Wild horses and burros, all certified healthy and halter trained, will be offered for adoption when the Bureau of Land Management brings them to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale, Saturday, Feb. 6, as part of a packing clinic organized by the Back Country Horsemen of California.
The adoption gates open at 9 a.m., with an hour of silent bidding. Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee.
Interested adopters can preview the animals when they arrive at about 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.
“We expect to have nine horses and a burro” said Pardee Bardwell, of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. “They range from about a year old to six years old. Volunteers and BLM wranglers, all experienced trainers, have given these animals their initial training.”
The animals have received de-worming treatments and vaccinations against common equine diseases, including rabies and West Nile virus.
To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 and residents of the United States. Adopted halter-trained animals must be kept in a corral that offers at least 400 square feet per animal and is surrounded five-foot pipe or board fence (four and a half-foot fences are allowed for burros). A two-sided shelter is required. Animals can be released into larger pastures when they can be readily approached, haltered and led.
Title to adopted animals initially remains with the U. S. government, but after providing a year of good care, adopters can receive title.
The BLM periodically gathers horses and burros, which are protected by federal law, 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 37,000 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 visit www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.