BLM authorizes horse fertility control vaccine trials for Carson City corral

A file image of wild horses
A file image of wild horses(BLM)
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 10:48 AM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Bureau of Land Management has authorized two wild horse fertility control vaccine trials that will take place in Carson City.

The BLM hopes the drug will address the overpopulation of wild horses on public lands by slowing their annual growth rates.

“Wild horses are incredible animals, but they can reproduce at a very high rate on public lands, which creates a host of challenges in arid environments,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “The development of humane, safe, and long-lasting fertility control vaccines is critically important as we continue to ramp up our efforts to protect these herds from the effects of wild horse overpopulation, drought, and climate change.”

BLM claims that without their interventions, wild horse herds on public lands would double every four or five years. They say that as of March 1, 2022, there were more than 82,000 wild horses and burros on public rangelands.

According to the BLM, this number is nearly three times the appropriate management level deemed suitable to maintain ecological balance.

The new vaccines being tested would only require one dose and last multiple years instead of the current vaccines which require multiple doses and only last one or two years.

Researchers will monitor the response of the mares to the vaccine and compare that against a control group.