For Release: October 31, 2007
Contact: Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
BLM Offers Horses, Burros for Adoption at Litchfield Corrals
Wild horses and burros, healthy and ready to train, will be offered for public adoption Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, 20 miles east of Susanville on U. S. Highway 395.
The corral gates open at 8 a.m. and the event begins at 9 a.m. with an hour of silent bidding. Animals not taken during bidding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for a $125 adoption fee.
The BLM will offer 20 weanling colts and fillies. The event will also feature five mares and five geldings between 2 and 5 years old. A group of 10 burros -- five jennies and five jacks -- will also be available.
“We have a nice selection of color in this adoption event, said BLM Eagle Lake Field Office Manager Dayne Barron. “There are pintos, buckskins and palominos along with a nice selection of sorrels and bays.”
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 records for their animals 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,” said Doug Satica, a wrangler at the BLM horse corrals. “Non-gentled animals should not be placed in large, open pastures.”
Adopters must provide a halter and lead rope. BLM wranglers will halter and load adopted animals. Adult horses must be transported in stock trailers with side-swinging gates.
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 adoption period.
“Adopters love their horses for pleasure riding and trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition. People train their burros for back country packing, pulling carts, and riding,” Satica said.
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 control and 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 215,000 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 866-4MUSTANGS or the Litchfield Corrals at (530) 254-6575. Information is also available online at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.
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