BLM director says wild horses in captivity will not be euthanized

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RBC I Yesterday BLM head Neil Kornze announced that the BLM was not accepting the recommendation from the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board—an independent panel comprised of members of the public—to destroy wild horses in holding and to offer wild horses that had been passed over for adoption for sale without limitation. “The BLM is committed to having healthy horses on healthy rangelands. We will continue to care for and seek good homes for animals that have been removed from the range. The BLM does not and will not euthanize healthy animals. There are nearly 70,000 wild horses and burros on public lands in the West—three times the recommended level—and nearly 50,000 additional horses and burros that have been removed from the range and are available for adoption. The cost of caring for each animal that goes unadopted can be nearly $50,000,” the BLM announced. The recommendation from the board generated widespread public outcry from animal rights advocates, including the Humane Society, which recommends fertility control of wild horses as a better alternative to euthanasia or capture and adoption. “This recommendation met a firestorm of outrage across the country and caused our phones to ring off the hook,” states Ginger Kathrens, humane advocate on the advisory board and volunteer executive director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF), the sole dissenting vote to the board’s recommendation. Prior to the September meeting TCF learned that the BLM decided to drop wild mare sterilization research experiments in which wild mares (and fillies as young as eight months) would be surgically sterilized. BLM Director Kornze indirectly referenced the TCF and AWHPC lawsuit requesting to be present to view and record the sterilization procedures as the reason the experiments in Oregon were cancelled. Animal rights advocates have stated the sterilization procedures are inhumane and experimental.