Hines, OR (February 15, 2016) ... Public outrage is rising over a series of inhumane, dangerous and experimental sterilization procedures proposed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is decrying the proposed experiments, and today announced that, nearly 21,000 citizens have submitted comments to oppose the experiments in response to an alert that the group released last Thursday.  

The BLM intends to conduct sterilization experiments on 225 mares at the agency’s Wild Horse Corrals in Hines, Oregon in the BLM Burns District. Of most concern is the plan to use 100 of the mares (75 of whom will be pregnant) in a procedure called “ovariectomy via colpotomy,” which 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”).

“It’s unconscionable for the BLM to subject wild mares – most of whom will be pregnant – to painful and risky experiments that present grave risks to the mares and their unborn foals, particularly when a proven non-invasive and safe fertility control method exists in the readily available PZP birth control vaccine,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC Executive Director. 

“Instead of wasting millions of tax dollars to fund experiments on inhumane, impractical and invasive surgical sterilization experiments, the agency should instead focus resources on using the PZP vaccine to safely control population numbers without impacting the natural behaviors of wild horses and without subjecting them to the risk of pain, suffering and death.”

“Removing the mare’s ovaries will also change the natural, wild behaviors of mares just as it changes the behavior of domestic horses.

The behavioral changes will put ovariectomized mares living in the wild at a disadvantage. For all of these reasons the BLM should abort this dangerous and ill-conceived plan.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is a national organization dedicated to preserving America’s iconic wild horses and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. AWHPC’s mission and grassroots advocacy efforts are endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations.