Protect Mustangs™ will help find homes for all the 3-Strike wild horses & burros

 

Secretary Ryan Zinke
United States Department of Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Dear Secretary Zinke,

We are focusing on proactive solutions to ensure all America’s wild horses and burros will be safe. Right now we are working with many people, organizations and tribes who want the 3-Strikes wild horses and burros. Where have they all gone?

The Bureau of Land Management’s own Wild Horse & Burros Advisory Board’s recommendation to kill all the wild horses and burros in holding is outrageous and cruel.

The public is against killing. My #NoKILL Mustangs petition with more than 221,000 signatures is a reflection of public opinion. (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding)

Our Change.org petition with close to 105,000 signatures to stop the roundups and slaughter (https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups) speaks for the public as well.

Americans will not allow our national treasures to be killed. It’s time for solutions.

Kindly send me a list, without delay, of all the 3-Striker’s IDs and whereabouts so we can move forward to get the wild mustangs and burros into private care thus reducing the expense to feed and board them through the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Anne Novak

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Brutal experiments continue on pregnant wild horses!

Did you know that right now the Bureau of Land Management, under the Department of Interior is still funding cruel experiments on wild pregnant mares for population control?

Keep in mind that the National Academy of Sciences Report from 2013 stated there is “no evidence” of overpopulation. It’s the end of 2016 and there is still no evidence of alleged overpopulation and the thugs in control won’t do a headcount. They just want to keep abusing innocent wild horses and burros who should be living in freedom. Sickos!

The brutal tubal ligation research on pregnant wild mares in Oregon was stopped due to public outrage but that’s it. All the other tax-payer funded experiments on pregnant wild mares continue. They are cruelly experimenting on them now! Did you realize that?

The Department of Interior is giving away grants totaling up to 11 million dollars for population control experiments–on pregnant wild mares. Are these experiments causing pain and suffering and do they violate the rights of wild horses and burros to live free? Yes. This a wicked violation against their freedom.

So while everyone was distracted by real threats of killing and slaughtering wild horses, the brutal Nazi-like experiments–mostly with injections–continue . . .

America’s last wild horses should never be used as “lab animals”. Never. How is this even legal to experiment on federally protected wild horses?

Wild horses have been cruelly subjected to experimentation for decades. This cruelty has been going on for so long that the Bureau of Land Management and their supporters think this is “normal”. Experimentation on federally protected wild horses must be against the law but there is so much corruption within wild horse and animal advocacy that no one is stopping this! Those organizations who support using Pesticide PZP as birth control will not fight against experimenting on wild horses because they are still involved with PZP experiments or receive funding from those that are.

2017 is the time to fight back the evil cruelty inflicted upon America’s innocent and voiceless wild horses and burros! They should be protected from experimentation, protected from being sold to slaughter, protected from being killed and protected to live freely in the wild.

We’d like to protect wild horses from this abuse. Will you join us?

 

For the Wild Ones,

Anne Novak

Volunteer Executive Director

www.ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org




2 special needs wild horses escape death at roundup

Day 2 of Devil's Garden Roundup courtesy Devils Garden Wild Horses FB Page

Day 2 of Devil’s Garden Roundup courtesy Devils Garden Wild Horses FB Page

Protect Mustangs will help find homes for 2 wild horses who would have been killed at Modoc Forest roundup

ALTURAS, Ca.(September 27, 2016)–Last week Anne Novak, founder and director of Protect Mustangs reached out to U.S. Forest Service staff with an offer to help find homes for any wild horses rounded up with pre-existing conditions–who would be killed–not offered a chance at adoption. Tonight Novak received the first call from Forest Service staff.

“It’s always bothered me that after wild horses heal from injuries and survive in the wild, they are chased by helicopters, rounded up and killed upon capture because they don’t seem like they would get adopted,” says Novak. “Some people don’t want a riding horse. Some people want to save a life.”

So far, two wild horses from the roundup have pre-existing conditions. One is believed to be pigeon toed due to a broken foot that healed in the wild. The other mustang’s condition is unknown at this time.

“They need to go to loving homes to become pets–not riding partners–or go to sanctuaries,” explains Novak. “They have survived in the wild and that’s a harsh life. They deserve our compassion after the roundup and they deserve to live.”

After the mustang protectors make an assessment of the wild horses with pre-existing conditions, a sanctuary might be a more suitable forever home. It’s too early to tell.

These two California wild horses from Modoc County will join their herd-mates at the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield holding Corrals near Susanville. There they will be prepared for adoption with the others.

Adoption applications are here: Protect-Mustangs-BLM-facility-adoption-app

    • Cost to adopt is $125.
    • Adoptions by appointment only, call (530) 254-6575.
    • Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The facilities are closed on federal holidays. Please call for current information.
    • Information is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-545-4256.
    • Completed adoption applications can be sent to Videll Retterath by e-mail vrettera@blm.gov or fax (530)252-6762.
    • The Corrals are located 21 miles east of Susanville , CA on US Highway 395.
    • Adopters receive title to wild horses after one year

Protect Mustangs will post photos as soon as we get them. Tax-deductible Gas donations are always needed to help us help the wild ones.

pm-ufs-devils-garden

Photo by the US Forest Service

Members of the public with questions about the BLM’s requirements for adoption, questions about the wild horses with pre-existing conditions, who want to help network homes for wild horses who would be killed for pre-existing conditions, need trainer referrals, or want some tips on how to build an inexpensive shelter are invited to email the mustang protectors at Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

“I pray we can change the trend of killing special needs wild horses at roundups,” says Novak. ‘Someone’s going to fall in love with them. After all they’re still American mustangs.”

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org




In January we offered to help adopt hundreds of wild horses and the Department of Interior blew us off

PM Oct 2014 PVC Mirror
The Honorable Sally Jewell Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20240
Friday January 29, 2016
 
RE: Official request to stop using federally protected American wild horses in cruel experiments, offer all the wild horses at the closed door Indian Lakes holding facility for adoption and provide transparency with public access, etc.
Dear Secretary Jewell,
Pregnant mares were moved Friday January 22, 2016 from Palomino Valley Center (PVC) outside of Reno to the closed door, privately owned and operated, facility called Indian Lakes aka Broken Arrow, located at 5676 Indian Lakes Road, Fallon, Nevada.
Does the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) intend on using the pregnant mares from Beatys Butte, Oregon and other herds in the horrible Nazi-type sterilization experiments in Oregon, Kentucky or elsewhere?
The Beaty’s Butte pregnant mares and members of their herd seem to have been rounded up because Country Natural Beef, a supplier of Whole Foods Market, was pushing for the roundup. Do they want the federally protected wild horses gone so they can use the public grazing land for more grass fed beef?
 
Protect Mustangs officially requests the mares from Beatys Butte, Oregon, as well as all the other wild horses (male and female) at the Indian Lakes facility, be immediately put up for adoption–not experimented on. Wild horses over 10 years old must be offered to the public as well. They are not yours to engage in animal testing. This cruelty must stop now.
 
We also request you immediately create transparency for the public, show good faith and therefore request you:
  1. Halt transporting American wild horses out of the closed door Fallon facility called Indian Lakes (aka Broken Arrow). The public wants to save all these wild horses–including the pregnant mares–through adoption or purchase.
  2. Provide all identification numbers and descriptions all the wild horses as well as a headcount of unbranded, untagged wild horses and foals at Indian Lakes as of today January 29, 2016.
  3. Provide a separate list of all identification numbers and descriptions of all the wild horses as well as a headcount of unbranded wild horses and foals at Indian Lakes from January 20 to today.
  4. Provide a list of identification numbers of all the wild horses who have transported out of Indian Lakes since January 1, 2016 and show exactly where they have gone and where they are now.
  5. Grant immediate visitation to members of Protect Mustangs, elected officials and their staff, as well as other members of the public to the closed door facility known as Indian Lakes (aka Broken Arrow) to witness, document, photograph and video all the wild horses for as many days as needed at the facility to help them get adopted in order to keep them safe from cruel experiments, dubious sales or worse.
How many wild horses have been sold or given away to be used in research projects, “studies” or experimentation since 2009? How many wild horses have been used in research projects, “studies” or experimentation since 2009 and then later offered for adoption, moved to long-term holding or sold?
Sterilization and “fertility control” experiments are cruel and unjustified
 
The BLM’s overpopulation claims are fraudulent and any action such as experimentation for population control, fertility control, or other actions taken that are based on fraudulent information is wrongful.
There are no “excess” wild horses on public land. Roundups have been based on fraudulent data. Read more about that here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8551
There exists no accurate head counts of America’s wild horse populations and many herd management areas have no wild horses left on them.
The BLM’s horrible customer service, lack of problem solving and poor marketing are the reasons wild horse adoption has dropped. The public wants to adopt wild horses but the BLM is making it impossible for adopters to get the wild horses they want. It’s as if the BLM wants their adoption program to fail.
Americans do not want their tax dollars funding cruel experiments reminiscent of the notorious Nazi–Dr. Joseph Mengele. The rights of American wild horses are being violated. This is animal cruelty at its worse. All wild horses–especially pregnant mares–must never be used in sterilization or other experiments.
To sum things up:
  1. There is no overpopulation of wild horses. They are underpopulated on the vast acreage of public land in the West. Even the National Academy of Sciences said in 2013 that there is “no evidence of overpopulation”.
  2. BLM’s harvesting model based management via roundups is disrupting herd structure and increasing the birthrate.
  3. BLM’s allegations of overpopulation are fraudulent based on false data. Besides no head counts, they don’t even account for the correct mortality rates in the wild for example.
  4. Predators should not be killed off and if there are none left then they need to be reintroduced for the thriving natural ecological balance for the herd management area.
  5. Wild horses are a return-native species who help reduce catastrophic wildfires, create biodiversity, etc. We need the herds to reverse desertification. Read more about native wild horses here: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562
  6. The BLM is creating a false overpopulation crisis to cash in on wild horses as laboratory animals for fertility control experiments while reducing the herds to nonviable levels.
  7. GonaCon™, PZP, SpayVac® are all pesticides that classify wild horses erroneously as pests–ultimately sterilize them and are not needed because wild horses are underpopulated. There are no “excess” wild horses in America.
  8. Experimenting on wild horses to sterilize them is animal cruelty funded by tax dollars and must stop now.
  9. The BLM is trying to manage America’s wild horses to extinction.
Federally protected wild horses and burros are to be protected from harassment according to the law. You can read about the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_and_Free-Roaming_Horses_and_Burros_Act_of_1971
The public is outraged the BLM, the federal agency put in charge of managing and protecting wild horses and burros, would engage in animal cruelty and try to use America’s icons of freedom in population control experiments.
Any and all experimentation, “research” or harassment of a federally protected wild horse or burro–based on the overpopulation myth, decreased adoptions or any other excuse must stop now.
Sincerely,
Anne Novak
 
Links of interest:
 
Anne Novak
Executive Director
Tel./Text: 415.531.8454
Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562  
Then on June 22, 2016 the subcommittee hearing on wild horses and burros was held in the House of Representatives and this is what the elected officials said:
On September 9, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board voted to kill the alleged 45,000 wild horses in taxpayer funded holding facilities and pastures. Do they want to cover-up the fraud that has been going on for years by killing the evidence?

Don’t Let Them Kill 45,000 Wild Horses and Burros! Sign and Share the Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding

 

Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.




Feds want to use 11 million tax dollars to experiment on American Wild Horses and Burros

Note from Protect Mustangs: If you don’t like this then: 1.) Go see your congressional representative this week and ask them to intervene to stop these horrible experiments on America’s wild horses who are being managed to extinction. 2.) Sign and share this petition and email it to everyone you know: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups Groups like The Cloud Foundation and the coalition led by The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign seem to be misleading the public because they have chosen pushing PZP (controlled by The Humane Society of the United States) over championing wild horse freedom on public land. They slip appeals for PZP in the bottom of their online petitions hoping the public won’t notice what they are signing. That was the beginning of this slippery slope towards experimentation and extinction. Why? Follow the money, fear mongering and the seduction to campaign for drugging wild horses and burros with a risky pesticide made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries to block fertility. . . 3.) It’s time to join Protect Mustangs to protect our national treasures. Go to www.ProtectMustangs.org to sign up. 4.) You can donate to the Wild Horse Legal Fund also. The crowd funding link is here: https://www.gofundme.com/MustangLaw2016 or donate by www.PayPal.com to Contact@ProtectMustangs.org and please mark your donation is for the “Legal Fund”. Thank you for taking action today! Together we can turn this around.





The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to use American tax dollars in several cruel experiments to develop methods of wild horse and burro population control–despite the fact that there is no overpopulation of wild horses or burros. The BLM anticipates the total cost of the experiments to be $11 million over 5 years.The research is being conducted by university scientists as well as scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Research with Universities results in experimenting on wild horses and burros

In its 2013 report to the BLM, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) found that no highly effective, easily delivered and affordable fertility-control methods were currently available for use on wild horses and burros. The most promising birth control, PZP, made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries, is limited in the duration of its effectiveness (1-2 years). At the same time, after multiple applications or if applied to young fillies it permanently sterilizes native wild horses.

The BLM released a solicitation for experimentation to develop new or improve existing population growth suppression methods for wild horses. (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2015/july/nr_07_07_2015.html)  The following seven research projects were reviewed and recommended by an NAS panel of experts and are consistent with recommendations made to the BLM by its Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board who is biased against wild horses and prefers livestock use public land for cheap grazing.

Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Meeting in 2013

 

© EquineClinic.comn shared for educational purposes

© EquineClinic.comn shared for educational purposes

1. Evaluation of minimally invasive methods of contraception in wild horse and burro mares: tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided oviduct papilla laser ablation. This was pushed by pro-slaughter advocates who want the horses free of fertility control drugs so they can go to slaughter eventually.

Recipient: Oregon State University
Summary: A one-year experiment that will aim to develop a minimally invasive surgical sterilization method for wild horse mares that requires no incisions.
Details: In an effort to develop minimally invasive, low-risk techniques for contraception and population control in female wild horses and burros, the experiment will evaluate two procedures, tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla in standing sedated females. For tubal ligation, the research team hypothesizes that a flexible endoscope inserted through a small incision in the vaginal vault will allow visualization of each oviduct in mares. Use of a diode laser or cautery instrument will allow effective fulguration followed by bloodless sectioning of the oviduct. This procedure should allow successful sterilization of up to 100% of female wild horses and burros gathered in any particular location as a single event. For the hysteroscopic procedure, the recipients expect to endoscopically visualize each oviduct papilla in standing, sedated, non-pregnant mares. A diode laser will be used to seal the opening between the oviduct and each uterine horn, thus preventing subsequent fertilization. The proposed procedures do not involve major surgery, are expected to have minimal complications while approaching 100% effectiveness, and when applied, are expected to result in a static to decreasing population level. Additionally, tubal ligation is a technique commonly performed in humans. The development of an acceptable sterilization technique will help control the population levels of wild horses and burros.


2. Tubo-ovarian ligation via colpotomy as a method for sterilization in mares

Recipient: University of Kentucky
Summary: A two-year experiment to develop different surgical approaches for tubal ligation in mares.
Details: The overall goal of this experiment is to develop methodology for the safe, economical and effective sterilizationof mares via colpotomy (vaginal incision) to achieve: 1) ovarian necrosis / atrophy via application of a ligature to the ovarian pedicle and 2) simultaneous sterilization via tubal ligation (i.e., tubo-ovarian ligation). The project will help determine the effectiveness of a custom-designed instrument for placement of a polyamide (nylon) cable tie around the ovarian pedicle and oviduct of mares via colpotomy for tubo-ovarian ligation. The procedure, conducted in the standing animal under sedation and local anesthesia, is expected to induce permanent sterilization of treated mares. The researchers will assess any post-operative complications of the procedure in mares and the effects on the health of mares to determine long-term effects on the reproductive tract, the overall health of mares and the fertility of mares undergoing the procedure, and the feasibility of these procedures in pregnant mares.

PM Sick Filly PVC March 25 2014
3. Functional assessment of ovariectomy (spaying) via colpotomy of wild mares as an acceptable method of contraception and wild horse population control

Recipient: Oregon State University
Summary: A six-month experiment that will determine whether an existing accepted surgical sterilization procedure commonly used for domestic mares can be safely conducted on wild horses.
Details: This experiment proposes to conduct a large-scope investigation of the safety and practicality of spaying mares as a tool for wild horse population control. Specifically, the researchers will help determine whether ovariectomy via vaginal colpotomy can be safely and effectively performed on wild mares that have been selected for non-breeding status. Non-breeding horses could then be returned to the range to live out their natural lives without individually contributing to population growth. The proposed research effort is based on recent pilot studies that have suggested the potential for surgery-related health complications from ovariectomy in adult female horses is low (near 1%). When evaluating options for field techniques, spaying (ovariectomizing) mares as a population control method is not recommended unless it can be performed in a safe, practical, and effective manner. The results of this study will provide standardized, baseline outcomes for this surgical procedure which can be directly compared to other less invasive procedures being conducted and evaluated by the same research team.

PM WC11 Lucky 11 Map

Map of Western United States showing 12 current field research/pilot projects.

4. Re-immunization of Free-Ranging Horses with GonaCon Immunological Vaccine: Effects on Reproduction, Safety, and Population Performance

Recipient: Colorado State University
Summary: A two-year experiment will focus on further study of Gonocon, an approved and labeled contraceptive vaccine for equids.

PM PZP Injection
Details: This experiment will focus on the effectiveness of GonaCon as an immunological vaccine, with five objectives: 1) to begin to determine the optimum and most effective re-vaccination schedule with GonaCon vaccine for suppressing reproductive rates in free-ranging horses, the duration of effectiveness, and the return to fertility following treatment; 2) to determine the safety and physiological side-effects (if any) in feral horses following re-vaccination with GonaCon including visual assessment of general health, body condition, injection site reactions, effects on current pregnancy, and neonatal health and survival; 3) to determine the effects of GonaCon vaccination on the behavioral side-effects (if any) in free-ranging horses including quantitative assessment of the effects on daily activity patterns and social interactions; 4) to develop and test a safe and effective dart configuration and injection system for remotely administering GonaCon vaccine to free-ranging horses by means of a syringe dart; and 5) to develop a Bayesian model to forecast the consequences of different GonaCon vaccine treatments on feral horse population dynamics at THRO. [Teddy Roosevelt National Park].


5. The Effect of Immunization against Oocyte Specific Growth Factors in Mares

Recipient: Colorado State University
Summary: A two-year experiment to develop a new, permanent contraceptive vaccine for wild horse mares.
Details: This experiment will focus on vaccination against two key proteins in wild horse and burro females, either alone or in combination, which may result in permanent sterility through premature oocyte depletion. The depletion of oocytes may occur by simply causing them all to become atretic prematurely and/or accelerating the process so that after a single season the mares and jennies have depleted their oocyte reserves. To test this hypothesis, the researchers will vaccinate mares against the proteins and track their sexual behavior, follicular growth, hormonal profile and ultimately total oocyte count over a two-year period. The long-term goal is to develop a vaccine that can cause permanent sterility after a single dose.

PM Burros Wild 2 © Carl Mrozek

Cruel way to drag foal by pulling bailing twine around their neck (Photo © Bo Rodriguez)

Cruel way to drag foal by pulling bailing twine around their neck (Photo © Bo Rodriguez)

6. Electrospun delivery to enhance the effectiveness of immunocontraception strategies in equids

Recipient: Ohio State University
Summary: A four-year experiment that will attempt to develop a new delivery vehicle for porcine zona pellucida (PZP) – a temporary contraceptive currently used in some wild horse herds – that would increase the duration of the vaccine’s effectiveness.
Details: To reduce population on public lands, horse immunocontraception has largely focused on the use of PZP in free-roaming wild populations. The vaccine appears to act by stimulating anti-PZP antibodies that bind to the surface of the ovulated egg, preventing sperm attachment. While performance has been satisfactory, recent results have been associated with contraceptive efficiencies that are considerably less than 100%. The basis for this is unknown but is believed to be in part caused by delivery methods that require substantial heating during polymer vehicle fabrication, expose PZP to enzymatic fluids prior to entry into the bloodstream and allow gradual – not burst – release. Gradual release can potentially desensitize the immune system to the presence of PZP, resulting in inferior production of anti-PZP antibodies. Thus, an ideal delivery method would allow release of PZP in “bursts” at pre-determined intervals to assure constant immune stimulation. This project will seek to develop an electrospun technology that can allow long-term, ‘burst’ delivery of porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccines to the intramuscular environment of horses and burros to result in prolonged suppression of reproduction. For large-scale application, free roaming horses could be gathered in the field and processed through stock chutes for aging, at which time the implants will be inserted by trocar. The experiment will also carry out parallel in vitro and in vivo experiments to examine the potential of electrospun vehicles as immunocontraceptive carriers. An electrospun “universal delivery vehicle” will be developed to provide sustained release of effective levels of porcine zona pellucida (PZP) for immunocontraception over periods of at least three years. By careful design, fabrication and testing of two different electrospun designs, the researchers will create a comprehensive evaluation of this novel method of delivery.

Pm PZP Darts
7. The use of membrane disrupting peptide / peptoid LHRH conjugates to control wild horse and burro populations

Recipient: Louisiana State University
Summary: A three-year experiment for the development of an injectable agent that would inactivate hormones and decrease female and male gonad viability.
Details: The experiment is a multidisciplinary effort aimed at developing novel drugs to control wild horse and burro populations. Several types of drugs consisting of conjugates of membrane disrupting peptides (such as Phor 21) with luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) currently exist. These drugs (such as LHRH-Phor 21 conjugate) effectively target, bind to and destroy prostate, testicular, breast and ovarian cancer cells, as well as testicular and ovarian cells that control reproduction. LHRH targets the cell and delivers Phor 21 to the cancer cell or the reproductive cell in the testes or ovary and destroys it. Preliminary experiments suggest that administration of this drug by a slow-release delivery system will destroy the cells that control spermatogenesis in the male and follicle growth, oocyte development, ovulation and cyclicity in the female. Preliminaryresults also show that LHRH-Phor 21 targets and destroys gonadotropic cells in the pituitary gland. This indicates that cessation of reproductive activity is the result of both central control at the level of the pituitary gland and on receptor binding cells in both male and female gonads. The experiment will also assess the effect the drugs have on pregnant mares, both in early gestation and late gestation.

PM PZP Syringe Yearling Meme

Additional details about these experiments can be found in the following documents:

Detailed Summary of University-led Experiments for Fertility Control Tools for Wild Horses
Review of Proposals to the BLM on Wild Horse and Burro Sterilization or Contraception: A Letter Report
Research with the U.S. Geological Survey

Through its partnership with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the BLM is undertaking important research aimed at delivering better methods and tools for managing wild horse and burro herds on public lands. These projects build upon on-going cooperation between the BLM and USGS that is implementing new methods to estimate wild horse and burro population size.

There are nine USGS experiments that have been approved or are on-going:
Collaring & radio marking (1 year): The aim is to develop safe GPS collars for tracking animals to determine habitat selection, movement ecology, population estimation, behavior, etc. GPS tracking might also help locating animals for contraceptive treatments.
Fecal DNA (genetics/population survey) (1.5 years): The experiment involves the collection and analysis of fecal DNA as a noninvasive method to determine genetic diversity and estimate population size.
Carrying capacity modeling (1 year): This experiment’s aim is to develop a coarse model to evaluate changes in animal carrying capacity in response to changes in vegetation production. The resulting model may help BLM to adapt plans in response to climatic change.

PM PZP Syringe FB
Mare Contraception -SpayVac Pen Trial II (5 years): This experiment will help determine the efficacy of alternative SpayVac contraceptive vaccine formulations that are potentially longer acting than conventional PZP vaccines.
Evaluating Behavior of Spayed Free-Roaming Mares (4 years): The experiment will determine the effects of spaying on behavior, interactions, and movement of spayed mares among a breeding herd. The study will also determine the population level effect on herd growth.
Evaluating Behavior of Geldings among a Breeding Herd (4 years): This experiment will determine any effects of gelding on behavior, movement, interactions and changes in habitat selection.
Two Sentinel Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) Demography Studies (2 studies, each of 5 years): These experiments will provide demographic data sets for use in new population models and serve as control HMAs for gelding and spayed mare field studies.
Burro Sentinel HMA Demography Study (5 years): The experiment will involve collecting data on the survival, fertility, fecundity, recruitment, movements, range use, habitat selection and social behavior of wild burros. These data will be used in population modeling.
The BLM has requested or is reviewing proposals for the following projects with USGS:
Evaluate the Use of a Silastic O-Ring Intrauterine Device (IUD) in Mares (4 years): This experiment will determine any effects on mare health resulting from the long-term presence of the silastic O-ring IUD. This IUD has effectively prevented pregnancy in domestic mares during one breeding season.
Burro Population Survey Method Development (2.5 years): This experiment will test two new population survey methods for wild burros. The existing simultaneous double-observer method, when applied to burros, tends to lead to underestimates of true burro population size.
WinEquus II – Population Model with Cost/Benefit Outputs (1.5 years): This experiment will develop a model that compares population modeling outcomes and projects the costs, benefits and expected population growth resulting from management actions that involve PZP, removals, spaying, gelding and other population growth suppression tools.
Testing Efficacy of Contraceptives for Female Burros (3-4 years): Contraceptive vaccines have yet to be used on wild burros due to limited research and unknown effects. This study will examine the efficacy of various existing vaccines.

PM Hazard Foter Public domain Marked Sterilize

© Protect Mustangs, 2016


Conversation about fertility control with Brett Hass, retired biologist previously with NSA (part 1)

Don’t let pesticides like Gonacon™, PZP or SpayVac® manage native wild horses to extinction. The Spin Dr.’s and some ignorant horse advocates are pushing fertility control on underpopulated wild horses. Know the truth and expose those spewing the spin.

PM Gonacon Pesticide Fact Sheet

Read the entire Gonacon™ Pesticide Fact Sheet

Interview

John Cox: Brett, you’re a retired biologist, previously with the NSA for how many years?

Brett Hass: 46 long years John. We met in Vietnam, when we a lot younger my friend (smiles). We were doing wildlife and vegetation studies in your AO (area of operations). That was my first assignment with the NSA, as a matter of fact.

John Cox: Let’s cut through all of that. What do you think of Gonacon™ and some of the other fertility controls BLM is using?

Brett Hass: As usual, and as government agencies do and BLM and DOI are extremely guilty, they pretend that science guides its wild horse and burro management strategies. So the agencies involved go forth and resolve issues, supposedly, with experimental drugs–in this case GonaCon™. The question is, in reality, does it resolve anything at all, or is it simply to further experimentations with this drug and the wild horses the most expendable of situations currently?

The problem is very obvious, with the first-time use of an experimental drug, they act like children with a new toy–but this toy is extremely dangerous, to not only the horses and actually lead them to extinction, but the environmental consequences are apparently neglected entirely? (shakes his head negatively). . .

But let’s get real, the very absence of science contradicts any time of sound reasoning for its use whatsoever. So once again we have a government agency, using a Nazi-Type experimental fertility drug on horses and other wildlife–without knowing, or even acknowledging for that matter, what the long-term consequences are–or in perception–the problems that will arise in its actual use.

There is no resolution, as I reviewed the population situation and see first hand there is no over-population if wild horses just within the BLM numbers alone; but livestock, that is a completely different matter, in reality.

John Cox: In your appraisal of the information you’ve read, would you, as a tenured Wildlife Biologist for over 50 years, use this drug?

Brett Hass: Absolutely not! There is no pertinent reasoning to use it right now and especially on wild horses or much of anything else for that matter. Our wildlife and environment is simply too important to be so frivolous with such activity, especially an unknown situation, as fertility drugs used in our natural environment. But as you say, ignorance is quite something, and our government seems to portray ignorance quite well, and frankly the only situation they seem to be competent to accomplish.

Much more on this discussion with Brett Hass later . . .

574px-Blm.svg

Below is the original PZP Pesticide Fact Sheet before HSUS seems to have lobbied the EPA to make changes to the chemical class. It’s still only approved as a pesticide to manage pests. PZP is made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries mixed with modified freund’s complete adjuvant.

PM PZP Test mares

(American wild horses used in fertility control experiments)

© John Cox, printed with permission

John Cox is a Vietnam Vet, living in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest who writes about the environment. He’s passionate about saving America’s wild horse herds and wolves. 

Read John Cox’s blog at: https://prophoto7journal.wordpress.com

Have you read about the Gonacon™ Experiment on the Water Canyon herd and the UNLUCKY 11 orphans? It all started as a PZP proposal and went down the slippery slope. . .  Read about it here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8488





Anonymous tip says wild horses are being slaughtered by the thousands

 

We are sharing this anonymous tip in hopes legal action or rescue will follow to save the thousands of horses who are still alive.

#TakeAction to demand horse slaughter stop now!

Email Secretary Sally Jewell ( Secretary_jewell@ios.doi.gov ). The Secretary of Interior oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. You can also write her a letter. Here is her address:

The Honorable Sally Jewell Secretary of the Interior

U.S. Department of the Interior

1849 C Street,

NW Washington,

DC 20240E

Please Contact your Congressional Rep  (
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/search.html ) to request they intervene on your behalf to stop the slaughter.

Join the movement to Protect Mustangs by liking the Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/ProtectMustangs Check the page daily and invite your friends to join the movement to protect mustangs!

We are working for the wild horses on Twitter too so Join up at www.Twitter.com/ProtectMustangs You can also join our Founder and Executive Director, Anne Novak, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/theAnneNovak There is a lot we can do together to Protect Mustangs!

Please share this video so people will learn what is going on. Then they can demand change and legal action to stop the slaughter of thousands of wild horses!

Video Copyright Protect Mustangs, 2015, all rights reserved.  Photo copyright Christina Lynn Williams Photography

Go to www.ProtectMustangs.org for more information on wild horses.

Our non-profit mission is to protect and preserve America’s native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org

 

PM Lennox Face

Moratorium on roundups needed for scientific research before sterilization

PM Hazard Foter Public domain Marked Sterilize

“Currently there is no evidence of overpopulation but the runaway train for fertility control and sterilization bashes down the tracks,” explains Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. “We request a ten-year moratorium on roundups for scientific studies on population, migration and holistic land management. Science must come first.”

Please sign and share the petition for a moratorium on roundups: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-scientific-research

Cross-posted from the Sacramento Bee for educational purposes.

Panel: Sterilize wild horses to cut population

By Sean Cockerham
McClatchy Washington Bureau

Published: Thursday, Jun. 6, 2013

WASHINGTON – The federal government should do large-scale drug injections of wild horses to make them infertile, according to a highly anticipated recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences.

The report released Wednesday said the Interior Department’s strategy for wild horses is making a bad situation worse. The government has rounded up nearly 50,000 wild horses and put them in corrals and pastures.

More of America’s wild horses are now in holding facilities than estimated to be roaming the wild, in what the National Academy of Sciences called a failure to limit the animals’ fast-growing numbers.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management requested the report amid frustration and skyrocketing costs of the wild horse and burro program. The annual cost to taxpayers of the program has nearly doubled in four years to $75 million, with more than half going to costs of holding facilities.

The BLM says roundups and holding facilities are needed because swelling horse populations are too much for the wild range to sustain. Wild horse advocates say the issue is really about favoring the interests of ranchers whose cattle and sheep graze upon the public lands.

The National Academy of Sciences said a big problem is that the Bureau of Land Management doesn’t really know how many wild horses and burros there are in America, or their true impact on the rangelands. The report concluded that BLM is likely underestimating the number of wild horses in America and that their populations are growing by as much as 20 percent a year.

The independent panel of scientists that wrote the report said the agency needs a more defensible scientific backup for its decisions on wild horses, including consideration of the impact of livestock on the range.

“The science can be markedly improved,” said Guy Palmer, a Washington State University professor who led the panel.

The government’s roundups of wild horses are just making the population problem worse, according to the report. Shutting tens of thousands of horses in holding facilities means less competition for food and water on the range and more population growth, it concluded.

Leaving the horses alone to roam the range would lead to a competition among them for food and water that would meet the goal of cutting their numbers, according to the report. But “having many horses in poor condition, and having horses die of starvation on the range are not acceptable to a sizable proportion of the public,” the authors concluded.

The best alternative is a widespread use of fertility control measures, the independent scientific panel decided. They recommended chemical vasectomies for stallions and the injection of the contraceptive vaccines GonaCon and porcine zona pellucida for mares.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/06/5475171/study-sterilize-horses-to-drop.html#comment-923308337#storylink=cpy

In contrast, Karen Sussman of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros has been studying herds in her care for 13 years. The results show healthy social structures of wild horses control population.

ISPMB herds show that functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds

As we complete our thirteenth year in studying the White Sands and Gila herds, two isolated herds, which live in similar habitat but represent two different horse cultures, have demonstrated much lower reproductive rates than BLM managed herds.  Maintaining the “herd integrity” with a hands off management strategy (“minimal feasible management”) and no removals in 13 years has shown us that functional herds demonstrating strong social bonds and leadership of elder animals is key to the behavioral management of population growth.

ISPMB’s president, Karen Sussman, who has monitored and studied ISPMB’s four wild herds all these years explains, “We would ascertain from our data that due to BLM’s constant roundups causing the continual disruption of the very intricate social structures of the harem bands has allowed younger stallions to take over losing the mentorship of the older wiser stallions.

In simplistic terms Sussman makes the analogy that over time Harvard professors (elder wiser stallions) have been replaced by errant teenagers (younger bachelor stallions).  We know that generally teenagers do not make good parents because they are children themselves.

Sussman’s observations of her two stable herds show that there is tremendous respect commanded amongst the harems.  Bachelor stallions learn that respect from their natal harems.  Bachelors usually don’t take their own harems until they are ten years of age.  Sussman has observed that stallions mature emotionally at much slower rates than mares and at age ten they appear ready to assume the awesome responsibility of becoming a harem stallion.

Also observed in these herds is the length of time that fillies remain with their natal bands.  The fillies leave when they are bred by an outside stallion at the age of four or five years.  Often as first time mothers, they do quite well with their foals but foal mortality is higher than with seasoned mothers.

Sussman has also observed in her Gila herd where the harems work together for the good of the entire herd.  “Seeing this cooperative effort is quite exciting,” states Sussman.

ISPMB’s third herd, the Catnips, coming from the Sheldon Wildlife Range where efforts are underway to eliminate all horses on the refuge, demonstrate exactly the reverse of the organization’s two stable herds.

The first year of their arrival (2004) their fertility rates were 30% the following first and second years. They have loose band formations and some mares are without any harem stallions.  Stallions are observed breeding fillies as young as one year of age.  Foal mortality is very high in this herd.  Generally there is a lack of leadership and wisdom noted in the stallions as most of them were not older than ten years of age when they arrived.  In 2007, a decision to use PZP on this herd, a contraceptive, was employed by ISPMB.  This herd remains a very interesting herd to study over time according to Sussman.   “The question is, can a dysfunctional herd become functional,” says Sussman who speculates that the Catnips emulate many of the public lands herds.

In 1992 when Sussman and her colleague, Mary Ann Simonds, served on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, they believed that BLM’s management should change and recommended that selective removals should begin by turning back all the older and wiser animals to retain the herd wisdom.  Sussman realizes that the missing ingredient was to stop the destruction of the harem bands caused by helicopter roundups where stallions are separated from their mares.  “Instead, bait and water trapping, band by band, needed to be instituted immediately,” says Sussman.  Had this been done for the past twenty years, we would have functionally healthy horses who have stable reproductive rates and we wouldn’t have had 52,000 wild horses in holding pastures today.   BLM’s selective removal policy was to return all horses over the age of five.  When the stallions and mares were released back to their herd management areas by the BLM, younger stallions under the age of ten fought for the mares and took mares from the older wiser stallions.  This occurs when there is chaos happening in a herd such as roundups cause.

Sussman also believes that when roundups happen often the younger stallions aged 6-9 are ones that evade capture.  This again contributes to younger stallions taking the place of older wiser stallions that remain with their mares and do not evade capture.  She is advocating that the BLM carry out two studies: determining the age of fillies who are pregnant and determining age structures of stallions after removals.

Currently Sussman is developing criteria to determine whether bands are behaviorally healthy or not.  This could be instituted easily in observation of public lands horses.

Taken from BLM’s website:  “Because of federal protection and a lack of natural predators, wild horse and burro herds can double in size about every four years.”

White Sands Herd Growth: 1999-2013 – 165 animals.

BLM’s assertion herds double every four years means there should be 980 horses or more than five times the growth of ISPMB’s White Sands herd.

Gila Herd Growth:1999-2013- 100 animals.

BLM’s assertion herds double every four years means there should be 434 horses or nearly four times the growth of ISPMB’s Gila herd.

Sussman says that BLM’s assertion as to why horse herds double every four years is incorrect. The two reasons given are federal protection of wild horse herds and lack of natural predators. ISPMB herds are also protected and also have no natural predators, but they do not reproduce exponentially. She adds that exponential wild horse population growth on BLM lands must have another cause, and the most likely cause is lack of management and understanding of wild horses as wildlife species.  Instead BLM manages horses like livestock. “According to the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, all management of wild horse populations was to be at the ‘minimal feasible level’,” Sussman says. “When the BLM’s heavy-handed disruption and destruction of wild horse social structures is the chief contributing factor in creating population growth five times greater than normal, than the BLM interference can hardly be at a ‘minimal feasible level.’”

Sussman concludes that ISPMB herds are given the greatest opportunity for survival, compared to the BLM’s herds which are not monitored throughout the year.  “One would assume,” Sussman says, “herds that are well taken care of and monitored closely would have a greater survival rate.  Yet, even under the optimum conditions of ISPMB herds, they still did not increase nearly 500% like BLM herds.”

It’s time for a moratorium for scientific studies like Sussman’s. We need to help the wild horses and burros not harm them. Let us use science to guide us.

AP reports: Wild-horse advocates split over interior nominee

Protect Mustangs flag designed by Robin Warren

Protect Mustangs flag designed by Robin Warren

By MARTIN GRIFFITH — Associated Press

RENO, NEV. — Wild-horse advocates may be unified in their sharp criticism of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, but they’re split over President Barack Obama’s choice to replace him.

Horse groups are hoping Recreational Equipment Inc. chief Sally Jewell will represent a shift in direction for the government’s management of wild mustangs. They note nearly 40,000 horses have been removed from the range across the West during Salazar’s four-year tenure, which ends in March.

Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, said her group “responded optimistically” to Jewell’s nomination and looks forward to opening a dialogue with her about reforming the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse program.

“Sally Jewell is a surprising choice, but we’re hopeful that as a conservationist and outdoor enthusiast, she’ll appreciate the important role wild horses play in our national heritage and work with us to find ways to preserve them for future generations,” Roy said. “Jewell will face many challenges as interior secretary, but time is running out for America’s wild horses and burros, so she’ll have to act quickly.”

In announcing the nomination Wednesday, Obama said Jewell has earned national recognition for her environmental stewardship at REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor enthusiasts. He also noted her experience as an engineer in oil fields and her fondness for mountain climbing, biking and skiing.

But Anne Novak, executive director of California-based Protect Mustangs, said she has doubts about Jewell because of her earlier background as a commercial banker and Mobil Oil engineer.

“I’m very concerned that an appointment coming from big oil and banking will not protect native wild horses,” Novak said. “They don’t know how to make money out of mustangs but see environmental restrictions slowing down quick profits … Her focus appears to be on making profits off public land.”

Madeleine Pickens, head of Saving America’s Mustangs and wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, said it remains to be seen whether Jewell can bring about real change in the BLM’s management of mustangs. Pickens had endorsed Rep. Raul Grijalva-D-Ariz., as interior secretary, saying he would be the best choice to implement bold reforms.

“I don’t know anything about her,” Pickens told The Associated Press on Sunday. “But we’re welcoming the change for sure. And we’re hopeful that she doesn’t start to drink from the same well that everybody has been drinking from in Washington.

“After a while, you realize these people are incapable of change whether Republican or Democrat. The animals get left out at every turn. Politically, the mustang has always been treated as less than a desert cockroach,” she added.

Horse defenders strongly oppose the BLM’s ongoing program to remove mustangs from public lands, saying there are now more of the animals “stockpiled” in government holding facilities than remain free on the range.

About half of the estimated 37,000 horses and burros on federal lands are in Nevada. BLM maintains that the range can sustain only about 26,000 and conducts roundups regularly to try to get closer to that number.

Jewell must undergo hearings and win U.S. Senate confirmation to become interior secretary.