The Cloud Foundation Calling For Investigation of Canon City Wild Horse Deaths

May 19, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

BLM Wild HorsesBLM Wild Horses The Cloud Foundation issued a press release calling federal legislators and Colorado State officials to conduct an independent investigation into how an illness has killed almost 150 captured wild horses at BLM’s Canyon City holding facility. 

BLM officials claim the horse deaths are attributable to equine influenza virus H3N8. The Cloud Foundation is demanding answers about how the virus entered the facility and ravaged one specific herd – the West Douglas horses – with such devastating effects.

I agree with The Cloud Foundation.  It is a reasonable and logical request to have an unbiased third-party investigation of this horrific incident that has killed so many wild horses.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works for the American public, and the wild horses are not their property.  The wild horses belong to the American people, and we have a right to understand how and why something like this has happened.  It is not logical for anyone to investigate themselves in matters like this.  While they should perform their internal investigation, it should not be the only study performed.  It will be very telling if the BLM agrees to an unbiased third-party analysis or not.  More to follow on this as the story continues to develop.

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The Cloud Foundation Press Release

"CAÑON CITY, CO (May 18, 2022) – The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a national nonprofit dedicated to protecting America’s wild horses and burros, is urging Federal legislators and Colorado State officials to convene an independent investigation into how an illness has now killed almost 150 captured wild horses at BLM’s Canyon City holding facility. The group is calling for a moratorium on wild horse and burro roundups until the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can ensure the animals’ health and safety off the range. 

BLM officials claim the horse deaths are attributable to equine influenza virus H3N8. Wild horse advocate groups are demanding answers as to how the virus entered the facility and ravaged one specific herd – the West Douglas horses – with such devastating effect.

“These are the American public’s wild horses, they don’t belong to the BLM," stated Ginger Kathrens, Board President of The Cloud Foundation. “Secrecy breeds suspicion and doubt. Due to a long history of not being transparent, how can we trust the BLM to be unbiased while investigating itself? The vast majority of Americans want their wild horses managed on the range, but the government insists on rounding them up to pave the way for commercial livestock. We should at least be able to make sure our horses are well cared for after losing their homes, their families, and their freedom.” 

“Why weren’t the West Douglas horses vaccinated?” asked Lisa Friday, Director of Communications for The Cloud Foundation. “According to BLM protocol, vaccinations should be given every 180 days. These horses were at Canon City for 9 months before they started showing signs of what should have been a survivable illness if they were properly vaccinated. We should have answers.” 

In addition to the West Douglas horses, BLM’s Canyon City holding facility holds wild horses captured from the Red Desert Complex of Wyoming, and horses from the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area – a roundup that sparked massive public outrage and intervention from Colorado Governor Jared Polis, First Gentleman Marlon Reis, and Congressman Joe Neguse.

The Cloud Foundation (TCF), a 501(c)3 non-profit, has been at the forefront of wild horse advocacy since its inception in 2005. TCF was founded by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens, creator of three acclaimed PBS Nature series documentaries that followed the wild stallion Cloud throughout his life. Dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our public lands, The Cloud Foundation advocates for protecting natural wild equid behaviors, repatriation of wild horses to zeroed-out Herd Areas, and equal allocation of forage within Congressionally designated Herd Areas."

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