Feds to Sterilize Wild Mustangs

Thousands of wild horses to be shifted east to reduce strain on federal land
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2009 6:19 AM CDT
Wild horses cluster together after a Bureau of Land Management roundup at the Caliante Complex gather near Panaca, Nev.    (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management, Ben Noyes)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Tens of thousands of wild horses are to be sterilized and shifted from range land in the West to preserves in the Midwest and East under plans announced yesterday. The move will help manage the unsustainable numbers of horses and burros roaming free in Western states without having to resort to euthanasia, said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. A portion of the estimated 32,000 wild horses on federal lands will be sterilized and then released in an effort to cut the birth rate to 3,500 foals a year.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall praised the strategy. "We have been fighting this battle for a long time now and will continue to do so until the Bureau of Land Management fulfills its duty under the law to protect America's free-roaming wild horses and burros," he said.