When it comes to the feral horse issue in the American West, the only thing that needs to be sterilized are the bad ideas coming from animal rights activists.
That hasn’t stopped groups such as Wild Horse Education from muddying the debate over how to handle feral horse overpopulation. A group that is assisting WHE in its foolishness and has only served to make things more difficult for these horses and the people who are trying to help them is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
In a recent posting, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle argues that his organization provides the best alternative to a proposed BLM horse round-up in Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex – and elsewhere.
HSUS offers the same plan that is has offered for controlling deer populations: sterilization. The radical group wants to inject mares with the anti-fertility drug known as PZP instead of gathering these horses and placing them in costly and increasingly overstocked BLM-holding facilities (BLM’s brilliant plan) or the re-opening of American horse processing facilities (the unsavory, yet only logical approach that still takes into account a humane end to many of these suffering horses’ lives).
Let’s look at this fertility control plan for a second and examine its weaknesses. For starters, it (at best) would only prevent further population growth. A Cornell University study on the effect of sterilization methods on deer populations found that even with a 90% medication rate (good luck achieving that), you can only stabilize a population. Granted, horses are much different creatures than deer and have different reproductive tendencies, but the idea is still the same for either species. If anything, this method would be much harder to implement for a feral horse population that is believed to number in the hundred-thousands.
In addition to its difficulty to utilize, the cost of administering sterilization for each female horse would be far too much of a financial burden to place on the taxpayers, a strain that is currently exacerbated by the BLM’s expensive holding facilities, which cost taxpayers roughly $45,000 per horse across each horse’s lifetime.
Of course, financial burdens are not on HSUS minds. The multi-million dollar animal rights giant has little concern with costs of expensive, yet ineffective programs if they help them to further their agenda. But let’s think about the drug they suggest be administered to these horses: PZP. If you’re wondering who benefits financially from the use of it, look no further than HSUS. Yes, HSUS owns the patent on PZP.
It’s of little surprise that this group champions PZP with such vigor. Do they actually care about animal welfare, or are they looking to line their pockets with more money? We already know HSUS spends over 1/3 of its massive budget on fundraising, spending money to make more money.
Clearly, they’d rather profit from feral horse overpopulation than actually contribute to a logical solution.