U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California
 
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News Release

For Release:  Feb. 22, 2007            
Contact:  David Christy (916) 985-4474
CA-CC-07-22

Wild Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in Turlock

Young and healthy wild horses and burros, direct from public ranges, will be looking for new homes when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway, Turlock.
 
The BLM will offer 70 horses ranging in age from under 2 to about 5 years old along with 20 burros.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.  The adoption event opens with an hour of silent bidding beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.  Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee. Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at the arena at about 2 p.m. on March 23.

Those who want to learn more about training their new mustang can watch free training demonstrations by Lesely Neuman, a Placerville-area trainer with extensive wild horse experience.  She will work from a round pen during both days of the adoption event.

The Back County Horsemen of California is co-sponsoring the adoption and will hold its annual rendezvous at the fairgrounds on March 23 through 25. A public lands training program will be held on March 22. Information on the rendezvous is available on the web at http://www.bchc.com/rendezvous/
 
“With the coming of spring, the timing is right to begin training an adopted mustang or burro,” said Mindy Odom, wild horse and burro specialist in BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office.  “We will offer free training demonstrations during both days of the adoption event.”
 
The horses were gathered from herds in Nevada and California.  These areas are known for producing good-sized horses that excel at pleasure riding, competition, ranch work and endurance riding.  Burros (donkeys) come from Nevada deserts.
 
All available animals have received de-worming treatments and vaccinations for West Nile virus, rabies and common equine diseases.  All have negative Coggins test results.  Adopters receive complete health care records so they can begin health care programs with their veterinarians.

To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 years old and have no convictions for inhumane treatment of animals.  BLM staff members will interview all prospective adopters to be sure they meet the BLM adoption requirements.  Newly adopted horses and burros must be kept in corrals with at least 400 square feet of space per animal (20 feet by 20 feet), surrounded by a fence built of pipe or boards.  Six-foot fences are required for adult horses.
 
Horses under 18 months old can be kept in corrals with five-foot fences, and four-and-a-half-foot fences are allowed for burros.  Adopters must provide a two-sided, roofed shelter to provide protection from extreme weather.

“Adopted animals should be kept in this corral until they can be approached, handled, haltered and led,” Odom said.  “Non-gentled animals cannot be placed in large, open pastures.”

Adopters must provide a halter and lead rope.  BLM wranglers will halter and load adopted animals.  All animals must be transported in step up stock trailers.  Drop ramp trailers will not be allowed.

Title to adopted wild horses and burros remains with the federal government for one year.  After providing a year of good care, adopters can receive title.  The BLM or a representative will check on the condition of the animal during the one-year adoption period.

“Wild horses are strong, loyal, intelligent and very trainable,” Odom said.  “Adopters find they are great for pleasure riding and trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition.  People train burros for back country packing, pulling carts, and riding.”

Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  The law recognizes the animals as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west,” and requires the BLM to manage the wild herds.

The BLM periodically gathers horses and burros to control herd populations on ranges shared with wildlife and domestic livestock.  Herd sizes are controlled to ensure there is sufficient feed and water for all range users and to ensure that natural resources are not over-used.

There are about 31,000 wild horses and burros roaming on public rangelands in the western states.  More than 213,000 animals have been placed in private care since the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse-or-Burro Program began in the early 1970s

For additional information on the adoption event or wild horse management, contact the BLM toll free at 1-866-4MUSTANGS or Odom at (661) 391-6049.   Information is also available online at http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/index.php.

-BLM- 


 
Last updated: 01-18-2008