Feral horses overpopulation

According to the BLM, the free-roaming population of wild horses exceeds the appropriate management level despite their efforts using current population growth-suppression measures such as sterilizing mares and gelding stallions. Each off-range pasture will receive either all mares or all geldings to prevent any chance of possible reproduction.

Hannah Johlman

Tri-state Livestock News

On June 20, the Bureau of Land Management announced that it was seeking bids from private land owners for new public off-range pastures located in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma or Wyoming that would provide a free-roaming environment for wild horses.

“An off-range pasture is where the horses are allowed to freely graze and move about like they would in the wild, only not on public lands,” said Scott Fleur, BLM wild horse specialist. “What we were advertising for is public off-range facilities where an off-range pasture could be open to the public. It’s kind of a new innovative approach that would let people come in and visit and see wild horses and learn about the program.”

The BLM began paying landowners to run and care for the federally protected animals off-range and privately in the mid 1980s when there were no longer enough federally owned resources to run the animals whose herd population would grow 20 percent each year, doubling every four to five years. The BLM became the official caretakers of the wild horses after the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which came in response to the widespread roundup and slaughter of wild horses. The act prevents the killing of wild horses, granting exceptions for those that must be euthanized due to lameness, sickness or old age.

When wild horses on public lands are gathered, Fleur says that typically the horses five years of age and younger go into the national adoption program and horses that are older and deemed “unadoptable” and “excess” are then put into the off-range pasture program. Today, over 82,000 horses are in the care of the BLM and 32,000 horses are held in the 35 private off-range pastures ranging from 1,000 acres up to 35,000 acres.

“It’s basically a retirement home for wild horses,” Fleur said, guessing that the BLM sees a 1 percent turn-over rate for horses that die while in off-range pastures, either from natural causes or require euthanizing due to health reasons. “When that happens, we deliver additional horses to keep contracts at capacity.”

According to the BLM, the free-roaming population of wild horses exceeds the appropriate management level despite their efforts using current population growth-suppression measures such as sterilizing mares and gelding stallions. Each off-range pasture will receive either all mares or all geldings to prevent any chance of possible reproduction.

Continue reading here


Free Range Report

Thank you for reading our latest report, but before you go…

Our loyalty is to the truth and to YOU, our readers!
We respect your reading experience, and have refrained from putting up a paywall and obnoxious advertisements, which means that we get by on small donations from people like you. We’re not asking for much, but any amount that you can give goes a long way to securing a better future for the people who make America great.

For as little as $1 you can support Free Range Report, and it takes only a moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *