Direction for the Sale of Wild Horses and Burros- Interim Guidance

IM 2013-032
Instruction Memorandum


December 18, 2012

In Reply Refer To:

4700 (260) P



Instruction Memorandum No. 2013-032

Expires:  09/30/2014


To:                   All Field Office Officials

From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning

Subject:            Direction for the Sale of Wild Horses and Burros – Interim Guidance

Program Areas: Wild Horse and Burro Program

Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) is being issued as interim guidance to the field on the Wild Horse and Burro Sales Program. This interim guidance will remain in effect until the Wild Horse and Burro Program (WHB Program) publishes additional guidance on wild horse and burro sales.

Policy/Action:  This interim sales program policy will be effective until a long-term policy is in place.  The interim policy is reflected below.

  • Without prior approval from the Assistant Director, no more than four wild horses and/or wild burros may be purchased by an individual or group within a six-month period. 
  • When buying wild horses and/or wild burros, a purchaser must describe where they intend to keep the animals for the first six months following the sale. Without prior approval from the Assistant Director, the BLM will not sell more than four animals destined for a single location in this six-month period, irrespective of who the purchaser or purchasers may be.
  • Purchasers must provide transportation for the purchased animal from the BLM short-term holding corral or other locations to its new home. The BLM requires stock-type trailers with rear swing gates to transport adopted animals. Drop ramp, divided two-horse trailers, and trucks with stock racks are not acceptable. However, in some situations, two-horse trailers are acceptable for transporting burros and horses 12 months or younger. Only burros may be loaded into in-line or one-horse trailers. Horse trailers must meet these minimum standards:
    • covered top, sturdy walls/floors, and a smooth interior free from any sharp protrusions;
    • ample head room;
    • removable partitions or compartments to separate animals by size and sex, if necessary;
    • floor covered with a non-skid material;
    • adequate ventilation.
  • The BLM will inspect trailers and reserves the right to refuse loading if the trailer does not ensure the safety and humane transport of the animal.

Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately.

Budget Impact: There could be budget impacts as a result of this interim policy caused by a greater number of horses being held in BLM short term corrals and long term  pastures.  

Background:  This IM provides interim guidance with respect to the sale of wild horses and burros. 

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  This IM amends section C. Sale Methods of the previous guidance found in IM NO. 2005-101, Direction for the Sale of Wild Horses and Burros.  

Coordination: This IM was coordinated among WO-200 and WO-260 staff.

Contact: If you have any questions regarding this memorandum, please call Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program, at 202-912-7260.


Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:

Edwin L. Roberson                                                     Robert M. Williams

Assistant Director                                                       Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Renewable Resources and Planning