When these “working” wild horses & burros “retire,” will they end up in the slaughter pipeline? Will there be little oversight of the final disposition of these transferred wild horses and burros?
Transfer of Excess Wild Horses and Burros to Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies for Use as Work Animals.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
April 9, 218
In Reply Refer To:
4750 (260) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 04/12/2018
Instruction Memorandum No. 2018-052
To: All Field Officials
From: Assistant Director, Resources and Planning
Subject: Transfer of Excess Wild Horses and Burros to Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies for Use as Work Animals.
Program Area: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program (WH&B)
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes and outlines policy for exercising the authority conferred by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (HUMANE TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS SEC. 116) to transfer excess wild horses and burros currently in holding to other federal, state, and local government agencies for use as work animals. The intent of this IM is to provide guidance on how the BLM should process requests from federal, state, and local government agencies to transfer excess wild horses and burros to their agencies.
Policy/Action: When processing a transfer request from federal, state, or local government agencies, the BLM should implement the following steps:
- Upon being contacted by a federal, state and/or local government agency, the BLM Office of Jurisdiction (OOJ), is defined as either a state/district/field office or off-range corral, asks the requesting government agency to provide the following information in writing on official agency letterhead:
- Requesting agency’s name, address, email address, phone number, and primary point of contact.
- Address of the animals’ permanent location and description of the facility in which the animal(s) will be housed after the transfer, including, but not limited to, corral and shelter dimensions and materials.
- List age, species, sex, and number of animals requested and any special needs or concerns that should be considered if the BLM OOJ is asked to select the animal(s).
- Whether requesting trained (halter or saddle started) or untrained animals.
- Description of the type of work for which the animal(s) will be used by the federal, state, or local government agency.
- Statement certifying that the agency will not: (i) destroy the animal(s) in a way that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products; (ii) sell or otherwise transfer the animal(s) in a way that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products; or (iii) euthanize the animal(s) except upon the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian, in cases of severe injury, illness, or advanced age.
- Arrange a date that the federal, state, or local government agency will select and pick up the animal(s) from the approved BLM location. The selection and pick-up date is tentative until approved and coordinated by OOJ. If an agency requests the BLM OOJ select the animals for the agency, they only need to provide a pick-up date.
- If the BLM approves a federal, state, and/or local government agency’s request, the BLM OOJ shall identify animals available for selection according to the agency’s request and engage the National Shipping Coordinator for assistance, if needed.
- The BLM OOJ shall contact the Wild Horse and Burro Program System (WHBPS) User Representative with the requesting agency’s information. The WHBPS User Representative will then create necessary fields in WHBPS in preparation for the transfer.
- The BLM OOJ shall enter the appropriate information on each transferred animal into WHBPS. The Animal Transfer Release Letter (Attachment 1) will be generated by WHBPS upon completion of data entry by BLM OOJ.
- BLM OOJ shall provide the Animal Transfer Release Letter to the agency at time of pick-up.
- The WHBPS User Representative will confirm the data entry has been completed correctly.
- The WHBPS will maintain the official record which includes the agency name, date of transfer and originating office for animals transferred to agencies.
Timeframe: This IM and the policy set forth herein is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Based on FY 2017 data, cost savings of nearly $1,900 annually is achieved for each excess animal placed by transfer to federal, state, or local government agencies and not maintained at the BLM’s expense in off-range corrals.
Background: Congress authorized the BLM to transfer excess wild horses and burros that have been removed from the public lands to federal, state, and local government agencies for use as work animals in Division G, Title I, Section 116 (HUMANE TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which states: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Interior may transfer excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other Federal, State, and local government agencies for use as work animals: Provided, That the Secretary may make any such transfer immediately upon request of such Federal, State, or local government agency: Provided further, That any excess animal transferred under this provision shall lose its status as a wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined in the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act: Provided further, That any Federal, State, or local government agency receiving excess wild horses or burros as authorized in this section shall not: destroy the horses or burros in a way that results in their destruction into commercial products; sell or otherwise transfer the horses or burros in a way that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products; or euthanize the horses or burros except upon the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian, in cases of severe injury, illness, or advanced age.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: Manual Section 1203 – The Delegation of Authority will be updated for state directors to authorize the transfer of excess wild horses or burros that have been removed from the public lands to other federal, state, and local government agencies for use as work animals. State directors may re-delegate that authority to the lowest organizational level possible in accordance with the directives in Manual Section 1203.
This IM supersedes the Adoption of Wild Horses and Burros Handbook, H 4750-2, Chapter 2 – General Adoption Requirements and Procedures, Section A – 3 (Adoption Application – Adoptions to Other Federal Agencies, States, Counties and Cities).
Coordination: The transfer process shall be coordinated with the facility managers, WHB specialists, WHB Washington Office, and Program staff.
Contact: Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Holle’ Waddell, Branch Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program Off-Range at (405) 579-1860 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Kristin Bail Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director Division of IT Policy and Planning,WO-870
Resources and Planning