Decision by renowned veterinary school is on the right side of history

Photo from Burns Corrals

Contact: Lisa Friday, Director of Communications
lisa@thecloudfoundation.org | 804-389-8218

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – In a stunning decision siding with America’s wild horses and burros, Colorado State University has opted to back out of a barbaric study intended to rip the ovaries out of wild mares.

“We are grateful that Colorado State has opted out of this cruel and inhumane study,” said Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation and Humane Advocate on BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board. “This decision by CSU sends a signal that reputable centers of learning reject atrocious management proposals and stand for the humane treatment of our wild horses and burros.”

The study, planned for the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Oregon, was a joint effort between CSU, the Bureau of Land Management, and the United States Geological Survey. Those organizations were planning to study the “feasibility and on-range behavioral outcomes” associated with performing a procedure called “ovariectomy via colpotomy.” The proposed action involved a veterinarian performing the procedure in what BLM calls the “semi-sterile” environment of Burns Corrals. The mares would then be turned back out onto the range after very little post-operative observation.

The ovariectomy procedure is so dangerous for the animal that many veterinarians will not even perform it in a sterile environment.

“Had the study pressed forward, it would have spelled death for the wild mares of Warm Springs,” Kathrens said. “The post-operative bleeding and death rates associated with this procedure are very high. It’s a procedure used as a last resort by reputable veterinarians. We could not fathom how such a highly-regarded veterinary school would be involved with such a thing.”

While there is no word yet on whether or not the study will proceed, a portion of the proposal involved a veterinarian from CSU performing the procedure.

“It is difficult to see how the study can continue now, but we will remain vigilant to ensure we do everything in our power to stop it if need be,” Kathrens said. “Any kind of proposal involving this invasive and dangerous procedure is no way to humanely manage our wild horse and burro herds. We are glad that CSU agrees.”


The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 based in Colorado Springs, Colorado dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on public lands in the American West.

Kayah Swanson