Horse News

Reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune quotes Jay Kirkpatrick as saying horses “destroy the range”

“They can leave the horses alone,” Kirkpatrick says, “and watch them destroy the range.”

“While we should all be up in arms about BLM plans for more of the Dr. Mengele type experiments by field spaying more wild mares, the    PZP debate continues as a distraction.  And now, it seems like it has digressed to a new low, as Jay Kirkpatrick (Science and Conservation Center in Montana) was quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune as saying horses “destroy the range.”

While it seems this may have been an effort/scare tactic to promote the use of PZP fertility control on wild mares, the fact is, Jay Kirkpatrick was quoted as saying horses “destroy the range” in a major newspaper in Utah (of all places, since Utah is home to the Iron County Commissioners), and this statement about horses is not only INCORRECT, it is also UNSCIENTIFIC.

I was speechless when I read this.  But I can say a few things now.   For one thing, in reading the article below, I’m not sure who the horse advocates are that “applaud the BLM.”  Keep in mind that the BLM is just as busy as ever eradicating our wild horse and burro herds.  Remember, the numbers of horses and burros you see on the BLM’s list of upcoming roundups are only some of the wild horses and burros being removed from public landsThe BLM is secretly bait trapping and removing “nuisance” wild horses and burros, and the totals on these numbers aren’t publicly noted on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program website.

The BLM also overestimates the numbers of wild horses and burros they claim are on public lands.  Most wild horse and burro herds have less than 100, so genetic variability and viability of wild horses & burros could be further endangered by use of both fertility control and sterilization. ”  –  Debbie

SOURCE:  The Salt Lake Tribune

BLM will dart horses in attempt to control fertility

By BRIAN MAFFLY | The Salt Lake Tribune

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A foal and its mother graze in the Onaqui wild horse management area near Simpson Springs. BLM will soon begin darting Onaqui mares with a contraceptive in the hopes of controlling wild horse numbers without costly and controversial roundups. Thursday, June 5, 2014.


Sometime this year, federal land managers plan to shoot a “fertility vaccine” into the haunches of wild horses in Tooele County’s Onaqui herd.

Using dart guns instead of helicopters, wranglers and biologists hope to cut horse numbers among Utah’s most photographed herd.

The Bureau of Land Management pitches the mass vaccinations, to be administered annually for the next five years, as a humane alternative to the controversial and costly roundups demanded by the state’s ranchers and rural county commissioners angry about the proliferation of wild horses across public rangelands.

But wild-horse lovers are split by the BLM’s new methodology for controlling wild horse populations in the West.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.  (And be sure to read the last sentence.)

17 replies »

  1. Disgusting as BLM is primarily protecting ranch interests NOT the American people’s right to unsullied wild places complete with the creatures born there. Cattle in excess numbers will destroy range.


  2. After 5 consecutive doses of PZP mares are sterile .
    Jay Kirkpatrick is wrong as wild horses are symbiotic to ecosystems and do not destroy the range. Has he completely sold our wild horses out to the BLM now?


  3. Jay Kirkpatrick has no clue what he is talking about. We appear to live in a wilderness of idiots now, and he is clearly one of them. BLM leads the pack of fools, and we pay BLM salaries. BLM has been flawed and incompetent for years while they committed sins against our horses. I hope they pay for their cruel and demonic behavior.


  4. Do not allow the BLM and USFS and Farm Bureau and the extraction and mining giants and the domestic livestock grazing associations to pull the wool over your eyes. There are no excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. Per the 1971 Congressional Wild Horse and Burro Act, the land is to be devoted PRINCIPALLY although not exclusively to the wild horses and wild burros’ welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept of public lands.

    Definition of “principally”: First, highest, foremost in importance, rank, worth or degree, chief, mainly, largely, chiefly, especially, particularly, mostly, primarily, above all, predominantly, in the main, for the most part, first and foremost.

    There is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures … because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than about 250,000 wild horses and burros but even after 22,200,000 acres were stolen from the American people by government agencies the remaining 31,600,000 acres could support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today. It is currently independently estimated that less than 20,000 wild horses and burros are living on their legal land today and yet the government continues its aggressive removal and destructive management toward total wild horse and burro extermination.

    The recent National Academy of Sciences study found “no evidence” of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Wild Burros. The recent National Academy of Sciences study found “no evidence” of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Wild Burros. The recent National Academy of Sciences study found “no evidence” of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Wild Burros. Please excuse the repetition of the above statement but it can’t be said much clearer than that. Obviously the government’s actions toward the wild horses and burros needs to be closely and independently investigated and the animals left on their legally designated land.

    WHY aren’t the organizations that support PZP doing fly-overs and scientific studies on the TRUE populations? Why??? Because there is no evidence of any EXCESS wild horses and burros on their legal land. When there is, then we can talk about contraception but until then …


  5. Finally John Grady asked him if it were not true that should all horses vanish from the face of the earth the soul of the horse would not also perish for there would be nothing out of which to replenish it but the old man only said that it was pointless to speak of there being no horses in the world for God would not permit such a thing. (All the Pretty Horses)

    I love this quoted.

    Why won’t they listen to science?


  6. Please. Look up archives of Chicago Sun Times Newspapers in 1986 article the EXACT same thing was said regarding Mustangs/feral horses with population explosion destruction of lands no grazing for cattle and the need to remove overpopulation. Please folks we NEED to present the GOVERNMENT notvthe BLM but CONGRESS with these older articles thst represent the exact same lies told decade after decade as if read and repeated intentionally. Theres articles in many old publications that need to expose the ranchers myths and lies are just a repeat of history. The horsemeat scandals of horsemeat as beef are in these old newspapers all the way back to 1945. Please read up and lets expose these lies. They have removed the pet food usda archive from internet on pet food lawsuit banning horsemeat permanently but theres hard copies of everything. We need to quickly get any hard copy evidence together and desimate it everywhere especially so Congress sees the truth. We have to stop the lies somewhere. What difference will this make? They cant erase every hard copy in the World but they are twisting internet data like ceazy. Lets get the printed facts and stop this BLM punch in the stomach and knock them out. Then weve got the horsemeat scandals in newspapers in America happened repeatedly. People spoke out against it. Then they would brag sales of horsemeat were up and anotherhorsemeat for beef scandal exposed in Chicago or Jersey. Please lets work to dig up the actual hard copy data and put it together. We can prove the ranchers claims over decades are a fraud. The same repititous claims and the reductions in herds since the original claims decades ago. We can prove our case with simple use of their own accounts of lies and made up facts. The lies go back to KenLRATION. And before.


    • .1945 is the year the UN was founded as well as its partner organization UNESCO. In 1948 UNESCO formed the International Union for the Protection of Nature which morphed into the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The IUCN is the source of claims that the horse is not native to North America which is based on claims that the horse is not native to North America. Dr. Kirkpatrick is a Conservation Biologist. He has spent most of his life trying to come up with ways to maintain the horse population. I would be very surprised that Dr. Kirkpatrick would not qualify a statement about wild horses causing range damage because the way this is usually discussed is relative to size of the range, the number of horses and other grazing species.

      Other studies have found that horses do not cause permanent damage to the range, but can cause temporary disturbance in an area here they grazing.


  7. I agree with GG and CWS. This Kirkpatrick guy might be getting a letter from with scientific studies attached that he is wrong.


  8. The following is a public statement issued by International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros.
    ISPMB is the oldest Wild Horse & Burro protection organization in the United States.
    Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie) was the first president.
    ISPMB has been working with Princeton University to study Wild Horse herd and reproductive behavior

    There is NO overpopulation of wild horses and burros

    Wild horses and burros are NOT the cause of habitat degradation of public lands.
    Wild horse and burro populations have been nearly CUT IN HALF since 1971 when Congress declared they were “fast disappearing from the American scene.”

    Approximately 75% of the herds have LESS than viable numbers of animals for future sustainability. Each herd must have 150 effective breeders according to Dr. Gus Cothran, leading equine geneticist in the world. (effective breeders constitute only those animals breeding which omits the very old and the very young in the count)

    In 2009, Dr. Cothran reported studying 123 wild herds which 20% of THEM showed a critical or near critical loss of genetic diversity.

    We must STOP the BLM AT ALL COSTS from suppressing wild horse and burro populations any further and especially through permanent sterilization.

    For the PAST 100 YEARS, due to overgrazing by livestock, our public lands habitat has been in static to downward trend with few areas improving.


  9. Jay needs a market for his products-pure and simple- the only way he can get that market, is to set fire to a bunch of old ladies panties by convincing them he can save the wild horses, at least a zoo amount, by dousing them with PZP, blm has thrown a wrench into his plan, by continuing to round up and remove those herds being PZPd, showing just how silly and backwards thinking that logic is..Don’t tell me their heart is in the right place-stupid is still stupid and unexcusable-you are entitled to screw up your own life-you are not entitled to HEAP on the burden already carried by the wild horses


  10. If not for the big business of livestock and other exploitation issues, the roundups of the horses and burros would be moot.


  11. This is nonsensical. In Tooele County, on the way out to the Onaquie, is a sign that reads – Site of the Annual Wild Horse Festival. Now why does BLM say the residents are up in arms? Isn’t it more appprooriate to know it is the ranchers and their sick possiveness of our piublic land that motivates this attack on OUR wild horses.

    STOP this slow death being imposed on this very small herd. The only reason BLM is using PZP is because the budget office has allowed an additioinal 1.4 million to do so. This will continue for 5 more years? STOP this now!


  12. Interesting assumption the range was somehow pristine before any horses were noticed on it… the mass degradation and alteration of the western range by non-native cattle introduced some 400 years ago is well documented and the effects still reverberate to this day. Not to even mention cheatgrass, drought, or the sheer largeness of modern cattle, or the stark truth that any wild animals fenced into areas smaller than those they are adapted to will only lead to overpopulation… which is a management problem, not a species problem. PZP may or may not be an answer. It is especially troubling that horses subjected to PZP darting have also been rounded up and removed, thus defeating any useful scientific study of effects over time and producing nothing but waste, cost, and more harm for all involved.

    Here is some information from Mr. Kirkpatrick published in 2010:

    Click to access pzp-qa-third-edition-june-1-2010.pdf


  13. I would have said, “They can’t leave the horses alone for too long.”

    Success for the horses and burros depends on a combination of factors. The BLM is a law enforcement agency. Change depends on amending laws, increasing RMP forage allocations, demanding EAs on former HMAs, increasing adoptions of those already removed, etc. That isn’t going to happen overnight, but it can happen if we present a united front. Laser focusing on PZP by either side is short-sighted.


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