Horse Health

Feds Plan to Capture Oregon Wild Horses for Inhumane Experiments


Below is unedited information from the Bureau of Land Management‘s (BLM) Oregon Office.  Don’t be duped into believing all that you read as an unpublished motive for conducting this cruel stampede is to collect “fresh” mares in various stages of pregnancies to experiment sterilization techniques upon at the Hines, holding facility.  They are currently bait trapping horses in the South Steens area and will be chasing the Three Fingers horses around with helicopters commencing at the end of this month.

Carol Walker and I visited the Hines facility and the nearby HMAs, Steens was one, just two weeks ago…you can view her report (HERE).” ~ R.T.

2016 Three Fingers Wild Horse Gather

Home of BLM sterilization experiment lab at Hines, OR holding facility - photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Home of BLM sterilization experiment lab at Hines, OR holding facility – photo by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Three Fingers Herd Management Area (HMA) is 25 miles south of Vale, OR. The HMA is bordered on the west by the Owyhee Reservoir, on the south by the Leslie Gulch Road, and on the north by the Owyhee Dam. The herd population is currently estimated at 202—the Appropriate Management Level for the area is 75–150 wild horses.

Details of Gather

Our overall goal is to maintain a thriving ecological balance of the Three Fingers HMA, surrounding rangelands, to maintain the integrity of Soda Fire rehabilitation efforts and to preserve the health and well-being of the Three Fingers herd.

Total horses gathered:
Total horses shipped to holding facilities:
Total horses released back into HMA:

Several factors have influenced the decision to gather. The most urgent factor is the impact of wild horse grazing on fire rehabilitation projects. The 2015 Soda Fire that burned nearly 280,000 acres in Idaho and Oregon did not burn into the Three Fingers HMA. However, because the herd exceeds Appropriate Management Level (AML) and due to extended drought conditions, the Three Fingers herd is grazing well outside the HMA into the area affected by the Soda Fire while searching for increasingly scarce forage and water. Protecting these fire rehabilitation areas is necessary to prevent the spread of exotic annual weed species that can potentially convert the area to a weed dominated community. In addition, the heavy horse grazing outside of the HMA is jeopardizing the health of surrounding rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitat and ultimately, the health and well-being of the horses themselves.

Fertility control treatments will be implemented for this gather because of the need to reduce population growth. Although summer application of Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP), an equine immunocontraceptive, has lower efficacy rates than winter applications, there is still a benefit of using this fertility control.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to gather 100 wild horses from the Three Fingers HMA and return 50 horses (25 studs and 25 mares) to the range for a population of 152 horses with the HMA following the gather.

Gathers of this HMA typically require an average of two to three temporary traps and one holding facility. Traps are typically 800 square feet in size and holding facilities are approximately 2000 square feet. Trap wing configuration will vary, depending on terrain and materials. Trap sites will be selected during the gather operations. Traps are built as close to the horses’ location as possible.

All capture and handling activities, including capture site selections, will be conducted in accordance within the guidelines identified within the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation which can be found here:

Public/Media Gather Viewing Opportunities

The public is welcome to attend the Three Fingers wild horse gather and must read the Field Observation Protocol (PDF) information before visiting. Observation will be held daily during the gather, with a maximum number of 15 people attending each day.

If you are interested in observing the gather, you must contact Larry Moore at the BLM’s Vale District Office ( or 541-473-6218) to have your name added to the viewing list. Observation will be offered in order of request. If for some reason you are not able to attend, please notify Mr. Moore as soon as possible so that your slot can be offered to the next person.

The estimated gather start date is proposed for July 26 and is expected to take no longer than four days. Dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. Some days of the gather may not provide a viewing opportunity at the capture site, due to variable circumstances such as moving the trap location (not gathering), no safe area to view activity or disguise vehicles, etc. Viewings may be canceled on short notice—perhaps the day before or the morning of the gather operation.

31 replies »

  1. I am quite disgusted by the people we put in positions of power. Can’t wait until citizens decide to make sweeping change!


    • One of the BLM’s biggest lies is that grazing wild horses destroy the pastures when the horses never graze down to ground level BUT cattle do. The cattle outnumber the wild horses 50;1. NONE OF THESE EXCUSES ARE TRUE so don’t believe them.


  2. I think they should spay the female employees at BLM via the same techniques. Without anesthesia and without pain meds. If it sounds barbaric that’s cause it is.

    Dr. Mengele is alive and well. I thought round 1 with him was more than sufficient. I don’t what my wild horses experimented on. This is NOT why I pay taxes. There is simply no justification for this type of procedure.

    Spaying an 8 month old filly? That’s something Dr. Mengele would do. Spaying pregnant mares?…that’s gonna cause abortions. If the procedure itself doesn’t cause abortion infection from the outside in will. You don’t introduce fingers and instruments to the uterus unless there’s a damn good reason to. And spaying a mare isn a good reason.

    Who are these jerks that think up these barbaric procedures? If they’re vets they should be reported to AVMA for immoral practices. If they’re lay people within BLM they should be reported to the FBI on that new database for felony animal abuse.


  3. Would someone please explain this odd notion of “fresh” mares to me? If the BLM consistently argues wild horses are breeding like rabbits on steroids, and they know a mare or filly is intact, what possible research difference does it make if they cut apart pregnant mares? Mares are either fertile or not, and it is rare they are not unless very old or very ill. This is basic biology and does not need such archaic “research” to understand. How can this possibly be justified on moral or financial grounds?


    • Because USGS has money to burn and BLM thought it would look better to eliminate wild horses with USGS budget.


    • Puller9, I was looking for some shred of supporting scientific explanation that surely was provided in order to be awarded funding for this debacle. Does anyone have access to the application and supposed justifications it includes?


    • Hi Icyspots, I can try to explain. In order for the premise of spaying to “work” BLM must be able to spay All mares at a given round up, including young, aged, and PREGNANT. They will round up a herd, spay all the mares, any mare lucky enough to survive will be released with a herd of sterile mares and stallions. There will be some foal survival from the spayed PREGNANT mares depending on the point of pregnancy they are at when spayed (assuming the mares survive).
      Statistically fifty percent will be female. These fillies will of course mate early due to compensatory reproduction, so they will be foaling as long two year olds.
      Does that help?


  4. I bet the Three Fingers HMA is not even over AML. Also the Steens mares and fillies are going to be tortured to death. No ethical vet would do this. THey should be disbarred.


  5. Last U.S. Medical School Stops Using Live Animals for Student Training
    By: Susan Bird
    July 4, 2016

    It’s been a long, hard battle, but we won. To be more precise, the animals won. The last remaining medical school in the United States and Canada using live animals to train its students announced it will stop doing so immediately.

    The nearly 32,000 who signed a Care2 petition on this issue will be thrilled to learn that the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga (UTCMC) will no longer use live animals to teach surgical technique to is medical students. Public pressure clearly influenced this decision, demonstrating yet again what well organized pressure from animal advocates can accomplish.

    Johns Hopkins University made the same announcement in May 2016, leaving UTCMC as the last school using animals as live teaching props. Having all eyes pointed at this one school made this choice to change a fairly urgent public relations concern, apparently. UTCMC made its announcement on June 24, 2016.

    At the forefront of this success is the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This non-profit organization representing more than 12,000 physicians has worked for years to stop the use of live animals to teach surgical skills to students. Indeed, when it decided this practice must end, the dean of UTCMC announced the change by emailing its announcement to PCRM.

    “With the decision by leaders at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine to eliminate animal use in the Surgical Skills Laboratory, we are entering the post-animal era in medical student education,” said Dr. John Pippin, director of academic affairs at PCRM, in a press release.

    In years past, medical students had to participate in mandatory laboratory sessions using live animals like dogs, pigs, sheep and goats. They learned to perform various highly invasive procedures on them, such as incisions and suturing techniques, organ removal, airway management, traumatic injury treatment, emergency procedures and drug injections.

    When it was over, the schools euthanized the unfortunate animal subjects. The animals lived and died only to serve as fungible teaching tools. By the way, how do you think those traumatic injuries got there in the first place? Don’t think too long – you know the answer and it’s heartbreaking.

    “[Animals] are inadequate and often misleading stand-ins for humans,” said PCRM in its press release. “Training students with animals also gave trainees the false impression that the use of animals was fundamental to the field of science.”

    Eventually, more and more medical schools realized what PCRM has been saying for years. Human and non-human physiology are different. What’s effective treatment on a pig or a dog isn’t necessarily effective on a human. Sometimes, it’s demonstrably not similar at all.

    Even if animals and humans respond to treatment in exactly the same way, there are now impressively accurate human patient simulators that make using animals completely unnecessary. As this fact became apparent, one by one medical schools stopped using live animals. The fact that it took this long to get all U.S. and Canadian medical schools to drop animal use is shameful.

    That’s all in the past, though. Be happy – a years-long campaign to do right by animals achieved its goal. Bask in the satisfaction of a successful outcome.
    “Like Johns Hopkins University a month before and numerous other medical schools before that, the University of Tennessee has acknowledged that simulation and other non-animal teaching methods have supplanted the cruel and unnecessary use of live animals in the training of physicians,” Pippin said.

    Any animal lover who ever signed a petition or held up a sign in front of a university medical school – this victory is yours. You made a real difference for animals in this world. Thank you for your activism and your persistence. It wouldn’t have happened without you.


    • Poor recordkeeping!!!! Who do we complain to? I don’t even eat beef, and I don’t want to keep subsidize ranchers.

      The big lie these people are using that the horses need to be experimented on to keep their population down to keep the land healthy is a joke – the ‘land’ is lousy with cheatgrass and too many cattle. The NAS report has been conveniently swept under the rug.


  6. Various stages of pregnancies????? It is just so unnecessary. ‘Well let’s try this, and this and this. Uh, oh. That didn’t work.’ Blech – vomit inducing. It sounds like an excuse to remove as many female horses as possible under the guise of ‘science’ to satisfy a clueless public. Protest loudly.


  7. Selfish, INHUMANE.
    This organization has no right to perform these acts of cruelty on the wild horses or on any animal. These horses aren’t destroying the plains, ranchers and their cattle are.
    The horses are and should still be protected.
    Only GOD can determine the fate of the magnificent animals. The BLM IS NOT GOD!
    Ranchers have been ruining this land of ours for years, with the help of THE BLM.
    Shameful and INHUMANE, SHAME ON YOU BLM!


  8. All horses are protected by law under the Wild horse and burro act of 1971. None of these mustang should be harmed regardless of round up. They are still protected even after round up until they are domesticated. Which, according to the free act ” It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” which the BLM is not doing. Round ups are Capture…Protected against. Harrassment or death… caused by the BLM on several round ups as seen on FB videos- also against the law. . As used in this Act-

    “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior when used in connection with public lands administered by him through the Bureau of Land Management and the Secretary of Agriculture in connection with public lands administered by him through the Forest Service;

    “wild free-roaming horses and burros” means all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros on public lands of the United States;

    “range” means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, which does not exceed their known territorial limits, and which is devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands;

    “herd” means one or more stallions and his mares; and

    “public lands” means any lands administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management or by the Secretary of Agriculture through the Forest Service.

    “excess animals” means wild free-roaming horses or burros (1) which have been removed from an area by the Secretary pursuant to application law or, (2) which must be removed from an area in order to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship in that area.

    So why does the BLM feel it is ok to lease the land the mustang roam on in contracted land leases with cattle ranchers and cut down the land the mustang were given or set aside for by eliminating “excess” mustang. These mustang are on public land and it should remain for the mustang not for the cattle ranchers. The mustang would be able to thrive in higher numbers if the cattle were removed and all the land were returned to the mustang. It would be the answer to the supposed over population and removal of mustang. Just get the cattle off the public lands and let the mustang be. 330,000 acres set for 1000 head of mustang would be 330 acres per mustang but because of the cattle the land for the is depleting causing less land for the mustang to roam to 6.47 acres per mustang with 50,000 head of cattle roaming in the same area of 330,000. No wonder the mustang are being rounded up.. God forbid the mustang stay on the land for the wild. And gives the BLM the perfect set up to eliminate the entire herd of mustang and blame the mustang for the eco damage actually done by the cattle…. Think about it, just for a second and then tell your congress and state rep to get the cattle off our land and set the mustang free. Stop the round ups and stop the cruelty to the mustang… Make the cattle ranchers responsible for their own cattle and stop laying the responsibility of your cattle grazing in the laps of the tax payers.. We want our mustang roaming free and safe from the BLM tools of destruction.


  9. Disgusting!! Why do humans keep thinking they need to run the world and come up with stupid ideas like this?! Leave them alone!! They’re in the wild, not hurting anyone.
    How about we experiment on the idiots who came up with this and sterilize them? 😡😡


  10. I have never hated people as much as I do the BLM. Wish I could make them stop. They are evil and will go to hell for this.


  11. Horses are part off our history.. Horses have been very helpful all though the year. For travel, war, therapy and the list goes on.. How you want to BETRAY the horses!!! That help us to get were we are all are in life… Horses need our support love and honor.. We honor the war hero’s well horses were there too… I have no respect for the government… For Barbaric Inhumane Experiment.. Called torture.. In bible from Noah’s ark animals are PRESCIOUS.. Mose’s freed the slave’s from barbaric torture plus there animals… 10 commandments… Bible treat large and small animals good as you wanted too..


  12. Why don’t you follow the birth control techniques that they utilize on the North Carolina ponies? They use darts, there is no pulling the uterus out, which exposes them to hemorrhage and/or infection and death. How cruel you all are with these horses and burros.
    After the humane birth control is completed, then you can find homes for them where they will be cared for and shown compassion and love, not hatred and isolation with insufficient food, water and shelter. I am sure you can find many rescuers who will be willing to save these beautiful animals and quit your love affair with the ranchers and killers. Re-enter the human race.


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