Despite ongoing litigation the US Army – Civilian led Environmental Division / Range Control at Fort Polk again has decided to proceed with unethical capture of horses using damaging capture methods.
Sadly, the US Army and Civilian Officials managing this initiative have completely ignored direct request and public sentiment by subcontracting with the Thompson’s of Pitkin, LA who have been hired by the primary contract holder Texas State University, led by Todd Ahlman, Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University http://www.txstate.edu/
Texas State University who was awarded 1.75 mil by Army Corps of Engineers.
“The Corps has awarded Texas State’s Integrated Natural and Cultural Resources Team (INCRT) with several task orders totaling $1.75 million. The INCRT is an interdisciplinary team of specialists from departments and programs across the university led by Dr. Todd Ahlman, the director of our Center for Archaeological Studies. The Texas State team will conduct archaeological surveys and support the management of cultural resources at U.S. Air Force bases and training facilities in eight states.” See more here https://mailchi.mp/4d5d103101aa/news-from-the-hill?e=0d5b7510e3
Contact TSU and Demand that they cease collaboration with Kill Buyers, the Thompsons.
Thompson Horse Lot (THL) is comprised of individuals who profit from shipping horses to slaughter. The Army at JRTC -Fort Polk has seemingly decided to “line the pockets” these individuals, some have felony convictions for offensives directly involving horses and other animals; convicted of the following charges; first degree felony theft of livestock and a second degree felony theft of property and as recent as Jan 5th, 2018 this individual was found guilty of the following:
1) Selling of Livestock without a Permit
2) Engaging in commercial sale of Livestock without a Surety Bond.
3) Transportation of animals across state lines without proper Health Certificates
4) Transportation of Equines across state lines without EIA (Coggins) certs
5) Improper disposal of animal remains
Thompson organization employees have been charged with felonies sanctioned for unethical actions and pled guilty to criminal charges:
- Gary Thompson’s Suspension is 2013-2023 https://www.gipsa.usda.gov/psp/suspension/suspended.pdf
- Jacob Thompsons Suspension is 2014-2019 https://www.gipsa.usda.gov/psp/suspension/suspended.pdf
Jacob Thompson, 30, was arrested by TSCRA Special Rangers Kent Dowell and Bart Perrier on Hurley’s theft of livestock warrant out of Hopkins County, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association News Release August 21, 2104 Salisaw, Okla. – A Louisiana man was arrested on Monday for the second time this year in Salisaw, Okla. and charged with second degree theft of livestock. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Toney Hurley led the investigation. To read the full report click the link: http://tscra.org/tscra-news-release-louisiana-man-arrested-second-time-on-cattle-theft-charges/
Jacob Thompson is a convicted felon: On 4/25/2016 in Hopkins County Texas, 8th Judicial District, Mr. Thompson plead guilty to a first-degree felony theft of livestock and a second-degree felony theft of property. He received 10 years’ probation for the first-degree felony and 10 years deferred probation for the felony
Jan 6th, 2018 Jacob Thompson was found guilty on all 5 charges which were:
- Selling of Livestock without a Permit (he just recently obtained his livestock permit, however for the time prior to that, he was operating without a permit)
- Engaging in commercial sale of Livestock without a Surety Bond. Bond has recently been obtained, however for the time prior to that he was operating without)
- Transportation of animals across state lines without proper Health Certificates
- Transportation of Equines across state lines without EIA (Coggins) certs
- Improper disposal of animal remains.
On April 30th, 2018 it was reported that approx 37 Horses are in the North Fort holding pen. The pen is approximately 1/2 acre and is holding studs, mares and babies all together. Several of horses in holding have wounds / deep lacerations on the pastern or fetlock area ….indicative of winching and/or roped and dragged by legs
Additional documented injuries are as follows:
- Gray mare yellow puss coming out of fetlock wound
- Bay yearling can’t put weight on hind end
- stud laceration on neck
- Majority of the horses are injured.
Initially 9 horses were seen late last week and over night the count grew to 37 so these horses are likely to be in holding at another location before being brought to the North Fort Location by the Thompsons of Pitkin, LA. aka Thompson Kill Pen.
On May 5th, 2018 Round Up of 37 becomes 36.
It has been reported: approx 3mth old foal in pen without mama has been removed and placed with someone who can care for it. It’s said the foal was running around the pen trying to nurse on different mamas. Another reason why kill buyers should ABSOLUTELY Not be around these horses.
Pegasus’s witnesses and experts, including Dr. Brendan Batt, Dr. Tom King, Stacey Alleman McKnight, and Dr. Bruce Nock, as well as other local organizations have explicitly expressed that they are available to the Army for consultation and would love to help. The Army should also consult with Dr. Sponenberg (see Amicus Brief filed to Court in support of protecting and preserving Louisiana’s Wild Horses) and the Livestock Conservancy, as well as national groups like HSUS, state groups like COLAA, and organizations with wild horse experience including American Wild Horse Campaign.
National organizations, namely HSUS, have submitted suggestions regarding humane management of our unique horses, however these suggestions seem to have been basically ignored by the Military and Civilian authorities that control the ranges. See HSUS plan submitted during initial comment period and as part of the Environmental Assessment here: HSUS comments to Fort Polk
May 18th, 2018 Public hearing scheduled for 9 AM at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry where the Thompsons will potentially be facing more charges for additional crimes and/or violations
May 22nd, 2018 Update from Public Hearing on May 18th, 2018Gary Thompson was not present. His attorney represented them.Summary: $1000 fine imposed.1) this was for movement of CATTLE from Florida to La. without paperwork. had absolutely nothing to do with the recent horrific horse trailer accidents which are active investigations.2) the vets in Fla would not issue paperwork (commendable!) b/c the cattle were not in their opinion healthy enough to make the trip. Thompson’s moved them anyway, no surprise. Fla vets alerted La. Dept of Ag. When the trailer was stopped, there were dead cattle found to be on board.3) this is the MAXIMUM fine that the Board could’ve been imposed for this infraction, per the Louisiana law.4) There is, in the state of La, legislation making it’s way thru which when enacted, will change the fine from one per incident, to one per ANIMAL. Hopefully, this change will be expedited thru. I want to try & find more details on the bill, current status, etc. Had this been in place already, the fine would’ve been +$30,000.5) To reiterate, the Animal Board of Health did the MOST they could do, with the laws. they did not settle. They did not dismiss.6) There will be a separate post with the police report from the WI accident, which will clearly show that there is more in the works, for this specific incident.7) the findings from the hearing will be available via open records request which I’ll submit for on Monday
The only way to find the best solutions is to engage in honest and open consultation with as many experienced people, experts, and local stakeholders. It is extremely unfortunate that the Army has chosen to disregard help and proceed with cruel and inhumane capture methods.
See Legal Actions Here: https://pegasusequine.wordpress.com/legal-actions/
Regarding the Current Round Up of 37 Horses, Round Up #5 | April – May 2018
It’s very important to remember any time you deal with Kill buyers, Kill Pen Horses… etc. the risk of exposure to disease is far greater. Especially for wild horses whose immune systems are not exposed to such pathogens in the wild as would be a domestic horse in a Kill pen. Sadly all officials involved seem to be stacking the cards against our wild horses. The Army will likely try to say Fort Polk horses are carriers, But the truth is they have delicate immune systems and were likely infected during the capture by being exposed to Kill buyers trailer, equipment, or the lack of pasture management in the holding pen on Fort Polk. Seemingly nothing was done by any official involved to ensure that the spread of disease was prevented. Officials in charge were aware that the Thompsons most likely caused an outbreak at the Jan 2018 Round Up # 4 but neither Fort Polk Officials, nor Texas State University, nor APHIS did anything to ensure that pasture was clean, nor did they relocate the holding area to another clean location nor did they take measures to ensure that future horses would not be exposed.
Begs the question; is it intentional or simply negligent?
See article from Jan. 2018 Round Up.
Fort Polk and Texas State University Line Pockets of Kill Buyers in mission to Eliminate Louisiana’s Wild and Free Roaming Horses
Demand that these horses at the very least are not subject to kill buyers, receive basic veterinary care, as well as steady supply of hay and make sure water troughs stay full.
In statement from Ron Anderson, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy’s aid; “I have close to 7000 of these e-mails – FYI” , it is apparent that the citizens of Louisiana and our Nation do not want these herds annihilated due to poor herd management, neglectful treatment, and a plan that does not consider the welfare of these animals, who are historically, culturally, and genetically significant. See Amicus Brief filed by Dr Phillip Sponenberg
A statement in response to a concerned citizen from LDAF Assistant Commissioner, John Walther, on May 14th, 2018
“We appreciate your concern for the welfare of the horses at Fort Polk with their capture and relocation. Fort Polk is a Federal Enclave and not subject to many of our state laws. The United States Army has contracted with Texas State University for the relocation of these horses to rescue locations. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has assisted the United States Department of Agriculture with sampling to test for Equine Infectious Anemia and Equine Piroplasmosis as these horses are an untested population. Thus far no Fort Polk horse have tested positive for either disease. In the event of a positive result the horse in question would not be eligible to travel. The Office of State Veterinarian within LDAF is charged with the control of diseases in animals. Concerns about handling of the horses should be addressed to the US Army or Texas State University.”
In a statement from Dr Diane Stacey LDAF State Vet, on May 17th, 2018
“I just received the report from Dr. Brandon and talked to area VMO Dr. Matt Traylor. These horses suspected of having strangles and exposed horses will not be able to leave Louisiana until we get test results back. No veterinarian should write a health certificate attesting to the health of sick or potentially sick horses and no state will allow sick horses into their state. We should get PCR results within a few days and we will sort things out then. But for now, these horses may not move. Thanks for your help, Diane Stacy, DVM”
Based on the Army’s chosen course of action, once State Vet releases horses after basic blood work, the 501(c)3 selected by the Army has 8 days to pick up horses from holding. After 8 days the Army will move to their “Give-Away Phase” and we all know that spells disaster for the horses.
See Army’s chosen course of action aka COA 7 is truly designed to benefit kill buyers.
Public Records Request submitted to Texas State University 05-08-18
Army initially claimed a total of 700 horses back in 2015. This number is total of 2 areas that are approx 30 mins apart from each other.
These areas are
1.) Drop Zone on the main base
2.) Peason Ridge.
Originally, locals estimated approx. 300 on DZ and 150 on Peason. So while initial totals are unclear.. its very clear that they army has absolutely decimated the herd on the Drop Zone.
Video documentation of the herds in the wild, as of end of April 2018
“Documented” round up numbers since COA 7 was implemented in 2016
RoundUp#1 by HSNT 50 10/2016
RoundUp#2 by HSNT 15 12/2016
RoundUp#3 by FRRR 18 12/2017
RoundUp#4 by FRRR 21 01/2018
RoundUp#5 by MFR/SLPAC 37 05/2018
That totals 141 horses “documented” removal since 2016 under Course of Action 7 aka COA7.
Its important to remember that prior to this it was basically a free for all and in the past Army officials admitted in a meeting on base that “a group of individuals were caught rounding up large groups of horses” and there have been several reports of “individuals taking horses out the backdoor”
Since the US Army’s 2015 public announcement to “eliminate” Louisiana’s Wild and Free Roaming horses, locals and advocates have been extremely concerned. This proposed plan was immediately met with strong public resistance, however the Army at Fort Polk has continued to move forward with this plan for elimination; a plan most US citizens would certainly disapprove of.
Feel free to include the following in your message:
Under Louisiana Criminal Law Statue § 14:102.1 it is a Crime to withhold veterinary care once the horses have been remanded into their custody.
The Army’s capture methods have injured the Fort Polk horses, and failure to provide veterinary care now that the Army has captured the horses and are keeping them in a corral is an ongoing crime in Louisiana. The Army must hire an INDEPENDENT veterinarian, one not associated with the contractors who inflicted these injuries, to treat the horses’ wounds and provide ongoing care while they are in the Army’s possession:
A. (1) Any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence commits any of the following shall be guilty of simple cruelty to animals:
(c) Having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide it with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary care.
(i) Mistreats any living animal by any act or omission whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused to or permitted upon the animal.
(3) For purposes of this Subsection, if more than one animal is subject to an act of cruel treatment by an offender, each act shall constitute a separate offense.
La. Revised Statute § 14:102.1
Section 2 does not apply in this case since these horses are not domestic animals
Contact Key Decision Makers and implore them to allow an INDEPENDENT veterinarian to address the welfare of these horses.
I encourage EVERYONE to contact the following people IMMEDIATELY and you are more than welcome to cc me on any and all correspondence relating to the welfare of these horses, cc this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org