Myths and Facts Surrounding Wild Horses

The rumors surrounding feral horses have created a web of false information. The Bureau of Land Management created a fact sheet with correct information and it is often updated.
For example:
Myth: The BLM is selling or sending wild horses to slaughter.
Fact: This charge is absolutely false. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range. It has been and remains the policy of the BLM not to sell or send wild horses or burros for slaughter. Consequently, as the Government Accountability Office noted in a report issued in October 2008, the BLM is not in compliance with a December 2004 amendment (the so-called Burns Amendment to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act) that directs the Bureau to sell excess horses or burros “without limitation" to any willing buyer.

Myth: The BLM lacks the legal authority to gather animals from overpopulated herds or to use helicopters in doing so.
Fact: This assertion is also false. Section 1333 of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act mandates that once the Interior Secretary "determines...on the basis of all information currently available to him, that an overpopulation exists on a given area of the public lands and that action is necessary to remove excess animals, he shall immediately remove excess animals from the range so as to achieve appropriate management levels." Section 1338 of the law authorizes the BLM’s use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in its management of wild horses and burros.
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