Stop Brutal Sterilization of 100 Wild Mares

On May 13, the BLM announced that it intends to move ahead with cruel and unnecessary sterilization experiments on captive wild mares in Oregon. In both 2016 and 2018, the BLM tried this but after multiple lawsuits, federal injunctions and overwhelming public opposition surfaced, they backed down. This is the third time that the agency is trying to implement a controversial and dangerous surgical procedure that is being heavily promoted by a livestock industry lobbying group financed by Lucas Oil.

The BLM plans to carry out an experimental surgery called “ovariectomy via colpotomy,” in which a veterinarian cuts into a mare’s vaginal wall, places a hand and arm through the vagina in the abdominal cavity, manually (and blindly) locates the ovaries and then severs and removes them with a rod-like chain tool called an ecraseur.

Barbaric sterilization surgeries on America’s wild horses ignores both science and public opinion. The BLM is acting irresponsibly and wasting taxpayer dollars trying to pursue objectionable experiments while scientifically recommended and cost-effective PZP vaccines are easily available for humane on-the-range population management.

Other issues with the surgery include procedures done in a non-sterile environment, infection, hemorrhaging, and colic, any of which could lead to suffering horrific pain and potential death. Many of the wild mares slated for surgeries in 2016 and 2018 were pregnant with a high risk of aborting their foals.

According to the BLM’s environmental assessment, the procedure will be done on 100 mares rounded up last October and currently held in the BLM’s wild horse corrals in Hines, Oregon. Of those mares, only 28-34 would return to the range as part of the experiment, and only for the proposed three-year study duration. The others would be put up for adoption after the surgery, planned for August.

To review the plan in order to make comments, click here. Use the map to locate Burns District, Oregon to read about this project.

Comments are due by May 27. Email them to [email protected] to the attention of Spay Project Lead, Burns District BLM.