More Spin than Maytag

Wanted to add this before Horseback moves on to the next story.

If you read the other three… here’s the next soap opera installment to “How the Horse Turns…” Or “Days of the BLM.”

The Big Story

BLM Spins as More Horses Die

Photo by Laura Leigh

By Steven Long

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management’s Washington spokesmen, Tom Gorey, is one of the best in the business. He’s able, articulate, savvy, and to use a term often bandied about in the nation’s capital, a master of the fine art of spin. On Thursday, he spun a web worthy of the fictional Charlotte herself.

For the better part of a week, Horseback Magazine has featured a series of articles on the missing credentials of two veterinarians attending the captured horses of Nevada’s Calico Mountains. Thus far, at least 115 have died, including miscarried foals. Horseback has repeatedly asked for the credentials of the vets who have set such a dubious record of death on their watch. Gorey finally complied, albeit in a round about way, dodging five questions drafted for the magazine by a physician and academic veterinarian and submitted to the agency.

The vets in the spotlight are Dr. Richard Sanford, the vet in charge of the BLM holding and processing facility at Fallon, and Dr. Albert Kane who is not licensed in the State of Nevada.

“Between them, Drs. Kane and Sanford have more than 40 years of experience
as equine veterinarians and over 30 years of that includes working with
wild horses,” Gorey wrote. “They each have all the qualifications, credentials, and
licenses that are appropriate or required by law. The BLM is fortunate to
have such experienced and dedicated professionals working in the agency’s
Wild Horse and Burro Program.”

But you didn’t answer the questions, Tom. Medical and veterinary professionals have questioned the sudden dietary switch from sparse desert grasses to rich hay in captivity as a likely cause of the deaths. In fact, the BLM’s published reports frequently mention the gastrointestinal condition, colic.

“The diagnosis for most of the Calico mares that have died at the Indian
Lakes facility is hyperlipemia characteristic of metabolic failure
attributed to re-feeding syndrome, he continued. “This condition is a result of the very
thin body condition of some of the horses because of starvation conditions
on the range, in combination with the late-pregnancy status of some mares.”

Horses in hundreds, if not thousands of photos shot by activists show fat healthy horses, not animals on the brink of starvation as BLM continues to spin.

The pregnant mares Gorey mentioned were stampeded for miles in the dead of winter by a roaring helicopter hired from a government contractor. Two foals were put down after painfully shedding their hooves after the stampede, which Sanford earlier acknowledged was caused by the chase.

“What Tom is conveniently neglecting to recognize is how the actual stress of the helicopter roundups and subsequent confinement and change in diet, placement in truly overcrowded conditions, etc. pushed these wild horses over the edge,” said Craig Downer, a famed wild horse expert on assignment for Horseback Magazine.

“Diagnostic and other information on the horses has been posted to the BLM’s
Website at http://www.blm.gov,” Gorey continued. “The BLM will continue to post updates on its Website under the Calico gather links as the horses continue to improve and
are readied for adoption.”

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “More Spin than Maytag

  1. Maybe you can call Gorey “the artful dodger” , Steve. He has been at this for years now so is an expert at BLM BS. Thanks for another terrific article. Keep it up.

  2. Anne says:

    thank u Laura ! I appreciate the update; (got a toothache today; uh oh; hope Dr. Sanford doesn’t find out where I live and “shoot me for being old and having bad teeth ! a. 1951

  3. Anne says:

    My take is this: summary: BLM knows nothing about Hay !

    I have been doing consistent research on the Hay issue:

    I have contacted Dr. Juliet Getty; author of a nutriton book for Equine

    I have contacted the BLM in Nevada; and main offices email

    I have contacted America’s Hay Producers: like http://www.standleehay.com or www. standlee.com (forget which

    This Hay Co. is about 10,000 acres; distrubutes hay usa;

    and yet the sales manager of the company took the time to write to me and explain;

    a. how to find a distributor; how to get the bulk prices

    b. he explained what a “hay Cube a hay pellet and a Hay bale are in great detail (will post another day…); and how the Hay Cubes could be given to elderly gent and lady Mustangs and young foals; moistened with water;

    c. he explained this: How a horse must have “long stemmed forage if the Horse has cubes or pellets; he said the horses has to have the fiber in hay bales not present in the cubes and pellets; he recommends; bales cubes and pellets; and fresh clean water 24/7;
    I have not heard of the BLM using Hay Cubes; so by this token; if a sick Mustang will not eat long stemmed Hay as shown in the picture of the Mustangs above; what does Dr. Sanford do?

    does he quickly moisten a Hay Cube and put in the mouth?
    does he quickly mositen Hay pellets for the sick foals and atleast put these on a tray near the sick mustangs ?

    No ! what does Dr. Sanford do? NOTHING ! he does nothing
    what kind of a Vet. is that ? He sees a mare lying on the sand too sick to stand up; what does Dr. Sanford do?

    Nothing ! Dr. Sandford sees a sick Foal too weak to eat ?
    what does he do? does he adminster IV nutriton ? or liquid nutrition ? NO ! does he put a bowl of hay next to the downed mares ? NO ! does sandford put a tray of moistened hay pellets either near Hope the Foal; or better yet; put the moistened pellets right in Hope’s mouth; one pellet at a time; where the pellet dissovles bringing nourishment; NO no AND no
    WHAT DOES DR. SANDFORD DO? HE DOES NOTHING !

    So the usa taxpayers are paying a Veteranarian to Not provide medicine and care to the sick Mustangs

    so we are paying Sanford to “not treat sick Mustangs

    which is the opposite of what is is being paid to do;
    “what types of system pays a Vet. to “not treat sick mustang
    HOPE SAYS IT ALL; THE PIX SAYS; HOPE HAD NO FEED OR HAY for days; SAY IT LIKE IT IS ANNE

    OK I WILL ! THE BLM STARVED HOPE THE FOAL TIL HE WAS ALMOST GONE(by NOT putting Hay near the Colt or Mare; THEN AFTER THREE DAYS OF NO FEED ?
    The BLM shot the Foal and many many pregnant Mares ! ! !
    SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE MADNESS! SPEAK YOUR MIND…

    IF U DARE..!Dr. Sanford ? I am watching you like a Hawk !

    PS WITNESSED TWO HAWKS DOING MATING RITUAL IN AIR yesterday in Conn. I have never seen that; a wonderful sight

    Anne Bridgeport; Conn. usa “saving wildlife and domestic…
    ps I will be presenting my final tally on: Dr. Sanford a.s.a.p.
    Anne “Wahpoose…usa

  4. Anne says:

    COPY of my reply from Standlee Hay Co. key words:

    “cubes; pellets; long stemmed forage; forage; grass; nutrition comment: has Sanford heard of “Hay Cubes ? ! !

    key line imo: Hay forage cubes are approximately 1 ¼” square, and about 2 to 4 inches in length. They are made of different types of hay forages

    An important thing to remember, is that horses do need some long stem roughage in the dietary digestion process, if available. Feeding cubes and pellets alone will certainly work just fine by themselves, for a recommended short term time frame. Some boarding facilities feed cubes entirely as the sole source of forage.

    One other note of importance. The digestion process of cubes and pellets in horses allows for increased nutrition, as the hay forage has been broken down and is more easily digested than long stem forage.

    Good Morning Anne,

    Thanks for the communication and the information that you shared. We are happy to hear from you. Thanks for your questions as well.

    Hay forage cubes are approximately 1 ¼” square, and about 2 to 4 inches in length. They are made of different types of hay forages, with < 1% natural bentonite added to help with binding them together. Grass hay cubes tend to be a little less in length due to the elasticity of the grass fibers. Our hay forage pellets are 100 % hay forage, with no need for any binding agents to be used. Both the hay cubes and the hay pellets, regardless of what type of forage or forages, should be fed at ground level, thus reducing any possible chance of choke issues. Should any animals being a little on the gluttony side of the fence, placing large round flat river rocks in the feeding troughs tends to slow down these types of animals and make the animals work at getting the cubes or pellets.

    There is no need to add water to the cubes or pellets, unless there is a dental issue or maybe some senior animals that need a little help. Both the cubes and pellets are soft. Animals will not waste any of the cubes or pellets, as compared to long stem forages that get blown away or are trampled on. An important thing to remember, is that horses do need some long stem roughage in the dietary digestion process, if available. Feeding cubes and pellets alone will certainly work just fine by themselves, for a recommended short term time frame. Some boarding facilities feed cubes entirely as the sole source of forage.

    One other note of importance. The digestion process of cubes and pellets in horses allows for increased nutrition, as the hay forage has been broken down and is more easily digested than long stem forage.

    I hope this helps you out with some of the questions that you have asked. We are happy to answer your questions anytime. Thanks again for your communication.

    Kindest Regards,

    Sales Manager

  5. sandra longley says:

    I rewatched all the videos and looked at the stills again to assess the condition of the horses-granted alot of the calico gather was not covered, I saw one pen of mares -7 individuals who were in poor shape(that was in the video of the mare who appeared to have pelvic problems-and was later put down).The mares who had foals and were pregnant-were generally not in as good as shape as the rest of the population, and would be expected to be thus in the worst part of winter..this I believe is typical of the condition you would see this time of year. The BLM had never maintained that there was currently a forage problem, but more of a future water and forage problem due to “reoccurring drought conditions in the” future”. However if that is the case- I would expect to see concurrent with the roundups of horses- an effort to thin the herds of antelope and mule deer in preparation for this lack of forage and water-and quite the contrary is true. Also you would expect to see a reduction in the cattle allotments under these circumstances. I would expect a state wide effort to manage all wildlife for these conditions if such were actually the case.

  6. sandra longley says:

    In the future, I would like the advocates at the gathers to BE SURE to video ALL horses who arrive at the site to document any poor horses to avoid this in the future. My first thought on this subject when it arose was: I would have expected the BLM to come forth with photo documention of mares arriving at deaths door to prove their case that the horses were dying from starvation when they arrived…subsequent photos would be of no value as many of those mares have gone downhill since they have been in the pens…the fact that the mares are in bad shape now-only reflects the result of the additional stress to their bodies and system due to the harsh nature of this gather.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Sandra,
      It would be great if observers were given the opportunity to actually document ALL horses arriving… but we are not.
      And if you watch George Knapp’s piece John Neill actually says there were a few that came in with a “2” rating. So John’s statement supports that the majority are in good condition which supports what I saw.
      The horses that are not in “good shape” are older. That would simply be concurrent with any wild population. The fact that there are so many “over twenties” that were gathered speaks of a healthy range.
      BLM likes to respond to the issue by claiming a “multiple use” mandate yet fail to recognize the flip side of that justification. “Multiple use” would also apply to the restrictions imposed on the range. (ie your statement about limiting other use).
      The protocol currently in place for tracking inventory is terribly dated. Digital photography is cheap and easy. Each “piece of inventory” could easily be documented… but that documentation may not support their agenda.
      Hope to see many of you in DC!
      Onward…

      • sandra longley says:

        I understand the issue of being denied access..I am always looking at things from a legal perspective, the need to prove or disprove..this article from Fallon on Mar. 20th is the beginning of a spin by the BLM that must be corrected and challenged before it can catch on to the mainstream..who don’t require “proof” as we do…no article like this can go unchallenged..I saw 7 mares in one pen in bad shape, counting the mare that was down and could not rise..They appeared to be from the same herd(characteristics) I do not know if that was a hospital pen, and they were sorted to reflect their condition, or if they came in that group..it would be important to know if there are specific HMAs that were having problems..I have heard the Black Rock horses were the ones in bad shape, but I have no way to verify that information..In which case something must be done to help those horse in that area. I am saying in the future we need to really identify and document those horses that come in in bad shape. Maybe 1 person who specifically focuses on those individuals who are injured or in bad shape, as proof-to condradict BLMs claims-as are happening now..this is not critisism..this is for future roundups..and court actions.
        http://www.lahontanvalleynews.com/article/20100320/NEWS/100329992/1001&parentprofile=1045#comments

        • Laura Leigh says:

          Sandra… when I was there they kept trying to insinuate the horses from Black Rock were in “bad shape.” I saw several that appeared older and all mares. If these horses were in fact twenty somethings, still breeding, etc. that again would not imply an unhealthy range just nature running its course. But unless observers are allowed to actually watch the exams etc. (with the history of outright lies by BLM) there is no way to know the truth.

          Tired today.
          : )

    • Anne says:

      hello; thanks for your replies and comment:

      I too agree: the BLM says in their daily gather reports:

      things like: the Mares are in generally good condition; or the stallions are generally in good condition; etc. etc.; a few mares from such and such have some thin scores;

      a few mares ? then why the 70 ? doesn’t “jive; as they say;

      anne conn. usa into saving wildlife and domestic critters

  7. Anne says:

    Laura wrote: “The horses that are not in “good shape” are older. That would simply be concurrent with any wild population. The fact that there are so many “over twenties” that were gathered speaks of a healthy range.
    Anne’s comment: excellent perception…i wouldn’t have thought of that; and also a. how do they determine the animal’s age; do they exaggerate their age and b. I have read of Mustangs living to be 30 and up to 35; even 40 ! ! !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s