HSUS Receives Grant to Help Wild Burros

Source: Multiple

“..we can find a way forward that saves burros from suffering and saves tax dollars…”
Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

As the recipient of a five-year $760,000 grant from an anonymous donor, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has launched “The Platero Project,” designed to promote the protection of wild burros managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The aim of the project is to develop partnerships and programs to research the effectiveness of contraceptive vaccine on wild burro herds and to reduce the number of wild burros currently living in BLM holding areas, by increasing adoptions and relocating difficult to place burros to sanctuaries. The project was financed by a donor who cares deeply about the humane treatment of burros, and it is named for the Spanish Nobel Laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez’s book about a donkey named Platero.

Heidi Hopkins, The Platero Project manager for the HSUS, said, “There are many challenges to the management of wild burro herds, and through innovation we can find a way forward that saves burros from suffering and saves tax dollars and agency resources. We are grateful for this generous donation that allows us to step up our work to protect and celebrate these animals.”

More than 1,300 burros remain in federal holding facilities in the western United States. The HSUS hopes to develop a training program for wild burros that aims to increase the number of burros adopted annually.

The immunocontraception vaccine commonly known as porcine zona pellucida (PZP) was registered by the Environmental Protection Agency to manage wild horse populations on the range last year, but it has not yet been used on burros. The Platero Project also hopes to assist in a long-term research project to determine the efficacy and cost-benefits of using PZP to manage wild burros on the range.

BLM’s documented treat of Wild Burros

32 comments on “HSUS Receives Grant to Help Wild Burros

  1. We would too and welcome her comments.

    Please remember, we are only reporting the news and perhaps several folks feel that the anonymous donor failed on the issue of due diligence. Heart in the right place but perhaps the recipient of the grant may not be the appropriate agency to spearhead this project.

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  2. Just the still picture on the video of the little guy being lifted by his ers makes me cry. I am thinking evil thoughts that I won’t post.

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  3. Bless you all for helping these sweet natured burro’s the video of such inhumanity and needless cruelty had me in tears l hope this treatment ends in a happy outcome for these poor animals

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  4. There had better be proper studies before there is any contraception. We have lost nearly all our burros and this fact should caution anyone working to help them to be careful to consider their low populations. But they b=need the pressure of BLM removals taken off them and this is a respite that may help restore them and maintain them upon their own lands. Let us hope.

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  5. FINALLY a respectable more by HSUS, God Bless the Anonymous DONOR , whos heart was in the right Place, RT is sooooo Right there is far better People to have received that awesome donation !!!!!And no need to mention WHO !!!!!!

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  6. Well, I hate to state the obvious, but HSUS failed miserably with PZP trials with the wild horses. Because they initiated the program, so many thought progress was being made. Little did we know, but the party was on! All that money and “well, darn folks, those wild horses just keep breeding like rabbits.”

    I think the donor maybe should contacted groups with hands on experience with wild burros and burro rescue.

    But a lot of interns are gonna be happy the next 5 years. Just nobodxy expect the burros to come out of this whole. And expect to see them showing up with ugly ass 5 inch freeze brands on their cute little burro butts.

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  7. Hmmm…I’m not thrilled about this for a few reasons; one being the “results” of birth control on wild horses and the “cooperation with BLM…..doesn’t seem to be stopping the round up abuse, does it?

    Why aren’t they (HSUS) working with states like the trolls in Texas that have “state” controlled lands with wild burro populations? The Big Bend hell comes to mind.

    Some one ought to take that burro bully (moron!) and pull his ears or better yet, his testicles and penis….in different directions. Jerk…somebody suspend his human being identification card.

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  8. HSUS in bed with the BLM? Yea, that is going to work….more money donated and burros and donkeys still dying. The whole lot of you are shameless!

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  9. There are glaring questions that need to be answered:

    WHY the push for ANTI-FERTILITY when there is NO scientific validation of overpopulation?
    WHY was that not addressed by the NAS study?
    It might help to understand the history that surrounds this issue

    From AMERICAN HERDS (excerpts)
    The entire report can be found on the left side of the page on the website. The link is too long to post here

    JACKSON MT. WILD HORSES
    A Case Study In The Mismanagement of the
    BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.
    http://www.americanherds.blogspot.com/

    As for what happened to those involved in the Jackson Mountains tragedy?

    Dr. Boyd Spratling was recently re-appointed to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board
    as BLM’s Advisor on Veterinarian Medicine to serve another three-year term. (25)

    Nevada State Director Ron Wenker was promoted and is currently serving as BLM’s Acting
    National Director. (26)

    Nevada Wild Horse & Burro Lead Susie Stokke and National Wild Horse & Burro Lead Dean
    Bolstad continue to serve in their respective positions.

    Cattoor Livestock Roundups, Inc., the gather contractor and crew that drove the Jackson
    Mountains wild horses, continues to receive multi-million dollar contracts to remove wild
    horses and burros from public lands, as they have done for BLM and other government agencies
    for over thirty years.

    As for BLM’s Winnemucca WH&B Specialist, Heidi Hopkins, it is unclear if BLM merely hung her
    out to dry for what was ultimately the Wild Horse and Burro Program’s more experienced
    supervisors responsibility or if BLM merely cut a deal to buy loyalty and continue the cover ups.
    According to Quarter Horse News,

    Heidi Hopkins left BLM after the Jackson Mountains round up
    to “take a position with Humane Society of the United States in its quest to find reliable
    IMMUNOCONTRACEPTIVES for wild horses.”

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  10. There are glaring questions that need to be answered:

    WHY the push for ANTI-FERTILITY when there is NO scientific validation of overpopulation?
    WHY was that not addressed in the NAS study?
    It might help to understand the history that surrounds this issue:

    From AMERICAN HERDS (excerpts)

    There are glaring questions that need to be answered.

    From AMERICAN HERDS (excerpts)
    The entire report can be found on the left side of the page on the website. The link is too long to post here

    JACKSON MT. WILD HORSES
    A Case Study in the Mismanagement of the BLM’s Wild Horsee & Burro Program
    http://www.americanherds.blogspot.com/

    As for what happened to those involved in the Jackson Mountains tragedy?

    Dr. Boyd Spratling was recently re-appointed to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board
    as BLM’s Advisor on Veterinarian Medicine to serve another three-year term. (25)

    Nevada State Director Ron Wenker was promoted and is currently serving as BLM’s Acting
    National Director. (26)

    Nevada Wild Horse & Burro Lead Susie Stokke and National Wild Horse & Burro Lead Dean
    Bolstad continue to serve in their respective positions.

    Cattoor Livestock Roundups, Inc., the gather contractor and crew that drove the Jackson
    Mountains wild horses, continues to receive multi-million dollar contracts to remove wild
    horses and burros from public lands, as they have done for BLM and other government agencies
    for over thirty years.

    As for BLM’s Winnemucca WH&B Specialist, Heidi Hopkins, it is unclear if BLM merely hung her
    out to dry for what was ultimately the Wild Horse and Burro Program’s more experienced
    supervisors responsibility or if BLM merely cut a deal to buy loyalty and continue the cover ups.
    According to Quarter Horse News,

    Heidi Hopkins left BLM after the Jackson Mountains round up
    to “take a position with Humane Society of the United States in its quest to find reliable
    IMMUNOCONTRACEPTIVES for wild horses.”

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    • DEAR Louie, Same group, the same horror continues !!!!! I used to think Dean Bolstead was the only one there who is straight but I think he is now part of the Horror !!!! We have got to find the Achilles Heel I know there is one !!!!! I ask for divine intervention now !!!!

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  11. I really wish the donor would have given the money to a more caring agency, or since there doesn’t seem to be a government agency then a private interested party, like SFTHH to stop the roundups at all. I’m not so sure I like the vaccine either. Were we so worried that the burro and wild horses were going to take over the world or the grass lands or the dessert? Of all thing to worry about. How about we spend the money to just leave them alone. I appreciate the thought.

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  12. Before I jump to judgment, I also want to thank the donor at least it is a starting point, the sweet Burro’s have a chance, we all will have to SEE & WAIT what becomes of this….. I can’t even breath right, right now, finding out USDA is giving green light to THREE horse slaughter plants, Burro’s have maybe a future the horses ALL the HORSES will be tortured….. WISH someone with money and power would of stood up and saved them…. 😦

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    • Debbie I am so with you on slaughter green light.. I am freaked out!! I am not believing this is happening!!@@!@!@…

      But if this happens we better all lock up our properties and horses……

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  13. The wild burro herds absolutely DO need help but the burros must to be protected as the 1971 congressional law states they shall be – on their legally designated land and free-roaming and not harassed. Over management to create zero population growth in the wild is insensitive to natural forces which will then create a negative population growth where foals will not be born to replace those burros that die of natural and environmental causes. The burros have no need of Porcine Zona Pellucide (PZP) interference and this dangerously low reproductive rate could be and likely will be catastrophic. This method will restrict the growth of the herds, but the long term indirect effect to the reproductive health and genetic viability and impact on the herds are scientifically uncertain and is completely contradictory to Mother Nature’s “survival of the fittest” which has worked successfully for eons. For HSUS and/or BLM to go forward with a massive PZP plan when there are no excess wild burros is nothing more than the future genetic destruction of wild burro herds. Wide spread PZP application to wild burros cannot lead to a scientifically acceptable population size for healthy reproducing herds and thus there can be no healthy wild burro herds for future generations. This massive application of PZP is completely unacceptable – per the law and per the wishes of the American people as well as the laws of nature. There are no “excess” wild burros on their congressionally designated legal land.

    I then take it a step further … who might benefit from this donation? HSUS of course (have you seen their tax returns and Wayne’s salary and expense account!). But beyond HSUS, I ask myself if perhaps some of the mega gas pipeline companies perhaps might have made this donation? The Cibalo-Trigo massive burro capture last year and previous years is believed to have been done largely for the sake of the expansion of the Baja pipeline which crosses the Cibalo-Trigo HMA and which BLM agreed to … and I read that it was El Paso (major buyer of BLM land lease/sales) who was in charge of that pipeline and subsequently sold the pipeline to Trans-Canada (this needs more research). This donation is only a drop in the bucket for a large energy company and it would help them toward eradication of the burros on the public land that has become VERY valuable to the energy giants. Just thinking out loud…

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    • Dear Grandma I met Wayne Pacelle in Solon Ohio 4 years ago, it was not a meeting for Horses it was for farm animals in Ohio , , there was a question answer period after the meeting , i brought up the Mustangs when it was my turn , Waynes face got extremely red when i questioned him about the Round ups and HSUS involvement with the BLM , It was done in a huge room with a microphone so the entire room heard my questions, Wayne blew me off and said your 3 mins are up next, much to Waynes dismay since I brought the Subject up the next 3 people kept asking questions about the Mustangs Mr. Pacelle said oh sorry but are time here is up , he concluded the meeting and High tailed it outta of there in a flash,must have had a quick get away car ready and waiting out side the door, Also I signed up there for conference call when Mr, Pacelle talked to the Governor of Ohio about the farm animals , OMG, this man sold the Farm animals in Ohio down the river, I and hundreds of other people petition for months to get the Farm Animal situation in Ohio on the Ballot here, we worked feverishly to get the signatures and Mr. Pacelle sold them out in one phone call with the Governor of Ohio, we were not allowed to interject anything on the Phone only listen ……………..I and the others here in Ohio were devastated !!!!! I have no use for the man in the expensive designer suit !!!!!!

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    • Grandma Gregg, I think this is exactly what this “anonymous” donation is all about. They are nailing the final nail in the coffin with the use of PZP on these critically endangered native animals. I am outraged with no one to focus my energy on. But, then, of course, that is why they remained “anonymous”.

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  14. The DNA of Equus asinus was found in the same area as the DNA of Equus caballus in the Yukon area of Alaska. Therefore, the evidence of the “native” status of burros indicates that both of these species are native. This evidence is three and a half years old, and published in the Procedings of the National Academy of Science for the United States of America. There is no way these brutal bullies that head our formerly esteemed federal agencies do not know that the burros and horses are native to this continent and most fossils from the Pleistocene Epoch are found in the West of the United States.

    However, in case no one has noticed, no one in any of our federal agencies knows anything about what anyone else in the agency or its employees are doing unless they read it in the newspaper or see it on the news. That is the only way federal agency heads seem to find out anything.

    The scheme to rid our federal lands of the wild horse and burro herds that Congress protected for us is much broad than the Department of Interior alone. The USDA is every bit, if not more so, culpable.

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    • AWESOME REPORT Hoofhugs, There should now be any QUESTION as to the Native or Not !!!!!! Our Mustangs and Burros are native and this is what we fight for their FREEDOM !!!!! and PROTECTION fro a bunch of Brutal Greedy Liars !~!!!

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  15. I had a doctor’s visit; he wouldn’t eat horse meat and therefore, as he knows what is in horse meat, it is obvious that it is not healthy. I am glad that the HSUS received this grant; but, the advocates and the rescue operations can also receive these types of grants. Please consider the following: I am posting this to every group that I belong to because there is a solution; and it is one that will work if we want it to. Here is my remark on another group site, and I hope you will contact the appropriate people, and I pray that the advocates will take this seriously. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this group. With that said, the correlation between the scientific study of the wild horse and the actual protection of the wild horse in the Untied States is the point. We do not need to wait until the wild horses becomes extinct and pay some scientist to reconstruct the wild horse from a peach tree dish. It becomes apparent that more attention needs to be paid to using these facts (historical scientific research) to apply to the methods of saving the wild horses and burros. Actually, I am requesting everyone who does not have wild horses in their states to request ( via email or phone call, and both) that wild horses be removed from the holding facilities and relocated in states who do not have any wild horse population. In my state alone, there is vast amounts of forest and grazing, and plenty of water from streams and rivers. The method of trying to keep the wild horse alive is tandem to the actual science; and those advocates and rescue groups who actually have been saving the history of the wild horses, along with actually saving these ancient creature, is my suggestion: let the advocates and the rescue groups in each state with no wild horses (including the states which already have wild horses) take over the management and care (holistic care) and have the money that BLM uses in abusive practices to manage to extinction. Your study relies on the proof of the wild horse existence in the U.S. We already know that; what we need to do is apply the information that we have, and any new information that is coming in as it is found, and put these wild horses in a program that is NOT ran by the BLM or the Forest Service so that we do not have to watch them die out in a zoo; that is the ONLY reason why I joined this group. To use the information in order to save the wild horses and burros. If that is NOT the reason why this group was formed, I see no reason to be here except to gather information and use it to the benefit of changing the way wild horses and burros are managed and remove the BLM and Forest Service control over the wild horses and burros and put the control into the hands of people who could do the job without wasteful spending and with better ability to care for these horses. I hope people will contact their state reps and I am praying that the advocates and the rescue operations will come to realize that they really can do this operation. I really would love to see wild horses here in my state; and the population and the abuse would stop – if these horses were moved from the holding pens and put back on public lands and reserves. Thank you.

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  16. I cannot help but feel uneasy about the fact that this is an “anonymous donation”. Who is the donor, and what is the real intent of this donation? One of the little discussed values of the wild horses and burros are the protections their presence provides to the lands on which they live. Their very presence protects the land from exploitation. So, again it seems strange that this donor is anonymous. Another strange thing is the focus on the use of PZP. HSUS has a clear conflict of interest in making decisions concerning the use of this on our wild herds. Indeed, they will gain financially through its use since they are invested in the manufacture of this contraceptive.

    Why do the burros need to be reduced in numbers? Why do they need to be removed from their dwindling HMA’s? There are only 2,000 wild burros left wild on BLM lands. This number should shock anyone managing these herds, yet they push further for a reduction of numbers. The fact is that they are critically endangered and their numbers need to be increased, and increased greatly for them to survive.

    If these funds were going directly to range improvement, water guzzlers or even research I would feel great appreciation for this donor’s intent. Unfortunately, this is not the endgame I believe this “philanthropist” is after. I believe the endgame is the loss of our wild burros completely from the lands that have known them for 53 million years. This not philanthropy. This is a shell game and the burros and the American people are going to lose. I believe the endgame this “philanthropist is after is the land.

    REPRODUCTION, MORTALITY, AND OVERPOPULATION IN WILD EQUIDS by
    ROBERT C. BAUER, B.S. in Biology

    Robert C. Bauer on June 14, 2012 at 10:50 am
    It is clear from the unwarranted brutality exhibited by the security issued by the Bureau of Land Management at this roundup, that the BLM are fearful and desperately seeking to conceal its activities. This tells me that it knows the illegalities it is carrying out by continuing these roundups, illegalities which come in many forms. In truth, there is no overpopulation of wild horses and burros out on the range lands. Indeed, the numbers are dangerously low to the point that if the roundups continue at the rate that they are, there won’t be any left in the next couple of years. Overpopulation is an illusion that the BLM continually seeks to perpetuate in the eyes of the public and congress in order to justify an unneeded wild horse and burro program, and therefore continued roundups. This illusion is carried out in a variety of ways and the numbers of wild horses and burros that the BLM assures the public are out there, exist only on paper and not in reality. The BLM consistently ignore mortality rates which according to a National Academy of Sciences study can be anywhere between 14% to 50% just in the first year of a wild horses life and between 5% to 25% for those wild horses older than this. It also ignores sex ratios which are roughly 50/50 out on the range, meaning only 50% ,give or take, are females and are able to put a foal on the ground. The illusion continues by ignoring the aggressive use of PZP, meaning those mares that are issued this contraceptive, for the next two years, are unable to produce a foal, a foal that may be male or female, and if female, as a general rule, won’t be able to reproduce for a couple of years. Many other variables are conveniently hidden, whereby, when looking at the population increases of wild horses, increases that the BLM are adamant about, reproductive rates would have to be enormous,far beyond what is conceivably possible, in many cases, over 100%, if all of the above variables were factored in. This illusion of overpopulation, the BLM are aware of, and is something that is becoming more and more apparent to the public. Yet it is not just the concept of overpopulation that the public is aware of, but also the methods by which the BLM are perpetuating this lie. It is by virtue of this, and the BLM’s escalated fear and desperation of being exposed, that such brutality has erupted. Speaking as one who has witnessed first hand, many times, conditions and numbers of wild horses and burros out on the range lands, and has tested the alleged numbers of wild horses that the BLM claim are out there, it is clear that there is no need for a wild horse and burro program and there is no overpopulation. Contrary to these claims there is very much an underpopulation of wild horses, close to point of a complete elimination of these creatures. It can also be adamantly stated that virtually every horse and burro in the holding facilities, now above 50,000 could easily be released back into their legally designated areas, and it would have no negative impact on the land, not to mention, saving the taxpayer millions of dollars every year. In truth, releasing these wild ones back into the original areas from which they were taken, and halting once and for all the roundups, would help bring balance back to the range lands of the west. The wild horses and burros are just this, wild, and in the wild is where they belong, to exist in accordance to nature’s mechanisms, and not according to mankind’s egotistical attempts in seeking to maintain a ” thriving natural ecological balance”. Only as we leave them alone in the wild, according to nature’s mechanisms, will they live on as the beautiful yet vital component of ecological balance that is so desperately needed.

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  17. How is the HSUS “saving” anything when this drug us being used on NON-VIABLE HERDS? There are so few wild burros left in the wild in the United States, that any fertility control at all seems ludicrous and seems like it will facilitate and hasten eradication.

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  18. Let’s see, only 2,000 burros left in the wild in the United States, and a $760,000 grant for PZP for the females (about 1,000 burros). Who is the ANONYMOUS DONOR? If the donor and HSUS have nothing to hide, the public should have access to this information (somebody should file a FOIA on this, since these are public lands and publicly owned burros.)

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  19. http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4453
    Is it safe to use pesticides on an indigenous species?
    Protect Mustangs.org

    No proof of overpopulation, no need for native wild horse fertility control
    “With the gluttony of roundups and removals, wild horses reproduce at a higher rate to prevent extinction,” explains Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “We need more studies to establish what the normal reproduction rate is and discover truths about alleged overpopulation on the more than 30 million acres of public wildlands designated for their use. Today there is no scientific proof of overpopulation to merit fertility control.”

    Recently fertility control, in the form of immunocontraceptives for wild horses, was erroneously passed by the EPA as “restricted use pesticides”. The EPA inaccurately named indigenous wild horses “pests” in order to pass the drug. Pesticides (PZP, GonaCon®, etc.) should never be used on native species such as E. caballus.

    “PZP and other fertility control should not be used on non-viable herds either,” states Debbie Coffey, director of wild horse affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. “Most of the remaining herds of wild horses are non-viable. The NAS and any advocacy groups that are pushing PZP and other fertility control have not carefully studied all of the caveats in Dr. Gus Cothran’s genetic analysis reports along with the remaining population of each herd of wild horses.”

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