The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to ignore pressure to increase its use of readily available, safe, and proven humane fertility control for wild horse herds. For at least 20 years, the use of fertility control vaccines has shown to be an effective tool for on-the-range wild horse management.
Pressure has continued on the BLM from calls by the public and many members of Congress to scale up the use of this birth control method. More delays by the BLM means the horses suffer from more inhumane and costly roundups with permanent removal from the wild at great expense to taxpayers and, even more so to the innocent horses themselves. This “fraud, waste, and abuse” program by a government agency has gone on for decades with the horses being scapegoated to even losing their lives due to poor management practices.
In 2017, Congress came close to approving the sale of wild horses to slaughter due to rising taxpayer costs and increased numbers of wild horses and burros in government holding pens. It is as important as ever to not let special interests profiting from the use of our public land resources continue to blame wild horses and burros for range degradation.
While longer-lasting vaccines are being developed, using available fertility control vaccines is a practical on the range way to manage herd growth.
It is important to educate and urge Congress to have the BLM implement safe, proven, and humane fertility control as well as public-private partnerships that increase fertility control darting and herd monitoring, along with projects to restore rangelands.