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)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
schmidtkoff
Oct 8, 2009 11:33 AM CDT
it's about time. don't know why it took them so long to come up with a plan. the helicopter round-ups terrorized these animals and was inhumane. then to pack them into death trucks so they could be slaughtered in mexico was just horrible.
chicken
Oct 8, 2009 9:50 AM CDT
I agree that they are a part of our heritage, but because they are charismatic megafauna, they are being managed inappropriately. They shouldn't be feral, period. People like them because they think they're wild, but they do no good in any environment. Sterilize all of them.
schmidtkoff
Oct 8, 2009 9:19 AM CDT
feral pigs unfortunately don't have the same romanticism that the feral horse does. it is a part of the wild american west, a symbol of freedom and wildness. the importance that this animal has in our collective conscience screams preservation. not decimation. feral or not, the horse, a most magnificent creature should be protected. if sterilization saves them then kudos to BLM. i cannot condone and will not condone herding wild horses by helicopters, or aging horse shot dead, or shuffled off to slaughterhouses in mexico or canada..