Wild horse sterilisation research worries foundation

Wild horses in Wyoming.
Wild horses in Wyoming. © BLM

The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is on a collision course with reality over its management of wild horses, a Colorado-based charity says.

The Cloud Foundation was commenting after budget information revealed the bureau planned on spending $US6 million on contracts for helicopter roundups in 2014 and $US1.5 million on studies into contraceptive and sterilization options.

“The BLM is breaking their promise to Congress and to the American public,” foundation executive director Ginger Kathrens said.

“The case can be made that this is their solution to rid the range of our wild horses. They have made a mockery of the Wild Horse and Burro Act, an act designed to preserve, not destroy wild horse families.“

The foundation advocates for economical, sustainable methods for managing wild horses and burros on the range, many of which were recommended in the June 2013, National Academy of Science report, titled Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward.

The report said that current bureau management practices – helicopter roundups and removals of horses from the range – were facilitating high rates of population growth.

Kathrens said it appeared the bureau intended to continue helicopter roundups and removals of wild horses and burros when long- and short-term holding corrals were filled beyond capacity.

The foundation voiced its fears that the bureau might be on a path toward castrating stallions and spaying mares, creating what it called dead-end herds, which will ultimately die out.

“This is my fear,” Kathrens says. “It is a fact that there are few mustangs left in the wild. The majority of our wild herds are not large enough to be considered genetically viable. The charge of overpopulation is a joke aimed at hoodwinking the media and the public.

“Rather than spend $US1.5 million for further studies, the BLM needs to use the tools it has.

“Effective use of the proven and reversible fertility vaccine PZP will curtail population growth in an economical, sustainable way with no need for helicopter roundups.

“On-the-range management is being practiced in the Pryor Mountains of Montana, the McCullough Peaks of Wyoming, the Little Book Cliffs of Colorado, and it is being considered for the Onaqui wild horse herd in Utah,” said Kathrens.

“PZP has successfully controlled population in the Assateague National Seashore where wild horses have been darted with the drug for decades. Instead, the BLM treated only 332 mares of the 4702 wild horses rounded up in 2013.”

It is understood the BLM received 14 study proposals seeking funding from the $US1.5 million pool, specifically aimed at developing or refining techniques and protocols for either contraceptive use, spaying of mares, or gelding of stallions in the wild.

The final funding decisions are expected to be made by March 1.

9 thoughts on “Wild horse sterilisation research worries foundation

  • February 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    It appears to me that the President Obama and Sec. of Interior Salley Jewel are more concerned with fracking.

    We are asking for you both to not concentrate on fracking every where and everything. We need you to hear what we are trying to say about our USA Wild Horses and Burros.






    Considering these documents it would be very positive to hear the true issues.

    We ask you how can you send horse meat to other counties when its clearly against the law to sent cattle in which has been used that have had bute.

    These web sites might to assist the general health of where delivers of slaughter horses are intended.


    Discuss might be appropiate? Its up to you. As a member of this country I vote “no to horses sterilzation of our wild horses”…..


    • February 26, 2014 at 6:02 am

      Why cant the Blm just leave the horses alone.

  • February 25, 2014 at 8:36 am

    They should be implementing Reserve Design not more invastive sterilization etc. This would be the right and legal thing to do. See Ch IV of my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy available on amazon in print or as eBook

    • February 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      They need to get rid of the cattle grazing on those lands that were clearly set aside and paid for by tax dollars for the wild horses. Mismanagement of the land by the BLM and politicians an government officials that are backing wealthy cattle ranchers will continue to take away from the horse herds, just like they did the Indians!! They won’t stop until they have eliminated them and they can get the land under private use and control.

      • March 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm

        Spot on, Christine!!!

    • March 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I recommend to EVERYONE that you read the entire book (after you check out Chapter IV) as it will give you an entirely new perspective on what this situation is REALLY ALL ABOUT! It is a major education and every American (horse person or not) should read it.

  • February 26, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Here is an interesting article.. if the cattle herds are getting smaller why is the BLM still removing mustangs ? AOL.com
    U.S. residents to have beef with beef prices
    Feb 21st 2014 12:11PM
    5610629 .
    In the upcoming months, some people might have a beef with beef prices….

    ‘Ground beef is now selling for about $3.50 a pound and prices could rise another 15% in the coming months,’ ‘GMA’ explains.

    With the increasing cost of beef, restaurants might even need to rethink their menu items.

    USA TODAY reports the price of beef has been rising since 2007 at an average rate of about $1/pound. The cost of cattle has also risen.

    ‘The sky high beef prices are being blamed on ranchers raising fewer herds of cattle, particularly on areas experiencing a drought,’ ‘Today’ reports.

    Now, the U.S. cattle herd is the smallest it’s been in 60 years. Marketwatch says that according to one poll, ‘U.S. consumer demand for beef has been declining – 39% of Americans say they eat less beef now than they did three years ago, compared with just 6% who say they eat more.’

    But for those of you who often crave a delicious burger, we’ve got some good news: cattle herds ARE beginning to increase.
    See More
    Like · · February 23 at 8:13amWrite a comment…..

  • February 27, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Wow if they have kept up with the wild horse program set with the us forest service and blm in the 1970 and early 80s maybe they wouldnt be whining now. There was alot of hard work back than maybe they should go back to that. I do know other states had the chance with that same management as my family was involved in that. Quit whining and do something and quit wasting money

  • February 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Why are we even discussing sterilization?

    Is it because the BLM vastly exaggerates the numbers of our iconic native Wild Horses and Burros on their designated lands? Because these lands were meant to increase the depleted herds that motivated the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros legislation and BLM does not want that to happen? If so, why not? There is only one answer. The BLM and the DOI has been completely corrupted at its head by dollars from ranchers who want cheap leases for grazing, from hunters who want to kill wildlife, from Big Energy who wants cheap leases to frack, drill, and mine our public lands?

    Were those public lands supposed to be kept pristine for the WH&Bs and the PUBLIC who owns them? Of course, but power, influence corrupts at the expense of man and horse.


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