U.S. Adds New Protections for Wild Horses from Illegal Sale, Slaughter

by Jon D. B.

Excellent news for Outsiders, conservationists, and equine enthusiasts across America incoming from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management – which aims to stop the “adoption” of wild horses for slaughter purposes.

America has had itself a sort of “horse problem” for decades now. According to government estimates, the U.S. population of wild horses and burros gallops at around 86,189 individuals. That’s… a lot. In fact, it is said to be three times the “environmentally sustainable” amount their habitats can hold.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does its best to help cull these numbers in conservation-minded ways. But it doesn’t always work out that way. One way BLM manages America’s wild horses is through their Adoption Incentive Program. Which, as The Hill states, “works to relocate these animals who tend to negatively affect the surrounding native communities, as well as local flora and fauna.”

The program is mostly successful, and does play a large role in controlling our wild horses. As of March 2021. a total of more than 10,000 equines have been adopted from the wilds into controlled lands, where their environmental impact will be minimal. Of these, more than 6,000 were placed into “private care” specifically.

There will always, however, be those who abuse the system.

“While the vast majority of adopters already adhere to our requirements to provide a good and caring home, the BLM is now taking additional steps to secure the health and safety of adopted animals,” begins BLM Deputy Director for Programs Nada Wolff Culver this week.

“We are committed to the health and safety of adopted wild horses and burros,” Wolff Culver says in an attempt to quell concern. But why the concern?

BLM Aims to Keep Wild Horses in Good Hands

It’s a horrible mess, really. Some individuals and companies within the U.S. will “adopt” wild horses only to slaughter them for commercial purposes – or pin them up in awful conditions awaiting said slaughter – or both. And the U.S. Government is working to put a stop to it.

“We will begin to make additional compliance visits post-adoption, bring more scrutiny to potential adopters, and increase warnings to sale barns about the risks of illegally selling wild horses and burros, among other steps,” Wolff Culver clarifies.

These words come in service of BLM’s new initiative – issued Monday, July 26. The adoption improvements, which Wolff Culver cites, aims to improve the processes of adopting both wild horses and burros through its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Incentive Program.

On Monday, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a new initiative to improve the processes of adopting wild horses and burros through the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Incentive Program.

This new, improved process will now require more certifications from buyers. Chief among them? A clause that adopters will not resell any horse or burro following their adoption. Which, as we know, is not adoption at all.

The Hill adds that “BLM officials notably want to avoid the sale of these animals to companies or other entities that will slaughter them for commercial purposes.”

In addition, the improvements will also limit adoptions to a max of four wild horses per year. BLM is also looking to screen hopeful adopters for “ineligible individuals.”

Hopefully these vast improvements work as designed.