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  • Staci-lee Sherwood

Is the PZP cartel’s plan more driven by money or saving wild horses?

Updated: Nov 2


By Staci-lee Sherwood



When a person hears the word ‘cartel’ they envision violent men armed with assault rifles selling contraband in dark alleys. The image of smiling housewives carrying rifles does not come to mind, nor does men in suits, fit the Hollywood image. Drug cartels thrive on fear, scare tactics and emotional triggers. Mix this with a healthy dose of ego and ignorance and you have the perfect cocktail to manipulate unsuspecting targets. For those who disagree and aren’t so easily swayed by their propaganda they turn to threats and gaslighting. This is an age old method of deflecting attention away from themselves until they make the target question what they believe. Targets that are overly emotional and lacking the ability to fact check are perfect.



Many supporters of PZP lean more toward housewife than equine biologist and therefore depend on what others tell them. Several supporters of new kid on the block Veterans for Mustangs are so rabid they openly make threats often sending nasty emails filled with lies, I know of this personally. One has to wonder what is it about PZP that makes for such a rabid often seemingly unhinged following.



False comparison

Twenty-seven years ago the use of PZP to control wild horse fertility was just a thought. This was first used on Assateague Island where a small group of horses, wild yes but not Mustangs, was first to be used in this experiment. The land mass is small and the horses are stuck there. There are hundreds between staff and tourists watching them on a daily basis. None of this remotely reflects the range life of wild Mustangs out west but is falsely used as an example of success. No one ever follows up on wild horses shot with PZP or anything else on the range only those in a captive like habitat. Only 1 group on the island is shot with PZP the other group is not and allowed to live, breed and foal as normal. Some of their offspring are then adopted.



Comparing these horses to wild mustangs that live on vast habitats with little oversight is not an honest comparison. Virginia Range is the other example used which, aside from those being state not federal horses, also have many eyes on them should a medical condition arise. Wild mustangs can go weeks, months even years without anyone seeing them from a distance. When groups pushing PZP use these as successful examples they lose credibility and without that you have nothing.



Over the years the use of PZP started to be used in other wildlife. In 2017 the ‘Path Forward’ was adopted with the blessing of most wild horse groups, many of whom now claim they never supported it. Following that approval the hope and spin of PZP took hold of these groups and spread like uncontrollable wildfire.



Same lies same failure

The single biggest lie coming from these groups is how the use of PZP will stop roundups. It has never ever stopped roundups. In fact last two years the number of roundups and the number of horses and burros removed have increased. Yes it’s all a big lie and always has been. Second biggest lie is that PZP will slow down the roundups…..refer to above sentence. While the theory of birth control may seem appealing the facts are anything but and have too many unanswered questions. Many of these groups have serious ethical issues as well.



The government claim that PZP saves wildlife is a lie, because these same agencies still use hunting as the excuse of management. Logic says it’s pretty wasteful to spend money on birth control for animals that will then be killed by hunters. Non-profits have clung to this falsehood for 5 years. The lie is so addictive, and the millions that go with it, those that push it are like crack addicts that just can’t let go. Every week some new non-profit jumps on the band wagon pushing PZP right next to the big donate button.



Gaslighting and manipulation

If you think of the groups pushing PZP as the ‘Hookers’ in this scenario and their donors as ‘Johns’ it all becomes clear. These groups lure their Johns with the promise of saving wild horses. It’s a blatant lie on all fronts. Once their John hands over the cash the brainwashing starts as they inundate them with what is designed to look like broad support. Truth is most of that support comes from people who haven’t a clue what PZP is or does, while the rest comes from profiteers. The politicians want to get re-elected so they sign off on funding.



The first tier of groups are the famous noise makers like ASPCA, HSUS, Return to Freedom and American Wild Horse Campaign who control the narrative. The second tier groups who have come late to the party don’t do any research of their own they just spread the collective message. Their eyes are filled with the same $tar$ as the first tier groups out in front spending money spreading misinformation. Where have we seen that method used before? The fact that the Bureau of Land MISmanagent (BLM) uses and prefers sterilant Gonacon falls on deaf ears. They know it but choose to ignore facts that compete with their cash cow fundraiser.



SWAT promoting government jobs shooting horses with PZP (SWAT – Sand Wash Advocate Team of darters run by Stella Trueblood)



Things that make you go hmmm…

PZP is made from slaughterhouse pig ovaries. Here is some information about the hormones given to pigs and a warning. Many drugs or chemicals used in conventional swine production facilities can impact employee health. Drugs used for reproductive purposes in swine are most dangerous to female employees.’ Click here for more info https://porkgateway.org/resource/hormone-use-in-swine-production-and-worker-safety/. Often pigs are also given stress hormones such as cortisol and catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline).



Here is a list of the antibiotics pigs ingest. At least 11 antibacterial or antifungal compounds or groups of compounds are widely used in swine feeds. These compounds include various salts of bacitracin, chlortetracycline, dynafac, mycostatin, oxytetracycline, oleandomycin, penicillin, streptomycin, bambermycins, tilmicosin and tylosin. ‘ Click here for more info https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g2353#:~:text=At%20least%2011%20antibacterial%20or,%2C%20bambermycins%2C%20tilmicosin%20and%20tylosin.



Has anyone studied how these chemicals effect wild mustangs, especially when they do not receive much medical care or oversight? How do these chemicals react with equine biology when made into the PZP vaccine? Is it any wonder this medical information is not found on wild horse pro PZP non-profit sites? Of course all this is consumed by humans that eat pork.



Despite all the hype about PZP being non-hormonal, the manufacturer himself knew that it had an adverse hormonal effect and significantly lowered estrogen. In 1992, he reported that three consecutive years of PZP treatment may interfere with normal ovarian function as shown by markedly depressed oestrogen secretion.” He concluded PZP is an endocrine disruptor. Click here for the list of serious health problems found with PZP http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=6922



In 2020 an article was published in Horse Talk about the dangers of PZP especially long term. An article co-authored by five leading equine biologists said “Careful consideration to the frequency of PZP treatment is important to maintaining more naturally functioning populations” and that none have investigated whether the intensity of PZP management can influence female physiology and behavior after the suspension of treatment in managed populations.”



More disturbing is “ the fact that mares do not easily return to fertility after the cessation of treatment could limit the ability of populations to rebound “ and that “stopping treatment has not resulted in increased fertility, particularly for mares that previously received 4+ treatments.” More concerns the use of PZP with small populations and/or those of conservation concern should be approached with caution (Ransom et al., 2014).” Click here to read more

https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2020/03/24/pzp-wild-horses-do-not-belong-together/



Here is the study mentioned:

Lingering effects of contraception management on feral mare (Equus caballus) fertility and social behavior click here to read https://academic.oup.com/conphys/article/5/1/cox018/3074431



BLM mocks the PZP groups

During a zoom meeting in June 2022 BLM Colorado official Elijah Woods said that BLM would work with their partners like SWAT and Piceance Mustang . In 2021 BLM said the same thing about working with SWAT on picking which horses got rounded up and those that stayed on the range. SWAT then claimed shock when BLM rounded up most of their horses including many favorites like Michelangelo. This stallion sold for $14,000 to Pat Craig in Colorado who has a sanctuary on private land. In emails with Stella Trueblood she admitted she hadn’t been down to see if Michelangelo was being taken care of or what type of place this sanctuary was. Trueblood said she just took his word for it, hmmm….



If this is how SWAT protects their ‘beloved’ horses how can anyone trust they have researched PZP and all its side effects adequately? None of the volunteers are scientists or biologists. Do we assume, like with the case of Pat Craig, they just take the word from those making a profit on PZP that it’s safe? It’s clear that SWAT has little to no real influence over BLM. Can we really trust anything they say when evidence seems to point more toward negligence? Are any of the other darting volunteer groups any more reliable?



In the BLM’s own words at an advisory board meeting in Oregon, “Spay/neuter may be an interim bridge until a time when we have better tools. Is it going to affect their behavior? Yes. Does PZP affect their behavior? Absolutely. Anything that we do in regards to this effects their behavior,” said Dean Bolstad, division chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program 2016

https://www.rgj.com/story/opinion/voices/2016/05/19/one-view-pzp-use-wild-horses-inhumane/84595222/



PZP drug cartel members

Non-profits & online groups pushing the use of PZP in wild horses


· Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates

· American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ASPCA

· American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign AWHC – Suzanne Roy

· Animal Legal Defense Fund ALDF

· Animal Wellness Action AWA – Wayne Pacelle/Marty Irby/Scott Beckstead

· Animal Welfare Institute

· Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

· Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control

· CANA Foundation - Manda Kalimian

· Center for Animal Protection and Education

· Center for Humane Education – Wayne Pacelle/Marty Irby/Scott Beckstead

· Citizens Against Equine Slaughter CAES – Patience O’Dowd

· The Cloud Foundation – Ginger Kathrens

· Corolla Wild Horse Fund

· Friends of the Mustangs 8/28/19

· Fish Springs Wild Horse Alliance

· Freedom Rocks facebook group w/CAES

· Friends of a Legacy

· Front Range Equine Rescue

· Habitat for Horses

· Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund

· Horses for Life Foundation

· Humane Society of the United States HSUS

· In Defense of Animals 9/28/19 IDA

· Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance

· Lady Freethinker

· Least Resistance Training Concepts

· Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue

· Lucky Three Ranch 9/12/19

· Montgomery Creek Ranch

· Mustang Heritage Foundation - money from BLM

· National Mustang Association, Colorado Chapter

· Nevada Wild and Free (AWHC) 8/28/19

· Onaqui Catalogue 8/28/19

· Onaqui Wild Horse Alliance 8/28/19

· Oregon Wild Horse & Burro Association

· Pegasus Equine Guardian Association

· Piceance Mustangs – Cindy Wright & Aletha Dove

· Photographers for the Preservation of Wild Horses and Burros

· Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates

· Respect 4 Horses

· Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary and Preservation RTF – Neda Demayo

· Salt River Wild Horse Management Group

· Save the Onaqui (Salt River and AWHC) 8/28/19

· Science and Conservation Center partner w/HSUS makes PZP

· Serengeti Foundation

· Southern Sun Farm Sanctuary

· Steadfast Steeds

· SWAT Sand Wash Advo Team – Stella Trueblood

· The American-Canadian Horse Warrior Forum 7/29/19

· The Horse Nation 9/18/19

· United Horse Coalition partnered with SPCA

· Veterans for Mustangs – Cameron Ring

· Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association - AWHC

· Wild Equid League (Colorado)

· Wild Horses of America Foundation

· Wild Horse Connection Reno Nevada

· Wild Horse Conservation 8/4/19

· Wild Horse Education WHE – Laura Leigh

· Wild Horse Observers Association WHOA - Patience O’Dowd

· Wild Horse Protection Act 12/25/19

· Wild Horse Preservation League

· Wild Horse Warriors of Sand Wash Basin 8/6/19 – Cindy Wright & Aletha Dove

· Wild Mustangs Forever 8/28/19

· Wyoming Wild Horse Improvement Partnership 8/26/19

· Warriors & Ranchers for Wolves & Wild Horses World News 11/21/19



The list was started in 2016 and can be found on the American Wild Horse Campaign page others were added later click here https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/media/advocacy-groups-unite-call-use-pzp-manage-us-wild-horses



One of the driving forces pushing PZP use is the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control who partners with HSUS. Their policy Director is Stephanie Boyles Griffin who works at HSUS. Their chair is Cheryl Asa, who hails from the AZA (American Zoo Association).The AZA is notorious for supporting animal abuse and cruelty at zoos, including roadside zoos. They promote the cub petting industry which is responsible for breeding big cats in captivity so the tiny cubs can be removed from their mothers and passed around for photos. Most of these cubs are killed before they reach 1 years old because there is no room for them at zoos while many survivors are sold as pets or for their fur. Her credentials add nothing positive and a lot of negative to this group pushing the use of PZP for wild horses. HSUS owns the patent for PZP. I believe a single dose costs about $30.





Think before you donate

If millions of dollars, both from donors and government grants, weren’t at stake do you really think all these ‘non-profits’ would be pushing this with every email and post? Groups have been formed and are coming out of the woodwork just to push this. Do you really think all these people are doing this to save wild horses and burros?


Together these groups have millions of members and more than half a billion dollars yet how many ever buy horses and burros at adoptions or at kill buy/livestock auctions?


You know the answer because it’s all a lie. Remember that next time you want to donate to help. Do your research first make sure your money is going towards a legitimate cause not someone’s vacation, new car or something else…….

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