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The Latest Horrific "Idea" by the BLM

4922 Views 24 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  6gun Kid
Call, write, email, something. We cannot allow this to happen. Major surgery in unsanitary conditions. Any vet that participates should lose his/her license.

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I think it is a horrible idea. Spay surgeries are rarely done in horses for a very good reason.

Spaying is too expensive to be useful in population control. No one is going to spend thousands of dollars to spay 20,000 wild horses. Not going to happen.

If it is not going to be useful, why bother doing the research? Tame horses are ideal for this research because you can medicate them, you can perform the surgery in a sterile environment, and you can manage their post surgical care.

Using wild horses for this research is idiotic unless you want high fatality rates. Of course maybe they want to use wild horses because they are expendable.

For population control, vaccines are the only economical option.
 

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I think it is a horrible idea. Spay surgeries are rarely done in horses for a very good reason.

Spaying is too expensive to be useful in population control. No one is going to spend thousands of dollars to spay 20,000 wild horses. Not going to happen.

If it is not going to be useful, why bother doing the research? Tame horses are ideal for this research because you can medicate them, you can perform the surgery in a sterile environment, and you can manage their post surgical care.

Using wild horses for this research is idiotic unless you want high fatality rates. Of course maybe they want to use wild horses because they are expendable.

For population control, vaccines are the only economical option.

No, culling is. If you want to save money, a bullet is the cheapest method.

I would MUCH rather see them try to control these populations of NON NATIVE animals than to see these horses continue to destroy fragile rangeland.

There is nothing worse than seeing them overpopulate and destroy these areas. This ensures a slow and PAINFUL death by starvation and disease. Many areas are seeing the feral horses reduced to this.....






I'd rather see them CULLED than end like this.



 

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I have had mares spayed and so have many people that I know. The Vet that used to spay a lot of mares did them all standing in a set of stocks. He made a small (2 inch) incision in front of a mare's hip bone and removed each ovary. This was before any Vet (other than the big Universities) had sterile surgical facilities. They were just fine.

We use a Vet now that just did crypt orchid surgery on a two year old colt we had that only had one testicle down. He laid him down on the grass and went in through his abdomen. He was just fine.

Do you really think the emaciated horses starving to death in the photos have it better? They've got to do something with the thousands of feral horses that the tax payers are now supporting. The public lands can't support them in this prolonged drought and tax payers cannot keep supporting them on leased ranches. The vaccines and marbles are 'hit and miss' (more miss than anything) and it has really hit the point where a bunch of them are going to have to be killed one way or another -- or starve to death and take the native wildlife with them.
 

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From what I can see its either sterilize or cull and it would seem culling gets such a quick media backlash (esp from those not actually in the area and seeing the suffering/damage) that sterilizing is an option being put on the cards now. Much more difficult and expensive, but if carried out long term could be used to lower the population without having to kill.

It would be interesting to see how it worked and the relative costs next to culls as well as its effectiveness over time. If a population could be controlled and its numbers lowered it could prove valuable for other herd population controls in other countries - even when dealing with native species where habitat degradation/loss and artificial food sources have resulted in higher population numbers than wild habitat can safely support without suffering damage.
 

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BLM gets sued when they gather mares to vaccinate, too. "Too much stress being gathered." So do they do it once? Or several times over the life of a mare.

I've spayed mares, rather I've paid to have many done. And speaking of money... how much does one mare and her offspring cost to keep on feral horse resorts paid for by each of us?
 

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If horses are destroying the range land, then we better get rid of the cows too. Personally, I would much rather see the horses than the cows out there.

Northern Arizona wild horses are fat and happy. They actually look better than a lot of domestic horses.

I don't know what the answer is. But here in Arizona, a lot of the range is run by both cows AND horses. And since it's public land, I say the horses should have priority over cattle since the horses are owned by the public and cattle are a money making venture owned by private businesses.

Yes, horse populations need to be controlled, but I would suggest the cattle are far more destructive. And the horses can't move around as much as they normally would because of all the barbed wire fences put up by the cattlemen.

There is probably room for both. But when I hear about how awful horses are on the range land, well, what about all the cattle? What makes one man's private business more important than the wild horses that an awful lot of the public enjoy seeing out there?
 

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In theory whilst the cattle are there for money generation the fact that they can generate an income suggests that they can be invested in as a resource to limit the potential damage they do cause; whilst the horses serve no purpose other than aesthetics.

The thing is aesthetics are nice, but when its an invasive non-native species the question has to be asked if its right. Surely it would be better to remove them and replace with native populations of species; whilst at the same time ensuring that the cattle do not shift to range over former horse grazed areas.



It's a complex question ,especially because people who have grown up seeing horses Expect to see horses in that landscape even if they have only been there very recently (comparatively speaking). Even the damage caused, if present since people can recall, can appear normal to people. Consider how many view heavily sheepgrazed landscapes as normal and good looking (Cumbria, Wales, Scotland to name a few in the UK) even though they are in fact heavily degraded landscapes.
 

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If horses are destroying the range land, then we better get rid of the cows too. Personally, I would much rather see the horses than the cows out there.

Northern Arizona wild horses are fat and happy. They actually look better than a lot of domestic horses.

I don't know what the answer is. But here in Arizona, a lot of the range is run by both cows AND horses. And since it's public land, I say the horses should have priority over cattle since the horses are owned by the public and cattle are a money making venture owned by private businesses.

Yes, horse populations need to be controlled, but I would suggest the cattle are far more destructive. And the horses can't move around as much as they normally would because of all the barbed wire fences put up by the cattlemen.

There is probably room for both. But when I hear about how awful horses are on the range land, well, what about all the cattle? What makes one man's private business more important than the wild horses that an awful lot of the public enjoy seeing out there?
First of all, you need to know more about what you are running your mouth about.

first, the horses pictured have it very good. They are on forest land. If there is enough rain to grow trees, there is enough rain to grow much more grass than most BLM desert land.

Second, forest and desert permits for livestock are not pastured all year. Most permits are for 2 to 4 months of the year and the stock must be taken off. When I lived in the mountains of western Colorado, most permits were for June 15 to Oct. 15. Ranchers were fined if stock was not taken off before Oct 15. I did 'day work' and helped gather many cows and calves off of the forest land. There was always a sense of urgency to make sure a few did not get left behind. Replacement cows were either raised or bought from other ranches that had 'trail-broke' cattle that could be be gathered easily and not just swarm when they saw horsemen.

Next, none of the permits are fenced. If there are any fences at all, they are between the ranches and the adjoining Federal land so cattle could be kept in on the ranch the rest of the year.

Next, the Federal land is a checker-board, not large, solid tracts of land. They are not only NOT fenced, there are several sections (640 acres each) mixed in that are privately owned by the ranches. Open range laws prevail which means that if the Federal Government wanted to keep out cattle owned by the adjoining ranch, the Feds would have to fence them out. This is logistically impossible. The ranchers would not have to fence them in if he did not want to. So, ranches voluntarily fence in their main ranches in order to grow hay or grass for winter feed and turn out on the range land for whatever months the BLM wants them to be there. [That is except for criminals like Cliven Bundy who just steals the grass, does not pay for it and left his cattle on it year 'round until arrested.]

Finally, the ranchers (sometimes with the help of grant money) are usually the ones that develop springs, ponds, set up big concrete tanks or sometimes drill wells to supply water for cattle AND feral horses AND wildlife. Without the ranchers doing this, feral horses and wildlife would either have no water at all during dry periods or would tromp it up where it occurs naturally. I have helped ranchers fence off springs and then run the water through pipes well downhill from the spring and build a big concrete tank to hold the water, store if for dry seasons and keep animals from getting into the water and fouling it or tromping it into a mud-hole. Wildlife and horses would not have any water in those areas and would have to migrate hundreds of miles like the wildlife does in the great African migrations.

Since horses are on the land all year, they deplete every blade of grass within miles of the water sources. When I was a kid, we used to laugh and say that a grasshopper had to bring a picnic lunch anywhere near a water-hole. We also used to put fences up around water-holes, keep feral horses out for 2 days and then let them in to drink, close the gates and catch them. Several of us kids made summer money breaking and selling mustangs every summer. The ranchers would haul off the horses caught, break out the young studs after they cut them and ship the rest to a dog-food factory near there. This, of course, all stopped when the wild horse act went into effect. It actually was a pretty good way to deal with the feral horses. The herds did not expand but did not disappear either. It was estimated that when the free roaming horse and burro act went into effect, there were about 20,000 feral horses. Now, there are about 100,000 of them and they are damaging the range beyond repair and the ones in holding facilities are costing a fortune, all paid for by the taxpayer.

So, it is not even remotely like the do-gooders living thousands of miles away would like you to think it is. But then, they are just idealistic troublemakers that are either uninformed or just want a cause. Either way, they have no idea what they are talking about.
 

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Absolutely correct, Cherie!!

I love horses and I love the idea of wild horses. We have the famous outerbanks feral horses here in NC. BUT, when they start suffering due to overpopulation and drought, it is time to do something or they will suffer horribly. Too many "dogooders" would rather see them suffer than do what needs to be done to ensure their, eventual, survival. Now, THAT is sad.
 

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And because many see horses, all horses, as pets rather than livestock or wildlife, those people push for policies that favor the horses over all other wildlife.

No matter that the flat hooves of horses can and do destroy springs to their own detriment and that of all other wildlife. It is a lucky range management area that has a rancher leasing. Then the springs will be maintain. The noxious weeds, and invasive plants brought in by recreational users of the land, will be addressed. All livestock and wildlife will use the mineral put out for the cattle. The amount of forage will be monitored and reported by the rancher.

And although a rancher may lease ground that is shared by other animals, reptiles, and fowl, for "x" number of weeks, if drought conditions persist and the grass/forage goes below a certain level, he pulls his cows (without refund).

I likely know more ranchers who do lease public land than most who support those money making "Save the Victimized Horse" sites, and do not know even one that does not care about the well-being of the horse, and all other living things on the public ground they lease. Difference being, the ranchers actually do something to protect and improve things for the horses and other animals.
 

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If horses are destroying the range land, then we better get rid of the cows too. Personally, I would much rather see the horses than the cows out there...

...And since it's public land, I say the horses should have priority over cattle since the horses are owned by the public and cattle are a money making venture owned by private businesses.

Yes, horse populations need to be controlled, but I would suggest the cattle are far more destructive....
1 - Cattle ARE regulated. They are controlled. Each year, the government decides how many cattle the land can sustain. They often cut numbers well below that number.

2 - That is why cattle are NOT more destructive. I can't remember the last time I saw public land overgrazed by cattle. But if I did, I could report it to the USFS or BLM, and the number of cattle would be cut.

3 - The government can cut the number of cattle or sheep at any time and for any reason. A friend paid $100,000 for grazing rights, then had the number cut by 90% two years later. That was because he was only using 20% of his allotment, and a directive came down cutting grazing by 50% for most of that state - but the wording was to cut 50% of what was currently being run. May have made sense where folks were using 100% of their allotment, but not for someone who was just starting. Still, no recourse, although the numbers being run by my friend were trivial. It almost drove him out of business. $100,000 for what became $10,000 worth of grazing.

4 - The government makes money off the cattle. That offsets the costs of supervising the land. They also pressure the rancher to make "improvements". My friend sank $20,000 into stock ponds that would benefit both cattle and wildlife, then two years later had his grazing rights there terminated. That is why he avoids government grazing rights as much as possible. Trusting the government has nearly cost him his ranch several times.

5 - The 'wild horses' compete with deer, elk and other critters. And we control the numbers of deer and elk by SHOOTING deer and elk, yet are not allowed to do anything about horse populations! I think wild horses should be treated no better than wild deer - shoot them if the numbers get too large. I've worked with tame elk before. They were a lot like horses in personality. About the same size, too. But we hunt elk, and let horses go uncontrolled. Why?
 

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And because many see horses, all horses, as pets rather than livestock or wildlife, those people push for policies that favor the horses over all other wildlife.

UK side we don't have feral horses, the closest we get are konik ponies and a few others like Dartmoor and that other moor whose name escapes me at present. They are kept to the same standards as other captive livestock even though they are being used to manage wetland/heathland sites. What's more daft is that some reserves have had to put down stocks of hay at some sites because the locals would keep trying to feed the horses - horses that are not handled all that much and thus not as safe as your average hacking horse; and horses that are quite happy to munch on the forage and grass in their enclosures.

However the horse is almost like a large dog/cat to many people and we have had so many generations without proper feral horses that people can't see them as anything else. It doesn't help that one of the common things people who are horsey talk about is medical costs and how horses are deathtraps to themselves which enroots in peoples minds that horses need caring for and are incapable of doing it themselves.

Of course when we then speak of needing to cull (in the USA case) this really confuses people when the same organisation is saying that horses are hardy and don't need managing and then that we do need to manage them.




Sadly its a hard case to win but I put a lot of blame on the fact that education teaches natural studies very poorly. If the USA is anything like the UK then the mechanics of life (like photosynthesis) fits into biology classes a lot; but the idea of proper natural studies just doesn't enter the school system. There isn't enough money nor industry in conservation nor farming to make natural studies a big thing for common education which - is quite honestly - baffling when you consider that the natural world is a vast area we live with every day; even in the middle of urban areas the natural world exists
 

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I was watching some youtube BLM videos. The usual hype and hysteria.

One of them was on the CRUELTY of how they geld the horses then FORCE them to move to "reduce swelling" for the next few days. Then showing a horse in "obvious distress" (aka calmly laying down) and how he needed pain medication four days later and wasn't given any.

Uh... you know that's exactly how they geld ALL horses??? Make sure you understand something before you freak out about it. It's pretty frustrating.

I'd be shocked if that chestnut with the foal lives through another foal. I can't imagine driving down the road and seeing that. The ones above are beautiful, but it's a different area.

Overpopulation is the WORST and yes with the "dogooders" as with the video above.

My boss was asking if my sheep could eat moldy hay "because cows can". I said my sheep eat better hay than the horses (breeding flock, and my one gelding is IR)! She said "well I thought farm animals" me- "aren't horses farm animals :p" (or overgrown lap dogs, depending?!). Then later "I meant livestock not farm animals". I didn't say anything!
 

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Next, none of the permits are fenced. If there are any fences at all, they are between the ranches and the adjoining Federal land so cattle could be kept in on the ranch the rest of the year.
I can tell you that it is fenced out here......all over the place. The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest is fenced in sections with barbed wire for cattle. I ride it all the time. You can't hardly go a mile without looking for a gate. The ranchers who own the leases repair and replace the fences. The boundary between our neighborhood and the national forest was re-fenced several years ago by the rancher that runs the cattle. So I don't know how it's done in Colorado, but I do know what's going on right in my backyard.

I knew my opinion wasn't going to be popular, but I have as much a right to my opinion as anyone else. Especially when everyone else wants to shoot them and such. :x

More horses for you to shoot:
 

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Especially when everyone else wants to shoot them and such. :x

More horses for you to shoot:

Everyone who wants a different solution and is willing to consider options "wants to shoot horses?"

Many of us knowledgeable horsemen realize the feral horses have a hard life. Often made harder by emotion-based thinking and not facts.

And then there are citizens in this country who think the more than 50 MILLLION dollars spent on the feral horse program while people are suffering in our country just isn't worth it.

Adopt a couple dozen yourself. I've gotten 7 over the years. But, don't tell me I have to support unsustainable numbers to the detriment of all other wildlife, just because horses are the favorite animal of some.

BTW, less than 3% of cattle in this country ever graze a few weeks a year on public lease land.
 
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