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Dr. Sue McDonnell Appointed to National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board

By Tom Gorey (202) 912-7420 Published: Apr 23, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture have made selections for the three open positions on its nine-member National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.  Dr. Sue M. McDonnell of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been appointed for the category of wild horse and burro research; Fred T. Woehl, Jr., of Harrison, Arkansas, has been appointed for the category of public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior); and Dr. Robert E. Cope, DVM, of Salmon, Idaho, has been appointed for the category of natural resources management.  Each individual will serve a three-year term on the Advisory Board.

Penn Vet, Dr. Sue McDonnellDr. McDonnell is Clinical Associate and Adjunct Professor of Reproduction and Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  Also, as a certified applied animal behaviorist, she consults privately on equine behavior and welfare.  Dr. McDonnell, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware, co-edited the current leading academic book on horse behavior, titled “The Domestic Horse: The Evolution, Development and Management of its Behaviour,” published by Cambridge University Press.

Mr. Woehl has been involved in the horse community for more than 40 years as a trainer, natural horsemanship clinician, and educator.  He is actively involved with the Equine Science Department at the University of Arkansas and taught Equine Science at North Arkansas College.  He has served as a volunteer for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program for 10 years, conducting demonstrations of wild horse versatility and assisting with adoptions.  Mr. Woehl worked as a senior agricultural adviser for the U.S. State Department from October 2008 to November 2009 in Iraq, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of agricultural programs and policy for the Ninewa Province. 

Dr. Cope, who earned his DVM at Kansas State University, has practiced veterinary medicine since 1975.  After relocating to Idaho, he was elected Lemhi County Commissioner in 2001 and still serves in that position.  Dr.  Cope has been active in the National Association of Counties (NACo), serving as chair or vice chair of NACo’s Environment, Energy, and Land Use Steering Committee for nine years.  As a veterinarian for nearly 40 years, Dr. Cope has focused on large animals, particularly range livestock.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the BLM, an agency of the Interior Department, and the U.S. Forest Service, part of the Agriculture Department, on the management and protection of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands and national forests administered by those agencies, as mandated by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  Members of the board, who represent various categories of interests, must have a demonstrated ability to analyze information, evaluate programs, identify problems, work collaboratively, and develop corrective actions.  Information about the board can be found at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/Advisory_Board.html

The Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under its mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 4,900 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

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