Horse Roundups Pros and Cons - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-06-2015, 02:50 AM
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I dunno. I"d love to herds of elephants roaming out there.

just kidding.
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-06-2015, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by whisperbaby22 View Post
Oh oh. I was afraid someone would say that, and then I would have to say this. Equus appears to have ORIGINATED in North America four million years ago, and only died out 11,000 years ago.
The key phrase here that kills this argument is "...died out 11,000 years ago". Those were not modern horses, and the ecosystem was very different then. The current feral horse population is NOT native to the modern ecosystem.

I'm one who has the romantic notion that there SHOULD be a "wild" horse population in the American west. But I'm also a conservationist and an OUTSIDER. I think the folks who actually live there should have more say in how it's handled.

I would support controlled hunting. I would prefer that the meat and hides be used. Horse hide does make pretty good leather. I would also support humane slaughter. All this in addition to the sale of usable ones. I owned a BLM mustang that was a very good horse for my purposes.

In other words a multi faceted approach to controlling the population.
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-06-2015, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
Here in Australia they shoot wild horses from the air and leave them to die. Rounding up and slaughter maybe good, but alternatives aren't either.

I do think that the best option is rounding them up and then adopting them out through rescue association, however it doesn't happen a lot and it's probably not feasible for the amount of horses.

Perhaps a sterilization program could work?
Overpopulation of any native or feral domesticated animal is a problem that doesn't seem to have a perfect solution. Here in the north east the number of white tail deer in residential areas is beyond control. Do the math and think of a small band of say . . .a dozen horses and think of how many there will be in ten years. Adoption only makes a small dent in the population since they are not the type of horse that everyone would want nor is everyone capable of training one. Slaughter seems to be the only option unless some form of birth control could be devised, but we have the controversy over sending our domesticated horses to slaughter. I don't know what the answer is.
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-06-2015, 10:27 AM
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There already is a form of birth control called PZP. It is given in vaccine form which causes the female's immune system to produce antibodies that attach to the egg and prevent fertilization. It isn't 100% but it comes close. It is reversible and can be used on many species. It would have to be injected (which means capture) or darted with a specialized gun and dart. It has to be boostered the first year so you would have to use some kind of lasting dye that is highly visible and then it would be given once a year after that. Certainly cheaper I would suspect in the long run than what we have now. It is being used to control deer populations in a few areas.
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-06-2015, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
...ETA: the fellow has recently been countered rather roundly, so his theory might not be a good as he made it appear. . . . .
Years ago, in the early 80s, I worked on a research project in Utah that examined using grazing to improve the land. The high intensity/low time model is one of the ones tried. It can work very well for some lands, provided you manage WHEN in the year you do certain things. Sheep grazing in early spring, for example, done right can increase the amount of vegetation that grows later on in the year, like pruning. Done wrong, in the wrong numbers or time or duration or mix of species, it can create a disaster.

It is NOT a cure-all. The theory dates back at least 40 years (it has been 35 since I worked on it as a data collector).

But the theory has nothing to do with just increasing herbivores blindly. You must control it carefully or you will have a disaster. It is rather complex to do it right, and simply increasing the number of feral horses is NOT in any way the same thing. Letting deer multiply without limit likewise. That is a good way to end up with huge numbers of starving deer and horses.
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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