BLM enhances protections in wild horse and burro Adoption Incentive Program
To enhance existing protections for adopted wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management is announcing new changes to its Adoption Incentive Program, which offers financial incentives to adopt untrained animals from the BLM.
The BLM will now require compliance inspections of animals adopted under the Adoption Incentive Program to occur within six months of adoption. Additionally, title applications will have to be signed by a veterinarian or BLM-authorized officer for the adopter to receive the incentive payment, and the incentive payment will now be made within 60 days after title date, rather than half at the time of adoption and half at the title date. The minimum adoption fee for animals adopted through the Adoption Incentive Program is also increasing from $25 to $125.
These changes are layered upon existing protections that require adopters to certify under penalty of prosecution that they will not knowingly sell or transfer the animal for slaughter or processing into commercial products. To ensure adopted animals go to good homes, the BLM limits adopters to assuming title to a maximum of four animals within a 12-month period and prohibits the transfer of title for at least 12 months from the adoption date. Furthermore, the BLM conducts compliance inspections on animals while in private care prior to title transfer.
“We have an unwavering commitment to the humane care and placement of America’s wild horses and burros. By and large, the Adoption Incentive Program has provided the boost people have needed to support their dream of adopting and appropriately caring for a wild horse or burro,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, BLM Director. “As we further refine this successful program, I encourage all capable, potential adopters to give a wild horse or burro a good home.”
The Adoption Incentive Program is intended to increase adoptions of untrained wild horses and burros by offering an incentive valued up to $1,000 within 60 days after title date to adopters to defray the costs of care, such as veterinary services, feed, and training. The BLM placed 8,637 animals into private care in Fiscal Year 2021, which was the most animals adopted in the last 24 years. More than half of all wild horses and burros placed into private care last year were adopted through the Adoption Incentive Program.
Public input continues to be important to the BLM. Moving forward, the BLM plans to host roundtable sessions with various stakeholders to consider non-cash incentives that could further benefit adopted animals.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.