BLM extends fertility treatment for Pryor wild horses

March 20, 2015 - “The Billings Field Office is excited to be on the cusp of nearly eliminating the need for wild horse removals due to the use of PZP.”

The Pryor Mountain wild horse herd’s size will continue to be controlled with birth control drugs, the Bureau of Land Management Billings Field Office announced Friday.

Fertility control has been used on the range in varying intensities and management applications since 2001. The current fertility control protocol using ZonaStat-H, also known as liquid PZP, began in 2011 and will expire after this season’s remote darting is complete. Currently, 70 to 80 percent of the mares are treated annually.

“We had a lot of constructive feedback and information provided to us from the public and some very productive discussions with individuals and groups like the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center and The Cloud Foundation,” said Jim Sparks, Billings field manager, in a press release. “The Billings Field Office is excited to be on the cusp of nearly eliminating the need for wild horse removals due to the use of PZP.”

The proposed action adopted by the decision was developed based on results from the 2011-2015 fertility control protocol and past use of the PZP vaccine, which has been effective in managing the herd numbers. It is composed of a specific treatment prescription, including treating mares ages ages 2 to 4 and 10 to 20 years old, along with thresholds allowing for adaptive management.

Originally published in the Billings Gazette March 20, 2015

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