House Committee Passes Same-Sex & Sterilization Amendment

We are deeply saddened to share with you that the House Appropriations Committee has passed an amendment authorizing the BLM to create same-sex or non-reproducing herds utilizing inhumane surgical sterilization techniques. The amendment was introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT). 

The BLM is advocating the use of a procedure called “ovariectomy via colpotomy," which rips the ovaries out of mares and jennies, and has shown to be extremely dangerous even in sterile conditions. The procedure has a high complication rate and causes behavioral changes and loss in bone density, according to expert equine veterinarians. 

“In private practice, colopotomy is considered an inferior procedure with likelihood of post-surgical infections and complications (i.e., colic) especially in unsterile conditions. Post-operative care usually lasts several days to often weeks and mares are monitored and in most cases are monitored in box stalls or cross ties, which cannot be accomplished with wild mares.”
Dr. Don Moore, Equine Veterinarian

You can let the supporters of this amendment know how you feel about their actions by calling the numbers below. Please be firm but respectful: 

  • Rep. Chris Stewart, Amendment sponsor. 202-225-9730
  • Rep. Ken Calvert, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chair. 202-225-1986
  • Rep. Betty McCollum, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member. 202-225-6631

This amendment has only passed the House Interior Appropriations Committee, and in order to become a part of the bill for FY19 must also be passed by the Senate committee, then passed by the full House & Senate. We still have time to ensure that this barbaric practice does not become an authorized part of BLM's management toolbox.

Tell the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee:

  • Do not pass any language that allows for the creation of same-sex/non-reproducing herds, barbaric sterilization, killing, or "unlimited sale" of our wild horses and burros
  • Follow the principles of humane management outlined in the unified statement signed by TCF, AWHC, and more than 100 other welfare and advocacy organizations
  • Place an emphasis on the use of PZP and other fertility control vaccines that have shown to be cost-effective and humane management tools for wild herds

Committee Members
 Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) 202-224-6665
RANKING MEMBER Sen. Tom Udall (New Mexico) 202-224-6621
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (California) 202-224-3841
Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vermont) 202-224-4242
Sen. Jack Reed (Rhode Island) 202-224-4642
Sen. Jon Tester (Montana) 202-224-2644
Sen. Jeff Merkley (Oregon) 202-224-3753
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) 202-224-4654
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) 202-224-4944
Sen. Roy Blunt (Missouri) 202-224-5721
Sen. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) 202-224-2541
Sen. Steve Daines (Montana) 202-224-2651
Sen. Shelley Moore Caputo (West Virginia) 202-224-6472
Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida) 202-224-3041
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) 202-224-5054

Please make calls to as many of these members as you can, as often as you can, and make the points above in your own words. It is even more powerful when these calls come from those who live in these Senator's districts, so think about the friends and family you may have in these areas to increase the impact of these calls. We must act now before it is too late. 

Thanks for your continued support. 

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director

Kayah Swanson