Horse Health

OSU considering partnership with BLM to research wild horse sterilization

for The Daily Barometer

“Although we are glad to see that our own Carol Walker, director of documentation at the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is quoted at the very beginning of this news article we are, on the other hand, abashed at the unsubstantiated closing comments made by Dawn Sherwood, an assistant professor in animal and rangeland sciences at OSU.  It is shocking that a mouthpiece for the BLM’s propaganda is a paid staff member of OSU and equally chilling that she is doling out misleading and inaccurate information to legions of young, receptive minds.

We ask that you visit the article’s webpage at and not only counter her comments but ask for documentation, pictures and evidence to backup her outlandish assessment of wild equine effects to rangeland; funny she never mentioned anything about the welfare cattle that outnumber wild horses and burros, on public land, at least 100 to 1.  Kind of makes you wonder why she would make that omission, eh?

My comment to Ms. Sherwood is, ‘Show me the Beef!'” ~ R.T.

Under fire by horse activist groups, the Oregon State University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are looking to collaborate on the sterilization of wild mares in Hines, OR.

Invasive Sterilization

Invasive Sterilization

Carol Walker, director of documentation at the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) finds OSU’s involvement in the possible experimentation not only unethical and inhumane, but in direct violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

The act states that if there’s an overpopulation of wild horses and burros in a given area, sterilization can be used as a means to control the wild horse and burro population. This can only be done with approval by the BLM Secretary of the Interior.

According to Walker, the BLM is violating the act on the grounds that the BLM would be utilizing medically invasive procedures on the animals.

“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,” Walker said in an email.

Walker also takes issue with the environment in which the possible research would take place in, arguing that the holding facility would not be truly sterile and that the horses would be scared of being contained and tested on.

Currently, the BLM is asking OSU to test three different methods of sterilization on the mares, according to Walker.

While the School of Veterinary Medicine would be conducting research on these sterilization methods upon approval, OSU Vice President of University Relations and Marketing Steve Clark is handling all calls and emails concerning the project.

The BLM first contacted OSU and the School of Veterinary Medicine and asked them to examine three potential sterilization methods as a third-party researcher and determine which one is the most safe and effective, according to Clark.

OSU has yet to decide if they will collaborate with the BLM on this project, Clark said. However, the research endeavors the BLM is proposing must first be accepted by a committee within the university.

The university is currently evaluating the proposed project for the safety of the animal subjects, Clark stated.

“Dependent upon whether this research is accepted by this independent university committee, then it would be up to the BLM to accept our requirements for safe and appropriate research methodologies,” Clark said.

According to Clark, OSU as a whole has no opinion on the issue of horse sterilization.

Clark emphasized that OSU takes this matter and community opinions, such as those from Walker very seriously.

“Everyone who sends us an email, we respond in writing. As we receive phone calls, we respond with phone calls,” Clark said.

Clark stated that the groups opposing the project are concerned with the humane treatment of the animals and that OSU agrees with those concerns.

In light of the recent tuition increase that was passed on March 31, Clark emphasized that no tuition dollars will go towards the research project and that funding would come directly from the BLM.

“The funding would provide for the work to be done by the researcher and the care of those animals that are involved in the research,” Clark said.

Clark is unsure of how much student involvement there would be in the project and if there will be any at all.

Clark also stated that OSU’s role in the project is solely research based and has no part in shaping or implementing public policy concerning wild horses and population control. OSU’s role in the project does not relate to any motives the BLM may have.

“The role of a research university, whether it’s about public health and human sciences or engineering or the liberal arts or veterinary medicine, is to both teach and conduct research in an unfettered way and provide information to students and the public in the case of research,” Clark said.

According to Clark, the research will be primarily conducted by Michael Huber, an associate professor of veterinary medicine at OSU and licensed large animal surgeon.

Huber’s work will be monitored by another third-party committee to ensure the safety of the animals and people involved in the project as well making sure that the project is conducted in an ethical way, Clark said.

Clark stated that Huber is concerned about the well-being of the horses and the impacts that overpopulation has on their health.

Huber could not be reached for comment.

Charlotte Roe, a founding member of the Wild Equine League of Colorado, is in opposition of OSU’s potential collaboration with the BLM on the sterilization research project and argues that there are alternatives to testing the three medical procedures, suggesting the possible use of the porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccine.

The PZP vaccine is an immunocontraceptive vaccine that is given to mares in as a means to control the population of wild horses in a given area and decrease foal production numbers over a given time period according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information.

According to Dawn Sherwood, an assistant professor in animal and rangeland sciences at OSU, while the PZP vaccine has seen success in other areas, there are few alternatives to mare sterilization in the case of Hines.

Sherwood believes that the sterilization project will affect herd behavior and dynamics in addition to the population of horses in the Hines area.

While wild horses travel in herds, they also have subgroups within the herds called harems. These harems which are comprised of one stallion, a lead mare, and between four and 20 other mares could change in size depending on the outcome of the sterilization research, Sherwood said.

According to Sherwood, the horses’ overpopulation is causing problems within Hines’ ecosystem.

“I don’t have exact numbers as of this year but I do know that the numbers are out of control. They are running out of vegetation, watering holes are going dry – you have things along those lines where the land is just not sufficient enough to provide enough food and water for those horses,” Sherwood said.

Since horses graze to the ground due to the structure of their teeth, they cause damage to grasses and create competition between other horses, deer and elk. Additionally, because of the structure and design of their hooves, an overpopulation of horses is causing damage to Hines’ lakes and riverbanks, according to Sherwood.

When a large group of 20-40 horses are around a single watering hole, their hooves can trample down the edges and cause damage to the area’s riparian zones, according to Sherwood.

Sherwood mentioned that wild horses are a species that were originally introduced to the United States by humans, but as agriculture became more industrialized and the use of tractors became more common, the horses were often set free by their owners.

“That’s really the basis of our wild horses, that they are feral horses and they’ve replicated, they’ve reproduced, and that’s where it needs to be taken care of is reducing their reproduction,” Sherwood said.

As a result, the horses reproduced on their own and began roaming countrysides nationwide, Sherwood said.

According to Sherwood, there are positive outcomes that could come from sterilizing the mares including decreasing foal production numbers and the environmental problems that come with overpopulation.

Sherwood takes issue with opponents of the sterilization research project because she believes that some groups are advocating to maintain the status quo for the wrong reasons.

“It’s nostalgia, that’s why people are fighting to keep them,” Sherwood said, “They don’t see the starving horses, they don’t see them dying of dehydration.”

While Sherwood understands the sentimental attachment people have to wild horses, she believes that people don’t realize the pain horses go through as a result of a lack of population control.

“That’s what frustrates me as a horse person,” Sherwood said.

24 replies »

  1. But not once is the mortality rate mentioned. How many of these test tube mares have or are dying as a result of this experiment? So they put ginger on the board as a file clerk, a figure head that had no power.. Where she cannot stop them from destroying the herds. So if the herds are starving why aren’t the cake dying? Oklahoma is basically a desert as is most of the west. I’m sure that the areas where they allow the horses to be is no better.. Oh they knew what they were doing. They put her there in a minimal function so that they cupid shut the rest of us up.. They took her away from her favored herd so there is nobody to watch over them and they cupid decimate that herd and of they as usual. Makes her look bad and gives them free rein. .. Fell into it again, huh guys?


  2. All I can is its a bunch of baloney!!! It sounds like the BLM wants to extend the gravy train even further. This is so wrong. Its obvious she needs to do more research on equine behitsavior. This is a public university receiving state and federal funding. This is a very slippery slope. Its ridiculous to have the PR dept channel these calls as this dept has very little actual knowledge on the subject. I’m totally opposed and would call the Presidents office to express my disappointment and concern over such inhumane treatment. They are not lab rats to be used, abused and discarded like trash! They are one of Americas last living legends!


  3. I looked at this title quickly and thought it said ‘OSU Reconsiders’. 😦 Wishful thinking I guess. But, there’s still time.

    What BS. Nothing compares to what human beings do to animals as far as suffering. Living out their lives in the natural world, with natural predators is by far superior to what our so-called leadership suggests. No permanent means of controlling population should ever be done on another living thing. At least someone who has a ‘sentimental attachment’ for horses has the capacity for love – what do you call helicopter roundups that break legs, Mengele-styple experiments and sterilizations (let’s do this and see what happens! like pulling wings off insects, these boys never grew up, did they), and other brutality? Lack of attachment that ‘science’ calls psychopathy.

    There’s a law that protects horses for the benefit of the American people; I don’t know why it today means nothing.


  4. It would be in Sherwood’s best interest to look past the “emotional horse people” and focus on the issue and the facts.

    I’ve never heard of horses causing damage to riparian areas. Otherwise, it is highly likely that the USFS would have used this as the reason to consider rounding up the Salt River wild horses last year as opposed to using that ridiculous “human safety” excuse.

    And situations where horses are starving on the range are very rare and there are usually many contributing factors to their condition other than their population size alone. It’s funny how many individuals point to Cold Creek as an example. What most of them won’t tell you is that many of those horses are hand fed by people — look up “Cold Creek wild horses” on YouTube and see for yourself. It is illegal to feed wild animals as they can develop a tendency to become dependent on human beings for food. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. And the adjacent Red Rock HMA on the other side of the mountain range has had no problems with starvation, at least nothing that has been reported. To be fair, the Red Rock HMA isn’t as stressed as Cold Creek (although we all know how some AML’s are set far below what is needed to preserve herds at genetically viable levels). But what else could be a contributing factor? The “rain shadow effect”. It’s Geology 101 stupid!

    And if I could ask, where did you get the number 100 – 1? I’ve heard of 50 – 1. Did something change?


  5. Good luck getting this so called Oregon State newspaper to post your comment if you do write one – but TRY anyway. I sent them a public comment yesterday and they did not post it so I directly emailed the editor of the paper and asked why … and if there was a problem with my comment and if so what and if not then to please post it. Not a word from the editor and my comment is still not posted on their article. I also know of someone else who sent them a comment and theirs was not posted either. So much for free-speech on America’s college campuses.
    Here is the editor’s email.

    My comment I sent to the Daily Baromter “newspaper”:

    April 15, 2016
    Oregon State University and Associates
    Corvallis, OR 97331
    Re: Wild Horse Sterilization Contract/Grant
    Dear Sir/Madam:
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has not established the true population numbers of wild horses and burros on their congressionally designated range lands and therefore there is no justification for any sterilization of wild horses and burros. None.
    If any employee of the Department of Interior / Bureau of Land Management has stated to you otherwise, then they are in violation of Title 18 (18 U.S.C. § 1001). Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial
    18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal
    Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)
    US Code Per the US Department of Justice, the purpose of Section 1001 is “to protect the authorized functions of governmental departments and agencies from the perversion which might result from” concealment of material facts and from false material representations.
    In addition, the sterilization of any wild horses or burros by Oregon State in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management is in direct conflict with the recent National Academy of Science (NAS) report and recommendations. “The NAS findings clearly state that the BLM has failed to provide accurate estimates of the nation’s population of wild horses and burros. Therefore, the NAS cannot conclude that a state of over-population exists and or provide a recommendation for artificial management considerations such as fertility controls to control populations for which the complex population dynamics are currently unknown.” The NAS institute said the report lent credence to accusations that the bureau [BLM] has been ignoring science and grossly mismanaging the wild equines, and that it pursued policies that favored corporate livestock grazing interests over the interests of the wild horses and burros. That, it said, was in direct contradiction to the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
    This National Academy of Science report reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management’s oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United States and the report goes on to say, “The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess the availability and use of forage on rangelands.”
    The NAS report continues:
    · Management of free-ranging horses and burros is not based on rigorous population-monitoring procedures. At the time of the committee’s review, most Herd Management Areas did not use inventory methods or statistical tools common to modern wildlife management. Survey methods used to count animals were often inconsistent and poorly documented and did not quantify the uncertainty attached to counts.
    · On the basis of information provided to the committee, the statistics on the national population size cannot be considered scientifically rigorous. The links between BLM’s estimates of the national population size and its actual population surveys – the data that underlie these estimates – are obscure. The procedures used to develop population estimates for the Herd Management Areas from counts of animals are not standardized and frequently not documented.
    If the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in conjunction with the Oregon State University, is 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 who own these wild horses, then Oregon State needs to be forewarned of the illegalities of their actions. This needs to be stopped now.


  6. I wrote to Pres of OSU about this article: (please—you can write to them, too!!)
    here is my letter and their response and mine:

    Please do not participate in this barbaric and inhumane experiment on America’s wild horses.
    1. there is no overpopulation of wild horses across the country. 
    2. cattle overgrazing is causing more damage to the range, plus produce methane gas and global warming  climate change…all about the money from cattle ranchers and public land leasing by BLM. Oil, gas fracking, mining and cattle overgrazing are the most damaging acts on our public lands today.
    3. horses graze to the ground due to the structure of their teeth but do not kill the grass, whereas cattle rip out the grass by the roots so they cause more damage to grasses and create competition between other horses, deer and elk. Horses one stomach passes the grass seeds out to refertilize the range. Cattle’s multiple stomachs digest the seed so do not benefit the land. Cattle ranchers put up fences so the wild horses cannot get to the watering holes. The 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act is supposed to protect them from this bad management.
    4. equines first originated on the American continents and travelled north on route to Europe.
    5. wild horses don’t roam the country nationwide today. There are estimates of only 20,000 left in the wild.
    100 years ago there were over a million wild horses.
    6. there are no positive outcomes from sterilizing the wild mares. They will abort there foals up at all stages of their pregnancy. There is no need for the barbaric sterilization. BLM already gelds the stallions they round up.
    There is no need for the sterilization experiments because PZP eventually has sterilized the mares it has been used on after several years. These mares no longer get pregnant. They need to research why this is turning out to be non reversible. The wild horses need to have 150 or more healthy breeding stock to be a viable herd for the future of the wild horses and not deformed, imbreeding numbers like most herds are at risk of today.
    7. Sherwood wants this program for the wrong reasons….all about money and politics, not for protection of America’s wild horses. They are the American public’s, yours and mine, wild horses and not the Oregon State U or BLM’s wild horses. THEY WILL NO LONGER BE WILD HORSES!
    Stop this barbaric inhumane experiment on over 200 wild mares.
    Protect the wild horses and burros for future generations to see in the wild and not just in the movies.
    It is a right as a citizen to protect our wild horses. They are not owned by the BLM or OSU.
    Many of these wild mares will die from infection from lack of sterile environment in a dusty, filthy corral on the range and lack of veterinarian care because they will be set free after the operation. There will be no pain management and many will continue to bleed.The stallions might not accept them back to the family unit. They will suffer, abort their foals at all stages and die on the range from lack of care that is give to domestic mares.
    OSU VP response:
    From: “Clark, Steve”
    Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 1:43 PM
    To: Denise Brown
    Subject: RE: Stop the inhumane sterilization experiment on America’s wild mares now

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns. President Ray is out of the office and asked me to respond to you on his behalf.

    By way of background, Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been asked by the Bureau of Land Management to research safe and effective alternative mare sterilization procedures.  The role of the university research would be to evaluate and report on the safety and result of these procedures. Not to utilize these procedures as a continued practice. At this juncture, Oregon State has not yet determined whether to proceed with this research.
    Oregon State’s first priority will always be the safe and humane treatment of all animals involved in any research we conduct. If the research was to occur in this matter, doctors in the College of Veterinary would lead this work. And the care of the mares would be ensured by other veterinarians, who are not engaged in the actual research, but who only would observe the research to fully ensure humane treatment, safety and proper care of the mares.
    Once any research is completed, the findings of the research will be provided to the BLM and shared with the public. I understand that the BLM will then make publicly-reviewed decisions about next steps.
    I understand and appreciate that you have very strong concerns about this matter. As a public university, it is not OSU’s role to enter that debate by providing our opinion on the overall matter of wild horses, but only to provide research-based information that includes evaluation of the mares’ safety for the BLM and public to be aware of.
    Steve Clark
    Vice President
    University Relations
    Oregon State University

    my response:
    Dear Steve,
    Thank you for your email.

    I hope your peers at the University research more about wild horses and mares before you enter these precarious experiments. You don’t want to be known as the university that brought about and contributed to the final downfall and end of America’s wild horses. It will be the nail on the coffin for America’s iconic wild horses and burros if BLM determines anything like these 3 procedures are safe, necessary or useful for the extermination of the wild herds. Overall the herd populations are not viable numbers to sustain healthly herds for the future. Most are under 150 members which makes them genetically unstable and at risk of inbreeding like the Corolla herd horses.

    Please investigate everything before accepting this inhumane and barbaric way of accepting money for the university.
    It is totally unnecessary. There is no overpopulation of wild horses. The cattle ranchers are behind the elimination of all wild horses on public lands.  They want you to believe they are multiplying like rabbits and over populating the whole country. They treat wild horses as feral cats and want to send them all to slaughter. Their cattle are the most destructive creatures on public lands and the cattle ranchers get practically free use of millions of acres of leased lands that were to protect the wild horse and burro in the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act started by Wild Horse Annie when the ranchers were running the wild horses off of cliffs and tying tires and ropes to the horses and let them drag them til they died.

    It is all about money and if you don’t learn more about this and get on the side of the protection of the wild horses and burros, there will be no more mustangs for future generations to see. You will only see them in the movies.

    It is a tragedy that so many wild species have been eliminated by man’s greed during the last 50 years of our existence.

    Please research more about why this is such a wrong decision to involve yourself and the university and ally yourself with the Bureau of Land Management and cattle, gas, oil fracking, mining and hunters who want to eliminate the wild mustangs and burros so they have rights to the public land which they are buying up leasing rights all over the west, right in front of your eyes. Check the aerial photos of gas fracking…over 63,000 sites are operating on public lands now.

    Please investigate this multifaceted string of events and management of our public lands so you will not be responsible for the end of the wild horse, America’s iconic symbol that both you and I and the American public owns.

    Shame on you, the BLM and OSU for being involved in these extermination techniques.
    The future of the earth, where the wildlife are valued above money is so important.
    Please choose the right side.

    Thank you for your time. I am sure if you learn more you will see the importance of not conducting these inhumane experiments.  
    These wild mares will NO LONGER BE WILD when you take their reproductive organs out and make them useless to their families and future generations. Don’t let the foals be aborted. It is a terrible deed for you to be responsible for this and turn away from any feelings or caring about the animals as a purely scientific view with no opinion of the damage it will invite for the mustang’s future.
    Please make the right decision and do the right thing and say NO to this project.
    The BLM wants to utilize these procedures as a continued practice. Please read between the lines. They are using you for their plan to eliminate the wild horse.

    it is the OSU’s duty to enter that debate by providing your opinion on the overall matter of wild horses, NOT to only provide research-based information that includes evaluation of the mares’ safety for the BLM and public to be aware of.
    Shame on you if you think otherwise. I am sorry that you don’t value your own opinion better than your statements. Please reconsider what you wrote to me and:

    Visit my ‘Wind’ blog to learn more about the plight of America’s wild horses and burros today and current events and research.
    I have studied this plight for 12 years.

    Denise Brown
    Wild horse advocate

    Liked by 2 people

    • Why are you thanking Mr. Clark (or his staffer who hit “send”) for what is obviously a form letter being sent to anyone taking the time to write them about this proposed “research?”

      Since OSU is a land grant university, it is operated on donated public lands and presumably with some public dollars, though their website indicates this:

      “As Oregon’s leading public research university, with $308.9 million in external funding in the 2015 fiscal year, Oregon State’s impact reaches across the state and beyond.”

      Raising the question of whether any of those $308.9 million revenues come from sources which raise a conflict of interest with wild horse sterilizations.

      Perhaps Mr. Clark might return to his office one day soon and might answer this question directly, presuming he even reads the letters being sent.


  7. SO…if OSU will not respond to our comments (apparently the President of OSU is either on vacation or sabbatical)…and the Daily Barometer will not post our comments…we might consider another approach

    Salazar the Slaughter Czar: Sky Protest Over Denver
    Saturday Nov 21, 2009

    On Sunday November 22nd, as on the previous Friday (as reported in the Denver Post and 5280 Denver’s Magazine), a plane and banner message critical of Secretary Salazar will be flying over Denver, prior to the Denver Broncos game. Frustrated and angry over continued Wild Horse round-ups, the message sponsors are working toward a conversation on the real issues on our public lands discussed in this press release.


    • It might be possible that the newspaper is overwhelmed with letters and can only choose a few. It is a small newspaper like less than 10 pages usually. I’m from Corvallis, Oregon where the school is located.


  8. Noted Humanitarian Dr, Ann Marini Catches BLM in Lies With Photo Evidence

    October 8, 2014
    Dear Mr. Lucero,

    Several years ago, I requested information about the rationale and sound science regarding the Calico wild horse round-up. I sent this letter to my Senator, Senator Barbara Mikulski. Senator Mikulski, in turn, sent my letter to Bob Abbey, the director of the Wild Horse and Burro program at the BLM at the time. Mr. Abbey sent me a letter stating that the reason for the round-up was because the wild horses were starving and emaciated. Unbeknownst to Mr. Abbey, I had a friend who was in close proximity to the short-term holding facility for this round-up. He took many photos of the wild horses from that cruel round-up where many horses died; two foals who were captured on video and couldn’t walk because their hooves were in the process of sloughing off also died from the helicopter-induced stampede over long distances of treacherous volcanic rock. I had all of the photos processed and blown up to 8.5 x 11 so all of the horses (about 100 in total) could be clearly seen. All of the horses were healthy and none were emaciated or starving.

    Just a short summary about my background. I received my Ph.D. degree in Medical Biochemistry from Georgetown University and received my M.D. from the same institution. I am a physician-scientist and have been conducting scientific research since the late 70’s. I do know the basic principles of sound science and I certainly know the difference between lies and the truth. To get at the truth of course, the reporter would have to do a serious investigation into the BLM propaganda and the newspaper would have to commit some serious resources to discover the truth.
    The fact is that the BLM doesn’t know how many wild horses there are on public land and because they don’t know the true number of wild horses on public land, there is no way for them to conclude that there are “excess” wild horses which is one criteria for possible round-up.

    A serious effort of acquiring a broad factual knowledge base (background and current information) would lead one to question the integrity and real intent of the Wild Horse and Burro Program at the BLM. This is an important point because the BLM will do anything and everything to dupe all of us silly Americans who don’t know anything about horses or science.
    If the New York Times believes everything they read and/or obtain from the BLM about the wild horse and burro program, the paper will be hopelessly duped. The facts are that horses are emotional animals and helicopters terrorize them and induce a huge stress response. The fact is that the BLM has consistently REMOVED public land over the years that you and I as taxpapers provide to the wild horses and burros that has amounted to over 19 million acres. There was never any explanation from the BLM. The land just disappeared from the original map where wild horses were allowed to roam free. The fact is that Congress designated that public land was given to wild horses and burros wherever wild horses were found. The BLM is continuing to remove public land, land that all Americans pay to allow the wild horses to live on with their families. The fact is that there are 100 cows to 1 wild horse despite the fact that it is only a privilege for welfare ranchers to graze their cattle on public land. So, why is it that the BLM leases public land to ranchers to graze 1 million cows but whatever number of wild horses (I seriously doubt 40,000 as there are more in long-term holding than free on the range) that are roaming free on public land is too many (Remember, Congress passed the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 which allowed wild horses and burros to roam free on public land and live out their lives with their families)? The fact is that the National Academy of Sciences report urged the BLM to conduct a formal and accurate count of the wild horses on public land. Has the BLM made the effort to accurately count the number of wild horses on public land? The fact is that the National Academy of Sciences indicated in their report that when you remove horses from a parcel of land, there are fewer horses and the horses will reproduce at a higher rate. Has the BLM used this sound science to manage the wild horses? No, it is business as usual….round them up and eradicate them off the face of the Earth.
    Let’s remember that there are 248 million acres of public land. Surely, the BLM can think “outside the box” and manage these icons of American heritage and freedom on public land, land that was designed to them by an act of Congress.
    Select publications (out of 70):
    Hu Z, Yu D, Almeida-Suhett C, Tu K, Marini A, Eiden L, Braga M, Zhu J, Li Z. 2012 Expression of miRNAs and Their Cooperative Regulation of The Pathophysiology in Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS One 7(6):e39357
    Pan H, Hu X-z, Jacobowitz DM, Chen C, McDonough J, Van Shura K, Lyman M, Marini AM. 2012 Alpha-linolenic acid is a potent neuroprotective agent against soman-induced neuropathology. Neurotoxicology, 33:1219-1229.
    Lilja AM, Luo Y, Yu Q-s, Röjdner J, Li Y, Marini AM, Marutle A, Nordberg A, Greig NH. 2013 Neurotrophic and neuroprotective actions of (-)- and (+)-phenserine, candidate drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. PLoS One, 8(1):e54887.
    Martinez-Llordella M, Esensten JH, Bailey-Bucktrout SL, Lipsky RH, Marini A, Chen J, Mughal M, Mattson MP, Taub DD, Bluestone JA. 2013 CD28-inducible transcription factor DEC1 is required for efficient autoreactive CD4+ T cell response. J Experimental Med 210:1603-1619.
    Almeida-Suhett CP, Zheng L, Marini AM, Braga MFM, Eiden LE. 2014 Temporal course of changes in gene expression suggests a cytokine-related mechanism for long-term hippocampal alteration after controlled cortical impact. J Neurotrauma, 31(7):683-690.
    Almeida-Suhett CP, Prager E, Pidoplichko V, Figueiredo T, Marini AM, Li Z, Eiden L, Braga MFM. 2014 Reduced Gabaergic inhibition in the Basolateral Amygdala and the development of anxiety-like behavior after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS One, 9(7):e102627
    Chen J, Pan H, Chen C, Wu W, Iskandar K, He J, Piermartiri T, Jacobowitz DM, Yu Q-S, McDonough JF, Greig NH, Marini AM. (-)-Phenserine attenuates soman-induced neuropathology. PLoS One, 9(6):e99818.
    Kind regards,
    Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D

    Click to access Marini-CV.pdf

    Curriculum Vitae
    Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.
    Work Address: Department of Neurology
    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    4301 Jones Bridge Road
    Bethesda, Maryland 20814
    Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut
    1980 M.D. – Georgetown University School of Medicine
    Washington, D.C. 20007
    1978 Ph.D.- Department of Biochemistry
    Georgetown University School of Medicine
    Washington, D.C. 20007

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Denise Brown, I also wrote to the President of the OSU and received the same letter of response as you did. I cc the letter to the Dean of the OSU Veterinary School, the Board of Trustees, and the V. P. of Research, but haven’t heard anything back from them. Maybe we should be sending letters to the BLM, the Secretary of the Interior, and President Obama as well. This proposal needs to be stopped now, and not just at the OSU but anywhere that the BLM tries to attempt this ‘research’ experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The word “humane” is not even remotely in the vocabulary of the government when it is dealing with wild equines. If they had designed plans to torture them to the maximum level, which leads to their death, they could not come up with more fiendish plans. OSU should be embarrassed to even think of participating in such a scheme. The wild horses and burros are being wiped out in favor of welfare cattle, who outnumber them 100 to 1. I have yet to see anything that remotely indicates the truth of the BLM’s claims. They cannot have it both ways. Mustangs in the wild are healthy and hearty. If they were so “overpopulated”, they would not look quite so good and healthy. Give us a break, federal government. We are not quite as stupid as you seem to think.
    Barbara Wood

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ms. Sherwood seems to have feasted on the BLM’s propaganda. She has isolated the horses presence on the range as the source of their own ills, but she has neglected to factor in the additional and even greater issue of overgrazing by cattle. No one wants starving horses, nor animals of any kind, for that matter, but this problem is multifactorial and should be addressed as such. It is not “nostalgia” as she reports, it is reality and that reality includes a thorough reassessment of responsible range management, which likely should include PZP (or some similar, safe bioequivalent), which ultimately will reduce herd size, reduce the profound overpopulation of cattle on public lands, and save the taxpayers unfathomable tax dollars. Don’t blame the horses or the horse lovers. This is a villainous, barbaric plan that the BLM is proposing. There are saner, more sophisticated and more humane options than torturing a bunch of poor horses that are doing just what deer, elk, etc. do while thriving in their natural habitat – reproduce.


  12. Our comments are posted now. Do add your comments…Oregon State University needs to hear from all of us. Captive Wild Mares (some as young as 8 months) can’t protest but we can…we must

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This does not surprise me one darn bit. I live in western Oregon (unfortunately). Oregon is one of the five WORST states for prosecuting animal abuse and neglect and wild horses are even lower on the scale of “do-we-care” than owned horses. Ranchers (who are worshipped in this state like gods) consider them vermin and cannot wait to have them completely exterminated. Also I can tell you from personal knowledge that every vet who works out of or throughg OSU and every single faculty member in the vet school at OSU is PRO SLAUGHTER. (Including my own vet that I just fired when I found out he felt the same way.) The horrors of gathers of wild horses in Oregon and even worse horrors in the “corrals” in Burns are extremely well known here but as hard as wild horse advocates have fought to make things better for the wild horses in Oregon, it is just not happening. Even the local PBS affiliate tv station did a special on how the wild horses are treated here in Oregon and while it opened a LOT of eyes in the general public it did little or nothing to actually help the wild horses. What can you say about a state that has laws on the books but doesn’t enforce them even against horse tripping, donkey and foal roping, horse fighting, etc. What can you say? You can say that Oregon is nothing less than hell if you are a horse.


  14. If you want your articles and commentaries published then forget about the college newspaper. A good suggestion would be to write the Eugene Weekly. The associate editor Camilla is a strong advocate for the wild horses (she is a horsewoman herself) and she might even look at doing an article about this situation. Campus newspapers are pretty much a joke. Try a “real” newspaper to bring these issues before the public.


  15. It sounds like we ALL need to send our wild horse sterilization concerns HERE?

    Any person with direct knowledge or reasonable suspicions of any animal welfare concerns or mistreatment of animals associated with Oregon State University is obligated to report them promptly. Members of the OSU community are also obligated to report animal activity noncompliance.
    The Animal Welfare Act protects the rights of individuals reporting animal welfare concerns and prohibits discrimination against or reprisal for reporting violations of regulations or standards under the Animal Welfare Act.
    (see below)

    Oregon State UniversityCalendarLibraryMapsOnline Services
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    Research at OSU- Office of Research Integrity
    Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
    Home » Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
    Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns at OSU
    Reporting Animal Welfare and other Concerns

    Any person with direct knowledge or reasonable suspicions of any animal welfare concerns or mistreatment of animals associated with Oregon State University is obligated to report them promptly. Members of the OSU community are also obligated to report animal activity noncompliance.
    The Animal Welfare Act protects the rights of individuals reporting animal welfare concerns and prohibits discrimination against or reprisal for reporting violations of regulations or standards under the Animal Welfare Act.

    Prompt reporting of animal welfare concerns is essential to protect all animals involved and to aid in any investigation of allegations. Anyone aware of animal mistreatment must discuss the incident with one of the contacts below, so the animal(s) involved can be evaluated and receive appropriate medical care. Concerns regarding participant health & safety should be reported to EH&S or via the direct link here.
    Members of the OSU community are obligated to report animal activity noncompliance, or unauthorized animal use. Contact one of the people listed below, submit an Incident Report Form available on the IACUC website, or submit an anonymous report with OSU’s online reporting system via EthicsPoint. Under normal circumstances involving limited risk, questions about compliance can first be discussed with the supervisor and/or study personnel.

    Contact list:
    Attending Veterinarian, Dr. Helen Diggs: 541-737-6203
    IACUC Administrator, Dr. Rebecca Henry: 541-737-2762
    IACUC Chairperson, Dr. Andrew Buermeyer: 541-737-6949
    Institutional Official, Dr. Rich Holdren: 541-737-8390
    Public Safety, 541-737-7000
    You can submit an anonymous report online via the OSU portal at the EthicsPoint website through the OSU portal or call 1-855-388-4971.
    Note: this system is not equipped to handle emergencies. For emergencies, contact the Attending Veterinarian, or others listed above.
    Online Reporting System – Animal Welfare Concerns & Noncompliance
    Submit an anonymous report online via the OSU portal on EthicsPoint website. See the steps below. Or, call the Hotline: 1-855-388-4971.


  16. Oregon State – Reporting Animal Abuse

    The Oregon State University core values are accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility. Our Code of Ethics notes that members of the Oregon State University community are expected to conduct themselves with the highest standards of ethics.

    Oregon State University is committed to an environment where open, honest communications are the expectation, not the exception. We want you to feel comfortable in approaching your supervisor or management in instances where you believe violations of policies or standards have occurred.
    In situations where you prefer to place an anonymous report in confidence, you are encouraged to use this hotline, hosted by a third party hotline provider, EthicsPoint. You are encouraged to submit reports relating to violations stated in our Code of Ethics, as well as asking for guidance related to policies and procedure and providing positive suggestions and stories.

    The information you provide will be sent to us by EthicsPoint on a totally confidential and anonymous basis if you should choose. You have our guarantee that your comments will be heard.
    See the EthicsPoint FAQs for more information.

    To Make a Report
    You may use either of the following two methods to submit a report:
    Select the “Make a Report” link at the top of this web page.
    Dial toll-free, within the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and Canada: 855-388-4971
    To Make a Report


  17. This type of sterilization is barbaric. You have already had horses bleed out and die trying to sterilize them. You have had stallions die just from being gelded. These horses are living and breathing. They are not to be experimented on. They are not destructive to the landscape but cattle and sheep are. What type of university is this that would allow such a barbaric practice. I was born and raised in Oregon but your university makes me ashamed to say I am an Oregonian.


  18. I have written all of them at OSU and the Advisory board back in April 2016 and recently. They are paid off and no amount of scientific argument will penetrate their coal black hearts. I called PETA and wrote them too. No response from them either which is weird. Why isn’t PETA all over this? OSU needs to be exposed and publicly humiliated. I also reported this sterilization insanity to the Animal Abuse hotline.

    Liked by 1 person

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