Posted by Texas Mustang Project on January 23, 2010
First, let me say how absolutely grateful I am to each and every one of you! When I started this blog two weeks ago, I had no idea that the reception would be so positive and so wonderful. I am truly honored that you all have participated in the success of this page and its purpose. Thank you all so much!
Now, on to business…
Yesterday, I spoke with Gene Seidlitz, District Mgr of the Winnemucca District Field Office to clear up a few rumors and to follow up on a few previous questions.
- What comment can you make regarding reports of a foal who was euthanized due to hoof sloughing and lameness, and “was run to death by the BLM”?
- What is the condition of the foal who was reported to be “orphaned” by the euthanasia of the 20 year old mare?
- Rumors have been circulated that there were horses brought in during this gather with domestic brands. Is this true?
See the following for the answers…
What comment can you make regarding reports of a foal who was euthanized due to hoof sloughing and lameness, and “was run to death by the BLM”?
-These rumors and reports are currently being investigated due to the inconsistency of their facts. There was a foal who was euthanized, but it is not clear at this time if this was the same foal who was down in the trailer and later died. Last Thursday, (January 14th) there was a foal who, upon arrival to the Fallon facility, was discovered down in the trailer. He was immediately examined and cared for by the veterinarian who on onsite. I will try to forward the report and information to you as soon as I can. There was also a foal who was euthanized due to problems with his hooves and possible lameness, but I don’t have the reports in front of me right now to verify the date. So as to whether or not these two foals were the same foal, I cannot say. Again, I will try to forward the reports and information to you as soon as I can. There were also inquiries made to the Cattoors about the foal who was down in the trailer. They have assured me that their protocols state that the drivers must stop at certain intervals during transportation to ensure that there are not any horses down in the trailer, and of course to ensure that there are not other problems with the horses. They have stated that the driver stopped while en route to the facility last Thursday, and did not find any problems at those times. Therefore, the foal would have had to have fell during the time between the last stop and the arrival at the facility. (Note from *T* – I have sent requests to the Cattoors to clarify how long these intervals are, etc.)
What is the condition of the foal who was reported to be “orphaned” by the euthanasia of the 20 year old mare?
-He is doing wonderfully. He has begun to put on a great deal of weight, and has since been moved to another pen with other weanlings close to his age, which is somewhere between 6 and 8 months old. The veterinarian has given him a clean bill of health. After investigating this story further, we were able to establish that he was brought in with another group of horses without a dam and did not appear to belong to any certain harem or band. The photos that were originally released of this foal were indeed of an orphaned foal, but as we previously stated, his dam was not the 20 year old mare who was euthanized. Attempts to locate and ascertain his actual dam were not successful. This was the reasoning for his original placement with the other two mares in the photos – we were not sure yet of his situation and age, and therefore did not want to place him in a larger pen where he possibly could have been harmed by older and larger members of the herd. (Note from *T* – This happens sometimes in the wild due to predation among many other factors. The foal could have been separated from his harem or band in the confusion of their movements, possibly due to a rival stallion attempting to conquer his harem, or from escape attempts from a threat to the harem such as a predator, or from the gather operations themselves. There is no way to know for sure, and speculations to that end could go on forever. Its great just to know that he is doing well. If he had been left in the wild without a dam or harem rather than being gathered, it is unlikely that he would have fared nearly as well as he is now, being as young as he is.)
Rumors have been circulated that there were horses brought in during this gather with domestic brands. Is this true?
-No, they were not domestic brands after all. We had originally had some reports from some of the gather personnel that there were horses bearing domestic brands among the horses from the range. We tracked down these horses at the Fallon facility to be sure. They were actually BLM brands given to mares who had been previously treated with PZP. The purpose of these marks is to show which dosage, either the primer or the booster, has been given to which mare so that when the time comes for additional administration the correct dose will be given. Prior to any BLM gather, we issue a statement and press release locally and regionally, “Domestically Branded Horse Impound”, which basically states that if a horse with a domestic brand is gathered with the wild horses from the range, that horse will be separated and impounded by the BLM. Then investigations by the BLM Law Enforcement Agents will attempt to locate the owner of the domestic brand. (All domestic brands are required to be registered with the states.) Once the owner is located, he/she will be fined for the release of a domesticated animal onto public lands, and will also be charge by the day for feed and care each day that horse is impounded. This is a very serious offense because domesticated horses are not accustomed to the ways of wild horses, and therefore are usually not well accepted by the harems/bands or herds as a whole. As a result, they end up very malnourished and in poor health, and some have even been found dead on the ranges. Its a very sad situation.
As soon as the information mentioned above is received I will post it to the page for all of you to see. As well, soon I will be posting educational information about “hoof sloughs”, what exactly they are and possible causes. Yesterday, I spoke with a good friend of mine, Dr. Buddy Faries, Professor and Extension Program Leader for Veterinary Medicine, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System. I asked him about these rumors and reports regarding this foal and his condition. These answers will also soon be posted with the educational information.
As always, stay safe… And never give up!
© 2010 Tracie Lynn Thompson. All rights reserved.