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

 

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




URGENT: Petition to stop violent wild horses roundups and stop sending them to slaughter!

Wild horses are a native species who must be saved!

Sign and share the urgent petition

Loopholes allow the BLM to sell thousands of wild horses to slaughter middlemen known as kill buyers to dispose of alleged “excess and unadoptable” American wild horses and this must stop now! Slaughter is cruel and inhumane.

This is what cruel roundups look like:

Roundups are the first step towards slaughter.

Craig Downer published the peer reviewed paper titled The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America.

According to a press release from National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released June 5, 2013, “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations, says a new report by the National Research Council.”

The NAS report states there is “no evidence” of overpopulation. Only tobacco science and spin backs up BLM’s population claim to justify roundups and fertility control/sterilizations. . .

PZP is an EPA approved RESTRICTED-USE PESTICIDE that sterilizes wild horses after multiple use so it’s risky for long-term herd survival. See information here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

Giving PZP to wild mares also results in foals being born late in the fall or winter and dying because they are too little to make it through a harsh winter.

Fertility control research trials are big business. Left unchallenged, wild horses and burros will continue to be lab rats for human fertility control research. This exploitation must stop!

We request an immediate halt to roundups for scientific population studies and studies on holistic management before it’s too late.

Wild horses are a returned-native species in America. Rounding up federally protected wild horses and burros has been documented as cruel. Warehousing them for decades is fiscally irresponsible. Sending wild horses to slaughter by selling them to middlemen is cruel and inhumane. Clearing wild horses and burros off public land–for industrialization, fracking, grazing and the water grab–goes against the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act put in place to protect the living legends of the American West. They must never go to slaughter.

We request you defund and stop the roundups immediately as well as reverse the Burns Amendment to stop unlimited sales of wild horses to slaughter.

There is no accurate census and the BLM figures do not add up. We request population studies for each herd management area (HMA) and each herd area (HA) because we are gravely concerned there are less than 18,000 wild horses and burros in the 10 western states combined. More roundups, fertility control/sterilizations and sales to slaughter will wipe them out because the majority are no longer genetically viable herds.

Wild horses are underpopulated despite spin from the forces that want to perform heinous sterilizations in the field. Humane fertility control could be looked at as an option only after scientific population studies have been conducted for each herd management area. The EPA approved restricted-use pesticides known as PZP and Gonacon have risks as do other drugs . . . Right now fertility control is premature, will destroy natural selection and could cause harm because wild horses are underpopulated in the West.

Field observers have noticed a worrisome decline in wild horse and burro populations since the BLM’s rampant roundups from 2009 to this day.

Kindly allow returned-native wild horses and burros to reverse desertification, reduce the fuel for wildfires and create biodiversity on public land, live with their families and inspire us with their spirit.

Right now America’s wild horses and burros are being managed to extinction. They need your help to stop the roundups and slaughter today.

Go to the petition on Change.org here and email it to your friends and family: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-amp-burro-roundups

No excess wild horses in the Pryors

PM PZP Betrayal

 

PZP is a risky pesticide. Will it ruin the treasured herd?

By Marybeth Devlin

The issue underpinning the use of PZP and the continuing cycle of removals of wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is: Whether there are excess wild horses. No, there aren’t. BLM creates the illusion of an overpopulation by administratively setting the maximum herd-size below minimum-viable population. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature determined that, if a herd were managed carefully per a stud-book, it could sustain itself genetically at a minimum of 500 individuals. Compare that number to BLM’s maximum: 120.

In fact, according to the latest genetic analysis, the Pryor Mountain herd is evidencing “a general trend for a decline in variations levels of the herd.” The recommendation was to “increase population size.” Yet, BLM stubbornly insists on its own failed approach of artificially limiting herd-size, declaring that it disagrees with the scientific “interpretation.”

But can the range accommodate more horses? Yes. By way of comparison, BLM allots 38 acres per cow or calf when setting the stocking-rate for livestock grazing. Thus, the 33,187 acres that compose the Pryor Mountain habitat can support 500 to 873 horses. When the WHR is restored to its original configuration, 44,920 acres, the high-bound can be increased to 1,182.

As for PZP, numerous independent studies have disproved the old theory that PZP merely blocks sperm attachment. In fact, PZP’s mechanism of action is to alter ovarian function, causing inflammation of the ovaries and cyst formation. PZP provokes an auto-immune response, wherein the pig-ovary-derived PZP antibodies attack the mares’ ovaries, resulting in dystrophy of those reproductive organs. Despite being hyped as a non-hormonal contraceptive, PZP causes “markedly depressed oestrogen secretion” in mares treated for just three consecutive years. The latter finding was disclosed by Dr. Kirkpatrick himself 23 years ago. PZP-use is associated with stillbirths, altered ovarian structure and cyclicity, interference with normal ovarian function, permanent ovarian damage, prolonged breeding season, and unusually-late birthing dates. A particularly troubling finding suggests that PZP can be selective against a certain genotype in a population.

PZP is touted as reversible; however, a recent study warned that just three years of treatment, or administration of the first PZP injection before puberty, may trigger infertility in some mares. Thus, only two PZP injections could be viewed as relatively safe, but it appears that even one injection is risky. The researchers warned that inducing sterility may have unintended consequences on population dynamics by, ironically, increasing longevity while eliminating the mares’ ability to contribute genetically.

Most pertinent to the Pryor Mountain herd is a longitudinal study on three herds treated with PZP — Little Book Cliffs, McCullough Peaks, and … Pryor Mountain. The researchers found that the birthing season lasted nearly year-round: 341 days. Out-of-season births put the life of the foals and the mares at risk. That same longitudinal study found that, following suspension of PZP injections, there was a delay in the mares’ recovery of fertility that lasted 411.3 days (1.13 years) per each year of PZP treatment. Thus, mares injected for four consecutive years (per BLM’s “prescription”) would be expected to take 1,645.2 days (4.51 years) to regain reproductive capacity. If disaster were to befall the Pryor Mountain horses, even if PZP were stopped immediately, it would take years for the herd to recover, if ever.

PZP has neither stopped nor slowed the roundups. Only lack of holding space has done that. Even the Pryor Mountain herd, injected for decades with PZP, is facing removals again this summer (per the usual three-year cycle) in addition to an intensified PZP “prescription” to be administered per an “equal opportunity program” eerily similar to Communist-China’s one-child policy. What’s ironic is that, for all the interference, BLM has achieved basically the same — or worse — record as has been attained the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros. ISPMB complies with the “hands-off” minimum-feasible management approach stipulated by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. ISPMB’s two wild herds grew 8.73 and 5.08 percent, respectively, without PZP and without removals. Pryor Mountain’s most recent report — reflecting management with PZP and with removals — grew by 8.26 percent.

BLM needs to get out of the way of Nature. Let the Pryor Mountain herd find its own appropriate population level.

(Note: Beware of petitions pushing PZP. Be sure to read everything you sign these days especially the fine print!)

Please donate to Protect Mustangs’ Legal Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/mustanglaw2016 to help the voiceless in court. Thank you!

PZP advocates put wild horses at risk of sterilization after roundup

Stop the Roundups!

Protect Mustangs calls for a freeze on roundups for scientific reevaluation

Tonopah, NV (October 31, 2014)–The Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office is rounding up about 120 wild horses from within the Reveille Allotment and Herd Management Area (HMA) located approximately 50 miles east of Tonopah, NV to remove alleged excess wild horses on 600,000 acres of public land.

“The BLM is wiping out America’s wild horses and taxpayers are paying for the abuse,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “We need to stop the roundups and protect our native wild horses.”

The roundup will stampede native wild horse families by helicopter over a fragile ecosystem and possible sage grouse habitat in the Great Basin Desert. Often wild horses are injured and die in roundups. The treacherous roundup is paid for with tax dollars, and began October 30, 2014. Most herds need to be rounded up before given PZP.

After the roundup, approximately 70 wild horses will be permanently removed, 60 wild horses will be sent to holding facilities in Ridgecrest, California and about 10 horses will be offered for adoption after the roundup in Tonopah, NV on November 8. The remaining 50 wild horses will be released back into the HMA for a post roundup population of 98 wild horses, putting the survivors at risk. The minimum number for genetic variability is 150 wild horses.

Often the BLM returns wild horses with conformation defects to the range, instead of placing them in adoptive homes or long-term holding where they will not breed. Apparently the agency doesn’t realize that by returning wild horses with defects they will ruin the breeding pool. The BLM claims mares selected to maintain herd characteristics will be released back to the HMA. The public must watchdog the agency to ensure wild horses with defects are pulled from the breeding pool and rehomed. Euthanizing them is not an option supported by the American public.

The informed public is outraged over an EPA approved restricted use pesticide called PZP, made from pigs ovaries, to be used on native wild horses. PZP advocates campaign rigorously to treat mares with the Porcine Zona Pellucidae (PZP-22) in order to temporarily sterilize mares. PZP advocates hail the use of PZP in spite of the fact that wild horses are underpopulated on millions of acres of public land.

Experimental research on ovary damage in mares given the immunocontraceptive PZP is used to hone the drug for eventual human use. This could be where the “follow the money” piece fits in. Wild horse advocates are furious America’s herds are being used as lab rats. Science has proven the drug sterilizes wild horses after multiple use. PZP advocates are pushing for BLM to manage wild horses “in the wild” using these risky drugs.

The devastation of wild horses in the Reveille Allotment appears to be subject to a 1987 District Court Order and two orders issued by the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) in 2001 and 2002, requiring BLM conduct an annual inventory of wild horses in the Reveille Allotment and initiate a roundup to remove alleged excess native horses from the Allotment when the inventory shows that population numbers exceed the out of date Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 138 horses.

Current AML does not represent healthy herd populations and lacks scientific merit. AML must be updated to ensure healthy herds remain on public land. The herd census must never fall below 150 wild horses to maintain genetic variability.

The current estimated population, based on previous inventory flights is 168 wild horses, according to BLM. This is the low end of the genetic viability scale. The orders need to be challenged based on scientific reevaluation of wild horses benefiting the ecosystem as a native species, livestock causing range damage and the minimum number of wild horses needed for genetic variability.

“We must ensure native wild horses can survive upcoming environmental changes,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The minimum population for a genetically variable herd is 150. Why are PZP advocates and the BLM allowing wild horse herds to fall below safe numbers?”

According to a press release from National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released June 5, 2013, “The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations,” says a new report by the National Research Council.

The NAS report states there is “no evidence” of overpopulation. Only tobacco science and spin backs up BLM’s population claim to justify roundups and fertility control/sterilizations. PZP advocates lobbied NAS to have fertility control recommended even though the herds are underpopulated.

Roundup activities within the Reveille HMA were analyzed in the 2010 Reveille HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) and the 2014 Reveille Wild Horse Gather Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA). The EA, DNA, and Decision Record can be accessed on the Reveille Wild Horse Gather website: http://on.doi.gov/10qLBlh.

Members of the public are encouraged to witness the helicopter stampede and document America’s icons losing their freedom to spread awareness that cruel roundups must stop. Observation protocols and visitor information are available at http://on.doi.gov/1xAMeTp. The BLM will post updates, photos and other information about the roundup on the Reveille website and on the hotline at 775-861-6700 throughout the course of the roundup.

The BLM is wiping out wild horses for the extractive industry and New Energy Frontier in the West. The agency manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM focuses on their mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

BLM’s roundups disturb the thriving natural ecological balance by disturbing habitat dynamics. This crime against nature causes abnormally high birthrate and puts native wild horses at risk of inbreeding.

“We are calling for an immediate freeze on roundups and removals for scientific reevaluation,” states Novak. “Right now native wild horses are at risk of being ruined by bad policy.”

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of native and wild horses. The group is against using PZP in the wild. Today most wild herds are threatened with low numbers and a lack of genetic variability. Using PZP in a sanctuary setting where acreage is limited is a different situation. Wild horses must not be managed in the wild as if they were a zoo exhibit.

# # #

Links of interest™:

Info on PZP sterilizing mares: The Effects of Porcine Zona Pellucida Immunocontraception on Health and Behavior of Feral Horses (Equus caballus), Princeton http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01vt150j42p

Princeton study on the pros and cons of adoption and immunocontraception: http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/IEC.Rubenstein.pdf Not sure about EWA’s position on PZP now they might have embraced it like some others have.

Jamie Jackson’s piece on PZP: http://protectmustangs.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/PM-Jamie-Jackson-Using_Science_to_Improve_the_BLM_Wild_Horse_and_Burro_Program.pdf

Management of Wild Horses with Porcinezona Pellucida Pellucide: History, Consequences and Future Strategies, Cassandra M.V. Nuñez, Princeton: http://bit.ly/1rJywKl

Restricted use pesticide info: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-de info: Jan-12.pdf

Injection-Site Reactions in Wild Horses (Equus caballus) Receiving an Immunocontraceptive Vaccine, By James E. Roelle and Jason I. Ransom, http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5038/

Pilot project to treat wild horses in Fish Springs communityhttp://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/april/blm_approves_pilot.html

and http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org/media/pzp-pilot-project-treat-wild-horses-fish-springs-community

BLM Nevada Advisory Council Endorses Fertility Control Plan (Oct. 20, 2014) http://www.returntofreedom.org/blm-nevada-advisory-council-endorses-fertility-control-plan-october20-2014/

BLM partners with The Cloud Foundation in the Pryorshttp://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/main_story.Par.31432.File.dat/TopStoryHorse.pdf

Why end natural selection in the Pryors? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4941

Are wild horses at risk of being sterilized due to an advocacy campaign? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6356

Ecologist Craig Downer speaks out against using PZP in the Pryorshttp://protectmustangs.org/?p=4178

Horse contraceptive study raises concerns  Horsetalk, NZ: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2010/10/220.shtml#ixzz3Hti8ioCv

Appeal to stop the wild horse wipe outhttp://protectmustangs.org/?p=6527

The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America by Craig Downer PhD candidate: http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

Wild Horse Conspiracy by Craig Downer:  www.amazon.com/dp/1461068983

Conformation defectshttp://www.thehorse.com/articles/10115/conformation-in-horses

Genetic viabilityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_viability

Genetic variabilityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_variability

J. Kirkpatrick team get $100K for wild horse fertility control drug PZPhttp://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/jay-kirkpatrick-team-get-100k-for-wild-horse-fertility-control-drug-pzp/

Making PZP at The Science and Conservation Centerhttp://www.sccpzp.org

Native wild horseshttp://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

Petition for shelter and shade for captive wild horses and burroshttp://www.change.org/p/bring-emergency-shelter-and-shade-to-captive-wild-horses-and-burros

Petition for 10 year moratorium on wild horse roundups for recovery and studieshttps://www.change.org/p/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-recovery-and-studies

Petition to defund and stop the wild horse roundupshttp://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups

Join the Walking Billboard Campaign to STOP THE ROUNDUPS in Nevadahttps://www.booster.com/protect-mustangs-nevada

Sample of viral news clippings: https://newsle.com/AnneNovak

Anne Novak on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak

Protect Mustangs on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtectMustangs

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

www.ProtectMustangs.org

Science proves PZP is sterilizing wild horses

The truth

The Effects of Porcine Zona Pellucida Immunocontraception on Health and Behavior of Feral Horses (Equus caballus)

Authors: Knight, Colleen M.
Advisors: Rubenstein, Daniel I.
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The horse population on Shackleford Banks, a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, has been controlled using a program of porcine zona pellucida immunocontraception since 2000. Prior studies found no negative physiological effects of the immunization, but suggested some adverse effects on behavior such as increased harem switching and extended reproductive season. Although no mares were immunized in the year of study (2013), we examined the effects of past contraception and foaling on health and behavior of the mares in an attempt to better understand its impacts on both the individual and the population. Current lactation was found to be the best predictor of health and behavior: lactating mares were in worse physical condition, spent more time grazing, and switched harems fewer times. Mares that had never foaled also were in better physical condition than mares that had foaled in the past, but did not differ in behavioral measures. There were indications that the PZP treatment has had effects other than preventing pregnancy: an increased number of years since immunization was correlated with better body condition and fewer harem switches, independent of lactation. Contraception treatment intensity or timing did not have any significant adverse effects on health and behavior on its own. However, three or more consecutive years of treatment or administration of the first dose before sexual maturity may have triggered infertility in some mares. 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.

Read more here: http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01vt150j42p

Sign and share the urgent petition: Grant a 10-year moratorium on wild horse roundups for recovery and studies

PZP is an EPA approved restricted use pesticide and Protect Mustangs is against using it on wild mares especially when there is an underpopulation problem on public land despite government spin. The truth is most wild herds are being threatened with low numbers and a lack of genetic variability.

Captive wild horses and burros need your help!

Dear Friends of Wild Horses and Burros,

You have the power to make change.

People protested and public outcry grew with the number of signatures on the petition. When we investigated Nevada’s captive pens filled with roundup survivors, we found young captive wild horses were dying in the triple digit heatwave. (Video: http://bit.ly/1w5l4pp)

A few months later, the BLM held a public workshop in Reno, Nevada to address public outcry for shade and shelter in BLM holding pens. Instead of working with the public to brainstorm, they announced their decision to place shade only in the sick pens and informed the public they would be conducting shade “studies” to determine if captive wild horses needed shade.

Now BLM Wyoming at Rock Springs is making similar changes. You can read about it here. They will be installing wind screens along the west side of the facility and placing protective shelters in the sick pens. This is not enough!

The feds’ proposed remedies in Nevada and Wyoming are a small step in the right direction. We must bring them to understand that ALL the captive wild horses and burros need access to shelter from the elements.

The BLM is dragging their feet and the federal employees whose salaries are paid for with your tax dollars are very lazy. They will only change their inhumane policy if we all get much louder!

Keep up the pressure and turn up the volume. Share the petition daily to get more signatures. http://www.change.org/p/bring-emergency-shelter-and-shade-to-captive-wild-horses-and-burros This is a grassroots effort and together we can do this for the captive wild ones!

Meet with your senators and representative. Show them the petition to bring shelter and shade to captive wild horses and burros. Play for them the video exposing roundup cruelty: http://bit.ly/1toytZY Politely request they intervene to put an end to the suffering in the pens. Let them know you would like a response to your request and follow up with them often.

If you cannot meet with your elected officials then mail them a handwritten letter requesting they bring access to shelter and shade for all captive wild horses and burros at the holding facilities. After all, this is what the BLM requires of adopters so why should it be any different for the BLM? The cruelty must stop now!

Keep fighting for the voiceless who suffer. Together we can turn this around.

Many blessings,
Anne

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Contact@ProtectMustangs.org
www.ProtectMustangs.org

The petition is working: Wyoming BLM to install some shelters and wind screens

 

“The petition is working. The BLM held a workshop in Reno Nevada to address international public outcry for shade and shelter in 2013. The feds’ proposed remedies are not enough but it is a beginning at changing policy. Keep up the pressure and turn up the volume. Share the petition daily. Meet with your elected officials. Show them the petition to bring change to captive wild horses and burros. Politely request they intervene to put an end to the suffering in the pens.” ~Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs

BLM schedules modifications to the Rock Springs wild horse holding facility

Changes will include a new office building to accommodate public tours and facilitate the adoption process; adding storage shelters to protect hay; constructing a roof over the trimming chute area; installing wind screens along the west side of the facility; placing protective shelters in the sick pens; redesigning the preparation area to improve animal and employee safety; and replacing worn or damaged corral panels. These projects will be phased in throughout the year and should not impact the wild horses.

Facility Manager Jake Benson states, “We’re taking a good look at our set-up and reworking things to increase safety and efficiency and at the same time see how we can reduce costs.” He adds, “While these changes are not required, we will evaluate their effectiveness and continue to make adjustments as necessary to provide outstanding care for the horses.”

The facility remains closed to allow wild horses recently removed from the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin herd management areas to acclimate to their new environment. No public tours will be conducted during the closure; however, the public viewing kiosk is open. The public will be notified when the facility reopens.

More information about the facility is available at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/rs-wh-facility.html

Petition for emergency shelter and shade for captive wild horses and burros: http://www.change.org/p/bring-emergency-shelter-and-shade-to-captive-wild-horses-and-burros

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Don’t let them KILL the brumbies!

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

Remember the Australian film THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER?   STOP the KILLERS from chasing the brumbies with choppers and KILLING the wild horses from the Snowies

Share the Australian petition to Stop the Slaughter of the Brumbies:  http://chn.ge/1y1HgQq

©WHK

 

Brumby foal killed in Frazier Downs 2012 ©LS

 

Brumbies are Australian heritage wild horses. Witnesses found them shot and killed (Copyright protected)

Brumbies are Australian heritage wild horses. Witnesses found them shot and killed (Copyright protected ©WHK)

 

Stop the slaughter and eradication of the Snowy Mountains Brumby and reinstate access for horse riders to all areas of the Kosciuszko National Park

Petition by
Richard Roberts
Australia

“Sickening footage of this event can be located easily on the internet, showing horses with their teeth blown out, mares shot dead while foaling and other horses with bullet riddle bodies, it was nothing less than a massacre and an event of international embarrassment and disgrace at the time when Australia had just again immortalised the Man From Snowy River and the Brumbies to an international audience at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.”

Read the petition and sign it here . Then share it with everyone you know!

They didn’t learn their lesson. Now they want to SHOOT AND KILL the Brumbies again! Leaving them to DIE a HORRIBLE DEATH like they did before!  Some were shot dead while giving birth! Watch the video below and share widely!

 

PM Brumbies © Tony Marsh Marked

 

Note: the images provided are from previous “culls” as we will all stand with Australian Brumby advocates to stop the killing! 

They continue the cruelty

“It was hot with the desert sun beating down on PVC,” explains Anne Novak. “We were in the car with the AC on and the poor captive mustang was suffering and clinging to the fence for a strip of shade.”

Dear Friends of Wild Horses & Burros,

Last week we visited the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nevada. It’s the largest short-term holding and adoption facility in the U.S. for captive wild horses and burros coming from the roundups. We have been deeply concerned the BLM continues to commit acts of animal cruelty towards captive wild horses and burros despite international public outcry so we investigated the situation again.

During 85 degree sunny high desert weather, many wild horses in the pens were showing signs of heat stress with rapid breathing. Their coats were coming in for the winter and some mustangs were clinging to the fence and the feeders for what little shade they could find. It was a heartbreaking sight.

The majority of the pens had no shade or shelter. Some shade “studies” appear to be ongoing in the sick pens and another internal pen.

Many wild horses were overweight and their feet looked horrible. Many young wild horses have developed clubbed feet due to lack of proper foot care after being taken off the range by the feds. In the wild, their feet wear down naturally but when captured it is the BLM’s responsibility to care for them.

The majority of captive wild horses looked depressed. The burros looked unhappy too.

The BLM has repeatedly refused offers to help bring shade and shelter to the wild captives and is telling elected officials they are “doing something” by conducting studies with U.C. Davis to determine if shade and shelter is needed. Their PR tactics are outrageous. Everyone knows penned animals need access to shelter in extreme weather!

Right now the BLM is committing heinous acts of cruelty and must be held 100% accountable. The three basics of animal husband are 1.) Food, 2.) Water 3.) Shelter. Does each pen of wild horses or burros provide access to shelter? No.

With the recent good news that the feds will make animal cruelty a top-tier felony, it’s time right NOW to contact your elected officials and request for immediate action to bring shade and shelter to all captive wild horses and burros in ALL the pens not just select sick pens.

PM Shade Cruelty

Take action to inform your voices in government that the BLM’s ongoing shade studies are delaying action and causing captive wild equids ongoing suffering.

Make an appointment to meet in person with your representative and senators. Politely request they stop the animal cruelty–paid for with tax dollars. If you cannot go in person then send them this video: http://bit.ly/1nr5d2M from our 2013 investigation and let them know that since this video was taken, only a few sick pens appear to have flimsy shade structures. Kindly remind them that animal cruelty is becoming a top-tier felony so they need to take it seriously. More than a thousand wild horses and burros are being abused in the pens because the BLM and the Department of Interior are denying them access to shelter.

You may contact Congress here: http://bit.ly/1ihTCwj . Send your elected officials a handwritten letter and encourage your children to mail in drawings asking for shelter too.

For everyone who has signed this petition, we must pull together to double the number of signatures and then we have a plan to make a big impact . . .

Email the petition http://chn.ge/ZGEgx3 to everyone you know with a personal plea asking them to sign and share it so together we can pressure the BLM to bring them shade and shelter. Share the petition daily on your Facebook page and in groups asking others to share out because more extreme weather is coming soon.

Public opinion is very important with elections only weeks away. Let’s put it to work to stop the abuse of America’s wild horses and burros. Hold your elected officials accountable to STOP the CRUELTY now!

In deep gratitude,
Anne

Anne Novak
Executive Director
www.ProtectMustangs.org
https://twitter.com/TheAnneNovak
https://www.facebook.com/ProtectMustangs

Sign and Share the DEFUND and STOP the ROUNDUPS Petition: http://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups