 2013
  • Daryl

    I watched the video, I was so susprised how easy they were to handle, treated nicely, taken from the wild and made in to riding horses with young people training them. BLM is sure behind these kids even, they were rounded up by poeple on foot and horse back, so as to not scare them or to hurt them. It was nice to see these horses rounded up with out a bunch of them being so hurt or end up dead or mares losing foals.

    May 31, 2013
  • The BLM needs to stop ALL roundups no matter how they’re done IMO.

    May 31, 2013
  • Lisa L.

    So, Mr. Stark’s video seems to suggest that horsemen and women might have an advantage over stockmen when it comes to peaceful removals, folks whose equine expertise gives them a leg up on the standard ‘stockman’ running American roundups.
    I remember seeing a video where a contractor was attempting to get a captured wild mare to move forward by waving a plastic bag attached to a whip – IN THE MARE’S FACE. When the terrified mare couldn’t understand the contractor, when the contractor finally lost patience, the contractor felt obligated to motivate the mare with a hot-shot…
    BLM contractors are paid a ‘per head’ bounty (dead or alive?), as I understand it, and when the gravy provided is as rich as the BLM’s, there is really no incentive to treat these animals decently. Horses are a forgiving species, intelligent and willing to entertain whatever the ‘next thing’ might be, but a brutal removal and rough treatment after not only tests the animal but makes a difficult future for a potential human partner.
    I’m still not convinced that wild equine roundups are necessary, based on BLM population ‘estimates’ and range studies that always seem to vilify wild horses and burros, while ignoring larger issues. But for all the millions in dollars earmarked for removing them, you’d think one or two contractors might have an eye on the actual welfare of those animals – and not simply the pay check.
    A song from my kid-hood plays an endless loop as it regards contractor roundups:
    “Don’t try to understand them
    Just herd, rope and brand them…”

    May 31, 2013
  • Linda Jackson

    I forwarded this post to the BLM @:
    dbolstad@blm.gov
    nkornze@blm.gov
    jconnell@blm.gov.

    The personal remark I included was to the effect: On 5-24-13 the WEAR TV news reported that a man has been charged with killing a (one) woodpecker on his property with a pellet gun. A phone call to the FWC brought this to the attention of an agency that protects animals and the man claimed ignorance of the endangered species act. Are you ignoring the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and other laws that protect our equines from cruelty?

    Anyone else want to have a go at it?

    May 31, 2013
  • Wendy Scott

    Don’t you know that the American round-ups are the only pleace where pseudo cowboys can practice their macho-ness. Shame on everyone for not realizing this!!!!

    June 1, 2013