New Agreement for Virginia Range Horse Fertility Control Program
On April 9, 2019 the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) signed a new agreement to implement a humane fertility control management program for the Virginia Range horses. The program aims to reduce population growth rates in the historic herd, which lives in a 300,000-acre range that spans from Carson City to Reno to Fernley and Silver Springs.
The program's certified darters began working in cooperation with Blockchains, LLC – the largest landowner in the Virginia Range -- to deliver the PZP immunocontraceptive vaccine to wild horses in Innovation Park in Storey County the very first week the contract was signed.
“AWHC extends our gratitude to Governor Steve Sisolak, Minority Leader Jim Wheeler, Blockchains and NDA Director Jennifer Ott for honoring the public’s interest in protecting these horses and getting this win-win program implemented”, said Suzanne Roy, executive director of the AWHC. “We are pleased to be back in the field, implementing humane solutions for population management of the cherished Virginia Range mustangs.”
“We love looking out our office windows and seeing the majestic wild horses grazing on our property”, added Jeffery Berns, CEO of tech company Blockchains. “We have always said the horses on our land, will remain on our land. But the safety of our employees and all those who visit Storey County is of concern. That’s why responsible birth control measures are essential.”
Blockchains’ land in Innovation Park comprises nearly one-third of the area currently inhabited by the Virginia Range wild horse population.
Shortly after the agreement was signed, AWHC sponsored a darter training course by the Science and Conservation Center in Northern Nevada, certifying more volunteer darters to work in the program!
Just recently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) also granted permission on certain BLM land plots. Doug Farris at NDA quickly approved these areas so darters can get out and inoculate many mares and fillies, in order to make an impact on the 2020 foal crop.