Outrage over groups asking BLM for alleged “humane fertility control” on underpopulated wild horses and burros

PM Hazard Foter Public domain Marked Sterilize
Below is a press release from the American Wild Horse PZP Campaign (AWHPC) claiming 10 million people want “humane fertility control”.
1.) Why aren’t these alleged 10 million people disputing the BLM’s overpopulation myth?
2.) Why aren’t these alleged 10 million people standing up and fighting to give American wild horses & burros back the land that was already taken away from them? Yes land that was designated for them in 1971.
3.) How will BLM respond to their call for “humane fertility control“?
4.) Will BLM continue their proposed experiments in search of “humane fertility control”?
5.) Why push Pesticide PZP when it wrongfully designates Americas’s native wild horses and burros as “PESTS“?
6.) How will these 36+ groups deal with the effect of calling native wild horses and burros “PESTS” when the feds want to wipe out “invasive species“?
7.) Have the alleged 10 million people read the 2012 EPA Pesticide PZP application with all those sketchy exemptions: https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf
8.) How do these groups and their members justify forcing America’s last wild mares to live without their freedom to live as nature intended? Isn’t this against the 1971 Law?
9.) Do these groups and their so called “members” understand that it’s cruel and unnatural for wild mares to be humped by studs every month they are in heat? Mares are sterile while on Pesticide PZP yet they still come into heat so the stallions try to breed them over and over.
10.) Do the groups and their members understand that “humane fertility control” has been experimented on federally protected wild horses now for decades? (PZP, GonaCon, SpayVac, Sterilization Surgeries, etc.)
11.) Why are they ignoring all the dangers related to Pesticide PZP that they call a vaccine for population control?
12.) Why are they telling their “members” that the Pesticide PZP (native, 22 or whatever) is without harm? Some are even telling people the Restricted Use Pesticide is “safe to drink”.
13.) Why are they ignoring the dangers listed in the Fact Sheet: The Truth about PZP (http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8749 )
14.) Have these 36 + groups revealed to the public and their “members” the real amount of miscarriages/spontaneous abortions and dead foals that are occurring in wild mares that have been forcibly drugged with Pesticide PZP?
15.) Which of these groups have received money from donations or grants from the pharmaceutical industry, the BLM, the registrant of PZP, etc?
16.) Why isn’t there any evidence of alleged overpopulation? After all the National Academy of Sciences stated in 2013 that there was “no evidence” of overpopulation, period.
17.) Have these groups pushing the BLM for “humane fertility control” now–without any proof of overpopulation–read the Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971?
18.) Why aren’t these groups and their 10 Million members standing up to protect America’s wild horses and burros from being the scapegoat for range damage, wrongfully rounded up and removed from their legal place on public land? What ever happened to fighting for their freedom?
Bigger doesn’t mean better. The Coalition for Wild Horses and Burros will respond to this outrageous push for  alleged “humane fertility control” and Pesticide PZP on America’s underpopulated herds of wild horses and burros.
PM PZP Auto-immune disease
Press Release from AWHPC:
36+ wild horse advocacy groups press BLM for increased use of humane fertility control as alternative to costly roundups
PZP vaccine is best way to stave off BLM’s pending “billion-dollar” fiscal crisis
Washington DC (June 1, 2016) …Today, more than three dozen wild horse advocacy, rescue and humane organizations, representing more than 10 million citizens, stand united in calling on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to make greater use of the humane fertility control vaccine PZP as a way to stave off its “billion-dollar” fiscal crisis caused by wild horse roundups in the American West.
The organizations contend that the PZP vaccine is a cost-effective alternative to costly roundups and removals of wild horses from the range.
The call for greater use of PZP comes on the heels of a recent admission by BLM Director Neil Kornze that the current system of roundups is failing. In fact, according to Kornze, the BLM’s policy of rounding up and removing, and stockpiling wild horses in holding facilities is leading up to a $1 billion crisis – the amount U.S. taxpayers will ultimately pay to warehouse thousands of wild horses for decades after the BLM has removed them from the range.
Already, 70 percent of the BLM’s $80 million Wild Horse and Burro Program budget is spent on roundups and removals, while less than 1 percent of that amount is spent on long available, humane and effective fertility control.
Pm PZP Darts
Groups supportive of the use of the PZP vaccine for humane wild horse management include the:
Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Animals Voice
Animal Welfare Institute
Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary
Center for Animal Protection and Education
Citizens Against Equine Slaughter
The Cloud Foundation
Corolla Wild Horse Fund
Friends of a Legacy
Front Range Equine Rescue
Habitat for Horses
Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund
Horses for Life Foundation
Humane Society of the United States
Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance
Least Resistance Training Concepts
Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue
Montgomery Creek Ranch
National Mustang Association, Colorado Chapter
Oregon Wild Horse & Burro Association
Photographers for the Preservation of Wild Horses and Burros
Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates
Respect 4 Horses
Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary and Preservation
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group
Serengeti Foundation
Southern Sun Farm Sanctuary
Steadfast Steeds
Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association
Wild Equid League (Colorado)
Wild Horses of America Foundation
Wild Horse Connection
Wild Horse Education
Wild Horse Observers Association
Wild Horse Preservation League
In the last seven years alone, BLM has removed more than 40,000 wild horses from public lands. The agency now stockpiles as many wild horses in captivity as remain free on the range.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recommended the use of PZP in its 2013 study “Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program,” stating it is “a more affordable option than continuing to remove horses to long-term holding facilities.”
The NAS study also noted that roundups and removals of wild horses are actually responsible for “facilitating high rates of population growth on the range.”
The NAS added that “removals are likely to keep the population at a size that maximizes population growth rates, which in turn maximizes the number of animals that must be removed through holding facilities.”
PZP is an immunocontraceptive vaccine. It works with a mare’s immune system to produce antibodies that block sperm receptor sites on the zona pellucida, a thin membrane surrounding the ovum.
Because it is non-hormonal, PZP does not:
· Affect the endocrine system or natural behavior of horses.
· Create negative health side effects.
· Enter the food chain or harm other wildlife.
The vaccine is reversible and is administered with a simple dart.
PZP has been used for more than 25 years in the wild horses on the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. In that time, the herd has been brought to more sustainable numbers and the overall health of horses as a result has improved substantially. In 1990, few horses on Assateague lived past 15 years.Now, many are living 30 years or more. And, because PZP is not permanent, the National Park Service managers can closely control the herd’s population, allowing for increased births as appropriate.
Management programs with PZP also have helped curtail and even end roundups in wild horse management areas in the West, such as the Pryor Mountains on the Montana/Wyoming border, McCullough Peaks in Wyoming and Spring Creek Basin and Little Book Cliffs in Colorado.
In Colorado’s Spring Creek Basin, no mustangs have been removed since 2011, thanks to a BLM-facilitated public/private partnership for humane management of this herd utilizing the PZP vaccine.
In addition, the BLM has committed to bait trapping if, in the future, the removal of some mustangs is necessary to maintain range health. Bait trapping is a far less traumatic capture method than helicopter roundups.
A PZP project on the McCullough Peaks range in Wyoming, meanwhile, helped the wild horse population there achieve zero population growth within three years.
Increased use of PZP and a reduction in roundups and removals would also be a boon to U.S. taxpayers, helping to curtail the $1 billion crisis created by the BLM.
The public now spends about $49,000 for each mustang that is removed from the range and not adopted. PZP, meanwhile, costs about $27 per darted horse per year.
One economic model published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Deseve, Boyles Griffin, 2011) demonstrated that BLM could save $8 million over 12 years by using PZP in one herd management area alone. Multiply that by 179 HMAs and the cost-savings reach the hundreds of millions.
· Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program
· Q&A on PZP Fertility Control
· The Science and Conservation Center
· Myths and Facts: Native Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP)
· Information: Animal Fertility Control Vaccine
PZP = Slow Extinction

Protect Mustangs is an organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.

13 thoughts on “Outrage over groups asking BLM for alleged “humane fertility control” on underpopulated wild horses and burros


  2. IF YOU BELIEVE NOTHING ELSE, PLEASE BELIEVE THIS: any time you see BLM figures regarding wild horse and burro populations, you see the word ‘estimate.’ Never precise numbers – and that’s because the BLM has not done a count in 20 years! That’s right: 20 years!

    The bottom line is the BLM should NOT be doing anything at all about the horse population until they have conducted REAL, verifiable counts in each and every state, each and every HMA. Real counts, not estimates, not the sweeping misinformation they spread around. Many well-renowned, well-respected, highly-experienced advocates have stated on many occasions (even the Advisory Board meeting a few weeks ago) that *real* counts have not been done for over 20 years. Until that happens, it is premature, inappropriate, and irresponsible to do any removals, roundups, sterilizations, darting, anything. They don’t really know what numbers they are working with. This is what the experts say.

    And just in case the BLM tries to say they cannot afford to do the counts …… if they can afford to put helicopters in the air for round-ups, they can afford to do the counts!

  3. I have reviewed several peer-reviewed studies concerning the effects of PZP on the wild horses who have been injected with this substance over the course of several to many years. Basically the mares are injected with ground-up pigs’ ovaries that coat the eggs, or ova, of mares so that stallion sperm cannot penetrate and fertilize them. These objective observational studies have revealed serious deleterious effects of PZP upon wild horse behavior, involving increased stress and breakup of the social units, or bands, especially as concerns mare infidelity and increased fighting, especially among stallions. This is NOT the way to treat our precious wild horses nor our wild burros! The wild horse and wild burro populations that remain in the various HMAs (BLM) & Territories (US Forest Service) are at genetically subviable levels. They should not be subject to this very invasive vaccine that alters their most intimate organs concerned with reproduction. A vital reproductive system is essential to the long-term well-being of our wild horses and burros, and to compromise this puts a very dark cloud over future generations of these beautiful, returned-North-American native species. Rather, we must restore these animals to fuller habitats with resource allocations that allow them to be viable long into the future and ecologically well adapted — this being key to their self-stabilization of population numbers along with being allowed to establish mature social units, or “bands”. These animals enhance the ecosystems in which they have a role to play and increase the native biodiversity if given the chance by us humans. We must not relinquish our fight for fulfilling the pure intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971! We must not opt for a “quick drug fix,” but rather do what is right by these amazing animals. They have done so much for us, but their greater place in our shared home Earth lies in the wonderful world of Nature where they have such an indispensable and healing role to play. (See my Reserve Design proposal concerning what I, as a professional wildlife ecologist, believe should happen: http://www.gofundme.com/mstngreservedesign.)

  4. The old hypothesis — that PZP merely blocks sperm attachment — has been disproved.

    Kaur & Prabha (2014) found that the infertility brought on by PZP is ” … a consequence of ovarian dystrophy rather than inhibition of sperm-oocyte interaction.” They reported that PZP’s antibodies induce ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), destruction of oocytes in all growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles.

    Despite all the hype about PZP being non-hormonal, the manufacturer himself knew that it had an adverse hormonal effect — significantly-lowered estrogen. In 1992, he reported that ” … three consecutive years of PZP treatment may interfere with normal ovarian function as shown by markedly depressed oestrogen secretion.” Thus, PZP is an endocrine disruptor.

    Worse yet, Sacco et al. (1981) found that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to young via the placenta and milk. The transferred antibodies cross-react with and bind to the zonae pellucidae of female offspring. This is bad news because BLM regularly administers PZP to pregnant and lactating mares, who transfer the destructive antibodies to their filly-foals. Thus, the fillies get their first treatment with PZP in utero, while nursing, or both.

    Nettles (1997) found an association between PZP and stillbirths. In 2015, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros reported that 7 mares previously treated with PZP, when taken off it, were able to get pregnant. However, 6 of those 7 mares — that is, 86 percent — produced foals that were stillborn. All other ISPMB mares that had not been previously injected with PZP successfully birthed healthy foals. Environmental and other conditions were identical. The only variable was PZP. Meanwhile, over on the East Coast, the Corolla herd, long-managed with PZP, has recently experienced birth defects among its newborns.

    Gray & Cameron (2010) questioned the supposed benefit of PZP-sterilized mares living much longer than their normal life expectancy, and and Knight & Rubenstein (2014) warned of unintended consequences of PZP’s ironic effect of extended longevity. Ultra-elderly mares take up scarce slots within AML-restricted herds. They consume resources but no longer contribute to the gene-pool. It is detrimental to a population’s genetic viability to carry significant numbers of sterile herd-members way-beyond their normal life-span. Meanwhile, those few foals that are born have to be removed to achieve AML because they’re more adoptable.

    Ransom et al. (2013) conducted a longitudinal study of three herds currently being managed by PZP — Little Book Cliffs, McCullough Peaks, and Pryor Mountain. They found that the the birthing season lasted 341 days — nearly year-round — which puts the life of mares and foals in jeopardy. Nature designed the equine birthing-season to occur in Spring, not year-round, and certainly not in the dead of Winter.

    Ransom et al. also found that, after suspension of PZP, there was a delay lasting 411.3 days (1.13 years) per each year-of-treatment before mares recovered their fertility. They warned: “Humans are increasingly attempting to manage the planet’s wildlife and habitats with new tools that are often not fully understood. The transient nature of the immunocontraceptive PZP can manifest into extraordinary persistence of infertility with repeated vaccinations, and ultimately can alter birth phenology in horses. This persistence may be of benefit for managing overabundant wildlife, but also suggests caution for use in small refugia or breeding facilities maintained for repatriation of rare species.”

    PZP’s manufacturer conceded that it could take up to eight years to recover fertility after just three consecutive PZP treatments.

    The study on PZP by Knight & Rubenstein (2014) found that ” … three or more consecutive years of treatment or administration of the first dose before sexual maturity may have triggered infertility in some mares.” These findings are particularly troubling. They suggest that, actually, only two consecutive PZP-treatments may be reversible. Except, that is, in the case of fillies who have not yet reached puberty — they could be sterilized by just one injection.

    PZP’s manufacturer was quoted describing PZP as “so safe it is boring.” Independent research shows otherwise — that PZP is a powerful hormone disruptor that could sterilize a female with just one injection. If staff and volunteers believe that PZP is boringly safe, they will be less likely to protect themselves adequately from this dangerous pesticide. Indeed, many of the volunteers are women and, therefore, at risk. Accidental self-injection with PZP could cause them to suffer diseased ovaries and depressed estrogen-levels — in addition to infertility and, potentially, sterility. Consider the magnitude of the risk — the PZP-in-question is a horse-size dose.

  5. In the natural cycle of life for the planet we interact with nature around us and nature within us. We sustain each other, our existence is connected to the rhythms and balance of the Mother Earth we all stand on. Within that natural path is our ability to hear our own bodies and naturally regulate, heal and manage our systems. Our life systems are integrated in to the whole of the natural world we help each other be healthy and balanced. We have disrupted this ability for the wild horses and burros for man made satisfaction and profit. As we take power over over the voiceless and interrupt the greater cycle of life so shall we endure in a world changed forever. What we do to one end of the circle will be felt by all ends—–it does not end with a single application of PZP to a defenseless mare —it is the beginning off disruption at all levels. How far will it go?

  6. The groups above who will support the use of PZP must do math like the BLM. The only way to achieve these numbers is to say that everyone and anyone who follow them on social media is a supporter which is not true. They are also counting people multiple times. This is how the BLM does their math when it comes to the Wild Mustangs. I belong to some of the groups, but absolutely do not support them, nor the use of PZP. It has long been known that the effects of PZP can and will be long term or permanent, allowing our beloved American Icon to be managed to extinction. Again, I must ask the question, where is the supporting study data, that Wild Horses are over populated. There is none because there has not been any scientific studies done to assure actual fact producing numbers of our wild horse herds!!! These groups are lying to their followers by supporting this issue. There is no need for any type of birth control, sterilization, or experimental sterilization of our wild horses, there is no overpopulation. Most herds are now being managed into non viable herds if not extinction, the thousands in holding are suffering. The BLM must be defunded, there must be a 10 year moratorium on any and all gathers, birth control and experimental or not, sterilization. We need actual studies of the herds, their numbers, birth and death rates. We want the facts, not the estimates. We demand the facts!!! It is our tax dollar the BLM is being funded with and I for one am completely against all that has been done and is being done to support special interests and welfare ranchers. I am calling out AWHPC right here and now. They had 7 Mustangs that were being starved along with many domestic horses at a “foster home” for months, when it was found out what was happening with these and all of the other horses, they were looking to find homes for 5 others as opposed to getting the 7 out of the environment they were in immediately. They were even left abandoned at this location until a final court order officially evicted the person who was to be in charge of the care of these horses including the mustangs. Thankfully the owner of the property agreed to allow AWHPC to retrieve these mustangs, 2 months later, or they could have gone, who knows where. Yes people, this is what just one of the groups who is supporting PZP does, and they lie to their supporters. I have proof backing all of this up. These groups do not act in a timely efficient manner, instead using the excuse of PZP to buy time and support the BLM, special interests, and welfare ranchers. Buying time by using PZP is putting our Wild Mustangs in jeopardy continuously. This must stop, here and now!!!

  7. “Humane fertility control” is a nonsense phrase, a euphemism, a play on words, a misuse of the English language to masquerade the true state of affairs. The BLM unstated agenda and governmental purpose is to remove wildlife from our public lands in order to prop up and support welfare ranching.

  8. There is a list of points in this article these groups should consider before they go further. Thankfully there are many Advocates, Sanctuaries and Wild Horse Organizations, that are NOT for pervasive fertility control conducted by the BLM, dog and cat spaying organizations and Pharmaceutical companies! Read some of the reasons why, here! Not all of us have put our heads in the Sand and called for PZP and other fertility measures as the primary “solution” for an overpopulation of Wild Horses on the land, that does not exist at this time! This is a bald faced LIE perpetrated by the BLM and frankly after ALL OF THESE YEARS, why do you believe them? Incidentally, PZP use on some Sanctuaries in a controlled environment, and Island horse populations where horses have a limited ability to migrate, does not qualify for its use on Wild, FREE Mustangs on Wild and Public Lands! PLEASE have the balls to fight for the original meaning of the Wild Horse and Burro Act and stop folding under the BLM and its Cattle Industry Pals. Reintroduce Natural Predators and ask Craig Downer about beginning to implementing Reserve Design. The thousands of Advocates alluded to here in their statement, could have brought about these changes by now! A large number of their followers are pro-slaughter, Cattle Industry, Invasive Industry and BLM fertility fanatics! Others are simply going along for the ride. On the other hand, many of you mean well believing this document will steer the BLM away from brutal sterilization actions! Alright then, why with your “vast numbers” claimed here, why will you not also WORK AND FIGHT just as loudly and with as much spirit, to roll back the Burns Amendment and prove that the BLM is fabricating the overpopulation of Wild Horses for zeolots who have wanted wild equine removed from the land, since Wild Horse Annie and much much longer in order to free land up for Cattle and sheep? We are talking about generations of self serving ranchers (and many family ranches and farms bullied by the Cattle Industry goons) who do not want to share land with any wildlife except for animals that are hunted! Recall that less than 3% of the beef produced by ranchers on Public Lands even find it’s way to American tables. The rest goes overseas! We are subsidizing them and they will not share land with the Wild Horses you all claim to love so much! Why not continue to call upon your “vast number” of followers to fight that? It seems to many of us that most of your energy goes into convincing the BLM to use wide sweeping fertility control, without coming together for these other issues! Some of you may not like “Protect Mustangs”‘ for whatever reason, but even if you don’t want to hear about it, at least they, Craig Downer and others remind us about some of the priorities that have been left languishing, while folks are off on the pro fertility crusades. At least read some of the reasons here why many of us hesitate to jump on the band wagon for wide reaching fertility control for Wild Equines! At least take the time to look those over and form your own opinion about the issues involve. No Wild Horse Advocate is a Lemur jumping into the sea after it’s followers. I know ultimately we will all show wisdom and reconsider where our energy is being directed! Thank you!! Susan LL

  9. Wow 10 million–then why isn’t anyone motivating even one-twentieth of that to have a massive rally in DC, or anywhere, just like most other legitimate political activist movements? Using one’s numbers as political muscle CAN accomplish a great deal. We need to get behind a 10 year renewable moratorium to clean this mess up and get a clear picture of what is really going on out there.

  10. “Interesting that we promote a Pesticide, and make-believe it is a supposed life-saving situation, even though it is a Pesticide — and those who support it, well, lie, misinform the public, and attest that was an error in registration process.

    Well, no error what so ever! Over an extended period of several years, and failure to register the product Pesticide PZP with the FDA, that also agrees it is a Pesticide, it was finally approved for, essentially, a marketable product in the United States, and only as a Pesticide and by the EPA. Thereby, it is referenced correctly — The Pesticide PZP, and make no doubt of this classification and genetic alteration.

    Then we move to the False Premise of Over-Population of Wild Horses. Well, once again we look at lies, misinformation given to the public, and those who sell the ideas of this Pesticide also lie about wild horses starving on Public Lands (photos of one group of wild horses in southern Nevada being the promoting element of the lies, but derived from a questionable situation down there, at best) — the contradiction here very provable, are the facts of the horses still wondering freely on America’s Public Lands, that are very wholesome, healthy, and vigorous within their environment. Contradictory evidence of the promotion of Lies — yes, this simple, yet apparently ignored by many — IGNORANCE?

    Greed and Illusory Superiority is an odd killer of our environment and wildlife today.

    Then we go to the fact that Humane-Principle’s had to be changed, warped into an information package of utter irresponsibility, and the assumptive quality only being the fact of developing a birth control that pretty much sends the Wild Horses to Extinction — to supposedly Save their Lives, of America’s Wild Horses — a Commercialized rendition of Humane Principle’s — or Ignorance rearing its ugly face, again and again . . .

    No Wait a minute — this has nothing to do with correct terminology what so ever — it has to do with human greed, with irresponsible people in charge of the well being of America’s Wild Horses, and Ignorance.

    We need change — and from these types of people that would lie, misinform, and all around assume their objective, and no one else is of paramount significance — and despite the reality — Wild Horses Becoming Extinct, and very soon!

    John Cox — Journal Log 6/1/2016 The Cascades

  11. To subject our Wild Horses and Burros to PZP in the inherent greed and for our own reasons is wrong. First and foremost it is a pesticide; plain and simple its use was not intended for mammals. A great injustice is taking place for America’s Wild Horses and Burros; we have no right to take control over their abilities to reproduce naturally and without chemicals and surgeries that sterilize them. The BLM is based on improving ranching communities and cattle leases for revenue; this in itself is a destructive platform of so called “protection” for the wildlife and the laws and policies that affect the Wild Horses and Burros verifiable existence. Remember everyone, we will not have a second chance of undoing the destructive manipulations of our beloved Wild Horses and Burros…….extinction happens everyday now……why do this to our National Icons of Freedom? It is up to us to just say NO! please stand up to what is right and don’t forget our ethical obligations. As humans ethically we have no business using PZP on any Wildlife in America.

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