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January 24, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
4750 (WO260) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-074
Expires: 09/30/2007
To:              All Field Officials (except Alaska)
From:          Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:      Gelding of Wild Horses/Burros and Gelding Vouchers
Program Area: Wild Horse and Burro Program (WH&B)
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to lower the age of horses to be gelded and reaffirm existing policy for the gelding of wild horse stallions and burro jacks that are offered for sale, adoption or placed in long-term holding (LTH) facilities and to provide guidance for the consistent use of gelding vouchers.
1.     Gelding Policy for Wild Horse Stallions and Burro Jacks
A.   Wild Horse Stallions
·        Geld all horses removed from the range that are four years old and older. Animals that are preferred by adopters as stallions because of extraordinary conformation or color that come from highly popular herd management areas are not required to be gelded. The authorized officer will determine which animals are exempt from gelding.
·        All horses pastured at LTH facilities will be gelded.
·        Horses younger than four years old may be gelded as funding and facility capability allow and in response to adoption market preferences and demand.
B.    Burro Jacks
·        Burro jacks offered for adoption should not be routinely gelded. However, they may be gelded due to special circumstances or in response to adoption market preferences.
2.      Gelding Vouchers
Gelding vouchers in the amount of $50 will be issued to adopters of all two and three year old wild horse stallions. Vouchers will also be issued to adopters of stallions four years and older that were not gelded because of their uniqueness and/or popularity. Vouchers will not be issued for yearlings and younger horses or burro jacks. 
3.     Gelding Method
Gelding will be accomplished in conformance with the guidelines contained in the WH&B Preparation Handbook 4750-1 (Page 7 and Appendix 4).
Time Frame: This policy is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: The increase in cost to implement this policy change in fiscal year 2006 will be about $20,000. This additional expense considers animals in captivity now and those that will be captured during the remainder of fiscal year 2006.
Background:  The National WH&B Advisory Board recommended that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) review its policy of gelding six year old and older horses and consider lowering the gelding age of stallions to one year, keeping in mind that special animals may be left un-gelded because of their uniqueness.   BLM conducted a review of its gelding policy and practices (Gelding Policy Issue Paper, June, 2005) that considered customer preferences, animal adoptability, and short-term holding facility capability. The Issue Paper is the basis for this policy.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: This policy supplements guidance contained in Handbook 4750-1.
Coordination: This policy has been coordinated with the National WH&B Advisory Board, WH&B Steering Committee, and reviewed by WH&B personnel involved with facility operations and the adoption program.
Contact: Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Dean Bolstad in the WH&B National Program Office at (775) 861-6611.
Signed by:                                                            
Authenticated by:
Thomas H. Dyer                                                   
Robert M. Williams
Deputy Assistant Director                                      
Policy and Records Group,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning

Last updated: 10-21-2009