Why is the BLM not reporting all these deaths? What are they trying to hide? ~Declan
Horse deaths at BLM's Palomino Valley facility more than twice as high as reported, rendering receipts reveal
The number of horse deaths at the BLM’s Palomino Valley wild horse facility is vastly underreported, according to rendering receipts uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request made by the farm animal advocacy group Animals’ Angels.
Animals’ Angels found:
According to the contract paperwork, Nevada By-Products was chosen over landfill disposal due to cost effectiveness and the fact that “Due to the sensitive nature of the public to the wild horse and burro program, it is necessary to dispose of these large animals as quickly and discretely (sic) as possible and Reno Rendering fulfills these requirements."The BLM’s Heather Jasinski was asked for comment. She responded:
In addition to the contract itself, our FOIA request obtained all records of deceased horses and burros sent from the BLM holding facility to the rendering plant from January 1, 2010 through May 31, 2012.
During that timeframe the BLM itself reported in the official Palomino Valley Mortality Detail Report that only 241 horses and burros died at the Palomino Valley facility and 50 at the Fallon facility. However, the records from the rendering plant tell quite a different story. According to the Nevada By-Product invoices for that same time period, a startling 577 dead horses were received from the Palomino Valley Facility. This is a shocking difference of 286 animals (336 horses if Nevada By-Products does not render the horses from Fallon), a number simply too large to ignore.
As for Animals’ Angels and their posting about the discrepancy of numbers of deaths: as stated in my earlier response, the National WH&B Program is currently reviewing its reporting procedures for all aspects of the program and will modify them to correct any identified discrepancies. Until any modifications are identified as being needed, we will continue to respond to any requests based on the current recording procedure.The discrepancy seems to come about mostly from the counting of baby deaths. They aren’t tracked because they haven’t reached the age where they would be branded and enter “the system.” A controversy is over whether their deaths should be counted in general but also whether they should be counted as negative fallout from roundups, with the thinking being that they may have survived if born in the wild and their mothers hadn’t endured the stress of roundup, confinement and unfamiliar food.
Finally, as cited in another blog post today, here’s an excerpt from a different email by Jasinski:
How many horses have died at the facility since Jan 1, 2013? According to the Wild Horse and Burro Program System, the number of horses that have died at PVC from Jan. 1, 2013 through April 1, 2013, is 37. This number does not include stillbirths (aborted fetuses, animals born dead and newborn animals found dead) and young foals that died before they were freeze marked. Foals are freeze marked when they are weaned. This varies with the size and condition of the foals and the mares, but usually occurs sometime between three and six months of age.See the Animals’ Angels report here. It includes the rendering contract and rendering invoices.
The photo was taken last month at the BLM's Palomino Valley facility last month by the RGJ's Tim Dunn.