The Horse

FEB 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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26 February 2019 The Horse | After completing the BLM's adoption process, Barry received Dulcinea at her boarding barn in November 2018. Horses in Holding As early as the 1500s, wild horses and burros roamed wilderness west of the Mississippi River. Some ranchers who settled the West considered those free- roaming horses nuisance animals and routinely shot them to free up range- land for their cattle and sheep herds. As recently as the 1960s, many wild horses were rounded up and sold to slaughter. About the same time, wild horse welfare advocates lobbied Congress to create a federal safety net for the animals. That led to the introduction and passage of the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which federally protects wild horses and burros and places them under BLM jurisdiction. Almost immediately, the BLM estab- lished Herd Management Areas (HMA), or designated ranges with enough resources to sustain a prescribed number of horses on each. When herd popula- tions began to outstrip resources on HMA ranges, the BLM began conducting regu- lar roundups to remove excess animals. Those gathered horses were subsequently relocated to off-range long- and short- term holding facilities. Currently, the BLM estimates that nearly 82,000 mustangs reside in HMAs on rangelands in 13 western states. Of the mustangs gathered off the range, approxi- mately 36,890 reside in long-term pas- tures, says the BLM. They roam 289,000 acres of grasslands located primarily in Kansas and Oklahoma. Horses kept in long-term pastures are those generally deemed unadoptable or those referred to as "three-strikers" for having been passed over for adoption three times. Those horses live out their lives there. Meanwhile, another 11,633 mustangs removed from the range reside in short- term holding corrals in Arizona, Califor- nia, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah. Horses kept in the short-term corrals have access to fresh feed and water, says BLM Wild Horse and Burro outreach specialist Debbie Collins. "We don't have an average size of pens at our corrals because they are all different capacities, but we require 700 square feet per horse," Collins says. "So, for example, for every 100 horses or bur- ros, the pens are a minimum of 70,000 square feet in size." The BLM also has 32 off-range pas- tures ranging in size from 450 to 40,862 acres, totaling 328,043 acres under contract. "The pastures average 10,035 acres per pasture, and 11 of the pastures exceed 10,000 acres in size," Collins says. Many of the mustangs in short-term holding remain there for as long as two years. In the meantime, some are offered for adoption or outright sale at BLM- sponsored events across the country. Apart from the amount of time the mustangs might spend in long- or short- term holding, the costs of keeping horses at those facilities vary accordingly, Collins says. "Long-term, or off-range, pasture costs are cheaper due to lower overhead costs," she says. "The off-range pastures provide roaming, grazing environment, supplemental feeding in the dormant (pasture) months, and adequate sandy soils or natural rock for natural hoof care; therefore, their overhead costs are much cheaper than short-term holding." During the 2018 fiscal year, the BLM spent $24,898,280 on off-range pas- tures or long-term holding facilities and $24,914,297 on off-range corrals or short- term holding facilities, says BLM budget analyst Michael Reiland. The 30-year average spent on pastures is $23,054,593 and on corrals is $25,278,876, he adds. Behavior and Welfare Implications The cost to the horses is another con- sideration, says long-time equine welfare advocate Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, who's based in Louisburg, Kansas. "I don't have a problem with the hold- ing in general," says Lenz, who is also a member of the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee. "As for long- term holding, these horses live out their lives on ranches being able to roam and graze on thousands of acres." He believes they have a good-quality life and likely live longer in captivity than they do in the wild. The short-term holding facilities might be another matter, says Suzanne Roy, executive director of the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), a nonprofit LIVING IN LIMBO BRIEF SUMMARY (For full prescribing information, see package insert.) CAUTION: Federal (USA) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. DESCRIPTION: Domperidone is a D2 dopamine receptor antagonist. The chemical formula is 6-chloro-3-[1-[3-(2- oxo-3H-benzimidazol-1-yl) propyl]piperi- din-4-yl]-1H-benzimidazol-2-one. INDICATION: For prevention of fescue toxicosis in periparturient mares. Contraindication: Horses with hypersen - sitivity to domperidone should not receive EQUIDONE Gel. WARNINGS: Failure of passive transfer of immunoglobulins (IgG) may occur when using EQUIDONE Gel even in the absence of leakage of colostrum or milk. All foals born to mares treated with EQUIDONE Gel should be tested for serum IgG concen- trations. Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. HUMAN WARNINGS: Not for use in humans. For oral use in animals only. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. Pregnant and lactating women should use caution when handling EQUIDONE Gel, as systemic exposure to domperidone may affect reproductive hormones. Consult a physician in case of accidental human exposure. PRECAUTIONS: EQUIDONE Gel may lead to premature birth, low birth weight foals or foal morbidity if administered >15 days prior to the expected foaling date. Accurate breeding date(s) and an expected foaling date are needed for the safe use of EQUIDONE Gel. Do not use in horses with suspected or confirmed gastrointestinal blockage, as domperidone is a prokinetic drug (it stimu - lates gut motility). ADVERSE REACTIONS: The most common adverse reactions associated with treatment with EQUIDONE Gel are premature lactation (dripping of milk prior to foaling) and failure of passive transfer. Distributed by: Dechra Veterinary Products 7015 College Boulevard, Suite 525 Overland Park, KS 66211, 866-933-2472 © 2016 Dechra Ltd. EQUIDONE is a registered trademark of Dechra Ltd. All rights reserved. NADA 141-314, Approved by FDA EQUIDONE ® Gel (domperidone) For oral use in horses only.

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