Over 1300 wild horses have been removed from the Calico Complex in Nevada to date. After having been herded by helicopter for miles over snowy and rocky terrain, foals, older horses and pregnant mares are suffering the brunt of this cruelty.
At least 20 pregnant mares aborted their fetuses, an occurance that happens when mares are placed under extremely stressful conditions. Foals, orphaned from their mothers, stand alone in holding pens without even the comfort of a windbreak to shield them from the harsh winter weather. One foal collapsed and died after the chase, while another was euthanized after his hooves were found to be completely separated from the bone. This young foal literally ran his hooves off and suffered agonizing pain until he was euthanized (likely by gunshot) 2 weeks later. One mare broke her neck after crashing into the gate of the holding pen – likely in a state of panic. Others were simply found dead in the holding pens.
“A horse’s condition is more compromised in the winter, especially older horses, pregnant horses or those nursing foals. The additional stress of a roundup, capture and separation only adds to their fragile condition. What is so sad is that not only do many of these horses have to endure a helicopter chase, capture and transport, but that some endure it only to be killed in the end. Some horses are too stressed to eat hay or drink out of troughs when they are in corrals. These free ranging herd animals suffer more than we can see. They are wild horses. They are born, live and die on the range and I am sure if they could speak they would prefer to live out their lives, season to season, on their range with their herd” said Neda DeMayo, Founder Return to Freedom.
While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) claims to be removing wild horses due to overpopulation, the evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, it is all the more likely that their removal policy is directly related to their recent increase of cattle grazing allotments in the Calico Complex, and the pending Ruby Pipeline — a 1,086 km natural gas pipeline, scheduled to commence in early 2010. The pipeline will begin in Opal, Wyoming, travel through Utah and Nevada, and end in Oregon. The pipeline travels right through the Calico Complex in Nevada.
Return to Freedom is asking Americans to continue to speak out against this taxpayer funded cruelty. Please write to your Representatives in Congress and to the White House, denouncing the BLM’s mis-management of America’s wild horses on our public lands.
You can contact the White House at:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
You can also contact us to make a donation over the phone at (805) 737-9246. If you call, please mention that your donation is for the “Nevada Horses.”