Wild horse advocates challenge planned sterilization research

“A wild horse advocacy group has voiced its opposition to sterilization experiments to be carried out on wild mares held in captivity.”

A wild horse advocacy group has voiced its opposition to sterilization experiments to be carried out on wild mares held in captivity.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation(WHFF) says it is opposed to the plan by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to get the assistance of Oregon State University to conduct sterilization research on 225 wild mares held at federal agency’s short-term holding facility in Burns, Oregon.

The nonprofit group alleges opposition to the plan is being disregarded by the BLM and believes it will press ahead with the plan. The charity believes the BLM will post its Decision Record on the matter on April 15, after a scheduled meeting of the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Opponents to the BLM’s plan include veterinarian Don Moore, used as an expert by WHFF, who notes: “Wild mares will not have their surgeries performed in a sterile surgical suite. Their surgery will be performed in a non-sterile chute or standing in stocks at the local BLM facility without benefit of routine standard of care.

“Unlike domestic mares who are easily handled, the very handling of these wild mares presents additional pre-operative stressors, which cannot be mitigated.”

Moore argues that the BLM “does not possess the statutory authority to treat America’s wild free roaming mares as research test subjects to perform surgeries which are not the standard of care for domestic mares”.

He continues: “All horses should be judged the same when it concerns care. Elective, unethical treatment should not be performed on either domestic horses or wild horses.”

 

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
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