Thursday, February 10, 2011

Horse deaths at Indian Lakes road holding facility

I read an RT Fitch post this morning written by Maureen Harmonay, Equine Advocacy Examiner. It was stated that horses were dying at the Indian Lakes Road holding Facility near Fallon, Nevada as a result of secondary pneumonia. Mostly in the younger horses. This has been a common problem at this facility for the past year, according to what Harmonay found.

Another problem has been hyperlipemia, which Harmonay states is caused by the BLMs gather operations.

In a repeat of the pattern that emerged at the same facility after last year’s Calico Complex roundup, other horses are starting to die or be “euthanized” as a result of what the BLM’s veterinarian characterizes as “hyperlipemia,” a condition of metabolic and liver failure caused by the extreme stress of the helicopter chase, entrapment, and ongoing captivity.   Four of the horses who died at Indian Lakes Road in recent weeks were deemed to have perished from this roundup-related condition.
Now, I am not going to argue that this disease might have been brought on by the stress of gathers.  But, following the link that was provided it states "Poor feed quality or decrease in feed intake....Onset of disease is associated with stress, decreased feed intake, fat mobilization and deposition in the liver, and overproduction of triglycerides, which may be precipitated by insulin resistance."  I find, following the link that they even provided, Harmonay has left out something that might have been a major contributor to why these horses fell ill.  Decreased feed intake.

Why is it these activists never step back and look for underlying causes?  It was probably brought on by the gather operations, yes, but why?  The Calico horses were rated as a 2 or 3 on the Henneke score.  Gather operations for the Antelope Complex have rated most of the horses so far as 3, some 4s and some 5s.  But most of what I see here are rated fairly low.  So, underlying cause for the reason these horses are getting sick?  Decreased feed intake as forage became scarce this winter?  Maybe? 

Searching some more, I have found the Indian Lakes Report from February 13, 2010, which even stated that death of horses last year was caused by "re-feeding" syndrome. Based on the report, they started a plan that got the horses re-fed in a way that would prevent hyperlipemia by introducing grass hay first and then in a few weeks slowly adding something that would put weight on them: alfalfa.

Might this be the same thing that is happening now along with the pneumonia cases?  This is the report for this year.  There have been quite a few deaths due to respiratory infections and hyperlipemia.

Again, why do activists automatically start blaming gather operations for deaths?  What about the underlying causes that bring on these diseases?  Aren't these causes the reason the BLM rounds up the horses in the first place?  Poor body condition?  Little forage?  If activists want to do some good for these horses, they should take a step back and analyze the whole picture, and then rather than being critical, provide assistance to help these horses.

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