Will massive sterilization plans eliminate wild horses and burros from public lands as allocated to them by law?
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has approved the Stewart Amendment in the Interior Department’s budget bill for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). This amendment supports sterilization for wild horses and burros using invasive, unsafe and inhumane methods (i.e., colpotomy and ovariectomy).
Any form of “spaying” a wild horse or burro is cruel, dangerous and even deadly. These animals will be highly traumatized and their health (even lives) endangered if permanent sterilization methods are allowed for their “management” by the BLM.
In 2016, advocates fought off the BLM’s attempt to use these barbaric procedures when proposed experiments were announced for wild mares in Oregon.
The only positive aspect of the current House vote is that the amendment did not call for any killing of wild horses, which is a change from last year’s approach.
The BLM has many humane management options including:
strategies to manage the herds through expanded use of PZP, a fertility control vaccine already in use.
- improving adoptions through gentling programs.
- public-private partnerships and sanctuary.
These alternatives are safe, effective and can be further expanded upon especially with the House committee having agreed to a $15 million increase for the BLM to manage wild horses and burros.
The Senate Appropriations Committee holds the future of wild horses and burros in their hands.
Please call your Senators and politely urge them to support the humane management of wild horses and burros which does not include permanent sterilization methods for population control.
The names of your Senators and their office phone numbers are available via www.senate.gov and it is critical the final federal budget bill for FY19 does not provide for measures to have non-reproducing herds.