Animal Welfare Institute Issues Urgent Plea For Letters Opposing Surgical Sterilization Experiments On Wild Horses; Needed By October 18th

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While animal advocates continue to oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) surgical sterilization experiments on wild horses, a newly-released survey confirms that 75% of Americans currently agree that this vile practice should not exist. More than 2,000 adult Americans participated in the survey that was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI).

Most-likely, the majority of the remaining 25% of Americans are not aware of the appalling situation or of the unfathomable pain and suffering horses would be forced to endure if this travesty is approved.

Since 2016, the BLM, the federal agency primarily responsible for overseeing wild horses on public lands, has attempted to move forward with a controversial research proposal using an outdated surgical procedure known as “ovariectomy via colpotomy” on a herd of wild horses from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Oregon.

The goal of these experiments, where a metal rod-like tool is inserted blindly in order to sever a mare’s ovaries while the animal remains conscious, is to quantify risks and complications, including death.

The National Academy of Sciences explicitly advised the BLM not to use this surgical procedure on wild horses due to the risks involved, including trauma and infection. Under the BLM’s current plan, as many as 25 surgeries would be conducted each day at one of the agency’s corrals in non-sterile conditions. The wild horses subjected to the procedure would receive minimal post-operative care.

This is reprehensible and must not be allowed to occur for numerous reasons!

As previously reported by WAN in November of last year, AWI secured a victory in federal court that blocked the BLM’s previous attempt to pursue these reckless experiments. Earlier this year, members of Congress in both the House and Senate condemned the use of ovariectomy via colpotomy on wild horses.

“Federal lawmakers and the American public have repeatedly stressed the need for the BLM to humanely manage wild horses, iconic and beloved symbols of the West,” Dr. Joanna Grossman, equine program manager for AWI, said in a statement. “The BLM’s aggressive pursuit of mass surgical sterilization experiments ignores the wishes of a majority of Americans, wastes taxpayer dollars, and endangers the welfare and lives of federally protected wild horses.”

The BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, charged with advising the agency on a wide range of wild horse management issues, is scheduled to meet at the end of October in Washington, D.C., Board members are expected to consider the proposed experiments and could potentially vote on recommendations regarding the BLM’s plan.

The board is accepting public comments through October 18th. People are encouraged to fill out a form letter which will be sent to the board HERE!

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