Are wild horses at risk of being sterilized due to an advocacy campaign?

© Anne Novak, all rights reserved.

© Anne Novak, all rights reserved.

The public needs to stop panicking and read everything they are asking their senators and representatives to do on their behalf

Is something in that form letter you received that you don’t agree with? Do you want wild horses sterilized using EPA approved restricted use pesticides? These pesticides are not safe for domestic horses so why are they being pushed for use on wild horses? Are you giving up the fight for their freedom to live in natural family bands?

Why is an advocacy group encouraging their supporters to write members of Congress–via click and send form letter–asking them to sign on to the pledge to sterilize wild horses (already in non-viable herds) when BLM overpopulation claim is false?

We found their pitch citing a quote from the National Academy of Sciences report in their form letter being circulated around the Internet. It reads:

“. . . Considering all the current options, [porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccines and GonaCon™ vaccine for females and chemical vasectomy for males] either alone or in combination, offer the most acceptable alternative to removing animals for managing population numbers . . .”

Even worse is the pledge they are requesting members of Congress sign and return the advocacy group’s office.

Senators and representatives will take that to mean you want “[porcine zona pellucida (PZP) vaccines and GonaCon™ vaccine for females and chemical vasectomy for males] either alone or in combination”. Is that what you want?

Or do you want a 10-year moratorium (suspension) on roundups for scientific research to investigate what’s the best way to manage the underpopulated herds of wild horses left in the West?

Why is this group pushing an elected official “pledge” to use “available fertility control” without scientific studies on population, migration, and holistic land management? What is going on here? Who is funding this scare-tactic-based campaign to sterilize America’s wild horses?

Why isn’t the group mentioning to Congress that the National Academy of Sciences report also said there is “no evidence” of overpopulation–why omit this?

Why hasn’t the group done any independent aerial or in-the-field research on population? Is it because it would not support the BLM’s faulty overpopulation claim?

See for yourself how many wild horses are left in the 800,000 acre Twin Peaks area during a recent aerial survey: http://vimeo.com/81195843  Read the scientific report exposing an underpopulation crisis on public land: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6278

The group appears to know wild horses are not overpopulated. Recently they were quoted in an Associated Press article debunking the BLM’s overpopulation claim in comparison with livestock on public land.

Why then are they attempting to lead the public into blindly supporting a plan lacking good science–a plan calling for permanent and temporary sterility actions against indigenous wild horses?

Is the group eluding to a false risk of all wild horses going to slaughter if they aren’t sterilized?

Why create all the panic so people will quickly click, sign and share the pledge with their senators and congressmen asking them to “take the pledge” for sterilization, etc.? Is the public reading what they are signing on to?

Why is the group pushing for “fertility control”–using sterilizants passed by the EPA as “restricted use pest control”. Wild horses are a native species. How can restricted use pesticides be used on native species? Read more here: http://www.thedesertinde.com/Articles-2012/EPA-Calls-Wild-Horses-Pests–0511.html

Many other valid concerns about PZP were brought up in this 2010 article as well: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2010/10/220.shtml#axzz2tlL9dGaX More articles will be posted soon.

Are American wild horses becoming lab rats for immunocontraceptives for other species including humans? Read the reference section at the bottom this research paper: http://randc.ovinfo.com/e200501/yuanmm.pdf

How can man (BLM and others) decide which wild horses to sterilize on the range and who to breed? That would be the end of survival of the fittest and the beginning of domestication of the wild horse and burro.

Is the group’s paradigm flawed because it focuses on the individual wild horse and neglects to view the herd as most important–as the lifeblood?

Sanctuaries might need to sterilize wild horses because they have limited space but policy for native wild horses living in the wild should not be modeled after a sanctuary model–unless it is based on reserve design.

America’s native wild horses and burros are wild animals who benefit the ecosystem and fill their niche, reduce wildfire fuel, and help reverse desertification. They are not back alley cats that should be spayed and neutered because of an overpopulation problem. No offense to cats : )

The alleged overpopulation problem for wild horses and burros is a farce.

Now the question is–What do we do to save the wild horses from those who are pushing for risky temporary and permanent sterilization using EPA approved “restricted use pesticides” on non-viable herds?

1.) Sign and share widely the petition for a moratorium on roundups for scientific research. Good science will find real solutions to protect wild horses and burros on the range.

2.) Send an email to your senators and your representatives if you don’t want America’s wild horses to be sterilized. Let them know you didn’t read the fine print of the form letter you signed if that is the truth.

3.) Meet with your senator’s aides and your representative to request they intervene in the wipe-out of America’s wild horses and burros by granting a 10-year moratorium on roundups for scientific research on population, migration, reserve design, holistic land management, etc.

Remember don’t let anyone scare you into believing wild horses are going to be slaughtered if they aren’t sterilized. Fight the good fight for our symbols of freedom and our national living treasures–America’s wild horses and burros.

Links of interest:

Contact your senators and representatives: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Petition for a Moratorium on Roundups: http://www.change.org/petitions/sally-jewell-urgent-grant-a-10-year-moratorium-on-wild-horse-roundups-for-scientific-research

The Horse and Burro as Positively Contributing Returned Natives in North America, American Journal of Life Sciences by Craig C. Downer http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo.aspx?journalid=118&doi=10.11648/j.ajls.20140201.12

American wild horses are indigenous: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3842 and http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

January 26, 2014  Washington Post (Viral) U.S. looking for ideas to help manage wild-horse overpopulation  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-looking-for-ideas-to-help-manage-wild-horse-overpopulation/2014/01/26/8cae7c96-84f2-11e3-9dd4-e7278db80d86_story.html

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

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

The International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) study of wild herds shows that functional social structures contribute to low herd growth compared to BLM managed herds: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=6057

Public outraged over the EPA approving pesticides for NATIVE wild horses http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3866

GASLAND 2, a film by Josh Fox, the plight of wild horses is featured, http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

Wild Horses and Renegades, a film by James Anaquad Kleinert, http://theamericanwildhorse.com/

EPA calls wild horses pests, Desert Independent http://www.thedesertinde.com/Articles-2012/EPA-Calls-Wild-Horses-Pests–0511.html

Protect Mustangs’ letter requesting EPA repair error classifying iconic American wild horses “pests” http://protectmustangs.org/?p=1191

EPA Pesticide Information for ZonaStat-H http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

AVMA Reports: Vaccine could reduce wild horse overpopulation http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/apr12/120415k.asp

Wildlife fertility vaccine approved by EPA http://www.sccpzp.org/blog/locally-produced-wildlife-contraceptive-vaccine-approved-by-epa/

Oxford Journal on PZP for Humans and more http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/12/3271.long
PZP research for humans http://randc.ovinfo.com/e200501/yuanmm.pdf

Wild horse predators: http://sg.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080302002619AADTWzh

Princeton reports: Wildlife and cows can be partners, not enemies, in search for food. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S32/93/41K10/index.xml?section=featured

 

The star studded documentary by James Anaquad Kleinert requests a moratorium on roundups . . .

 

 

“It’s time to pick the torch back up and continue the fight. Never give up. We the people must take back the power for the voiceless wild ones we love!” ~Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs

 

 

 

Why end natural selection in the Pryors?

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/main_story.Par.31432.File.dat/TopStoryHorse.pdf

Should humans run a wild horse breeding program or does nature know best?

From: (http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/main_story.Par.31432.File.dat/TopStoryHorse.pdf) The BLM welcomed a new partner this spring. The adept volunteer efforts of the Cloud Foundation’s Effie Orser, Lauryn Wachs, and Ginger Kathrens contributed to the successful completion of this year’s fertility treatments in record time. The trio worked in concert with two BLM employees, Ryan Brad- shaw and Jerad Werning, who were darting wild horses elsewhere on the Range.

Statement from Protect Mustangs

We are against the Cloud Foundation and BLM partnership for extreme PZP in the Pryors for the following reasons:

1.) It ruins natural selection.

2.) According to the National Academy of Sciences there is no evidence of overpopulation.

3.) Reserve design is the healthy choice for management.

4.) Risks of sterility could ruin the herd’s genetic viability.

5.) Unnatural and increased stress on wild mares from wild stallions continuously trying to breed them month after month, year after year, until they are allowed by mankind to have one foal.

6.) Man made fertility control drugs endanger the wild herds’ ability to adapt through reproduction to environmental stresses.

7.) The “Restricted Use Pesticide” known as PZP is not allowed on domestic horses–surely for safety concerns and therefore should not be allowed on native wild horses who have been misclassified as “pests” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Natural selection has allowed native wild horses to evolve and survive for more than a million years. We believe it is unethical for a government agency and a nonprofit organization to go against natural evolution and manipulate breeding through excessive roundups and drugs approved for use as “restricted use pesticides”.

Now the public is witnessing the final phase of the Salazar Plan announced in 2009 (managing wild horses to extinction) using an EPA fast-tracked “Restricted Use Pesticide” called Porcine zona pellucida–a form of zona pellucida extracted from the ovaries of pigs.

And speaking of pigs, where are the pigs’ ovaries coming from? How were the pig’s ovaries extracted?

The Pryor Mountain Herd is already one of the two herds designated with “Treasured” status–that means they are protected and will never disappear. No need to sell out to  “restricted use pesticides” for “pest” control!

“We are proud to be working with the BLM, and we hope our partnership with them will continue and may set an example for the management of other wild herds throughout the West,” said Ginger Kathens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation in the BLM’s top story released on August 12, 2013.

What happened to The Cloud Foundation fighting for America’s wild horses’ right to live their natural lives in freedom?

“Why is Ginger Kathrens now supporting the extreme use of PZP when a couple of years ago she appeared to be against using the drug, against ruining natural selection and against creating zoo-like settings on mountaintops?” asks Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. “We want a moratorium on roundups and call for immediate population studies before blasting wild horses with fertility control and sterilization.”

 

Links of interest:

Ginger Kathrens’ paper PZP-22… Do Unintended Side-Effects Outweigh Benefits? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3270

Cloud Foundation Partnership with BLM to dart the Pryor herd with the “Restricted Use Pesticide” known as PZP to “control” fertility http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/main_story.Par.31432.File.dat/TopStoryHorse.pdf

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

Salazar presents ambitious plan to manage wild horses, Washington Post: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-10-08/news/36823356_1_wild-horses-burros-wild-herd

Ken Salazar’s wild horse plan fuels accusations that he’s in the pocket of ranchers, Huff Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/17/ken-salazars-wild-horse-p_n_324799.html

BLM announces The Salazar Plan (press release) http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2009/october/salazar_seeks_congressional.html

#Breaking: Requesting Secretary Jewell call for a moratorium on roundups and population studies before controlling fertility of wild horses and burros

Secretary Sally Jewell Photo by BLM

Secretary Sally Jewell Photo by BLM

Letter to the Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell on Flag Day

June 14th, 2013

Dear Secretary Jewell,

First of all we would like to congratulate you on your new position as Secretary of Interior.

The National Academy of Sciences published a report last week. According to a press release from NAS released Wednesday, “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.”

Despite the fact that there is no evidence of overpopulation, The NAS is suggesting a broad use of fertility control–sterilization and risky birth control approved by the EPA as a “restricted use pesticide”.

You can read about the issue in the Washington Post here as it went viral around the world: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-05/national/39747528_1_roundups-fertility-population-growth

The FDA would not approve this fertility control drug for equines. If the drugs/pesticides/birth control are not dangerous, then why haven’t they been approved for domestic horses?

Science has proven wild horses are returned-natives. Any designation of them as “pests” surely will be challenged in the courts in the near future.

We are requesting a moratorium on roundups and a scientific study to determine the actual population as well as birthrate–without the herds feeling an urgent need to reproduce because of excessive roundups since 2009. We kindly request this occur before any action to sterilize or give birth control labelled a “restricted use pesticide” to America’s wild horses and burros.

There are several health risks involved with giving free-roaming mares PZP, GonaCon® and other immunocontraceptives as well as sterilizing them or the stallions. I will provide more information in another letter.

We also request you consider the fact that managing wild horses and burros with fertility control would domesticate them because man would be choosing who breeds when, for more than a million years, Equus caballus has evolved through the survival of the fittest model.

The environment is changing and with it wildlife must evolve to survive. We are deeply concerned that using fertility control would manage them to extinction due to human interference with natural selection.

We don’t have any conflicts of interests as we are not funded by organizations and or companies connected to fertility control products and services. We are asking you for your help during this crisis because we represent many Americans who care about wild horses and burros.

Advocates estimate there are only 18,000 wild horses left in the wild. The BLM has been claiming their numbers are in the high 30,000 to justify large-scale, costly roundups and removals since 2009. The BLM has a huge budget for the program and no scientific proof of population–no headcount. Their overpopulation claim lacks scientific evidence as we claimed and was determined by the National Academy of Sciences

It’s time for wild horses and burros to be managed using real science not junk science. We encourage you to put a moratorium on roundups and complete a comprehensive scientific population study before you agree to using any fertility controls on our wild herds.

Thank you for helping save America’s wild horses and burros from being managed to extinction.

Sincerely,

Anne Novak

 

Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

San Francisco Bay Area

 

As seen in the Washington Post

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

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Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the indigenous wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

 

#WildHorses #Environment #animals #horses #fracking #food #water #green #science #Foodie #America #Nature #News #Breaking @SecretaryJewell 

Ecologist Craig Downer speaks out against using PZP in the Pryors

Craig Downer

Craig Downer (Photo © Cat Kindsfather, all rights reserved.)

Protect Mustangs’ Advisory Board member offers holistic management based on Reserve Design as opposed immunocontraceptives approved by the EPA as pesticides 

April 15, 2013

Mr. James M Sparks, Billings Field Manager
BLM, Billings Field Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101-4669
Re: 4700 (MT010.JB): Scoping Notice for Increased Use of Fertility Control on Wild Horses within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

Dear Mr. Sparks and To Whom It May Concern:

Montana BLM has zeroed out six of its seven original wild horse Herd Areas. The only one that still has any wild horses left is the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Refuge, which was established prior to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFHBA). In fact, Montana BLM has decided to zero out 82% of the original legal acreages that should have been set aside “principally” for the wild horses in the wild. This is a greater percentage of zeroing out than any other Western state. New Mexico comes closest at 77%. Given this initial injustice, it would seem that in the remaining area still home to wild horses, they would be treated much more fairly and given the resources and the Appropriate Management Levels (AML) that would assure their long-term viability. But such has clearly not been the case in the Pryors, where the AML range of 90 to 120 falls far short of the 250 individuals that is recommended for long-term viability in the wild by the IUCN SSC Equid Specialist Group (1992).

So I take this opportunity to thank you for sending me this scoping notice. I have reviewed this and wish to oppose the intensified use of PZP on the Pryor Mountain wild horses. They have been assigned an AML that is non-viable; and the further tampering with and inhibition of their reproduction would make them even more non-viable, especially in view of their long-term future survival, as well as their ecological adaptation to the Pryor Mountain ecosystem.

As a wildlife ecologist who appreciates these animals for the returned North American natives they are, I am particularly concerned that BLM’s repeated semi-sterilization of mares (often resulting in permanent sterilization of the mares) will cause serious social disruption. The logic is this: those mares who fail to achieve pregnancy quickly become disaffected with their band stallions and go off with other stallions in their futile attempts to achieve pregnancy. Similarly the stallions become desperate in their repeated futile attempts to impregnate the mares. This leads to widespread discontent and disruption, both within and between the wild horse bands composing the Pryor Mountain – as any – herd. This results in the serious neglect by adults of their duties to educate the younger members of their bands who are not as inhibited in their breeding as before. These immature individuals attempt to breed prematurely when the social units are in disarray. If intact they would be learning the very important lessons for survival in the demanding Pryor Mountain ecosystem, with its harsh winters, etc. As the effect of PZP wanes and some mares come back into a fertile condition, many give birth out of the normal Spring and early Summer birthing season, even in the late Fall or Winter when cold and storms cause them to greatly suffer and even die, along with their offspring. This is totally opposite the true intent of the WFHBA!

The intensified PZP approach to reducing reproduction in the Pryor Mountain wild horse herd is not the correct policy to adopt. It does not adhere to the core intent of the WFHBA. It is a major step toward domesticating these wild horses and seriously compromises their true wildness and natural adaptiveness. What I am offering in place of this “quick fix drug” approach to preserving, protecting, and managing this cherished herd (and all herds should be cherished) is a major and widely employed branch of the science of wildlife conservation known as Reserve Design. If properly and conscientiously applied, this would: (a) obviate the need to drug the Pryor Mountain mustangs by creating a naturally self-stabilizing horse population that would truly become “an integral part of the natural system of public lands” (preamble of WFHBA); and (b) “achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands” and “at the minimum feasible level” of interference by man. Both of these mandates come directly from Section 3 a of the WFHBA and should be adhered to by authorities of the BLM and USFS, the two agencies charged with fulfilling the act.

To accomplish these goals, you should:
(1) Incorporate the Pryor Mountain’s natural barriers such as the steep cliffs along the eastern side of the refuge that lead down to the Bighorn River. These will limit the expansion of the herd. Where necessary they could be complemented by artificial semi-permeable barriers.

(2) Restore natural horse predators such as the puma and wolf whose effect upon the wild horses would accord with natural selection and produce a more fit and well-adapted population in the Pryor Mountains. It has been a mistake to have puma hunting season reopened in the Pryors, and this should be rescinded in collaboration with Montana’s wildlife department.

(3) Avail yourself of options provided by Section 4 and 6 of the WFHAB in order to secure truly long-term-viable habitat for a truly long-term-viable wild horse population that is not subject to inbreeding and decline. Section 4 allows private landowners whose properties lie adjacent to the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge to maintain wild, free-roaming horses on their private lands or on land leased from the government provided they protect them from harassment and have not willfully removed or enticed them from public lands. This is an outstanding opportunity for the public to help in preserving and protecting the wild horse herds at healthy population levels, i.e. to complement federal Herd Areas (BLM) and Territories (USFS). Section 6 of the WFHBA authorizes cooperative agreement with landowners and state and local governments to better accomplish the goals of the WFHBA. This allows for providing complete and unimpeded habitat for long-term viable wild horse populations. BLM should invoke Section 6 to establish cooperative agreements with both the National Parks Service (USDI, same as BLM) re: McCullough Peak national monument (which I believe already has such an agreement) and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, as well as the Custer National Forest (USDA) in order to expand available habitat for the Pryor mustangs. As concerns the Custer National Forest, the USFS officials should not be allowed to get away with the fence they have erected and that restricts the wild horses’ traditional access to summer grazing meadows. This is on the west side of East Pryor Mountain and consists of a two-mile long buck and pole fence. This area was occupied by the wild horses in 1971 and should be a recognized legal area for them, as was documented by Dr. Ron Hall who did his study of the Pryor Mountain wild horses. It is also a prime public viewing area with great scenic visits, as I recall from my visit there in June of 2003. By erecting this fence, Custer National Forest officials defied their mandate to protect and preserve wild horses under the WFHAB; this is subject of an ongoing legal suit. BLM officials must insist this fence be taken down!

(4) Once a complete viable habitat is secured with adequate forage, water, minerals, shelter, wintering and summering habitat components, etc., the Pryor Mountain wild horses should be allowed to fill their ecological niche here and to naturally self-stabilize. This they will do as ecological climax species, as species belonging to the mature ecological sere, if only given the time and the space and the requisite non-interference by man. Thus, the socially and ecologically disruptive roundups will come to a halt; and the wild horses will harmonize with all the unique and fascinating animal and plant community that is found here. Given the opportunity, the wild horses will enhance the Pryor Mountain ecosystem and people will come to appreciate the virtue of a wild-horse-containing ecosystem.
(5) Semi-permeable fences could be constructed along the refuge’s peripheries but only where necessary. Buffer zones around the Pryor Mountain wild horse refuge should be established in order to contain the wild horses and keep them out of harm’s way. Within this buffer zone, mild forms of adverse conditioning techniques could be employed to keep the horses within their refuge. Win-win cooperative agreements with local people whereby they benefit from the wild horses as through giving paid eco-tours, providing lodging and meals, participating in monitoring and protection of the horses, etc., should be stressed. These positive opportunities should be expanded in order to make Reserve Design a success.

I go into greater detail as to how Reserve Design can be successfully applied in my recently published book: The Wild Horse Conspiracy, where I also describe the Pryor Mountain situation. I hope that you can get a copy and read it with an open mind. Look under Reserve Design in the Index. Let me know if you want a copy.

Hoping you will give serious consideration to the points here raised. Anxiously awaiting your response.
Sincerely,

Craig Downer

Craig C. Downer
P.O. Box 456
Minden, NV 89423

Craig C. Downer is a wildlife ecologist (UCalifBerk, UNevReno, UKanLawr, UDurhamUK) who has extensively studies both the wild horses of the West and the endagered mountain tapirs of the northern Andes. He has given speeches and written many articles, including encyclopedic, and several books. His works are both popular and scientific, in English, Spanish and translated to German. Several of these concern wild horses, their ecological contribution, their North American evolutionary roots, their great natural and social value and their survival plight. Downer is an Advisory Board member for Protect Mustangs, a member of the World Conservation Union, Species Survival Commission, a Board member of The Cloud Foundation and has written the Action Plan for the mountain tapir (1997). Downer’s current book, “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” points directly to the root cause of the disappearance of America’s wild horses. The book is on sale at Amazon

Sequester prompts call for wild horses and burros to be returned to the wild

Wild horse mares in holding (Photo © Anne Novak, all rights reserved.)

Wild horse mares in holding (Photo © Anne Novak, all rights reserved.)

Conservation group requests a freeze on roundups

WASHINGTON (April 8, 2013)–Last week Protect Mustangs, the California based conservation group, officially called for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to put a freeze on roundups and return all wild horses and burros, in government funded holding, to herd management areas in the West. They cited the current climate of federal economic instability as putting captive wild horses and burros at risk. As of April 7th, Protect Mustangs has not received a response from from BLM officials.

“It’s fiscal folly to roundup more wild horses and burros than they can adopt out,” explains Anne Novak, executive director for Protect Mustangs. “The roundups need to stop now. We are calling for the more than 50,000 stockpiled native wild horses and historic burros to be returned immediately to public land. We are concerned the government won’t be able to pay for their feed and care during the federal fiscal crisis. We need to be proactive to ensure their safety. If a government shutdown occurs, their only chance of survival is in the wild.”

The Weekly Standard broke the story on BLM’s $6 Mil helicopter contract for the wild horse and burro program after the sequester went into effect.

Roundups increased dramatically in 2009–the same year BLM started fast tracking energy projects with the Stimulus Act in full force. The deadly Calico Roundup and others popped up all along the Ruby Pipeline natural gas route. Protect Mustangs believes wild horses and burros are being removed from 26 million acres to avoid environmental mitigation and costly delays for the extractive industry.

Last month, in response to the BLM’s request for comments on the controversial Continental Divide-Cresta natural gas development project, Protect Mustangs called for a $50 Mil fund to mitigate environmental distress and removal of Wyoming’s wild horses.

In 2012, Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board member, Callie Hendrickson, suggested slaughtering native wild horses as a solution for the government’s holding crisis. Protect Mustangs is concerned the pro-kill faction of the BLM will jump on current federal economic instability to spin a death or slaughter sentence for captured wild horses and burros.

“Native wild horses should not be made to suffer further because of the BLM’s fiscal irresponsibility,” states Kerry Becklund, outreach director for Protect Mustangs. “Killing them is wrong. Now it’s time to return them to their wild lands. All the captive males have already been castrated so they won’t be reproducing. Overpopulation is a myth anyways.”

The BLM justifies using fertility control drugs because of the overpopulation myth. Yet cattle outnumbers wild horses at least 50 to 1 and is the source of most range damage. EPA approved “limited use pesticides” such as SpayVac®, GonaCon™ and ZonaStat-H appear to be risky forms of fertility control. Currently the BLM is using these drugs on wild horses and burros on the range. Protect Mustangs is against using pesticides on native wild horses–especially the nonviable herds.

“Why aren’t these drugs FDA approved for domestic horses if they aren’t harmful?” asks Novak. “We are against using these drugs on mares being released back into the wild. It’s dangerous to use these drugs on nonviable herds. If the herd numbers drop then inbreeding occurs and that’s bad.”

Wild horses are a native species. The horse evolved in America millions of years ago. There were 2 million roaming in freedom in 1900. Today they are underpopulated on the range. Advocates estimate there are less than 20,000 left in the wild. They can fill their niche in the ecosystem and be managed using holistic methods to reduce wildfire fuel, reseed the land, create biodiversity and reverse desertification.

“We are asking for a proactive solution to avoid disaster,” adds Novak. “It’s simple. Return wild horses and burros to the range and save more than $50 Mil taxpayer dollars annually.”

# # #

Below is a copy of the official email sent to Ms. Guilfoyle, Division Chief of Wild Horses & Burros. It was copied to the BLM Acting Director and other staff:

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Calling for a Freeze on Roundups & Return to HMAs

From: <anne@protectmustangs.org>

Date: Mon, April 01, 2013 1:02 pm

To: jguilfoy@blm.gov

Cc: dbolstad@blm.govnkornze@blm.govjconnell@blm.gov

Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief

Division of Wild Horses and Burros

20 M Street, S.E.

Washington, DC 20003

Main Contact Number: 202-912-7260

 

Dear Ms. Guilfoyle,

In this climate of federal economic instability, including the possibility of government shutdown, we request that all wild horses and burros in government funded holding be returned to the herd management areas immediately. We call for a freeze on all wild horse and burro roundups to prevent the equids from being caught up in an uncertain fate.

Sincerely,

Anne Novak

 

Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

 

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415.531.8454 Anne@Protect Mustangs.org

Kerry Becklund, 510.502.1913 Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org

Photos, video and interviews available upon request

Links of interest:

$6 Mil helicopter contract during sequester: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/feds-sign-6m-helicopter-contract-wild-horse-and-burro_714436.html  

Sequester affects wild horse adoption center near Reno: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020634912_apnvbudgetbattlewildhorses1stldwritethru.html

Ruby pipeline and wild horse roundups? http://www.8newsnow.com/story/12769788/i-team-bp-connected-to-wild-horse-roundups

Protect Mustangs calls for $50 Mil Wyoming mitigation fund for wild horses http://horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/20979  and http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3954

Callie Hendrickson, pro-slaughter appointee: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/03/callie_hendrickson_wild_horse_board_slaughter.php

GonaCon press release spins wild horse overpopulation myths: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/02/horse_vaccine_approval.shtml

ZonaStat-H EPA Pesticide Fact Sheet: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/pending/fs_PC-176603_01-Jan-12.pdf

Cloud Foundation report: Observations of PZP contraceptive us in the Pryors http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3901

Cloud Foundation paper: PZP-22 . . . Do unintended side effects outweigh benefits? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3270

Native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

Protect Mustangs in the news: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=218

www.ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the native wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

 

Requesting a 50 million dollar fund for Wyoming’s wild horses to mitigate environmental distress from fracking on the range

Photo © Cynthia Smalley

SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY

Bureau of Land Management

Attn:  Mark Ames

Rawlins Field Office

P.O. Box 2407 (1300 North Third Street)

Rawlins, WY 82301-2407

Email: BLM_WY_Continental_Divide_Creston@blm.gov

RE: Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project (CD-C Project)

Dear Mr. Ames,

We are against this massive fracking Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project (CD-C Project) and ask you to stop this project before it ruins the environment and endangers America’s native wild horses in Wyoming.

The drilling proposed will not only displace native wild horses but also threaten the wild herds with environmental dangers/disease.

If you choose to go forward with this during the environmentally risky CD-C Project then we ask that you do the following:

1.) We request you take immediate action to ensure native wild horses will live in their native habitat and not be rounded up for permanent removal.

2.) We request you prohibit drilling in native wild horse habitat.

3.) We ask that you work with the energy companies involved including BP American Production to create a 50 million dollar “Protect Wyoming Mustangs Fund” to mitigate the impacts to native wild horse habitat, air quality and water sources from the proposed Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development Project.

4.) We request you never grant NEPA waivers for any aspect of this project. Wild horses and other wildlife, the environment and air quality must be protected.

America’s wild horses are a native species and must be protected as such.

Kirkpatrick, J.F., and P.M. Fazio, in the revised January 2010 edition of Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife states:

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”

The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.

Please respond directly to me with regards to our requests.

Thank you for your kind assistance to urgent this matter.

Sincerely,

Anne Novak

 

Anne Novak

Executive Director

Protect Mustangs

San Francisco Bay Area

 

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www.ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is devoted to protecting native wild horses. Our mission is to educate the public about the native wild horse, protect and research American wild horses on the range and help those who have lost their freedom.

 

Public outraged over the EPA approving pesticides for NATIVE wild horses

PM Pesticides Sign  Colin Grey : Foter.com : CC BY-SA

Colin Grey : Foter.com : CC BY-SA

for immediate release

Historic burros will die off if drug causes sterility

WASHINGTON (February 15, 2013)–Americans are outraged to learn the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a second pesticide. for native wild horses when extreme roundups since 2009 have removed the majority of wild horses from public land. Today more thank 50,000 are stockpiled in government holding facilities. In 2012 the EPA approved ZonaSta-H for wild horses and burros under their pesticide program. This week the EPA approved GonaCon™ a long term infertility drug that has sometimes allegedly sterilized wild horses after one application. So few heritage burros remain that giving them harsh fertility control could wipe them out completely.

“Pesticides must not be used on native species and current science proves wild horses are natives,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “The mustangers are working at the BLM these days–hiding behind inflated population guesstimates and feral beliefs. Meanwhile they are selling truckloads of native wild horses to alleged kill buyers like Tom Davis who bought at least 1,700.”

In Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife (Revised January 2010)  J.F.Kirkpatrick Ph.D., and Patricia M. Fazio Ph.D. wrote:

The key element in describing an animal as a native species is (1) where it originated; and (2) whether or not it co‐evolved with its habitat. Clearly, E. 6 caballus did both, here in North American. There might be arguments about “breeds,” but there are no scientific grounds for arguments about “species.”

The non‐native, feral, and exotic designations given by agencies are not merely reflections of their failure to understand modern science but also a reflection of their desire to preserve old ways of thinking to keep alive the conflict between a species (wild horses), with no economic value anymore (by law), and the economic value of commercial livestock.

As a native species, wild horses create biodiversity and help heal the land. Predators exist and more can be introduced as needed while herds self-regulate. Today it’s difficult to find the herds. The BLM has rounded up the majority of the wild horses and burros in all ten western states–far more than they can adopt out.

Protect Mustangs, the native wild horse preservation group, calls for the EPA to immediately retract their approval of “pesticides” for native wild horses. They have requested that all the wild horses in government holding be returned to the Herd Management Areas designated for them under the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. The horse originated in America.  Wild horses are indigenous and must also be protected according to The Act.

Despite the government’s overpopulation spin, witnesses on the range have observed a shocking decline in wild horse and burro population since 2008.

Carl Mrozeck, journalist and independent filmmaker making Saving Ass in America, chuckled at the BLM’s inflated estimates of burros. “Personally, I’d be shocked if there were even close to the more recent optimistic number of 2,000.”

For years, the BLM has refused advocates’ requests to perform accurate independent census. “Population myths should not drive policy, merit Congressional funding nor justify passing risky infertility vaccines approved as pesticides,” adds Novak.

PEER reported that livestock has ruined the range yet the BLM refuses to address the issue. The BLM always tries to scapegoat the wild horses for typical cattle damage. Cows outnumber wild horses at least 50 to 1 on the range.

Despite public outcry, the BLM has already removed the majority of indigenous mustangs and historic burros from millions of acres of public land.  The BLM is removing the wild horses and burros to minimize environmental studies and mitigation in order to fast track toxic drilling projects on public land. The BLM confesses to making tons of money off the extractive industry as stated in the bottom of their press release: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/february/NR_02_01_2013.html

Protect Mustangs asks the BLM to acknowledge wild horses are a native species in order to manage them correctly.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Anne Novak, 415-531-8454  Anne@ProtectMustangs.org

Kerry Becklund, 510-502-1913  Kerry@ProtectMustangs.org

Photos, video and interviews are available upon request.

Links of interest:

Daryl Hannah and Michael Blake speak out about wild horses, burros and toxic drilling: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3866

PEER reports: BLM ducks complaint about suppressing livestock damage: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3367

Native wild horses: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=562

Saving Ass in America https://www.facebook.com/SavingAssInAmerica

EPA approves GonaCon™: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=3851

EPA calls iconic wild horses “pests” http://protectmustangs.org/?p=1204

USFA APHIS Press release: USDA-Developed Vaccine for Wild Horses and Burros Gains EPA Registration: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/02/horse_vaccine_approval.shtml

PM GonaCon Warning- 56228-40 GonaCon

See it: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/registration/content/56228-40%20GonaCon%2007-11SPECIMEN.pdf

 

Photo courtesy BLM

Photo courtesy BLM

EPA approves a long lasting pesticide/infertility vaccine for wild horses and burros

PM Hazard Foter Public domain Marked Sterilize

Your government at work

APHIS NEWS RELEASE

United States Department of Agriculture • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service • Legislative and Public Affairs 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737-1232 • Voice (301) 851-4100 • Web: http://www.aphis.usda.gov

Contact: Gail Keirn (970) 266-6007 Lyndsay Cole (301) 538-9213

USDA-Developed Vaccine for Wild Horses and Burros Gains EPA Registration

WASHINGTON, February 13, 2013—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services’ (WS) National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted regulatory approval for the use of GonaConTM – Equine immunocontraceptive vaccine (GonaCon) in adult female wild or feral horses and burros. GonaCon was developed by NWRC scientists and is the first single-shot, multiyear wildlife contraceptive for use in mammals.

“Since 2009, GonaCon has been available for use in female white-tailed deer. We are pleased to be able to expand the vaccine’s application to include wild horses and burros,” said NWRC Director Larry Clark. “This nonlethal tool will provide another option to wildlife managers working to reduce overabundant wild horse and burro populations in the United States.”

Overpopulation of wild horses and burros is a significant concern in the United States, as these animals can overgraze native plant species and compete with livestock and local wildlife for food and habitat. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that approximately 37,300 wild horses and burros (about 31,500 horses and 5,800 burros) are roaming on BLM- managed rangelands in 10 Western states. The estimated current free-roaming population exceeds by nearly 11,000 the number that the BLM has determined can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. Current management options are limited with the majority of actions involving the removal of horses and burros from the range and either offering them for adoption or holding them indefinitely in captivity. The BLM estimates there are more than 49,000 wild horses and burros off of BLM-managed lands that are fed and cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures.

The GonaCon-Equine vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies that bind to the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in an animal’s body. GnRH signals the production of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone and testosterone). By binding to GnRH, the antibodies reduce GnRH’s ability to stimulate the release of these sex hormones. All sexual activity is decreased, and animals remain in a nonreproductive state as long as a sufficient level of antibody activity is present. The product can be delivered by hand injection, jab stick, or darting.

GonaCon-Equine is registered as a restricted-use pesticide, and all users must be certified pesticide applicators or persons under their direct supervision. Only USDA-WS and Veterinary Services, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Defense, Federally recognized Indian Tribes, State agencies responsible for wild or feral horse and burro management, public and private wild horse sanctuaries, or persons working under their authority can use it. In order for GonaCon to be usedin any given State, it must also be registered with the State’s pesticide registration authority. Additionally, users are encouraged to contact their State fish and game/natural resource agency to determine specific State requirements. The vaccine is currently manufactured by NWRC; however, the WS program is interested in licensing the vaccine to a private manufacturer.

Future NWRC research with GonaCon will likely involve studies to support expanded registration to other species (e.g., prairie dogs and feral dogs) and aid in preventing the transmission of wildlife diseases.

WS-NWRC is the Federal institution devoted to resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society. The center applies scientific expertise to the development of practical methods to resolve these problems and to maintain the quality of the environments shared with wildlife. To learn more about NWRC, visit its Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/.

# Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

 

 

 

It’s only getting worse

Here is a video message about the American wild horse crisis in February 2010. The numbers are bigger now with 53K wild horses in holding and perhaps 15K left on the range.

Thank you Arlene Gawne and team for bringing this YouTube message to the public.

In 2009, 2010 and 2011 we all tried to help The President understand the need to save the mustangs. Sadly he appears to want The New Energy Frontier above and beyond anything else.

If you don’t like what’s going on then contact your representatives and senators because they are your voice in government. Congress funds the rotten Wild Horse and Burro Program under the Bureau of Land Management.

Request a Congressional investigation, forensic accounting and a moratorium on roundups as well as fertility control until the truth comes out that there are hardly any wild horses left out on America’s public land.

This year the EPA passed a fertility control pesticide for use on America’s wild horses and burros. Our indigenous horse has been formally labelled a “pest” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. We want the erroneous classification reversed. Pests and invasive species are weeded out and disposed of . . .  Why did the EPA sell out?

(Photo © Cat Kindsfather, all rights reserved)

Stop the roundups and the extermination!

Terrified wild horses chased and shot with birth control

Is this what the EPA has approved for our wild horses and burros? Has the EPA approved–under a restricted-use pesticide program–a method to terrorize the young and old in a herd rendering the mares infertile as young as seven years old?

Who gave the government the right to play God and make the choices? Wildlife depends on natural selection for the survival of the fittest.

The questions remain:

Are wild horses and burros ruining the thriving natural ecological balance on the range–or is it the livestock?

We all know the livestock is the culprit–outnumbering wild horses 50 to 1.

How many wild horses are out there? Some Herd Management Areas have as little as 3 horses on them. Where is the scientific proof they are overpopulating?

If you don’t like what you see then take action.

Re-protect the indigenous wild horse.