Monday, April 11, 2016
Still Studiously Ignorant of Modern Science: BLM on Wild Horses
Research for Wild at Heart took me into the issue of wild horse birth control. It's a rarely needed "solution" to a man-made problem that had to be explored.
Instead of accepting remote darting (like you've seen on wildlife TV specials), BLM and Oregon State University want to experiment with spaying, shown in this video.
Here is my letter to BLM, Oregon State University and Wild Horse Advisory Board members.
In 2012, US District Judge Beryl Howell, ruling on BLM wild horse policy declared that BLM “may not simply remain studiously ignorant of material scientific
evidence well known to the agency and brought directly to its attention
in timely-filed comments”. Sadly, she was wrong.
In a 2013 report, NAS recommended
birth control darting for wild horse herds which demonstrated a need for
management. The Humane Society of the United States concurred.
“Bureaucracy Interrupted,” HSUS’s
analysis of BLM’s budget documents indicated, “…the more
money Congress appropriates in response to the Bureau’s plans for reform, the
more the program costs (and animals in long-term holding) increase instead of
the other way around.”
Despite consensus from
all credible agencies that it’s cheaper and more humane to manage wild horses
on the range, BLM remains stubbornly opposed to modern management techniques.
Instead, the Bureau offered $10
million to anyone who found a new means of birth control, as they paid
independent contractors to chase, trap and corral the West’s remaining wild
Now, Oregon State University and
BLM are fired-up to experiment on mustangs with spaying surgery. “Let’s see
what happens” is a bad strategy when test subjects are alive and answers are at
hand. At least 10% of spayed mares died at the Sheldon Refuge. Many others were
released and not tracked. Another example? BLM facilities have a high mortality
rate in gelded stallions (a procedure considered safe and routine for domestic
horses). But these are wild animals.
They are not unconscious and are traumatized. If they don’t go into shock and
die, they often succumb to a lack of post-op care.
This crosses the line
from experimentation to molestation. Can you really believe sterilization will
be different for wild mares? Can you ethically substitute hope for
Labels: BLM, BLM round ups, gelding, mares, mortality rate, mustangs, Oregon State University, spaying, sterilization, wild horses
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Terri Farley @ 12:28 PM