To the Bureau of Land Management for implementing inhumane sterilization procedures to attempt to control the wild horse population in Oregon.
Animal rights activists are aghast at hearing the news that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)is planning to follow through on a controversial research project involving the sterilization of wild mares after much backlash from the public. Despite the BLM’s research partner, Colorado State University, backing out of the venture due to ethical concerns, the Bureau is continuing with its plan to round up hundreds of horses in a mass sterilization experiment.
In an attempt to study the population and behaviors of wild horses in Oregon, the BLM plans to implement an antiquated sterilization method called ovariectomy via colpotomy, in which a veterinarian inserts his arm into a blind incision on the horse’s vaginal wall, then after locating the ovaries with his hand, he rips them out with a rod. Even when performed on domesticated horses, this procedure can be dangerous. Even the National Academy of Sciences advised against ovariectomies, stating there is a high complication rate due to excessive hemorrhaging during the procedure.The BLM plans to perform this experimental surgery on wild mares—some of whom are pregnant—and then release them back into the wild where they could be at risk for infection, hemorrhaging, and death.
As inhumane as this experimental project sounds, it is just as unnecessary. With the development of animal immunocontraceptive vaccines such as PZP, there are safer alternatives to this risky procedure that also prove to be more cost-effective for the taxpayers. The BLM has been working alongside various research centers and universities for years to develop and test less intrusive forms of birth control vaccines. Therefore, this invasive, inhumane, and dangerous surgery is irresponsible and unnecessary.
Take Action: Contact the Bureau of Land Management and express your concerns about their inhumane and reckless methods to curb the wild horse population in the United States. Demand that the BLM use government funds to protect the welfare of wild animals rather than waste them on unnecessary and harmful experiments that are not backed by partnering universities or the National Academy of Sciences.