Please Comment on BLM’s Dangerous Plans to Spay Wild Mares in Oregon by June 12
Once again the BLM has announced an Environmental Assessment is now open for public comments until June 12 on its plans to spay 100 wild mares that were rounded up and removed from their homes on public lands in Warm Springs, Oregon in October, 2018.
This is now the fourth attempt that the BLM has made to use cruel, dangerous, high-risk and outdated methods of spaying wild mares, ovierectomy via colpotomy in filthy, unsterile conditions at the Burns Corrals, on wild mares. Each previous time we have stopped the BLM from proceeding using public outcry and legal challenges. We must stop them again.
The last attempt to go forward with these gruesome experiments was made by the BLM in the fall of 2018. Now in this plan, the BLM says the only change is that the mares are no longer pregnant. Most of them have given birth, so the experiments will only be done on mares that are not pregnant. We are supposed to be fine with this procedure now that the prospect of aborting pregnancies has been removed.
The problem is, ovierectomy via colpotomy still is a very dangerous procedure putting the wild mares at risk of infection, hemorrhaging, evisceration and death. I contend that since these mares are wild, and have not been handled they are also at risk of panicking and going into shock. Currently this is not a procedure used to spay even domestic mares – it is completely outdated, and domestic mares would be operated on in a sterile environment at a veterinary hospital with supervision lasting more than one week. Read the comments of Colorado veterinarian Don Moore DVM on this procedure:
The excuses used by the BLM for doing these experiments is that they have an overpopulation on the range of wild horses and absolutely no way to control it. Of course this is completely untrue. Safe, reversible and humane birth control methods that work on wild horses have been available for the past 40 years. The BLM is simply not using them in the vast majority of the herds. Over 70% of the wild horse herds that remain in this country have below the number of 150 breeding aged adults necessary to remain genetically viable, let alone some ridiculous overpopulation. The BLM is looking for a permanent quick fix, a sterilization, an extinction of wild horses. If they can get away with sterilizing our wild herds, in 20 years we will not have any wild horses left, especially if they get away with rounding up and removing 20,000 to 30,000 wild horses from our public lands each year.
The plan requires 100 wild mares to be spayed and 100 to be used as a control group. Only 28-34 of the spayed mares will even be released back into their home in Warm Springs. The rest, 70 or so, will be offered for adoption. They can spay mares with foals as young as 2 moths old that will be separated from their mothers during the surgery then supposedly reunited after the surgery when the mares are in the recovery pen.
One of the wild mares being held had twins, which is an extremely rare event, and she and her twins were going ot go to Skydog Sanctuary for some extra care. However, the BLM then informed Skydog Sanctuary that this mare was in the spay study so she could not be allowed to be adopted. The fact that before the EA has even been commented on by the public and the Decision Record has been issued that the BLM is already planning on this study going forward and already designated which mares will be used in a study that has not even been approved yet is extremely disturbing and possibly a violation of NEPA.
Please comment today and use your own words. The BLM counts form letters no matter how many are submitted as only 1 comment. Tell the BLM you want to use Alternative A the No Action Alternative, and that you are opposed to spaying wild mares. That as many of these mares as possible should be returned to the Warm Springs HMA, and if the mare with twins is not released to the HMA she should be sent to Skydog Sanctuary.
Not only the mares being held at the Burns Corrals are relying on you – so are all of our wild horses, who are under increasing threat of being wiped out completely from our public lands.
Please send your comments to the BLM by end of day June 12.
If mailed they must be postmarked by June 12:
BLM Burns District Office
28910 Hwy 20, Hines, OR 97738
Here is the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a link to the BLM’s Environmental Assessment: