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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TheHorse.com | The Horse February 2019 29 An Unsolvable Problem? No matter how the mustangs are gathered or how long they remain in off- range corrals or pastures, some wild horse advocates believe the picture won't change unless the BLM and its advisory commit- tee decide how to control the herd growth that makes it necessary in the first place. "The herds double in size every four years, and we have no long-range plan to deal with that," Lenz says. "Gelding stal- lions is not an answer because 40% of the seven to 10 mares in a herd are bred by satellite stallions (those that are not part of the band but breed its mares) and not by the sires of the herd." Some mustang advocates believe there is a way to control herd growth and eliminate—or at least reduce—the BLM's need for long- or short-term holding by administering porcine zona pellucida (PZP), an organically derived vaccine that prevents pregnancy in female animals. The vaccine can be delivered to mares via remote darting and would be used to limit population growth and maintain a healthy population within the herd's habitat. "We have a choice to make about whether we continue to waste tens of mil- lions of taxpayer dollars to round up and remove wild horses from their homes on the range and stockpile them in feedlots or humanely manage them in the wild using the safe, effective PZP birth control vaccine to control population numbers," says Roy. But vaccinating mares with PZP has its limitations, says Lenz. "You have to do it every year, and it's expensive," he says. Meanwhile, other mustang advocates believe the way horses are selected for holding can help get herd populations under control. "Younger horses are left on the range, and the older ones are rounded up, and that makes no sense," says Delano. "Younger (stallions) are going to breed with anything, and the older horses are much more discriminating, so why wouldn't they just turn a 25-year-old horse, for example, back on the range?" Still other proposed options involve mare sterilization and humane euthana- sia. Whatever the solution, Lenz believes the time for finding an answer to herd growth and holding options is running out. "For example, in Nevada, horses are moving off the ranges that are out of vegetation and moving into the suburbs," he says. Currently, the way to manage mustang populations, he says, is to take horses off the range and place them at these holding facilities until they're ad- opted or sold. Back in Florida, Barry plans to dedi- cate the next few years to providing Dul- cinea with appropriate ground training. In the meantime, she believes the solu- tion to helping mustangs on or off the range requires a commitment from the entire equine welfare community. "If we could get everyone in the wild horse advocate movement to sponsor just one horse, we could support them and get them trained and adopted" out of hold- ing, Barry says. h Struggling with EPM, Lyme disease or poor immune response? Available only through your veterinarian. Developed by: KPPvet.com, 859-873-2974 · Elevate natural vitamin E maintains a strong immune system. · Supports restoration of normal nerve and muscle functions. · Provides superior bioavailability. TH 2019-02 Ask your vet about

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