BLM Director Announces No Killing of Wild Horses in Captivity

on .

Points to TCF/AWHPC Lawsuit as reason for Halting Wild Mare Sterilization

WASHINGTON, DC – (September 15, 2016) - Yesterday, BLM head, Neil Kornze announced that the BLM was not accepting the recommendation from their National Advisory Board to destroy wild horses in holding and to offer wild horses that had been passed over for adoption for sale without limitation.  “This recommendation met a firestorm of outrage across the country and caused our phones to ring off the hook,” states Ginger Kathrens, Humane Advocate on the Advisory Board and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF), the sole dissenting vote to the board’s recommendation.

Prior to the Sept meeting TCF learned that the BLM decided to drop Wild Mare Sterilization Research Experiments in which wild mares (and fillies as young as 8 months) would be surgically sterilized. BLM Director Kornze indirectly referenced the TCF and AWHPC lawsuitrequesting to be present to view and record the sterilization procedures, as the reason the experiments in Oregon were cancelled.

Other lawsuits and thousands of emails, letters and phone calls from concerned Americans played a significant part in bringing a halt to the experiments as well as halting the recommendation to destroy captive wild horses.

Lawsuits & Public Outrage Halt Dangerous BLM Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments

on .

Washington, DC (September 9, 2016) -  This morning, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) notified The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) that today it cancelled highly controversial sterilization (spaying) experiments on wild mares.

This reversal comes in the wake of massive public opposition and three separate lawsuits, including a Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by TCF and AWHPC, seeking an injunction under the First Amendment of the Constitution to allow them to video record the proceedings.

Responding to BLM’s decision to drop the sterilization research, TCF and AWHPC attorney Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Eubanks, stated, “the BLM's withdrawal of its invasive sterilization experiments reveals, more than anything else, that the agency knows the public will not accept these inhumane sterilization practices. We sued to protect our clients' First Amendment right to document the BLM's actions and to hold them publicly accountable for their treatment of wild horses. The litigation and advocacy efforts that led up to the lawsuits clearly demonstrate that surgically sterilizing wild horses is not socially acceptable and we are glad the BLM acknowledged this and withdrew the entire Decision Record authorizing the experiments.”  

Ginger Kathrens, TCF Volunteer Executive Director states:

“The sterilization research was a path to destroying wild horses, by destroying the very essence of what makes them wild – their natural behaviors.  Now we must remain vigilant to ensure that the agency does not pursue the 'euthanasia' of wild horses in holding or the castration of wild stallions, and instead works with advocates to develop wide-scale, humane PZP fertility control programs as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences three years ago.”

At the same time as the BLM informed TCF and AWHPC that it was canceling the sterilization research, the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board passed a resolution urging the “euthanasia” of wild horses currently in government holding facilities. (Currently 45,000 wild horses and burros are held in short- and long-term holding facilities.)

The resolution is the culmination of decades of BLM mismanagement of wild horses and burros and the public rangelands. Livestock has historically degraded public lands and the BLM has created a crisis both on and off the range by continuing to use roundups and removals to manage wild horses and burros instead using humane fertility control, which has been available for nearly 30 years and is recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.

Ginger Kathrens was the sole dissenting vote against the Advisory Board resolution calling for the 'euthanasia' of horses in holding. 

Suzanne Roy, AWHPC Executive Director stated:

“While cancellation of the sterilization experiments is a major victory, Americans will not stand by and allow the killing of tens of thousands of wild horses holding facilities. If the agency thought the public was opposed to sterilization, wait until it sees what happens in response to the proposed mass killing of these American icons." 

On August 15, 2016, TCF and AWHPC filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction to stop the experiments unless the agency allowed public observation and videotaping of the invasive procedures. 

Government lawyers this morning informed the groups that that the agency did not intend to pursue the surgical sterilization of mares at this time, if ever.


on .

Portland, Oregon (August 15, 2016)  - Two leading wild horse advocacy organizations today filed a lawsuit in Oregon U.S. District Court to uphold their First Amendment right to observe highly controversial and invasive sterilization experiments that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) intends to conduct on federally-protected wild horses at the agency’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon. 

The Cloud Foundation and American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, veterinarians and at least one United States Congressman contend that the surgical procedures to be performed by BLM in conjunction with Oregon State University (OSU) are invasive, inhumane, outdated and dangerous, and that the BLM should not be allowed to conduct them behind closed doors.

The BLM has refused to allow any opportunity for media or the public to observe and record these procedures, despite the fact that such observation would further the BLM’s own stated goal of assessing the “social acceptability” of these procedures,” stated the complaint filed by Nick Lawton of Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks LLP, which is representing the groups.  “The BLM’s refusal to allow any access to observe and record these experiments thwarts the important newsgathering objectives that Plaintiffs aim to achieve by observing and documenting the BLM’s treatment of wild horses, and thus violates Plaintiffs’ rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

“It is abundantly clear that the permanent sterilization of mares is completely unnecessary, horribly cruel, and places wild herds at greater risk of genetic failure, ” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF and the Humane Advocate for the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. “For decades BLM has largely turned its back on humane, reversible infertility vaccines. Now they are opting for invasive procedures, which have no practical application on Western ranges, unless the death of wild mares is an acceptable outcome.”

Advocates Demand Public Observation of Controversial BLM Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments

on .

Advocates Demand Public Observation of Controversial BLM Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments

Burns, Oregon (July 20, 2016) . Citing the First Amendment, two leading wild horse advocacy organizations have filed a formal request to observe and record controversial surgical procedures to be performed on wild horses at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon. 

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and The Cloud Foundation contend that the surgical procedures to be performed by BLM in conjunction with Oregon State University (OSU) are invasive, inhumane, outdated and dangerous, and that the BLM should not be allowed to conduct them behind closed doors.

BLM and OSU are moving forward with the experiments despite receiving tens of thousands of comments opposing them. 

The groups maintain that since the BLM has stated that a major purpose of the research is to determine “the social acceptability” of the procedures, it’s vital that they be observed and recorded so the public has the opportunity to witness how the federally protected animals subject to the surgeries are being treated.

“Given that these experiments will form the basis for the BLM establishing program-wide policies, public documentation of this project is essential,” wrote attorney Nick Lawton of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Eubanks in an official request letter to the BLM. The prominent public interest law firm is representing the groups in this matter. 

“The public’s right to know what is happening to our nation’s federally protected wild horses on public property is vitally important, particularly since these controversial procedures could become routine practice by BLM,” Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. “We firmly believe that once American citizens and our elected leaders see what the BLM is doing to our federally-protected wild horses, they simply won’t stand for it.” 

"The genetic viability of most wild horse herds is already at risk due to the small herd size at which they are managed. To further endanger herds by permanent sterilization is a formula for genetic disaster," said Ginger Kathrens, Humane Advocate on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. 

BLM and OSU intend to perform a procedure on wild mares called ovariectomy-by-colpotomy which involves a veterinarian cutting into a mare’s vaginal wall, placing his hand and arm through the vagina into the abdominal cavity, manually locating the ovaries, then severing them with a rod-like chain tool called an ecraseur.  

The surgery puts mares at risk for death from hemorrhage and infection and for evisceration – the protrusion on the bowel through the surgical incision.

75 percent of the mares who will be experimented on will be pregnant, and the procedure will cause many to have abortions.

In wild horses, it’s not possible to provide the same post-surgical care available to domestic animals, or to forcibly restrain their movement after surgery, resulting in a high risk for infection and pain following the procedure. Removing mares’ ovaries will also cause serious behavioral changes, making this an inappropriate management tool for wild herds. 

The groups are asking BLM to respond to its request byJuly 28and, if denied access to observe and record the procedures, will file a suit to protect their First Amendment rights. They are also plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit against the BLM over its plans to convert a wild free-roaming horse population in the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) in Idaho into a non-reproducing herd by sterilizing every mare and stallion living there. 

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is a national wild horse advocacy organization whose grassroots mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations. AWHPC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage.

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana. Cloud is the subject of Foundation founder Ginger Kathrens' groundbreaking PBS/Nature documentaries.

#  #  #

More information:

AWHPC/TCF First Amendment Demand Letter

The Cloud Foundation Comments

AWHPC Comments/Complaints

Comments of Dr. Don Moore, Veterinarian

Republican led Sub-Committee on Federal Lands turns “oversight hearing” on Wild horse and Burro Program into a One-Sided Attack on Wild Horses

on .

Kathrens was effectively muzzled as Republicans led a full-out assault on wild horses in the West; Democratic members were absent and staging a sit-in on gun control on the House floor

WASHINGTON, DC (June 23, 2016 ) –Republicans on the Federal Lands Sub-Committee launched a full out assault on wild horses on public lands in the West while Democratic members were conducting a sit-in on gun legislation at the Capital. What was supposed to be an “oversight hearing,” on the “Challenges and Potential Solutions for BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program,” devolved into a vicious political attack on legally Protected Wild Horses and Burros and the only advocate present to represent them. Subcommittee Chairman, Tom McClintock only asked questions that supported their position that wild horses are to be blamed for the destruction of western rangelands even though they roam on less than 12% of public lands where privately-owned livestock are allocated 82% pf the forage.

Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation and Humane Advocate on BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, was the lone expert witness to present the case for the wild horses and burros. Her fact-based, 5 minute summary was distilled from a detailed document the Colorado organization presented to the committee. Ginger outlined humane, financially sustainable and common-sense solutions to the BLM’s self-created crisis.

Ginger Kathrens Testifying before House Oversight Hearing on “Challenges and Potential Solutions for BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.”

on .

Kathrens will present humane and economically sustainable solutions to BLM’s beleaguered Wild Horse and Burro Program

WASHINGTON, DC (Tues, June 22, 2016) - Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud foundation has documented and advocated for wild horse herds for over 22 years. Known as the Jane Goodall of wild horses, Kathrens’ documentation of Cloud the Wild Stallion represents the only continuing chronicle of a wild animal from birth in our hemisphere. At the invitation of Representative Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ) she will testify before the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands oversight hearing entitled, “Challenges and Potential Solutions for BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program,” Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm (Eastern Time) in Room 1334 Longworth House Office Building.

On May 11, 2016 the BLM issued a Press Release titled Wild Horses and Burros on Public Rangelands Now 2.5 greater than when the 1971 law was passed, bemoaning problems which they themselves have created. Instead of embracing realistic management strategies, the BLM and some western politicians have attempted to derail the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (Wild Horse Act) aimed at protecting wild horses on public lands.

The Cloud Foundation Appeals to House Appropriations Subcommittee to Reject BLM’s 2017 Budget Proposal

on .

Proposal would Amend 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and afford fewer protections to wild horses in BLM captivity.

WASHINGTON, D.C, May 25, 2016 - On May 24 The Cloud Foundation (TCF) sent letters to the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior stating: "The Cloud Foundation urges your opposition to dramatic policy changes affecting the Wild Horse and Burro Program as contained in Section 110 of the Administration’s FY 2017 Budget Request for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We urge that these policy changes be rejected during the Subcommittee Markup on the FY 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill this Wednesday, May 25."

BLM’s proposal would allow for unlimited transfers of wild horses to other Federal, State and local government agencies for use as work animals. The transfer of Wild horses under the provision would be unlimited, would be subject to immediate transfer of ownership (instead of a one-year wait required by the Act *) and the horses would lose their status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined by the Act.

The Cloud Foundation Stresses Need for Protective Language in BLM’s Wild Horse “Transfer of Excess Animals” Proposal

on .

-Easy fixes in wording will demonstrate good intentions of BLM

COLORADO SPINGS, CO (Feb. 12, 2016) Efficacy and safety of Lexapro online no rxcokinetically enhanced -clavulanate at 2,000125. primary efficacy endpoint) as -clavulanate at 125. - As described by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the Cloud Foundation (TCF) this week, the BLM is attempting to increase adoptions of four and five year-old horses currently in short-term holding facilities by offering them to other government agencies. Currently BLM wild horses can only be offered to individuals. BLM states that this ability will create more time for BLM staff to work on other pressing issues, decrease the costs of holding, and provide a higher quality of life for the horses placed with agencies. With this in mind, they submitted the following language for inclusion in the President’s 2017 Budget:


SEC. 110. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior may transfer excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals: Provided, That the Secretary may make any such transfer immediately upon request of such Federal, State, or local government agency: Provided further, That any excess animal transferred under this provision shall lose its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

New Information Reveals Unreported Death in Experimental Wild Mare/Burro Sterilizations performed by Dr. Leon Pielstick

on .

Dr. Pielstick is scheduled to perform mare sterilization research at Oregon State University.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (May 17, 2016) - On May 10, The Cloud Foundation (TCF) received a call from an unnamed Phoenix resident who had witnessed deadly burro and mare sterilization operations performed in Arizona last month by Dr. Leon Pielstick, DVM, the veterinarian slated to perform such procedures on hundreds of wild mares and foals, currently being held in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Hines, Oregon corrals. The BLM funded mare sterilization operations would be undertaken through a BLM grant to Oregon State University (OSU).

Federal Agency Shifts Blame – Hiding Their Mismanagement of Wild Horse Program

on .

Agency has ignored humane fertility control for decades

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (May 16, 2016) – The Federal agency responsible for controlling wild horse populations is seeking to rewrite their mismanagement of this program spanning the last 30 years. The Bureau of Land Management claims wild horses in holding are busting their budget, yet failed to address economic tools that have been at their disposal for decades to keep horses out of holding and on their legal ranges in the West.

“BLM’s recent press release fails to address economical tools that have been at their disposal for decades which can control wild horse populations in a humane manner on their home ranges as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” said Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “BLM’s lack of on-the-range management has come at a very high price. Helicopter contractors make millions. Wild horses lose their freedom. And the American public foots the bill for large scale incarceration.”

Copyright © 2016 - The Cloud Foundation
Contact us: 107 South 7th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80905 - 719-633-3842 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.