PZP and the Pryor Mountain Herd

Pryor Mountain wild horses. Google search result. Unattributed image.

Marybeth Devlin writes following concerning the Pryor Mountain Herd and the use PZP*:

The issue underpinning the use of PZP and the continuing cycle of removals of wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is: Whether there are excess wild horses. No, there aren’t. BLM creates the illusion of an overpopulation by administratively setting the maximum herd-size below minimum-viable population. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature determined that, if a herd were managed carefully per a stud-book, it could sustain itself genetically at a minimum of 500 individuals. Compare that number to BLM’s maximum: 120.

In fact, according to the latest genetic analysis, the Pryor Mountain herd is evidencing “a general trend for a decline in variations levels of the herd.” The recommendation was to “increase population size.” Yet, BLM stubbornly insists on its own failed approach of artificially limiting herd-size, declaring that it disagrees with the scientific “interpretation.”  Continuing reading  »

* Porcine zona pellucida is a form of zona pellucida extracted from the ovaries of pigs, often referred to by the initials PZP. It is a popular source of antigens for immunocontraception [1].  Porcine zona pellucida has been used in wildlife contraception since the late 1980s. Animals with which PZP has been employed in this context include elephants, feral horses [2], elk and whitetailed deer.

Pryor Mountain wild horses. Photographer not specified. Google search image.

EPA classifies wild horse birth control drug PZP as a pesticide

Wild Horses: Randy Harris Photo

WILD HORSES (US) — This is not news; simply a clarification. Certain readers have questioned our reference to PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) as a pesticide which is used as a type of birth control on wild mares living on federal lands.

EPA Pesticide Fact Sheet p. 1.
Click image to view the EPA’s full Pesticide Fact Sheet on PZP (pdf, 9 pp).

As Protect Mustangs state:

Pests are invasive species. Wild horses are native.

Drugging up wild horses with a dangerous pesticide sterilizes after multiple uses. The pesticide also ruins natural selection and wrecks havoc with native wild horses’ immune systems putting them at risk of massive die-offs.

Protect the Harvest writes:

When it comes to the feral horse issue in the American West, the only thing that needs to be sterilized are the bad ideas coming from animal rights activists.

That hasn’t stopped groups such as Wild Horse Education from muddying the debate over how to handle feral horse overpopulation. A group that is assisting WHE in its foolishness and has only served to make things more difficult for these horses and the people who are trying to help them is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The Horse Fund are against the use of PZP on wild horses not only because it is a dangerous pesticide but also because of the federal government’s continuous interference and mismanagement has them on the verge of extinction.

The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Managment’s Wild Horse & Burros Management Program has decimated entire herd management areas leaving the few existing herds in danger of being wiped out.

Food for thought.

We also notice that it states “nonfood use” twice on the EPA’s PZP cover page (above). Since wild horses are sent to slaughter from time to time for for human consumption, wild mares treated with PZP are barred from entering the human chain.

Wild Horses: Randy Harris Photo.

John Cox on BLM’s wild horse numbers and survival of nation’s grasslands

Wyoming Wild Horses free on the open range, where they belong.

John Cox writes the following on his Facebook page:

So May 14, 2013 the BLM stated there existed 31,453 wild horses on our Public Lands — and a little over 2 ½ years, biologically impossible by the way, we are told the wild horse population jumped to 67,027 as of March 1, 2016.

But using the same Win Equus Software, lets compare our numbers for 2017:

“We also work with the Win Equus Software, the software used by the BLM! We input their numbers from 2013 onward (as stated by them), and we come up with a mere 20,197 wild horses on the range currently — in 2017. . .”

Apparently, these BLM employees, and administrators, want Americans and taxpayers, especially, to believe wild horses do not die, or a slew of other things that, in reality, make these numbers totally impossible.

But more than anything else, I restate quite clearly — BLM’s wild horse count is BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE ON THIS PLANET!

And the Research Scientists, the HSUS and other non-profit pesticide PZP supporters go along with these numbers – who constantly want people to assume their credibility, support BLM $$$$$$$$.

Sometimes words are simply not enough, for the obvious.

Oddly, we have those BLM employees, and pro-slaughter, and people from the pesticide PZP groups, awkwardly at best, pitching hateful comments toward those that disagree with their obvious lack of credibility. And people go along with them.

Interesting, since this is also a nation that elected Trump! We apparently deny first, and it takes several destructive and obvious situations a 2nd grader can detect, for the majority of people to pay attention to.

Back to Real-time.

We as American’s have to be very concerned about our wildlife, about those that manage it, and those that manage our lands in America.

As ignorance is quite prevalent, and destruction of both our wildlife and lands quite evident, as a society, we must become more attentive to these things that are indeed life-giving to us all.

The fact? BLM and other corrupt agencies in our government system, needs to be replaced with honest people if this planet is to survive at all.

We are a grasslands society, and the industrial revolution based upon a healthy ecological grassland, as well as a healthy and robust wildlife that enhances these same substantial grasslands, for the human species very survival. – John Cox, The Cascades

Share and follow John Cox on Facebook »

Wild horses and controversy — Notes from the range

EUREKA, NV - JULY 07: A group of wild horses wait in a holding pen after a gathering July 7, 2005 in Eureka, Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management is gathering wild horses in the American West, where an estimated 37,000 wild horses roam free. Many of the horses that are gathered are put up for adoption while others are treated with birth control and released back to the wild. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Thanks to our good friend Terry we received an interesting email containing an embedded post.

The controversy surrounding wild horses on public lands and the cruel and often deathly mismanagement by the federal agency Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not news to us and no doubt not news to you.

We have read numerous writings over the years by those out in the field from experts to interested observers.

What is pretty clear is that the BLM and their cohorts simply do not want wild horses off public lands. They want them dead. Historically this is a decades old problem.

Here’s the opening salvo from the post I refer to:

“Soon we will not have available our historic link to wild horses. Ignorance is dominating the wild horse issue, as if trading slaughter for birth control to extinction is an answer to save them! No! It is simply an overwhelming amount of ignorance, from those who have no clue in the matter of wild horse management nor anything of wild horse virtue and necessity. Our American Icon has so many positive attritbutes, and unless one knows of nature, our environment, and our natural ecological systems, they will never know, nor acknowledge the benefits of wild horses on our public lands. Below are notes and from limited distribution, so perhaps new information to many. . .” — John Cox, The Cascades

The writer continues by pointing out problems that the BLM and the federal government continue to ignore.

There are too many cattle on public lands. Check. Wherever they are, the cattle are destroying the ecosystems. Check. The Humane Society continue to promote its pesticide PZP they say to help control herd numbers when it appears to be destroying them. Check.

We have not heard the following before.

The BLM allow public land ranchers (or “welfare ranchers” — we will come back to that in a minute) to do as they please which he says results as follows:

“Public health hazards are developing, aggressively I might add, even while I am writing this, and beef from public lands grazing is diseased.”

Diseased. Interesting.

The writer goes on to say that he does not know to what degree (as in percentage) but cites the BLM’s inadequate checks and balance system as the reason for it.

Now you may think that public land ranchers — some of whose contracts with the federal government go back generations — do not contribute that much to the beef industry. We do not have the data. But even if we were able to get figures from the BLM could we believe them given the BLM’s history of playing with numbers.

We know it’s huge and it costs the American taxpayer an enormous amount of money — in the billions.

Let’s take a look at who some of these “welfare ranchers” are.

Here’s an excerpt from a Tuesday’s Horse post from 2015:

Years ago Ellen Cathryn Nash wrote an insightful report for our website called Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends which she distributed as a Press Release in 2005.

Some of the names listed as “Rolex Ranchers” by Nash are:

Ted Turner
Baron Hilton
Mary Hewlett-Jaffey
JR Simplot
Hunt Oil Company of Dallas

If you will remember, in 2015 Vickery Eckhoff revisited this topic with an in depth look of her own and published “Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List” on AlterNet.

Take a look some of the people on her monied list of who’s who. It hasn’t changed much in ten years has it?

David and Charles Koch (Koch Industries)
J.R. Simplot Corp.
Bruce McCaw (McCaw Cellular)
Barrick Gold
Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA)
W. Barron Hilton (Hilton Hotels)
Mary Hewlett-Jaffe (Hewlett-Packard)
James Barta (Sav-Rx.com)
T. Wright Dickinson
Stan Kroenke (Kroenke Group) & Ann Walton Kroenke (Walmart)
Family of Robert Earl Holding (Sinclair Oil and Hotels)
Ted Turner

Southern Nevada Water Authority is on this list? That raises some interesting questions doesn’t it?

At any rate, that is a helluva a lot of cattle producing a helluva lot of beef destroying a helluva lot of public land.

Wild horses are free roaming by nature. Cattle on the other hand have to be moved. Cattle will graze right down to the dirt. You can imagine how destructive that alone is. Never mind the dung and the enormous amounts of water cattle use.

Eckhoff sums up her report with this statement:

“The .01 percenters are the nation’s biggest welfare ranchers, according to numerous environmental and policy groups; and it’s time they brought some attention to themselves and the federal grazing program they’re exploiting to the tune of an annual estimated one billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies while causing long-term damage to one of the public’s most treasured assets.”

Nash states in her report:

“In reality, the wild horses and burros are not the problem, rather it is the privately owned livestock grazing on public lands subsidized by American taxpayers at great expense. It is important to note that cattle are ‘static’ animals in that they do not move much and they destroy the ground. It takes ten years to reclaim land destroyed by cattle, and longer in arid areas such as Nevada.”

Now back to the writer we started with.

Another point he makes in his eyebrow raising post is one that could possibly explain some of the policies by some wild horse and burro advocates — so called — that have long puzzled us. The writer says:

“We also discover, through factual research and credible sources, several non-profits today are currently, or have done, [are] receiving money from BoLM grants or payroll money as well, applications for grants and even employment from the BoLM – we find this directly a conflict of interest, and a violation of their non-profit status . . .”

We may never get all or even many of the facts concerning most of the issues impacting America’s wild horses and burros.

However one thing is crystal clear. They are a far cry from being protected.

The history of America’s wild horses and burros on U.S. public lands is riddled with cruelty, deception, corruption and death.


Wild Horses and Controversy: Notes from the Cascade Mountain Range; Photojournalist — Journalist; Sept. 22, 2016.

Forbes Billionaires Top US Welfare Ranchers List, 10% of BLM Land Lease Subsidy Recipients are Billionaires and Control 65% of all BLM Lands; Vickery Eckhoff; Alternet; Mar. 24, 2015.

Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends, 10% of BLM Land Lease Subsidy Recipients are Billionaires and Control 65% of all BLM Lands; Ellen Cathryn Nash; Tuesday’s Horse; Mar. 25, 2005.


Pesticide PZP Truth; Photojournalist — Journalist; Sept. 13, 2016.


Eureka, Nevada – A group of wild horses wait in a holding pen after a gathering July 7, 2005 in Eureka, Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management is gathering wild horses in the American West, where an estimated 37,000 wild horses roam free. Many of the horses that are gathered are put up for adoption while others are treated with birth control and released back to the wild. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)