USDA Reveals Heber Wild Horse Management Plan

The proposed action plan calls for contraception, gelding, and removals to control the herd’s population.
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USDA Reveals Heber Wild Horse Management Plan
The Heber Wild Horse Territory plan proposes managing herd growth by vaccinating wild mares with contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) and gelding wild stallions. | Photo: Courtesy Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance
The USDA Forest Service recently revealed its proposed action plan to manage horses in Arizona’s Heber Wild Horse Territory, but some wild horse advocates believe the plan is not in the horses’ best interest.

Released on Feb. 14, the 47-page Heber Wild Horse Territory plan proposes managing herd growth by vaccinating wild mares with contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) and gelding wild stallions. The plan also calls for using removals to reduce the herd from its current population of approximately 250 horses to 50-104 animals.

As a result, some wild horse advocates believe the plan is more about decimating the Heber herd that it is about preserving it.

“Of course when they cull, they try to take the population down to the lowest number,” said Michele Anderson, of the Heber Wild Horses Freedom Preservation Alliance. “Even 104 horses is not a genetically viable population. We feel the draft proposal is a blatant attack on the Heber herd and a plan to manage them to extinction

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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