BREAKING NEWS: The Sandoval Signpost Stealthily Solicits and Incites their readership to commit crimes against the NM States Legally Wild Horses of Placitas.

Though a reasonably useful and successful local newspaper in many respects, the Signpost consistently misleads their readership regarding wild horses.
The Sandoval Signpost is in a very tiny minority in Placitas NM, which has zero respect for the rule of NM State Wild Horse Protection law, passed in 2007 by WHOA(1) . The Signpost has hid this Wild Horse Protection legislation, as they literally twisted every aspect of the law and twisted even the recent federal BLM(2) public notice of livestock roundup in Placitas, while also giving out a road map to incite private citizens to break this state law protecting wild horses, and in doing so they themselves would be breaking many other state and federal laws.
Importantly the Signpost also consistently hides their own illegal pro-slaughter actions of 2014, while also deceptively discussing state kill bill legislation as if it is pro-wild horse. The Signpost did not even touch on the fact that the BLM has no jurisdiction over our Placitas Wild Horses as determined in federal Court in WHOA v Jewell in 2013.

I. The Law of 2007 Passed by WHOA – The Signpost Hides
In 2007, WHOA’s Protective Legislation(3) for NM states Wild Horses was passed unanimously minus 1 by Senator Steve Komadina MD (Republican) and signed into law as NMSA 77-18-5 by Governor Bill Richardson (Democrat) in 2007. This law referred to as The Wild Horse Act, has been repeatedly upheld in the NM Appellate Court(4) , the NM Supreme Court(5) and the 12th District Court(6) in two cases of WHOA v NMLB(7) . It is also illegal to incite one’s readership to commit crimes.

II. Signpost’s Inciting Crime and Violence is Illegal(8) (Illegal Round-ups as Livestock, Illegal Gelding and Illegal Slaughter)
The Sandoval County Signpost published by Belknap Publishing Inc. a Placitas based corporation has published an: immediate roadmap for violence (9) against state’s property, the protected NM State’s Wild Horses of Placitas, and the people, in their August 2021 edition(10).

– . . . If a landowner corrals a non-livestock horse, it instantly becomes livestock if the landowner takes ownership of it. Here the Signpost’s Bill Divens quotes an anonymous attorney(11) literally talking about magic corrales!

– left the Livestock Board with little to do beyond checking for signs of ownership if landowners corralled any on their private property . . . Here Bill Divens gives the deceptive appearance that since the NMLB can no longer protect the wild horses selling them at public auction after 5 days, the citizens are then not breaking the law.

This is a roadmap for violence against a state resource/property and includes inciting specific illegal round-ups of the Placitas Wild Horses by private citizens on private land as unprotected livestock, contrary to the legislation passed in 2007 by WHOA which disallows round-ups of states wild horses by private citizens on any lands. (See NMSA 77-18-5 and footnotes 4-6)

Moreover, any veterinarian who works on a state’s wild horse is subject to the open records act(12) whether they geld a stallion for a private citizen breaking the law or whether they assist a wild horse as a legal humanitarian effort in any way. Notably, a stallion must be gelded before it is allowed over the Mexican border for slaughter.

III. Illegal and Collusion: Private citizen round up on private property.
The recent ruling of the 12 District court in WHOA v NMLB found that pursuant to NMSA 77-18-5, the NMLB and the private citizen were in collusion when she illegally rounded up the family members of the beloved iconic stallion known as Blaze (in Lincoln County, NM) who then ran the area literally screaming while searching for his family per witness testimony.

During ~2 years of court, WHOA literally gained split custody of Blaze’s family with the NMLB, though WHOA paid for most all of their feed and rent (from kind donations). WHOA later won a court order to release them right back into their Enchanted Forest home of Alto! Alto is a rural mountain community like Placitas, where over 90% of the residents signed a petition to the court, to allow Blaze’s family to be released right back on any of each of their private properties or on any of their neighbor’s private properties in the Enchanted Forest Sub Division.

WHOA then contracted Placitas Animal Rescue to trailer Blaze’s family and two other stallions (later taken by the NMLB during litigation!) right back home to the Enchanted Forest.

IV. Belknap Publishing Inc. Illegal Round-up, and Undeclared Conflict of Interest.
WHOA believes the readership has the right to know the public information regarding this corporationâs apparent conflict of interest regarding the stallion Ghost’s family in 2014.
Sandoval County Sheriff’s police report case no. 11- 1147 of 7/3/14 shows that Mr. Belknap himself rounded up these wild horses in his neighborhood.

The Sandoval Signpost states on their front page that they are an Independent Local Newspaper. Though a great community paper, with apparently two awards, (see page 3), this paper has not given fair or honest coverage (putting it lightly) to this community which has been overwhelmingly united for the wildlife corridor and its wild horses through time as proven by multiple community polls including one done by the Signpost in 2002(13) and many others through time including the independent poll commissioned by WHOA as requested by a donor in 2014.
The owner of Belknap Publishing Inc. Mr. John T. Belknap certainly has the right to any personal opinions. However, for journalistic integrity, WHOA has requested their conflict of interest(14) be declared among other requests.
However, the Signpost impartiality remains non-existent on the wild horse issue as well as some others (correspondence available).

WHOA has of course sent only respectful correspondence (available upon request) to Mr. Diven asking the Signpost for improvements in fairness and/or to please openly declare their conflict of interest to their readership(15) . WHOA believes the inaccurate and misleading coverage and criminal incitements in this issue, if not through time, are bordering on legal issues which WHOA believes are not protected by the first amendment.

V. Misleading Coverage of BLM’s July 9th Post Re: Unauthorized Livestock, with Apparent Intent.
The title of the article is Free-roaming horses on Federal land subject to removal from Placitas.
The most important question to the BLM from this paper should arguably have been to ask the BLM if their notice regarding unauthorized livestock posted at the US Post Office in Placitas was referring to a round-up of the horses, (which both the lower and highest courts of NM agree are state’s wild horses are not livestock) or, referring to cattle. However, horses were certainly implied by the Signpost in this article on page 4 and 5, but the BLM was in fact not asked and did not answer this question hence, this is not clarified in this article which is literally about this issue per the inaccurate and misleading title Free-roaming horses on Federal land subject to removal from Placitas.
The Signpost however has someone else speculate. It is believed this implies the free roaming horses of Placitas. On page 23. Emphasis added. One can certainly only speculate their purpose in this omission in their reporting.

VI. Misleading Bills (16) Kill-Bill Legislation by Our Own New Placitas NM Senator Brenda McKenna (Democrat) & Long Time NM State Senator, Pat Woods(17)(Republican).

There is the very strong appearance and history that our state government now including: Senator Brenda McKenna, Senator Pat Woods, supporting groups including: APNM /APV(21), and the media: including the Signpost, and others, are working to ensure that we also lose our few remaining wild horses in New Mexico due to their trickily writing, editing, and supporting of these kill bills (4 of them so far and one other) to LOOK LIKE they are pro-horse, so that both legislature and the Governor have pro-animal named groups to hide their pro-horse slaughter votes behind.

Given that Governor’s Martinez and Grisham Lujan(22) are both attorneys, they could not claim ignorance if they were to pass a kill bill masquerading as a Faux Protection Bill. Neither will the legislators which are tasked with actually understanding what they vote for as well as it being very clear now after 5 trick bills.

These tricky Kill Bills deceitfully touted as protection bills, is Tantamount to Conspiracy(18) against the New Mexico Open Meetings Act(19) and more.

This August 2021 issue of the Signpost as usual touts deceptive kill bill legislation as good for the wild horses and shows other local groups in support (who may be anti-wild horse or ignorant of the subterfuge) through time. The Signpost does not interview WHOA or print their opinions on these kills bills, however, WHOA and the citizenry have defeated them all (5 so far from 2017 to date.)

VII. Anatomy of Trick Bills which Strip Protections of Already Protected Wild Horses – DETAILS

Each faux bill by Senator Pat Woods hides the way in which it would send wild horses to slaughter, including this year’s with Senator Brenda McKenna.

This years sneak kill bill Senate Bill SB 368 by Senator Brenda McKenna (who hails as Deb Haaland’s former Congressional Field Rep (2020/21) ) and Senator Pat Woods would have specifically stripped the wild horses of their fence-out law protections. This would have allowed many people to round them up. The fence out law protection against round ups on private or other property was already afforded them through WHOA’s 2007 Wild Horse Protection Act and was upheld in court.

Each kill bill brought since WHOA’s court win of 2015 upholding their protective 2007 legislation would have also dangerously removed the NMLB’s requirement to perform DNA tests (costs only $100). The DNA test is there to largely to ensure the NMLB/Governor are not emptying New Mexico of wild equines (with unique lineages) as estray livestock as per their continued history of ignoring both federal and state laws in order to do so.

For example, many of the wild horses in New Mexico stem from the horses brought back to North America where they evolved for 55 million years (see DNA results of Placitas Wild Horses ) by the Spanish. DNA tests are supposed to be conducted by NMLB anytime that they pick up a horse as estray livestock to ensure they are not stealing our wild equines and auctioning them as livestock. The University of New Mexico (UNM) is also supposed to test or have tested, their DNA in order to protect the lineage/genetic viability of our wild horses. The DNA tests would also allow the state to chart the relationships among the horses and create family trees that can be used to track family groups and manage responsible management programs as required by the 2007 Act.

Fake/Faux “Protection” Bill (Short Video) of 2017 (see link): SB126:

The first two fake protection bills SB126 and SB158(20) would have made it almost impossible for a wild horse to be legally determined to be a wild horse thereby causing them to be categorized as livestock and put up for auction. Hence our wild horses would LOSE THE PROECTIONS THEY ALREADY HAVE.

NEW MEXICO’s WIPE OUT PATTERN: Our Governors through their board the NMLB continue to STEAL our wild equines, both state and federal through time. They have no respect for the rule of law in this area and are continuously in court wasting our tax dollars, losing while they lawlessly continue to plow out rather than manage, our few remaining wild equines (both sides of the aisle – as FARM BILL Kickbacks rule).

For example: The NMLB (Our NM Governor’s Board) already wiped out our federally Wild Donkeys in Lincoln County in 1974 even though they lost in the US Supreme Court in Kleppe vs New Mexico in 1976. Justice Thurgood Marshall told them then, that they had to follow the federal Wild Horse and Burro Act, however they still illegally evaded releasing the stolen Wild Donkeys of Lincoln County. This is why we now have only Donkey statues in the streets, sidewalks, and on the buildings in Carrizozo, NM however, zero legally wild Donkeys alive in Lincoln Co NM (or anywhere else in NM). This is their goal for our wild horses as well.

When will New Mexico’s “representatives” and “our” governors STOP intentionally and illegally clandestinely misrepresenting the overwhelming majority on this issue, our iconic and majestic wildlife, our very neighbors.

Please donate to the WHOA legal fund at
if you like our legislative work for good bills and against trick kill bills in order to uphold our good legislation of 2007 in court as needed. Other bills we have also offered include:

1. to outlaw horse dumping in NM, (protects both domestic and wild horses)

2. To close the state to horse slaughter traffic, thereby effectively close the border to horse slaughter

3. To make domestic horses subject to the animal cruelty laws of the state (WHOA has already passed this for our wild horses) and much more.

4. We have also formed a 501 c4 non-profit.
Our successful legislative work is largely unreported and denied by the media including the Signpost or other area papers like Alb. Journal as they do not want WHOA’s work publicized as with publicity comes donations for legal funds which they apparently do not want. This due to kick back $$$ to both parties from the huge and bipartisan Factory Farm Bill.
100% of your donation goes to the wild horse’s cause. There are absolutely no Board salaries.
WHOA is a 501 c3 non-profit since 2004.

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Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife

by Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. and Patricia M. Fazio, Ph.D. (Revised January 2010)

Are wild horses truly wild, as an indigenous species in North America, or are they feral weeds barnyard escapees, far removed genetically from their prehistoric ancestors? The question at hand is, therefore, whether or not modern horses, Equus caballus, should be considered native wildlife.

The question is legitimate, and the answer important. In North America, the wild horse is often labeled as a non-native, or even an exotic species, by most federal or state agencies dealing with wildlife management, such as the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The legal mandate for many of these agencies is to protect native wildlife and prevent non-native species from causing harmful effects on the general ecology of the land. Thus, management is often directed at total eradication, or at least minimal numbers. If the idea that wild horses were, indeed, native wildlife, a great many current management approaches might be compromised. Thus, the rationale for examining this proposition, that the horse is a native or non-native species, is significant.

The genus Equus, which includes modern horses, zebras, and asses, is the only surviving genus in a once diverse family of horses that included 27 genera. The precise date of origin for the genus Equus is unknown, but evidence documents the dispersal of Equus from North America to Eurasia approximately 3 million years ago and a possible origin at about 3.4 3.9 million years ago. Following this original emigration, several extinctions occurred in North America, with additional migrations to Asia (presumably across the Bering Land Bridge), and return migrations back to North America, over time. The last North American extinction probably occurred between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago (Fazio 1995), although more recent extinctions for horses have been suggested. Dr. Ross MacPhee, Curator of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History, and colleagues, have dated the existence of woolly mammoths and horses in North America to as recent as 7,600 years ago. Had it not been for previous westward migration, over the 2 Bering Land Bridge, into northwestern Russia (Siberia) and Asia, the horse would have faced complete extinction. However, Equus survived and spread to all continents of the globe, except Australia and Antarctica.

In 1493, on Columbus second voyage to the Americas, Spanish horses, representing E. caballus, were brought back to North America, first in the Virgin Islands, and, in 1519, they were reintroduced on the continent, in modern-day Mexico, from where they radiated throughout the American Great Plains, after escape from their owners or by pilfering (Fazio 1995).

Critics of the idea that the North American wild horse is a native animal, using only selected paleontological data, assert that the species, E. caballus (or the caballoid horse), which was introduced in 1519, was a different species from that which disappeared between 13,000 11,000 years before. Herein lies the crux of the debate. However, neither paleontological opinion nor modern molecular genetics support the contention that the modern horse in North America is non-native.

Equus, a monophyletic taxon, is first represented in the North American fossil record about four million years ago by E. simplicidens, and this species is directly ancestral to later Blancan species about three million years ago (Azaroli and Voorhies 1990). Azzaroli (1992) believed, again on the basis of fossil records, that E. simplicidens gave rise to the late Pliocene E. Idahoensis, and that species, in turn, gave rise to the first caballoid horses two million years ago in North America. Some migrated to Asia about one million years ago, while others, such as E. niobrarensis, remained in North America.

In North America, the divergence of E. caballus into various ecomorphotypes (breeds) included E. caballus mexicanus, or the American Periglacial Horse (also known as E. caballus laurentius Hay, or midlandensis Quinn) (Hibbard 1955). Today, we would recognize these latter two horses as breeds, but in the realm of wildlife, the term used is subspecies. By ecomorphotype, we refer to differing phenotypic or physical characteristics within the same species, caused by genetic isolation in discrete habitats. In North America, isolated lower molar teeth and a mandible from sites of the Irvingtonian age appear to be E. caballus, morphologically. Through most of the Pleistocene Epoch in North America, the commonest species of Equus were not caballines but other lineages (species) resembling zebras, hemiones, and possibly asses (McGrew 1944; Quinn, 1957). 3 Initially rare in North America, caballoid horses were associated with stenoid horses (perhaps ancestral forerunners but certainly distinct species), but between one million and 500,000 years ago, the caballoid horses replaced the stenoid horses because of climatic preferences and changes in ecological niches (Forstén 1988). By the late Pleistocene, the North American taxa that can definitely be assigned to E. caballus are E. caballus alaskae (Azzaroli 1995) and E. caballus mexicanus (Winans 1989 using the name laurentius). Both subspecies were thought to have been derived from E. niobrarensis (Azzaroli 1995).

Thus, based on a great deal of paleontological data, the origin of E. caballus is thought to be about two million years ago, and it originated in North America. However, the determination of species divergence based on phenotype is at least modestly subjective and often fails to account for the differing ecomorphotypes within a species, described above. Purely taxonomic methodologies looked at physical form for classifying animals and plants, relying on visual observations of physical characteristics. While earlier taxonomists tried to deal with the subjectivity of choosing characters they felt would adequately describe, and thus group, genera and species, these observations were lacking in precision. Nevertheless, the more subjective paleontological data strongly suggests the origin of E. caballus somewhere between one and two million years ago.

Reclassifications are now taking place, based on the power and objectivity of molecular biology. If one considers primate evolution, for example, the molecular biologists have provided us with a completely different evolutionary pathway for humans, and they have described entirely different relationships with other primates. None of this would have been possible prior to the methodologies now available through mitochondrial-DNA analysis.

A series of genetic analyses, carried out at the San Diego Zoo Center for Reproduction in Endangered Species, and based on chromosome differences (Benirschke et al. 1965) and mitochondrial genes (George and Ryder 1986) both indicate significant genetic divergence among several forms of wild E. caballus as early as 200,000 300,000 years ago. These studies do not speak to the origins of E. caballus per se, but they do point to a great deal of genetic divergence among members of E. caballus by 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. Thus, the origin had to be earlier, but, at the very least, well before the disappearance of the horse in North America between 13,000 11,000 years ago. 4 The relatively new (30-year-old) field of molecular biology, using mitochondrial-DNA analysis, has recently revealed that the modern or caballine horse, E. caballus, is genetically equivalent to E. lambei, a horse, according to fossil records, that represented the most recent Equus species in North America prior to extinction. Not only is E. caballus genetically equivalent to E. lambei, but no evidence exists for the origin of E. caballus anywhere except North America (Forstén 1992).

According to the work of researchers from Uppsala University of the Department of Evolutionary Biology (Forstén 1992), the date of origin, based on mutation rates for mitochondrial-DNA, for E. caballus, is set at approximately 1.7 million years ago in North America. This, of course, is very close, geologically speaking, to the 1 2 million-year figure presented by the interpretation of the fossil record.

Carles Vilà, also of the Department of Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University, has corroborated Forstés work. Vilà et al. (2001) have shown that the origin of domestic horse lineages was extremely widespread, over time and geography, and supports the existence of the caballoid horse in North American before its disappearance, corroborating the work of Benirschke et al. (1965), George and Ryder (1995), and Hibbard (1955).

A study conducted at the Ancient Biomolecules Centre of Oxford University (Weinstock et al. 2005) also corroborates the conclusions of Forstén (1992). Despite a great deal of variability in the size of the Pleistocene equids from differing locations (mostly ecomorphotypes), the DNA evidence strongly suggests that all of the large and small caballine samples belonged to the same species. The author states, The presence of a morphologically variable caballine species widely distributed both north and south of the North American ice sheets raises the tantalizing possibility that, in spite of many taxa named on morphological grounds, most or even all North American caballines were members of the same species.

In another study, Kruger et al. (2005), using microsatellite data, confirms the work of Forstén (1992) but gives a wider range for the emergence of the caballoid horse, of 0.86 to 2.3 million years ago. At the latest, however, that still places the caballoid horse in North America 860,000 years ago. 5 The work of Hofreiter et al. (2001), examining the genetics of the so-called E. lambei from the permafrost of Alaska, found that the variation was within that of modern horses, which translates into E. lambei actually being E. caballus, genetically. The molecular biology evidence is incontrovertible and indisputable, but it is also supported by the interpretation of the fossil record, as well.

Finally, very recent work (Orlando et al. 2009) that examined the evolutionary history of a variety of non-caballine equids across four continents, found evidence for taxonomic oversplitting from species to generic levels. This overspitting was based primarily on late-Pleistocene fossil remains without the benefit of molecular data. A co-author of this study, Dr. Alan Cooper, of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, stated, Overall, the new genetic results suggest that we have underestimated how much a single species can vary over time and space, and mistakenly assumed more diversity among extinct species of megafauna.

The fact that horses were domesticated before they were reintroduced matters little from a biological viewpoint. They are the same species that originated here, and whether or not they were domesticated is quite irrelevant. Domestication altered little biology, and we can see that in the phenomenon called going wild, where wild horses revert to ancient behavioral patterns. Feist and McCullough (1976) dubbed this social conservation in his paper on behavior patterns and communication in the Pryor Mountain wild horses. The reemergence of primitive behaviors, resembling those of the plains zebra, indicated to him the shallowness of domestication in horses.

The issue of feralization and the use of the word feral is a human construct that has little biological meaning except in transitory behavior, usually forced on the animal in some manner. Consider this parallel. E. Przewalskii (Mongolian wild horse) disappeared from Mongolia a hundred years ago. It has survived since then in zoos. That is not domestication in the classic sense, but it is captivity, with keepers providing food and veterinarians providing health care. Then they were released during the 1990s and now repopulate their native range in Mongolia. Are they a reintroduced native species or not? And what is the difference between them and E. caballus in North America, except for the time frame and degree of captivity?

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co-evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about breeds, but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about species

The non-native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock..

Native status for wild horses would place these animals, under law, within a new category for management considerations. As a form of wildlife, embedded with wildness, ancient behavioral patterns, and the morphology and biology of a sensitive prey species, they may finally be released from the livestock-gone-loose appellation.

Please cite as: Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio. Revised January 2010. Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife. The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings. 8 pages.


Azzaroli, A. 1990. The genus Equus in Europe. pp. 339 in: European Neogene mammal chronology (E.H. Lindsay, V. Fahlbuech, and P. Mein, eds.). Plenum Press, New York.

Azzaroli, A. 1992. Ascent and decline of monodactyl equids: A case for prehistoric overkill. Annales Zoologica Fennici 28:151.

Azzaroli, A. 1995. A synopsis of the Quaternary species of Equus in North America. Bollttino della Societa Paleontologica Italiana. 34:205.

Azzaroli, A., and M.R. Voorhies. 1990. The genus Equus in North America: The Blancan species. Paleontologica Italiana 80:175.

Benirschke K., N. Malouf, R.J. Low, and H. Heck. 1965. Chromosome compliment: Difference between Equus caballus and Equus przewalskii Polliakoff. Science 148:382.

Fazio, P.M. 1995. ʺThe Fight to Save a Memory: Creation of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (1968) and Evolving Federal Wild Horse Protection through 7 1971,ʺ doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University, College Station, p. 21.

Feist, J.D., and D.R. McCullough, Behavior Patterns and Communication in Feral Horses, Z. Tierpsychol. 41:337.

Forstén, A. 1988. Middle Pleistocene replacement of stenoid horses by caballoid horses ecological implications. Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology 65:23.

Forstén, A. 1992. Mitochondrial‐DNA timetable and the evolution of Equus: Comparison of molecular and paleontological evidence. Ann. Zool. Fennici 28: 301.

George, Jr., M., and O.A. Ryder. 1986. Mitochondrial DNA evolution in the genus Equus. Mol. Biol. Evol. 3:535.

Hibbard C.W. 1955. Pleistocene vertebrates from the upper Becarra (Becarra Superior) Formation, Valley of Tequixquiac, Mexico, with notes on other Pleistocene forms. Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, 12:47.

Hofreiter, M., Serre, D. Poinar, H.N. Kuch, M., Pääbo, S. 2001. Ancient DNA. Nature Reviews Genetics. 2(5), 353.

Kruger et al. 2005. Phylogenetic analysis and species allocation of individual equids using microsatellite data. J. Anim. Breed. Genet. 122 (Suppl. 1):78.

McGrew, P.O. 1944. An early Pleistocene (Blancan) fauna from Nebraska. Field Museum of Natural History, Geology Series, 9:33.

Orlando, L. et al. 2009. Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.

Quinn, J.H. 1957. Pleistocene Equidae of Texas. University of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology, Report of Investigations 33:151.

Vilà, C., J.A. Leonard, A. Götherström, S. Marklund, K. Sandberg, K. Lidén, R. K. Wayne, H. Ellegren. 2001. Widespread origins of domestic horse lineages. Science 291: 47477. 8 Weinstock, J.E., A. Sher Willerslev, W. Tong, S.Y.W. Ho, D. Rubnestein, J. Storer, J. Burns, L. Martin, C. Bravi, A. Prieto, D. Froese, E. Scott, L. Xulong, A. Cooper. 2005. Evolution, systematics, and the phylogeography of Pleistocene horses in the New World: a molecular perspective. PLoS Biology 3:1.

Winans M.C. 1989. A quantitative study of North American fossil species of the genus Equus. pp., in: The Evolution of Perissodactyles (D.R. Prothero and R.M. Schoch, eds.). Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Director, The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings, holds a Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.

Patricia M. Fazio, Research Fellow, The Science and Conservation Center, ZooMontana, Billings, holds a B.S. in agriculture (animal husbandry/biology) from Cornell University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in environmental history from the University of Wyoming and Texas A&M University, College Station, respectively. Her dissertation was a creation history of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, Montana/Wyoming.

This document is the sole intellectual property of Drs. Jay F. Kirkpatrick and Patricia M. Fazio. As such, altering of content, in any manner, is strictly prohibited. However, this article may be copied and distributed freely in hardcopy, electronic, or website form, for educational purposes only.


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NM Legislature 2021 Bad Bill SB32 without amendment

Re: Opposition to SB32  and Request for Amendment in order to support.         Date 2/10/2021 10:56AM
Dear Senator Cervantes, Senators of the Judiciary Committee,
While the Senate Judiciary Committee has not published the impromptu “Agenda” for today, I am very concerned that people will not have a chance to be heard again on SB32 as on other committee substitutes/bills and amendments and time limits etc. in 2017/2019 to bills affecting NM’s few remaining and native wild horses. 
I am concerned about a pattern. Please therefore see the attached request for amendment of SB32.
Thanks Much in Advance for reading,Patience O’Dowd

a 501 c4 non-profit corp.PO Box 932Placitas, NM 87043

SEE NEXT POST for attachment

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NM Legislative Alert 2/10/21

Biodiversity & Wild Horse Wipe-Out Bill masquerading currently as an anti-trapping bill: NM Senate Bill (SB32).

Help us to get this bill Amended Asap!

BIO-DIVERSITY losses will be Arbitrary & Capricious: NM government agencies will be allowed to remove and dispose of native vertebrates w/o oversight, expertise, or specific public records requirements.

Without amendment, SB32[1] provides that: any federal or local governmental agency[2] could “capture” and “dispose” of any non-game vertebrate as a nuisance to non-native livestock or crops on our public lands under proposed Section NMSA 17-11-4.G., p. 5, lines 23-24, “. . . or to abate damages caused by any animal to property, crops or livestock.“

SB32 will not stop trapping on private lands, and will not stop governmental trapping on public lands.  California[3] and 85 other countries have banned trapping. Shall New Mexico be last?[4]

Competition between livestock[5] and game animals is the root cause of virtually all predator trapping, as predators are self-regulating[6] and rarely attack people[7]. New Mexico[8] government is both pro-livestock and pro-hunting of game animals, and is anti-wildlife. This, does not represent the people. Many of these issues can be addressed through rural economic development utilizing the WHOA National Plan[9] and a similar plan for Hunters.

WILD-EQUINE losses of our few remaining State’s wild horses, protected by law since 2007[10], will also be catastrophic. States have always owned their wildlife, even when roaming on federal lands, per the State Ownership Doctrine[11]. Under SB32, Federal agencies would gain NM State’s “approval” for illegal capture of NM’s wild horses by the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), as agent, on federal lands along with the “approval” to take other NM State’s wildlife on federal lands, which they have never had “ownership” or authority under the State Ownership Doctrine to do before!  

These federal agencies under SB32 can put NM State’s wild horses in the hands of the NMLB, which has recently, repeatedly, and illegally, per the courts (see WHOA v. NMLB in 2015[12] and 2018), colluded, stole, and put our wild horses up for public auction which the courts then set FREE! Per a US Supreme Court ruling, these federal agencies including the BLM[13] have also acted illegally in NM to wipe out our federally protected equines. NM agencies also endanger our protected wolves[14]. NM now has no burros, and the 7000+ wild horses are down to only 543[15].   

HENCE, AMENDMENT Needed: Please join us in asking the NM Senate Judiciary Committee and the NM Legislature to pass an amendment to SB32 which will ensure this bill does not refer to equines, and also removes the second clause in NMSA 17-11-4.G., p. 5, lines 23-24, “. . . or to abate damages caused by any animal to property, crops or livestock.“ This clause is heinous and must be removed because native wildlife families will be thrown out of their perennial wildland home, in favor of seasonal non-native livestock.

Legislators have an ethical duty to represent the people, and therefore to understand what they are voting on. The wildlife belongs to the people of the state and the state is the trustee. Unequal protection of the livestock industry will no longer suffice.

 Without amendment, SB32 allows wildlife and their families to be captured & disposed of as nuisances although residing on their and our own public wildlands. Please email your support of this requested amendment to the Senate Judiciary committee members here: , , , , , , , , , please copy

CAVEAT: Although SB32 is supported by the Sierra Club and Animal Protection Voters of NM, please don’t let this confuse you. Sierra Club[16] has advocated since 1975 against free roaming wild horses as natives[17], and APVNM[18] has recently lobbied against wild horses in favor of a livestock industry bill in 2017and their testimony has aided another. These bills were Senator Pat Wood’s anti-wild horse bills SB126[19] and SB158.  

WHITE BOARD VIDEO ON SB126:  This was also supported by the Cattle Growers, Wool Growers, and NM Livestock Bureau lobbyists, alongside the APVNM lobbyist. They were notcompromise bills in any sense and would have handed jurisdiction of wild horses over to the NMLB, and worse. See Whiteboard Video explanation of these tricky bills with non-helpful edits above.

SB126 came back morphed in 2019 as SB158, still working to undo the wild horse protections won in NMSA 77-18-5 (2007) which had been upheld by the Courts thanks to citizens’[20] due process at great care, expense, and effort.

APVNM continued to claim in 2019 that the NMLB already had jurisdiction over NM State’s wild horses but did not generally or publicly notify members when these bills would be heard. This jurisdiction fallacy supported SB158 and was finally laid to rest in the House Indian Affairs Committee, 2019, where SB158 itself was also finally laid to rest in favor of a pro-wild horse Memorial offered by three Representatives, HM93[21] (2019).

Unfortunately, APVNM/APNM lobbying alongside the livestock industry lobbyists for bad bill SB126 and their false jurisdiction argument in 2019, gave legislators a pro-animal name to hide their anti-wild horse and pro-livestock industry votes behind. We are now worried that this may have constituted illegal conspiracy[22] under US Title 18; NMSA Chapter 10, Title 16, etc., and more, for those bills and perhaps for SB32 as well. 

Author/Contact: Patience O’Dowd Board WHOA-Voters

Endorsed by: Dr. Lester Friedlander DVM. USDA Veterinarian, Board WHOA

Editor: Cheryl Gibson APVNM-member 10+ yrs.                 

FOOT NOTES 1-22 Below

[1] Senate Bill SB32: Co-Sponsored by Deb Haaland’s recent staff member, NM Senator Brenda McKenna. However, we have asked her for an amendment.

[2] New Section 17-11-2. H. “”government entity” means a local, state, or federal government body or agency; a political subdivision of the state; or an employee, agent, or representative of the body, agency, or political subdivision. . . .” Political subdivision includes Land Grants which will still be allowed to trap under the definition of public lands in 17-11-2-K.

[3] California stops trapping 2019.

[4] Eighty-five Countries have banned trapping.,to%20defend%20these%20inhumane%20devices

[5] Minimal Livestock Losses although 93 million cattle & unknown no. of sheep are all over our Wilderness Areas and Wildlands

[6] A defining feature of large carnivores may be their ability to regulate their own population density.

[7]  Land Predators kill 8 (6 snake bites, 1 alligator) people/yr., Large Mammal Wild Predators kill 0.8 people/yr., in the US.,approximately%208%20people%20died%20annually Human Homicides 19,141

 CDC   All suicides Number of deaths: 47,511: 
Death by Dogs 2019: 46

[8] In 2019 this administration passed “wild-life” corridor bills for free range livestock and game animals only, refusing to provide like corridors for the legally wild horses of Placitas or Lincoln County, etc., and also not providing same for other non-game vertebrates. New Mexico BLM and NMLB have all but wiped-out our legally wild equines, from only ~7000 in 1974 down to 543 in 1978 without explanation. NM is the only state in the Union which defied the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act (“1971 Act”) as unconstitutional all the way to the US Supreme Court, where they lost, after wiping out Lincoln Co.’s Wild Burros.

[9] The WHOA National Plan: A sustainable plan for public lands ranchers:

[10] WHOA Wild Horse legislation with Senator Komadina MD. which was also not supported by APNM.

[11] State Ownership Doctrine, Public Trust Doctrine, Common Law, and Caselaw

[12] WHOA v NMLB Court Cases 2015 NM Appellate Court , and 2018 12th District Court

[13] Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

[14] Game Commission Disregards Perils to Endangered Wolves, Pets

[15] 1995 Joint Report to Congress by the BLM and USDA FS. The tables therein also illustrate that no other state has wiped out their Wild equines as has NM, or sued over the constitutionality of the 1971 Act.

[16] Sierra Club Feral:,native%20flora%2C%20fauna%20and%20soils.&text=The%20Sierra%20Club%20recognizes%20that,Ecological%20niches%20are%20dissimilar    

[17] High Country News – Sierra Club: Wild Horses: Do they Belong in the West? “feral animals”

[18] APVNM stands for Animal Protection Voters which is the lobbyist arm of Animal Protection of New Mexico. These groups have done plenty of   good works for other animals, however appear to not be open about their stance on FREE ROAMING Wild Horses and one other related issue.

[19] White Board Video BAD BILL SB126

[20] Independent Poll 86% of Placitans Pro-Free Roaming Wild Horses

[21] House Memorial HM93

[22] 14th Amendment to the Constitution, NMSA 10-16-3: Ethical principles, US Code: Title 18 & more.

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THE REST OF THE STORY by Patience O’Dowd

While the Wild Horse Observers Association (WHOA) was peacefully watching over New Mexico’s Legally Wild Horses which had been illegally captured and put up for public auction for slaughter by the New Mexico Livestock Board, the New Mexico police came and targeted one of the three WHOA environmentalists there, handcuffing her from behind, and throwing her to the ground, backwards.

They forcefully held her down causing her injury while intentionally risking her life due to health complications absolutely known to them. They refused to allow her arms in front of her, while keeping her on her back, causing further associated grave health risk, though she was causing no threat of anything.

The police however were looking for a story to somehow paint WHOA as an environmental terrorist. WHOA had lawfully passed legislation in 2007 and defended successfully in court an environmental law protecting the very few remaining NM wild horses and their habitat – despite NM media spewing outlandish numbers provided to them by the Cattle Growers and a faux Animal Protection Group.

WHOA recorded the entire life threatening event thankfully, as the state of New Mexico illegally hid their police cam recordings and provided only one paper showing the State Penn had received a call (until years later when they received WHOA’s video evidence recording the entire horrific event) There were ~ 6 police vehicles and an ambulance there on rt 14 that day where the wild horses were being held across the field at the Santa Fe State Prison

WHOA’s activist Jessica Guttman a well know Environmental and Patient’s Rights activist in NM and her attorneys have recently won in court on all points against this brutal, illegal use of force to intimidate. To be clear, Jessica Guttman and her attorneys did not “settle” for money. New Mexico was found guilty on all points, and then NM negotiated on the lawful amount for damages. (See Story Below)

In the meantime, WHOA also won the release of the Alto/Ruidoso’s Wild Horses that WHOA’s activists were there that day to monitor in order to protect. Dianne L. Stallings Ruidoso News

“Judge rules wild horses to be returned to Alto – The judge ruled the state livestock board does not have jurisdiction over the horse herd and is enjoined from any further unlawful possession and selling of Lincoln County wild horses”

However, the state of New Mexico which uses tax dollars to harass, intimidate and harm environmentalists, is again using tax dollars to appeal WHOA’s win for feasible humane management of our Wild Horses by immuno-contraception versus expensive feedlot glutting which profits wildlife opposition at tax payer expense and slaughter over-the border and over-seas.


As always, follow the money. In a nutshell, the answer is the Factory “Farm Bill”. Wild Horses and their predators are a native to North America and Americans love their “domestic” horses as well, but both are considered competition for the Livestock industry as there are hay shortages every year.

Moreover, Congress has allowed the intentional glutting/ruining of the “domestic” horse market as it is “domestic” horses. There are ~ 10 million domestic horses per a Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congress in 2016. These domestic horses compete with the 93 million cattle per the USDA, for hay. The livestock industry maintains that they have LESS cattle than before, however each bovine weighs ~ 1/3 more than they did in the 1970’s due to genetic maneuvers. This greed for more hay for more profit overseas is also demanding on America’s fresh water supplies and on our wildlife.

Hence Wild Horses are not managed on the range and are instead used to glut and destroy the domestic horse market AND are dangerously sold/given away below kill buyer prices. Further, due to the intentional market glutting, there are no-longer Arabian Farms, Morgan Farms etc. selling horses.

Congress on down to the state level (both parties) looks the other way due to Farm Bill Kickbacks through the livestock industry since 1933, now at ~ $150 Billion/year and growing.

Hence the Department of Interior’s long term illegal malicious management of Wild Horses. Their refusal to feasibly humanely manage wild horses on the range as wildlife. In addition, they perform horrific helicopter round ups and also Puppy Mill wild horses into ranchers personally profitable unnatural private feed lots, as if livestock, without vet care after gelding, families destroyed, using tax dollars while the public does not have oversight access to their private properties called long term holding.

Congressional Members of both parties have disgracefully blocked, using duplicitous tactics, the use of known feasible immuno-contraception since 1995 and at the same time, used tax dollars ($121 Million/year) to brutally wipe out all of their native natural predators through USDA’s Wildlife Services and then complain that wild horses have no natural predators.

Congress has spent more money killing the native predators of the native horse for the livestock industry, than it has spent managing the wild horses. The media spins against the wild horses and American culture, but does not investigate.

NM police settle disabled woman’s suit for $300K

Published: Thursday, September 24th, 2020 at 10:31pmUpdated: Friday, September 25th, 2020 at 12:02am

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SANTA FE – New Mexico State Police have reached a $300,000 settlement with a disabled woman who accused an officer of grabbing and handcuffing her after she refused to provide identification in 2016.

Jessica Guttman claimed in her 2018 lawsuit that she and two friends were parked on the side of a highway looking at horses when officer Kevin Smith pulled up with his cruiser’s lights flashing and asked what they were doing.

Smith wrote in his report that he had been sent to the site following a call from nearby prison officials who were suspicious of the women, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Guttman, 45, gave her name to the officer and Smith asked to see her ID. Guttman refused and started walking away.

Smith grabbed Guttman’s arms and placed them behind her back while trying to handcuff her.

Guttman said in her lawsuit that the incident caused her so much anxiety she fell to the ground and had seizures. Guttman had suffered a traumatic brain injury earlier in her life and has difficulty communicating verbally, she said in her lawsuit.

“It would have been reasonably apparent to a well-trained officer that Ms. Guttman is or may be disabled,” the lawsuit said.

Smith wrote in his report at the time that Guttman “refused to calm down” and that she tried to bite an officer who was attempting to “support her as she thrashed.”

He added that he determined Guttman and her friends were not parked “for malicious intent, rather they were there for the horses.”

Two State Police spokesmen, Dusty Francisco and Ray Wilson, did not respond to questions from the Associated Press about the case or Smith’s current employment status.

Further references available upon request.

Another account with court details here:


WHOA Wins Freedom & Fights On

WHOA fought & WON the release of ALL Alto Wild horses from the NMLB.
WHOA built on their Appellate Court Win for Placitas Wild Horses in 2015.


The State and National Livestock Industry Concerns to appeal WHOA’s Alto WIN in the NM Appellate Court while their 1.4 million New Mexico cattle roam freely.

Living FREE!
Release Video @ Wild Horses Of Lincoln County (WHOA’s DBA on FB)
WHOA fought for the release of ALL Alto wild horses and WON.
WHOA takes no salary or pay. 100% volunteer since 2004
Please donate to support WHOA’s work for Freedom
WHOA’s interim release of the Alto Wild Horses to the famous Harkey Ranch to await their release back home into the Enchanted Forest and Alto area of Lincoln County.


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Placitas Wild Horses Overview History Update

Natural History, Legislative & Legal history, Population Management, Range Management, Road Safety, Independent Poll

INDEX BEING UPDATED ………………………………………………………………………………………………3


Photo by Kevin Larson (c) Prarie Dog on the BLM “Buffalo Tract”

Livestock Corridors

NM Livestock Free Range Supported w/ Cattle Guards & Fencing

Tax Payer Expense

66-7-363. Animals on highway; highway fencing.

C.  Owners of livestock ranging in pastures through which unfenced roads or highways pass shall not be liable for damages by reason of injury or damage to persons or property occasioned by collisions of vehicles using the roads and highways and livestock ranging in the pastures unless the owner of the livestock is guilty of negligence other than allowing livestock to range in the pasture.

D.  As the department of transportation’s annual budget permits, the department of transportation shall:

(1)       construct, inspect regularly and maintain fences along all highways under its jurisdiction and provide cattle underpasses, water pipelines and cattle guards as the department of transportation may deem necessary, unless it makes a fact determination that no livestock can enter the highway from a portion left unfenced; and

(2)       post proper signs along all highways under its jurisdiction that are not fenced on both sides and that are located adjacent to property containing livestock.  The signs shall be located at intervals of not more than two miles along such unfenced highways; provided that sign intervals and postings shall be consistent with the department of transportation’s specifications for a uniform system of traffic-control devices, subject to traffic safety engineering discretion, and shall warn motorists that loose livestock may be encountered and that caution should be used.

E.  A person who violates the provisions of Subsection A or B of this section is guilty of a penalty assessment misdemeanor.

Wildlife Corridors

17-9-1. Short title.

This act [17-9-1 to 17-9-4 NMSA 1978] may be cited as the “Wildlife Corridors Act”.

History: Laws 2019, ch. 97, § 1.

17-9-2. Definitions.

As used in the Wildlife Corridors Act:

A.  “human-caused barrier” means a road, culvert, commercial or residential development or other human-made structure that has the potential to affect the natural movement of wildlife across the landscape;

B.  “large mammal” includes mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, black bear and mountain lions;

C.  “species of concern” means a wildlife species identified by the department of game and fish as being adversely affected by habitat fragmentation exacerbated by human-caused barriers and the high potential of wildlife-vehicle collisions; and

D.  “wildlife corridors” means those areas used routinely by wildlife to travel through their habitat and includes corridors used by migrating wildlife.

History: Laws 2019, ch. 97, § 2. 17

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By Citizens Against Equine Slaughter

The Choreographed “Players” Sponsored Dance of Horse Slaughter

For the Livestock Industry 

A SAFE “ACT” Hearing Held By Congress, Scapegoating Wild Horses

SAFE Act Update

H.R. 961

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter

30 january, 2020

Today the ~ 5 year old SAFE ACT currently called H.R. 961 along with 9 other bills all at once were discussed in a so called hearing of the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. . . and what a sham it was making a mockery of 224 co-signers, 80% of the American people, and their representational democracy.

Enter the now infamous player, the ASPCA, of the recent ASPCA et al. massive wild horse round-up plan, to “defend” the SAFE ACT, oh so earnestly as a faithful yet uncredentialed pawn. While the opponents brought in their expert witness a veterinarian ready to professionally hand wave away, anything the non-credentialed stated, and that he did, poorly, but it didn’t matter, the deck was stacked.

The SAFE ACT was introduced by Representative Janice D. Schakowsky of Illinois. She and the Chair understood and led “the dance” There was very little time for any party to provide a defense as mis-matched opponents testified, with scientists being the only ones given credence and all the bills heard at once in a livestock soup.

Testimony was given by Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) , and opposition by Douglas Corey, D.V.M., from the Unwanted Horse Coalition and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. (Ms. Perry gives her testimony a 2:53:30 in the Hearing video, with Dr. Corey following directly after)

The biggest ‘planned mistake’ made by Representative Schakowsky was in not having someone there to testify in support of the bill who had a veterinary degree or a medical-scientific degree. Her ‘expert’ Ms. Perry quoted a professionally PEER reviewed article, however the Chair condescendingly side slammed her for daring to rebut the veterinarian’s governmental (GAO) report to Congress as “anecdotal” or without actual or sufficient data. 

While Ms. Perry did not appear to have brought along proof of what she asserted, there wouldn’t have been time anyway in this mixed up livestock soup called a “hearing”. 

When opening remarks were made from the subcommittee members. The only reference to the SAFE Act among all the other bills introduced was from Representative Greg Walden of Oregon, who didn’t name the bill but rather discussed other bills and then said he was concerned that “other” bills to be discussed would have some “unintended consequences.” 

Glaringly, SAFE ACT “Co-signer” Representative Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico a member of this Health sub-committee was a NO-SHOW. Certainly he apparently had something else way more important?

However Congressman Walden showed up to put the nail in their coffin!  

He has been a long time political puppet for the livestock industry especially in his district in eastern Oregon. Passing bills like the Steens Mountain Act of 2000 which made some extremely lopsided land trades and created an advisory council for public lands management that has its own pile of legal gray-area issues. However, it was abundantly clear that the almost under-the breath comment made at the end of his remarks (“unintended consequences”) was directed toward the SAFE Act.

For years now the argument used to fight the SAFE Act is that if we close the borders to slaughter, meaning that American horses could not be shipped across the border to be slaughtered for human consumption, there would be a problem with where “unwanted horses” would go leading to an increase of neglected, abandoned or dumped horses. This is the unintended consequence Representative Walden of Oregon feigned without basis, to put the nail in their coffins.

Ms. Perry and Dr. Corey testified further during the second portion of the hearing today. Ms. Perry spoke about the dangers of chemicals routinely given to horses in the United States that are banned for use in animals raised for human consumption. She spoke specifically about phenylbutazone(bute), a drug that is never for use in food animals, never leaves the tissues and one that the FDA has found and acted on when discovered in meat intended for human consumption in the US. 

Ms. Perry stated that slaughter is not humane euthanasia. 

Dr. Corey DVM, stated that slaughter is humane euthanasia. 

However he said it as a Veterinarian, though it is not. 

                            But you see the dynamic. 

Slaughter is done for food only and that involves cruel methods that were never designed for a horse and are often ineffective creating a more horrifying end for the animal. The other, euthanasia, is done to provide a painless end of life because the horse is ill or in such pain that death is imminent or the kindest thing to do.

Slaughter – the killing of animals for food.

Euthanasia – the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. 

Then Dr. Corey erroneously testified that the chemical safety issue was negated by time. He explained this by claiming it would no longer be an issue because once horses are shipped to Canada or Mexico to be slaughtered the country would hold the animals for 6 months, and then tested for drug residues to ensure the chemicals were no longer in the tissues. This was incorrect for 2 reasons; 1. Mexico has no such hold on horses entering from the United States, and 2. Some chemicals such as bute, never leave the tissues. Remember, once the European Union (EU) stopped buying horse meat from Mexico, he was not able to support his claims.

Dr. Corey stated that since the ban on US slaughter there has been an increase in the number of investigations for neglected animals, and dumped or abandoned animals. What he didn’t say but Ms. Perry did point out is that the timing of the GAO report he was quoting was begun the same time the United States entered a recession. Therefore there is no data that confirms the end of slaughter in the US had anything to do with the increase in investigations, or abandonment. 


The telling, and perhaps most alarming, turn in the hearing was an awkward segway created by Congressman Griffith of VA who is opposed to the bill. He found a way to bring the plight of American wild horses into the situation. By stating that in his area of VA there used to be a saying that when you take your livestock to sale you had better lock-up your hauler because otherwise you get done selling your animals and go back to find someone dumped a load of unwanted horses in it. ( hearsay) This was at approximately 4:07:30 in the video. Dr. Corey replied with further hearsay: “Actually in the west we found that to be true and I’ve talked to several state veterinarians that have indicated that horses were abandoned and turned out in the wild with the wild roaming horses and that is a fact.”

Later Congressman Griffith got a second round of questions (approx 4:19:00 in the video) for the panel and went back to the SAFE Act bill saying:

 â€œDr. Corey you mentioned retirement homes for horses. That’s a term I’ve often used. We’re spending more than 80 million a year on retirement homes horses. There are not enough families out there who want to adopt, or enough facilities to adopt, which is why we have approximately 50 thousand horses from federal lands now in what I call retirement homes.

Shame on you Representative Griffith. These are factually false statements, and you have at a minimum, not done your homework on a bill before you, or a budget you voted to pass for the BLM to manage wild horses. 

First of all the 80 million dollar budget BLM is appropriated for wild horses and burro management is not spent entirely on warehousing wild horses. And if the agency would manage them on the range using more feasible methods of population control, there would be very little needed to warehouse horses, because it would be rare any would have to be removed from the range. 

Secondly, it is illegal for federal agencies managing wild horses, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Forest Service (FS) to ship wild horses or sell wild horses to a person known to ship them to slaughter. So this is never a legal avenue to  deal with the people’s wild horses in holding that were removed from our public lands. 

And finally, CAES has just this month, filed lawsuit alleging wild horses from the holding facility in Oregon are missing (numbering in the hundreds). The case was based on documentation provided by a Freedom of Information Act request, and BLM lying about how many were in holding, when 4 of our members went and physically counted horses and compared tag no.s at the facility. 

Did Representative Griffith and Dr. Corey just confirm our fears that our wild horses removed are being illegally slid out the back door to slaughter? 

In their own words? Basically, YES.

The case we filed is against those BLM employees at a federal facility in Oregon, in Congressman Walden’s district. Is he blocking this bill knowing the horses warehoused at a federal facility in his district would no longer be able to be snuck out and shipped off to slaughter?

We also noted, at the end of the Hearing a list of letters read, (many look good players) in support or opposition of various bills, revealed that:

 A letter was sent to Vice President Pence from an organization 

based in eastern Oregon called Protect the Harvest strong supporters of horse slaughter and wild mare, experimental ovariectomies..

It is important to note here that Forest Lucas, owner of Lucas Oil and founder of Protect the Harvest is a personal friend of Vice President Pence. Previously they have collaborated in the case of a father and son ranching family who were jailed for arson on public lands in eastern Oregon. VP Pence and Mr Lucas secured a pardon by President Trump for the Hammond’s. That came after the Hammond jail sentence to meet the minimum sentence was rallied against sparking an armed srtand-off in eastern Oregon. That stand-off was led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy (sons of Cliven) who are well-known anti-federal government, cowboys who believe public lands should not be managed by the federal government. The stand-off was staged after the armed group took over a federal building in a wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon.

Protect the Harvest is also one of the leading organizations promoting the surgical experiments to perform wild mare sterilizations. When BLM was stopped by CAES from doing these experiments, the BLM colluded with Protect the Harvest to have members of the organization purchase horses from the BLM and do experiments on them which circumvented the AWA regulations for experimenting on wildlife because once a wild horse is purchased they lost their wild status and become legally labelled as livestock, thus following livestock laws for the procedures which are much less protective for the animal. Has Protect the Harvest done any scientific studies on the chemicals in spayed mares that are sent to slaughter for human consumption? Our lawsuit against the spays discussed the use of chemicals that would present a health hazard to animals who prey on wild horses and ingest the meat. So Protect the Harvest cannot say they support slaughter, and at the same time send animals that are full of toxic chemicals, including ones from these surgical experiments that are known to be dangerous for any consumer of the meat.

We have long had a problem with co-signers of this bill not taking any action to move the bill forward. Simply adding your name, and getting kudos, is not enough, the horses need them to make a commitment and represent us on that commitment, not just make a look good choreographed moove.

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12th Judicial District Court Lincoln County, NM – Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law WHOA V NMLB II

Alto Wild Horses Released by WHOA, through this court. by Kathy Kolt

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Why are Helicopter Round ups illegal?


Dr. Lester Friedlander DVM
Former USDA Veterinarian and Whistle Blower
WHOA Board Member


 I, Dr. Lester Friedlander DVM BA of Bradford County Pennsylvania do, hereby state that the facts above set forth are true and correct (or are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information and belief) and that I expect to be able to prove the same at a hearing held in this matter. I understand that the statements herein are made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. §  4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).

 Date: 4/3/2019

¦ Signature: REDACTED

I am the president of Citizens Against Equine Slaughter (CAES) a national 501c3 non-profit based in Oregon.

In this affidavit, I re-assert everything I stated in my previous affidavit/s for this Muddy Creek HMA.

As I stated: Only the Secretary of the Interior can authorize a round up by helicopter as clearly, this is a very dangerous situation for the wild horses. However, there is no legal right to condone extreme animal cruelty, harassment and death as wild horses are not livestock.

In my previous affidavit I outlined many of the atrocities of helicopter round ups and alternatives.

BLM has two veterinary groups and the Inspector General  observe from afar, helicopter round -ups in an effort to have them declared humane. (See foot notes 10,11,12 on pg 25 of BLM Response)

Now the BLM comes and states that two groups of veterinarians and the inspector General have studied and or declared that helicopter round ups are humane (without an actual study) and that they are necessary.  However, this is wholly unreasonable without an actual study.

Again, there are alternatives for on range management as called for by these veterinarians as well as proof that the gather and removal off the range is not working, per these reports, the in state of Utah alone over 15,000 horses have already been gathered. This amount of gathers, handling, and feeding is astounding versus the ease that the originating horses could be simply darted on the range with nowhere near the amount of cost, time, harassment, and cruelty as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.

These Veterinarians have also recommended that helicopter usage include wide angle cameras  for study and documentation as has CAES repeatedly for years. This would also handle handicap access.

Simple lure traps around water sources would suffice for simple on the ground darting or darting from helicopter one family at a time. If people can go out to these places to manage their cattle, why cannot we go out to the horses and lure trap for darting and release? An example is shown in my previous Affidavit of the lure traps at the Soccorro BLM in NM.

The Inspector General states that the National Academy of Sciences should be followed as the best science however does not follow through. Excuses given that logistics are different than Assateague a 45,000 acre island. However, it is easier to design logistics at places that are not surrounded by water.

 However, this field office, this agency, and this government are essentially blocking the best alternative as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. Be that as it may, this Secretary of State has no legal right to act inhumanely against both the 1971 Act, the animal cruelty laws of the states and the nation .

No Veterinarian has even sat in a helicopter during any round up in these three studies.

In the BLM Response to Appellees Statement of Reasons, though the BLM makes the claim that Veterinarians have studied helicopter round ups, no Veterinarian has even sat in a helicopter during a helicopter round up. They have only sat at the capture shute areas as do other citizens. The 4 independent Veterinarians did actually go for a ride in a helicopter over a number of HMAs, but not during a round-up.

There have been no Scientific or Veterinary Study of helicopter round ups and the associated issues such as Post Capture Myopathy Syndrome or Rhabdomyolysis. (See Attachments 1, 2)

Short List of Issues

Here is a short list of the issues with the two Veterinary Studies of APHA and AAEP of 2010 foot notes 10 and 12 respectively. Both show some serious effects of helicopter round ups as well which illustrate that these are inhumane and do not include the first 5 to 6 miles of wild horses falling out prior to the gather shuts.

The fact that they did these two Veterinary Studies lets us know that they themselves know that there should be a study and that treating wild horses in this manner is indeed extreme animal cruelty on all levels and these studies are little more than a cover up albeit with a few decent recommendations, though the BLM did not implement them.

  1. Eleven Vets of the AAEP which are not without a conflict of interest. They are the founding member of the unwanted horse coalition which is comprised in part by pro-horse slaughter members. Their names are not even included in the study. Their questionnaires were not even included in the study.
  2. No AAEP Veterinarian rode/flew in a helicopter during a round-up, which are easily 5 miles.
  3. There were no cameras on the helicopters monitoring and documenting what was happening during the round ups in the 5 -7 mile or so stampedes.
  4. There was no statistical study showing previous vs post conditions by age, by gender, by pregnant or not pregnant, by body score, etc.
  5. There was no statistical study showing White Muscle disease by distance run, number of horses  run, age. There was no one on the ground to study and or follow-up with any horses which fell out.
  6. There was no selection process of only heathy adults male or female, or random selection process with results tabulated.
  7. There is no hypothesis.
  8. No peer review.
  9. There is no alternative or control studied.

The BLM has not implemented the AAEP recommendations underlined below as well as those of the APHA or the Inspector General.

Here are the recommendations of 10 AAEP Veterinarians. Page

American Association of Equine Practitoners

 Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Wild Horse and Burro Program

BLM Task Force Report

August 2011


The BLM should utilize the best science available to obtain accurate herd management area census information in order to determine the healthy sustainable equid numbers for each area.

The BLM should prioritize research and application of effective methods to reduce the foaling rate in wild herds.


The contract helicopter pilots should always maintain a safe distance between the helicopter and any horses that are being gathered, and between the helicopter and the ground.

The capture pens should be constructed so that pen configurations include wider sections

instead of narrow lanes for temporary holding of animals that have just been captured. This

configuration gives passive animals a circular escape from aggressive animals.

The trap should be constructed with solid side panels in the final capture pen to prevent

horses from getting their heads or legs outside of the pen and to discourage horses from

attempting to climb out of the enclosure

The use of existing barb wire fence as a stage for a jute wing should be discouraged. If barb wire fence must be used, any areas where the horses will be actively driven should be covered with jute to prevent injury.


The task force encourages current efforts to produce a centralized database to track the history of all horses in the BLM program. The records should include positive or negative trends in adoption programs and socially productive programs like those in place at certain prisons.

Again, The BLM has not implemented any of the above underlined recommendations. To wit, no census at Muddy Creek, only estimates from previous estimates, and the Muddy Creek Field office rounded up 153 wild horses and released 2 with birth control. This is an insult to science and to the wild horses and the American public.

In this Muddy Creek census analysis there was no census. According to the BLM Response here is how the number of horses was estimated:

Page 3,4 of the BLM Response excerpt:

As of March 1, 2018, the BLM-estimated population of wild horses within the Muddy

Creek HMA was 195, and BLM projected that the population would reach 224 horses by the end of the summer of 2018. EA at 000166, Table l. BLM based its population projection on

adding a 15% foal increase for 2017 and 2018 to the April 2017 population survey estimate.


see also EA Appendix C. These wild horse population projections and BLM monitoring data

reflecting deteriorating range conditions led BLM to determine that excess horses existed within the Muddy Creek HMA and that excess horses needed to be removed in order to restore a thriving natural ecological balance, maintain multiple-use relationships, and prevent further degradation of rangeland resources resulting from the overpopulation of wild horses.

(However Note)  This monitoring data is on file within the BLM Price Field Office. It is not in the hands of the public.

Likely Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (White Muscle Disease not communicable

The AAEP Report also gave evidence that this helicopter gather process was unnatural and fatal to wild horses. See Excerpt below on pg. 25. This showed evidence of Capture Myopathy but no recommendation was made to study the humanity of the helicopter round up exertion or to condemn this process in favor of humane and feasible alternative of dartable contraception (PZP) rather than Gona Con which is hormonal and is not dartable.

Condition of the horses after the gather: The condition of the horses immediately after capture was judged to be good, with the exception of the one horse that collapsed and died right before entering the trap. There was no sign of exhaustion or medical compromise in the other horses that were observed being gathered. The gathered horses had elevated respiratory rates as expected for any exercised horse, and  some had mild to moderate body coat sweat which was dependent on the weather and distance traveled.?

APHA Main Recommendations – Group of 4 Independent Veterinarian

(From Foot note 10 on pg 25 of BLM Response) Excerpts below with emphasis added.

Independent Designated Observer Pilot Program


 October 2010  Overview  One of the American Horse Protection Associations missions is the protection and preservation of Americas wild horses and burros on US public rangelands. The Bureau of Land Managements has the authority and responsibility to ensure, to its best ability, the welfare of wild horses and burros during the gather, holding, and transporting process when horses are removed from public rangeland.

Consider installing camera monitors in the chutes/corrals at short term holding facilities or trap sites for the public to observe gathering, loading, unloading and preparation of animals. The public could watch at the short term holding facilities and not be additionally stressful to the animals.

Consider mounting a wide-angle lens camera on the helicopter during gather to record movement and behavior of the horses to study the effects of the helicopter on the horses.

In line with BLMs ongoing development of its animal welfare program, in June 2010, AHPA offered to initiate a Pilot Independent Designated Observer Program Pilot Program that involved the observation and reporting on the care and handling of wild horses and burros during the gather process at three major summer gathers: Owyhee HMA (NV); Stinking Waters HMA (OR); and Twin Peaks HMA (CA). It is important to note that the Pilot Program was not intended to replace public observation days. Additionally, the Pilot Program was specific to the care and handling of the animals only. BLM policy regarding removals was not within the scope of the Pilot Program.

Horses travelled an average of 5-7 miles to trap site, and a Judas (or Prada) horse was utilized. Most horses entered the trap at a trot, some at a canter.

At the Stinking Water gather, a 23 year old stallion jumped out of the pen and escaped the trap site. About ½ mile from trap, he was subsequently roped and his legs were tied while in a recumbent position, and eventually was transported in a two compartment stock horse trailer back to the Burns Corrals.

At the Owyhee gather, horses were observed to be tucked up suggesting decreased water intake. Some foals had mud on their faces, suggesting they had been trying to suck water because their dams were not producing sufficient milk, and willingly drank water from a bucket which is uncommon and implies tremendous thirst.

Hoof condition was generally good with no significant defects. One foal at the Stinking Water gather had noticeable chipping in one hoof but was not lame.

Coat/hide condition was generally good and clean, and indicative of the summer season.

Lameness: One mare at the Bull Flats temporary holding facility (Twin Peaks gather) was grade 3 lame at the trot, with no visible lesions. At the Litchfield short term holding facility two foals were observed to be stiff and foot sore but mobile. One stallion at the Owyhee gather came in lame with an old knee injury.

Injuries: One mare with pre-existing injury to hind leg at the Twin Peaks gather; superficial scrapes/kick wounds and one ~4 inch laceration which was sutured by the APHIS veterinarian in the squeeze chute at the Stinking Water gather; cuts and scrapes were noted at the Owyhee gather and were most often treated with a furazone type product. Illness: A few horses exhibited colicky signs at the Owyhee gather; one mare was observed to have symptoms of rhabdomyolysis at the Stinking Water gather.

Recommendations Based on the observations of the 4 independent designated observers, the following recommendations are offered for consideration:

If at all possible, horses should not be roped or tied down in a recumbent position for prolonged periods of time, especially coinciding with exhaustive or over-heated conditions. Strict criteria should be established to determine the initiation and purpose of this practice. If necessary to implement these procedures, these horses should be identified, marked, and/or confined separately from the others in the gather and observed for any injuries or metabolic conditions for the next 48 hours. This could be achieved by moving these animals to designated, smaller holding corrals.

Excessively aggressive horses (studs or mares) should be isolated as soon as possible or grouped with horses they were with before capture (i.e., a harem stallion with his foals or dry mares) rather than stand waiting in the chutes or alleyways.

Horses held in any enclosure over 4 hours after the gather at the trap site should be provided with access to hay and water in at least 100 gallon containers unless the horses are seriously dehydrated or compromised and, in the opinion of a veterinarian, should have restricted access to reduce the risk of water intoxication. Lidocaine spray (or other topical anesthetic) should be utilized by attending veterinarians in order to facilitate suturing of wounds in horses in the squeeze chute. Transport (unloading and loading) of animals should be kept to a minimum.

Inspector General US Dept. of Interior 2011

(Foot note 11 pg. 25 BLM Response)

Like the other Veterinary Reports above, the inspector general report did not scientifically prove any of the statements regarding helicopter round ups as humane as no tests of helicopter round ups in progress were performed, only observation from the ground at the end of a 5 to 7 mile long stampede.


To address the issues outlined in this inspection, we recommend that BLM:

 Continue moving forward with the Secretarys initiative and BLMs program

improvements to the extent that:

1.  There is urgent and aggressive focus on research and testing of improved

population control methods to balance wild horse and burro population

growth with adoption demand, thereby minimizing the need for additional

long-term holding facilities and preserves.

2.  There is an ambitious effort to minimize and reduce over the long term the

need for short- and long-term storage facilities.

3.  The best science for wild horse and burro management and needed new

research is coordinated with and confirmed by the National Academy of

Sciences and the results put into practice.

ATTACHMENT I.   Capture Myopathy intro.

Capture Myopathy

Other Names: Exertional myopathy, overstraining disease, exertional rhabdomyolusis


Capture myopathy (CM) is a non-infectious disease of wild and domestic animals in which muscle damage results from extreme exertion, struggle, or stress. CM often occurs as a result of chemical immobilization, capture, or transport, but it is not always associated with capture and can be the result of other causes of stress.


Capture myopathy is an important cause of death in wild animals that are handled by humans, and people working with wildlife must take great care to prevent it.

Transmission/Disease Development

CM can occur naturally when prey animals are attempting to avoid predation, but it is usually caused by humans. This is because animals are adapted to escape from predators, but are not adapted to struggle for long periods of time in man-made restraints. Capture myopathy occurs when animals overexert themselves (struggling in a trap for example) so much that physiological imbalances develop and result in severe muscle damage. Hotter temperatures and repeated chemical immobilization increase the risk of animals suffering from CM.

Clinical Signs

Clinical signs vary depending on the species and the cause of exertion; the method of capture and restraint plays a major role in the occurrence of CM. Capture myopathy may result in sudden death, or clinical signs may develop hours, days, or up to two months following capture. Early clinical signs include elevated respiratory rate, heart rate, and body temperature. Body temperature increases during exertion and higher temperatures are often associated with death due to CM. Other clinical signs include depression, lack of response to stimuli, loss of coordination, weakness, muscle stiffness, tremors, muscle paralysis, recumbency, shock, and at times death.


Light-colored skeletal and sometimes cardiac muscle observed at necropsy is indicative of capture myopathy. Similar gross lesions may be found in animals with certain nutritional deficiencies, and specialized tests may be necessary to reach a diagnosis. Gross changes in muscle appearance may not be observable in animals that died acutely of CM.


Treatment of wildlife suffering from CM is rarely successful, and animals often die from this condition.


Everyone who captures and restrains wildlife should be aware of the risks of capture myopathy and should make every effort to prevent its occurrence. Wild animals should only be captured when necessary, and the negative affects that capture may have on an animal’s health should always be considered before beginning a management or scientific project. People should utilize capture methods that minimize animal stress, struggling, and handling time. For example, sound should be kept to a minimum, a blindfold should be placed over the animal’s eyes, and workers should be efficient so that the animal may be released as soon as possible. Appropriate methods may vary for each species, so research should be conducted in order to select the ideal capture method.

ATTACHMENT 2  Exertional Rhabdomyolysis Wild horses are flight animals and very susceptible to this disease which can go un noticed for days and be fatal.

ATTACHMENT: An hour hearing cannot provide the experimentation and review necessary. Use of motorized vehicles that allows families to stay together reduces stress on the individuals and family. This hearing was not greatly advertised and I can see no follow-up.

Moreover, 4800 animals as quoted below id  likely only 2,400 animals to dart. This is the creation of 5 good jobs for darting etc. rather than the helicopters, harassment, and death, and including the bird lady.


VERNAL, Utah“ The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host its annual statewide public hearing at the BLM Vernal Field Office to discuss the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in the management of wild horses and burros on Utah public lands.    

The hearing will take place:

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, 7 p.m.

BLM Vernal Field Office

170 S 500 E

Vernal, Utah 84078

Helicopter and motorized vehicle usage is a critical tool for managing wild horses and burros on public lands, said Gus Warr, BLM Utah Wild Horse and Burro State Lead.  These management tools allow us to conduct aerial population surveys, monitor animal distribution, conduct safe and effective gathers, and transport captured animals in a humane and efficient manner.

Utahs current statewide wild horse and burro population numbers currently exceed 4,800 animals, which is more than 200 percent of the approved appropriate management level of 2,000.  Having an overabundance of wild horses and burros above BLM management levels may cause resource damage resulting in limited forage and water availability, which reduces the number of animals that the land can support.

To date, the BLM has removed more than 15,600 wild horses and burros from Utahs rangelands since legislated removals began in 1976.  Over 8,100 of those animals have been adopted or sold locally; the remainder were shipped outside of Utah for adoption or holding in off-range pastures.  Utahs 2019 satellite adoptions start in March and continue monthly throughout the state.  Adoption locations are tentatively set for Farmington, Salt Lake City, Heber City, and Delta, Utah.  Animals are available for adoption on a weekly basis at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility.

For additional information about the upcoming statewide public hearing, or future wild horse and burro adoptions, visit  or contact the Utah Wild Horse and Burro Hotline at (801) 539-4050 or Gus Warr at the BLM Utah State Office at (801) 539-4057.

Sincerely, Signature REDACTED


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