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Buying Wild Horses from the Government

American Horses for Sale
 
Wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years.  As a result, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must remove thousands of animals from Western public rangelands each year to ensure that herd sizes are consistent with the land"s capacity to support them.
 
The BLM ... under a 2004 amendment to the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Law ... has been selling wild horses and burros. Since 2005, the Bureau has sold more than 2,900 horses and burros; in these transactions, unlike adoptions, the title of ownership passes immediately from the Federal government to the buyer. The BLM has thus far focused on sales only to those buyers whose intention is to provide long-term care. The BLM has not been selling any wild horses or burros to •killer buyers- or slaughterhouses.
 
Horses and burros that are not adopted or not sold are kept in short- or long-term holding facilities. If current removal, holding, and restrictive sales practices are to be continued, funding for the total wild horse and burro program will need to rise to $85 million by 2012, which is unlikely to happen.
 
Adoption Option for Mustangs / Burros
 
Since 1971, the BLM has adopted out over 220,000 horses and burros through a process in which an individual may receive the title of ownership for up to four animals in a year after demonstrating one year of humane care. The wild horse amendment authorizes the BLM to euthanize excess wild horses and burros for which an adoption demand by qualified individuals does not exist. 
 
For adoption information, visit www.blm.gov/adoptahorse. There"s an online adoption gallery, complete with photos of mustangs to buy from Illinois to Wyoming to Nevada. Adoptions have been declining in recent years because of higher fuel and feed costs.  (Adoptions fell from 5,701 in Fiscal Year 2005 to 3,706 in FY 2008.) 
 
According to the BLM, if excess horses aren"t removed from the range, the result would be an ecological disaster for Western public rangelands: overpopulation of herds, overgrazing of forage, eventual malnutrition and starvation of horses and burros, damage to native vegetation and riparian areas, damage to wildlife habitat, increased soil erosion, and lower water quality.
 
Wild horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West. What ranch would be complete without a few of them?

By Chris Navarro
Get Ranch Jobs, Contributing Editor

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