Please Comment on Barbaric Spay Experiment EA

Four family bands atop the Pryor Mountains, June 2018

Four family bands atop the Pryor Mountains, June 2018

Dear Supporters, 

The BLM Burns District Office is again proposing the use of a barbaric spay procedure on our wild mares. The office is working with Colorado State University and the United States Geological Survey to perform a "Spay Feasibility and On-Range Behavioral Outcomes Assessment." These organizations are proposing the use of a vile, inhumane procedure called "Ovariectomy via Colpotomy." They will perform these procedures in the Burns Corrals in Oregon, in an unsterile environment, and turn these mares back out into the wild without adequate postoperative care. This is a lethal proposal for these wild horses, and will destroy the essential social structure of the family bands in this HMA.

Here is video of the procedure BLM, USGS, and CSU are proposing:

Warning: this video contains graphic footage of a surgical procedure and is not suitable for young audiences. A burro receives an ovariectomy via colpotomy. Ginger Kathrens tells us why this procedure is barbaric and should not be a part of BLM's management toolbox.

We Need Your Help.

Please submit comments on this barbaric proposal by July 30, 2018. You can use the points we provide below to shape your comments, but please use your own words as it will be more powerful. 

  1. Most veterinarians won't perform this procedure in a sterile environment, let alone in an unsterile environment like the Burns Corrals.

  2. These mares will not receive adequate postoperative care. They'll be turned back out into the wild just 7 days after their procedure.

  3. Ovariectomy via colpotomy has a very high complication rate and can result in death, prolonged bleeding or peritoneal inflection.

  4. The National Academy of Sciences said in their 2013 report to the BLM: "The possibility that ovariectomy may be followed by prolonged bleeding or peritoneal inflection makes it inadvisable for field application."

  5. This procedure can result in horses entering "permanent estrus," meaning they will likely be repeatedly bred by stallions right after this invasive procedure.

  6. This office should be focusing on the humane, on-the-range management option of PZP or PZP-22, both of which have been proven to be successful and cost-effective.

  7. This violates the protections afforded to these animals in the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act. The Act states “all management activities shall be at the minimum feasible level…” and “in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands.“ This research program does not fall within either of those decrees.

Documents related to this proposal, including the EA, can be found on the BLM E-Planning site. To see them, click here. If you would like some additional guidance in preparing your comments, you may view TCF's comments on this matter by clicking below. 

You may submit your comments by fax, mail, or email. 

Wild Horse Spay Feasibility Research Project Lead   
BLM Burns District Office           
28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738                      

(541) 573-4411, Attn: Wild Horse Spay Feasibility Project Lead

Subject line: Spay Feasibility and On-Range Behavioral Outcomes Assessment and Warm Springs HMA Population Management Plan, OR DOI-BLM-ORWA-B050-2018-0016-EA

Again, please submit these comments by July 30, 2018. As long as mailed comments are postmarked by the due date, they will be accepted.

We hope that you will take the time to speak up for the mares who will be affected by this barbaric study. 

- Ginger Kathrens

Kayah Swanson