by Carol J. Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Please Comment by Saturday, June 30 at 4pm Mountain Time
The Bureau of Land Managements is seeking comments on a proposed plan for the wild horses in the North Lander Complex, which is 4 wild horse herds: Conant Creek, Dishpan Butte, Muskrat Basin and Rock Creek Mountain Herd Management Areas. These 4 herds are on 380,000 acres of our public land, and the BLM only allows 320-536 wild horses on the whole area. They want to remove at least 588 of the 1124 wild horses they counted in those 4 herds in 2017, possibly at least 100 more if they remove the foals without counting them.
Not only does the BLM propose doing a dangerous helicopter roundup to remove “excess” horses, they have decided to conduct deadly and inhumane experiments on the horses in these four herds. They want to create sterilized and/or “limited-reproducing” herds, and the methods are cruel and dangerous. They want to explore using GonaCon, a birth control drug which has been largely untested as far as long term safety and efficacy with wild horses and also gelding the stallions, spaying the mares (which is horribly dangerous on wild horses), and/or segregating the horses into same sex herds. If the horses are segregated into same sex herds, they will not have the same behaviors or interactions as those living in families in the wild. The field spaying of mares will produce infections, suffering and death. Spaying and gelding will destroy the wild nature and behaviors of these wild horses, damaging forever their social structure. Sterilization is permanent, and will lead to the herds no longer being genetically viable, and finally result in no more wild horses in these four Herd Management Areas.
In 2016 Don Moore, a veterinarian in Colorado commented on the plans for sterilizing wild mares in a holding corral ovariectomy via colpotomy:
“This type of trial and error butchery is a violation of the least feasible management clause of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Mass experimental surgeries performed under these conditions outlined in the proposal, amounts to negligence and abuse. I believe experiments such as this proposal are unethical, inhumane and unwarranted. Any veterinarian(s) who would perform these experiments is in violation of the oath taken as a graduating veterinarian, “above all else, do no harm”. If a veterinarian in private practice performed these procedures in the manner described in this document they would most certainly be reported to and disciplined by the regulatory board of that state. Discipline would likely mean suspension of that veterinarian’s license to practice in that state.”
To read his comments in full, go here: http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DonMooreCommentsOregonSpayProposal.pdf
What kind of person proposes torturing wild horses this way? Someone clearly lacking compassion, kindness, common sense or any caring for living breathing creatures who are supposed to be protected in their care. This plan is aimed at destroying these four herds forever, and I fear that this will be the future blueprint for the BLM’s management of our wild horses. This must be stopped.
In 2016 we stopped the BLM from doing dangerous spaying of wild mares with public outcry and lawsuits. Now the BLM is back at it again.
The other issue is any horses removed right now will possibly be subject to being killed or sent to slaughterhouses while Congress debates whether or not to lift the ban on killing healthy wild horses in holding facilities, those wild horses that have been rounded up and removed from their rightful homes.
First of all, take a look the numbers of wild horses counted using the BLM’s notoriously inaccurate double-count statistical method:
Herd Management Area 2015 2016 2017 2018
Conant Creek 96 115 151 169
Muskrat Basin 281 337 665 700
Dishpan Butte 110 132 192 174
Rock Creek Mountain 71 85 86 91
Look at these numbers. The BLM claims the herds increase by 20% per year, yet the BLM’s own numbers do not match that. Rock Creek Mountain’s population has remained virtually unchanged in the last 3 years, and look at the population doubling in Muscrat Basin between 2016 and 2017 – absolutely impossible unless the stallions are foaling! Dishpan Butte has a 45% increase between 2016 and 2017 and Conant Creek has a 31% increase between 2016 and 2017. The BLM has no idea how many horses are in these areas. They need an independent agency who will do an actual count of the horses before any change in population is considered.
Please comment by June 30 at 4 pm Mountain Time, using your own words, which is the very best and most effective way to send your comments.
Subject Line: Wild Horse Herd Management Plan and Wild Horse Gathers in North Lander Complex
Here is where all the information on the project is online: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage¤tPageId=103846
Tell the BLM you are absolutely opposed to dangerous sterilization experiments being used on our wild horses, no spaying of wild mares or gelding of wild stallions should be considered. You are opposed to same sex and minimally reproducing herds. You are opposed to using untested GonaCon, and the use of PZP birth control should be used to control the population but only if the herd size consists of 150 adults which is the minimum number needed to maintain genetic viability. Instead of reducing the numbers of horses on these 4 Herd Management Areas, change the Appropriate Management Levels to allow higher numbers of wild horses, and reduce the grazing leases on these lands, where wild horses should be managed as the principle species. You also are opposed to using this plan as the template for future management of our wild horses on public lands.
Thank you for caring about our wild horses and their future on our public lands.
To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit: www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org