BLM Wild Horse and Burro Sale Information

The BLM protects, manages, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. As an agency that administers the public lands for multiple uses, the BLM works to ensure that herd populations across 10 Western states are in balance with rangeland resources and other uses of the public lands.

To achieve this balance, the BLM must remove thousands of mustangs and burros from the range each year to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population every four years. The estimated free-roaming population of wild horses and burros on BLM-managed lands (as of February 28, 2013) is approximately 40,605, which exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number determined to be the appropriate management level. Off the range (as of December 2013), there were 49,768 other wild horses and burros cared for in short-term corrals and long-term pastures. All animals in short- or long-term holding are protected by the BLM under the 1971 law.

After wild horses and burros are removed from the range, the BLM works to place as many animals as possible into private care through adoption or sales. Since 1971, the BLM has placed more than 230,000 wild horses and burros into private ownership through adoption, a process in which a citizen may receive the title of ownership to an animal after one year (with a limit of four titles per year, regardless of the number adopted). 

Under a December 2004 amendment to the 1971 wild horse law, animals over 10 years old – as well as younger ones that have been passed over for adoption at least three times – are eligible for sale, a transaction in which the title of ownership passes immediately from the Federal government to the buyer. Since that amendment took effect, the BLM has sold more than 5,500 wild horses and burros. (Note: It has been and remains the policy of the BLM not to sell or send any wild horses or burros to slaughter.) Proceeds from the sale of eligible animals are used for the BLM's wild horse and burro adoption program, as directed by Congress under the sale-authority amendment.

Ford Motor Company and Take Pride in America established the Save the Mustangs Fund to support the BLM in its efforts to place sale-eligible animals in good homes. With support from Ford and Take Pride in America, the BLM -- which is committed to the well-being of wild horses and burros, both on and off the range -- will find good owners for these treasured symbols of the Western spirit.

If you are interested in buying a wild horse or burro for long-term care, please complete the sale questions document and send it to wildhorse@blm.gov or fax to (202) 912-7182. Here is a sample bill of sale that you will receive once you have purchased the animal(s). Please review the clauses in the bill of sale. If you have questions regarding the sales program, please e-mail wildhorse@blm.gov.


Recent Sales Figures

Fiscal Year

Mustangs

Burros

Total

2013

21

43

64

2012

320

71

391

2011

855

16

871

2010

528

15

543

2009

772

19

791


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