Thursday, May 27, 2010

300+ Acres per Wild Horse and Burro is Not Enough Space says BLM?

From In Defense of Animals:
Act Today To Oppose Roundup Of 2,000 Horses And Burros In California
Earlier this week, a federal judge dismissed the our lawsuit, on a technicality, to stop the roundup and long-term holding of 2,000 horses from the Calico Mountain Complex in Nevada. We are more committed than ever to continue to fight this injustice against American wild horses and burros. Please stick with us through this long battle – we must continue to submit public comments against each and every roundup, and urge Congress to change the broken system that has for decades wrongly taken freedom and family away from innocent wild horses and burros.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently issued its formal proposal to roundup 2,000 wild horses and burros in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in California. The BLM says this nearly 800,000-acre area can only have 448-758 horses and 72-116 burros; the BLM plans to remove 1,855 wild horses and 210 burros. Thousands of you commented earlier this year, opposing this ill-conceived plan and we must again document our opposition. We must not give up until wild horses and burros are protected from these horrible roundups.

Wild Horses sent to Slaughter while Cattle Graze?

From Animals Australia:
Thousands of wild horses in Western Australia desperately need support today.

For decades wild horses have grazed peacefully around Lake Gregory in the Kimberley. Bred from two purebred Arab stallions taken to Balgo Mission in the 1950's, these beautiful part Arab horses were considered so unique and valuable that the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, chose 13 for his stables.

Now the 5,000 horses at Lake Gregory have been issued a death sentence by the WA Department of Regional Development and Land who say they are causing 'unacceptable environmental damage'. The lake that these horses graze around is over 100 Km in circumference, and the entire area the horses inhabit is a huge 400,000 hectares. The Department has no issue with the 5,000 cattle grazing on the same property remaining.

The indigenous groups that live around Lake Gregory have grown up with these horses and love them. Despite the Department being aware that the horses were increasing in numbers every year, they provided no assistance to indigenous groups to introduce humane population control. Now they have ordered that the horses be rounded up and transported 3000 Km to an abattoir in South Australia for slaughter; their meat to be exported for human consumption.

Local group Wild Horses Kimberley are calling on the government to allow them to geld the stallions and inject the mares with a fertility drug. Despite this, the WA government is proceeding with the plan to round up the horses for slaughter as early as next week.

Please urgently demand of Minister Brendan Grylls — the minister whose department is responsible for the proposed cull — that the horses not become the innocent victims of government mismanagement, and to instigate Wild Horses Kimberley’s humane alternative proposal.

Learn more

Monday, May 24, 2010

Judge Dismisses Suit Challenging Calico Roundup

wild horses

Update May 24, 2010: U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman has dismissed this case, entering summary judgment in favor or the BLM. A copy of the opinion is attached below.
The judge found the issues related to the legality of the round up of the Calico Mt. Complex wild horses are moot because the roundup has already occurred.

The judge explained that while he denied plaintiffs In Defense of Animals, Craig Downer and Terri Farley, a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the roundup before it occurred, they should have appealed that denial. Because they failed to appeal the denial of the motion for preliminary injunction at the time, Judge Friedman said he could not now hear their claims.

(There is an exception to the mootness doctrine for claims that are capable of repetition but evading review, meaning acts or omissions which could never be challenged in court because it would be moot by the time the court could reach a decision. That exception would have applied in this case. But, said the judge, for that exception to apply and for the court to be able to review the plaintiffs' claims, they would have had to appeal the denial of the motion for preliminary injunction.)

The judge also dismissed their remaining claims for lack of standing. The judge explained that plaintiffs were challenging the legality of warehousing wild horses in long term holding facilities including as Interior Secy. Ken Salazar has proposed, on "preserves" in the midwest or East. The judge acknowledged that when he denied the motion for preliminary injunction, he did state there was a likelihood of success on that claim. Wild horse enthusiasts, wildlife ecologists, advocates and many other citizens as well as the plaintiffs in the case, hoped the judge's words meant he intended to end the warehousing of wild horses in long term facilities and pave the way for them to remain free roaming on the range.
But now, said Judge Friedman, he does not believe the plaintiffs have standing to pursue that claim. He explained that plaintiffs did not show the injury they would suffer from the roundup of the wild horses was related to placement in long term holding facilities. He said they only established a causal connection between their suffering and the round up and removal of wild horses from the Calico Mt. Complex.
The judge then said they also lacked standing to pursue the claim added by the plaintiffs after denial of the motion for preliminary injunction under the National Environmental Policy Act, ("NEPA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321, et seq. They alleged the BLM had failed to consider the significant environmental impact of holding wild horses in long term holding facilities.

A "procedural injury" such as a NEPA claim was not sufficient to establish standing, said the judge, unless the plaintiff showed a causal connection between the NEPA violation and their injury. The judge found the plaintiffs had not established such a connection.
For more on this case, read Animal Law Coalition's report and update below and for more on the brutal roundup and removal of the Calico wild horses....

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 Not a Good Year for Horse Slaughter Proponents

May 17, 2010 

by Laura Allen

CHICAGO, (EWA) - Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition applaud the grass roots efforts in 2010 that have resulted in a series of political defeats for those who want to bring horse slaughter back to the United States.
Of course, commercial horse slaughter for human consumption remains illegal in the U.S. and no state law can change that. Nonetheless, proponents of the cruel practice have tried to use state legislatures to try to convince Americans to bring horse slaughter back to the U.S.
horsesIn Missouri, for example, a bill, H.B. 1747, introduced by state Rep. James Viebrock, purported to allow the state to register and license and even provide inspections for horse slaughter facilities. There was even talk of building a horse slaughter plant in a small town in the state. 
The bill raised a howl of opposition from horse advocates across the state and country, leading some of its sponsors to become irate to the point of returning opponents' emails unread or forwarding them en masse to one opponent. Some legislators even left harassing, intimidating messages on an opponent's voice mail. 
Although state Sen. Dan Clemons announced publicly that Viebrock's bill would progress no further, its provisions were quietly buried in another, unrelated bill, SB 795. A firestorm of public anger erupted when this underhanded tactic was discovered, and the provisions were removed.
EWA's John Holland and former Kaufman, Texas Mayor Paula Bacon testified against HB 4812 in Tennessee, a pro-horse slaughter bill. Mayor Bacon described the economic and environmental devastation a horse slaughter facility caused to her town. Holland told legislators about the declining demand for horsemeat and stepped up enforcement of EU regulations and new restrictions that will likely mean fewer and fewer American horses will be eligible for slaughter. Add to that the dangers of American horsemeat from the toxic drugs given to horses here as established in a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, and, said Holland, "it would make no sense and, in fact, would be irresponsible for legislators to promote horse slaughter with this bill".  The bill was then sent for "summer study", essentially withdrawing it for the session.
Also this year, an investigation revealing the cruelty of horse slaughter horrified European consumers and caused the second largest grocer in Belgium and Holland to remove American horse meat from its shelves and a major distributor to assure customers it will only sell European horse meat.
The Carry the Kettle first nation tribe in Canada declined an offer of economic assistance to reopen the Natural Valley Farms slaughter plant in Saskatchewan. The plant had been closed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after it was discovered dumping blood into the local river and leaving waste in shallow pits.
In Illinois, a bill aimed at repealing the state's 2007 ban on slaughter was withdrawn by its sponsor when it failed to muster support.
Florida's legislature unanimously passed legislation toughening laws against those who butcher horses, or sell or purchase horse meat. The legislation was signed into law Friday by Governor Charlie Crist.
The people of Hardin, Montana said no to a proposed horse slaughter plant in their city and even amended city ordinances to prohibit the slaughter of more than ten animals in a seven day period.
Even Jim Schwartz, director of the Wyoming Livestock Board was puzzled by a law sponsored by state Rep. Sue Wallis, that made "send to slaughter" an option for horses in the custody of the Board.  "Send to slaughter is not an option in my opinion," said Schwartz. We agree.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Lakota people of Pine Ridge South Dakota continue their struggle to protect their Sacred Horses from the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council and the Parks and Recreation Department

Statement by David Swallow, Jr., Wowitan Yuha Mani
Teton Lakota Spiritual Leader, Sun dance Chief of the Medicine Wheel Sun dance, and a Headman of the Lakota Nation Band of Wana Way Gu (Broken Bow)
*For Immediate Release
Statement Date; May 8th 2010
Transcribed To and edited by Keith Rabin  
Hau, Mitakuyapi Na Mita Kola.
Mitakuyapi Sunka Wakan Oyate
Lakota Nation, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

The Lakota people of Pine Ridge South Dakota continue their struggle to protect their
Sacred Horses from the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council and the Parks and Recreation Department.

Since June 2009, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council and the Parks and Recreation (OSTPR) have been removing horses owned by the Lakota People of Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota without permission, without notice and without any warrant issued or receipt. Despite repeated efforts, continued obstacles have made it impossible for the Lakota People to get their horses back. 
The horses were to be delivered to the St. Onge Livestock Company LTD by the OSTPR to be auctioned off on Sunday, 5/9/10 as loose horses.

In A statement from Elder and Spiritual leader David Swallow, on May 7, 2010, based on the grounds of trespassing on private property, a temporary injunction was granted by the Tribal Court to stop the "Oglala Sioux Tribe “Parks and Recreation Department” from auctioning off these horses on 5/9/10 [Mothers Day]. (Further details regarding the injunction to follow early next week).  

The " Mitakuyapi Sunka Wakan Oyate " is working to establish a designated fund where supporters will be able to donate funds to help return these Sacred horses to the safety and care of The People. Supporters are encouraged not to send any money at this time.
Please watch for updates as to how to help.
Mitakuyapi Sunka Wakan Oyate (Relatives of the Sacred Horses)
Lakota Nation, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota

Our Horses are sacred to us and they are our relatives. 
We are family and we
take care of each other and help each other in times of need. 
That is the
Lakota way.

Media contact and liaison for Dave Swallow: Keith Rabin
General information: Atashnaa Werner

Friday, May 7, 2010

MO Pro Slaughter Bill Still Alive!!

By Laura Allen
Animal Law Coalition
Update May 7, 2010:  The pro-horse slaughter provisions from Missouri H.B. 1747, that were sneakily buried in S.B. 795, an unrelated bill, were NOT withdrawn or removed by amendment from S.B. 795 on May 5 as previously reported.

At least 1 anti-slaughter lobbyist at the Capitol that day was given to understand the pro-slaughter provisions had been removed prior to the House vote on the bill. That was not true.  Also, last week state Sen. Dan Clemens said there would be no further legislative progress on H.B. 1747, the pro-horse slaughter bill, leading citizens to believe the bill was dead for this session. In the meantime, the pro-horse slaughter provisions were simply quietly buried in S.B. 795.

The Missouri House of Representatives debated the House Committee Substitute version of S.B. 795 this past week amidst a strong public outcry against the horse slaughter provisions buried in the bill. The pro-slaughter provisions were originally in H.B. 1747 introduced by state  Rep. James Viebrock. For more on this and how these provisions came to be buried in S.B. 795, read Animal Law Coalition's reports below.
S.B. 795 is currently in a conference committee because the Senate has refused to concur in the House Committee Substitute which passed the House with amendments, including the pro-horse slaughter provisions. If you live in Missouri, find your state senator here and urge them to reject the pro-horse slaughter provisions from H.B. 1747 that are buried in S.B. 795.   Find Missouri Senate leaders here (just click on their names) and a list of all Missouri state senators here.
Contact Missouri's Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon. Here is more contact info for the governor:

Office of Governor Jay Nixon
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-3222

Tell them horse slaughter is cruel and inhumane and has no place in American culture!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Attack on the Innocence of the Sacred Horses of the First Nations People

WFLF Saving America's Horses stands together with the people of the First Nations.  A Nation Betrayed is a nation of horses and a nation of all people. The root of this situation reaches deep into the hearts of all those who respect and appreciate the horse and our planet Earth.

The below statement describes the situation as of May 3, 2010 by Elder David Swallow Wowitan Yuha Mani, Porcupine, South Dakota - The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Statement by David Swallow, Jr., Wowitan Yuha Mani
Teton Lakota Spiritual Leader, Sun dance Chief of the Medicine Wheel Sun dance, and a Headman of the Lakota Nation Band of Wana Way Gu (Broken Bow)

Statement Date; May 3rd 2010
Transcribed To and edited by Keith Rabin and Allison Gutirrez-Bundy
Hau, Mitakuyepi na Mita Kola.  [ Hello.  Greetings my relatives and my friends. ]

My name is Dave Swallow Jr.  My Lakota name is Wowitan Uha Mani, Walks With Pride.  I'm a Lakota. I live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation [South Dakota].  I was born and raised there.  Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is The United States Prisoner of War Camp Number 344.  That's where I was born and raised.
We are the People of the  Lakota, Nakota and Dakota People. We have adopted the Sacred Horse, [ Sunka Wakan ] into our nation and into our families. It is part of who we are. It is hard in our ways to remember our lives with out our Horses. They are part of our family. We give them names and honor them. They take part in our ceremonies. They are part of our lives, not only for transportation but also the Sunka Wakan help heal our minds, bodies and spirits. 

Sunka is the Lakota word for "dog". Before the horse, Sunka helped us with our transportation. They also are our family members. When Sunka Wakan, the "Sacred Horse" came, it became a blessing a gift from our Creator to be forever in our lives.

Today, our grandchildren and children still need the Sunka Wakan for our healings of body, mind and spirit. Some of  the grandparents and parents save their money for months just to buy a colt, a Sunka Wakan for their children and grandchildren. This keeps our children and grandchildren away from alcohol, drugs and gang activities. This why we need our Sunka Wanka is part of our families.

But today, in 2010, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council at the Pine Ridge Agency created their own laws against the People of the Reservations and one of these new laws is against our Sacred Horse [ Sunka Wakan ].  Two Councilmen from the Porcupine District of the Pine Ridge have spear headed this law. The whole Tribal Council supports it. Without asking the People on the Pine Ridge Reservation to whom they are to represent, they created new Park Ranger positions on the Reservation to confiscate the People's horses, impound the Sacred Horses of the People and then charge the owners an outrageous amount of money to get their horses back. It seems they have no intent to return the Horses to the People.

Every other foreign nation conquered by the United States has received huge efforts towards rehabilitation and rebuilding.  Yet, while the U.S. cries about 20% unemployment, we have 80% unemployment.  We remain isolated and have living conditions which are as bad as or worse than any “third world country.”  Our life expectancy is only 48 years old for men and 52 years old for women. 

On March 2, 1889, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America established the Reservations. They said we are to live here on the Reservations, hunt and fish without any permits and the Reservations were established as "Open Range" without any fences.
It seems to the " The People" [ The Lakota Oyate ] that the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has forgotten these rules set by the Senate of the United States of America and has taken upon itself some goal of not only hurting the Horse itself but the People and the families of the Lakota People .

This is a Reservation. We are NOT living in a park or a National park. It is the land of the People. We already have the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Police, the Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) Public Safety Law Enforcement,  the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshals watching over us. I believe we Lakota Oyate have enough jurisdiction watching over us . Now come the Oglala Sioux Park Rangers, confiscating our Sacred Horses and arresting us if we don't cooperate. The Oglala Sioux Park Rangers are selling our horses to local ranchers (who then sell them to slaughter houses for slaughter) or the OST Rangers sell our horses directly to slaughter houses. THIS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED AND RETURN OUR Sacred Horses returned back to the People.
We are the People of the Sacred Horse. It is as much to our lives as your cars and trucks are to yours.

We have a treaty council, a council of elders, all kinds of councils but none of them are effective.  The government and state have kept us hungry and distracted with their projects which accomplish very little. 

But they need to know.  If we are to survive, people need to understand.  When we’re talking about the Black Hills, it’s not just the land that was lost but our way of life.  It’s not just money.  Money is the least important thing.  We have lost our way of life.

When we talk about the Sacred Horses, It is not about only Horses it is about everything. 

Ho he’cetu yelo, I have spoken these words.

David Swallow, Wowitan Yuha Mani
Porcupine, South Dakota - The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MO House Rejects Horse Slaughter

May 5, 2010
By Laura Allen
Animal Law Coalition

The pro-horse slaughter provisions from Missouri H.B. 1747, that were sneakily buried in S.B. 795, an unrelated bill, have now been withdrawn from S.B. 795.

The Missouri House of Representatives began debating S.B. 795 yesterday with the pro-horse slaughter provisions in the House Committee Substitute version and continued today to consider a number of amendments. The bill finally passed but without the horse slaughter provisions. The public outcry against the horse slaughter provisions was so intense legislators including the sponsor of the original pro horse slaughter bill, Rep. James Viebrock, decided not to include them in S.B. 795. Legislators received hundreds of letters, faxes and calls just since the weekend when it was discovered the provisions of H.B. 1747 had been buried in S.B. 795.

This means currently there is no bill with a hope of passing in the few remaining days of the Missouri 2010 legislative session that contains the pro-horse slaughter provisions.

Leslie Maxwell, a Missouri attorney who helped lead the fight to stop the horse slaughter bill first as H.B. 1747 and then when it was attached to S.B. 795, said, "H.B. 1747 passed the House the first time because no one really knew about it. Now these same provisions in a different bill, S.B. 795, were stopped because of the incredible public outcry from all over the country and the world."
To read this article in it's entirety, follow this link:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

MO buried the provisions of H.B. 1747 in another, unrelated bill, S.B. 795

Rep. Viebrock has buried the provisions of H.B. 1747 in another, unrelated bill, S.B. 795 which was approved this week by a committee and is now scheduled for a vote in the House, maybe as early as Monday, May 3, 2010. Will the pro-slaughter proponents get away with this? Write and call MO state representatives now and stop this bill, the House Committee Substitute, S.B. 795.