Wild Horses: Randy Harris Photo

BLM responsible for the death of four wild horses in Utah roundup

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported the deaths of four wild horses connected with the roundup and removal in the Conger/Frisco Herd Management Areas of Utah:

July 1: A 2-year old stud died instantly after hitting a panel sustaining and acute neck injury while entering the trap site.

July 2: A 3-year old bay and white pinto mare died instantly after hitting a panel sustaining an acute neck injury while entering the trap site.

July 3: A sorrel stud colt was euthanized due to injuries sustained at the trap site holding pen. The foal was kicked in the mouth, fracturing its pallet.

July 4: A 10-year old dun mare died instantly after hitting a panel, sustaining an acute neck injury while being sorted out at the trap site. [1]

How long with these hideous roundups continue? Until no wild horses or burros are living on public lands is my guess. There appears to be at least a partial solution, and that is birth control. Here’s the argument for.

The Animal Fertility Control Information Center states:

“This isn’t atypical. Injuries and deaths among terrorized animals being chased down by helicopter are all too common.

“These roundups are both cruel and costly.

“The BLM said itself recently that the number of wild horses and burros on public land grew by 15 percent last year and the cost of caring for the 46,000 wild horses and burros that have been captured and placed in corrals and pastures will be about $1 billion over their lifetimes.

“Not only that, but BLM spends 70 percent of its $80 million Wild Horse and Burro Program budget on roundups and removals, which do nothing to slow population growth of animals on the range. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences has stated “removals are likely to keep the population at a size that maximizes population growth rates, which in turn maximizes the number of animals that must be removed through holding facilities.”

“So the roundups continue and populations grow in an endless cycle that costs both wild horses and taxpayers far too much.

“What’s even sadder is that BLM has an off-the-shelf solution that could help reduce the need for roundups and which has, indeed, ended roundups in some locations: humane, safe and effective fertility control vaccine. Yet the agency spends less than 1 percent of its wild horse and burro budget on this approach.

“Three dozen wild horse advocacy organizations support using fertility control a way to reduce roundups.”* [2]

*We are not on that list.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Birth control gives the appearance of being a solution and it has eliminated some roundups. But roundups will continue with or without birth control because of special interest groups who push our wild equines off of the US’s public lands specifically designated for them. Cattle ranchers still remain at the top of that list but a host of others are hot on their heels.

It appears that birth control can help to a degree. But are we any closer to understanding how these birth control measures impact the mares over the long term and herd numbers?

The use of chemical birth control methods is certainly mild compared to the obvious horrors of spaying in the field.

Remember this. There are more deaths associated with roundups than what you have read here today.

Wild horses are still being dumped into the slaughter pipeline. We will likely never know the true figures relating to these killings especially since we will never likely know how many are indeed being held captive.

The chances of wild horses and burros already rounded up and getting out of BLM long-term holding or surviving it is heartbreakingly low.

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Photo Credit: Wild Horses: Randy Harris Photo at http://randyharrisphoto.com/wild-horses/.

2 thoughts on “BLM responsible for the death of four wild horses in Utah roundup”

  1. God help our beautiful animals. And our tax dollars help pay for this. I’m so disgusted with our government. They are all….all screwed up, only care about getting their paychecks. and not what or who they hurt in the process. No wonder we are in the last days, God is fed up!!!!

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  2. I’m generally not a proponent of PZP. However, I will admit to being intrigued by the theoretical policy behind it’s use: herds are supposed to be monitored.

    Each mare is surveyed as to age and successful production of foals. PZP is applied on a limited basis. This is how it’s supposed to be utilized…not indiscriminately, but with a purposeful methodology.

    However, monitoring herds is simply an inconvenient use of time for most rangers and field agents, particularly when simply calculating a population possibility remains the accepted alternative.

    It should be noted that the estimated populations on the range for the past four years have been, according to BLM’s published data, unaffected by the drought which tenaciously gripped the West for the past four years. It should be further noted that one wet Winter will NOT cure what the past four years have wrought on those ranges.

    This entire Program could reduce the amount of money it devotes to removals and warehousing if actually monitoring the herds was allocated more funds than the mere 3% applied now.

    The BLM has proudly asserted that this year’s budget will allow them to survey from the air 1/3 of existing HMAs – while the remaining herds will be subject to the ‘estimate’.

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