HSUS voices concerns over wild foal hog-tied in gather

Wild horses in the Desatoya area.
Wild horses in the Desatoya area.

A wild foal that was apparently hog-tied after it refused to continue deeper into a horse trap was left in the path of stampeding mustangs, the Humane Society of the United States says.

The society has voiced its concerns about the actions of the Bureau of Land Management after one of the charity’s executive staff witnessed a contractor appear to hog-tie and leave a lost foal in the path of stampeding mustangs at the Desatoya Wild Horse Gather near Austin, Nevada.

The society said the actions appeared at odds with the agency’s stated vision and goal of improving and reforming its wild horse gather procedures.

The incident was witnessed by Holly Hazard, senior vice-president of programs and innovations for the society, who attended the gather as an observer to determine if the bureau was incorporating the charity’s recommended changes in standard operating procedures.

The incident that raised concerns occurred shortly after noon last Thursday, after several bands of horses had successfully been herded into a trap.

Hazard saw a bureau contractor ride out on horseback to collect a stray foal.

When the young horse resisted moving deep into the gather trap, Hazard watched the contractor appear to hog-tie the foal and then leave her in the path of galloping horses.

Once the band of horses was safely captured, instead of aiding the foal, the go-ahead was instead given for another band of horses to run around and past her again.

“The Bureau of Land Management has made significant progress in reforming its wild horse program in recent years – but the agency must set a higher standard and not allow such callous disregard for animals to take place in its operations,” said Hazard.

“The public has been calling for more transparency and responsible treatment of animals in the wild horse and burro program, and it’s time for the BLM’s stated goals and objectives to be applied in the field as well.”

The Desatoya gather is slated to occur for two weeks, with the goal of gathering 500 wild horses and applying the fertility control drug PZP to about 64 mares, who will be released.

As a result of the incident, society is calling on the bureau to:

  • Immediately review its protocols and make all changes necessary in order to ensure that no contractor has the authority to unnecessarily stress any animal in its custody and control in the name of gather efficiency.
  • Review previous HSUS requests to develop and implement a Humane Observer program that would allow a knowledgeable, objective witness to intervene at gathers in order to prevent similar incidents from occurring during gather operations.
  • Deliver a status report on the young foal in question, including information on her overall health and well-being and whether the foal was reunited with her mother at the temporary holding facility.
The bureau’s website says 149 horses have been gathered to date, with one death attributed to a chronic or pre-existing condition and one due to “acute” conditions.


8 thoughts on “HSUS voices concerns over wild foal hog-tied in gather

  • August 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Leave the horses alone.

  • August 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    This is unacceptable to say the least! These fellas need a lesson in respect, compassion and sense of integrity! How long will we stand by and allow this to continue! Certainly not me. It is time to increase legal pressures and hold the contractors paid by the BLM accountable!

  • August 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    If that is what transpired with the contractor and the foal, lets hog tie the contractor and leave him in the desert for a couple of days and see how he likes it. It really ires me, how these horses are treated. Lets all join together to put a stop to these inhumane gatherings, once and for all.

  • August 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    This must stop. It is cruel on so many levels. Leave our horses alone. They are ours and we want them protected.

  • August 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I am wondering if these people believe in Charma? I sure wish the would think about there actionsmore if they did. Maybe they might not do these violent act of injustice. They might not hurt and be violent to Mustages.

    Their actions are affecting the whole eco system rather just horse advocates. We are already down to 70% oxygen level in the world and we are not the top dog in the world anymore….

    Perhaps people like us want to see mustages and others are wanting to have the money to even be able to see them because of lack of jobs.

    I’m only eating hormone free meats and chicken grown in natural enviorments.

    If we kill all the wild horses we will be left with just poluted animals and plants and animals that have their DNA changedby Monsanto and other BIG Drug Companies. These are just acting like DRUG Dealers making moneyoff drugs.

    They probably will have all kinds of animals growing diseases and ones that have genetic faults from Phamacutical comapnies trying to imitating GOD creations.

    GOD doesn’t look down on Horses but rancher and the Forest Service and the BLM do….

  • August 24, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Don’t just fire the idiots…throw their ass in jail! Then throw away the keys!

    At the BLM the inmates have taken over the asylum!

  • August 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    the humane society is now objecting to the cruel and abusive treatment of the mustangs? well where are they when these horses are beat and tramatized that they rear and try to escape only to have broken necks and legs, perhaps these two agencies can work together to just allow these horses to remain free. sure give them the sterilization drug, but leave them in peace. as for the poor foal that was hogtied, what is the outcome of her fate. is she the one death that they are not telling anyone about.? evil blm

  • September 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    The BLM has actually surprised me, I thought they couldn’t get any lower – now they have.


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