Act Now — Ask OSU to Reject Wild Mare Sterilization

It seems impossible that the clear egregious mutilation and abuse of federally protected wild horses by a federal government agency is allowed to happen. And now the BLM are involving a University to aiding and abet their crimes. Where is President Obama? Where is anyone in the U.S. House and Senate? They are absolutely useless. And all of this paid for with taxpayer dollars. —Ed.


The BLM plans to conduct life-threatening experiments this spring to sterilize mares (both pregnant and open) as well as fillies as young as 8 months of age. The first proposed research project is expected to be announced with a Finding of No Significant Impact later this week. The agency will use this “population suppression research” (BLM’s own term) as a model for sterilizing wild horses and burros both in corrals and on the range.

The first sterilization experiments on 225 mares and fillies now housed at BLM’s short-term corrals in Hines, Oregon will be conducted in partnership with Oregon State University. The surgeries would be overseen by OSU’s Veterinary School.

Acting now could persuade OSU to back out of participation in these misguided procedures.

On April 10 Steve Clark, the university’s VP for community relations, stated in response to letters of complaint that OSU has “not determined whether we will proceed with this research.” The University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee will meet this week to decide on the matter.

Timing is critical. Please write letters in your own words and make calls to the University using the emails and telephone numbers listed below.

You may want to touch on the following points:

— Conducting sterilization surgeries in a non-sterile environment on wild mares that include pregnant mustangs and fillies is inhumane. It contradicts University policy of only engaging in humane and safe research involving animals.

— The proposed experiments will terrify the wild mares and place them at risk of permanent injury or death. The pre-operative and post-operative procedures proposed do not comply with acceptable veterinary standards of care.

— According to the BLM’s own environmental assessment, many may abort; more than a few will die during the “research” process.

— Even if OSU veterinarians only oversee, not conduct the surgeries, they and the University would be forever associated in the public eye with these cruel, life-threatening and unwarranted procedures.

— The results of this research will be used by the BLM as a template for sterilizing wild horses on the range and in holding corrals, threatening the survival of wild herds, the majority of which are already below the population levels required for genetic viability.

— This research will not help address the current issue of population management. Instead it further delays use of PZP, a reversible fertility control vaccine that does not alter herd structure or the hormonal balance of wild horses. PZP was recommended by the National Academies of Science as a well-proven methodology—unlike surgical sterilization.

— Our wild horses are national treasures, protected by law against killing or abuse. They are not laboratory objects for trial and error experiments. OSU should reconsider its involvement in research which endangers the lives of wild horses and puts their existence as a species in danger.


Direct letters to:
OSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:
Tel. 541.737.2762

Copies (and calls) to:
Edward J. Ray, President, Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-2155
Tel. 541.737.4133

V.P. for Relations and Marketing:
Steven Clark
634 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331-2155 Tel. 541.737.4875

Dean of the Veterinary College: Tel. 541-737-6943

The Board of Trustees:

V.P. for Research: Tel. 541 737-6943


(Read comments of TCF Veterinarian Advisor, Don Moore DVM, regarding Mare Sterilization.)


All content including image via The Cloud Foundation.

14 thoughts on “Act Now — Ask OSU to Reject Wild Mare Sterilization”

  1. This is a dangerous and inhumane thing to do. These wild horses are a national treasure and should not be subjected to this kind of treatment. It would terrify them and could cause pregnant mares to lose their babie and subject them all to unnecessary pain and suffering.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a 67 year old pre-vet student and a 26 year vegan, I am always filtering life messages through the prism of impact on animals. I volunteer with one of the largest no-kill shelters in the US and am a firm believer in the merits of TNR for feral cats. I believe there is a role to be had for surgical sterilization in the management of the wild horse/burro population in addition to other proven methods of control, such as the PZP vaccine. I would be against any methodology which puts the horses at risk of damage to their health from non-sterile procedures or practices. Therefore I am not against this project proceeding in order to provide research data that could be useful in population management concomitant with generally recognized surgical practices of safety to both the horses and the humans.


    1. Thank you for your insights. However, I am sure you can appreciate performing sterilization procedures on cats is a long way from performing the same on wild horse mares, particularly in the wild.

      When castrating males it has been botched time and time again and wild stallions have suffered horribly, bleeding to death or having to be destroyed. Imagine trying to do the same with females which is a much more complex procedure. It is a nightmare waiting to happen.

      There is no reason to conduct this study. It is simply continued manipulation by the federal government in the mismanagement of America’s wild horses and burros, and a waste of taxpayer money. There is no role for surgical sterilization in the management of wild horse populations. They will be butchered. Haven’t they been harmed enough?

      Think about it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Granted sterilization of the female of any species is a more complicated matter than that of male castration. However, with modern surgical techniques it is a fairly easy, effective, and minimally painful process, especially for the males. If the issue is with botched procedures, then my suggestion would be to focus on the professionals performing the procedures rather than the procedure itself. I am still in favor of performing a study of the methodology until such time as it is disproven to be a viable method of wild population management. On balance, I believe the annual roundup and the cruelty associated with the culling process is a worse fate than the one time process of sterilization. If it turns out that a reversible chemical sterilization process is a better alternative, then I am all for it. But lets at least give the matter a fair evaluation rather than to dismiss a potentially valuable technique without scientific proof of its worthiness.


        1. Please read about the wild horse and burro issue and the decades long cruelties, death and destruction meted out to them at the hands of the BLM and you will see a major cause for alarm besides the obvious you seem unable to see here.

          If these so-called experiments give the BLM the results they are looking for they will use them as an excuse to butcher and mutilate female Mustangs. No doubt a high number of them will die, which will achieve their goal — a good Mustang is a dead Mustang.

          Already numerous males have been castrated by inmates in BLM prison programs and died a horrible death. That is a relatively simple procedures. Spaying a female is not, no matter the advances.

          The horrors that await the females if this charade is allowed to be carried out and “sterilization” procedures in the field are conducted is nightmarish.

          I am shocked you recommend that horses be experimented on yet you have vegan as part of your name. We promote veganism as a way to effectively advocate for animals. Let’s be perfectly clear. Nothing about your comments on this subject are in line with the vegan way of thought or lifestyle.

          Frankly I am shocked.

          Would you suggest that feral female cats be spayed out in the wild, or field as it were?

          I am not coming against you personally, only your ideas. We cannot allow you to come here and express these alarming views unanswered.


          1. Frankly I am not surprised by a position that seems to believe that all government agencies and the people who work for them are evil people who want nothing more than to torture wild horses and burros with the ultimate aim of annihilation from all Federal lands. I’m a retired Fed who served this nation with honor and distinction and it has been my experience that the vast majority of Federal employees are honest hard working people who do their jobs for the betterment of the country. Furthermore, I’m not convinced that the veterinary profession is willing to go along with a badly planned and administered program that is designed to harm horses or burros as you have described.

            I am very much aware of the issues involved with the wild mustangs and burrows throughout the US. It is but one of many issues that I keep abreast of as an animal rights advocate. My version of animal rights is probably different from the version held by many social progressives who call themselves vegan. Be that as it may, I have my opinion, which is no less valuable than yours, regarding how the population of wild horses and burros is managed by this country.

            You cite the matter of BLM prison inmates performing horse castrations. Where in the world would something like this be allowed or tolerated by any right thinking individual. If this has actually happened then the proper thing to do is to bring criminal charges against whomever is responsible for allowing such nonsense. No one in the US is allowed to operate on an animal without a vet degree. If I did that at my shelter, I can assure you I would be arrested and that would end any potential for me to ever attend vet school or obtain a vet degree.

            As for nightmarish sterilization procedures in the field, perhaps you are unaware that farm animals and wild animals are typically operated on in the field as a matter of course. Vets take appropriate measures to assure that best practices are utilized to protect the animals throughout whatever routine is required. This is a specious argument at best.

            As an advocate for the wild horse and burro population, I would think, or at least hope, that more attention would be focused on perhaps weeding out the bad people and the bad practices that have led you to dismiss this program being proposed by the BLM. I believe that sterilization has a role to play in population control. I also believe that the BLM has a responsibility to utilize best vet practices to carry out this procedure; and if it is to be overseen by the OSU vet program, one of the nation’s accredited vet schools, I have no problem with allowing the program to proceed.

            Although I share your concern for the health and well being of the wild horses and burros, I do not share your desire to dissuade OSU from participating in this program. In fact, OSU participation is probably the best news for making sure that best vet practices are being followed in the administration of this program. If you have concerns that horses will be harm by procedures not being followed, then I would suggest a better approach would be to solicit participation in the program as an observer or to approach OSU about how they would insure that best vet practices will be administered throughout the program. In my experience, cooperation works a lot better than antagonism or confrontation when it comes to working among people with various agendas.

            Regarding my vegan credentials, I would be happy to match my record of vegan knowledge and practice with you or anyone else for that matter. Like I said, you have your views and I have mine. Its a shame that you consider an opposing viewpoint as an alarming view.


            1. I am not in the least alarmed at your viewpoint personally. Why should I be? I am not put in harm’s way by it. However, you are throwing opinions around when it is clear you have not done your homework. It is not my job to do it for you. I only speak out because the procedures you support and advocate have the potential of causing the suffering and death of a great number of innocent Mustangs. Surely you didn’t come on here with those types of comments and expect to go unchallenged.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. The only thing that is clear here is your closed minded view on methods and procedures that are potentially beneficial to the management of wild horse/burro populations. I hadn’t planned on contacting OSU with my opinions, but you have provided enough incentive for me to do so. Granted that BLM doesn’t have the best track record in dealing with wild horses, but I am happy to support an effort to get the vet community involved in any program that has the potential to benefit the management of wild horse and burro populations.


            3. “doesn’t have the best track record . . ” You really don’t have a clue do you? Or more to the point, you don’t want to have a clue. So now you add yourself to the list of those endangering these animals. Along with the veterinarians who will take federal government money to experiment on these innocent horses and recommend what the BLM want them to. I invite you to read Last Chance Mustang.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. I have already contacted OSU supporting their involvement in this program. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.


            5. Oh Dan. This has been organized and promoted by the BLM in collaboration with OSU. They could care less about your support though they will probably send you a thank you letter with a couple of packs of their kool-aid. Thank you so much for your comments. They have helped us educate those stopping by who may be wondering about many of these points. Bye for now.

              Liked by 1 person

        2. You’re a surrogate for BLM. Just see this- BLM is getting federal money just like other quasi medical organizations/university labs and these people are getting paychecks. Sterilization has been studied and evaluated in the wild many times and many wild mares and stallions have died. How much more evidence do you need?


  3. BASTA! Deje las yeguas salvajes solo! Si vos no está matándolos que está tratando de esterilizarlos! Deje que los caballos corren libres! ❤️🙏🏻🐴❗️


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