Shelter Requirements for Adopted Wild Horses and Burros

IM 2016-078
Instruction Memorandum

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240-0036


April 4, 2016


In Reply Refer To:

4750 (260) P



Instruction Memorandum No. 2016-078

Expires:  09/30/2019

To:                   All Field Office Officials

From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning

Subject:           Shelter Requirements for Adopted Wild Horses and Burros

Program Area:  Wild Horse and Burro Program

Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) changes previous policy and establishes new shelter requirements for the adoption of wild horses and burros.

Policy/Action: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requires individuals to provide appropriate shelter for wild horses and burros placed into private care through adoptions.  Previous shelter requirements have been modified to align with standards described in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 43 C.F.R. § 4750.3-2 (a) (3) (iii) Qualification Standards for Private Maintenance, which states “Shelter shall be available to mitigate the effects of inclement weather and temperature extremes.  The authorized officer may require that the shelter be a structure, which shall be well drained and adequately ventilated.”

Effective immediately, adopters will be required to adhere to the shelter requirements for wild horses and burros based on the State or Region in which the animal resides (Attachment 1), unless otherwise stipulated by the authorized officer.  The adopter is also responsible for knowing and complying with the specific animal health and welfare regulations and requirements for their state, county, or municipality.

Timeframe:  All portions of this policy are effective immediately. 

Budget Impact:  None

Background:  The authority for Shelter Requirements for Private Care Maintenance is provided by Public Law 92-195, Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (as amended), and 43 C.F.R. § 4750.3-2 (a) (3) (iii). 

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  This IM supersedes previous guidance in the Wild Horse and Burro Handbook, H-4750-2 Adoption of Wild Horses and Burros, Section A-5. 

Coordination:  This IM was coordinated with the Washington Office Wild Horse and Burro Program, Wild Horse and Burro State Leads and Field Office Specialists, a United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinarian, and the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Contact:  Holle´ Hooks, Off-Range Branch Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program, at 405-234-5932.


Signed by:                                                          Authenticated by:

Kristin Bail                                                        Robert M. Williams

Acting, Assistant Director                                 Division of IT Policy and Planning, WO-870

National Conversation Lands

and Community Partnerships


     1 - List of Minimum Shelter Requirements by State (1 p)