Wild Horses Biodiversity and Ecological Zones — Wild Horses Benefit Our Lands

“What needs to stop, is the bad decisions based on what Bureau of Land Management personnel knows to be misinformation, and even out right lies!  These items so plentiful, and now coming from non-profits with conflicts of interest as well, and cannot be used to make further decisions upon and about the Wild Horses on our Public Lands. We need to demand truth!  And with the truth,, good science, good data, and those with the knowledge to understand the data and research statistics, only then can we make good reasonable decisions about the Wild Horses, and placing them back onto our Public Lands.  Time for the Special Interests and welfare ranchers to go, as they are all unnecessary as well as not needed there what so ever.”  — John Cox, The Cascades

When we discuss the Loss of biodiversity within Ecological Zones, we are discussing, with evidence we see first-hand combined with a thorough knowledge of history, a Reality. . . The 48% Overkill, or mass extinction of species, has become devastating – the reality becoming even worse within our wilderness environment. But less recognized is loss of biodiversity at the Ecological Zone or entire ecosystem level, which occurs when distinct habitats, species assemblages, and natural processes are diminished or degraded in quality.Federal Lands

America’s broken Wildlife Management System, based upon ignorance, fear, and obvious agenda-driven bad science, apparently assumes everything is okay in our wilds and with our wildlife – but it is not, and has not been for quite some time now . . . America is being invaded, not by another country, but that of mind-set = of blatant Ignorance and Illusory Perceptions of knowledge based on nothing more than ignorance or false premise.

Our Public Lands and other Federal Lands, currently, are experiencing the highest rates of species extinction in America’s history. However, biodiversity is being lost more widely than just on these lands. Habitats, such as freshwater-zones, desert and forested Public Lands, and old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest, to name but four, are being destroyed very aggressively, with much ignorance and from government agencies, with total destruction eminent much sooner than perceived previously.

With this in mind, we stand to lose a far greater proportion of species (lands incapable of supporting these species due to interference from human’s), inclusive of America’s Wild Horses as well, within areas designated as cattle grazing permit zones, or areas settled and exploited within other activities by humans – both (i.e. due to ignorance and lack of positive driven actions) the causation and not the cure. The loss of biodiversity at the ecosystem levels, i.e. Ecological Zones Levels, have been greatest there so far, extreme in devastation.

Inward Perspective of Ecological Zones

Ecosystems can be lost, or tragically compromised, in basically two ways. The most obvious kind of loss is quantitative–the conversion of a native prairie to a cattle grazing allotment situation on Public Lands or on Forestry Lands, or just as extreme, construction of buildings or to a parking lot or oil exploration, et al. Quantitative losses, in principle, can be measured easily by a decline in areal extent of a discrete ecosystem type (i.e., one that can be mapped).

The second kind of loss is qualitative and involves a change or degradation in the structure, function, or composition of an ecosystem. At some level of degradation, an ecosystem ceases to be natural. For example, a ponderosa pine (e.g. Pinus ponderosa within the Klamath Basin) forest may be compromised by removing the largest, healthiest, and frequently, the genetically superior trees; a sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe may be grazed so heavily that native perennial grasses are replaced by exotic annuals (becoming firestorm hazards); or a stream may become dominated by trophic generalist and exotic fishes (e.g. as cattle grazing those lands wreaked havoc with the indigenous species, which disappeared, and exotics simply invaded and took over, i.e. Murderer’s Creek for a good factual and data driven example).

Qualitative changes may be expressed quantitatively, for instance, by reporting that 99% of the sagebrush steppe is affected by livestock grazing, but such estimates are usually less precise than estimates of habitat conversion. In some cases, as in the conversion of an old-growth forest to a BLM grazing permit allotment, the qualitative changes in structure and function are sufficiently severe to qualify as outright habitat loss. Then the awkward question becomes, “How many of these habitat losses can we handle before the collapse of an entire Ecological System devastates the entire environmental complex?heavenly-pit

Frankly, within this modern age of information outlets, we have achieved several negative situations of a nature not so attractive, nor to take pride within, what so ever. Yes, ignorance and stupidity often questions good science, and moronic confusion follows. Often, ironically within this information age, political decisions, for example, sometimes based on outright lies, and the only credible situation that exists, well, no credibility what so ever for the decision at all.

In Oregon a Law was passed three years ago, that gives Rights to legislators to “Lie” about the facts and science in matters of passing Bills / Laws for the state. This year the wolves in the State of Oregon were Delisted from the Endangered Species List, due to falsification and lies about science, about the ESL itself, and lies in the matter of “facts-given” within the ratios of wolf-caused cattle attacks (less-kills by wolves a reality when compared to the facts given to other legislators on this subject material) – the cattle industry very questionable within integrity these days also, with no apparent credibility what so ever.

Ecological Zones and Destructive Invasive Situations

Conifer forests that are inner-dependent on circumstances from good management paradigms, e.g. fire suppression, notably ponderosa pine in the Cascade Mountain Range, have declined not only from logging, but also from invasion of non-indigenous animals, for example, by cattle and their obvious over-population. These kinds of change can cause the loss of a distinct Ecological Zone and entire ecosystem as surely as if the forest were clear-cut, which is also done for cattle – a very controversial situation indeed, but with BLM and Forestry, who remain overwhelmed with misinformation and lies and bad science, which is given to the public to cover-up the reality and destruction.

Ecological processes are also affected; widespread insect infestation and tree mortality east of the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest is blamed largely on past fire suppression, mostly by government sources. Then we look at other realities, specifically, cattle and their over-population once again.

One of the best examples is the Sage Grouse (and the supposed inter-cooperative agreements between welfare ranchers on Public Lands and Forestry Lands and the Department of the Interior (with BLM as the management portion, or mismanagement as many speak of the program itself, quite obvious to most, and costing taxpayers millions but based upon a false premise) –

The Reality: cattle hooves stomp the grasses that the Sage Grouse live within for shelter and to hide form their natural enemies, as they are a food source for many wildlife species, and the reason why they are endangered. Soon the Sage Grouse unprotected – and cattle-presence also attracts crows, and crows favorite food source? Yup, Sage Grouse. BLM’s response? “Let’s kill all the Crows. Government incompetence? Or, government imposes special interest favors, special agendas due to lobby groups, upon taxpayer’s dollars, and toward welfare ranchers – all guided by misinformation and false premise to conduct the travesty, or, the destruction of more Ecological Zones? The facts do not lie – although, in this case especially (one of many more) government personnel and welfare ranchers do lie.

Invasion and Destruction of Ecological Zones / Saving them

So what is it, logically and knowledgably, we discuss in the matters of Ecological Zones or overall ecosystem decline. Through research we find that the most endangered ecosystems are typically at low elevations and have fertile soils, amiable climates, easy terrains, abundant natural resources, and other factors that encourage human settlement, but worse yet, exploitation.

The Great Plains, for example, and here in Oregon, is a vast sagebrush steppe of the Intermountain West that is in many areas overgrazed by cattle, with a very noticeable over-population of cattle present almost year around. Regional studies of ecosystem status should address the many potential causes of biotic impoverishment to devise effective conservation and restoration strategies – but when cattle involved, reality-conservation paradigms are not discussed at all within our current government management agencies. Why? History (sound research and data gathering as well) shows us that Buffalo did not migrate over large parts of the Great Basin way back when, due to the shelf-crust to thin, which also exists today. Mother Nature at work with the Buffalo, much wiser than our human species, obviously. So cattle roam, and are very destructive on the thin crust of lands within the basin areas.

The functional ideology, or paradigms, favoring the growth of Ecological Systems, is to save species by protecting samples of the entire ecosystems themselves. This can be tested very easily, although not done so by current management agencies — and by determining whether declines of ecosystem types have been accompanied by declines and extinctions of species that depend on or are associated with those ecosystems. What many of us are finding, who are in the field all the time, is overwhelming indeed, and quite obvious.

The fact is – many species are being eliminated by the Bureau of Land Management and due to incompetence as well as blatant ignorance of Ecological-Factors, Wildlife Services, and welfare ranching combined – and one of the primary developing factors of the current 48% Over-Kill of America’s Wildlife, which destroys Ecological Systems, as well.

Conclusion

With a thorough investigation of facts, not of misinformation nor bias toward or favoring any group of facts over another due to special interests, we then conclude that the conservation of entire Ecological Zones/ecosystems, rather than recovery/sustaining of individual species of non-indigenous animals, becomes of paramount priority. Preservation of entire communities requires truthful and sound habitat management based on good science, nothing left out, or added, to favor special interests, and the ability to ascertain or understand the research material and good data recovery, to generate sound management paradigms and decisions. This we find is superior over isolation of certain recovery favored recovery areas.

Due to good data collection, as well as a good understanding and breaking down the data to an informative type of statistics, myself and others find that placing Wild Horses back onto their legitimate, and Legal by Law homelands, is good for all of the Ecological Systems that would make up the ecosystem landscape within its entirety.

john cams and vids maps tableThis also provides for the removal of the actual destructive elements, the non-indigenous cattle – for example, and allow the lands where previous grazing permits did exist, to replenish itself back to its natural habitat of a healthy Ecological system for its inhabitants – and that includes the human species as well. Obtaining a natural wilderness area is far superior, when compared to irresponsible management paradigms that specify a one-person or corporation more important than the taxpayer or American paradigm (nor certainly not of Constitutional grounds) and neglecting all others who are involved, and who pay for it; which, in truth remains environmental-complex areas, entire ecosystems, for use by Special Interests only.

We can no longer afford the Bureau of Land Management statistics that are untrue, for example: the misinformed and lacking information of a 20% growth rate of wild horses, when there are no other situations considered, such as death of wild horses at 18% to 24%, and the birth rates that show beyond a doubt that in the wilds it exists in reality at 51% to a high of +/- 64% undebatable statistics.

We cannot any longer, as well, consider the welfare ranching paradigm as a doable, nor positive situation on America’s Public Lands and within America’s Forests, as it is too destructive to all Ecological Zones and wildlife. And when we consider the actual facts: the less than 1% of sales domestically (DOI/USDAS/GAO Reports) from commercial markets of beef sales receipts; the 34% throw away of commercial beef from non-sales in markets yearly (USDA/GAO reports), and the tremendous amount of activity toward the 48% Over-Kill of America’s wildlife directly related to welfare ranching on Public Lands and Forestry areas — then our conclusion is easily developed by sound reasoning and common sense, also through good science, data gathering, statistics, and facts – welfare ranching is entirely unacceptable as well as unneeded on America’s Federal Lands — entirely.

What one will also discover, is those of us who have no Conflict of Interests, demand that Wild Horses be placed back onto their homelands, and to be allowed to let nature takes its course, and humans, with their bad management and incompetent behaviors, who have wreaked havoc enough within our natural areas and wilderness areas alike. We allow the facts to speak for us, not special interests nor greed, nor conflict of interest!

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Wilcove, D. S., C. H. McLellan, and A. P. Dobson. 1986. Habitat fragmentation in the temperate zone. Pages 237-256 in M. E. Soulé, editor. Conservation Biology: The Science of Scarcity and Diversity. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Mass.

Wilcox, B. A., and D. D. Murphy. 1985. Conservation strategy: The effects of fragmentation on extinction. American Naturalist 125:879-887.

Williams, J. E., J. E. Johnson, D. A. Hendrickson, S. Contreras-Balderas, J. D. Williams, M. Navarro-Mendoza, D. E. McAllister, and J. E. Deacon. Fishes of North America endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Fisheries 14(6):2-20.

Wilson, E. O. 1985. The biological diversity crisis. Bio-Science 35:700-706.

Wilson, E. O. 1988. Biodiversity. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

World Resources Institute. 1992. The 1992 Information Please Environmental Almanac. World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. *World Resources Institute, The World Conservation Union, United Nations Environment Programme. 1992. Global biodiversity strategy: guidelines for action to save, study, and use earth’s biotic wealth sustainably and equitably. World Resources

Institute, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environmental Program, Washington, D.C. *World Wildlife Fund Canada. 1993. Protected areas gap analysis methodology. Draft report. World Wildlife Fund Canada, Endangered Spaces Campaign, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Zeveloff, S. I. 1988. Mammals of the intermountain west. University of Utah Press, S

Cross-posted from John Cox http://bit.ly/2csth5p

Despite underpopulation, does OSU have the right to experiment on federally protected wild horses and burros or are they breaking the law?

 Is Oregon State University about to embark it their biggest PR nightmare?

Vet Spaying Wild Mare at Sheldon Wildlife Refuge

 

© EquineClinic.comn shared for educational purposes

© EquineClinic.comn shared for educational purposes

Oregon State University published the Q & A below based on the false premise, when the truth is wild horses are underpopulated in America today:

 

Frequently asked questions: OSU fertility research involving wild mares and burros

I understand that Oregon State University is involved in research on wild horses and burros.  Is this true?

Yes. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) awarded Oregon State University money to help study fertility-control methods for wild horses and burros.

In 2014, the BLM asked for research proposals from a variety of scientific groups across the nation to help address the high population growth rates of wild horses and burros, including veterinarians, scientists, universities, pharmaceutical companies, and other research entities.  Additional details can be found here.  Since then, the BLM has provided awards to support over 20 projects.

Five universities with college of veterinary medicine programs received awards. Proposals from OSU were selected based on the quality of science, the expertise of the research investigator and the potential impact of the research. Oregon State University faculty were among those that submitted proposals to the BLM to help slow and stabilize the population growth rate of wild horses and burros. The BLM announced its decision on June 27 to proceed with the research to be conducted by Oregon State faculty. Details of that announcement can be found here.

How is Oregon State University involved?

As a research university, Oregon State conducts studies on important topics, and informs public policy-makers and the general public of those research findings.

This research will evaluate minimally invasive, humane, effective, and permanent procedures that would then be reviewed by the BLM as options to maintain sustainable herd levels.

Our role is in conducting research to inform BLM policy. Oregon State University’s role is not to develop policy.

Why did BLM decide that this type of research was necessary?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) developed the program after receiving a report with recommendations from a National Academy of Sciences committee, which had been tasked with performing a complete review of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Management Program.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) published a video summary of that report, “Using Science to Improve the Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward”.

The NAS reports that the population of wild horses and burros is growing beyond the capacity of federal lands to support the health and welfare of these animals. Animals that are not healthy are susceptible to further suffering from disease, malnutrition, dehydration, and death. The BLM is reviewing a range of options to manage the population of these horses and burros at sustainable levels.

What did the National Academy of Sciences committee find?

The NAS committee emphasized that, on average, the population of wild horses and burros across the west is increasing by 15 – 20% per year, despite ongoing fertility control vaccination programs. The NAS urged the BLM to make wider use of fertility control options that are based on rigorous research.

Why would wild horse and burro populations be a concern? 

The population of wild horses and burros on federal lands is growing beyond the capacity of local, state, and federal resources to support the health and welfare of these animals, and maintain healthy range ecosystems.

An illustrated summary of BLM concerns and challenges related to our nation’s wild horses and burros can be found here. 

What does Oregon State University have to offer?

OSU faculty who responded to the BLM’s request for additional research felt very strongly that their contributions would benefit and improve the health and welfare of our wild horses and burros.

As a land-grant institution, Oregon State University faculty members often have the expertise needed to address issues that affect Oregon and the nation.

Results from this work will be analyzed and published in peer-reviewed forums, in addition to informing the BLM.  In this way, the work performed by OSU faculty will be available to the public.

For more information about how research is conducted at Oregon State University and academic freedom, please click here. 

How is animal safety and humane care ensured during research?

University-wide commitment to animal care, safety, and welfare is a top priority. Oregon State University recognizes both the importance of animals in research and teaching, and the scientific and ethical responsibilities inherent in the care of those animals.  Research activities undertaken by OSU faculty, staff, and students are reviewed and conducted in accordance with strict ethical principles, federal and state laws and regulations, and in compliance with Oregon State institutional policies.

Oversight of animal activities associated with OSU is provided by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC’s main functions are to review, approve, and monitor research protocols, and ensure that animals are cared for according to all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and Oregon State institutional policies.

Oregon State University additionally volunteers to have their animal program reviewed every three years by AAALAC, International, an independent accreditation agency for animal research programs. The accreditation process is very stringent and institutions with AAALAC accreditation are known for their commitment to excellence and humane animal care.

What methods are being studied in this research?

One study will evaluate the removal of both ovaries without the need for any external skin incisions (ovariectomy via colpotomy). Ovariectomies are commonly used by veterinarians to stop egg production and related reproductive (“heat”) cycles in animals.

Another study will evaluate two surgical methods that will interrupt fertilization.  Animals undergoing these procedures will still have heat cycles but they will not conceive.  Tubal ligation is one method, and the other is oviduct ablation.  The use of these methods also avoids the need for external skin incisions.

I have concerns about the management of our nation’s wild horses and burros, and I don’t think Oregon State University should be involved.

As a research institution, work at Oregon State sometimes involves controversial issues.  In this case, research team members have offered their areas of expertise in designing a study whose results will be used to inform policy decisions by the BLM in the management of wild horse and burro populations.

Research data provided by Oregon State researchers will be part of the larger group of studies that BLM will consider as it reviews policies and procedures to respond to the 2013 NAS report.

More information on BLM management of wild horses and burros can be found here.

Who will perform this research?

The studies will be conducted by teams of licensed, highly qualified and experienced veterinary surgeons.

Are Oregon State students involved in this research?

No.  Students are not involved in these projects.

When was this proposal submitted?

Proposals were submitted to the BLM in 2014. 

How long will this research take to be completed?

The research will take place over the next two – five years.

How much will be spent on this research? Who will fund this proposed research?

The BLM has approved two grants to OSU totaling $348,000.

Where will this research be conducted?

The research will be conducted at the BLM’s wild horse and burro facility in Hines, OR. 

How and with whom will these research findings be shared with?

Oregon State researchers will report their results to the BLM; will publish findings in other peer-reviewed forums and share the results with the public.

Who decides to accept or reject these findings? Or implement them as a standard of future practice?

The BLM will make any decisions on future policies and practices. For more information click here.

Cross-posted for discussion from: http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/blm-research-faq

Stay tuned for the backlash

PM Lennox meme

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




Comments submitted to BLM to Protect the Pine Nut Wild Horses (Carson City, Nevada)

PM MArilyn © Eve Arnold Magnum Photos

To:

John Axtell  (PineNutHorses@blm.gov)

Wild Horse and Burro Specialist

Carson City District Office

5665 Morgan Mill Road

Carson City, NV 89701

The Environmental Assessment for the Pine Nut Mountain wild horse management plan near Carson City, Nevada must take into account this herd management area (HMA) is extremely accessible to the public and international tourists with easy access from the San Francisco Bay Area as well as from the Reno International Airport and therefore the Pine Nut HMA must be preserved with the maximum level of wild horses as an educational public sanctuary on public land. The maximum level of wild horses should be determined through rigorous scientific study during a 10 year moratorium on roundups, fertility control and human intervention. Good science must prevail to ensure America’s Pine Nut wild horses–made famous in John Huston’s film THE MISFITS starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe–will not be wiped out due to human intervention resulting in a lack of adaptability to survive climate change, etc.

Many photographers, poets, artists and filmmakers such as myself and our supporters rely on the Pine Nut HMA for accessibility to real wild horses on public land. We seek out wild horses to observe their natural behavior, beauty and inspiration. We don’t want to see sterile groups of wild horses nor those given pesticides ruining their bodies, natural behaviors who are part of an on the range breeding program with a “one foal” policy. We want the real deal, period

We represent thousands of supporters and ask that you do the following:

  • Halt helicopter and other removals to manage the population on the range utilizing reserve design, holistic land management with predation. Predators must not be killed but must fill their niche in the ecological balance of the Pine Nut HMA.
  • Move back into the HMA any alleged “nuisance” and other wild horses that are residing outside the HMA in areas that are not managed for wild horse habitat or that contribute to public safety concerns such as property damage and vehicle collisions. Conduct a study with a wild horse group to find and implement solutions to keep them inside the HMA.
  • Ensure that wild horses are not fenced off from water at the river.
  • Wild horses are not pests and therefore no pesticides should ever be used on native wild horses. PZP is dangerous: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8749

“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 thatPZP’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.” ~ Marybeth Devlin, Wild Horse Advocate

  • PZP, GonaCon, and Sterilization would ruin natural behavior that we specifically go to the Pine Nut HMA to study and enjoy. Therefore this junk must not be forced upon wild horses. No experiments. No collars. Respect their right to true freedom.
  • We request you re-evaluate AMLs to accommodate the present wild horse population without removals, making forage adjustments, if necessary, pursuant to CFR 43 C.F.R. 4710.5(a).
  • Conduct a complete headcount and public database with individual photos of every wild horse on the Pine Nut HMA with their basic information. Follow the wild horses and note all the deaths. Do you know even how many have died since birth in the past 2 years? How many have died of natural causes including predation and how many have been shot or poisoned by humans?
  • Increase penalties for killing wild horses.
  • Include a complete identification and analysis of the various causes of land degradation — AND their corresponding degree of impact — including but not limited to motorized uses (OHV, etc.), extractive uses (mining, etc.), various recreational uses, and other uses for each area, inside and outside of HMAs, analyzed in the EA.
  • The Environmental Assessment must include a complete disclosure and analysis showing the degree of disturbance that each of the following negative impacts has on the bi-state sage grouse: renewable energy projects, extractive uses, motorized vehicle uses, recreational activities, power lines, fencing and other man-made structures have on the bi-state sage grouse behaviors and habitat–mapped and analyze for the degree and range (circumference) of impact each has on bi-state sage grouse behaviors and habitat within the HMA.
  • Analyze the HMA exclusively to be used for wild horses and other wildlife to prevent the degradation of public lands within and outside the herd management area. Expand the HMA if needed to the original acreage designated to wild horses. What would the impacts be and how would the thriving natural ecological balance and Sage Grouse flourish?

We will not allow wild horses to be scapegoated for damage caused by other species or land users.

Thank you for allowing us to participate in the public process.

Sincerely,

Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

Tel./Text: 415.531.8454

Anne@ProtectMustangs.org

Read about native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

www.ProtectMustangs.org

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

PM Pine Nut Wild Horses ©Craig Downer

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




Underpopulation, sterilization, pesticides and Pandora’s box

Watch the Pro-Cattle, Pro-Sterilization, Pro-Slaughter Activists Push to Wipe Out America’s Wild Horses and Burros in the House Committee on Natural Resources

When advocates stop fighting for wild horses and burros to remain really free in large numbers on public land put aside by Congress for their principal but not exclusive use, then we have a problem.
 
When advocates go along with BLM’s overpopulation myth and their agenda for “fertility control” we have a problem.
 
When the advocacy is divided over forced drugging wild mares with Pesticide PZP, as defined by the EPA, we have a problem.
 
Now wild horse haters and special interest groups are gaining ground in Washington with YOUR elected officials! Are YOUR senators and congress people representing your voice in government or are they representing Dirty Money?
 
Never underestimate the Pandora’s Box known as PZP and other methods used to manage underpopulated wild horses to EXTINCTION.
 
American wild horses & burros have the right to be an essential part of the thriving natural ecological system on public lands!
 
Contact your elected officials today! Senators are in office until July 1: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ ASK that they stop the assault on wild horses and PROTECT them!
PUBLIC comment allowed for 10 Business days after the Natural Resources meeting, which is July 7, 2016.  EMAIL: the Clerk: aniela.butler@mail.house.gov

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




GonaCon™ — To Be Used against Wild Horses — An Overview

GonaCon™ is an EPA-registered, immuno-contraceptive pesticide.  Its classification is “restricted-use” due to “non-target injection hazard.”  EPA warns that “pregnant women should not be involved in handling or injecting GonaCon and that all women should be aware that accidental self-injection may cause infertility.”  Children are not allowed in areas where the product is used. [4, 6]  Please keep in mind that the GonaCon™ dose-in-question is meant for a horse.

GonaCon“works” by causing an auto-immune disorder.  Behaving like a perverted vaccine, GonaCon tricks the immune system into producing antibodies that destroy a female’s gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).  Without GnRH, a female does not produce sex hormones, does not come into estrus, and is thus infertile.  Behaviorally, courtship-rituals cease. [1, 3-6]

For those wild-horse-and-burro advocates who oppose the other immuno-contraceptive — PZP — you will be disturbed to learn the following from the USDA-APHIS “Questions and Answers” sheet regarding GonaCon™:

“After evaluating GonaCon™, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) … approved the slaughter of pigs vaccinated with GonaCon™.  Similar injectable hormone-altering products are used routinely in livestock applications.” [5]

Good grief.  So, the slaughterhouse pig ovaries used to manufacture PZP may very well come from animals who were previously injected with GonaCon™ to destroy their GnRH hormone — without which the ovaries cannot produce estrogen — and those poor pigs may also have been “routinely” injected with other similar “hormone-altering products.”  Then our wild horses and burros are injected with PZP, which itself causes a marked drop in estrogen after just three treatments. [2]  Surely, these hormonal atrocities constitute animal abuse.

GonaCon is long-acting.  The treatment-protocol, consisting of two injections administered 30 to 60 days apart, can cause infertility for as long as four-to-five years without the need for booster shots. [3, 5]  However, mares would still need to be rounded up and held captive for those 30 to 60 days to administer the injections properly.  If all females in a small herd were treated per the multi-year plan, it could result in an unintended consequence — a huge gap in the herd’s age-structure, because very few if any foals would have been born during that period.  Indeed, although the pesticide’s effectiveness was expected to diminish over time, a 3-year study of GonaCon-treated elk revealed that the percentage of infertile females actually increased each year, finally reaching 100%.  It was also noted that every one of the treated elk suffered an abscess at the injection-site. [1]

Because GonaCon stimulates the immune-system, it will elicit the greatest reaction — the greatest output of destructive antibodies — if a mare is blessed with healthy immune-function.  Such a mare will react strongly and be contracepted quickly.  But she could just as easily be sterilized.  In fact, GonaCon’s “application instructions” warn of the chance of sterilization. [5]

On the other hand, GonaCon may not work at all if a mare suffers from weak immune-function.  That mare’s immune system will fail to react to GonaCon™, and she will get pregnant in spite of it.  Thus, over time, there is the risk of another unintended consequence — selection for the immuno-compromised.  As Jenny Powers, a National Park Service wildlife veterinarian and one of three lead scientists who participated in the elk research commented: “Any time we’re manipulative with wild animals, we’re messing with natural selection.” [1]

————————————————————————————

Report prepared by Marybeth Devlin on December 18, 2015 for Protect Mustangs

————————————————————————————

References:

  1.  Keller, Larry.  (2011, May 17)  To shoot, or not to shoot, at Rocky Mountain NP.  High Country News.  Retrieved from http://www.hcn.org/blogs/range/to-shoot-or-not-to-shoot-at-rocky-mountain-np

  2.  Kirkpatrick, J. F., I. K. M. Liu, J. W. Turner, Jr., R. Naugle, and R. Keiper.  1992a.  Long-term effects of porcine zonae pellucidae immunocontraception on ovarian function of feral horses (Equus caballus).  J. Reprod. Fert. 94:437-444.  Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1317449

  3.  McGrath, Matt.  (2011, September 1)  “Deer ‘pill’ curbs aggressive mating.”  BBC News.  Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-14744811

  4.  United States Environmental Protection Agency.  (2009)  Pesticide Fact Sheet.  Mammalian Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH).  Retrieved from http://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/registration/fs_PC-116800_01-Sep-09.pdf

  5.  USDA-APHIS. (2006, May 1)  “GonaCon™—Birth Control for Deer: Questions and Answers.”  Digital Commons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/usdaaphisfactsheets/7/

  6.  U.S. Department of the Interior.  (2015)  Review of Ungulate Fertility Control in the National Park Service.  Retrieved from https://www.nature.nps.gov/biology/wildlifehealth/Documents/Ungulate%20Fertility%20Report_09242015.pdf

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




#BREAKING: Unions, wild equine advocates, scientists and Native Americans take a stand against experiments on wild horses and burros, PZP and sterilization

PM Photo Wild Horses ©AdventureJournalist

For immediate release:

Coalition boycotts meeting

Redmond, OR (April 13, 2016)—Americans are outraged. A government agency is experimenting and exploiting federally protected wild horses and burros. Advocates, unions and Native Americans are boycotting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting in Redmond, Oregon today and Thursday. The primary stakeholder—the American public—is being ignored.

“Members of the livestock industry as well as members of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board have suggested slaughter as a management tool for wild horses. Americans won’t stand for it. There would be an outbreak of protests nationwide. We will fight that abuse in the courts if the advisory board dare threaten the welfare of America’s wild horses.” —Stephanie Elias, community outreach organizer for Stop American Wild Horse Slaughter

“The Bureau of Land Management is usurping the caretaking role they have been mandated to uphold and are subjecting the mares in our nation’s wild horse and burro herds to pernicious and needless reproduction experimentation. The universities they are funding to do this research must acknowledge that this would never be of use or value in the domestic horse industry. I believe their agenda needs to be investigated before they are paid to do irrevocable harm to these horses. They have already changed the genetics and natural herd behavior. Ahimsa, do no harm, applies to animals as well as people. This is an abomination and must be stopped.” —Christine DeCarlo, Ph.D. in Zoology from Cornell, Advisory Board member for Protect Mustangs.

“The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is useless, yet quite costly to the taxpayers. Circumventing the laws to protect America’s wild horses on public lands, this board represents ranchers who hold grazing permits on public lands only. The intent purpose of the WH&B Board was to protect and make sure wild horses remain safe and wild, and to regulate those ranchers who threaten, abuse, and even kill America’s wild horses. Not only does this board not protect the wild horses, their actual mission, but continues experimentation and using pesticides like PZP and GonaCon™ as birth control—darting the chemicals into wild horse mares. I speak for many Americans, in that humane principle’s and an ethic balance to manage our wild horses has been lost some time back. It’s time to restore them.” —John Cox, Oregonian and Vietnam Veteran

“The truth is, America’s wild horses are underpopulated on public land today. Even the National Academy of Sciences states there is ‘no evidence’ of overpopulation. The BLM’s arbitrary management levels (AML) are way too low for genetic diversity and survival. Fertility control and sterilization at this point endangers the survival of this cherished native species. Wild horses are indigenous to North America yet now the feds and special interest groups want to sterilize them and push them off public land. We offered to help adopt out all the pregnant mares from the last big Oregon roundup (http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8739) but our offer was ignored. The BLM doesn’t want to adopt out these wild horses they want to exploit them as lab animals. The advisory board is a joke. It’s biased towards slaughter, sterilization, pesticides for birth control and cattle as well as experiments.” —Anne Novak executive director of Protect Mustangs

“We want the burros to have the space they require under the law protecting them. In over a decade visiting the burro herds in the West, I don’t see any evidence of BLM’s claims of overpopulation. Everywhere I go it’s getting harder and harder to see burros and many have vanished all together. Why would people want to sterilize or inject the last surviving wild burro herds with pesticides like PZP for birth control? PZP is a slow road to extinction. What we need is creditable population counts for all the remaining burro herds. Advocates and BLM should work jointly for the census. Then we can find out what the real situation is.” —Carl Mrozek, filmmaker and contributor to CBS Sunday Morning

“The wild horse and burro program states that the number of adoptions have significantly gone downhill over a number of years because the market for them has decreased. But the truth is the BLM staff in charge of the BLM Internet adoption auctions do not make themselves available during the internet auction to process the applications required to bid. Since the BLM isn’t allowing employees to adopt loads of wild horses to sell them quickly for slaughter like they used to—adoptions have dropped. BLM’s forte is mismanagement whether it’s the horses and burros or their own staff.” —Afroditi Katsikis, founder of Tweet Equine

“We need to restore wild horse and burro areas as well as protections promised in the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Protection Bill. I would like to see Craig Downer’s Reserve Design succeed. Let’s keep in mind that wild horses are a ‘climax’ species and predators must be allowed as nature intended. Given a balanced ecology, which can be restored, wild horse population will self-regulate.” —Susan Leffingwell, director of Wind Dancer Wild Horse and Burro Preserve

“We the people of the Alaskan Tlingit Nation stand against the use of PZP and the sterilization of wild mustangs. Like the buffalo, the wolf, the bear and other animals the horse is just as sacred to our people as the bible is to Christians, the Koran to Muslims, Buddha to Buddhists. The use of PZP, ovarian ligation, or any form of sterilization would be considered sacrilege and an insult to our people and the majority of native people everywhere.” —Rudy Al James, federal tribal judge (Tlingkit Nation)

“PZP sterilizes our wild horses and destroys the wild mares’ reproductive organs. The pesticide disrupts the stability of the herds, causes fighting, still borns, birth defects, etc. and therefore we are against it.” —Tina Wooten, Salt River Wild Horse photographer and artist

“We have a lot to study and learn about America’s wild horses. If they are used as lab animals for experiments and sterilized then we can’t study their natural behaviors in the wild. —Anne Novak, founder of the American Wild Horse Institute

“Public land belongs to all of the American people not the livestock industry. There are 5 million cattle and very few Wild Horses. More than 80% of the American public wants our iconic wild horses to be wild and free—unencumbered by any government experimental birth control like the pesticides PZP, GpnaCon™, ovarian ligation or other heinous sterilizations. The livestock industry is the number one cause of global warming and is destroying America’s ecosystems and wildlife. Wild horses manage their own numbers and we want them left alone!” —Peter Souza, founder of the Wolf, Wildlife, Wild Horse Action Group (WWWHAG)

“As a person of Yaqui ancestry I am angered and saddened by the outrageous actions of our Government in their callous disregard and lack of respect for the wild mustangs in the western United States. These beautiful creatures need to exist unmolested and unfettered so they may live in harmony with nature, as it was meant to be. I implore you to cease your heinous acts of sterilization and blatant slaughter of these beautiful creatures in your grossly misguided efforts to control their population at the behest of disgruntled farmers or corporate interests.” —Debra Pavone (Yaqui Nation)

“As a collective of concerned union representatives, Native Americans and citizens, we strongly urge that the board and universities refrain from taking part in any practice of experimentation, sterilization or the use of PZP on any and all wild horses and burros.

We ask that you don’t play God, judge, jury and executioner.

Must we remind you that crimes against humanity also includes animals. It is not only wrong ethically and morally but once again it is wasteful spending of our tax dollars. The legal implications this can lead to will only cause millions of tax dollars to be wasted in the courts. PZP. sterilization and experimentation is bad for the economy, bad for the wild horses, bad for America and a bad idea!” —Randall Massaro, President of Unions for the Preservation of Wildlife

Alliance for Wild Horses and Burros

# # #
Media Contacts:

Randal Massaro randalmassaro@gmail.com  760-245-3635

Carl Mrozek eagleye11@gmail.com

Anne Novak: anne@ProtectMustangs.org  415-531-8454

John Cox: news@veteran-journalist.com  541-880-8992

Tina Wooten: ladyriver1963@yahoo.com

Stephanie Elias: sallenicrofwi@gmail.com  414-544-2015

Links of interest:

Fact Sheet: The Truth About PZP: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8749

Feds want to use 11 million to experiment on wild horses and burros: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8657

Protect Mustangs calls for an end to animal cruelty http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8739

BLM support group advocates to experiment of Americas free and wild horses (Ovarian Ligation) http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8384

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting http://www.blm.gov/live/

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




FACT SHEET: The Truth about PZP

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EXPANDED SUMMARY OF PZP’S ADVERSE EFFECTS, INCLUDING REFERENCES

PZP — The Pesticide

Porcine zona pellucida (PZP aka ZonaStat-H or Native PZP) is an EPA-registered pesticide derived from the ovaries of slaughtered pigs. PZP is approved for use on wild horses “in areas where they have become a nuisance ….” [20]

Some persons argue that, because PZP does not kill the mare, it is not really a “pesticide.” Actually, PZP does kill. As will be documented in this report, its use is associated with stillborn foals. In the long term, PZP will weaken a herd immunologically, which could swiftly lead to its extinction. So, yes, PZP is a real pesticide.

PZP — an Anti-Vaccine

While touted as a “vaccine,” PZP is actually a perversion of what a true vaccine is supposed to be. Instead of preventing disease, PZP causes disease — auto-immune disease. Thus, PZP is an anti-vaccine.

PZP’s Mode of Action as Stated in the Pesticide Registration Is a Disproved Hypothesis

The registrant of PZP advised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that, based on information from the pesticide’s researcher-manufacturer, PZP works by generating antibodies that “block sperm attachment.” This representation of PZP as a sort of chemical condom was not fact but merely an untested hypothesis, postulated three decades ago. The old hypothesis was disproved by subsequent research. PZP’s manufacturer knew, or should have known, this. The manufacturer should also have been informed and up-to-date regarding the side effects and unintended consequences of PZP. Yet, the manufacturer continued to cite the disproved hypothesis and to deny that PZP has any adverse effects. [7 and 13]

PZP’s True Mode-of-Action

So how does PZP really work? PZP tricks the immune system into waging war on the ovaries. In a meta-analysis of ZP-type contraceptives, Kaur & Prabha (2014) reported that the infertility brought on by such products is ” … a consequence of ovarian dystrophy rather than inhibition of sperm-oocyte interaction.” Thus, PZP’s antibodies “work” not by blocking sperm attachment but by destroying the ovaries. Kaur & Prabha further disclosed that ” … histological examination of ovaries of immunized animals revealed the presence of atretic follicles with degenerating oocytes.” [5] [Atretic follicles are ovarian follicles in an undeveloped state due to immaturity, poor nutrition or systemic disease; manifested by prolonged anestrus.]

Kaur & Prabha’s review concluded that PZP’s antibodies induce ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), destruction of oocytes in all growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. The manufacturer of PZP as well as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) should have been aware of these and other findings about the pesticide. Yet they ignored or disregarded any information that was contrary to their personally-preferred but obsolete and false description of PZP’s mode-of-action.

PZP Manufacturer’s Own Research Found Markedly Depressed Estrogen Secretion

In a telling study published back in 1992, the manufacturer of Native PZP, along with colleagues, reported that ” … three consecutive years of PZP treatment may interfere with normal ovarian function as shown by markedly depressed oestrogen secretion.” [6] Thus, despite all the hype about PZP being non-hormonal, the manufacturer knew that ZonaStat-H has an adverse hormonal effect, causing significantly-lowered estrogen. Thus, PZP is an endocrine disruptor. [21] The plummeting estrogen-levels may also reflect the ovarian dystrophy and oophoritis now known to be caused by PZP. Despite personally discovering negative hormonal impacts 23 years ago, PZP’s manufacturer continued to cite misinformation regarding the product’s mode-of-action and endocrine-disruptor side-effects.

PZP Causes Ovarian Cysts

In their 2010 meta-analysis, Gray & Cameron cited a number of studies that found ” … alterations to ovarian function, oophoritis, and cyst formation with PZP treatment (Mahi-Brown et al.1988, Sehgal et al. 1989, Rhim et al. 1992, Stoops et al. 2006, Curtis et al. 2007).” [4] These findings support those of Kaur & Prabha while introducing yet another adverse effect: ovarian cysts. Gray & Cameron’s review also noted that increased irritability, aggression, and masculine behavior had been observed in females following PZP-treatment.

PZP → Endocrine Disruptor → Elevated Testosterone → Masculinizing Effects

Recall that PZP has endocrine-disrupting effects that result in lowered estrogen. Per the observed masculine behavior of treated mares, PZP seems to have a testosterone-elevating effect too. A deficit of estrogen alone would not necessarily manifest in the masculinization of treated females, but an excess of testosterone would. So, it appears that PZP disrupts at least two hormones: estrogen — by substantially lowering it — and testosterone — by substantially elevating it. Adverse effect: Unnatural behavior.

PZP → Ovarian Cysts → Elevated Testosterone → Masculinizing Effects

As discussed above, PZP correlates with abnormal masculine behavior on the part of treated females, a side-effect likely due to elevated testosterone. But in addition to the endocrine-disruption caused by PZP, there could be a second way for testosterone levels to become elevated. Recall that PZP causes ovarian cysts. An Internet search on “ovarian cysts and testosterone” yielded results for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women. Interestingly, one of the symptoms of PCOS is high testosterone levels. [12 and 22] The connection between ovarian cysts and elevated testosterone suggests that the ovarian cysts caused by PZP could — either alone or in combination with PZP’s endocrine-disruptor effects — lead to high testosterone levels in treated females, as evidenced by their masculinized behavior.

PZP Causes Additional Adverse Effects

Gray & Cameron’s review also disclosed that, when PZP was administered to the females of a herd, males lost body condition while the oft-claimed improvement in female body condition did not hold up. Further, mares remained sexually active beyond the normal breeding season and had more estrus events.

PZP Selects for Weak Immune Function

Gray & Cameron’s analysis raised the possibility of PZP selecting for immuno-compromised individuals. Here’s why. Because PZP stimulates the immune system, it ironically works “best” — sterilizes faster — in mares that have strong immune-function. Such mares respond to the anti-vaccine and produce quantities of PZP antibodies that destroy their ovaries. But, conversely, PZP may not work at all in mares whose immune-function is weak or depressed. Those mares fail to respond to PZP. They keep getting pregnant and producing foals who, like their dam, suffer from weak immune-function. So, the PZP pesticide works against the very horses that Nature has best equipped for survival against disease while favoring and selecting for the immuno-compromised. Thus, a herd being treated with PZP is undergoing selective breeding for weak immunity, which puts the population at risk for disease — and ultimately, for extinction.

PZP Confers Dubious “Benefit” of Increased Longevity

Gray & Cameron also cited a study that found that “… PZP treated feral horse mares lived longer, resulting in a new age class (>25 years) not present before treatment ….” Exceptionally-long life is an ironic effect of PZP treatments. PZP’s manufacturer actually boasts about it, as if the anomaly were a good thing. However, Gray & Cameron questioned the supposed benefit of mares living much longer than their normal life expectancy. Indeed, such mares take up scarce slots within size-restricted populations. The ultra-elderly mares continue to consume resources for many years, but they 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.

Research on Wildlife Contraceptives Revealed Stillbirths and Auto-Immune Oophoritis from PZP

There was an even earlier, definitive meta-analysis on wildlife contraceptives. Nettles (1997) reviewed 75 studies available at that time on the subject. Among his findings regarding PZP-use across different species, including horses, were: Stillbirths; altered ovarian structure and cyclicity; interference with normal ovarian function; permanent ovarian damage; and some cases of irreversible sterility due to auto-immune oophoritis, which suggested that PZP can be selective against a certain genotype in a population. [10] Many of these findings were confirmed by Kaur & Prabha as well as by Gray & Cameron. Please keep in mind these key findings: Stillbirths, and auto-immune oophoritis.

Recent Stillbirths Correlated with PZP

There is recent evidence confirming Nettles’ finding of a correlation between PZP treatments and subsequent stillbirths. In June 2015, Karen Sussman, President of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, reported that 7 mares previously treated with PZP at ISPMB, when taken off PZP, 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 injected with PZP successfully birthed healthy foals. Thus, given that environmental and other conditions were identical, the only variable was PZP. The dead foals have been sent to a university pathology department for autopsy. [18]

Autoimmune Oophoritis Induced by PZP

Research by the Rose-Cihakova-Caturegli Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Pathology found: “Automimmune oophoritis can be induced by immunization with testis and ovarian antigen murine human zona pellucida 3 peptide (pZP3) in adjuvant.” [16] Here again, is causation of autoimmune disease by a ZP-type product. This finding confirms other research cited herein.

Autoimmune Oophoritis and Risk of Other Autoimmune Diseases

A study by Varras et al. disclosed that, in humans, autoimmune oophoritis carries the risk of the patient developing other autoimmune diseases. [23] The correlation between autoimmune oophoritis and subsequent other autoimmune disorders weighs against injecting fillies and mares with PZP repeatedly and en masse.

Prolonged Breeding Season, Unusually-late Parturition Dates with PZP

Nettles’ meta-analysis on PZP disclosed other adverse effects: A prolonged breeding season and unusually-late parturition dates. (Parturition is the formal term for “giving birth.”) These findings have recently been confirmed, as is discussed below.

Parturition-Season Extends to Nearly Year-Round When a Herd Is Treated with PZP

A longitudinal study (Ransom et al. 2013) of three herds currently being managed by PZP — Little Book Cliffs, McCullough Peaks, and Pryor Mountain — found that the the parturition season lasted 341 days. [15] Ransom et al.’s finding of a nearly year-round birthing season supports the earlier finding by Nettles. Thus, during its period of potential reversibility, PZP’s effects wear off unpredictably. Out-of-season births put the life of both the mare and the foal in jeopardy. Nature designed the equine birthing-season to occur in Spring, not year-round, and certainly not in the dead of Winter.

Prolonged Delay in Recovery of Fertility

The same longitudinal study by Ransom et al. 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. What this means is that it takes that long, on average, for the ovaries to heal, to clear out all those cysts, and to regain some degree of normal hormonal function.

The question is: How is the delay in recovery-of-fertility addressed by BLM management practices? Answer: BLM ignores it. For instance, BLM currently administers PZP to Pryor Mountain’s fillies and mares starting at age 1½ — whom BLM artfully describes in the Environmental Assessment as fillies “becoming two year olds” — through age four. Thus, these fillies and mares receive intentional treatments for four consecutive years before being allowed the privilege of reproductive potentiality. Per Ransom et al.’s study, the Pryor Mountain fillies and mares would be expected to need 1,645.2 days (4.51 years) to regain reproductive capacity. But BLM gives the Pryor Mountain mares only 5 years off PZP before they are put back on it again — for the rest of their life. Thus, these fillies and mares might have just a six-month window — at best — in which to conceive. Due to the unpredictable timing of PZP’s wearing off, for some mares that window of fertility will close before they get a chance to produce a foal. Those mares’ genetic contribution will be zero.

As if the above scenario were not bad enough, PZP’s manufacturer conceded that it could take up to eight years to recover fertility after just three consecutive PZP treatments. [13]

Ransom Advises Proceeding with Caution regarding PZP

The Ransom et al. study 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.” [15]

Because BLM keeps over 70 percent of the herds at levels below minimum-viable population (MVP), most herds qualify as “small refugia.” Pryor Mountain WHR is a small, isolated refuge, and its wild horses carry genes with rare alleles.

Ransom’s Exclusion of Seven Mares Evidences PZP’s Non-Effect on Immunocompromised Mares

In the “Data Collection” methodology section of the Ransom et al. report, the authors advised: “We omitted data for one female from the Little Book Cliffs and six females from McCullough Peaks because they produced offspring in every treatment year and thus were never effectively contracepted.”

This fact is important because it evidences PZP’s lack-of-efficacy on immunocompromised fillies and mares. To review: Because PZP activates the immune system, mares with naturally-low or depressed immune function do not “respond” to the treatment. It’s as if they had been injected with saline — their immune system is so weak that it does not react to the PZP by producing antibodies. The good news is such mares’ ovaries are saved from PZP’s destructive effects. The bad news is that these mares continue to become pregnant year after year, producing foals that will also tend to inherit low immune-function. Over time, the herd will become populated with more such low-immune horses because those with strong immunity get sterilized. Thus, PZP selects for horses with low immune function, which is bad for a herd in the long term. Even a routine infection could spread quickly and wipe out a population of horses with weak immune-function. If the goal is to preserve a herd, the use of PZP constitutes a worst management-practice.

BLM Was Fully-Aware of the Ransom Study but Suppressed the Findings

In their report, the authors of the Ransom et al. study gave a shout-out to BLM “for administrative and technical support throughout this project.” Thus, BLM was fully aware of the multi-year study while it was in progress and even lent support to it administratively and technically. Yet, in the case of the Pryor Mountain herd, BLM omitted this important report as a reference for the 2015 Environmental Assessment, which proposed intensifying the PZP “prescription.” Thus, BLM pretended that there was no such report and unethicallly suppressed it. Consequently, the public could not comment knowledgeably and appropriately on the continued use of — let alone the accelerated application of — PZP.

Three PZP Injections Can Trigger Sterility in Mares, or Just One Shot in Fillies Before Puberty

Disturbingly, another recent study on PZP (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. [9]

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. Recall the Pryor Mountain fillies, whose PZP treatments begin when they are just 1½ years old. They may not have reached puberty when they are initially treated. [1] And as we shall see later in this report, that first shot of PZP may not be their first shot of PZP.

Researchers Again Express Concerns about the Abnormal Life-Spans of Sterilized Mares

Knight & Rubenstein warned: “Inducing sterility, while relieving the mares from the energetic costs of lactation and reducing the stress from harem switching, may have unintended consequences on population dynamics by increasing longevity and eliminating the mares’ ability to contribute genetically.”

Knight & Rubenstein’s concerns support those of Gray & Cameron, who also questioned the supposed benefit of sterile mares’ extended life-spans. The abnormal numbers of aged, sterile mares count for census-purposes; but their presence disadvantages the younger horses, who become tageted for removal in order for BLM to achieve arbitrary management levels. Further, such mares no longer belong to the viable gene-pool.

PZP’s Destructive Antibodies Are Transmitted via the Placenta and Mother’s Milk

It gets worse. Sacco et al. reported that, per radioimmunoassay, 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, as demonstrated by immunofluorescent techniques. [17] These findings were disclosed in 1981. PZP’s manufacturer must have known about this dangerous effect, and certainly BLM should have investigated on its own whether there was any risk to the unborn or the nursing foal. Yet, the manufacturer continued to insist that there was no danger to the foal, whether born or unborn. [7 and 13] And in fact, BLM regularly administers PZP to pregnant and lactating mares, who transfer the destructive antibodies to their fetus, via the placenta, and to their foal, via mother’s milk.

Recall again the Pryor Mountain fillies. If their dams were injected with PZP while pregnant or nursing, such fillies will already have PZP antibodies cross-reacted with and bound to their zonae. Therefore, when those same fillies are injected at age 1½, it will be their second treatment, or potentially even their third. In fact, they could already have been sterilized in utero or while nursing, the treatment having been received prior to puberty, about which Knight & Rubenstein warned.

PZP Weakens Herd-Immunity, Posing Risk of Stochastic Events Leading to Herd-Extinction

To be self-sustaining, a herd needs to possess good immunity to withstand random catastrophes — known as stochastic events — such as contagious infections. There was such an event recently in Kazakhstan, where 120,000 endangered Saiga antelope — half the world’s population — died off suddenly and inexplicably within a two-week period. Scientists think a common bacterial infection was the cause of this mass-mortality event, but are unsure why the antelope were unable to fight off the disease immunologically. [14]

Imagine if such a catastrophe were to befall the Pryor Mountain horses, whose herd-immunity is being eroded by PZP. Note that the Saiga deaths involved antelope-mothers and their calves. If Pryor Mountain’s few fertile mares and their foals perished all of a sudden, that would leave just stallions and sterile old mares. The herd would be composed of the living dead, reproductively speaking, its rare alleles extinguished. BLM is failing to proactively manage the Pryor Mountain herd with stochastic events taken into consideration. That is malfeasance. PZP is a tool of immunological destruction, not of proper management.

PZP Continues the Use of Roundups and Removals

If the promise of PZP were true — if PZP really did eliminate the need to remove “excess” wild horses from the range — removals would have ended long ago in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, where PZP has been in use for approximately two decades. Yet removals are scheduled there with regularity every three years, the latest one in 2015.

Risks to Humans Who Administer PZP Injections

For staff and volunteers who inject wild horses with PZP, EPA’s Pesticide Fact Sheet advises that Personal Protective Equipment requirements include long sleeved shirt and long pants, gloves and shoes plus socks to mitigate occupational exposure. EPA specifically warns that pregnant women must not be involved in handling or injecting ZonaStat-H, and that all women should be aware that accidental self-injection may cause infertility. [20]

However, EPA’s Fact Sheet, the manufacturer’s training, and BLM’s operating procedures fail to inform pregnant women why it is so important that they strictly avoid PZP — because PZP’s antibodies cross the placenta and cross-react with and bind to an unborn female child’s own little zonae pellucidae. The baby-girl could be “anti-vaccinated” with PZP and even sterilized before birth.

EPA’s Fact Sheet, the manufacturer’s training, and BLM’s operating procedures fail to warn lactating women to avoid PZP and why — because PZP’s destructive antibodies would be passed along to a nursing female child via mother’s milk. The baby-girl could be “anti-vaccinated” with PZP and possibly sterilized simply from nursing.

EPA’s Fact Sheet, the manufacturer’s training, and BLM’s operating procedures fail to warn all women of the risk of ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis, ovarian cysts, and elevated testosterone-levels — in addition to infertility and, potentially, sterility — from unintentional self-injection.

EPA’s Fact Sheet, the manufacturer’s training, and BLM’s operating procedures fail to emphasize the magnitude of the risk — the PZP-in-question is a horse-size dose.

But Is There a Mandate to Practice Scientific Integrity?

Yes. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct applies to all staff members as well as to contractors, partners, permittees, and volunteers. The Code states: “Scholarly information considered in Departmental decision making must be robust, of the highest quality, and the result of as rigorous scientific and scholarly processes as can be achieved. Most importantly, it must be trustworthy.” [19]

BLM has ignored and suppressed independent scientific findings about PZP’s adverse effects and unintended consequences. Instead, BLM continues to rely almost exclusively on the manufacturer’s claims — shown and known to be false — regarding PZP’s safety for use on horses and for handling by humans. BLM is thus non-compliant with the Policy and malfeasant in its responsibilities to protect staff, volunteers, and the wild horses under its jurisdiction. BLM is also misleading and disinforming Congress and the American public about the PZP pesticide.

The manufacturer of PZP — a partner to BLM — misrepresented the pesticide as safe for use on animals by humans. The manufacturer knew or should have known that the former hypothesis regarding PZP’s mode-of-action had been disproved, and that PZP has dangerous side effects, safety-issues, and unintended consequences. Yet he hid and denied that information and failed to warn about PZP’s adverse effects. The manufacturer cited his own research as if it were definitive, and aggressively criticized independent researchers whose findings did not fully support his claims. Indeed, he recently submitted an Op-ed to The Salt Lake Tribune wherein he belittled the research of fellow scientists whose studies on PZP yielded results somewhat different from his own. [8] His accusations were so unreasonable that the scientists felt it necessary to submit an Op-ed in response to defend the integrity and validity of their work. [11] The manufacturer also disparaged members of the public — one of whom was a member of the Pennsylvania Game Commission — who expressed concerns about PZP. He dismissively accused them of “an attempt to mislead,” of “hyperbole,” of “knowingly manipulating information,” of “attempts to frighten people,” and of indulging in an “anti-intellectual approach to debates.” [7] By these actions, the manufacturer violated the DOI’s Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct.

PZP Manufacturer Misled Trainees into Believing that PZP Was Safe

BLM staff and volunteers receive their training from PZP’s manufacturer in how to handle and administer the pesticide. BLM is remiss in delegating the training to the manufacturer without verifying the adequacy of the instruction and the truthfulness of it. Two comments recorded recently in the media suggest that PZP’s manufacturer misled not just the public-at-large but those who received training therefrom in how to administer PZP.

First, the manufacturer has been quoted as saying that PZP is “so safe it is boring.” [3] Independent research shows otherwise — that PZP is a powerful hormone disruptor that could sterilize a female with just one injection. If trainees believe that PZP is boringly safe, they will be less likely to protect themselves adequately from this dangerous pesticide. Indeed, many of the trainees are women and, therefore, particularly at risk. Likewise, wild-horse advocates are lulled into complacency, trusting that PZP is harmless to the Pryor Mountain horses and their rare genetic alleles. Of course, none of that is true.

Second, a PZP supporter, who self-identified as a recent completer of the PZP-darting training program conducted by the manufacturer, said in a comment posted to a news article: “I just received my FDA certification to handle and administer Native PZP. Would you be so kind to provide a link to the study you keep referencing? To my knowledge, and those teaching the Native PZP certification class, there are no side effects of the PZP produced by Dr. Kirkpatrick and his team, which is Native PZP.” [2] Key words: “no side effects.” It is disturbing that a person who was, no doubt, motivated by a desire to help the horses has been disinformed regarding PZP’s safety-hazards to humans as well as to horses.

BLM Fails to Maintain Proper Supervision of the PZP Volunteers

The issue of safety is not the only concern. As BLM has admitted, volunteers darted the wrong mares on Pryor Mountain. These errors evidence that BLM has failed to maintain supervisory control over the volunteer-inoculators, allowing them to conduct the PZP-darting by themselves. The mistakes further evidence that the volunteers do not understand what is expected of them. Who can say whether other procedures were not complied with either. The fact that mares were darted who were ineligible for PZP per the then-current protocol, but who would be eligible under the proposed-but-not-yet-promulgated new “prescription,” suggests that the volunteers may have concluded — from BLM’s open contempt for the Constitution and disrespect for the NEPA process — that was okay for them to start darting otherwise-ineligible mares right away. Not surprisingly, BLM blames the volunteers for these mistakes, but probably has not informed them that they are being made to take the rap for management’s shortcomings.

Conclusions

PZP is appropriately categorized as a pesticide by the EPA. PZP “works” by tricking the immune system into attacking and destroying the ovaries. PZP has many adverse effects as well as unintended consequences. PZP presents safety-hazards to humans who handle it. PZP is a dangerous pesticide whose use is antithetical to the spirit and intent of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. BLM’s continuing to use PZP while ignoring and suppressing the evidence of its harmful effects constitutes malfeasance.

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This report was completed by Marybeth Devlin on December 24, 2015. Copyright Marybeth Devlin and Protect Mustangs 2015.

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References:
1. EquiMed staff. (2010, March 13) Equine Reproductive Maturity in Mares and Stallions. Puberty in Equines. Retrieved from http://equimed.com/health-centers/reproductive-care/articles/equine-reproductive-maturity-in-mares-and-stallions

2. EWCS. (2015, November 10). Re: “Contraceptive could reduce taxpayer costs for wild horses.” Retrieved from http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/contraceptive-could-reduce-taxpayer-costs-wild-horses#comment-2352628323

3. Ferguson, Mike. (2015, June 4) “Police called as group protests wild horse contraceptives.” The Billings Gazette. Retrieved from http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/police-called-as-group-protests-wild-horse-contraceptives/article_81462303-e128-5ee8-a7ef-2c8b098450f6.html

4. Gray, M.E. and Cameron, E.Z. (2010) Does contraceptive treatment in wildlife result in side effects? A review of quantitative and anecdotal evidence. Reproduction 139, 45-55. Online publication date: 1-Jan-2010. Retrieved at http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/139/1/45.full

5. Kaur, Kiranjeet and Prabha, Vijay. (2014) “Immunocontraceptives: New Approaches to Fertility Control,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 868196, 15 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/868196. Retrieved from http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/868196.pdf

6. Kirkpatrick, J. F., I. K. M. Liu, J. W. Turner, Jr., R. Naugle, and R. Keiper. 1992a. Long-term effects of porcine zonae pellucidae immunocontraception on ovarian function of feral horses (Equus caballus). J. Reprod. Fert. 94:437-444. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1317449

7. Kirkpatrick, Jay. 2007. “Response to PA [Pennsylvania] Game Commission.” Posted on PNC’s Wildlife Forever Home Page. Retrieved from http://www.pzpinfo.org/home.html

8. Kirkpatrick, Jay F. (2015, May 16). Op-ed: Wild-horse contraceptives are based on sound science. The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2517266-155/op-ed-wild-horse-contraceptives-are-based-on?fullpage=1

9. Knight, Colleen M., Rubenstein, Daniel I. 2014. The Effects of Porcine Zona Pellucida Immunocontraception on Health and Behavior of Feral Horses (Equus caballus). Princeton University Thesis, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Retrieved from http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01vt150j42p

10. Nettles, Victor F. (1997) Potential consequences and problems with wildlife contraceptives. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 9(1) 137 – 144. Retrieved from http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/R96054.htm Accessed full pdf text via purchase of a copy from Csiro Publishing.

11. Nuñez, Cassandra, Jim Adelman and Dan Rubenstein. (2015, July 3). Op-ed: Wild horse contraception not without unintended consequences. The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2653298-155/op-ed-wild-horse-contraception-not-without

12. PCOS Foundation. (2015) What Causes PCOS? Retrieved from http://www.pcosfoundation.org/what-is-pcos

13. PNC, Inc. (Pity Not Cruelty). PZP FAQs. (2006) “Frequently Asked Questions on Immunocontraception.” (Special thanks to Jay Kirkpatrick and Rick Naugle for additions and corrections). Retrieved from http://www.pzpinfo.org/pzp_faqs.html

14. Raab. Lauren. (2015, May 31) “120,000 endangered saiga antelopes die mysteriously in Kazakhstan.” Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-saiga-antelope-die-off-20150531-story.html

15. Ransom JI, Hobbs NT, Bruemmer J (2013) Contraception Can Lead to Trophic Asynchrony between Birth Pulse and Resources. PLoS ONE 8(1): e54972. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054972. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23383018

16. Rose-Cihakova-Caturegli Laboratory. (n.d.) Autoimmune Oophoritis. Johns Hopkins Pathology. Retrieved from http://pathology.jhu.edu/department/RCCLab/Oophoritis.cfm

17. Sacco AG, Subramanian MG, Yurewicz EC. (1981) Passage of zona antibodies via placenta and milk following active immunization of female mice with porcine zonae pellucidae. J Reprod Immunol. 1981 Dec;3(6):313-22. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7328557

18. Sussman, Karen. (2015 June 6) “Suspicious Deaths with Use of Anti-Fertility Drugs.” International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. Retrieved from http://www.ispmb.org/BirthControlDeaths.html

19. United States Department of the Interior. Integrity of Scientific and Scholarly Activities Policy. Code of Conduct. Retrieved from https://www.doi.gov/scientificintegrity

20. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Pesticide Fact Sheet. Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP). New Chemical. Nonfood Use. January 2012. Retrieved from
http://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

21. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Endocrine Disruptors. Retrieved from http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/

22. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Ovarian overproduction of androgens. Retrieved from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001165.htm

23. Varras M, Anastasiadis A, Panelos J, Balassi E, Demou A, Akrivis CH. (2013) Autoimmune oophoritis: Clinical presentation of an unusual clinical entity. OA Case Reports 2013 Jan 31;2(1):7. Retrieved from http://www.oapublishinglondon.com/article/369#

Pm PZP Darts

 

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




#BREAKING: Protect Mustangs calls for an end to animal cruelty

PM Secretary Jewell Continue reading

URGENT: Stop BLM from using pregnant mares in Nazi-type sterilization experiments

Hundreds of pregnant mares were moved Friday January 22, 2016 from Palomino Valley Center (PVC) outside of Reno to the closed door facility in Fallon called Broken Arrow aka Indian Lakes.

Does BLM intend on using the pregnant mares from Beatys Butte in the horrible Nazi-type sterilization experiments in Oregon? These pregnant mares and members of their herd seem to have been rounded up because Country Natural Beefa supplier of Whole Food Market, was pushing for the roundup. Do they want the federally protected wild horses gone so they can use the public grazing land for beef?

Protect Mustangs officially requests the mares from Beatys Butte and all the mares at the Fallon facility be put up for adoption–not experimented on!

STOP the cruelty now! These are America’s icons of freedom.

Stop BLM from EXPERIMENTING on wild mares!

Sterilization experiments are cruel and with no merit

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 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

Americans must not allow tax dollars to fund experiments reminiscent of Dr. Joseph Mengele. The rights of American wild horses are being violated. Pregnant mares especially  must never be used in sterilization experiments!

There are no accurate head counts of wild horse populations, many herd management areas have no wild horses left on them,  and the BLM’s horrible customer service and poor marketing are the reason wild horse adoption has dropped. It’s as if the BLM wants their adoption program to fail.

Any and all experimentation based on the overpopulation myth must be stopped!

The BLM is proposing to conduct three research experiments “investigating the safety and effectiveness” of three separate methods of surgical sterilization of wild horse mares. The three proposed methods include ovariectomy via colpotomy (in photo above), tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla. The proposed studies would be conducted under financial assistance agreements with Oregon State University (OSU), with OSU staff serving as the principal investigators of the research. The three experiments combined would involve approximately 225 wild horse mares previously rounded up and removed from BLM Herd Management Areas (HMA). All three studies would be conducted at Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon and would be planned to begin in February 2016 with an estimated completion date of September 2020. This environmental assessment (EA) is a site-specific analysis of the potential impacts of the proposed action.

You are encouraged to write in your own words to oppose the wild horse sterilization experiment proposed on innocent wild mares. The deadline is February 3rd:

Mare Sterilization Research Project Lead
(541) 573-4411 BLM Burns District Office
28910 Highway 20 West
Hines, Oregon 97738
Email: blm_or_bu_mareresearchea@blm.gov
Fax: (541) 573-4411 — Attention: Mare Sterilization Research Project Lead

When writing your letter keep in mind the following:

  1. Your tax dollars are paying for the BLM’s programs, roundups and experiments if allowed to continue.
  2. There is no overpopulation of wild horses. They are underpopulated on the vast acreage of public land in the West.
  3. BLM’s harvesting model based management via roundups is disrupting herd dynamics and increasing the birthrate.
  4. BLM’s allegations of overpopulation are fraudulent based on false data. They don’t even account for the correct mortality rates in the wild.
  5. Predators should not be killed off and if there are none left then they need to be reintroduced for the thriving natural ecological balance.
  6. Wild horses are a return-native species that help reduce catastrophic wildfires and create biodiversity. We need the herds to reverse desertification.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The BLM is trying to manage America’s wild horses to extinction.
  10. Sign and share the petition to stop the roundups here: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups
  11. Send your elected officials a handwritten letter and make an appointment to go in to see them.

Please contact your elected officials and politely request they take immediate action on your behalf to stop the experiments on wild horses. You can find the contact information for your elected officials here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org

Call & Email the following as well:

Oregon Governor
Kate Brown
Phone: 503/378-4582
Fax: 503/378-8970
Email: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx

Senior Senator Ron Wyden
(the one who can stop this)
tel (202) 224-5244
fax (202) 228-2717
https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact

BLM Oregon
State Director
Jerome E. Perez
Phone: 503-808-6026
Email: BLM_OR_Prospecting_EA@blm.gov

Share this with everyone you know.

Check back on our website for daily updates. Together we can stop this and turn this around.



Background reading:

BLM Press Release on Plans to Experiment with Sterilization Wild Mares: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/files/BU_MareSterilizationEA_Jan2015.pdf

Mare Sterilization Research Environmental Assessment https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/56292/67242/73184/MareSterilizationResearchEA_12172015.pdf

Mare Sterilization Research https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/projectSummary.do?methodName=renderDefaultProjectSummary&projectId=56292

 

 




Does PZP result in wild herds with lower immune systems and potential for die-offs?

PM Tule Elk Males FIghting by austlee

PZP is an immunocontraceptive and pesticide which causes an immune reaction to reject fertilization, while the females still come into estrus. Besides wrecking havoc on the immune system, injecting herds with PZP results in more fighting between males and many other behavior abnormalities.

Tule elk in Pt. Ryes National Seashore (Marin County, California) were part of a PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) experiment. Several years later there was a strange die-off.

Wildlife groups blamed park service management for leaving the elk fenced in during a drought–claiming that was the reason for the die-off.

Park service officials said the tule elk had water during the die-off.

“Some wildlife advocates have termed the situation a “die-off” and accuse the park service of allowing the elk to perish behind the fence that prevents them from finding enough food and water. Park service officials have a different view of what caused the population drop, and are hoping that new data will help address these concerns, especially as visitor interest peaks during the fall rutting season.” from: https://baynature.org/articles/on-the-fence/

Listen to Wildlife Ecologist Dave Press Discusses Tomales Point Elk and mention “there was water in the pond up there . . .” at 2:18.

 

It’s time to connect the dots and ask the obvious question: Did PZP lower the herds’ immune system and genetic diversity to the point of making them vulnerable to a die-off?

With suspect data regarding the long-term use of PZP on wild herds, more questions and answers are needed to prevent a similar die-off in America’s wild horses & burros.

With regards to wild horses, keep in mind what Marybeth Devlin wrote about PZP:

“PZP is a registered pesticide whose mechanism-of-action is to cause auto-immune disease. PZP tricks the immune system into producing antibodies that target and attack the ovaries. PZP’s antibodies cause the mare to suffer ovarian dystrophy, oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries), ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes in growing follicles, and depletion of resting follicles. Not surprisingly, estrogen levels drop markedly as the ovaries are slowly destroyed. But PZP’s adverse effects are not limited to the individual animal. As a recent study — which included the Little Book Cliffs, Colorado herd and the McCullough Peaks, Wyoming herd — found, PZP extends the birthing season to nearly year-round. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. Further, the same study disclosed that the pesticide causes a delay lasting 411.3 days (1.13 years) per each year-of-treatment before mares recover their fertility after suspension of PZP. However, some mares never recover — they are left permanently sterile, and quickly too. Indeed, yet another study found that sterility could occur in some mares from just three years of PZP injections or from just one treatment if the pesticide were given to a filly before she reached puberty. Because PZP messes with the immune system, it ironically works “best” — sterilizes faster — if the mare has a strong immune system. But, conversely, PZP may not work at all in mares whose immune function is weak or depressed. So, the pesticide discriminates against the very horses that Nature has best equipped for survival against disease while favoring and selecting for the immuno-compromised. Worse yet, tests performed via radioimmunoassay indicated 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, as demonstrated by immunofluorescent techniques.”  [From: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=8529]

 

Pm PZP Darts

Links of interest™:

Immunocontraception (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunocontraception

“Whenever an immune response is provoked, there is some risk of autoimmunity. Therefore immunocontraception trials typically check for signs of autoimmune disease.[17] One concern with zona pellucida vaccination, in particular, is that in certain cases it appears to be correlated with ovarian pathogenesis.[2] However, ovarian disease has not been observed in every trial of zona pellucida vaccination, and when observed, has not always been irreversible.[18]”

 

Autoimmune disease (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoimmune_disease 

“Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body (autoimmunity). . .”

 

ZonaStat-H is the EPA restricted-use pesticide–PZP–for wild horses and burros the registrant calls “pests”: http://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

 

Tule elk: http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/nature/tule_elk.htm

 

Tule elks at Pt. Reyes National Seashore (National Park Service): http://www.nps.gov/pore/getinvolved/supportyourpark/upload/volunteer_docent_info_tule_elk_elkmanagement_v5.0_1.pdf

 

Challenges face tule elk management in Point Reyes National Seashore  http://www.mercurynews.com/pets-animals/ci_28311296/challenges-face-tule-elk-management-point-reyes-national

“Earlier this year park service officials revealed that more than 250 tule elk died inside the fenced area over a two-year period, in part because pools that the herds rely on for water had gone dry. Meanwhile, ranchers are complaining about the free-range elk getting on their land and eating grass and drinking water intended for their dairy cattle and other agricultural operations.”

 

Paratuberculosis or Johne’s disease (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratuberculosis

 

Testing for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in asymptomatic free-ranging tule elk from an infected herd.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12910759

“Forty-five adult tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) in good physical condition were translocated from a population located at Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County (California, USA), to a holding pen 6 mo prior to release in an unfenced region of the park. Because infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Mptb) had been reported in the source population, the translocated elk underwent extensive ante-mortem testing using three Johne’s disease assays: enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); agar gel immunodiffusion assay (AGID), and fecal culture. Isolation of Mptb was made from fecal samples in six of 45 elk (13%). All AGID results were negative while ELISA results for 18 elk (40%) were considered elevated. Elevated ELISA results or Mptb isolation from fecal samples were obtained for 22 of 45 elk (49%); these elk were euthanized and necropsied. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from tissue in 10 of 22 euthanized elk (45%); of these 10 cases of confirmed infection, eight had elevated ELISA results (80%) and four were fecal culture positive (40%). One of 10 cases had histopathologic lesions consistent with Mptb infection. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was also isolated from tissue from one of eight fetuses sampled. The number of tule elk found to be infected was unexpected, both because of the continued overall health of the source herd and the normal clinical status of all study animals.”

 

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium infections in a tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) herd. 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17255437 

Abstract
“Between 2 August and 22 September 2000, 37 hunter-killed tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) were evaluated at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, California, USA, for evidence of paratuberculosis. Elk were examined post-mortem, and tissue and fecal samples were submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. Acid-fast isolates were identified by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that discriminates among members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Histopathologic evaluations were completed, and animals were tested for antibodies using a Johne’s enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and agar gel immunodiffusion. In addition, 104 fecal samples from tule elk remaining in the herd were collected from the ground and submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. No gross lesions were detected in any of the hunter-killed animals. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) was cultured once from ileocecal tissue of one adult elk and was determined to be a strain (A18) found commonly in infected cattle. One or more isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium (MAA) were isolated from tissues of five additional adult elk. Gastrointestinal tract and lymph node tissues from 17 of the 37 elk (46%) examined had histopathologic lesions commonly seen with mycobacterial infection; however, acid-fast bacteria were not observed. All MAC infections were detected from adult elk (P = 0.023). In adult elk, a statistically significant association was found between MAA infection and ELISA sample-to-positive ratio (S/P) > or = 0.25 (P=0.021); four of five MAA culture-positive elk tested positive by ELISA. Sensitivity and specificity of ELISA S/P > or = 0.25 for detection of MAA in adult elk were 50% and 93%, respectively. No significant associations were found between MAC infection and sex or histopathologic lesions. Bacteriologic culture confirmed infection with MAP and MAA in this asymptomatic tule elk herd. The Johne’s ELISA was useful in signaling mycobacterial infection on a population basis but could not discriminate between MAA and MAP antibodies. The multiplex PCR was useful in discriminating among the closely related species belonging to MAC.
Between 2 August and 22 September 2000, 37 hunter-killed tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) were evaluated at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, California, USA, for evidence of paratuberculosis. Elk were examined post-mortem, and tissue and fecal samples were submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. Acid-fast isolates were identified by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that discriminates among members of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Histopathologic evaluations were completed, and animals were tested for antibodies using a Johne’s enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and agar gel immunodiffusion. In addition, 104 fecal samples from tule elk remaining in the herd were collected from the ground and submitted for radiometric mycobacterial culture. No gross lesions were detected in any of the hunter-killed animals. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) was cultured once from ileocecal tissue of one adult elk and was determined to be a strain (A18) found commonly in infected cattle. One or more isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium (MAA) were isolated from tissues of five additional adult elk. Gastrointestinal tract and lymph node tissues from 17 of the 37 elk (46%) examined had histopathologic lesions commonly seen with mycobacterial infection; however, acid-fast bacteria were not observed. All MAC infections were detected from adult elk (P = 0.023). In adult elk, a statistically significant association was found between MAA infection and ELISA sample-to-positive ratio (S/P) > or = 0.25 (P=0.021); four of five MAA culture-positive elk tested positive by ELISA. Sensitivity and specificity of ELISA S/P > or = 0.25 for detection of MAA in adult elk were 50% and 93%, respectively. No significant associations were found between MAC infection and sex or histopathologic lesions. Bacteriologic culture confirmed infection with MAP and MAA in this asymptomatic tule elk herd. The Johne’s ELISA was useful in signaling mycobacterial infection on a population basis but could not discriminate between MAA and MAP antibodies. The multiplex PCR was useful in discriminating among the closely related species belonging to MAC.”

 

Epizootic of paratuberculosis in farmed elk http://www.johnes.org/handouts/files/Elk_outbreak.pdf

 

TESTING FOR MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM SUBSP. PARATUBERCULOSIS INFECTION IN ASYMPTOMATIC FREE-RANGING TULE ELK FROM AN INFECTED HERD (Journal of Wildlife Diseases, : http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.7589/0090-3558-39.2.323

 

Immuno-Contraception Research for Managing Tule Elk Population – Phase I Scheduled to Begin on August 6, 1997 http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/news/newsreleases_19970805_elkimmunocontraception97.htm

“. . . Funding for tule elk projects has come from a variety of sources. To date, monetary support and in-kind services for the tule elk project has been received from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Committee for the Preservation of Tule Elk, California Department of Fish and Game, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), University of California at Davis, the National Park Service Natural Resource Preservation Program and In Defense of Animals.” [Evidently Suzanne Roy, currently the Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign–who pushes PZP based management–was working for IDA at the time.]

 

Immuno-Contraception Research for Managing Tule Elk Population – Phase II Scheduled to Begin on June 15, 1998  http://www.nps.gov/pore/learn/news/newsreleases_19980615_elkimmunocontraception98.htm

“. . . During the second phase of the contraceptive research project, the first vaccine will be administered by direct syringe injection. To administer the injection, 30 elk will be captured from a helicopter and hobbled by ground crews. Scientists will gather data on the individual elk and place a radio collar on each of the elk. The collar will allow scientists to follow the individual elk to determine the effectiveness of the contraceptive. After several weeks, a booster shot will be remotely administered, from ranges of 30 to 150 feet, by means of self-injecting darts. The darts are brightly colored and easily retrieved. A single annual booster inoculation will be administered to continue contraceptive effects for successive breeding seasons.”

 

Use of porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccine as a contraceptive agent in free-ranging tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes). published 2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220156 

Abstract (note only a 5 year study. Why aren’t they studying the truly long-term effects?)
The potential for the application of porcine zona pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception in wildlife population management has been tested over a 15 year period and promises to provide a useful wildlife management tool. These studies have provided evidence indicating that the use of PZP immunocontraception in wildlife: (i) is effective at both the physiological and population level (Liu et al., 1989; Kirkpatrick et al., 1996; Turner et al., this supplement); (ii) is deliverable by remote means (Kirkpatrick et al., 1990; Shideler, 2000); (iii) is safe in pregnant animals (Kirkpatrick and Turner, this supplement); (iv) is reversible (Kirkpatrick et al., 1991; Kirkpatrick and Turner, this supplement); (v) results in no long-term debilitating health problems (Kirkpatrick et al., 1995; Turner and Kirkpatrick, this supplement); (vi) has no implications for passage through the food chain (Harlow and Lane, 1988); and (vii) is reasonably inexpensive (J. F. Kirkpatrick, personal communication). This report presents the results of a 5 year study in tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes), 3 years of which were on the application of PZP immunocontraception to an expanding elk population living in a wilderness area of Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, CA…”

 

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