Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cloud's Herd to be Rounded Up by Federally-Indicated Contractor

Just in from EWA -

Cloud’s Herd to be Rounded Up by Federally-Indicted Contractor

CHICAGO, (EWA) – A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) request by The Cloud Foundation and Front Range Equine Rescue was denied September 2, 2009 in Federal District Court. The TRO was filed to stop the round up of the Pryor Mountain horses, an action unprecedented in size and scope. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has contracted with the federally-indicted Dave Cattoor to round up America’s most famous wild horse herd beginning September 3, 2009. Wild horse advocate and investigator, Julianne French, explains the situation further in a video posted today on The Cloud Foundation website.

In 1992, Cattoor was indicted by a federal grand jury for hunting wild horses, aiding and abetting. Cattoor rounded up federally protected American mustangs, corralled them into pens and loaded them into trucks bound for a Texas slaughterhouse. He pled guilty to those charges. “Since that time we suspect that he has received at least $20,000,000,” says wild horse advocate, Julianne French. “And we know for sure, from the Federal Register website, that Cattoor has earned over $12,000,000 in the past nine years alone.”

While Cattoor is currently under investigation by the Department of Interior Inspector General for procurement fraud, BLM chooses to continue their relationship with the Cattoor Livestock Roundup Company.
“Generally, an indictment would eliminate a contractor from consideration,” added French. “However, Mr. Cattoor has been rewarded and made a millionaire many times over by the taxpayer-funded BLM—despite the public outrage.”

“If I ever had a felony charge, even if I had been exonerated, I’m not supposed to get a federal contract” stated Howard Boggess, Crow Elder and Historian. “Why are they above the law?”
A photographic report, The Use of Helicopters to Remove Wild Horses and Burros from Public Lands, displays newborn foals run to exhaustion, found hog-tied on the range, horses and burros bleeding from their nostrils, broken legs and injuries sustained during long gallops to capture pens.

Fully knowing the public’s concern about wild horse roundups BLM is still debating whether independent humane observers will be granted access to round up operations in the Pryors. “Where is the transparency and full-disclosure of this new administration?” asks Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation.

In the Pryor Wild Horse herd, young foals, only days old, will be rounded up and potentially removed. BLM plans call for nearly all the 188 horses remaining in the Pryors to be rounded up in order to apply infertility drugs. Seventy horses will be permanently removed and put up for adoption and sale on September 26, 2009.

According to noted geneticist Gus Cothran Ph.D. of Texas A&M University, 150 – 200 animals are required to maintain genetic viability. This removal would leave only 120 horses in the spectacular Pryor Mountains. The Cloud Foundation is urging Americans to speak up now, or lose this unique herd forever.

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