The BLM makes changes to the sales of wild horses and burros

Jan 7, 2013

The Bureau of Land Management has announced new restrictions on the sales of wild horses and burros.  

A recent ProPublica report alleged that thousands of wild horses bought from the BLM were sold to be slaughtered in Mexico.

Previously, buyers were permitted to buy an unlimited number of horses, but now a buyer can only purchase four horses or burros every six months. They must keep the animals for at least six months, describe where they’ll live, and provide safe transportation.

BLM spokesman Tom Gorey says the new policy will make the animals harder to sell.  He says the BLM is paying to corral 49,000 and has space for only 2,000 more, as wild herds grow every day.

"We don’t want to be gathering horses that we can’t take care of, and if there’s no place for them in holding, you know, what do we do? So, we caught between a rock and a hard place right now, and this is where we’ve ended up because we have avoided selling for slaughter.

Gorey says Congress will need to decide soon whether to provide more funding to manage herd populations.