Nevada: Authorities to use fertility control on up to 250 wild mares

Pine Nut, Nev., Dec. 21, 2015 -- About 250 mares are to be treated with a fertility control vaccine in musters scheduled in Nevada early next year.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says it will muster about 1000 wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountain, Fish Creek and Little Fish Lake herd management areas and treat 225 to 250 mares with the contraceptive vaccine, Porcine Zona Pellucidae (PZP-22), before releasing them back to the range.

About 460 wild horses will be removed to reduce the impacts to the public lands.

Additional gathers are scheduled in the Humboldt Herd Area in the Winnemucca District and the Wood Hills Herd Area in the Elko District to remove wild horses from checkerboard land ownership areas not identified for wild horse management.

A mixture of helicopter and bait trapping will be used for these operations, the BLM says.

The timing of the gathers, which are expected to begin January 26, is designed to maximize the effectiveness of the PZP-22. PZP-22 can help slow herd growth rates and extend the time until another gather is needed.

The division chief of the national Wild Horse and Burro Program, Joan Guilfoyle, said the gathers formed part of the BLM's efforts to reduce overpopulation of wild horses on public lands through the use of fertility control and selective removals.

The welfare of wild horses is always a top priority for the BLM and we remain committed to providing humane care and treatment as we and our contractors conduct gather operations in Nevada.

Originally published Dec. 21, 2014, by HorseTalk.co.nz.

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