Mustangs have been around for ages and are said to have introduced by Native Americans, ranchers, miners and others. It is the mandate of the federal government to rein in thousands of these wild horses that currently roam the western states freely. With the resources in their natural habitat depleting at an alarming rate, a lasting solution to the rising number is being sought.
Contraceptives are one such way that was adopted in the hopes of keeping their growing population in check. This idea has been fiercely challenged by many animal rights activists who are declaring that contraceptives are a bad idea for mustangs. This tiff, which has been going on for years, has been a big blow to the government’s federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The other method through which the government seeks to reduce the number is by selling them to the public who will be responsible for them. However, this is hampered by the strict law that limits their adoption. Killing them is another option which has also been met with fierce opposition as it is considered inhumane.
This has left the government at a loss to the point of asking for help from the public as they have run out of ideas on how to handle the issue delicately. Therefore, anyone with a better solution on how to curb the rising number of these horses is welcome to contact them. If not, drastic measures will be adopted in the desperate attempt to reduce the overcrowding that threatens to have detrimental effects on the rangeland.
Although controlling the growing herd through contraceptive has failed, some groups still oppose the move. This has led to a straining of resources that are shared between cattle, mustangs and wildlife to the point of encountering a scarcity of fodder and water.
The argument from animal rights group alludes to the fact that mustangs are mistreated during this process of rendering them infertile. This is evidenced by the many images that show helicopters flying low rounding up the herds of wild horses. Reports also claim that many injuries and deaths are caused due to the ensuing stampede and the subsequent rough handling of the animals.
States like Nevada have come out strongly in the defense of these horses, through various groups and associations, to the point of suing BLM. They believe the government should be preserving them and not the other way round.
BLM however, argues that they are already giving shelter and feeding close to 40,000 mustangs at a cost of $1.30 each. Since this number is predicted to get out of control soon, they are calling for an intervention as they predict it will be too costly to manage. Their stance is firmly grounded in the belief that contraceptives, specifically PZP is the way to go.
Anne Novak, the executive director in charge of the Protect Mustangs which is an advocacy group, came out strongly about the issue. She argues that the main problem is the holding pens where the contraceptive is administered.
Although a solution is yet to be found, contraceptives still sound like a bad idea to most animal rights groups.
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