BLM Drops Surgical Sterilization Plan for Utah Wild Horses

The Bureau of Land Management recently indicated that it will withdraw a proposal to conduct sterilization surgeries on wild horses in Utah’s Confusion Herd Management Area. (See AWI Quarterly, spring 2021.) The Utah plan, finalized last October, would have set a dangerous precedent for how the government manages herds by subjecting horses to risky, inhumane ovariectomies that involve the blind insertion of a metal rod through an incision in the vaginal wall to sever a mare’s ovaries while the animal remains conscious. AWI rallied support among a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to urge the Interior Department to abandon this approach, led a coalition effort with wild horse advocacy groups urging Secretary Haaland to withdraw the plan, and pushed for language in the 2021 fiscal year spending package directing the BLM to use humane and safe fertility control methods.

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