The BLM has announced its plan to work with Oregon State University in experimenting upon 225 wild mares at the Hines, Oregon BLM Short Term Holding Facility starting in February 2016. The information about this was NOT posted on the Burns, Oregon website and was very hard to find, buried in a new BLM website. It is a very long document:
Please do read it if you have time and a strong stomach.
I will summarize what I think are the important points to hit on if you going to comment on the plan. The BLM will not listen to any of us, and would clearly prefer not to have any public comments or knowledge about the plan, but it IS important to make our voices heard and to get the word out that the BLM’s cruel, inhumane torture of and experimentation on our wild horses is absolutely not acceptable. It in no way conforms to the minimally intrusive management on the range that the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was passed to ensure.
Comments are due Wednesday, February 3 and there is an online comment form that they want you to use to make your comments. It says that the form resets after 60 minutes, so it might be a good idea to type them out first, copy them, and then paste them in. But you can just type them into the form. Here is the comment form:
There are three methods of sterilizing wild mares that the BLM would like to test out. They are ovariectormy via colpotomy, tubal ligation and hyteroscopically-guided laser ablation. The last two procedures the BLM describes as “minimally invasive” but they have never been done on wild mares before. The ovariectomy via colpotomy is not commonly done with domestic mares, but when it is, it is done in a sterile environment and the mares are not pregnant. They are also not wild. There is nothing sterile about a holding facility, and these are wild mares that are going to be absolutely terrified by being confined in this chute and having an incision made in their vaginas so the veterinarian’s arm can reach in and rip out their ovaries. The possibility of the mares panicking despite the sedation is high, and they could break their necks in the chute. They can also die from sedation, or their hearts can stop from sheer terror. The possibility of infection and death resulting from complications is also a risk. And then this is the worst part. Since their ultimate plan is to surgically sterilize mares in the field like at White Mountain in Wyoming, and likely many mares in the wild will be pregnant, they want to experiment on mares who are pregnant to see what will happen – will they abort the foal? Will there be other complications? This is very likely in the early pregnancy group, and also likely in the middle phase. They will divide the mares into groups: 0-4 months pregnant, 4-8 months pregnant, over 8 months pregnant, and not pregnant, or “open.” Although they have plenty of wild mares to experiment upon at the holding facility in Hines, as the mares have been there for some time they do not have pregnant mares in all the phases available – so they will have a helicopter roundup or two to get more experimental subjects. They will use at least one and possibly all three methods of sterilization in the study.
I question the morals and ethics of the veterinarians at Oregon State University who will be performing these procedures on pregnant wild mares. I would never want them to provide care to my horses.
Here is a link to comments from a veterinarian Panel about these procedures that should have been included in the EA that the BLM conducted in September, 2015:
Here is a link to the archived Wild Horse and Burro Radio Show on February 8 featuring AWHPC. the Cloud Foundation, ISPMB, WHFF, Don Moore, DVM and author Terri Farley all speaking out against sterilization research on our wild mares: