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BLM Blocks Media From Horrific Experiment on 200 Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   3rd Sep 2016   •   2,996 views   •   4 comments


The Cloud Foundation and American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, along with veterinarians and congressmen agree that spaying is a poor option for controlling the number of free roaming Mustangs in the American West. They very much object to the Bureau of Land Management for proposing that it is. And, say these individuals and organizations, the BLM is ignoring the First Amendment Rights of citizens by forbidding access of the public and press to what are being called horrific experiments.

The proposed experiment in wild horse population control includes the use of a procedure called ovariectomy. Iíve described briefly what this procedure is in Should You Spay Your Mare From Breeding. While not repeating details here, it is a risky, invasive surgery that is only performed on our domestic horses when there is a problem with the horseís ovaries. It is rarely done as a means to prevent unwanted foals. Itís not a complicated surgery, but it does present a danger to the mare if the horse is not cared for properly after the procedure. This is why the many people believe it is a very poor way of approaching population management.

Following an ovariectomy, mares need time to heal. They must be prevented from lying down for a day or two after. Because the procedure is done internally, there is no way to tell if an infection is setting in without close monitoring. In a stable, a mare may be tied for a period following the procedure. But in the wild, it would be impossible to immobilize mares safely. Ultimately, the BLM will not be doing the operation on one, two or even half a dozen mares. Mass sterilization may include dozens of horses. Other dangers that require monitoring to remediate is the possibility of internal bleeding and the escape of intestine through the surgical incision. Our own horses will certainly get pain relief and antibiotics. But, this may not happen with wild horses.

At any given time on the range, a mare could be in foal. Itís estimated that up to 75% of the mares subject to the ovariectomy may be in foal at the time of the procedure. Many will lose their foals as a result.

Not only could this procedure damage or endanger a horse physically, but mentally as well. Ovaries produce hormones, and their removal will affect the mare's behavior. This, say advocates, fundamentally changes the wild behavior of horses on the range.

In mid-August wild horse advocates launched a lawsuit against the BLM, citing that First Amendment rights will be infringed upon as the government department plans to deny media and public access while conducting their experiments on two hundred horses in Oregon. Part of the justification for the experiments was to test the social acceptability of the procedure.

The BLM has tried many different methods of population control, and all have met with some resistance from wild horse rights advocates. With so many that are socially unacceptable, impractical, or ineffective you almost canít blame them for experimenting with a different method. But given the risks involved to the horses, and the potential for backlash from the advocacy community, you really have to wonder if this was the best they could come up with.
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Valkyrie   MOD 
Why wouldn't they just geld stallions instead??? Seems less invasive and less risky, as well as less time consuming. You could round up entire bachelor bands and in one fell swoop severely limit the breed's capabilities to expand.
  Sep 3, 2016  •  3,132 views
 
Winniefield Park  
Good question. Could it be too simple?
  Sep 8, 2016  •  3,100 views
 
Winniefield Park  
The BLM has cancelled the plans to try this controversial method.
  Sep 10, 2016  •  3,085 views
 
Valkyrie   MOD 
Great news.
  Sep 15, 2016  •  3,062 views
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