Stop Dangerous and Inhumane Sterilization Studies on Our Wild Horses
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet on September 2, 2015 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and September 3, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Oklahoma City, OK. The public comment period will take place September 3rd from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. here are details about the meeting:
The meeting will be live-streamed at: http://www.blm.gov/live/
Even if you can’t attend the meeting or public comment session, you can still send your comments by email and make a strong statement that you strongly oppose these secret sterilization studies which have already begun with no public input and no details given to the public. Tell them you oppose the use of barbaric “population growth suppression” measures such as spaying mares on the range, and that you oppose experimenting on our wild horses when safe, reversible birth control methods which have been studied for 40 years already exist.
Tell them you oppose sterilization of our wild herds, and support humane on-the-range management.
Here are some excellent points from American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign:
“The Advisory Board should not turn its back on science and should implement the BLM-sponsored, science-based recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The NAS recommended the humane PZP vaccine as the best birth control option currently available to suppress population growth in wild horses. Yet, instead of increasing its use of this proven birth control technology, the BLM has REDUCED the number of horses treated each year with PZP. At the same time, the agency has FAILED to significantly reduce livestock grazing on public lands despite extreme drought conditions. As a result, the BLM is creating a crisis on the range to match the crisis it has already created off the range by stockpiling nearly 50,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities.
Worse, the BLM is pursuing untested and dangerous sterilization and fertility control experiments on wild horses that seriously jeopardize their well-being as individuals and herds. These include:
• Use of the experimental GonaCon vaccine on mares in Nevada without proper study or analysis of its impacts. The NAS concluded that “[f]urther studies of its behavioral effects are needed” before GonaCon is used by the BLM… In addition to behavioral impacts, GonaCon can cause pregnant mares to abort their fetuses, and it has unknown long-term impacts on the reproductive system.
• Experiments on the surgical sterilization of mares, which the NAS found “inadvisable for a field setting” due to risk of “prolonged bleeding and infection.” Spaying wild mares will also negatively impact their wild free roaming behaviors, which are protected under federal law.
Because holding facilities for captured mustangs are full, slaughter of wild horses is prohibited, and longer-acting fertility control measures are years away from implementation, NOW is the time for all sides to come together in favor of humane management of wild horses and burros on the range using the available and proven PZP fertility control vaccine. As a result, I ask you to make the following recommendations to the BLM:
• Abandon plans to use GonaCon on wild mares in Nevada’s Antelope Herd Management Area, until such time as proper efficacy and safety data has been gathered through pen trials and published in scientific, peer-reviewed journals.
• Increase the use of PZP fertility control to a level that will actually make a difference in population growth rates. The search for a longer-acting vaccine should not be used as an excuse to do nothing now as populations increase and more horses will be removed from the range in the future.
• Abandon plans to research and implement the surgical spaying of mares, which is in line with scientific recommendations and complies with federal law.”
When you write your letter, please personalize it as much as possible, that will make the biggest impact on the members of the Advisory Board.
Comments may be e-mailed to the BLM (at email@example.com); please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail. Please get your comments in before the meeting on September 2.