Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Do This So The World May Know...

There's been a reprieve for the wild horses in long term holding as of yesterday in an effort to allow further discussion and hopefully find a solution. Gathers will not be done with the exception of extreme cases where there is no forage for the animals (such as the mare and foal pictured yesterday.) While I'm elated for Beauty's sake, I can't see a solution that will make everyone happy and fear we'll be right back to where we started in another 12 months.

Back to the mathematical basics involved. Wild horse herds double in size every 4-5 years. Let's be conservative and say 5 years. 30,000 horses today becomes 420,000 horses in 20 years.

The only practical solution I can think of, outside of adopting them all out, is to use birth control in the mares. The discussion I had with one of the Oregon employees sounded hopeful. When the mares were administered with BC, the success rate was 90% the first year, 60% the second, and 30% the third. When a herd is gathered roughly every 4 years, this would make a huge impact, yet still allow for genetic diversity to continue.

But then there's the time involved, and how long it takes to administer this to all the herds. With a 4 year gather cycle, it would be at least 5 years before we really began to see any results. By not gathering in this upcoming year, the real problem is out there continuing to reproduce.

Still...it's the soundest of the solutions being offered from what I can tell. The question is how best to afford it while at the same time providing care for Beauty.

Darling put together this video slide show. If you've got volume? This is the one to listen to.

1 comment:

Cave BlackFyre said...


I read about this yesterday. My concern is this is the SECOND time since June that they've put off ANY decision as to what to do to truly remedy the problem of too many mustangs in holding facilities and too many in the herds.

By NOT gathering any, they're putting a greater risk at over grazing, over population for those herds for next year and the year after.

I personally feel that the current BLM Head is taking the easy way out because he's due to retire in a few months and doesn't want to deal with the public outrage.

In the mean time NO solution ends up becoming THE solution and it doesn't help the horses...

I know that there are individuals with in the BLM that DO care very much about the future of the Mustangs and unfortunately, they don't get to make the decisions. There are all the other aspects of BLM that have a lot of input as well and the end result is no plan of action.

A scarier point to make is that the Office of Accountability CAN force a legal move against the BLM for not staying in budget and setting a viable plan and if that happens there will be NO other options then high numbers of euthanization so I truly wish the BLM WOULD have taken some kind of action at this point in time.