Independent Research Study Finds Mustang Round-Ups Ineffective
The National Science Academy’s National Research Council released a report on Wednesday detailing its findings on the Bureau of Land Management’s population control measures for wild horses. The 14-member panel concluded that the government would do better to invest in widespread fertility control of mustangs and let nature take its course, rather than continue the costly and controversial cycle of round-ups.
In fact, the committee said, the BLM’s decision to step in prematurely while food and water supplies are adequate and natural predators gone will effectively perpetuate population growth in the mustang herds, rather than stop it. Further complicating the issue is a lack of scientific basis for the BLM’s estimates on the number of wild horses alive today, or the Bureau’s caps on population; in fact, the report said, the current population estimate is anywhere from 10 to 50 percent short of reality.
“Addressing the problem immediately with a long-term view is probably a more affordable option than continuing to remove horses to long-term holding facilities,” the report read, according to the Associated Press.
Wild horse advocates were pleased with the report’s discouragements toward round-ups, but say they are resistant to population controls that will allow humans to decide which horses surive and breed.
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