PRESS RELEASE: BLM and Intentional Animal Cruelty in Utah


UPDATE AS OF JUNE 21st, 2017:

The Sulphur herd had water yesterday when our boots on the ground people were there. We were also reminded by the Hayden family, who first alerted us to this situation, that this has been going on with this herd for several years.

After hearing that we decided there is a need to check out complaints in other HMA’s where man made water stations are prone to problems that lead to a lack of water for the horses or for burros.

We are going to begin some Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIAs). We will ask for complaints surrounding water stations and also who is monitoring them for these issues.

In this case, what we believe to be true is that a nearby rancher is supplying water and nobody gets out there to check on it very often from BLM. It is 130 miles from their field office and we know that will not be conducive to daily visits to make sure they are working.

So, what is the solution? We believe some restrictions need to be put on the distance from the field office these things can be used. Wild horse migratory routes need to be added to Herd Areas (HA’s), they were left out of the 1970’s first maps of the preserves to be used for the wild horses. So again…manage them on the range, do not block off water sources, build under or overpasses for wildlife, water stations LIKE this one need to only be used on areas close enough for BLM to be there daily to make sure it if functioning, and explore other types of stations where a man-made structure need to be that is beyond that cut-off.

We cannot thank the Hayden’s and all of you enough for helping us create enough noise that we scared them into doing what was right, and foiled Rep Chris Stewart’s plan to create a dead herd to blame on the drought! (For more information on that check our recent posts on Facebook:

UPDATE as of 7:30pm PST: 

BLM’s Lisa Reid from the Salt Lake office told our contact that contrary to the man who first reported this on the video of the Sulphur horses, the broken water structure is broken due to vandalism and that the 50.000 gallon water tank had been intentionally drained. She also claimed that there was “some” water in the troughs but not enough for the horses. This is all in contrast to the original report that said the tank was full, the trough were bone dry, and the problem was a malfunctioning float. Lisa Reid also reported to our contact that the water was being supplied by a neighboring rancher.

We will continue to update you on the status of these horses as our investigators learn more.

Original Story:


Citizens Against Equine Slaughter received an email today about Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failing to repair a 50,000 gallon man-made water source for the Sulphur Horses in Utah.

We were sent a video of an anonymous person showing the horses all standing at or near the trough which is bone dry, while the tank that should be supplying water to that trough is full. It is a simple matter of a broken float.

The email we received was an ongoing conversation between several large wild horse advocacy groups that were discussing how best to resolve this situation.

CAES, immediately contacted our Boots on the Ground (BOG) team leader in UT, and is finding the nearest animal advocates to get water to the horses immediately. While we recognize this is not a permanent remedy we also know horses need water or will die in the next day or two.

We have also contacted UT Attorney General, Sean Reyes office.and demanded that they investigate the BLM for animal cruelty and neglect pursuant to the animal cruelty laws of the state of UT. When the agency fenced off a natural water source to keep the horses in a certain area they created a man-made structure to provide water. Failing to make sure the structure is providing water, and knowingly neglecting to fix it when it has been reported to them is a failure to provide sustenance to animals that are under your care and or management.

CAES President Dr. Lester Friedlander stated that he “recognizes that BLM has stated many horses are dying from drought, but the drought should NEVER be man-made” .Dr. Friedlander also stated “Wild horses will find water sources, roaming up to 40 miles a day when allowed to roam freely.” When asked how long the horses can survive without water in the severe Utah heat, Dr. Friedlander told us “about 3 to 5 days would be the average, depending on other nourishment, moisture in vegetation, age and health of the horses, and the temperature.” From what CAES can tell from the email thread it has been a few days!

We will update you as soon as we can but our primary focus is to get water to those horses NOW, and to fix the problem for the long term.

Citizens Against Equine Slaughter
Media Contact:
Val Cecama-Hogsett

Video: of the Sulphur herd, a very historic, valuable wild horse herd, known for their strong Spanish mustang genetics standing around an empty water tank: