Wild Burros

Action Alert! Please Comment to Stop Cruel and Deadly Spaying of Wild Mares by the BLM and CSU

The BLM is Planning to Experiment On and Spay Wild Mares with an Outdated, Cruel and Deadly Procedure in Partnership with Colorado State University

By Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The BLM proposes to work with USGS and Colorado State University (CSU) to evaluate the safety and complication rate of using overiectomy via colpotomy on wild mares from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area and also purports to study wild mare and band behavior once the spayed mares are treated and returned to the range.

In 2016 we commented and sent letters and stopped this incredibly dangerous, cruel, barbaric and inhumane outdated procedure from being used on wild mares. The BLM is back at it again and even has the incredible nerve to pretend that this will study “behavior” of the wild mares after they have been experimented upon. In order to do an actual research study this means they would have to study the mares BEFORE their ovaries are removed – and they have not done that. How can you compare behavior when you did not study it before? Actual research is completely beyond the BLM.

Doing this procedure in filthy holding facility with no way to sterilize the surroundings ensures that risk of infection and death are high. When spaying is done on domestic mares it is done at a veterinary hospital it is done in completely sterile surroundings, not in a filthy holding facility or out in the field as the BLM plans to do.

100 wild mares, most at various stages of pregnancy, already stressed by being rounded up with helicopters and taken from their foals, families and homes are going to be subject to the veterinarian inserting an arm into the mare’s vaginal cavity, making blind incisions, then inserting a long metal rod with a chain attached to one end which crushes and rips out the ovaries.  Fatal risks include bleeding from lateral arteries, hemorrhaging, intestinal trauma, fetal abortion and evisceration.  Here is a link to a video prepared by Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation: https://vimeo.com/274567297

Here is a document written by respected veterinarian Don Moore, DVM of Colorado about this spaying procedures:

“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

There is no question that wild mares should never be treated this way, and the BLM must be stopped. They intend to use this gruesome experiment, no matter the outcome, as a template for the sterilization and ultimately the eradication of all our wild horse herds in the American West, on our public lands.

Please comment on the BLM’s plan by July 30 and cover the following points, using your own words:

-Tearing out internal organs from a highly stressed wild mare violates the veterinarian’s oath: “to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”

-This is an outdated, inferior procedure that should not be done on wild mares in a filthy, non-sterile environment.

-This is cruel and inhumane, and will result in aborted foals, hemorrhaging and infections and death in the mares.

-There is no way that this constitutes minimally invasive management of these wild mares. These wild horses are not guinea pigs to be experimented upon but they are wild free-roaming wildlife that have an integral part in our public lands where they are found.

-Sterilizing the wild horse herds on our public lands is a completely unacceptable, invasive, inhumane and destructive way to manage the wild horses that belong to all citizens of the United States.

Please comment – our wild mares need your help.

COMMENT PERIOD June 29 – July 30, 2018
A 30-day public comment period on the draft Environmental Assessment is open June 29 through July 30, 2018. Documents: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&projectId=107049&dctmId=0b0003e88112b997

Mail or deliver to:

Wild Horse Spay Feasibility Research Project Lead
BLM Burns District Office
28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738

Fax: (541) 573-4411, Attn: Wild Horse Spay Feasibility Project Lead

Email:  blm_or_spaystudy_warmsprhma@blm.gov

Entire comments – including personal identifying information – may be published as part of the EA and Decision Record process.

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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

22 replies »

  1. Please do not put our wild horses in danger. We believed the BLM was in charge of protecting them. By putting the horses health and well being at risk, it appears that the BLM is more interested in catering to those who stand to benefit from the horses’ removal. We the people love and care about our wild horses. We want to see herds continue to thrive in the wild. We like to see those that are trained find homes with dedicated wild horse lovers. We do not want these precious mares endangered with risky spay procedures. Please consider that we care about what happens to our wild horses. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BLM needs to leave these wild horses and burros in peace! It is animal abuse and cruel. Let them be as they have always been here and have more of a right to stay where they are than we have to hurt them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tried to use email address. Returned. Hope it’s because so many have commented and not because of a fault.


  4. No one should be surprised! They are immoral and inhumane individuals! Horses have been sold to slaughter.and still continue to be sold behind the backs of the American people. Until there is a massive protest of people at local areas and in DC this will continue. Take the graphic pictures to your Congressional offices. Protest…Protest…Protest..in mass numbers! I’m afraid we are losing this battle in this disgusting political environment! I fear for.all our Wild Horses and Burros!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Taxpayer funded Animal Abuse
    Note that the BLM states pain is “minimized,” but note the horse jumps as much as possible in the tight chute while getting ovaries ripped out

    Liked by 2 people

    • She jumps WHILE DRUGGED, and her abdominal muscles repeatedly show she’s feeling the invasive procedure. Sad she’s described as a “former” wild mare so somebody bought her — did they wait a year for title? — and is using her for field experiments. Horrifying “waiting room” music to mollify viewers, too. Wonder what it would play like with Halloween or horror film background music? They don’t mention the costs, either. Drugs, staff, chutes, a week in a pen etc., only the “15 minutes” per procedure. This also doesn’t account for all the setup and required infrastructure, which in this context has to include the costs of roundups!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Horses are extremely sensitive creatures.with a very low tolerance for pain. Add that to the fact that these Mares have already been put through the trauma of capture and captivity.
        They can’t do anything about it…but we can…we MUST.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good questions but she probably was one of the Forest Lucas/Protect the Harvest purchases. So (although doubtful) she would have had to have been offered three times at a BLM adoption event and then became a sale authority so there would be no waiting period for title.
        As you said and it is quite noticeable, she is FEELING the invasion and yanking out of her reproductive organs.
        So so so wrong.


      • GG, if she was privately owned by whomever, the spaying should not have been paid for by taxpayers, or managed by the BLM. No private owner would be allowed to spay a mare until they had clear title one year after accepting her, so nothing here passes the smell test. It would seem the BLM was experimenting, then sold the horses later as part of the futurity promotion. Or the spaying was undertaken with the full intention of taking the survivors on to the futurity.

        Either way, she’s not a “wild” horse once she’s sold, spayed or not. I would like to know what was paid to spay her, and by whom, and also who bought her and what they paid.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The video does have the BLM logo and BLM replies to comments

      Published on Jun 29, 2018



      Barbara: Thanks for the note. Let’s tone down the language.
      The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and it has been and remains the policy of the BLM not to sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter. Consequently, as noted in a report issued in October 2008, the Government Accountability Office found the BLM not in compliance with a December 2004 amendment (the so-called Burns Amendment to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act) that directs the Bureau to sell excess (unadopted or unsold) horses or burros “without limitation” to any willing buyer. Further information about the BLM’s sales program. View a sample bill of sale. The bill of sale, among other things, states that the buyer agrees not to process any of the sold horses or burros into commercial products, or to knowingly sell or transfer ownership to any person or organization whose intent is to commercially process the animals. On January 4, 2013, the BLM announced a policy stipulating that no more than four wild horses or burros may be bought by an individual or group within a six-month period without prior approval of the agency’s Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning.


  6. Here is a portion of Don Moore, DVM’s comments. He is a respected Veterinarian who has extensive knowledge about wild horses and wild horse behavior.

    Click to access DonMooreCommentsOregonSpayProposal.pdf

    “The three surgical procedures for permanent sterilization of mares described in the mare sterilization research project, ovariectomy via colopotomy, tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla all require certain pre-operative and post-operative considerations for aseptic surgical protocol and pain management. Pre-operative bloodwork and a thorough examination are always performed on the relatively few domestic mares which are spayed. Other options other than surgery are always considered first due to the risk involved with any of these procedures. Aseptic surgical protocol and pain management is the standard of care for each and every surgery or the performing veterinarian would undoubtedly be sued by the owner and reprimanded by the state veterinary board.

    Wild mares will not have their surgeries performed in a sterile surgical suite. Their surgery will be performed in a non-sterile chute or standing in stocks at the local BLM facility without benefit of routine standard of care. Unlike domestic mares who are easily handled, the very handling of these wild mares presents additional pre-operative stressors, which cannot be mitigated.

    BLM does not possess the statutory authority to treat America’s wild free roaming mares as research test subjects to perform surgeries which are not the standard of care for domestic mares.
    Case in point, is a photograph of Dr. Leon Pielstick as he was beginning to perform a surgery attired in bibs used predominately for working cattle and performing the surgery with a non-sterile plastic sleeve that is used to pregnancy check cattle. This is not acceptable for a domestic mare, why wild mares? To learn this procedures has been performed on some of the Sheldon wild mares, undoubtedly in a similar manner, is gross negligence and inhumane on the part of the Department of Interior and the veterinarians who performed the surgery in less than aseptic conditions.

    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.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. These Mustangs are an American icon. Please do not put these horses at risk by using this form of birth control on the mares.
    The BLM is supposed to protect and provide for the beautiful Mustangs. I do not want these beautiful herds of Mustangs harmed! These Mustangs are an important part of American history!
    Stop the horrible roundups done by helicopter!
    These majestic horses are meant to run wild and free! They have families! Stop separating mares, foals and stallions!
    Please!! Have some mercy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Please DO NOT do these horrible experimental surgeries . I do not my tax $ to fund this. Leave these beautiful animals to run free on OUR land. This is all for what? to allow more subsidized welfare ranchers to fill their pockets at our and these beautiful animals expense? NO NO NO

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, if this mare was sold to a private buyer, with title transferred, this all has NOTHING to do with managing wild mares, period. A private owner can spay their own horses if they want to, but the public insisted our wild horses be managed as free-roaming wild animals, as integral part of their ecosystems, using the MINIMUM feasible management. None of this fits that criteria, nor that they be protected from “capture, branding, harassment, or death…”:

    Further, the overall combined AML is based on what was only an estimate made in 1971, and has no biological or even data supported basis. Managing to that estimate defies the law itself as it would imply NO population increase at all in over 47 years!

    “Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. 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.”


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Please BLM don’t do this horrible horrible Spaying on thevWild Horses Mares ! This is so Heartbreaking.


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