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“Guided Tours” Attempt to Replace Humane Observers in The Calico Mountains

February 17th, 2010 by Webmaster

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This photo taken from video shot by Deniz Bolbol, shows just how close the helicopters get to the horses when stampeding them into traps.

This photo taken from video shot by Deniz Bolbol, shows just how close the helicopters get to the horses when stampeding them into traps.

As IDA gears up for 2 Nevada demonstrations this weekend, (Las Vegas on Thursday, Carson City on Saturday), the BLM announced on February 12 that beginning February 21st, the wild horses rounded up from Nevada’s Calico Mountain complex can only be seen on guided tours of 10 people per week during a two-hour window on Sundays. So much for BLM’s promised transparency!

The BLM announced in a news release that the strict new visitation policy is necessary “due to horse preparation for adoption activities (freezemarking, vaccinations, blood tests, deworming, aging and recordation of animal descriptions).” IDA is dismayed that humane observers such as Craig Downer will be restricted from performing their legally-mandated duties. The humane observers are the only eyes on the ground for the horses, and now they’re being told they must close their eyes for most of the week. But we have confidence that they will keep their eyes open and continue to reveal to the world the BLM’s inhumane policies.

The BLM also released a report claiming that 18 horses who have died or been euthanized since being captured in the Calico roundup “came off the range in poor condition” and those euthanized received “acts of mercy.” But astute observers such as award-winning investigative reporter George Knapp dispute the BLM’s claims that the wild horses were in “poor condition” before they were chased by helicopters, stampeded for miles and held captive in holding pens. Such cruel helicopter stampedes constitute much of BLM’s so-called “management.” IDA has little doubt that the Calico death toll will continue to rise during their inhumane internment, which even BLM admits can cause stress, disease and injury in captured wild horses.