Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program for Wild Horse and Burro Gathers
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240-0036
September 25, 2015
In Reply Refer To:
4720 (260) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 09/29/2015
Instruction Memorandum No. 2015-151
To: All Field Office Officials (except Alaska)
From: Assistant Director, Resources and Planning
Subject: Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program for Wild Horse and Burro Gathers
Program Area: Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Program
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to establish policy for the Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Gather component of the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP). It defines standards, training and monitoring for conducting safe, efficient and successful WH&B gather operations while ensuring humane care and handling of animals gathered.
Policy/Action: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is committed to the well-being and responsible care of WH&B we manage. At all times, the care and treatment provided by the BLM and its contractors will be characterized by compassion and concern for WH&B well-being and welfare needs.
All State, District and Field Offices are required to comply with the CAWP policy for all gathers within their jurisdiction. The CAWP for WH&B gathers includes three components:
- Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program Standards for Wild Horse and Burro Gathers (Attachment 1): These standards include requirements for trap and temporary holding facility design; capture and handling; transportation; and appropriate care after capture. The standards have been incorporated into helicopter gather contracts as specifications for performance.
- Training: All Incident Commanders (IC), Contracting Officer Representatives (COR), Project Inspectors (PI) and contractors must complete a mandatory training course. The training is available online via DOI Learn: Course Title: BLM's Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program (CAWP) – gathers; Course Number: 4700-13.
- CAWP Gather Assessment Tool (Attachment 2): The Gather Assessment Tool will be used during FY2016 for evaluating the effectiveness of mandatory training and adequacy of the Standards for CAWP for WH&B Gathers. The WO-260 Division is responsible for overseeing implementation of assessments as well as providing the necessary access to the assessment tool for those gathers selected for internal assessment during FY2016.
- Starting in FY2017, the Assessment Tool will be used to evaluate compliance by the BLM and its contractors with the Standards for CAWP for WH&B Gathers. The WO-260 Division will oversee the completion of all assessments as well as providing the necessary access to the assessment tool for those gathers identified for both internal and external assessment by internal and external personnel during FY2017.
This IM supersedes Interim IM No. 2013-059, Wild Horse and Burro Gathers: Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy which was issued as part of a package of IMs covering various aspects of the management of WH&B gathers, including:
- IM No. 2013-058, Wild Horse and Burro Gathers: Public and Media Management.
- IM No. 2013-060, Wild Horse and Burro Gathers: Management by Incident Command System
- IM No. 2013-061, Wild Horse and Burro Gathers: Internal and External Communicating and Reporting
The goal of this IM is to ensure that the responsibility for humane care and treatment of WH&Bs remains a high priority for the BLM and its contractors at all times. The Bureau’s objective is to use the best available science, husbandry and handling practices applicable for WH&Bs and to make improvements whenever possible, while also meeting our overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with current BLM policy, standard operating procedures and contract requirements. The CAWP and its associated components will be reviewed regularly and modified as necessary to enhance its transparency and effectiveness in assuring the humane care and treatment of the WH&Bs.
The Lead COR is the primary party responsible for promptly addressing any actions that are inconsistent with the Standards set forth in the CAWP. The Lead COR may delegate responsibility to an alternate COR. The Lead COR will promptly notify the contractor if any improper or unsafe actions are observed and will ensure that they are promptly rectified. If issues are left unresolved or immediate action is required, the Lead COR has the authority to suspend gather operations. Through coordination with the Contracting Officer, the Lead COR shall, if necessary, ensure that corrective measures have been taken to prevent such actions from reoccurring and all follow-up and corrective measures shall be reported as a component of the Lead COR’s daily reports.
Timeframe: All portions of this policy are effective as of October 1st, 2015.
Budget Impact: This IM is implementing new policy and guidance with additional training and reporting requirements for personnel and contractors. The cost for the required training is about $250 per person. CAWP program implementation, oversight, data compilation and reporting requirements will require an additional 12 to 15 work months per year.
Background: The authority for a Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program for WH&B Gathers is provided by Public Law 92-195, Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (as amended) and 43 CFR 4700.0-2.
The Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program for WH&B gathers consolidates and highlights the BLM’s policies, procedures and ongoing commitment to protect animal welfare; provide training for employees and contractors on animal care and handling; and implement a gather assessment tool which will be used to evaluate the agency’s and contractor’s adherence to standards for the handling and care of animals during gather operations.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: This IM was coordinated among WO-100, WO-200, WO-260, WO-600, WH&B State Leads and WH&B Specialists.
Contact: Bryan Fuell, On-Range Branch Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program, at 775-861-6611.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Michael H. Tupper Robert M. Williams
Acting, Assistant Director Division of IRM Governance,WO-860
Resources and Planning