Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program

A wild horse receiving an oral vaccine

Humane Treatment During All Phases of the Program

The BLM protects the health and welfare of wild horses and burros from the time they are on the range, through the gather and removal process and through the adoption or sale programs to when the animal is titled as an adopter’s own animal.   

This comprehensive protection will receive a new emphasis and improve under the BLM’s planned Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP).  The CAWP will consolidate and highlight BLM’s policies and procedures for protecting animal welfare, monitor how the agency, its volunteers, and contractors handle and care for animals, address any problems or shortfalls that may occur with continuing education and training and document the BLM’s ongoing commitment to protecting the health and welfare of America’s wild horses and burros.  This work will be documented by BLM and as always done with an emphasis on transparency.  The ongoing performance of the Program will be reported on the BLM’s Website and to Congress.

The BLM included the CAWP in its February 2011 strategy for improving the Wild Horse and Burro Program after the public showed strong support for a program that would monitor and ensure humane care.

Under the CAWP, the BLM will include internal and external reviews of the Program’s performance and consider recommendations from professionals qualified in equine science and veterinary medicine.  The Program will explore partnerships that further the CAWP objectives.  Currently, the BLM has a partnership with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to have veterinarians assist the BLM with animal evaluation and care on the range, at gathers and holding facilities and during compliance checks on adopted animals.

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