Feds offer $1,000 to people willing to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro

The U.S. government is offering up to $1,000 to those willing to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro to combat the overpopulation of the animals in the open country. The “Adoption Incentive Program” comes from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), within the Interior Department. The incentive is part of an effort to “encourage more adopters to give a wild horse or burro a good home.” The bureau states online that the goal is to reduce the agency’s “recurring costs to care for unadopted and untrained wild horses and burros while helping to enable the BLM to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile public rangelands.” Both wild horses and burros are federally protected. Since 1971, when the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was signed into law, the animals have been considered “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” In accordance with the law, the animals are protected from “capture, branding, harassment, or death.” The $1,000 incentive is broken into two parts: those who adopt a wild horse or burro that’s eligible for a new home after March 12 can receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption, in addition to another $500 within 60 days of “titling the animal.” Officials said a $25 adoption fee will apply. Earlier this month, the government said they were seeking more private pastures for the overpopulation of wild horses. Over 55,000 more horses and burros live wild in the West than the roughly 27,000 the BLM says can thrive in harmony with the landscape. For those interested in the adoption of a wild horse or burro, visit the bureau’s website.

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