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RU Pardner, RU Sebastian, RU Shivna, & RU Prodigal Son with a friend on the western plains
Photos by Victoria Hanke.


Why does the US government round them up?


In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act which allowed the Bureau of Land Management to regulate mustang populations.  These horses have no significant natural predators and their populations increase exponentially—to a point past which the environment can support.  The BLM organizes annual “round-ups” in which horses are captured and offered for adoption at facilities scattered across the country. In 2008, 3,700 wild horses were adopted but 9000 were captured. Horses that are not adopted after three consecutive adoption events (“Three Strikes”) are transferred to permanent holding facilities. There they are currently available for $25.00 each and the only restriction placed on their sale is that they not be resold for slaughter.

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