Note from Protect Mustangs:
We are against experimenting on wild horses, harassment and animal cruelty, period. We believe the 1971 protection act should protect mustangs from forcing ovarian ligation on them. This underpopulated species is in crisis and ovarian ligation is a risky procedure that should never be done on America’s icons of freedom.
Proposal of Ovarian Ligation
By Sandee Force on Monday, August 24, 2015
From: Members of Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions
To: U.S. Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council
Re: Population Management of wild herds on HMAs
The members of the Wild Horses, BLM and Logical Solutions have spent time considering potential solutions to the ever increasing number of horses and burros needing to be removed from the range held in both Long Term Holding and Short Term Holding. We feel that a two pronged program would both greatly decrease the number of animals needing to maintained in this manner and allow older mares to live out their lives on the range.
We would like to suggest that ovarian ligation be put into an immediate test program in at least 2 and preferably 3 herds using herds that are widely watched and recorded by regional photographers. Our suggestion would allow for mares that are old enough to have had at least 4-5 foals accessed at gathering and removed to the closest holding facility to do ovarian ligation by a veterinarian who has experience in this procedure. We would suggest that working with the state veterinary school located closest to each facility would be the optimal way to get young vets trained on this procedure and to potentially hire vets specifically for the program from this pool of trained professionals. We realize that standard policy would normally be to spend a number of years doing in pen trials with horses that would be scheduled to go to LTH. We feel that this can be bypassed by using herds that are currently being observed and by training the photographers to record information on these mares that would give accurate information about how they assimilate back into the herds. We would like to suggest that along with the ovarian ligation all fillies 3 and under be given PZP and allowed to be more mature at first foaling.
To summarize our proposal as accurately as possible, allowing for changes needed by region or herd.
1. Two to three test herds be chosen that mares will be brought in and those 3 and under be given the correct dosage of PZP for their age and mares that are of an age to have 4-5 foals on the ground have the ovarian ligation procedure done to at the holding
facility. Those mares that are operated on can be held for an appropriate period for recovery at the facility to document reaction and to ensure proper healing of all incisions before being returned to the area that they were captured. Any foals that are under weaning age should stay with the mare in the holding facility and be release with her. Use a
small hip brand to designate ovarian ligation for observation purposes.
2. Any mare that shows a major genetic defect or has thrown multiple foals with genetic disorders should automatically be put into the ovarian ligation program no matter what the age.
3. Train photographers and volunteers to work with the USGS and Universities to properly document range interaction of both the mares who have been given ovarian ligation and those fillies given PZP. Video and photographic documentation of herd/band interaction would be ideal. It is imperative to have USGS and at least one University involved in both
documentation and study of the effect of ovarian ligation on herd dynamics and the health and well being of both, mares and foals as well as the local bands that they belong to.
4. Document the short and long term consequences of ovarian ligation on the mares, i.e. heath, longevity, and acceptance/position within the band. Note if the mares are removed from the bands and act like bachelor stallion bands.
5. Within 3 years if the results of the test herds are good expand to other BLM managed herds with the goal to cut down on required gathers to once every 6-8 years.
6. Look into the possibility of darting with PZP every 2 years to expand the time young mares have a chance to mature before starting to foal.
The goal of this plan is to decrease the rate of population growth on the range.
In conjunction it would allow these older mares to stay on the range without adding to population growth until their deaths and not have to be gathered and shipped to Long Term Holding Facilities for their senior years. Between the ovarian ligation and using PZP on the fillies the herd’s rate of growth could be reduced by 50% per year. This would substantially help both the range and the cost of gathering and housing the horses and burros while keeping more horses on the range. By hip branding the mares that have had ovarian ligation you would be able to gate cut those mares back onto the range at any subsequent gather and not have to haul them off the range.
Some of the herds suggested for this procedure are South Steens, Oregon; Sand Wash Basin, Colorado; Twin Peaks, California; and/or BLM HMA around the Reno/Carson area of Nevada. These are herds that have been previously documented and in the case of both Sand Wash Basin and South Steens there is photographic documentation of the herds for 5-7 years that would be available to work within this project.
Sandra Force – Junction City, Oregon
AJ Sutton- Lawndale,Ca.
Kari Masoner – Tuson, Arizona
Ana Andrick – Wellington, Colorado
Nancy Warrick Kerson – Napa, California
Kathleen T. Granzow – Genoa City, Wisconsin
Thomas P. Brunshilde – Hammond, Wisconsin
Karen Goodroad – Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Lea Erwood – Rosedale, IN.
Kathryn Shirley – Holly Springs, North Carolina
Margaret Rothauge (Maggie) Creswell, Oregon
Angela Robey – Witch Well, AZ
Tom Hool – Casper, Wyoming
Debbra Dotson Christensen – Coquille, Oregon
Stephanie Jones – Eugene, Oregon
Jamie M. Adkins – Casper, Wyoming
Lisa Sink-Sheridan, Oregon
Beverly Shaffer – Burns, Oregon
Ramona Bishop – Burns, Oregon
Shyla Creasey – Oregon
Stacey Harnew –
Andi Harmon – Burns, Oregon
Keelyn Fawcett – Salem, OR
Angela “Angel” Rakestraw – Dinwiddie, Va
Jennifer Gregton – Midvale, Idaho
Iris Benson – Corvallis, Oregon
Karen Landis – Centralia, WA
Candy Nichols – Poolville, TX
Bree Alsman – Sandy, Oregon
JoAnna Lamb – Boardman, Oregon
Tracey Westbury – Bellingham, Washington
Cathy Smith – Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Rhonda Chayer – Barton, Vermont
Debbie Jackson – Ellensburg, Washington
Jes Sothern – Oregon
Rex Moore – Denton, Texas
Rose Howe – Monument, Oregon
Kerry O’Brien – Van Nuys, CA.
Susan Clogson – Woodinville, Washington
Nancy Willard – Eugene, Oregon
Loretta M. Jones – Redmond, Oregon
Jennie Kreutzer – Arlington, Washington
Monica Shifflet – New Haven, PA
Crystal Cooke – Clovis, New Mexico
Christie Brown – Daphne, Alabama
Pat Garcia – Burnet, Texas
Carrie Marie Fuesler – Brownsville, Oregon
Jackie Mousseau – Clinton Township MI
Kathy Tellechea – Lexington, OR
Jim Bishop – Hines, Oregon
Angela Huston – St Louis, Missouri
Mike Huston – St Louis, Missouri
Kay Hamilton – Phoenix, OR
Richelle Wilson – Hillsboro, OR
Suzanne Ganazzi – Point Reyes Station, California
Tina Smith – Sommers, Conn
Andrea Walker – Fort Worth, Texas
Jeni Adler Snyder, Oklahoma
Ash Michael – Madison, South Dakota
Brigid Piccaro – Acton, California
Kathryn Meyer – Orion, MI
Nancy Kohl – Surprise, Arizona
Jeni Adler – Snyder, Oklahoma
Kate Bogel – Howell, New Jersey
Lara Mogensen – Ellensburg, Washington
Carol Davis – Selma, Oregon
Susan Humphrey – Hot Springs, South Dakota
Gini Everts – Eugene, Oregon 72