Animal Selection Requirements for Wild Horse and Burro Adoption/Sale Events

IM 2018-071
Instruction Memorandum


May 31, 2018

In Reply Refer To:

4750 (260) P


Instruction Memorandum No. 2018-071

Expires: 09/30/2021

To:                   All Field Officials

From:               Assistant Director, Resources and Planning

Subject:           Animal Selection Requirements for Wild Horse and Burro Adoption/Sale Events

Program Area:  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program (WH&B).

Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) outlines policy for the selection of wild horses and burros to be offered for adoption and sale at private care placement events.  The intent of this IM is to provide guidance regarding highlighting and offering healthy wild horses and burros to prospective adopters and buyers across the United States.  This IM supersedes IM No. 2017-057, Requirements for Selection of Wild Horses and Burros for the Internet Events.

Policy/Action:  The following requirements apply to the selection of wild horses and burros for presentation in private care placement events:

  1. State leads, facility managers and WH&B staff will locate suitable (as identified in this policy) animals for private care events (facility, internet, and satellite), coordinate shipping/animal pick-up locations, and identify animal pick-up dates for prospective adopters and buyers. 
  2. Selected animals are to be healthy, in a Henneke condition class ≥ 4.0, possess a current negative Coggins test, be up to date on vaccinations and de-worming, and have properly trimmed hooves.  The Coggins test must be valid for the state where the adoption is being held through the dates of the adoption or sale, and have temperature waivers (required in some states located within the Eastern States region).  In addition, separate negative Coggins test forms for each animal are required in the Eastern States Region.
  3. In addition to the selection of healthy animals, diversity of color and size should be considered as to provide a variety of animals.
  4. Animals that have been identified as aggressive or exhibiting dangerous characteristics beyond those inherently associated with the wild characteristics of wild horses and burros will not be selected (Consistent with IM 2015-070).
  5. Animals identified as having any illness, injury, lameness, or serious physical defect (includes severe tooth loss or wear, club foot, swayback and other acquired or congenital severe abnormalities) will not be offered at private care placement events (Consistent with IM 2015-070).
  6. Shipment of stallions to satellite events is prohibited.  Stallions must be picked up at the facility of origination by the adopter, buyer, or their agent.

Timeframe:  This IM and the policy set forth herein is effective immediately.

Budget Impact:  Program cost savings of up to $1,850 annually (as of September 30, 2017) is achieved for each excess animal placed into private care and not maintained in off-range corrals or pastures for the remainder of its life.

Background:  Private care placement events placed approximately 4,100 wild horses and burros in FY 2017 through adoptions and sales.  The BLM’s credibility and continued success depends on the BLM carefully selecting and providing healthy, desirable, and sound animals for events.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  The wild horse and burro selection requirements for private care events will not change or affect manuals or handbooks.

Coordination:  The selection requirements were coordinated with the facility managers, WH&B specialists, WH&B Washington Office, and Program staff.

Contact:  Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Hollé Waddell, Branch Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program Off-Range at (405) 579-1860 or by email at

Signed by:

Kristin Bail

Assistant Director
Resources and Planning

Authenticated by: 
Robert M. Williams
Division of IT Policy and Planning,WO-870