Horse News

BLM Ends Nevada Wild Horse Fertility Project

Source: Scott Sonner – AP Reporter

“Administration of PZP to these wild horses is hereby suspended, pending further review,”

Wild horses are seen accessing a water hole during a Bureau of Land Management tour in the Pine Nut Mountains just outside of Dayton, Nev., on Jan. 23, 2015. Friends of Animals and Protect Mustangs filed a lawsuit Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, to block the bureau's roundup of the horses.(Photo: Jason Bean, Reno Gazette-Journal)

Wild horses are seen accessing a water hole during a Bureau of Land Management tour in the Pine Nut Mountains just outside of Dayton, Nev., on Jan. 23, 2015. Friends of Animals and Protect Mustangs filed a lawsuit Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, to block the bureau’s roundup of the horses.(Photo: Jason Bean, Reno Gazette-Journal)

Under the threat of another legal battle, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has pulled the plug on a public-private partnership in northern Nevada aimed at shrinking the size of a wild horse herd through the use of contraceptives, according to documents The Associated Press obtained on Tuesday.

BLM officials confirmed they have suspended the pilot fertility-control project southeast of Carson City pending completion of additional environmental analysis.

Unlike most conflicts over mustangs that pit protection groups against ranchers, the dispute in Nevada’s Pine Nut Mountains has divided horse advocates themselves over the appropriate use of fertility-control drugs on the range.

The federal agency approved the pilot project in 2014 working with the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and the Gardnerville-based Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates to treat a herd that a federal judge in Reno has forbidden the agency from gathering.

BLM suspended the project Monday after Friends of Animals threatened to sue based on claims the drug, PZP, harms horses and violates the judge’s order, according to an internal email obtained by AP.

“Administration of PZP to these wild horses is hereby suspended, pending further review,” BLM Sierra Front Field Manager Bryant D. Smith wrote in informing his staff he had revoked the decision record for the Fish Springs Wild Horses PZP Pilot Project.

While some groups advocate fertility control as a preferred alternative to government roundups, others say scientific research suggests PZP can have long-lasting physical, behavioral and social effects on wild horses. Among other things, they say mares that cannot get pregnant choose to leave their bands, creating instability that affects the health of the entire herd.

“We are extremely happy to have killed the pilot project and to put a stop to the forced drugging of Pine Nut mares with the fertility control pesticide PZP for a second time,” said Pricilla Feral, president of the Connecticut-based Friends of Animals, an international advocacy group founded in 1957.

The BLM maintains the Pine Nut herd is seriously overpopulated, and it intended to round up more than 300 horses last year before U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks sided with wild horse advocates and blocked the effort. He ruled the BLM failed to conduct the necessary analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act, and soon after the agency voluntarily withdrew its roundup plan…(CONTINUED)

15 replies »

  1. Well, what do you know!! Chalk one up for the horses for a change. When are they going to get it. Americans want those horses left right where they are. Some ranchers may think their pests. But I would love to look out my window and see a band of wild horses and burros. Its fascinating to watch the interaction. Great job of stopping a horrendous act!


  2. Mother Nature Knows Best, How to Manage Wild Horses (excerpts)

    An Interview Karen A. Sussman, President, The International Society For the Protection Of Mustangs and Burros–0501.html

    While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been searching for solutions to “manage” America’s remaining wild horse and burro populations, The International Society For The Protection Of Mustangs and Burros, discovery in returning to ancient wisdom, is demonstrating Mother Nature Knows Best, how to Manage wild pony populations and the land they live upon, more over than man and several equine organizations and many people are gathering in support. ISPMB introduces “Natural Management”, in a win-win solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mother Nature Knows Best, How to Manage Wild Horses (excerpts)

    An Interview Karen A. Sussman, President, The International Society For the Protection Of Mustangs and Burros–0501.html

    Presently, wild horses are granted approximately 12% of public land use and the wild horses share their 12% land use with welfare cattle and sheep. The BLM and welfare ranchers frequently claim the wild horses are damaging the range, but omit mention and study of Six million welfare cattle oil gas and other occupying resource largely detrimental, harmful impact, upon Western range lands and water resources. For understanding of BLM managed and our public land, assignment and allotments P.E.E.R. has created an interactive grazing map.

    BLM’s wild horse and burro management is on an unsustainable track, that further threatens, America’s remaining wild horse species, survival.
    An interview with ISPMB’s President, Karen A. Sussman, ISPMB’s “Natural Management” a successful solution:
    Annie realized that if the states had control over the wild horses/burros that they would not survive.

    However, under the BLM’s care, the horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. Annie was always concerned about BLM managing the animals. She wanted the Park Service to manage the horses but because wild horses were considered feral back then, the jurisdiction was given to the BLM.
    BLM is the same agency that evolved from the Grazing agencies that ordered the killing of wild horses and burros in the 30’s.

    Interesting now, DNA evidence shows that the reintroduced Spanish horse is the same horse that lived in the Post Pleistocene era.

    Yes, wild horses are actually native to our continent and evolved here for 60 million years. Wild horses must be protected federally but the law must be enforced.
    BLM is mandated to protect the habitat and for the past 100 years and they have failed miserably. The 1971 Act requires the BLM to monitor the habitat and make removals based on monitoring. BLM has not complied with this. Public lands are in static trend and much of it is not improving over the past 100 years. The reason is not from wild horses/burros that represent not more than 30,000 animals. One just has to compare the number of livestock on public lands which is 6 million and 4 million wildlife. Numbers alone could prove that wild horses/burros are not impacting their environment.

    J.S.: In your opinion what will become of America’s open lands if wild horses and burros are here, no more?

    K.S.: The best that I can explain is quoting Chief Seattle in 1855. Paraphrasing “when the buffalo are all slaughtered and the wild horses all tamed, it will be the end of living and the beginning of survival.” We are in the survival mode now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Castration of Stallions needs to stop
    Comments on this proposal are due by May 17
    UTAH Frisco Herd Management Area:

    Comments Due by May 17, 2016

    Click to access Conger_Frisco_Research_EA_Preliminary_4_15_16.pdf

    Round up 250 and remove 175 wild horses beginning on our about July 1, 2016.
    n Year 2 (Fall 2017), round up all males and their family groups. Bring all horses to the Delta holding facility, where juvenile horses and foals will be permanently held. Geld and return 37 stallions, along with ungelded stallions (to serve as controls) and adult mares

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mother Nature Knows Best, How to Manage Wild Horses (excerpts)

    An Interview Karen A. Sussman, President, The International Society For the Protection Of Mustangs and Burros–0501.html

    BLM’s WH&B current contested, controversial management methods, include, but are not limited to: application of a contraceptive drug vaccination PZP (porcine zona pellucid ), sterilization, chain spaying wild horse mares, gelding of all captured wild stallions, manipulating; fertility control experimentation, skewing of herd sexual ratios, dangerous mass wild horse removals with helicopters: and warehousing of the BLM captured wild horses in BLM facilities, on private & public land, once within private facilities, the wild ponies are no longer available for the public to enjoy or monitor.

    BLM’s use of PZP, a fertility control drug in the past, was thought to be a safer and perhaps a good way to go, for wild horse population management, versus slaughter or removals, however recent evidence is now surfacing, that PZP is causing permanent sterility and possible still born foals, as well as creating serious social dysfunction, out of season foaling and creating herd hierarchy instability survival challenges. The question arises, why would tax funding be used to reduce wild horse populations, especially when the 20,000 horses are already drastically outnumbered, by the six million welfare cattle, sheep and thousands of oil gas and fracking interests, on America’s public lands?

    ISPMB and Love Wild Horses®, a Northern California based wild horse preservation, non-profit organization, with Love Wild Horses® Wildlife Ecologist and Author, Craig C. Downer and Downer’s non-profit equine protection organization, express specific concern surrounding PZP contraceptive harm and BLM’s varied unnecessary mistreatment of America’s remaining wild ponies, and they calling to increase the percentage of land share for the wild horses and return to Natural Management, for remaining free roaming wild horses to survive and thrive and to improve and to successfully simultaneously, benefit delicate Western Eco-System land and water’s preservation & protection:

    “Porcine Zona Pelucida, aka PZP, has serious detrimental effects on wild horses to which it is administered as a hypodermic shot either directly or by a launched dart from a rifle. It is a substance listed as a pesticide by the Food and Drug Administration, and this implies that the wild horses are pests, which is an insult and negative view of these wonderful returned native animals. This substance coats the ovaries of mares into which it is injected and prevents sperm from penetrating and so impregnating the mare. This then causes serious stress and frustration in the mare not being able to fulfill her natural drive to reproduce. She then becomes dissatisfied with certain stallions who have mated with her and seeks other stallions.

    This then breaks up the social units, or bands, and causes much stress and anguish to mares, stallions and the young who are dependent on them. Less effort is then given to rearing young and coaching them in survival. This general disruption then extends throughout the herd, producing a general malaise and discontent. When mares are injected after a few to several years they become totally sterile. Those that do come off and reproduce again are reported to have frequent abortions or malformed young that have difficulty surviving, and the births often occur during other seasons such as winter when both the mare and the young may suffer much and even die. All this is not at all in accord with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 which states in its section 3 a that BLM and US Forest Service must manage the wild horses adn burros “at the minimum feasible level.” This is really a torture of these wonderful, highly evolved and sensitive animals and is totally opposite what the WFHBA said to do.
    Our government should be taking the “Reserve Design” approach to restoring and preserving and protecting the many distinctive wild horse and burro herds throughout the West, as I describe in my proposal by this name.“


  6. This what you end up with when all of the predators have been pretty much killed off by the states, ranchers, federal agencies that helped to keep the horses numbers in line with what nature had in mind. Even when they are protected any wolf that pokes it head up in any state is blown away by trigger happy nut cases. The hunters were always bitching about the few wolves that managed to survive in any state that they would kill all of the deer which is nuts the wolves were bringing down old ,ill deer that stopped the spread of disease to the whole herd. Can you imagine the deadly predators that horses evolved with millions of years ago? They had to be fast on their feet that is one of the reasons that almost from birth a foal is a fast runner simply to keep up with its mother they are born with strong survival instincts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Do not allow the BLM and USFS and Farm Bureau and the extractive 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.

    I don’t think anyone doubts that PZP is one of the methods that can be used for reducing some wildlife populations – including wild horses and burros. But we are not talking about the need to control the populations of abandoned and scavenging and starving dogs on the streets of Tijuana and other cities. We are talking about wild horses and burros who have legally designated lands set aside for them under the laws of Congress. The recent National Academy of Sciences study found “no evidence” of overpopulation of Wild Horses and Wild Burros. Obviously the government’s actions toward the wild horses and burros needs to be closely and independently investigated and the animals left un-harassed on their legally designated land.

    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 only about 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.

    Our wild horses and burros are not overpopulated on their unanimously signed congressional designated legal land.


  8. J.Jay Sutter. I would make a bet that all those who spoke against pzp have no knowledge of the range or the amount of horses that are out there! I see it now how the wild horses in a specific area have grown in population and the feed has diminished because of over grazing and drought. To the average person the hills look green, but in reality the green grasses has turned into green weeds or barren ground. People need to ask themselves what do you do with over population and at what point could these beautiful animals end up starving themselves to death, because of people who have no practical knowledge and have this fantasy of wanting the horses to run wild and free and not be controlled. At what point will you end up letting horses starve to death or have to be removed and taken to slaughter. Birth control is a much better option than slaughter or starvation. Just to clarify I have no use for BLM and I am out with the wild horses on a daily basis and I am witnessing the reality of what actually goes on out on the range. I resent these people who have an opinion and get the birth control program stopped. What I have to reply to your comments is get off your ass and go hike all over the areas where the horses range and then and only then make an intelligent comment based of facts, not emotions. I love the wild horses and I am witnessing now how overpopulation has effected the horses and the land and their water supply.


  9. Jay, could you give us the location of the Herd Management Area(s) where you are seeing those Horses and the grazing allotments that are on them?
    Also, could you tell us what multiple use projects are on the Herd Management Area?
    It is very difficult to get that information from BLM, so any information you could give us would be appreciated.


  10. Reblogged this on Jodi's Journey Blog and Art and commented:
    I have been on the side of animal rights for years and know very well what is going on with wild horses. PZP is a fertility control drug that could be one of the keys that help KEEP wild horses in the wild! Friends Of Animals are a horrible organization! They did not even bother to collaborate or even talk with other advocates that have worked HARD to try and find a solution with the BLM! Fertility control program can help keep these horses wild and free. Friends of Animals is setting the course for these horses to be rounded up, separated, gelded and housed in government pens and possible slaughter for the older ones that are sold!!!

    I have been blocked from commenting on their facebook page. Their legal action to stop the fertility control program puts these horses in DANGER! This group FOA is reckless.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. FOA is a reckless group that just endangers these horses to be rounded up, separated, gelded and housed in pens or sold for slaughter for the older ones. Fertility control can work. What needs to be stopped is surgical spaying of mares and gelding of stallions in the field! That practice is atrocious!

    Liked by 1 person

    Listen to Karen Sussman
    TS Radio: Wild Horse & Burro Radio: Guest: Karen Sussman-President-(ISPMB)

    Guest will be: Karen Sussman, President of the International
    Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB).

    Karen will talk about the history of BLM’s push for “sale authority” (so
    that wild horses & burros could be sent to slaughter), breaking the myth of
    using PZP fertility control to keep wild horses and burros on the land, and
    natural management as the best management for wild horses and burros.

    The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros is the oldest
    wild horse and burro organization in the United States and has been innovative
    in the field of wild horse and burro protection. Under the leadership of
    our first president, Velma Johnston, affectionately known as Wild Horse Annie, ISPMB and Annie were responsible for the passage of federal legislation in 1971 that gave protection to wild horses and burros on public lands from death and harassment.


Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.