By Amanda Lindner, One Green Planet
March 18, 2016
Wild horses embody the American character like no other animal. These magnificent creaturesrunning wild in the West capture the very best of our independent and free spirit. And yet, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. agency charged with “managing” America’s wild horses and burros plans the roundup, captivity, slaughter, and more recently, sterilization of these wild mares, all for the sake of making more room for livestock on public land.
The BLM has continuously maintained that such measures to control wild horse populations are justified, insisting that the roundups are necessary to preserve ecological balance, but the fact is that there are only 33,000 wild horses left, while there are millions of cattle and sheep moving into their homes. As Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, puts it, “We don’t have an overpopulation of wild horses. We have an overpopulation of livestock on our public lands.”
BLM is planning a massive barbaric, archaic, and dangerous sterilization experiments on captured wild mares. In these horrifying procedures, 100 mares, the majority of whom may be pregnant, will be subject to a procedure called “ovariectomy via colpotomy.” Theprocedure involves a veterinarian making an incision in a mare’s vaginal wall, placing his hand and arm through the vagina into the abdominal cavity, manually (and blindly) locating the ovaries, then severing them with a rod-like chain tool (known as an “ecraseur”). The painful procedure will subject mares to the risk of infection, hemorrhage and evisceration (intestines coming through the incision), and cause mares in the early to mid-stages of pregnancy to abort their fetuses. It is absolutely unconscionable for a government body to proceed with these horrifying and dangerous experiments that endanger the lives of these horses and their babies.
American Wild Horse Preservation recently released shocking video of some of these procedures, exposing the brutal realities of what is happening to these animals. The information is vital if we are to protect America’s iconic wild horses, but we warn that some of the footage contains graphic material.
This is no way to treat an American icon. You can stand up for wild horses and tell the BLM that these barbaric procedures should not be utilized in a petition here. Of course, when it comes to protecting public land and its inhabitants, we must also take a look at how our daily actions impact these government decisions. If there were not such a demand for hamburgers, there would be less need for cattle grazing lands. We can all help protect wild populations by leaving meat off of our plates. Learn more about how our food choices impact wild horses here.