PURCHASE A BLM WILD HORSE (MUSTANG) OR
BURRO THROUGH THE SALE AUTHORITY PROGRAM
In late 2004, during the Thanksgiving recess, Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) sneakily added a "Wild Horse Sale Authority" rider to the House's Omnibus Spending Act - a 200-page document designed to implement budgetary matters. This rider, undetected by nearly everyone until it was too late, effectively reversed nearly 35 years of Federal protection for America's free-roaming wild horses and burros. Horses aged 10 and over, as well as those - even babies - who failed to be successfully adopted after three times being offered ("3 Strikes You're Out"), become Sale Authority horses - to be sold "without limitation" by the BLM. This law has undergone a few positive revisions - the buyer must give written, binding assurance that he or she will not knowingly sell the horse(s) to slaughter.
When the infamous Burns Rider first came into law in 2005, some mustangs were sold to dishonest people who said they were getting the horses for a youth program, for Native Americans, etc., and instead sent them directly to slaughter.
Some were saved by the efforts of the Ford Foundation's "Save The Mustangs" program, as well as the efforts of other individuals. Public outcry brought about modifications in the law - it is still the law that the horses have to be "for sale without limitation" (no adoption-type safeguards) but it is more difficult to send them to slaughter.
In its defense, the Sale program does allow would-be adopters of good will the opportunity to bypass the year-long adoption process, and often to pick up a nice horse at a bargain price.
The Mustang Heritage Foundation conducts an annual contest, called "Mustang Magic" which is similar to their popular Extreme Mustang Makeover contests, only using Sale Authority horses Many trainers, veterans of both contests, have discovered the merits of being about to transfer full title directly to the adopter/buyers of the contest horses.
As BLM struggles to cope with the huge build-up of horses they are caring for in holding facilities, Sale Authority is being looked at as a possible partial solution. No longer is it just plain-colored older horses. Youngsters as young as one year old are now finding themselves Sale Authority-eligible The bi-monthly Internet Adoptions now usually feature a Sale Authority section.