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☛ Wild horses winners “this time around” 5-12-18

Posted by on May 12, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, MAJOR EVENTS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

WILD HORSES WERE THE WINNERS IN A $1.3 TRILLION GOVERNMENT SPENDING BILL …

 

THIS TIME AROUND!

 

May 12, 2018
By Glory Ann Kurtz

Karin Brulliard recently wrote an article in the Washington Post entitled, “Negotiators said “nay” to a House proposal to allow the culling of tens of thousands of horses and burros that roam the West or are held in government funded corrals and ranches.”

 

The proponents of the proposal included its sponsor Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah).

 

However, the proposal was vigorously opposed by wild horse advocacy groups, which have resisted efforts to limit the federally protected animals and accuse the Bureau of Land Management of bowing to demands from cattle ranchers who view equine herds as the real competitors on grazing land.

 

The attached article published in the Washington Post describe the ongoing battle over what to do with the nation’s wild horses, including the some 46,000 wild horses and burros in corrals that cost the BLM nearly $50 million to maintain each year and 73,000 others that run free in western states. They claim the number is three times the 27,000 animals the bureau says the land can sustain.

Wild horses escape chopping block 5-18

 

However, if you want the “real story” about what’s going on with the wild horses, go back to the article “Horse slaughter – Facts and Fiction, written by Risk Analyst Rick Dennis and published on July 23, 2015 on this very subject on this website.

 

In the article, Rick separates “Facts” from “Fiction” of this problem, giving the real figures and facts so you can make your own decisions on who the guilty parties are.

☛Horse Slaughter – Fact & Fiction 7-23-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ Myth & Management of Wild Horse Population 5-8-18

Posted by on May 9, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

LATEST SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS WILD HORSE OVER-POPULATION

 

MYTH AND MANAGEMENT

 

 

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
May 8, 2018

 

On July 23, 2015, I authored an article, entitled “Horse Slaughter – Facts and Fiction” which was released on allaboutcutting.net. In the article I explained: An existing dichotomy in the American horse industry requiring scrutiny and analyzation is Horse Slaughter. As I previously stated in Horse Abuse, Part 6: Horse Slaughter – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, “Ever since the introduction of the SAFE Act Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 1214) was introduced in the U.S. Senate in April 2015, advocates on both sides of the aisle have been organizing in opposition of the bill, as well as promoting its passage.”

 

The article includes the identification of three TOP-TIER-RANKED HORSE SLAUGHTER ADVOCATES:

 

# American Quarter Horse Association

# Protect The Harvest

# Veterinary Advocacy Groups

 

This article also includes sections on:

 

BALANCE OF NATURE:

The balance of nature is a theory that proposes that ecological systems are usually in a stable equilibrium (homeostasis), which is to say that a small change in some particular parameter (for example, the size of a particular population) will be corrected by some negative feedback that will bring the parameter back to its original “point of balance” with the rest of the system. It may apply where populations depend on each other, for example in predator/prey systems, or relationships between herbivores and their food source. It is also sometimes applied to the relationship between the Earth’s ecosystem – the composition of the atmosphere and the world’s weather.

 

FACTS:

First and foremost, neither ideology addresses a myriad of causes addressing each issue on an “apple-to-apple” or an “apple-and-orange” relationship, nor do they offer a specific alternative to rectify the problem – other than horse slaughter.  However, each organization directly appeals to the plight of the horse from an emotional factor in order to sway public opinion to support their biased position on horse slaughter as a means to control horse populations.

 

ECONOMIC FACTS OF PUBLIC LANDS GRAZING:

#  Public lands grazers (cattle and sheep producers) are a minority of livestock producers in the West and throughout the country.

#  Number of livestock producers with federal grazing permits: 27,000.

#  Percentage of livestock producers with federal grazing permits in the United States: 3 percent.

#  Percentage of livestock producers with federal grazing permits in eleven Western states: 22 percent.

#  Number of livestock producers without federal grazing permits: 880,000.

 

The facts and figures included in this article, as well as the plight of the Wild Mustang, were directly received from the Federal Bureau of Land Management in Washington D.C.

 

Now a newly released article in“Horsetalk.Co.NZ” entitled Latest Science Highlights Wild Horse Over-Population – Myth And Management,by William E. Simpson brings his reading audience even closer to facts concerning the Wild Mustang as well as contradicting allegations proposed by the BLM, who are proponents to horse slaughter, and the cattle grazers on Federal grasslands.  For the record, it also confirms my 2015 article on the same subject. William Simpson is the author of Dark Stallions – Legend of the Centurions, proceeds from which go toward supporting wild and domestic horse rescue and sanctuary.

 

In his article Mr. Simpson explains:The critics of the BLM and their Wild Horse and Burro Program, who number in the thousands (at least), have long held that there were more myths being spun about wild horses than truths.

Click for article>>

 

The Curator of Vertebrates at the prestigious American Museum of Natural History, Professor Ross MacPhee, is just one of that indelible multitude and has made his position on the BLM’s canards very clear as we read here.

 

Now we have further confirmation of those suspicions. Noted wildlife ecologist Craig C. Downer has just completed a lengthy and enlightening study on the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horses in Oregon and their management on publicly owned Wild-horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that were established under Act of Congress in the 1971 Wild Burro and Horse Protection Act.

 

This same report is being provided to the administrative heads of BLM, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Department of the Interior (DOI) in the public interest of proper management of the legendary and majestic American wild horses. A few of the many examples of the myths that have long been promulgated by the BLM and wild horse management officials in other government agencies, including the USFS, are cited as follows:

 

     1. Myth:          Wild horses cannot graze on rough or steep terrain.

 

     1. Truth:        This first myth is manifestly untrue. As someone who lives among wild horses in a naturally operating ecosystem, I regularly observed and documented wild horses browsing on steep rocky (volcanic talus) mountainsides.

 

     2. Myth:          Wild horses don’t eat brush or woody plants, only sweet grass and hay.

 

     2. Truth:        Wild horses in fact do browse on a diet that is widely distributed among many plants in the biomes of North America and maintain symbiotic mutualism with the plants eaten by spreading their seeds in many cases. This canard as to diet has been repeated often by BLM wild horse and burro managers who do not have the requisite field experience in wild horse behavioral ecology, so they substitute and impose domestic breed behavioral ecology on wild horses, which is not consistent with fact. Wild horses do in fact eat woody plants as we see in the below short video of a wild mare browsing on some white oak debris that was blown down from a tree top.

                                             

     3. Myth:          Wild horses consume forage needed for rebuilding depleted deer herds

 

     3. Truth:        This myth was spawned into the hunting industry by some individuals who were in and around the BLM and USFS. In the detailed, peer-reviewed study by Hansen, R.M., Clark, R.C., & Lawhorn, W. 1977 entitled ‘Foods of Wild Horses, Deer and Cattle in the Douglas Mountain Area, Colorado‘,we read in the first paragraph that the dietary overlap of deer and wild horses is just 1 percent.

 

     4. Myth:          Livestock should be exclusively used for grazing prodigious ground fuels that are the genesis of catastrophic wildfire.

 

     4. Truth:        The reality is that livestock are useful as wildfire ground-fuel grazers only in and around grazing areas that can be actively managed with mechanical means for soil conditioning and re-seeding. This is because livestock (cattle and sheep) are an invasive species and via their grazing, which does overlap more heavily with deer, will strip native plants and their seeds from any area where they graze.

 

This fact is a function of livestock being ruminants with a very efficient digestive system (complex stomach). The opposite is true for wild horses, which have a monogastric (single stomach) digestive system that passes both humus and undamaged/undigested seed back into the soils, thereby complementing and re-seeding the soils where they graze, which is of particular value in wildfire scars.

     5. Myth: Wild horses damage riparian areas more than livestock.

 

     5. Truth:        Both physics and empirical evidence prove this false. The math/physics proves that the ground-loading in pounds per square inch (PSI) related to cattle is considerably higher in cattle over horses. Furthermore, due to the pointed (pick-like) tips on the bifurcated hooves of cattle, that force is made even more effective, therefore disrupting soils and increasing erosion significantly as compared to the shape of a horse’s virtually round one-piece hoof and lower ground loading in PSI.

 

     6. Myth:          Wild horses have no natural predators.

 

     6. Truth:        Every apex predator (mountain lions, bears, wolves, coyotes) hunts, kills and eats wild horses and I have detailed and documented the depredation of our local wild horses, where the population of adult horses dropped from ca. 67 adults (2014) to ca. 52 adults in 2017. Only 5 percent of foals born alive with mares survive to their first year (1 out of 20 born) due to death by predators alone.

 

     7. Myth:          Wild horses are not native to America.

 

     7. Truth:        As professor Ross MacPhee says: “Wild horses are as American as apple pie” and without doubt originated in North America.

 

To further explain the plight of the wild horse or “Mustang” another article adds credence to the severity of “Over Production Of Stock – Cattle and Sheep”, on our Federal grasslands.  A May 6, 2018 FOX Newsreport entitled “Nearly 200 horses found dead, buried in mud on Navajo land in Arizona,”by Katherine Lam of Fox News.  Nearly 200 horses were found dead in a stock pond on Navajo land in Arizona after widespread drought and famine hit the area, officials said.

 

About 191 wild horses died of natural causes in the pond in Gray Mountain, Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez said in a news release. Nez and Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye went to the scene to assess the incident last Wednesday.

 

“These animals were searching for water to stay alive. In the process, they unfortunately burrowed themselves into the mud and couldn’t escape because they were so weak,” Nez said in the news release. What this article actually depicts is just how fragile our public grasslands are and Mother Nature only provides so much substance for survival to go around. Water is life’s liquid. Livestock definitely play a part in the balance of nature by depleting food and water sources which would ordinarily be consumed by wild horses and wildlife.

 

Click for Navajo Article>>

 

For the record, these three articles clearly provide clear and unequivocal evidence of the fragility of our Federal Grasslands and the importance of a “balance of nature.”  It’s also clear that there’s a rumor factory engulfing the Washington D.C. area which is designed to upend this “balance of nature” by the removal of wild horses and predators, using the overpopulation of wild horses and predators as the “culprits” which must be removed at all cost to insure the reestablishment of the “balance of nature.”  Therefore, who suffers under such a convoluted ideology? The wildlife and the predators!

 

When in “truth and fact,” the BLM never provides the real reason for the removal of these animals, except a myriad of hypothetical propaganda-produced algorithms,  due in-part to: The whining of cattle and sheep producers and the “wanna be ” Ogliarch’s in Washington D.C. who are dictating the plight of the American wild horses and predators simply due to greed (money) that is made from cattle and sheep production on public grasslands. However, what’s not being told is the amount of money being made by corporations and individual ranchers by taxpayer induced government subsidies totaling in the millions of dollars annually.

 

Along with government provided subsidies, it costs the American taxpayer millions of dollars annually for predator removal and the housing, care and maintenance of the wild horses, which are removed and held in holding pens. Are all of these millions of dollars being spent wisely for the preservation of our wild horses, wildlife, and Federal grasslands or is it for the benefit of someone’s pocketbook and bank account? After all, the BLM report states Federal land grazers that actually pay for their grazing permits – minority. You decide !!!

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!”

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Office/Mobile Number: (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.richardedennis.net

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☛ Horse Rescue shut down amid investigations 4-25-18

Posted by on Apr 25, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

HICALIBER HORSE RESCUE SHUT DOWN AMID INVESTIGATIONS

 

From Inewsource.org
April 25, 2018

HiCaliber Horse Rescue, a Valley Center, California, nonprofit, is at the center of an inewsource investigation, as well as multiple government investigations over allegations of fraud, animal abuse and improper veterinary practices.

 

“I am heartbroken to report we are shutting down,” wrote Michelle Knuttila, HiCalibur’s founder and president, in a Facebook post. “It’s getting harder and harder to find the peace amongst the war we now call rescue.”

 

It has been reported that there have been ongoing investigations by local and state agencies; statements from former HiCaliber board members who said they knew nothing about the nonprofit’s financials and that records filed with the government were inaccurate; an alleged outbreak of a highly contagious equine disease at the ranch that was kept under wraps and Knuttila’s questionable expenditures, including thousands of dollars spent on Weight Watchers, spy technology, late-night fast food and bar tabs, as well as other purchases.

 

Attached is an advertisement put out by the ranch regarding their facilities:

Horse Rescue place 16

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☛ Muscle-wasting QH disorder caused by gene mutation

Posted by on Apr 13, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 2 comments

MUSCLE WASTING DISORDER IN AQHA REINING AND REINED COW HORSES CAUSED BY NEWLY DISCOVERED GENE MUTATION

 

LIKE HERDA, MYH1 IS THE RESULT OF A DECLINING GENETIC POOL

 

By Rick Dennis
April 13, 2018

Three years ago, I authored an article entitled “AQHA Genetic Pool Shrinks” regarding the shrinking genetic pool of certain equine disciplines e.g. reining, cutting and reined cow horses. The mutation was the result of breeding Quarter Horses within a specific and shrinking gene pool. The equine disease is called HERDA (Heredity equine regional dermal asthenia), a genetic skin disease predominately found in Quarter Horses in the particular lines of cutting horses. HERDA is characterized by hyperextensible skin, scarring and severe lesions along the back and body of affected horses.

Click for HERDA article>>

 Today, another result of the shrinking genetic bloodline pool in Quarter Horses, a new gene mutation discovery has been made with Quarter Horses –  specific to the reined cow horse and reining disciplines. This gene was also identified, via, an AQHA-funded research project.One of the researchers is “Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PHD, DACMIM, ACVSMR” of the Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. This new gene classification is identified as MYH1 (Myosin Heavy Chain 1 MYH1) and explained by the following definitions published in “Genetics Home Reference – Your Guide To Understanding Genetic Conditions.”

The DNA sequence of a gene can be altered in a number of ways.Gene mutations have varying effects on health depending on where they occur and whether they alter the function of essential proteins.  The types of mutations include:

     Missense Mutation: This type of mutation is a change in one DNA base pair that results in the substitution of one amino acid for another in the protein made by a gene, and

     Nonsense Mutation: This mutation is also a change in one DNA base pair instead of substituting one amino acid for another; however, the altered DNA sequence prematurely signals the cell to stop building a protein. This type of mutation results in a shortened protein that may function improperly or not at all.

Therefore, a missense mutation in MYH1 is associated with susceptibility to immune-mediated myositis in Quarter Horses.

Click for Missense mutation article>>

 

WHAT IS MYH1 AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT QUARTER HORSES?

According to an article appearing in “horsetalk.co.nz dated March 7, 2018 – “Gene Mutation Linked To Wasting Disorder In Quarter Horses,” researchers have linked a mutation in the MYH1 gene to a muscle-wasting condition most commonly seen in Quarter Horses. Carrie Finno and her colleagues linked the missense mutation in the gene to immune mediated myositis (IMM), in which the immune system of horses attacks the skeletal muscles, causing rapid wasting of the muscle along the top line. The condition is rare in horses, but is the most common cause of rapid wasting of the top line in Paint and Quarter Horses.

 

The study team, writing in the journal “Skeletal Muscle,” said causes of autoimmune diseases such as IMM (immune-mediated myositis) are not well understood, but environmental stimuli, combined with a genetic predilection, appear to be important factors.

 

Research has shown that IMM is more likely to affect horses under 8 years old, or horses aged 17 and older. Because most horses affected by IMM are of Quarter Horse-related breeds, and since certain stallions appear to be over represented in the genetic lineage of Quarter Horses with the disorder, the researchers hypothesized that there was an underlying genetic variant that causes susceptibility to the conditions. IMM is normally treated with corticosteroids.

 

The study team was comprised of Carrie Finno, Giuliana Gianino, Sudeep Perumbakkam, Zoe Williams, Matthew Biordbari, Keri Gardner, Erin Burns, Sichong Peng, Sian Durward-Akhurst and Stephanie Valberg.  They are variously affiliated with the University of California, Davis; Michigan State University, and the University of Minnesota.

Click for “Horse Talk” article>>

 

Essentially, the cause of immune-mediated myositis (IMM), characterized by recurrent, rapid-onset muscle atrophy in Quarter Horses, is unknown. The histopathologic hallmark of IMM is lymphocytic infiltration of myofibers. The purpose of this study was to identify putative functional variants associated with equine IMM.

 

However, the study concluded that a mutation in MYH1 is highly associated with susceptibility to the IMM phenotype in Quarter Horse-related breeds. This is the first report of a mutation in MYH1 and the first link between a skeletal muscle myosin mutation and autoimmune disease.

Stallions:

Testing Result Definitions:

  1. Heterozygous – genotypes are represented by a capital letter (representing the dominant allele) and a lowercase letter (representing the recessive), such as “Rr:” or “Ss”.Alternatively, a heterozygote for gene “R” is assumed to be “Rr”.  The capital letter is usually written first. Dr. Valberg has stated that in the horses tested by him, the mutated gene was found more often in the reining and working cow horse disciplines.
  2. 21 percent of the 37 reining stallions tested heterozygous for the mutation; one was homozygous.
  3. 17 percent of the 41 working cow horse stallions tested heterozygous; none were homozygous.
  4. 16 percent of the 50 halter stallions were heterozygous. None were homozygous.

What is the difference between homozygous and heterozygous?

Humans and animals contain two copies of each gene, one from the father and one from the mother, which sometimes are referred to as the alleles of a gene. If a mutation occurs in just one copy of the gene then that individual is considered heterozygous. On the other hand if both copies of a gene are mutated then that individual is homozygous genotype.

Majority of hereditary disorders are harmful if both copies or alleles of a gene are affected, which means protein products from both genes may fail to operate properly. In such cases immediate medical attention is needed so the function of a defected protein can be restored through medication. In heterozygous genotypes one copy of the gene is healthy and can produce fine proteins thus these individuals are usually not affected and are considered just carriers. However in a few hereditary disorders heterozygous individuals may suffer from a milder version of the disease.

Testing designations:

What represented heterozygous? “Heterozygous genotypes are represented by a capital letter (representing the dominant allele) and a lower case letter (representing the recessive allele), such as “Rr” or “Ss”. Alternatively, a heterozygote for gene “R” is assumed to be “Rr”. The capital letter is usually written first.”

 

 

HERDA WAS ALSO THE RESULT OF A DECLINING GENE POOL:

 

In the article I authored three years ago, with specific interest in the shrinking genetic pool of certain equine horse disciplines, (e.g. reining, cutting, reined cow horse, etc.), as well as the resultant genetic mutationsemerging from breeding Quarter Horses within a specific and shrinking gene pool, I talked about equine diseases emerging from a declining gene pool called HERDA or Hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia. HERDA is a genetic skin disease predominantly found in the American Quarter Horse. Within the breed, the disease is prevalent in particular lines of cutting horses. HERDA is characterized by hyperextensible skin, scarring and severe lesions along the back of affected horses.

 

Affected foals rarely show symptoms at birth. The condition typically occurs by the age of two, most notably when the horse is first being broke to saddle. There is no cure and the majority of diagnosed horses are euthanized because they are unable to be ridden and are inappropriate for future breeding. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance and affects stallions and mares in equal proportions. Research carried out in Dr. Danika Bannasch’s laboratory at the University of California, Davis, has identified the gene and mutation associated with HERDA.

 

The diagnostic DNA test for HERDA that has been developed allows identification of horses that are affected or that carry the specific mutation. Other skin conditions can mimic the symptoms of HERDA. The DNA test will assist veterinarians to make the correct diagnosis. For horse breeders, identification of carriers is critical for the selection of mating pairs. Breedings of carrier horses have a 25 percent chance of producing an affected foal. Breedings between normal and carrier horses will not produce a HERDA foal although 50 percent of the foals are expected to be carriers.

 

As a result of this American Quarter Horse Association’sfunded research, AQHA’s research team developed the 5-panel test.  The following test result designation for the HERDA gene was adopted by AQHA:

Results reported as:

 

N/N            Normal – horse does not have the HERDA gene.

N/HRD       Carrier – horse carries one copy of the HERDA gene.

HRD/HRD   Affected – horse has two copies of the HERDA gene.

 

One interesting fact of this study concluded the HERDA gene is more prevalent in the cutting horse line.In order to increase the odds of successful probability is to breed to a stallion with an N/HRD designation to a breeding mare with the N/N – Normal designation. This will afford the breeder a 50 percent probability of an unaffected foal. However, this isn’t always a certainty due to the recessive gene factor. Therefore, the only way to determine the correct breeding match-up is to 5-panel test your mare through the AQHA before breeding.

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR AQHA, YOU, YOUR HORSE AND MYH1?

 I’ve learned that Dr. Valberg provided a presentation at the AQHA Convention recently held in Jacksonville, Florida. The AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee referred these findings to the Executive Committee for the commission of a study. It is unclear whether or not the MYH1 mutation will be a part of the 5-panel genetic tests in the future.

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☛ Starving horses ate aluminum siding off of house 3-20-18

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE HEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

STARVING HORSES ATE ALUMINUM SIDING OFF OF HOUSE

 By Glory Ann Kurtz
Taken from article published by Daily Times
March 20, 2018

On March 17, I published an article about 25 dead horses that were found in a rural property in West County, Maryland. Now a new article has come out that has made that discovery even more gruesome.

According to a March 17 article by Susan Parker of The Daily Times, “The horses had eaten the aluminum siding off the house and the fiberglass insulation had been pulled out. The horses were so hungry they had broken the glass sliding doors on the back of the house, trying to get in and find something to eat.”

Maryland property records show that the 2.13-acre property is owned by Clayton P. and Barbara L. Pilchard. A neighbor, Marjie Cancil, said she never really got to know Barbara Pilchard and was unaware of any possible neglect of the horses. She said that sometimes the horses had gotten out and raised concerns but she had never seen an emaciated horse, never any indication of anything wrong. In fact, she said she believed hay had been regularly delivered to the farm every 10 days or so.”

Currently it is still not determined how many live horses remain on the farm; however, those horses now have three stacks of hay following a midnight call from Cancil to Aaron Balsamo, executive director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County.

According to the article, Barbara Pilchard was cooperating with the sheriff and county officials in their efforts to rescue the remaining horses. She said that the Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said that all the live horses will be seized, starting with the mares and foals and all of them will to taken to an undisclosed location. He continued saying that they would try to keep them all together if possible.

More than 5,000 pounds of grain had been delivered to the farm Saturday morning that was donated from Bryan & Brittingham, a farm supply store in Delmar. Another donor delivered 25 bales of hay.

Horses came out of the woods and fields to push their way close enough to grab a few bites of hay. They remained and continued eating for several hours Saturday afternoon. Lewis said most of the horses had been living in the back of the property, too far to be seen from the road andß no one knew how many were there.

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☛ At least 25 horses found dead on Maryland property 3-17-18

Posted by on Mar 17, 2018 in BREAKING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AT LEAST 25 DEAD HORSES FOUND ON MARYLAND PROPERTY

Published by WBOC16, Hebron, Md.
March 17, 2018

Authorities are investigating after at least 25 dead horses were found on on a rural property in West County, Md. Lt. Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office said that at around 11 a.m. Friday, the Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Wicomico County Animal Control, began an investigation into the report of the presence of deceased horses on the property located in the 6000 block of Cherrywalk Road outside of Hebron.

 

Robinson said when they arrived on the scene, investigators located the dead horses. At this time the investigation is ongoing into what caused the deaths of these horses and how long they have been there, according to Robinson.

The observed remains were in various states of decay, Robinson noted.

Sheriff Mike Lewis told WBOC on Friday that his deputies had been called to this house on numerous occasions in the past, but never for a call or complaint this extreme.

“Not a few times. Not a dozen times.  But dozens of times over the years.  And these horses have gotten our dozens of times and they have trampled people’s flower beds and trampled their yards.  There have been several near accidents with the horses in the roadway,” Sheriff Lewis said.

Lewis added that he does not recall any calls related to the horses being malnourished or not being properly cared for.  The calls and complaints have always been about the horses getting out, according to the Sheriff.  But now that authorities have seen the condition of the horses, including the more than two dozen dead horses on the property, its possible that this investigation leads to charges.

“Absolutely.  Well certainly animal neglect, but it could be animal cruelty based on what our investigation finds out and what it concludes,” Lewis added.”

Investigators and members from animal control are expected to be at the Hebron property over the weekend.  The next step in the investigation will be removing several of the dead horses so a cause of death can be determined.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4891.

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