Horse News

Gruesome Wild Mare Sterilization Experiments by BLM & Oregon State University Begin Next Month


Beautiful family in South Steens


By Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I just returned from 5 days in Burns, Oregon, and while I was there, the BLM finally released their Decision Record for the Mare Sterilization Experiments that they are planning to do at the Short Term Holding Corrals in Hines, Oregon.

Here it is:

They had been sitting on this decision and not releasing it to the public for at least a month, no doubt since it is spectacularly unpopular with the American public. Despite thousands of emailed and mailed comments sent to the BLM in opposition to the plan, as well as thousands more emails and phone calls to Oregon State University, who will be supervising and overseeing the cruel and barbaric experiments, the BLM has tuned a deaf ear and plans to go forward with this, the first in a series of sterilizations for our wild horses. 225 wild mares will be sterilized using three different procedures.

You might ask why. It is because sterilization is the keystone in the BLM’s long term goal of completely eradicating our wild horses from our public lands. Despite hysterical claims of Congressmen and BLM while pushing for approval of the 2017 Appropriations Bill, there is no overpopulation of wild horses and burros on our public lands. In fact, in the vast majority of wild horse herds there are not even enough adult members to ensure genetic viability  – 150 minimum according to the leading geneticist for wild horses, Dr. Gus Cothren.

Why am I opposed to this sterilization study of wild mares? First of all, our wild horses do not belong in holding corrals, nor should they be experimented upon like lab rats.

Second, 100 mares in this study are going to be in various stages of pregnancy. The outdated, dangerous and barbaric procedure of ovierectomy via colpotomy will be used by veterinarian Leon Pielstick, and using this method which is NOT used any more because there are much better, safer and more humane methods available. The mares in the early stages of pregnancy are likely to absorb their foals, while those in the later stages may abort their foals. Then there is serious risk of infection given that they are doing the procedures at the Hines Short Term Holding Facility which is anything but a sterile environment, and there is risk of evisceration, hemorrhaging, colic and death. Despite extremely compelling letters from respected equine veterinarians against using this procedure, this will go forward.

Wild mares have never been touched by humans. Even coming close to the fence at the Hines corrals scared these mares. Can you imagine how terrified and panicked these wild mares will be, forced into this squeeze chute, restrained, tranquilized, and being operated upon? Many mares will simply die of fright.

Another very disturbing aspect of this experimentation is the sterilization of foals. They plan to sterilize fillies over 8 months old – they only have to weigh 250 pounds, and they will do laser ablation. Torture of foals who in the wild would still be nursing their mothers is absolutely outrageous. In the wild, fillies don’t usually leave their families until 1 1/2 years old to or 3 years old, once they reach esterus.


Mare and foal in South Steens

Where will these mares come from? Currently at the Hines facility there are 400 wild mares and fillies who were rounded up from the Beaty Butte HMA in November, 2015. But most of the mares have already foaled so they need “fresh mares” that are still pregnant. We were told that 100 more mares will be taken from two upcoming Oregon roundups in the fall at both the Three Fingers Herd Management Area, which will be rounded up by helicopter, and mares from the South Steens Herd which will be bait trapped.


Mare and foal in South Steens

Three Fingers:

South Steens:


Peacefully grazing in the early morning in South Steens


Will these two South Steens Fillies be in the experiment?

Visiting the South Steens Herd for the first time, I was charmed by these gorgeous, healthy horses whose families were large and who seemed to be very peaceful in close proximity to each other. I tried not to think about what was going to happen to some of these spectacular horses in the herd that is a favorite to many, in a few short months. The horses would be losing their homes, their families, and some will end up being experimented upon and possibly dying. It was also hard to imagine that the wild horses are overpopulating the area given that I counted over 300 head of cattle in the same area, courtesy of the Roaring Springs Ranch.


Carol’s website is and you can see her photography of wild horses at


28 replies »

  1. I can’t even begin to express my disgust and sorrow…disgust with the BLM and absolute sorrow for our beautiful wild horses…what a disgrace this is…


    • Action Alert: Please help get word out about the BLM’s Dr. Mengele-like experiments on wild pregnant mares (and even the young ones) ALL OVER the internet! Put links to any of the articles about sterilization posted on this site up on Oregon State University facebook pages, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. We Canadians found loud protests with lots of signs outside Gov. Offices, to be very effective. Have the media present and show the general public exactly what is going on. Most people are completely unaware of these things! We have only a handful of people fighting to save our wild horses here in Alberta, but we are a LOUD group. Gather as many protesters as you can and “feet on the ground” outside the University, or anywhere else these atrocities are scheduled to take place. I also find it hard to believe that the American Vet Assoc. is allowing any of its’ members to legally assist in this debauchery. Shame on all who participate. Good luck horse warriors!


  3. I’ve sent the video of the committee hearing to anyone on my email list – frankly if anybody can watch that & think the pro-slaughter side is right – they are nuts.


  4. Cynthia Lummis/Wyoming

    The Department of Interior Oil and Gas Royalty Scandal and Its Wyoming Roots

    In 1992, independent auditors Ryan and Fetterolf were witnesses for Uinta County against Union Pacific Resourcesxviii, which was suing the county and the state, claiming the county had no right to hire minerals production auditors for contingent fees, and disputing the taxes on the company’s oil and gas production in the county. Ryan told WyoFile that when he and Fetterolf showed up to give their depositions in the case, he was shocked to find that state Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Laramie County Republican, was the company’s lawyer.

    “Cynthia, are you here to represent your constituents or Union Pacific?” Ryan says he asked.
    “I represented Union Pacific Resources Co. in a declaratory judgment action that went to the Wyoming Supreme Court,” Lummis told WyoFile, adding that the court made no decision on the merits of the case, but sent it back to the Board of Equalization.

    Cynthia Lummis, who is now Wyoming’s sole U.S. Representative in Congress, has been a politician for more than 30 years, and a lawyer for nearly a quarter of a century. When she was working for Union Pacific Resources in the 1990s, she was a partner in the Cheyenne firm of Wiederspahn, Lummis & Liepas PC. Her husband and law partner, real estate developer Alvin Wiederspahn, is a former state representative and senator on the Democratic side of the aisle. In the ’90s, the firm’s clients included Amoco Production Company and Union Pacific Resources. Wiederspahn was also a leader of the Wyoming Taxpayers’ Association, a group with a populist-sounding name that is an energy industry lobby.

    During the summer, Burton—who as a Republican state representative from Natrona County had served on the House Revenue Committee with Rep. Cynthia Lummis—consulted Lummis and former state Sen. Dan Sullivan, who were co-chairmen of the legislature’s Joint Interim Revenue Committee that had reported on the 1990 law. Sullivan, the Republican brother of former Democratic Gov. Michael Sullivan, was by 1996 working for Chevron. He assured Burton that Chevron was correct, the production taxes and royalties should be excluded.xxv Burton met with

    Governor Jim Geringer three times on the subject, and he finally told her, she said, “Do what you think is right.”

    What she thought was right (Burton consulted the state attorney general to see if she was about to break the law; he said no) was to accept Chevron’s view of the matter, overrule her auditors and herself, and exclude production taxes and royalties from the direct cost formula.
    She issued a new memo in October 1996 to “supercede” and “cancel” her previous memo. The Equalization Board later found this October memo to be “contrary to law.”


  5. Apart from the general barbarity planned, what is the BLM reason for needing pregnant (“fresh”) mares to practice on? Sterilization of mares that have already foaled would surely meet their “research” needs, and pregnant mares will of course lose their foals and many will probably lose their own lives. Can you explain why this especially cruel twist can be in any way justifiable – or paid for by taxpayer dollars? Can we find some way to vote NO for our dollars going to this “management” plan? We all can and must prod any candidates for any office in our own areas to oppose this being done in our names, using our dollars.


  6. For those who may not have seen this.


    Katherine A. Meyer
    Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal
    1601 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
    Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 588-5206
    Timothy Kingston
    408 West 23rd Street, Suite 1
    Cheyenne, WY 82001-3519
    (WY Bar No. 6-2720)
    (307) 638-8885
    Attorneys for Defendant-Intervenors
    Rock Springs Grazing Association, Case No. 2:11-cv-00263-NDF
    Ken Salazar, et al.,
    I, Lloyd Eisenhauer, declare as follows:

    1. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I am a former Bureau of Land Management
    (“BLM”) official with extensive experience in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts in Wyoming and intimate familiarity with the public lands under BLM management in those areas. I have reviewed the consent decree proposed by BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association (“RSGA”) in this case and provide this declaration based on my longstanding knowledge of, and management of, wild horses and livestock grazing in the Rock Springs and Rawlins Districts.

    2. I grew up in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming with a livestock and farming background, served in the Marines for four years, and then owned a livestock business from 1952-1958. I enrolled in college in 1958, studying range management. From 1960-1961, BLM hired me to assist with collecting field data for vegetation assessments and carrying capacity surveys related to livestock and wild horses. These surveys were conducted in the Lander, Kemmerer, and Rawlins Districts. When I graduated in 1962, BLM hired me full-time to serve in the Rawlins District in Wyoming, where most of my work focused on grazing management involving sheep, cattle, and wild horses. From 1968-1972, I was Area Manager of the Baggs-Great Divide Resource Area in the Rawlins District. In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was enacted, and in the spring of 1972, on behalf of BLM, I conducted the first aerial survey of wild horses in Wyoming, recording the number of horses and designating the Herd Management Areas (“HMAs”) for the Rawlins District. After a stint as an Area Manager with BLM’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office, in 1975 I took over as the Chief of Planning and Environmental Analysis in BLM’s Rock Springs District for three years. I was the lead on all planning and environmental assessments. During that time, I also served as the Acting Area Manager of the Salt Wells Resource Area, which is located in the Rock Springs District. In 1979, BLM transferred me to its Denver Service Center to serve as the Team Leader in creating the agency’s automated process for data collection. I received an excellence of service award from the Secretary of the Interior commending me for my work as a Team Leader. In 1982, I became the Head of Automation in BLM’s Cheyenne office, where I managed and implemented the data collection and processing of various systems related to BLM programs. I retired from BLM in 1986, and have stayed very involved in the issue of wild horse and livestock management on BLM lands in Wyoming, and have written articles about the issue in local and other newspaper outlets. I have won various journalistic awards, including a Presidential award, for my coverage of conservation districts in Wyoming. Along with a partner, I operated a tour business (called Backcountry Tours) for six years, taking various groups into wild places in Wyoming – without a doubt wild horses were the most popular thing to see on a tour, in large part due to their cultural and historical value. I also served six years on the governor’s non-point source water quality task force.

    3. Based on my longstanding knowledge of wild horse and livestock management in the Rawlins and Rock Springs Districts, and in the Wyoming Checkerboard in particular, I am very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA, embodied in the proposed Consent Decree they have filed in this case, under which BLM would remove all wild horses located on RSGA’s private lands on the Wyoming Checkerboard.

    4. The Checkerboard is governed by an exchange of use agreement between the federal government and private parties such as RSGA. However, due to state laws, property lines, and intermingled lands, it is impossible to fence the lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard, which means that both the wild horses and the livestock that graze there roam freely between public and private lands on the Checkerboard without any physical barriers. For this reason, it is illogical for BLM to commit to removing wild horses that are on the “private” lands RSGA owns or leases because those same horses are likely to be on public BLM lands (for example, the Salt Wells, Adobe Town, Great Divide, and White Mountains HMAs) earlier in that same day or later that same evening. Essentially, in contrast to other areas of the country where wild horses still exist, on the Wyoming Checkerborad there is no way to distinguish between horses on “private” lands and those on public lands, and therefore it would be unprecedented, and indeed impossible for BLM to contend that it is removing all horses on RSGA’s “private” lands at any given time of the year, month, or day, considering that those horses would only be on the strictly “private” lands very temporarily and intermittently on any particular day .

    5. Another major concern with BLM’s agreement to remove all horses from the private lands of the Wyoming Checkerboard is that BLM is undermining the laws that apply to the Checkerboard, and wild horse management in general, which I implemented during my time as a BLM official. Traditionally, BLM officials (myself included) have understood that, pursuant to the Wild Horse Act, wild horses have a right to use BLM lands, so long as their population numbers do not cause unacceptable damage to vegetation or other resources. In stark contrast, however, livestock (sheep and cattle) have no similar right to use BLM lands; rather, livestock owners may be granted the privilege of using BLM lands for livestock grazing pursuant to a grazing permit that is granted by BLM under the Taylor Grazing Act, but that privilege can be revoked, modified, or amended by BLM for various reasons, including for damage to vegetation or other resources caused by livestock, or due to sparse forage available to sustain livestock after wild horses are accounted for. BLM’s tentative agreement here does the opposite and instead prioritizes livestock over wild horses, by proposing to remove hundreds of wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard without reducing livestock numbers – which, in my view, is contrary to the laws governing BLM’s actions as those mandates were explained to me and administered during the decades that I was a BLM official.

    6. While I do not agree with every management action taken by BLM over the years in the Rock Springs District, I can attest – based on my longstanding employment with BLM and my active monitoring of the agency’s activities during retirement – that BLM has generally proven capable of removing wild horses in the Rock Springs District, including by responding to emergency situations when needed and removing horses when necessary due to resource damage.

    7. Considering that wild horses exhibit different foraging patterns and movement patterns than sheep and cattle, and also than big game such as antelope and elk, no sound biological basis exists for permanently removing wild horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard at this time. In particular, wild horses tend to hang out in the uplands at a greater distance from water sources until they come to briefly drink water every day or two, whereas livestock congregate near water sources and riparian habitat causing concentrated damage to vegetation and soil. For this reason, the impacts of wild horses are far less noticeable on the Checkerboard than impacts from livestock.

    8. In addition, because livestock tend to eat somewhat different forage than wild horses (horses tend to eat coarser vegetation such as Canadian wild rye and other bunch grasses, whereas cattle and sheep mostly eat softer grasses), there is no justification to remove wild horses on the basis that insufficient forage exists to support the current population of wild horses. Also, because cattle and sheep have no front teeth on the front part of their upper jaws, they tend to pull and tear grasses or other forage out by the root causing some long-term damage to vegetation, whereas wild horses, which have front teeth on both their front upper and lower jaws, act more like a lawnmower and just clip the grass or forage (leaving the root uninjured), allowing the vegetation to quickly grow back. These differences are extremely significant because if there were a need to reduce the use of these BLM lands by animals to preserve these public lands, it might be cattle and sheep – not wild horses – that should be reduced to gain the most benefit for the lands, and which is why BLM, during my time as an agency official, focused on reducing livestock grazing.

    9. BLM’s agreement with RSGA states that RSGA’s conservation plan limited livestock grazing, primarily by sheep, to the winter months to provide sufficient winter forage. This is a good example of “multiple use” management, since wild horses and sheep have very little competition for the forage they consume and the seasons during which they use parts of the Checkerboard. During winter, sheep use the high deserts and horses utilize the uplands and breaks (i.e., different locations) for forage and protection. During the summer, when sheep are not present, wild horses use various landscapes on the Checkerboard. This multiple use should continue for the benefit of the livestock, the wild horses, and the public and private lands involved.

    10. I am also very concerned about BLM’s agreement with RSGA to permanently zero out the Salt Wells HMA and the Divide Basin HMA, leaving no wild horses in those areas that have long contained wild horses. I have been to fifteen of the sixteen HMAs in Wyoming, and to my knowledge none has ever been zeroed out by BLM. It is my view, based on everything I know about these areas and the way these public lands are used by wild horses and livestock, that BLM has no biological or ecological basis for zeroing out a herd of wild horses in an HMA that existed at the time the wild horse statute was passed in 1971, as is the case with both the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs. And, again, because the wild horses have a statutory right to be there, whereas livestock only have a privilege that can be revoked at any time by BLM, there also is no authority or precedent, to my knowledge, for the agency to zero out these two longstanding wild horse herds simply to appease private livestock grazers.

    11. The zeroing out of wild horses in the Salt Wells and Divide Basin HMAs is also concerning because it would mean that, in those two longstanding HMAs, there would no longer be the “multiple use” of these public lands as required by both the Wild Horse Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Currently, while there are other uses of this public land, such as by wildlife, hunters, and recreational users, the two primary uses in those HMAs are by wild horses and livestock. If BLM proceeds with its agreement with RSGA to zero out wild horses in those HMAs, the only major use remaining would be livestock use, meaning that there would be no multiple use of those BLM lands. Not only will that potentially undermine the laws that BLM officials must implement here, but it has practical adverse effects on the resources – multiple use is very beneficial for the environment, and particularly for sensitive vegetation, because different users (e.g., livestock, wild horses) use the lands and vegetation in different ways. When that is eliminated, the resources are subjected to an unnatural use of the lands which can cause severe long-term damage to the vegetation. As a result, zeroing out these herds would likely bedevastating for the vegetation in these two HMAs, because livestock would be by far the predominant use in this area.

    12. Turning the White Mountain HMA into a non-reproducing herd, as the agreement between BLM and RSGA proposes to do, is also a farce, and violates the meaning of a wild and free-roaming animal. This is essentially a slow-motion zeroing out of this HMA, and is inconsistent with any wild horse management approach I am familiar with that BLM has implemented on public lands.

    Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
    Lloyd Eisenhauer

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The last of Wyoming’s Wild Horses
    Some of those responsible for the decisions made to have them removed from their Legal Herd Management Areas

    JUDGE HARRIS L. HARTZ/Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
    JUDGE NEIL M. GORSUCH/Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals


  8. Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the AVMA

    IA veterinarian shall be influenced only by the welfare of the patient, the needs of the client, the safety of the public, and the need to uphold the public trust vested in the veterinary profession; and shall avoid conflict of interest or the appearance thereof.

    a. A veterinarian shall not allow any interests, especially financial interests, other than those mentioned above to influence the choice of treatment or animal care.

    i. A veterinarian should consider the potential for creating a conflict of interest (or the appearance thereof) when deciding whether to participate in vendor incentive programs or other arrangements where the veterinarian receives a benefit for using or prescribing a particular product.

    ii. The medical judgment of a veterinarian shall not be influenced by contracts or agreements made by their associations or societies.

    iii. A veterinarian shall not offer or receive any financial incentive solely for the referral of a patient (fee-splitting).

    Veterinarians must not defame or injure the professional standing or reputation of other veterinarians in a false or misleading manner. Veterinarians must be honest and fair in their relations with others, and they shall not engage in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit.


  9. Wild horses & burros being removed for Richfield Tar Sands plan

    In addition to the welfare ranchers, here is another major cause of our wild ones being captured & removed & sterilized … please become aware of the Richfield tar sands plan.

    The Richfield tar sands has already effected our wild ones and continues to do so as of TODAY with the BLM proposal to rid the White Mountain and Little Colorado of more/all of the wild ones and the same with the Sinbad wild burro HMA (comments due Monday).

    The Richfield tar sands plan has been in progress since about 2010 and if you look at the list below you will see that most of these HMAs (plus West Douglas HA) have been heavily captured/removed in recent years.
    The document goes so far as to say, “the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas”. How much clearer can it be. They want the wild ones GONE.

    TABLE 3.1.3-1 Wild Horse Herd Management Areas within the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Study Area (page 3-167)

    Little Colorado
    White Mountain
    Salt Wells
    Adobe Town

    Piceance-East Douglas

    Muddy Creek
    Range Creek

    [PLUS Herd Areas which are not discussed in this report – such as the West Douglas HA]
    More Richfield tar sands information:

    Click to access UT33-RichfieldFinalPlan.pdf

    Sinbad Wild Burro EA information:

    Click to access Sinbad%20Draft%20EA.pdf


  10. How frustrating. Back in the 70s, people were able to get the Wild Horse and Burro Act passed via a write-in campaign. Now, in the digital era, when we have so much better means of communication, all our emails are ignored.




  12. Heard on Wild Horse and Burro Radio someone mentioned the documented problems at OSU with their primate research programs (see links below). Within the first article one can find this quote:

    “The law states research animals are not allowed to feel pain, and must be given analgesics to avoid it.”

    If this is true and is policy, it is then important to ask why this same consideration is not planned for our hapless wild horses scheduled for “surgery” at OSU. It is impossible to argue any of the planned procedures and related stress, complications and infections will not produce any pain.



    Join us on a night of discovery!
    Friends of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine have provided exciting auction items
    April 23, 2016

    Register Here
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    Thank you to our Platinum Level Sponsors: Banfield Pet Hospital and Willamette Valley Animal Hospital

    Thank you to our Gold Level Sponsors: Glen Pfefferkorn and Morris Wendorf

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  14. These people at BLM are pure evil, and always have been. They have destroyed and caused brutal deaths for multitudes of helpless horses. Nobody will do anything to stop them. Our cowardly Congress cares nothing about what is going on except for their own self-serving lives. We pray for heroes, but we get nothing but grief as we watch the mindless cruelty of the Bureau of Land Management and the suffering and death of our beloved horses.


  15. Just read this from an OSU Alumni … “Letter: OSU is complicit in horse scandal”

    Jul 1, 2016
    I am an Oregon State University alumni from 1996. I am ashamed and shocked that OSU would partner with the Bureau of Land Management to perform unprecedented and barbaric sterilization experiments on the wild horses that belong to all Americans!

    The BLM and ranching interests want these horses eliminated and continue to make absurd overpopulation claims in order to get backing for cutting the population. Any educated person knows what happens when the mares are sterilized! The wild horses will decline and eventually be eliminated. Aside from the pain and suffering the horses will be subjected to in the immediate future, the BLM and ranchers and the big bucks OSU makes from jumping on this corrupt and selfish agenda is worse than shameful!

    I will never feel the same about the university. I am among a majority of Americans who prefer the continued freedom of these symbols of freedom in America, not their zeroing out via sterilization! I guess the only thing that matters to OSU is money!

    How many residents are aware of the partnership between OSU and the BLM in a horrible attempt to destroy our iconic wild horses in Hines, Oregon? I have been trying to plead for a stop to these atrocious experiments for months and without any replies from OSU or the BLM. There are countless cattle on the range and there lies the real problem. The horses are being scapegoated.

    Janelle Ghiorso
    Sonora, Calif. (June 28)


  16. Cortez’s band at the waterhole (South Steens HMA, Oregon)
    Barbara Wheeler
    Cortez’s band arrives at the waterhole. There is always a bit of tension between him and his lieutenant, Domino. South Steens wild horses.


    • The video of these beautiful, healthy horses sort of puts the lie to the BLM’s propaganda, doesn’t it? Strange how many wild horse photographers manage to capture the same kind of pictures – and yet the BLM says they have to “save” them from starvation & thirst??????????


  17. where are the law suits to cease and desist ?
    We need the courts to STOP THIS BARBARITY NOW! We as a culture , we as a society can NOT allow the BLM and Oregon State University commit these crimes against these animals. This is like a car wreck in motion. We have known for months this is the BLM plan. How in the world they got Oregon State to sign on is beyond me. Money is my guess. I have written letters, signed petitions and made phone calls. None of this is helping. We need the LAW to step in and stop this.
    Is a law suit being filed ? Already filed?


  18. ALL THESE YEARS of our pain and misery, and the suffering and the deaths of these beautiful horses, AND STILL THESE CRIMINALLY IGNORANT AND CRUEL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES CONTINUE, AND NOTHING DONE ABOUT THEM!


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