It is unfortunate that people like Joanna Grossman offer up false hope to people concerned about wild horses. No amount of birth control is going to alter the fact that there are too many wild horses.

The Appropriate Management Level has been determined by range scientists to be 26,690 horses and burros. On March 1, 2018, it was estimated there were 81,951. This is an increase of 13 percent over the March 1, 2017 estimate. Even if all the animals were sterilized, that would still result in 55,260 animals exceeding the AML. The environment would be compromised. Because horses have no predators, it is conceivable that those 55,260 could still be around in ten years. But, a lot of the other members of the flora and fauna of the high desert biome might not.

I have said it before and I shall repeat it now: Cattle, sheep, and pigs were also living symbols of the west and many peoples lives and livelihoods depended upon them. What makes the horse so sacred that its flesh cannot be offered to the poor children in our community. If there is anyone more in need of protein in their diet, it is the children of the poor. Further more, why can it not be offered to people who would desire a source of lean protein superior to beef without any chemical additives.

If the population were to be reduced to the AML, then the various birth control methods might have a chance to become effective.

As for the author’s concern that sterilization could result in a nonviable population is laughable. All that would be required to meet the government’s definition of free-roaming would be for the government to go to horse sales and buy up non-branded horses and turn them loose.

Carlisle Harrison

Hermiston

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