U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Immediate Release: Sept. 18, 2007
Contact: David Christy (916) 985-4474
Wild Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in Bishop
Young and healthy wild horses and burros from public ranges will be looking for new homes when the Bureau of Land Management offers them for public adoption Sept. 29 and 30 in Bishop.
The BLM will offer 10 gentled horses ranging in age from under 1 to about 5 years old, along with three burros, at the Tri-County Fairgrounds, Sierra Street and Fair Drive.
There will be a silent bid adoption from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29 and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 30. There will be walk-in adoptions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday for a $125 adoption fee.
The adoption is being held in conjunction with the seventh annual California Horse Show, which also runs Sept. 29 and 30 in Bishop.
"With cooler fall weather, 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.
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 and Southern California 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 must 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. Animals must be taken home on Saturday.
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 215,500 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 www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.
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