FALLON'S DOORS CLOSING TO THE PUBLIC
- CAPTIVE CALICO HORSES face branding, gelding behind closed doors
- HORSES CONTINUE TO MISCARRY LATE-TERM FOALS
- HORSES CONTINUE TO DIE AT FALLON
©Photography by Elyse Gardner
Manager John Neill conducts a tour in front of a stallion pen as Tomahawk and fellow stallions prepare to say goodbye to their genetic legacies, facing gelding in the next couple of weeks.
Our Nevada Calico complex horses may be out of their range but they are not out of our focus.
©Photography by Elyse Gardner
First let me thank all who read this blog, which I will endeavor to keep updated, and all who share your thoughts with me and with each other via your comments.
Quick update. Fallon's last "public" tour will be this Saturday, February 13. This is deeply troubling to many. Horses continue to lose their foals, horses continue to suffer from their abrupt change in diet. We want to continue to be able to visit, stay abreast of developments, and report back to you.
We are especially concerned about the horses left overnight without water after their grueling roundup on January 31. How are they faring? We want to continue to monitor them.
They have installed the squeeze chute and will probably start branding and gelding the horses next week, and I would very much like to be there to document this process. The horses will be moved through narrow alleyways ultimately into the "squeeze" chute, which is padded around the sides. This is where freeze-branding and shots are administered and generally where medical attention is given.
©Photograph by Craig Downer
Frightened horses facing the squeeze chute at temporary holding near trap site.
This is a time of increased risk of injury for the horses since they tend to resist this process. At least two humane observers have offered to be present, and in the spirit of transparency, I am hopeful that BLM will agree to allow us in.
I have made a formal request, and Craig Downer has offered to be present, as well. There is some footage of this process from the Pryor Mountain roundup which may be seen if you go to Thecloudfoundation.org, click on Blogs, and go to the Humane Observer blog.
The system at Fallon is more sophisticated than the one shown on that blog at Britton Springs in Montana, but it is the identical, noisy hydraulic chute. What makes it more "sophisticated' is the high-sided, curving alleyway leading into the chute area, which I am hopeful will help the horses stay reasonably calm as they approach the chute. I would like to see how effective this arrangement is. We all want the horses to have a safe, quiet experience.
That is what a humane observer does: observe and document with an eye toward the horse's perspective.
At this point, I have been denied access. As of now, no members of the public are allowed in the holding facilities when they are processing horses.
Also, we do not want the doors to close out the public at Fallon. I believe it might be helpful to let BLM know we want continued access to monitor the horses. These are America's horses. Sequestering them away creates a loss for Americans and is contrary to Congress's finding that they enrich the lives of the American people.
- We want to be able to see the "processing" of the horses.
- We also want continued tours throughout, with no break.
Don Glenn, Director of Wild Horse & Burro Program in Washington : 202.912-7260, email: Don_Glenn@blm.gov
Ed Roberson, Asso. Director of Dept of Renewable Resources (Don Glenn's boss): 202/208-4896, email: Edwin_Roberson@blm.gov
These are all the right people to call with your polite requests. More photos and info later.
For the wild horses, captive and free, and their humble burro friends,