In a significant step for the preservation of the Corolla Wild Horses, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously to increase the size of the herd thereby allowing them a better chance to thrive and survive. Kudos to Karen McCalpin and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for their efforts. The bill next goes to the Senate where hopefully it will be approved as well. See the article below:
House OKs act increasing size of wild herd
By Cindy Beamon
The Daily Advance
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
COROLLA — Legislation to protect the free-roaming wild mustangs on the Currituck Outer Banks won support from the U.S. House of Representatives Monday.
The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act passed the House with unanimous support and now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
The legislation sets up a new public-private management plan for the wild horses that scientists say is needed to keep the herd from becoming extinct.
Karen McCalpin, executive director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, said the House’s approval of the proposed law is an important step toward saving the wild horses.
“The fact that it was a unanimous vote speaks volumes,” said McCalpin.
U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones, who sponsored the bill, said in an interview Tuesday that he expects North Carolina U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr will back the legislation.
Jones said with pressing national issues before the Senate, he doesn’t expect the legislation will be considered before summer.
Jones said the Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s offer to pay for the herd’s management should work in the legislation’s favor.
“I am sure Currituck County can energize the Senate just like they did in the House,” he said.
The proposed management plan would raise the maximum herd size from 60 horses to up to 130. Equine genetic scientist have found that at least 110 horses are needed to prevent the herd’s genetic collapse. In addition, the plan would expand the herd’s genetic pool by introducing mares from the wild mustang herd at Shackleford Banks in Cape Lookout National Seashore.
McCalpin said the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is already taking steps to prepare for the introduction of horses from Shackleford Banks.
The Wild Horse Fund will be slowly trimming its herd of 136 horses to around 120, she said.
One way they do that is by sending human-friendly horses to Martin Community College where they are saddle-trained to make them “more appealing for adoption.”
The herd manager will also begin contraception procedures this week to keep down numbers, she said. A small dart, filled with contraceptives, is shot into the horses’ hind quarters to prevent new births. McCalpin said the procedure is approved by animal rights groups.
The procedure begins now while the number of tourists on the Outer Banks has waned. The task would be impossible in the summer when so many visitors were nearby, she noted.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Posted by Jason Summerton at 9:34 AM