I request that the BLM and USFS issue ongoing updates on gathered wild horses. There is no other way to gauge the full impact of gathers on the continuing health and welfare of the animals in the BLM pipeline.
Currently, the BLM does not provide any information on horses and burros once a gather has been completed. These animals literally disappear from the public record except for their aggregate numbers and maintenance costs.
I suggest the BLM use existing monitoring devices and data-gathering procedures used by hospitals. By employing technology already in place, set-up costs should be reasonable. Reports should be available to the public on a daily basis. Hospital staff and monitoring devices input patient data constantly, and report at every shift change. I don’t think a daily BLM report is an unreasonable request.
Reports should include any and all statistics (deaths, injuries, miscarriages, vet reports, etc.) from both temporary and long-term holding facilities. They should also contain all sales (including numbers sold to a purchaser or his or her agent at any one time, and total sales to any one purchaser or his or her agent over time), and all adoptions (the same rules as “sales” to apply).
This should not be a difficult task, since every horse and burro carries a unique freeze brand for identification. I would hope the agencies are already compiling this information in some manner. Utilizing modernized technology should streamline their efforts, ultimately lowering costs and saving taxpayer dollars.
The success of this proposal depends on adherence to every requirement at all levels of the BLM and USFS, including contractors and subcontractors. To that end, I suggest oversight by an agency or organization outside the BLM and USFS to ensure accuracy and transparency.
I also request that, as taxpayers and stakeholders, independent humane observers should be allowed to photograph, videotape, and record information wherever and whenever they choose, including unscheduled visits to ensure accurate monitoring and reporting.
American tax dollars pay for every part of BLM and USFS Wild Horse and Burro activities, the salaries of all BLM and USFS employees, monies paid contractors and subcontractors, expenses for public/private equine holding facilities, inventories of animals on BLM and USFS herd management areas, and much more.
Our president has promised transparency at all levels of the federal government. As federal agencies, the BLM and USFS Wild Horse and Burro Program’s policies and practices should not be exempt from this promise.