Source: KOLO News
RENO, Nev. -- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials say they are installing water sprinklers at the wild horse enclosures in Palomino Valley in an effort to protect the horses from record-breaking heat.
On Friday, June 28th, the official temperature in Reno hit 103, breaking the previous record by three degrees. Record-breaking temperatures are expected to continue throughout the weekend and a Heat Advisory is in effect from 1pm Sunday to 10pm Tuesday.
The BLM says crews are installing the sprinklers in three of the large, outside pens and five mare/foal pens. The sprinklers are meant to reduce the heat levels inside the corrals. In addition, BLM staff will closely watch the horses react to the sprinklers to make sure they remain healthy.
In a press release, officials say shade shelters have been considered and the current policy is based on a number of things, including:
- Wild horses and burros are accustomed to open environments and when their nutritional demands are met, they do well against the natural elements, including sun, rain, snow, and hot and cold temperatures. At Palomino Valley, the animals are fed hay each day; mineral blocks are available in each pen; and a continuous supply of water is available via automatic waterers.
- Open corrals with plenty of sunlight have proven to be the best way to minimize disease-causing organisms. The BLM's open corrals enable the drying effects of the sun and wind to take effect. The corrals are sloped to minimize the pooling of precipitation in the pens and to allow it to channel to the exterior of the facility.
- Due to the temperament of the animals, the social hierarchy between the animals, and their unfamiliarity with shelters, the BLM feels that corrals without shelters are the safest approach. Shelters could create a potential obstacle for animals running and playing in the corrals, and cause significant injuries. The BLM has wind breaks and/or shelters for sick animals. The “sick
pens” do not have the same safety issues because the animals are in a smaller area with limited pressure from other animals."
June 28, 2013 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC--Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today regarding the Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s decision to begin federal inspections of a horse slaughter facility. The decision means that one plant in the United States may now engage in horse slaughter, something previously prohibited by annual appropriations bills.
“Congress should promptly reinstate the provision that prohibited spending federal dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities and I am encouraged my colleagues have taken steps to do so. I will continue my work to prevent horse slaughter in the pending agriculture appropriations bill.”
DeLauro, former chair of the subcommittee responsible for funding the USDA, ensured federal funds could not be used to inspect such facilities in the United States during her tenure as subcommittee chair. After taking over the House majority in 2011, Republicans failed to continue that practice. The Obama Administration’s proposed budget asks Congress to reinstate
that provision, which would result in the practice once again being banned.
During the Appropriation Committee’s consideration of the agriculture appropriations bill earlier this month, DeLauro spoke in support of an amendment to reinstate the ban. That amendment was accepted, as was a similar amendment in the Senate’s counterpart bill.
June 28, 2013 | Press Release
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today said she is extremely disturbed and disappointed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved an application for inspections at a horse slaughter facility in New Mexico and that it plans to approve similar requests for plants in Iowa and Missouri. Sen. Landrieu recently passed a ban on horsemeat inspections through the Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill. She is also pushing for a permanent ban through her bipartisan Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act that she introduced with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
"I am extremely disturbed and disappointed that despite the numerous economic and safety concerns, several horse slaughter
plants could soon operate in our country. Americans overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter because of its brutality, risks to food safety and serious environmental impacts. By granting these applications, we are going in the wrong direction as far as protecting consumer health, responsibly managing taxpayer funds and protecting our domestic meat industry. Today's announcement makes swift congressional action even more crucial," Sen. Landrieu said.
"Sen. Graham and I successfully included a temporary ban on horse slaughter in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill, and I remain committed to passing this legislation with the ban intact, as well as passing the bipartisan SAFE Act for a permanent ban. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this ban as quickly as possible to close the doors on domestic horse slaughter plants for good."
The ban included in the FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill would last for the duration of the bill. To permanently ban horse slaughter, the SAFE Act would permanently prohibit horse slaughter operations in the U.S., and end the current export and slaughter of more than 150,000 American horses abroad each year. A similar bill has been introduced in the House by Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Il.