I.G.H.A. / HorseAid's Bureau of Land Management News


BLM Utah EIA Actions...



Wild Horse Foals Leave State that Wanted to Euthanize Them
(Utah wild horse foals granted safe haven under protection of no-kill order Issued by Federal judge.)

UPDATE (7/22/98): As wild horse foals leave Utah, and are transferred to a quarantine facility in Oklahoma, they are protected by an order issued by a federal judge. UPDATE (12/31/98): None of the thirteen wild horse foals that left Utah for a quarantine facility in Oklahoma were destroyed as the state of Utah had at one time demanded.

Washington, D.C. - In a Stipulated Order issued July 20, Judge Gladys Kessler states, "...during this additional period of time, and continuing until August 4, 1998, Defendants...shall not euthanize nor allow to be euthanized any Utah wild horse foal that has tested positive for EIA...plaintiffs are not withdrawing their motion for a temporary restraining order but have agreed to postpone such hearing beyond August 3, 1998." Judge Kessler has issued four no-kill orders in response to the lawsuit filed on June 1, 1998, by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

"We are thankful that a quarantine facility has been located in Oklahoma, however we will not withdraw our lawsuit until the foals are truly safe. It is clear that euthanizing these wild horse foals would violate federal law - they must be quarantined rather than killed." states Valerie Stanley, Senior Staff Attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The wild horse foals were slated to die June 1, 1998, due to testing positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) - however, very young foals such as these often give a false positive. Proper veterinary procedure is to quarantine the foals for six to eight months and then re-test them.


FEDERAL JUDGE EXTENDS "NO-KILL ORDER" FOR UTAH WILD HORSE FOALS
(Third Stay of Execution Since Lawsuit Filed in U.S. District Court.)

UPDATE (6/26/98): Judge extends "No Kill" order to July 20, 1998. The "EIA" foals are to be transported to Oklahoma State University (because Utah State Vet says the foals cannot stay within the state). Fate of mares still uncertain. HorseAid is currently reviewing the full provisions of the stay order.

Washington, D.C. - In a Stipulated Order issued June 10, Judge Gladys Kessler states, "...during this additional period of time until June 23, 1998, Defendants...will not euthanize nor will allow to be euthanized any Utah wild horse foal that has tested positive for EIA...plaintiffs are not withdrawing their motion for a temporary restraining order but have agreed to postpone such hearing beyond June 8, 1998."

The Judge's previous order, issued in response to the lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, protected the foals from euthanization through Monday, June 8. The current order extends protection through June 23.

"We are thankful that the court has granted the foals two more weeks' protection. It is clear that euthanizing these wild horse foals would violate federal law. Proper facilities must be found outside of Utah, so that the foals can be quarantined rather than killed." states Valerie Stanley, Senior Staff Attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The wild horse foals were slated to die June 1, 1998, due to testing positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) - however, very young foals such as these often give a false positive. Proper veterinary procedure is to quarantine the foals for six to eight months and then re-test them.

More than five million Americans are represented by the national and local groups working together to promote humane treatment for Utah's wild horses. Members of the Wild Horse and Burro Freedom Alliance include, but are not limited to: Animal Legal Defense Fund; Animal Protection Institute; American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Council for Compassionate Governance; Fund for Animals; HorseAid; Humane Society of the United States and the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros.

Salt Lake Tribune Article


Jenson, Utah - Foals Scheduled to be Destroyed (June 1, 1998) - Thirteen foals being held in a holding facility south of Jenson, Utah, were scheduled to be destroyed tonight at 5:00 p.m., MDST.

Because their mothers (dams) passed on passive immune titers, the foals are now testing positive for equine infectious anemia. (which is normal and to be expected). There are also a total of 57 adult horses testing positive for E.I.A., not including the foals scheduled to be killed.

These horses came off the Ouray Indian Reservation (Ute) and the Bureau of Land Management is claiming those that do not have brands or saddle marks are "BLM horses". In the Tabyago HMA south of this location 172 horses all tested negative. Results from the actual wild horses in the Bonanza HMA are being withheld by Dr. Michael Marshall, the State Veterinarian of Utah, and will be made public only after the above referenced animals are euthanized. HorseAid wonders why? We (HorseAid, acting for ourselves and the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition & Wild Horse and Burro Freedom Alliance) have so far, been unsuccessful in obtaining any documentation concerning the E.I.A. tests conducted on these animals. We plan on filling a FOIA request if the information isn't soon forthcoming.

The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, Wild Horse and Burro Freedom Alliance, and HorseAid have been working with the Colorado State Vet, Colorado State University and Colorado Northwestern Community College to get these foals into a research facility to be tested weekly to see how long it takes to lose the positive titer. The foals will then be placed in the BLM adoption program, once negative.

The state of Utah, however, will not allow the foals to be quarantined there, although it does require the BLM to hold and retest negative horses brought in with those who tested positive for a period of 45 days.

A restraining order (requested by the Animal Legal Defense Fund) was issued late today staying the execution of the foals for seven (7) days. These foals do not carry the EIA virus, only the immune titers.

PLEASE help us save these foals!

Since this was a decision by the Utah State Veterinarian's Office, only the state of Utah can put a permanent end to the planned (and senseless) execution of these thirteen foals. Please let Utah know that their decision is a bad and uncompassionate one, and one not based on current veterinary protocols!

Please call, write, FAX, or E-mail the Governor and Lt. Governor of the State of Utah at:

Mike Leavitt, Governor of the State of Utah
210 State Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
(801) 538-1000 - Fax: (801) 538-1528 - Email: governor@state.ut.us

Olene S. Walker, Lt. Governor of the State of Utah
210 State Capitol, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
(801) 538-1500 - Fax: (801) 538-1557 - Email: ampeters@gov.state.ut.us


LSU equine infectious anemia studies: According to studies on vector transmission of EIA (equine infectious anemia) done at LSU recently (studies not condoned by HorseAid), the following vector anomalies were observed: It is not easy to infect an animal (In this case, ponies were used) by allowing the animal to be bitten by an insect vector. Numerous bites on the confined animal are required before it becomes infected with the disease.

This being the case, this disease poses a high risk to stabled equine stock, especially when the wanting of sanitary conditions promote fly or mosquito infestations. However, it would seem that transmission of this disease among wild horses would be of little concern (it being unlikely that the disease would be transmitted) to the BLM, except in consideration of circumstances after the animals are captured and adopted-sold to people who would then place them in stalls near other horses, where it would be easier for concentrations of insects to carry the disease from the infected animal to the other horses.

Source for "LSU equine infectious anemia studies": Pinckney Wood, L.S.U., HorseAid


UTAH gather update (May 25, 1998) -Toni and Don Moore from the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition drove 4 hours from their home near Grand Junction, CO to the BLM holding facility in eastern Utah to pick up an orphaned foal they were promised by the BLM. When they got there they were refused the foal and told the proper people had not signed off on it. While there they learned another foal had been put down (it came in with a broken neck) and another one has a stress fracture which is not being treated. The mare of the orphaned foal the Moore's are to adopt was put down Wednesday. It became "squirrely" in the corals and was rammed into a fence panel. They tried giving it a muscle relaxant which didn't work. They put the mare down and did a necropsy on it finding a compressed vertebrae.

They have 97 horses in captivity who have tested negative on the Coggins test and are still being held. Another 46 were gathered yesterday with additional horses to be gathered over the Memorial Day weekend. The 97 will not be released (per Glenn Foreman of the Utah BLM) until all horses in the Hill Creek Herd Management Area are gathered.


Gather Continues - The gather continues today (May 24, 1998). As of yesterday one mare has been put down due to ramming into a panel and ending up with a compressed vertebrae. A member of the WHBFA from Grand Junction is on her way to Utah to pick up this mare's one week old foal. If this round up continues more mares and foals will be killed.


UTAH -- In spite of a complete, across the board negative test for EIA conducted on 31 BLM wild horses captured last week, the BLM is today (May 23, 1998) persisting in capturing all the wild horses in northeastern Utah as specified in their Environmental Assessment of May 8, 1998.

The plan calls for the removal of over 500 horses for testing, this in the height of foaling season. Tiny colts and extremely pregnant mares are being run by a helicopter a distance of in most cases five miles over extremely rugged terrain to a traps site.

Currently, Toni Moore reports 28 horses in the trap today. The District Manager, Dave Howell has stated that all the horses captured (approximately 59) will be held "indefinitely" until the state vet decides what to do with them.

If you would like to protest this cruelty contact: Pat Shea, Director of the BLM in D.C. immediately (202) 208-3801. If you cannot personally speak with Pat Shea, ask for his special assistant, Henri Bisson.


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