Contraceptives OK for Pine Nut herd |

Contraceptives OK for Pine Nut herd

Staff Reports
BLM Field Manager Leon Thomas listens to a question at a public meeting in the Fish Springs Fire Department in July 2013.
Kurt Hildebrand | The Record-Courier

A project to treat Fish Springs wild horses with a contraceptive has been approved by the Bureau of Land Management.

“Last year the BLM held three public workshops seeking alternative methods of controlling this wild horse population rather than removal,” said Sierra Front Field Manager Leon Thomas. “This pilot project was developed with input from several local wild horse groups as the result of those meetings.”

Over the next two weeks individuals from the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Preservation Campaign will be darting mares with the anti-fertility drug porcine zona pellucide.

A follow up shot will be needed in approximately 30 days.

The mares will be monitored to determine whether this treatment has lowered the population growth rate.

The Bureau of Land Management, Carson City, Sierra Front Field Office has approved the pilot project to treat wild horses that reside near the Fish Springs community, approximately 10 miles south of the Pine Nut Herd Management Area.

If successful, the program may be continued in 2015 and in other areas of the Pine Nuts, officials said.

The proposal to treat mares with a two-year contraceptive was revealed to Fish Springs residents during a meeting last summer.

A band of 40 horses were living about 10 miles south of the herd management area established in the northern Pine Nuts. The area does not include Fish Springs, where wild horses periodically roam from the north.