Letter: Why isn't fertility control being used in wild burros?

Letter to the editor Havasu News-Herald, March 26, 2015 -


The Bureau of Land Management should start using fertility control on wild burro herds right away (“Our View: BLM should trade in burro roundups for fertility control,” Mar. 23).

Fertility control, specifically porcine zona pellucida, is being used on various wild horses throughout the country and has proven effective. In fact, in a press release issued last week the BLM field office in Billings, Montana announced they are “on the cusp of nearly eliminating the need for wild horse removals due to the use of PZP.”

So why not use this same technology on wild burros? The Humane Society of the United States has proposed to the BLM a large-scale fertility control research project on wild burros and has stepped forward with funding through The Platero Project, a grant awarded to The HSUS to assist with the cost of the work. In the meantime, the burros have been busy reproducing.

Wild burros are extremely well adapted to the harsh desert environment and deserve to live their life out on the range where they have been for the past 200 years. BLM’s typical management actions of gather, remove and adopt are not sustainable.

There are currently over 800 formerly wild burros in holding awaiting adoption already. BLM should move forward with fertility control.

Heidi Hopkins

Manager of The Platero Project of The Humane Society of the United States

Originally published in the Havasu News-Herald, March 26, 2015.

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