Fertility Control for Wild Horses

Newsdate: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 - 08:00 am
Location: CODY, Wyoming

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing the implementation of a field darting fertility control program for the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area.  They are seeking comments from the public at this time.

Beginning in February 2011, the BLM proposes to treat selected mares over one year of age with the fertility drug porcine zona pellucida (PZP) to slow the population growth on the range and work towards maintaining an appropriate management level of 70-140 wild horses.

With a balance in the wild horse population, deterioration of rangelands and a balance of wild horses with other public rangeland resources and uses can be achieved.

Because of the small herd in the McClullough Peaks area where the horses usually stay within the boundaries and are drawn to the water sources, it is considered to be a perfect herd management area to implement the program.

The goal of utilizing field darting to apply the PZP is to reduce the need for costly helicopter gathers and removal operations in the future.  Worland Public Affairs Officer Sarah Beckwith expressed the hope that, ""By darting in the field the goal is to reduce the rate of reproduction without having to gather the horses.

Many studies have been done on using PZP fertility control and the long-term effects are positive.  Beckwith stated "There is less foal mortality.  Mares live longer because they are not having a foal every two years.

About the Author

Flossie Sellers

As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.

She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.

Staying  up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..