Issue: New 2013 interim rules on sales of horses and burros by the BLM.
Date: January 4, 2013
The following information is reprinted from a BLM announcement.
January 4, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. (BLM) - The Bureau of Land Management today announced a policy
- in the form of what's known as an interim Instruction Memorandum - regarding new
conditions and restrictions on wild horse and burro sales. The new policy was prompted
by the BLM's overall effort to improve its management and care of wild horses and
burros that roam Western public rangelands.
"Today's announcement marks another step forward in our agency's steady improvement in
ensuring the health and humane treatment of wild horses and burros, both on and off the
range," said BLM Acting Director Mike Pool.
The new policy, which is effective immediately, will remain so until the BLM's Wild
Horse and Burro Program publishes additional guidance on wild
horse and burro sales.
The policy stipulates that:
* No more than four wild horses and/or wild burros may be bought by an individual or
group within a six-month period from the BLM without prior approval of the Bureau's
Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning.
* When buying wild horses and/or wild burros, purchasers must describe where they
intend to keep the animals for the first six months following the sale. Without
prior approval from the Assistant Director, the BLM will not sell more than
four animals destined for a single location in this six-month period.
* Buyers must provide transportation for the purchased animal from the BLM's short-
term holding corrals or other locations to its new home. Specifics regarding
acceptable trailers can be obtained from the new interim policy, which is posted at:
(Link to Instruction Memorandum No. 2013-032)
*The BLM will inspect trailers and reserves the right to refuse loading if the trailer
does not ensure the safety and humane transport of the animal.
The BLM encourages anyone who has observed inhumane treatment or the sale to a
slaughterhouse of a federally protected wild horse or burro, or who has factual
information about such an incident, to contact the Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org or
866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826) with your name, contact information, and
specific information about what you saw or know about.
This interim policy is a welcome strengthening of BLM's sale authority procedures that should help prevent buyers of BLM horses and burros from acquiring animals based on misrepresentations in regards to their intent for animals being purchased.
As the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign pointed out, these approvals will come from the same administrative level that drove the effort to increase horse and burro placement numbers, however having someone specifically accountable for approving larger numbers of horses being placed should keep future potential "Davis incident" events from getting lost in the numbers. We expect groups such as AWHPC will keep an eye on things.