BLM Opens Comment Period for New Spay Feasibility Study


If you support the standing surgical spay as a viable, humane option for population control in horses on American rangelands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Burns District Office needs to hear from you. There is a newly proposed Feasibility Study that is very similar to the one proposed in 2018, with the main difference being that none of the mares used in this 2019 study will be pregnant. The second primary difference is that accommodations for public viewing have been stipulated.
This new study will analyze the standing surgical spay procedure for:
• Safety,
• Complication rate,
• Feasibility
• The U.S. Geological Society (USGS) will also evaluate the impacts of spaying on mare and herd behavior once spayed horses are returned to the range as compared with an untreated herd in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area (HMA).

Benefits of the Standing Surgical Spay:

The standing surgical spay is a viable, humane and economical method to help reduce the population of horses over time to the appropriate management level (AML) outlined by the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The BLM reports (as of March 2018) that there are over 80,000 wild horses on American rangelands. The AML is 27,000, which means that there are three times more horses on the land than it can sustain. It is in the best interest of the horses, the land, and the native wildlife to reduce the population to the specified AML. Sending your comments of support could be the first step in adding the spay procedure to the list of approved population control methods.

Why Comments in Support are Vital:

This is an excellent opportunity to show support of spaying mares as one of the BLM’s population management tools. The BLM received an enormous amount of comments in support of the spay study in 2018, which allowed them to move forward with the project even with push back from animal rights organizations and activists. We believe that shows that the public’s perception of the issue is leaning in favor of science-based approaches to population control and acknowledging there is an issue to begin with. Please take the time to let the BLM know that you are in favor of assessing the viability of spaying mares as a tool for herd management.

Comment Deadline – June 12th:

Protect The Harvest urges the public to send in comments of support before the deadline of June 12th, 2019.

How to Send in Comments:

If you have comments on the EA or unsigned FONSI, submit them postmarked or emailed by May 27, 2019, to Spay Project Lead, Burn District BLM.
Letters can be sent to: Bureau of Land Management – Burns District Office, 28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738

Comments may be emailed to:

If you need further information, please contact the Burns District BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at 541-573-4555.

BLM Documentation Links:

Spay Feasibility and On-Range Outcomes Environmental Assessment:

Spay Feasibility and On-Range Outcomes Environmental Assessment – Finding of No Significant Impact:

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