Items

Forums
 
The BLM and Mustang Population Control
 By Winniefield Park   •   27th Dec 2015   •   3,153 views   •   0 comments
The BLM and Mustang Population Control

In the year 1492, horses returned to the Americas after an absence of several thousand years. These horses arrived in the holds of the first ships to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Europe. Today, there are still feral herds roaming North America that carry the blood of those sturdy Iberian bred horses. Horses escaped, were turned loose or lost, and thrived on the rich grasslands of the mid-west. It’s estimated that within 150 years, there were thousands (likely not millions as often stated) of these Mustangs. The word Mustang comes from the Galacian word for stray or feral animal. Other Europeans followed the Spanish as they settled the continent, each bringing horses from their part of the world and some of these interbred with the Mustangs.

During the 1800s, it’s estimated that numbers declined. Mustangs from wild herds were put to work as North America was colonized. They were the prized mounts of the many ‘horse tribes’ of the midwest, used by ranchers and the military. Many were killed because they competed with cattle for rangeland pasture. By 1900 it’s estimated that there were about two million remaining horses. They were brutally hunted for sport and gathered and slaughtered for livestock and pet food. Their numbers took another hit in the early 1900s when they were recruited to serve in WWI. By 1971, when the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 declaring Mustangs “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” and that they “contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people”1 and are therefore worth preserving, 15,000 Mustangs were left.

Related: Euthanization Imminent for Wild Mustang Herds in Western Utah

The job of preserving these horses was given to the Bureau of Land Management in the United States. In Canada Mustangs are a provincial, rather than federal responsibility and are not recognized as wild animals that could be protected under the Species at Risk Act, but as livestock. And how these herds, and the number or acceptable animals that should be allowed to be roam free has been hotly debated. Some believe that they should not be managed at all. Some would like them completely eliminated. But most believe that their numbers should be controlled, but just how to do this and what a manageable population are equally contentious.

Over the years, the BLM has tried a number of different methods to control the population of Mustangs to an “Appropriate Management Level” that respects the health of the lands the animals live on. There are approximately 47,000 Mustangs now roaming rangeland. The most common and controversial method used since 1978 is gathering using helicopters. Herds are gathered and then horses are either held in holding pens for indefinite periods of time or put up for adoption. While the BLM asserts that long term holding pens are thousands of acres in size, animal activists assert that short term holding pens are very crowded and a short term stay may be years. The BLM has also been accused of sending penned animals to slaughter, even after bill H.R.503 was enacted.

Other methods of population control have been tried, or are still used. A program called Sex Ratio Management is used to return more gelding and stallions back out to the range than mares, slowing down birth rates and extending times between gathers. Contraceptives such as hormone implants, chemical gelding, and intrauterine devices have been tried, with little success. A current program is looking at the effectiveness of a drug that must be implanted either by hand vaccination or by dart gun. The challenges with using the drug is that gathers are still required, or herds must be approachable to get close enough to be accurate with a dart gun. And, the drug in either form has a time limited effectiveness. The BLM states on its website that this program has not been a resounding success.

The BLM has a very difficult task. Not everyone agrees about what is healthy. Not everyone agrees Mustangs should be allowed to roam freely. It is hard to please everyone. The BLM comes under criticism for its methods and mission and must balance a fine line in carrying out its mandate to “ensure and maintain healthy wild horse populations on healthy public lands.”2

--
1BLM_Sale_Authority.pdf
2BLM Herd Management.html
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/ma05/indepth/
Horse News More PB Articles About:  BLM,
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
The BLM and Mustang Population Control
27th Dec 2015   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
In the year 1492, horses returned to the Americas after an absence of several thousand years. These horses arrived in the holds of the first ships to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Europe. Today, there are still feral herds roaming ...
Euthanization Imminent for Wild Mustang Herds in Western Utah
27th Apr 2014   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Once again, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is coming under criticism for mismanaging Mustang herds, this time, in western Utah. On drought ravaged lands, Mustangs are being blamed for a shortage of grazing. However, proponent ...
BLM Blocks Media From Horrific Experiment on 200 Horses
3rd Sep 2016   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
The Cloud Foundation and American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, along with veterinarians and congressmen agree that spaying is a poor option for controlling the number of free roaming Mustangs in the American West. They very m ...
BLM Mustang Adoption Incentive Will Pay You $1000
4th May 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
In an effort to control the population of wild horses and buros in the U.S. midwest, the federal government is offering an incentive to anyone who adopts a wild horse or burro. The Adoption Incentive Program allows adoptees of wil ...
Wild Horses Safe For now
5th Apr 2018   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
There is good news, at least temporarily, for those who are against the culling of wild horses in the American west. Last July, the House Appropriations Committee voted to remove from Interior Department budget passages outlining ...
California Wild Roundup Horses To Sell For One Dollar
14th Oct 2018   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Animal rights activists are angered after the U.S. Forest Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that looks after the national forests and grasslands, began the roundup of about 1000 wild horses. The horses are be ...
Controversial Wild Horse Senate Bill
1st Nov 2019   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A controversial bill is headed to the US senate. Those who approve of the measures set out in the bill, which includes sterilizing mares, say it will effectively control the size of the wild horse herds, ensure the humane treatmen ...
BLM Offers $1000 Incentive for Horse Adoption
12th Mar 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Wild horses and burros continue to be available to the public with a $1000 incentive. The horses and burros, removed from public land by the BLM, are being offered for adoption and the incentive should help new owners with the cos ...
Forest Service In Oregon To Brutally Reduce Herd Size
3rd Jun 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
In Defense of Animals is petitioning to halt the sterilization program being planned by the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon that will brutally reduce the herd size and cause harm to horses in the Oregon’s Big Summit wild horse herd ...
BLM Wild Horse Management in Question
22nd Aug 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
In this good news, bad news video from ABC News Prime 'It’s Not Too Late', host Ginger Zee takes a look at the evolution of the BLM’s management of wild horses on American’s public lands. The BLM claims there are too many horses, ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
PonyBox December 2021 Top Horses
5th Dec 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
December has arrived and with it a crop of new top-ranking horses, one of which has set a new overall record. ...
Rodeo Horse Trailer Loading The Easy Way
4th Dec 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Any performance horse is going to spend a lot of time in a trailer or truck, so they need to get used to loading and standing quietly very quickly. These rodeo horses show how it’s done, almost like a square dance, with almost no ...
Running Bloodhounds with Horses an Autumn Tradition
3rd Dec 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Autumn traditions in many places include hunting, and keeping the hounds in shape is an important part of the process. Here’s how bloodhounds are exercised so they are ready for the color and excitement of hunts through the Northu ...
🐎 ! Velocity Undefeated at 1,332 Consecutive Jumpoff Wins
28th Nov 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
With a best jump of 102.75 inches and an undefeated jumpoff record of 1,332 - 0 at the age of 16, ! Velocity, a 11.3 hand Thoroughbred mare, has just captured the top PonyBox rank. Bred by Elmos Colourblind Ink, her earnings total ...
🤠 Love Valley North Carolina Old West Video Tour
27th Nov 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Love Valley is a place that looks like time forgot. Located in the Brushy Mountains north of Statesville, North Carolina it’s the brainchild of one man who decided to live out his childhood dream of living in the old west. Take a ...
🛳️ Explore The Shetland Island Vacation Cruise
26th Nov 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
As more tourist destinations become available, many of us are planning trips once again. For fans of cruising, The Shetland Islands is a unique port of call that features the iconic Shetland Pony. Beloved by children, but original ...
Best of Breed Riding Helmets and How They Are Tested
24th Nov 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Purchase an ASTM-approved riding helmet made specifically for equestrian sports and you’ll be confident that your head will have good protection if you fall off. But not all helmets are created equal. The Helmet Lab research group ...
🐎 Girls Dominate PonyBox Top 10 Horses for November
21st Nov 2021   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Once again the girls dominate the recent PonyBox top ten rankings with only three stallions making the grade. ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2021   PonyBox LLC Create Account Advertise Terms Privacy Contact Us
189 Members Online 270,959 Registered Members 2,985 News Articles 12,976,190 Unique News Article Views 313,206,657 Website Views