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

(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.

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)
Wild horses scour the ground for strands of hay during an adoption event put on by the Bureau of Land Management in Albuquerque, NM.   (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
Wild horses relax on the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range in south-central Montana.   (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management, Ann Boucher)
A couple of mares walk with their foals at the wild horse training facility at the East Conon Correctional Complex in Canon City, Colo.,   (AP Photo/Alysia Patterson)
Wild horses roam around the Bureau of Land Management National Wild Horse & Burro Adoption Center in Palomino Valley, Nev.   (AP Photo/The Gazette-Journal, Candice Towell)
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The problem has been growing and simmering over time, and it's time for us to do something about it that protects the horses, the public lands and the taxpayers. - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

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