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BLM Aborts Plan to Surgically Sterilize Wild Horses

No Birth control

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) aborts plans to surgically sterilize a herd of wild mares in Oregon.

The government agency suggested three methods to see if they were safe and effective for population control. The study subjects were more than 200 wild mares.

Many horse advocates called the methods barbaric. The most opposed, the ovariectomy, entails surgically removing a mares’ ovaries. Unlike cats and dogs, it is not a common procedure in domesticated horses.

The other procedures included tubal ligation, or cutting the fallopian tubes. Laser ablation scars the ovaries with a laser. Neither has been tested on horses the BLM says.

Multiple animal rights organizations filed lawsuits to stop the research or seeking permission for outside observers to watch and record the procedures.

The BLM said Friday its decision to cull the research was in response to litigation.

And while it seems like good news, at the same time the Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended that the BLM euthanize horses and burros housed in the BLM’s off-range corrals and pastures. Some 45,000 live in such a manner.

The BLM has not approved the recommendation.

About 67,000 wild horses and burros roam the federal land in 10 states. That is twice what the range can support, according to experts.