Wild Horse Education

Expands Fertility Control? (new roundup contract solicitation)

Surprise Complex roundup, a “”population maintenance” and included large removal and fertility control.

On May 10, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) put out a new roundup contract solicitation under the label of “expansion of fertility control.” It appears that several news organizations have simply repeated language in press releases. This solicitation is for roundup services that may include a treat and release component; nothing different than services currently provided under “gather contracts.” In order to know what it is, not what you are told it is, you have to go look at it.

In other words, this solicitation is the same request packed in shiny paper with a bow. You can see the description here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Sol_140L0622R0028.pdf

“Management practices may require the capture of a large percentage of the total population within the project area for purposes of selective removals based on predetermined criteria, treating mares/jennies with PGS treatments. Treated animals may need to be held until they can be released back into the HMA/WHBT/JMA/Complex in such a manner as to not interfere with the gather operation. Treated animals may need to be held for extended periods of time so that they can be given a first dose of fertility control vaccine shortly after capture and then a second dose some weeks to months later. Holding treated animals may necessitate the need for additional/separate holding pens built by the Contractor at the direction of the COR.”

To translate: The capture operator can use bait or helicopter drive to capture wild horses and burros. Then they will need to ship those selected for removal to facilities. Those selected for fertility control treatment may need to be held onsite for multiple applications of a substance (ie. GonaCon, etc.).

Several of you have written to us asking for an explanation. This is just a roundup contract. The additional funding allotted to this contract is being placed under “fertility control.” However, this is just another roundup contract.

Below: Even the Pancake roundup, where over 2,000 captured, was a population control and fertility control operation; 18 mares treated with PZP and 6 stallions were released.

There has been a lot of attempts to repackage the acceleration of the status quo. What we are seeing is not change, reform or new. What we are seeing is an attempt to make the public and lawmakers think the agency is taking steps toward reform.

Most roundups you see that you see on the schedule are all considered “population maintenance” and include removal and fertility control.

You can read more in our long form report on the BLM on-range program HERE.

Roundups begin long before a chopper flies; through political deals and habitat loss to industry, the foundation of the program is not about protecting our herds. 

Through June 1, all contributions to our work will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to 5K to help us expand our work thanks to a very generous supporter.

Thank you for keeping us in the fight!

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Categories: Wild Horse Education