Press Release below from the Bureau of Land Management regarding upcoming Sterilization Studies, also known euphemistically as “population control studies.” Chemical sterilization of stallions, gelding of stallions, and spaying of mares in the field will all be included in these studies.
“For immediate release: Contact: Jason Lutterman July 7, 2015 (202) 775-861-6614
BLM Announces New Research to Curb Population Growth and Improve Health of Wild Horse and Burro Herds
As part of its ongoing commitment to improving the health and management of wild horses and burros on federal lands in the West, the Bureau of Land Management today said it will initiate 21 research projects aimed at developing new tools for managing healthy horses and burros on healthy rangelands, including safe and effective ways to slow the population growth rate of the animals and reduce the need to remove animals from the public lands.
With virtually no natural predators, wild horse herds can double in size about every four years. Overpopulation on the range, in addition to prolonged drought conditions, can lead to the deterioration of the land and of the animals’ health.
Over the past 40 years, the BLM has adopted out more than 230,000 horses and burros that were removed from the range to protect animal and land health. Today adoption rates are at record low levels. In the early 2000s the BLM was able to adopt out nearly 8,000 horses each year. Over the last few years annual adoption totals have been closer to 2,500 animals per year. As the BLM works with its partners to place more wild horses into private care, the BLM must care for unadopted animals in its off-range pastures and corrals. The total lifetime cost for caring for an unadopted animal is nearly $50,000.
“Given the cost of caring for horses off the range and the difficulty of finding qualified adopters, it is clear that this challenge must be solved by addressing population growth on the range,” said Mike Tupper, BLM Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning. “The BLM is committed to developing new tools that allow us to manage this program sustainably and for the benefit of the animals and the land.”
The BLM will work with leading university and U.S. Geological Survey scientists to develop tools that will better enable it to manage wild horses and burros on the range and reduce the need for off-range pastures and corrals. Scientists working on these projects will pursue the development of safe and humane on-range management techniques, including BLM’s priority to develop longer lasting fertility-control vaccines, as well as methods for spaying and neutering wild horses. The BLM anticipates the total cost of the university and USGS projects to be $11 million over 5 years.
At the time the BLM became responsible for managing these animals under the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, about 25,000 wild horses and burros were on the range. Since then, the number of animals on the public lands has more than doubled to 58,150 as of March 1, 2015, which has led to overpopulation in many wild horse herds. In the last year alone, the population has risen about 18 percent – 9,000 animals. In addition to the nearly 60,000 horses and burros on range, an additional 47,000 horses and burros that were previously removed from the public lands are being cared for in off-range pastures and corrals.
“Wild horses and burros are an important part of our nation’s heritage,” Tupper said. “That’s why we are seeking innovative solutions to help us achieve a humane and cost-effective way to sustainably manage these animals on healthy rangelands for the enjoyment of generations to come.”
Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that wild horses on federal public lands are not a distinct population segment of horses, and therefore not eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The determination came in response to a petition submitted by two wild horse advocacy groups, which had claimed the wild horse is threatened with extinction.”
Additional details about the research projects can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/science_and_research/fertility_control.html
Well, right now I would guess there are 25,000 (maybe less) wild horses still out there – same number there were when the BLM started “managing” them. I guess that’s not good enough – got to find ways to “manage” them further into extinction! I’m at a loss to comment on this anymore. I (along with all of us) get so frustrated and ticked off at how these idiot morons continue to kill off & round up OUR wildlife – believe me – whats going through my mind right now isn’t quite that polite!
On a good note – I so enjoy your pictures & stories of the lucky ones at Black Hills.
I’ll leave it at that!
What is going to happen to the horses and burros already penned in all the BLM locations? Since it costs so much per horse,of which I don’t see how they can say that,the horses should be freed!Lee cattle and more restricted areas for them would certainly help the land recoup.
I think you mean less cattle and I certainly agree. We had hoped that some of the horses in holding couple be returned to herd areas that used to have horses on them, and have since been zeroed out, so that they could live out their lives there, and cut costs tremendously to the tax payer.
This is not something I have involved myself in. However, I hope these groups have some knowledgeable people who know what a quality horse is. The titles given doesn’t lend itself to horse awareness. Can or will they attempt to cull out the ones that have qualities that are better than others or is this a bunch of city folks that chose to mass neuter?
The BLM has not given th epublic any information about who is conducting the studies or even which herds of horses are being studied. So there is no way to answer your question at this time.
the blm is a govt. agency filled with people who are more interested in filling their pockets than taking care of the wild horse population. their sterilization “program” is another way to milk the taxpayer out of more money, and their demands for the burning man outing are crazy. they need to set these horses free and let them live on the PUBLIC land they were born on.
When will the human population be controlled,the world has a greater threat from humans than animals?? Green Peace should introduce a human breeding control resources will then be controlled and available to all.Too many people in the world for available resources to manage.Just a stupid question ??