We kick off this show with some end of the year animal news stories from around the world including dogs being trained to detect COVID, the continued decline of the fur industry in Europe, hunting of black bears (including cubs) to resume in Missouri, UK moves toward banning the export of live animals to the continent for slaughter (thanks to Brexit), a giant pouched rat wins award for detecting land mines in Cambodia, and more!
Then Peter welcomes Stephanie Boyles Griffin, Senior Scientist Wildlife Protection Department, Humane Society of the United States. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced it will begin implementing sterilization surgery on wild horses (removal of ovaries), as a means of controlling the population in one managed herd. The BLM oversees and controls the populations of wild horses in 177 herd management areas (HMAs) in the 10 states where the protected horses live. Boyles Griffin disagrees with this plan because research to support such surgeries in the field has not been conducted, and that the currently used immunocontraceptive vaccines are safe and effective. The 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Protection Act empowered the BLM to manage the populations, since they have no natural predators. and there are many parties interested in how they operate. To voice your opposition to performing invasive surgeries on wild horses, contact the BLM and your representatives, and visit the HSUS website to learn more.