Bureau of Land Management offers $1000 adoption incentives to give wild horses good homes

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(Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Agricultural Trade Center on Friday and Saturday hosted The Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Adoption and Sale event. The BLM offers wild horses and burros for adoption or purchase at events across the country throughout the year. Prospective buyers had their pick of 75 horses and burros available for adoption or sale.

The Bureau of Land Management created the Wild Horse and Burro Program to implement the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, passed in 1971. Broadly, the law declares wild horses and burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” and stipulates that the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service have the responsibility to manage and protect herds in their respective jurisdictions within areas where wild horses and burros were found roaming in 1971. Wild, free-roaming wild horses can be found on public lands across 10 western states. 

To manage the population growth of wild horses and burros, the BLM controls herd growth through the application of fertility measures, such as birth control and the periodic removals of excess animals and the placement of those animals into private care through adoptions and sales.

The BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program was available to any at the event looking to give an untrained horse or burro a good home. Adoptions cost a $125 fee while sales are $25; however, the Adoption Incentive Program allows qualified adopters to receive up to $1,000 up to 60 days after title date. The goal of the program is to reduce BLM’s recurring costs to care for unadopted and untrained wild horses and burros while helping to enable the BLM to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile public rangelands.

To receive the incentive, adopters will have to take their Title Eligibility letter that they receive in the mail to a veterinarian to be signed. The BLM also states in a press release, “To qualify to adopt, one must be at least 18 years old, with no record of animal abuse. Qualified homes must have a minimum of 400 square feet of corral space per animal, with access to food, water and shelter. A six-foot corral fence is required for adult horses, five feet for yearlings and four-and-a-half feet for burros. All animals must be loaded in covered, stock-type trailers with swing gates and sturdy walls and floors.”

Many attendees that came to the event were prepared to train the animals themselves. Milfred Defosse, who attended with his daughter Nicole, said the reason they wanted to adopt a horse was because, “they need good homes. Nicole has also been wanting a young mustang to work with and break.”

BLM has placed more than 280,000 of these horses and burros into private care.

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