BLM responds to allegations of “Inhumane Treatment”

Press Release from Wild Horse Freedom Federation 

New “Game Plan” may be on the table

Orphaned Baby at Triple-B Holding ~ photo by Laura Leigh

HOUSTON, (WHFF) – In declarations supplied to the Court in the current TRO motion, that alleges inhumane practices atBureau of Land Management (BLM) Roundups, information has been disclosed.

“Because BLM has not achieved it’s management objectives during the time allotted to this gather,” States Alan Shepherd of BLM, “ it will be necessary to complete the gather in more than one stage.”

In press releases BLM stated that this operation was to complete the end of August. Telephone inquires made today, Monday, also confirmed this as the “understood” plan for operations.

Shepherd’s declaration outlines a plan for the use of water trapping and getting helicopters back into the air as soon as feasible before February 28, 2012. He sites the inability to capture the projected number of horses on “scattering due to human and helicopter pressure” and hiding in “dense tree cover.”

Shepherd makes an assertion that if BLM does not complete the push to lowAML that after foaling season next year they will be over AML.

“I have read Mr. Shepherds declaration,” says Plaintiff Laura Leigh, founder ofWild Horse Education (WHE) and VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation(WHFF) “basically he is asserting that paying for a team to water trap, or to rush and squeeze in another roundup pre March 2012, makes more sense than another operation to be (possibly) conducted in 12/13. It is indicative of the type of logic that has gotten this agency into such a fiscal hole, “full-steam ahead without discussion that perhaps we should change strategy.’ ”

Shepherd’s declaration does not address any of the specific instances in Leigh’s declaration to the Court. He does not address an incident where evidence presented to the Court asserts that Shepherd himself approved operations to continue as a foal remained missing. His declaration simply asserts he observed “no inhumane treatment.”

The last four large roundups conducted by BLM have not reached projected removal numbers. At the Calico Roundup of Winter 2009/2010 BLM stated they needed to remove about 2,500 animals, yet only removed 1,922. At the Antelope Roundup in February BLM ended operations early, under a storm of public pressure, due to the number of pregnant mares and poor weather.


Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with 501c3 status pending.  WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.




I am waiting for approval to send Press Releases on documents filed today.

But to fulfill a request … my bud and traveling companion.

Hold Your Wild Horses…

There is a lot of “talk” about BLM calling Triple B tomorrow. Folks saying DC is saying tomorrow is the last day.

Since when has DC ever been informed on the reality of what is going on?

AS in any case there are documents filed. After they are filed the contents become “public knowledge” and are open for disclosure.

BLM responses will be posted soon along with declarations from our motion. There will be clear areas of “interest” to any conversation that wants to learn how this agency operates in a Coutroom. There will be clear areas that demonstrate how citations of case law (and their interpretations) can be far reaching.

My head needs to go back down.

I wanted to address issues as well of other rumors. In no way is this case supported by any agency or individual that has “big pockets.” In no way is my work “funded” by anything but you.

I promise you that I am trying. But there is a destructive element that impedes progress. I am a human being, and like any other, have my limitations of patience and tolerance.

TRO filed, personal perspective

I have been working non-stop for the last 4 days on these documents with my attorney Gordon Cowan of Reno.


What I document in my almost daily observations of horses either on the range, in holding or at trap sites is more akin to a “feral livestock trash removal” operation than the humane care of a protected equine species. This animal is the only animal in our country to have an entire act of Congress devoted to it’s protection and humane treatment. Yet the agency fails to enforce the most basic of humane standard of care. This “conversation” is overdue after 40 years of this Act being in the hands of a “land management” agency.

During Triple B I have travelled back and forth across the state three times. I had a friend get altitude sickness and she went to the hospital. I have had my dog get sick. “Our” attorney, Gordon Cowan, lost his father last weekend.

But the Motions got filed. I went through the photos and edited more video. I looked at doc’s and did research. It all breaks my heart. Looking at situations that would cause most horse owners to be cited yet searching for an avenue of accountability… and the actions are perpetrated by my own government…. it boggles the mind and simply hurts my “American” soul.

There are a few of you that have helped with this effort and I am forever grateful that you have faith in me to bring this forward. I am trying. I pray everyday that I find the door and the right words…

Most of my family is currently on the East Coast in the path of Irene.

I still have work to do… an awful lot of work to do… but tonight I just wanted to express my gratitude, as a human being, to those of you that have had the fortitude to stand tall. It aint easy. It aint over….

Before the chopper flies...

Alleged Inhumane Treatment Prompts Wild Horse Lawsuit

Now you know what I’ve been working on. I need your help to stay in the field and continue to develop a chain of documentation.

Donations can be made to support Litigation at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. You can mark your donation “HUmane Case” or donate to the general fund to help pay cost for other ongoing Litigation efforts.

Orphan at Triple B

Feds found to be in violation of own humane standards

HOUSTON, (WHFF) – Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) filed a lawsuit and companion Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Federal Court in Reno Nevada on Wednesday, 8/24/2011. Through their Plaintiff, Laura Leigh, the issue of “humane treatment” will enter into a Courtroom.

The Wild Horse and Burro Act that passed unanimously in 1971 was done with the expressed intent of protecting the “living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the West.” Yet questions of humane treatment, including basic care like water and feed, often come into question during actual roundup operations.

Now 40 years later the question of “humane care” will have its “day in Court.”

“Day in, day out, roundup to roundup, I see the same issues,” said Leigh WHFF, VP and Founder of WHE (Wild Horse, “lack of water in holding, feed given inappropriately and a pilot that flies dangerously close, including contact with an exhausted animal. When you view these animals in their natural state and then witness the disregard given to our symbol of freedom, it is a direct blow to your soul.”

Leigh has witnessed more roundups than any government or public observer in the last 18 months. She has spent countless hours documenting wild herd behavior and the process these horses face once they are removed from the range.

BLM states it operates under regulation 43 CFR 4700, including the following definitions:

Humane treatment means handling compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community, without causing unnecessary stress or suffering to a wild horse or burro.

Inhumane treatment means any intentional or negligent action or failure to act that causes stress, injury, or undue suffering to a wild horse or burro and is not compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community.

“Accountability within the actual activities of the BLM has been an ongoing issue,” states WHFF President R.T. Fitch “actually finding an avenue to address the core intent of Legislation has been almost impossible. If this is an issue that needs to land in a Federal Court to actually begin a dialogue than that is exactly what we will do.”


Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with 501c3 status pending.  WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands. WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.


NOTE: The lawsuits have been transferred to


Regarding your account: WildHorseEducationThe YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content that may not be suitable for all viewers:

Horse hit with helicopter_Triple B

As a result, we have age-restricted this content.

For more information on YouTube’s Community Guidelines and how they are enforced, please visit the help center

The YouTube Team

working on a big project and you will all know about it tomorrow… but thought this interesting.

If kids can’t watch it… is it humane treatment?