The Bureau of Land Management will collect burros in the Pahrump Valley community near the Johnnie Herd Management Area. The food/water bait gather corrals could be in place for several days to several months, depending on the burros’ movements through the area.
Goal of Gather
Collect, remove and adopt up to 40 wild burros that are outside of the Johnnie Herd Management Area. These burros pose safety hazards along State Route 160, side roads in the Pahrump Valley, and have caused private property damage in the valley.
Details of the Gather
The capture method will be temporary bait gather corrals consisting of a series of corral panels, hay and water and will take place on private land where wild burros have been causing property damage. The gather is being accomplished through a volunteer agreement with the private land owners.
Due to the lack of holding space for wild horses and burros, the Pahrump Field Office will facilitate private, local adoptions of as many burros as possible and look at additional adoptions through placement into the Humane Society for the United States Platero Project burro gentling and training program. Individuals interested in adopting these burros must complete an adoption application and meet the BLM requirements to adopt. Click Here to learn more about BLM's adoption program.
The burros are being gathered because they pose a safety hazard along State Route 160, side roads in the Pahrump Valley, and have caused private property damage in the Valley. Six individuals have contacted BLM directly regarding the wild burro issues in the Pahrump Valley in the last month.
Since October of 2010, at least five burros in the Johnnie Herd Management Area were killed or had to be euthanized due to vehicle collisions. There have been no reported human injuries or fatalities related to these accidents at this time. “These particular burros are habituated to being in the Pahrump Valley and they have stopped foraging and moving throughout the Johnnie Herd Management Area,” said Krystal Johnson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist. “They have lost their normal wild characteristics and have become public safety hazards and are causing issues on private land.”
The BLM is planning to collect approximately 30-40 burros from the Pahrump Valley area, utilizing temporary bait gather corrals consisting of a series of corral panels, hay and water and will take place on private land where wild burros have been causing property damage. The burros will be available for adoption after gather operations end. The timing of this collection is important, as burro-vehicle accidents and private land owner issues usually increase during the fall as the weather begins cooling off.
The public is reminded that feeding wild horses and burros is dangerous as wild animals can be unpredictable. Feeding also affects the animals’ behavior and can be hazardous to their overall health and safety. The Pahrump Field Office will facilitate private, local adoptions of as many burros as possible and look at additional adoptions through placement into the Humane Society for the United States Platero Project burro gentling and training program. Individuals interested in adopting these burros must complete an adoption application and meet the BLM requirements to adopt.
Source: BLM News Release
Burros are among my favorite of the animals residing at our Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, with their long ears and friendly stares. We have a couple hundred of rescued burros there, and visitors seem to have a special fascination with them, too. As with all of the animals at the ranch, they've landed there because of some tale of woe - in most instances, because the burros have gotten a raw deal from the federal government, which manages, or mismanages, their populations on the vast reaches of public lands in the West.
Under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the federal government, through the Bureau of Land Management, is mandated to maintain populations of wild horses and burros in the 11 western states where they live. There are only about 40,000 wild horses and only 8,000 burros, and three quarters of the horses are in just two states - Nevada and Wyoming. The remaining states have relatively small populations, typically with 3,000 or fewer animals. There are millions of cattle and sheep on those federal lands, yet ranchers complain of too many wild equids.
The government has been rounding up and removing horses and burros, ostensibly to control these wild populations and minimize their ecological impact. In the process, the feds have been building a captive equine population now in the tens of thousands, at short-term and long-term holding facilities. Just last week, the BLM released new information that its personnel and contractors would round up nearly 2,400 more wild horses and burros this year. The cost of the round ups and housing and feeding the animals is now cannibalizing about two-thirds of the budget for the program, which has been widely regarded through the years as a case study of mismanagement.
For years, we have pressed the Bureau of Land Management, which runs the program, to focus instead on fertility programs to manage populations - a solution that the National Academy of Sciences also recommended in a report commissioned by the BLM. The BLM has been slow to implement the recommendations of the NAS.
Now, in what can only be described as a case example of poor decision-making, BLM is undertaking a pilot program with the Department of Defense and Heifer International and intends to allow the transport of 100 burros to residents in Guatemala, for use as working animals. While burros have been traditionally used for this purpose, this use is at odds with the provisions of WFHBA, which requires that the BLM's first priority has to be the humane treatment of wild burros in their care.
We are not insensitive to the difficult and challenging lives of people and animals in Guatemala and other developing countries, and we acknowledge the value and importance of working animals worldwide. Through Humane Society International (HSI) and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Program (HSVMA) affiliates, we have a robust and proactive assistance program that helps provide veterinary care and other resources in these countries. But Guatemala has burros of its own, and does not need shipments of burros compliments of the BLM - a practice that simply relieves pressure on BLM to revamp its program and protect our nation's heritage of responsibly managing wild horses and burros.
We do work with BLM, through our Platero Project, to adopt out burros to suitable owners. So far this year we have placed 190 burros and we remain committed to getting more burros placed in good, local homes. Ultimately though, the solution must be on-the-ground management through fertility control, to obviate the costly and dangerous round-ups and removals and to prevent the population boom of horses and burros in captive holding facilities.
Source: The Humane Society of the United States
TAKE ACTION >>> Guatemala has burros of its own and does not need shipments of burros from the United States. Contact BLM now to keep our nation's wild burros on American soil.
Source: KVOA News, by Sam Salzwedel
CATALINA, Arizona - A rescue group is trying to find homes for 17 burros they recently adopted from an auction. Jo DiGennaro offered her property in Catalina for 7 of the animals. "I could see myself keeping a few of them," she said. "It would be hard to
let them go, but as long as they go to good homes, it will be fine."
Julianne French is helping Equine Voices and has been fighting for the burros in the wild. "These animals are part of our history. They are our connection with our past," she said. "They're a symbol of the West. The West was built on the backs of these burros."The animals were probably rounded up near Ajo on Bureau of Land Management land, according to French.
That practice has recently been criticized by Southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. On June 20, he wrote a letter, cosigned by 30 members of congress, to the new Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
"BLM has grossly underutilized proven, cost-effective and humane alternatives, such as fertility control," the letter stated. "This is a solvable problem." Most of BLM's budget for the Wild Horse and Burro Program is spent holding the animals. There are more wild horses and burros in captivity than in the wild, according to the letter.
A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences stated BLM spent more money than necessary because "the number of animals processed through holding facilities is probably increased by management." The BLM has a web page to explain facts and myths of their program. It states burros populations can double every 4 years without proper management, and they have used some fertility control.
Equine Voices needs help with veterinary bills and feeding the animals they rescued.
The Humane Society of the United States receives five-year grant aimed at improving herd management and adoptions.
As the recipient of a five-year $760,000 grant from an anonymous donor, The Humane Society of the United States has launched “The Platero Project” to promote the protection of wild burros managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The aim of the project is to develop partnerships and programs to research the effectiveness of contraceptive vaccine on wild burro herds and to reduce the number of wild burros currently living in BLM holding areas, by increasing adoptions and relocating difficult to place burros to sanctuaries.
The project was financed by a donor who cares deeply about the humane treatment of burros, and it is named for the Spanish Nobel Laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez’s book about a faithful and friendly donkey named Platero. Heidi Hopkins, The Platero Project manager for The HSUS, said: “There are many challenges to the management of wild burro herds, and through innovation we can find a way forward that saves burros from suffering and saves tax dollars and agency resources. We are grateful for this generous donation that allows us to step up our work to protect and celebrate these animals.”
Over the past five years, the rate of wild burro adoptions through BLM has drastically decreased, and more than 1,300 burros remain in federal holding facilities in the western U.S. The HSUS plans to develop a training program for wild burros that aims to increase the number of burros adopted annually.
The immunocontraception vaccine commonly known as porcine zona pellucida (PZP) was registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to manage wild horse populations on the range last year, but it has not yet been used by the BLM on burros. The Platero Project will assist in a long-term research project to determine the efficacy and cost-benefits of using PZP to manage wild burros on the range. Increased use of PZP by the BLM could save taxpayers millions of dollars over the next decade while helping to maintain healthy wild horse and burro populations.
•There are more than 20 Herd Management Areas in five western states that are home to over 5,000 wild burros.
•Wild burros are decedents of the burros used by early settlers and miners in the 1800s.
•The Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burros Act of 1971 is a federal law that was enacted to protect these animals and their
•In many species, including wild horses, PZP, registered under the brand name ZonaStat-H, causes the production of antibodies that bind to sperm receptor sites on eggs and block fertilization. The Science and Conservation Center (SCC)
based in Billings, Montana, produces the vaccine, which has been used to treat more than 1,600 wild, sanctuary and tribal horses annually at dozens of trial sites across the U.S., including east coast barrier islands, western wild horse ranges, Navajo and Pima/Maricopa tribal horses.
•PZP was first used on wild horses in 1988 when a team led by Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., the director of the Science and Conservation Center, began a pilot project on the famous wild ponies on Assateague Island National Seashore off the coast of Maryland. This project, which has been supported by The HSUS for more than 20 years, was so successful that the National Park Service began to utilize PZP as a population management tool in 1994.
•About 300 burros live at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary operated by The Fund for Animals, an affiliate of The HSUS.
•Earlier this month, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released an extensive report that called for an increased use of on the range management tools, including PZP. See the report here.