In an attempt to reduce the wild horse population on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management is offering $1,000 incentives to those who adopt the animals.
The proposal was announced last April but the federal agency did not begin the program until Tuesday.
“We understand that adopting a wild horse or burro represents a commitment. The incentive is designed to help with the adopter’s initial training and humane care,” said BLM Deputy Director of Programs and Policy Brian Steed. “I encourage anyone who has considered adopting a wild horse or burro to join the thousands of owners who have provided good homes to more than 245,000 wild horses or burros since 1971.”
Through the new incentive program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption date and an additional $500 within 60 days of titling for each animal, which normally occurs one year from the adoption date. The incentive is available for all animals that are eligible for adoption, including animals at BLM facilities, off-site events or on the agency’s Online Corral website.
Adopters will pay a minimum $25 adoption fee per animal.
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The program is part of the BLM’s efforts to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on rangelands and in off-range holding facilities, which costs nearly $50 million a year.
As of March 1, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated at about 81,950 animals, which BLM says is more than triple the size the land can support along with other legally mandated uses.
Potential adopters are required to complete an application proving they can feed and provide humane care to the animals and that they will adhere to the prohibited acts and titling requirements.
In addition, potential adopters must authorize the incentive to be deposited via electronic funds transfers to their preferred account at their financial institution. Potential adopters should visit the BLM website or call 866-468-7826 to learn more about the guidelines and requirements for adopting a wild horse or burro.