Action Alert! Tell the President of Oregon State University to Stop Pregnant Wild Mare Sterilization Experiments


by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation


Action Alert – Please Take Action and Pass it On

Tell the President of Oregon State University to Stop Pregnant Wild Mare Experiments

Do you want to make a difference for our wild horses?

Pregnant wild mares at a BLM Holding Facility
Pregnant wild mares at a BLM Holding Facility

You can do that right now by calling or sending an email to the President of Oregon State University, telling him that we do not want wild mares to undergo cruel and barbaric sterilization experimentation by Oregon State University’s Veterinary School using funding from the Bureau of Land Management at BLM’s Short Term Holding Facility in Hines, Oregon.

If you have already sent comments to the BLM, they are NOT listening to us. In fact, yesterday I spoke with Lisa Grant who is the BLM lead on the Mare Sterilization Research EA, and she told me that the thousands of form letters sent by AWHPC are being counted as 1 comment. That’s right – 1 comment. The only comments that are counted are those that people sent directly, separately, in their own words, and there were 670 of those.

The BLM is still planning to go ahead with this cruel and completely unnecessary sterilization research which includes dangerous experimentation on pregnant mares despite the outcry of the American public. They plan to publish their Decision Record and Findings of No Significant Impact on April 15.  This will be the plan that they will use going forward, and the BLM is going to use this sterilization research as a template for sterilizing our wild horses on the range. This needs to be stopped now.

Here is the documentation on the project:

Here is a portion of Don Moore, DVM’s comments. He is a respected Veterinarian who has extensive knowledge about wild horses and wild horse behavior. He has given permission to post his comments so that you use them in making your own comments. I encourage you to read his comments in their entirety here:

“The three surgical procedures for permanent sterilization of mares described in the mare sterilization research project, ovariectomy via colopotomy, tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla all require certain pre-operative and post-operative considerations  for aseptic surgical protocol and pain management.  Pre-operative bloodwork and a thorough examination are always performed on the relatively few domestic mares which are spayed.  Other options other than surgery are always considered first due to the risk involved with any of these procedures.   Aseptic surgical protocol and pain management is the standard of care for each and every surgery or the performing veterinarian would undoubtedly be sued by the owner and reprimanded by the state veterinary board.

Wild mares will not have their surgeries performed in a sterile surgical suite.  Their surgery will be performed in a non-sterile chute or standing in stocks at the local BLM facility without benefit of routine standard of care.   Unlike domestic mares who are easily handled, the very handling of these wild mares presents additional pre-operative stressors, which cannot be mitigated.

BLM does not possess the statutory authority to treat America’s wild free roaming mares as research test subjects to perform  surgeries which are not the standard of care for domestic mares.

pielstick-7Leon Pielstick, DVM, inserting a chain ecraseur (and his arm) via colpotomy incision

Case in point, is a photograph of Dr. Leon Pielstick as he was beginning to perform a surgery attired in bibs used predominately for working cattle and performing the surgery with a non-sterile plastic sleeve that is used to pregnancy check cattle.  This is not acceptable for a domestic mare, why wild mares?  To learn this procedures has been performed on some of the Sheldon wild mares, undoubtedly in a similar manner,  is gross negligence and inhumane on the part of the Department of Interior and the veterinarians who performed the surgery in less than aseptic conditions.

This type of trial and error butchery is a violation of the least feasible management clause of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

“Mass experimental surgeries performed under these conditions outlined in the proposal, amounts to negligence and abuse.   I believe experiments such as this proposal are unethical, inhumane and unwarranted.   Any veterinarian(s) who would perform these experiments is in violation of the oath  taken as a graduating veterinarian,  “above all else, do no harm”.  If a veterinarian in private practice performed these procedures in the manner described in this document they would most certainly be reported  to and disciplined by the regulatory board of that state.  Discipline would likely mean suspension of that veterinarian’s license to practice in that state.”

Please comment BEFORE the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting on April 13, 14.

Please make comments in your own words – you are welcome to use the information in this post and in Don Moore’s letter. Please be respectful in your comments to President Edward Ray of Oregon State University – we want to persuade him to do the right thing.

You may call his office at: 541-737-4133
Fax: 541-737-3033
and email here:
Here is his page:

If you have the time to reach out to more people at Oregon State University, here is a list:

Dean of the Veterinary College:

The Board of Trustees:

V.P. Relations and Marketing:

V.P. Research: link to email form at:

Alumni Association:  Alumuni Association Board Members:

Thank you for caring about our wild horses. They are sentient, feeling beings, and they deserve to be treated with care and respect.

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  1. Why is it that after being told so many times – people still continue to click & send a form letter – knowing that it wont count as an individual letter? That’s been the case with any of the BLM’s “comment requests” – it really doesn’t take that much time to just write your personal feelings about this. How sad is it that there were only 670 people who did that?


    • Thanks, Maggie. Reminder to advocates: The BLM will count 20,000 form letters as only 1 letter, so when sending a comment letter to the BLM, you should add their own individual thoughts and try to put the talking points in your own words.


      • Debbie, maybe the BLM should be urged to abandon this policy as unconstitutional. By their reasoning neither the Constitution or the Bill of Rights (same document signed by many hands) would have any credibility.

        Throughout history this practice has been considered the highest form of support, including for situations as grave as going to war, or creating international treaties.

        When we go to vote, we are adding names to a pre-written document as well, and fully expect our votes to be counted.

        Why should the BLM be above the law?


      • All major wild horse & burro advocacy groups have urged the BLM to abandon the experimentation on and use of sterilization on wild mares, but public outcry has fallen on the BLM’s deaf ears. That is why we started this campaign.


  2. I wrote Oregon State’s president, as well as a list of higher-ups in the administration, including those for the School of Veterinary Medicine, back in February–sounds like they need to hear from all of us again. It’s also been suggested that we contact the Alumni Association, which is concerned about negative press affecting donations. Here’s a list with the names and email addresses–some of them have to be contacted on an email form on their respective pages on the OSU site.

    *OSU president (link to email form at:,

    *dean of the veterinary college (,

    *the board of trustees (,

    *v.p. of relations and marketing (,

    *v.p. for research (link to email form at:,

    *alumni asso. link where there is a list of the Alum asso. board members:

    Let them know that 1) what t is proposing is illegal (and that the university could be opening itself up to lawsuits, 2) at the very least it would be a poor PR move, giving the university a very bad name in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of wild horse and wildlife advocates around the country–who are also taxpayers objecting to their money being spent to perform cruel experiments on horses that belong to us all.

    I also think it’s essential that any letters be kept civil and not filled or peppered with vulgarity. The same letter can be copied to all of the above, although some of them require that you send emails via a form on their individual pages on the OSU website–others have published individual email addresses.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think that most people have the good sense when sending a formal letter to be civil. I don’t think they need any admonitions from God knows who to do it. Among friends and bloggers, expressing disappointment with such bizarre and appalling treatment of animals that way is understandable. Calling it like it is.


  4. As long as we are writing our letters, here are some more people that need to hear from us about this:
    BLM Director Neil Kornze,
    BLM Senior Advisor, Dean Bolstad
    BLM Assistant Director, Resources and Planning, Ed Roberson
    BLM Oregon State Director, Jerome E Perez
    BLM Burns District Office, Lisa Grant
    BLM Acting Assistant Director, Renewable Resources, Mike Tupper


  5. Here are the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Members who also need to hear from us (I don’t have the 3 recent members’ emails):

    Wild Horse and Burro Advocacy Ms. June Sewing
    Public Interest Mr. Fred T. Woehl, Jr.
    Natural Resources Management Dr. Robert E. Cope, DVM
    Veterinary Medicine Dr. Julie Weikel, DVM
    Public Interest Ms. Jennifer Sall
    Wild Horse and Burro Research Dr. Sue M. McDonnell, Ph. D.


  6. Medical Malpractice Related to Unnecessary Surgery
    By Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C.

    Unnecessary surgery is a type of medical malpractice. A form of medical malpractice that has become an alarming and growing problem in the U.S. is unnecessary surgery.
    This type of malpractice can lead to life-threatening complications and completely alter an individual’s life. When a surgeon performs an unnecessary surgery, it is an act of medical negligence. Doctors should take every precaution before deciding to prescribe any type of invasive surgery to a patient. When there is a failure to do this and it results in unnecessary surgery, they may be held legally liable. Unnecessary surgery can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications. Some of the risks include hemorrhaging, damage to organs, infection, amputation and anesthesia errors. Putting animals through unnecessary surgery where they face complications that could significantly alter their life is a form of medical negligence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I attached Mr. Doyle’s comment on several of the emails I sent to the University etc.
      Does seem that reading that might make someone hesitate to get on the bandwagon with the BLM = but got a reply from Steve Clark stating their excuse that the University vets were only there to make sure the horses were treated in a “humane and safe manner”!


      • Thanks Maggie. Please excuse my nastiness (NOT aimed at you!) … so is Steve Clark implying that BLM wranglers are going to be doing the butchering of our wild mares and the University is just going to watch?


      • His comment pretty much mirrors the one I received from from Cynthia Sagers in February. I replied to her at that time. But that implication is EXACTLY what they both said!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dr. Charles Mayo, of the famous Mayo Clinic, stated:
    “I abhor vivisection … it should be abolished…I know of no discovery that could not have been obtained without it….”
    What is Vivisection? Vivisection is the practice of animal experimentation. This can include administering drugs, infecting with diseases, poisoning for toxicity testing, brain damaging, maiming, blinding, and other painful and invasive procedures.

    Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon any non-human animal, for purposes other than self-defense or survival. Experimenting on wild horses and burros is cruel, inhumane and absolutely unnecessary. BLM’s cruel, inhumane torture of and experimentation on our wild horses is absolutely not acceptable. It in no way conforms to the minimally intrusive management on the range that the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was passed to ensure.

    The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. “It would be anomalous to infer that by authorizing the custodian of the wild free roaming horses and burros to “manage” them, Congress intended to permit the animals’ custodian to subvert the primary policy of the statute by harassing and killing and capturing and removing from the wild the very animals that Congress sought to protect from being killed and harassed and captured and removed from the wild.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Keep sharing this, keep sending letters and comments to everyone you can think of – Deb says great work, over 10,000 people have read this. Thank you!


  9. It would be wise for Oregon State University to disengage from this ill advised project.
    The Public backlash, the bad publicity AND possible lawsuits are not good for any academic institution.


  10. I am extremely pessimistic about this issue. All indicators point that they will move forward with this no matter what; it is simply a matter of money for OSU.

    It may be too late for the hundred of mares that will be butchered alive by OSU and BLM wranglers but let’s hope however that we will be able to prevent the plan from being implemented.


  11. Oregon State University cannot afford more negative publicity.
    A tarnished reputation is not good for enrollment or for fund raising.

    The whistleblowers: Employees claim retaliation in campus rape cases
    By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

    UO declined to address specific claims from the women. In a statement to CNN, President Michael Schill, the THIRD PRESIDENT to lead the school since the allegations, said he was working “energetically” to leave the incident in the past and move forward with policy changes and open dialogue with the school community.

    One thing is clear, he says: It’s no longer an option for schools to say “no comment” or to impugn complainants.
    “Schools have to say something before they lose control of the story.”

    ‘Institutional betrayal’

    “The Hunting Ground” aired on CNN on Sunday, November 22, at 8 p.m. ET. The film was immediately followed by a special hosted by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. Subjects of the film and critics alike discussed the issues the documentary raised and controversy surrounding sexual abuse allegations on college campuses across America.

    On December 1, 2015, “The Hunting Ground” was shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. For a full list of shortlisted films please click this link.

    The documentary is currently available on VOD including iTunes.


  12. When a Donor Becomes Tainted

    When all goes well, wealthy benefactors give, and nonprofits name things after them-a building, a school, a program or hallway-and all is well. But what happens when a benefactor gets embroiled in a scandal after the donation has been made? How should a nonprofit react?

    Consider this. On September 21, 2005, Queen’s University announced that it would return a pledged gift of $1 million from David Radler and remove Radler’s name from a wing of the business school and from the university’s benefactor wall. Why? According to the press release, “The integrity of the gift to the university had been compromised.”

    Visibility. Academic Paul Nutt notes that nonprofits “do not have the luxury of keeping strategic decisions secret.” When a previously honored benefactor becomes tainted because of an economic or social scandal, it often becomes front-page news. As such, a nonprofit cannot ignore the scandal in the hope that it will not become publicly known.


  13. Stop this. They weren’t put here for this reason. They have feelings too, and can feel pain. Leave them alone. Let someone do this to you.


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