Ending wild horse round ups.
End of wild mustang round ups..
Federal managers are taking the wrong approach on wild horse populations and should focus more on contraception rather than rounding up and removing the herds from public lands, according to a panel of experts. If the approach isn't changed, Western wild horses could triple their numbers in six years, the experts warn, and more than 100,000 horses could ravage public lands.
Under a 1971 law, the federal Bureau of Land Management must balance wild horse and burro population numbers against other uses of public lands, such as recreation and grazing. The agency estimates 26,500 horses and burros should be on Western public lands, a number the agency has attempted to achieve through the roundup and removal of excess horses, about 8,000 a year, which are put up for rarely achieved adoption.
Roundups have spurred a costly mustang population boom, a report from the National Research Council says. The removed horses leave plenty of rangeland vegetation for remaining horses to feed and breed. The experts instead suggest that wildlife officials shift to widespread herd-contraception programs to manage wild mustangs and burros.
"The 'business-as-usual' approach of gathering horses is not going to be effective," says Washington State University veterinarian Guy Palmer, chair of the study committee. Neither will letting the horses alone to chew up rangeland until a drought bumps them off in great numbers, he says, noting the agency's legal responsibilities — and public regard — for the health of the wild horses. "Instead we are seeing the strongest scientific evidence for fertility measures as the best approach."
Each year, the BLM removes about 8,000 horses and burros, from an estimated 37,300 wild horses and donkeys roaming 31.5 million acres in 179 herd groups in 10 states stretching from Washington to Colorado. Roughly 60% of the federal agency's $75 million wild horse budget supports about 49,500 wild horses and burros rounded up over the past decade and maintained in agency corrals or farmed out in private pastures. Only about 2,800 horses were adopted from the agency by private owners last year. The news organization ProPublicaraised questions last year about the propriety of some of those sales — 1,700 horses and burros sold since 2009 to "a longtime advocate of horse slaughter" in Colorado.
"Our agency is committed to protecting and managing these iconic animals for current and future generations," BLM official Neil Kornze said in a statement "welcoming" the NRC report but calling the management of the horses "a formidable challenge." Bureau wildlife officials treated and released 1,051 wild mares with a contraceptive vaccine last year along the lines recommended by the NRC report.
"The current wild horse program has been a fiscal and animal-welfare disaster," said Holly Hazard of the Humane Society of the United States in a statement applauding the NRC report. "It's time for a new way forward that is better for horses and better for taxpayers."
Federal officials also need to fix estimates of wild horse numbers, which probably undercount 10% to 50% of the wild mustangs and burros, the panel says, as well as undertake a meaningful survey of wild horse genetics and habitat conditions. Horse reproduction expert Barry Ball of the Gluck Equine Research Center in Lexington, Ky. called that estimate very credible. "If you keep the horses healthy and their forage healthy, then they have more foals," Ball says.
Though agreeing with parts of the report, wildlife filmmaker Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation, a horse welfare group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., criticized the panel for not analyzing the role of cattle pastured on public lands — about 8.9 million cows and their calves — in denuding forage. "How can you worry about a herd of 100 horses when you might have 10,000 cows grazing in the same region?" she asks.
Kathrens also criticized the report for dismissing one-year contraceptive vaccine shots for mares. The report says that multiyear shots, less studied and understood, would be most economical.
Giving contraceptive shots to female horses or chemical castration treatments to male ones would probably entail continued short-term roundups of wild horses, says panel member Cheryl Asa of the St. Louis Zoo. "Unfortunately there isn't a perfect answer out there in the way of contraceptive treatment for these horses," she says. Adoptions of wild horses will probably need to continue at the current level as well, the panel suggested, even after the agency switches to wide-scale fertility management of wild herds.
2. Why do you think they are protecting the mustangs?
3. Which would you rather have 10,000 cows are 100 horses grazing on your land?
4. Why do you think they want to stop the breeding of the mustangs?
5. Do you agree or disagree with wild horses grazing on public lands?
6. Do you think mustangs are harmless enuff were the city's are that they should stay?
2. I think they are protecting the mustangs because they aren't hurting anything and a great part of history of the west.
3. I would rather have a 100 horses because of the less number which means less damage they will do other than 10,000 cows could do a lot.
4. I think they want to stop it because they don't want anymore than they already have.
5. I agree because they aren't hurting anything or anyone.
6. Yes I do think so.
Helicopters herd them and run them to the Corals.
A herd of the wild mustangs on public land.
All the horses get put in here and get thier vaccines and adopted out.