Birth control for burros

The BLM wants to hear your thoughts on their plan for birth control for burros.

The Bureau of Land Management wants public input on a plan that it says could reduce the size of Arizona’s burro herds.

The proposal calls for a select group of female burros in the Black Mountain Heard Management Area to be treated with an immunocontraceptive vaccine to see if it would be a “safe and effective” way to manage herd sizes on a larger scale. There are approximately 5,000 burros roaming public lands, a number that could double in the next four years if no measures are put in place to hamper their breeding, according to the BLM.

“It’s a pilot study to see if it’s an effective way to manage the herd. We’re not going to see immediate results of the program,” BLM public affairs specialist Lee Tucker said.

“Substantive” comments will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2016 that “either question with reasonable basis the accuracy of information or present new information relevant to the analysis.” Comments based on opinion or emotion will not be considered, a press release stated. The BLM does not consider the amount of comments on one particular issue pertinent when making a decision.

Mohave County District 5 Supervisor Steve Moss, who has been an outspoken advocate for better burro herd management, said he’s skeptical the proposal offers a timely and cost-effective solution. He said adoption programs should be “far more aggressive” to place burros in homes and reduce herds to a sustainable number.

Moss said there are currently tens of thousands of burros and wild horses waiting for adoption. He said each animal costs about $50,000 over its lifetime, and adoption fees can be costly.

“I think the federal government has to pencil out their numbers better,” Moss said. “The longer you put off the problem, the more draconian the solution.”

The environmental assessment titled DOI BLM-AZ-C010-2016-0004, as well as online comment submissions are available at:

A printed copy is available for public review during business hours at the Kingman Field Office located at 2755 Mission Blvd, Kingman, AZ 86401.

Written comments may be mailed or delivered to the Bureau of Land Management, Kingman Field Office, 2755 Mission Blvd, Kingman, AZ 86401.

All comments will be made available to the public.


(7) comments

Objective Dialectic

Seeing as how the burro population is booming and projected only to multiply, I think a vaccine that affects reproduction might be a smart and efficient way of lowering their numbers over the upcoming years. Any solution to their population expansion will probably be costly, difficult to implement/monitor, and time consuming. However, this method seems reasonable; it seems like a good starting point on limiting the herds reproduction which is probably easier and more humane than trying to sell or relocate the burros (which will only provide a temporary solution). I am unsure if this method is more like a birth control that has to be administered every so often, or if it is a vaccine that leads to sterilization, and that is something I would like to know. If this lead eventually to sterilization, it would be much more effective at reducing their numbers over time, cost efficient (as long as the vaccine is not as costly or if it requires a lesser amount of vaccinations per year), and would require less time. I know the public views burros as cute animals (granted they are), and the public doesn't see an issue in their presence, but what many people don't know is that they are an invasive species. As an invasive species that crosses millions of acres of land annually, they affect habitat and native species by trampling vegetation and overgrazing. Such over grazing not only leads ultimately to stunted growth of the plants or even death, but it removes shaded habitat and food for other native species. Controlling their population is necessary for maintaining our beautiful lands, and helping conserve the few native species we have left her in the Southwestern desert.

see you

Why can't we do this with people who should not reproduce but won't stop practicing?

Doc Darlin

That's rich. The BLM's opinion is that burros are "over-populating". Mohave County Supervisors have reacted emotionally. Donkey Welfare Advocates and Wild Burro Experts need not apply.

Joseph Vetter

There are so many ways to get control of this booming burro (Equus asinus) population problem, i.e., put the abortion pill in feeders along their travel routes, set-up abortion clinics at strategic locations, post Roe vs Wade literature at way stations, hand out burro condoms, conduct town hall meetings on Pro-life and Pro-Choice. This counseling will also reduce the suicides on the 95 due all the "horse-ing" around and resultant unwanted pregnancies. As a matter of fact there are too many burros running amok, and Sen. John McCain wants Congress to hold a hearing on the matter.

see you


see you

Put IUDs in all the females.

Don Evans

I can vision this now. Waiting in line behind a burro at the Walmart pharmacy while she is getting her,government paid for, birth control pills.

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