Wall Street Journal: They Shoot Horses (With Birth-Control Darts), Don’t They?

Aug. 28, 2016 -- TJ Holmes begins each spring by apologizing to the wild horses in Colorado’s Disappointment Valley. Sometimes, she cries.

Ms. Holmes has known many of the roughly 90 mustangs, which roam across public rangeland and a local sanctuary, since they were foals, giving them names like “Houdini,” “Reya” and “Shadow.” Now, she’s got to shoot them.

“I say, ‘I know this is going to sting, it’s for the overall health of the herd and the range,’ ” Ms. Holmes said. By the third or fourth horse, she says, “I’m not crying anymore.”


Ms. Holmes, a former journalist, is an equestrian family planner, part of a group of horse lovers who are trying to rein in the ballooning population of wild horses by plugging females with contraceptive darts. Toting air-powered rifles and patience for birth-control jokes, they scout western U.S. ranges for fertile fillies that threaten to overwhelm federal land-management programs that already are badly strained.

Read the complete story at The Wall Street Journal.

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