Locals Rally at State Capitol to Urge Governor to Permit Fertility Control Program for Virginia Range Mustangs

Wild mustangs in snowy desert setting.
Wild mustangs in snowy desert setting. Cloud Foundation

Newsdate: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 8:00 am
Location: RENO, Nevada

Today, March 13, 2019, members of the Northern Nevada Wild Horse Fertility Control Darting Team will hold a press conference and rally on the steps of the Nevada State Capitol in Carson City to call on the state to restart the humane fertility control program for the Virginia Range mustangs, a locally cherished population of wild horses that lives in the greater Reno area.

Mustangs lined up in BLM pen.

Mustangs lined up in BLM pen

Northern Nevada Wild Horse Fertility Control Darting Team calling on the state to restart the humane fertility control program for the Virginia Range mustangs..
© 2017 by BLM

What: Press Conference and Rally with Members of the Northern Nevada Wild Horse Fertility Control Darting Team

Why:  Requesting that Governor Sisolak direct the Nevada Department of Agriculture to immediately restart the birth control program for the Virginia Range Horses

When: Wednesday, March 13, 11 am to 12:30 pm

Where: State Capitol, 101 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

On hand for the event will be Deborah Walker, key darting team member and the Nevada Field Representative for the American Wild Horse Campaign, which has underwritten the training, certification and equipping of the darting team; Wayne Woolway, a retired Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant and key team darter and trainer; and Nancy Killian and Eleana Sullivan of the Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association, who together have darted hundreds of Virginia Range horses with birth control.

The Virginia Range horses live in a 300,000-acre habitat -- spanning from Carson City to Reno to Fernley to Silver Spring -- that is decreasing due to rapid development in the Northern Nevada area. Utilizing birth control, in the form of the scientifically proven PZP birth control vaccine, is a safe and humane method for reducing population growth and reducing the number of horses in the Virginia Range over time.

The approach provides a humane alternative to removing wild horses from their families and natural habitat on the range. The darting team previously worked with the state via a cooperative agreement between the Nevada Department of Agriculture and AWHC, but the NDA abruptly terminated the program in October 2017. The horses have been unmanaged since that time.

More than a dozen members of the darting team will be present at the press conference to explain the program, how the vaccine works and display the guns, darts and other equipment used to dart wild horses on the range. Their hope: to convince Governor Sisolak to restart the program while there is still time to reduce the number of foals that will be born in 2020.

Members of the public who love the Virginia Range horses and want them to be protected and humanely managed are also expected to attend the event.

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Its grassroots mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, humane and public interest organizations.


Press conference provided by Grace Kuhn - American Wild Horse Campaign

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