Bureau of Land Management plans to remove 19,000 wild horses from ‘excessive and irresponsible’ range

Press release

LOMPOC, California, January 5, 2022

LOMPOC, California, January 5, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation on Wednesday criticized a Bureau of Land Management plan to remove “at least” a record 19,000 wild horses and burros from their home ranges in fiscal 2022. The BLM also said it is treating 2,300 wild horses and burros with what it described in a press release as “various forms of fertility control.”

This follows the removal of 13,666 feral horses and burros from their home ranges while dealing with fertility control only 1,160 in fiscal year 2021. The agency estimated that there were approximately 86,000 horses. on public land managed by BLM in March 2021.

“These kidnappings are excessive and irresponsible, not least because BLM is not equipped or prepared to deal with 19,000 other wild horses and burros in captivity,” said Neda De Mayo, Chairman of Return to Freedom (RTF), a national non-profit organization for the defense of wild horses. “The agency’s short-term corrals are already overcrowded. Moving captured wild horses to more natural and profitable pastures is the key at least what BLM could do for wild horses and burros that the law had promised protection. “

Of the more than 58,000 wild horses and burros captive in government off-course facilities, nearly 19,000 languish in overcrowded corrals rather than on more natural public or private pastures that cost taxpayers about half the price per horse.

BLM is following an aggressive phase-out plan presented to Congress in 2020, a plan to achieve an arbitrarily low “appropriate level of management” of fewer than 27,000 feral horses and burros in 10 states before actually implementing fertility. .

“The use of safe, proven and humane fertility control to phase out future collections is long overdue,” said DeMayo. “Congress must continue to hold its feet on the BLM as it is implemented. Otherwise, the agency will continue to spend a lot of money after the bad, removing wild horses and burros from their home ranges while failing to not attacking reproduction.

“If the mares are not treated with fertility control to slow reproduction on the range and released even in emergency situations, these roundups will be followed by increasing herd populations, then, as of Usually, BLM’s return to remove and place more wild horses alongside the more than 58,000 already in off-field operation. “

RTF supports the use of PZP, a non-hormonal form of fertility control that she used in her American Wild Horse Sanctuary with 91-98% effectiveness, allowing mares and stallions to live together in herds natural family with the responsibility of managing the number of the sanctuary.

BLM is increasingly using a fertility control vaccine known as GonaCon-Equine. Since GonaCon interrupts the hormonal cascade, it can cause other behavioral changes that would affect herd dynamics. As such, RTF would like to see more studies to ensure that GonaCon meets the parameters of ethical and thoughtful control of wildlife fertility.

RTF also opposes the increased use of IUDs in mares by the BLM and has strongly opposed past attempts by the BLM to use dangerous, painful and expensive surgical sterilization of mares, successfully suing the agency in 2021 for its intended use of such surgeries.

As BLM strives to stabilize herd numbers through the use of fertility control, RTF argues that the agency must also start looking at herd management areas in a more holistic way. The agency should consider the full impact of the multiple uses required by law and allocate a fair share of resources to wild horses and burros. As it stands, private livestock greatly outnumber wild horses and burros, even in herd management areas set aside for them.

Back to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation (RTF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of wild horses through sanctuaries, education, conservation and advocacy since 1998. It also operates the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in three California pitches, caring for 500 wild horses and burros. follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on wild horses and burros on the range and in our sanctuary.

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SOURCE Back to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation