Updated: BLM auctioning American icons in online Mustang sale

UPDATE: Learn how you can help at Laura Leigh’s blog.

5 Yr Old Calico Mare for Sale  Necktag #0832
15 Yr Old Calico Mare for Sale Necktag #0832

What would you pay for a living, breathing, irreplaceable part of America’s history and heritage in the form of an iconic Mustang?

The bidding starts at $125.00 for wild horses such as this 15-year-old Calico mare, Necktag #0832.

She, and many, many others, are for sale — not adoption — in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) online wild horse auction.

Burns Amendment

The BLM makes it clear why these horses are for sale to the highest bidder.

Under a December 2004 amendment to the 1971 wild horse and burro law, animals more than 10 years old – as well as younger ones that have been passed over for adoption at least three times – are eligible for sale, a transaction in which the title of ownership passes immediately from the Federal government to the buyer. The Purchaser agrees to provide the animal with good care and to not knowingly sell or transfer ownership of any listed wild horse or burro to any person or organization with an intention to resell, trade, or give away the animal for processing into commercial products.

“. . . processing into commercial products.” We know what that means. Horse meat. And the BLM are going to enforce this provision how exactly?

25 Year Old Calico Stallion for Sale
25 Year Old Calico Stallion for Sale Necktag #1334

In case you have been wondering what is happening to the Calico Mustangs, here is another for sale. He is a 25-year old buckskin stallion, Necktag #1334.

The thought of this magnificent Mustang, at the age of 25, rounded up by helicopter, separated from his herd and family, bought online for $125 by a killer buyer, and going to slaughter for his meat, should send shivers down the spines of any red-blooded, freedom-loving American. Why won’t the BLM simply leave these older horses out on the range to live out their lives in peace?

Reid Connection

Who do we have to thank for the “2004 amendment to the 1979 wild horse and burro law” aka the Burns Amendment? Well, that’s like asking who is buried in Grant’s Tomb. It’s Sen. Conrad Burns, right? Well, yes and no. According to Burns in an interview with Steve Long, he performed the dastardly deed at the behest of his good friend Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. Here’s an excerpt:

    HORSEBACK: I’m working on this story that’s going on up in Montana with the Pryor Mountain wild horses. In my research I obviously ran across the Burns Amendment. Can you tell me how that came about and what prompted it?

    BURNS: Well, Harry Reid came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a problem in Nevada.’ And I said I said ‘What kind of a problem do you have?’ because we don’t have a problem up in Montana.

    HORSEBACK: So what happened then?

    BURNS: So he and I, up in his office, got together and we crafted that amendment because they’ve really got that problem of over grazing down there. That’s how that came about.

    HORSEBACK: It was actually Reid’s idea, huh?

    BURNS: Yeah, well it was his problem. I just helped him solve it, that’s all.

    HORSEBACK: Well, you did a pretty good job of it.

    BURNS: I don’t think they’ve sold any or anything like that. It wasn’t really designed for that. The premise of it was to take a strong look at how we manage our resources and how they affect the herd of the horses.

On the BLM auction website, you can scroll through pages of beautiful wild horses being sold to the highest bidder to get them out of long-term holding because of their failed adoption policy. For that you can blame many people. However, this particular episode of the wild horse and burro tragedy started with a couple of unscrupulous U.S. Senators named Burns and Reid.

The auction is schedule to last two weeks starting July 14, 2010.

15 thoughts on “Updated: BLM auctioning American icons in online Mustang sale”

  1. went to the BLM auction website and they only have a handful of older stallions already picked for sanctuary. where are the rest of the calico herds? i’m looking for #0096 mare, she was injured last photo i saw. does anyone know her where abouts or if she’s alive?


    1. Lisa, I did a search in all the places I know, and she is not on any of the lists. Maybe she is not for sale at the moment. Heaven knows where she is, if she is injured. So sorry. Will keep an eye out for you. Let’s pray she is well.


    1. Jan, several others have said they cannot load it either, but the link does work. I just tried it again. Please try the main page link and navigate from there. https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/ Click on Online Gallery.

      Can you believe they have this on the Home Page?

      An Act Of Congress
      “Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; (and) that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people …”
      (Public Law 92-195, December 15, 1971)


  2. How can you sell A Mustang, which belongs to The American people????????? inother words how can the BLM sell them they do not own them?????????????????/


    1. Once they are removed from their range, the WH&B Act no longer protects them because they are no longer considered “wild.” And, the Burns rider gives they the option to sell them “for any cause.”

      I know it’s outrageous, but it’s the law.


  3. ps the idea a Mustangs can “be sold…(not adopted out) just due to age is against every known natural law and against every moral American’s viewpoint…

    on the contrary; we as a nation; respect admire and honor the elder animals and people! The American Indian Chief was often the oldest man in the tribe ! smart !
    older is wiser ! a Mustang should never be sold due to the age of the mustang alone

    An American Mustang should not be sold; this is the american people’s property !


    1. Nevertheless, there IS an amendment that says they can. The Burns Rider should have been repealed long ago, but, since it hasn’t, the BLM is, unfortunately, within their rights.


  4. this is a flyer about the BLM Calico Roundup by a former BLM employee; great info !

    2010PliskinVigil (I do not know if you can download this; Laura Leigh’s blog has info!

    I think its wonderful the way everyone is getting together on behalf of the Mustangs (and Burros; Mules; other “estrays etc.) These wonderful wildlife do require our Help!


  5. Hi Vivian:
    this is what I was thinking…”if a mustang over the age of 10 “can be sold; and since the BLM themselves say: they had a mare who was 25 years old and nursing a foal !
    so this means: Mustang Mares can give birth up to the age of 20 and older…
    so I was thinking…the very first ammendment which Congress should enact to “restructure the BLM is: this congressional ammendment should be added…



    comment: In this way a segment of the Mustangs over 10 would be exempt from sale!
    Could you imagine The BLM “selling an elderly mare with foal ‘to just anyone ?
    golly the blm “rots…anna usa ps i will forwarding this idea to Congressman of Conn.


  6. CALICO – anyone who has an EAP or EAL program (we are just starting out so bad timing for me) the OLDER mustangs make the most incredible healers – they are a primal as it gets… PLEASE save them! Once i get situated and some growth – i will buy them from you!!! I am particularly fond / care for the Calico horses because of the massive genocidal …trauma they went through in December… they must make it – the ones who lived through that nightmare!!! Give me one year to get on my feet, if you have a field they can live in for a year I will give a forever home to at least 2-3 of them…


  7. Someone buy these mares and stallions and let run free on your land. Please Madeleine Pickens take these gorgeous icons of our country and set them free on your ranch. People from around the world would come just to see these beautiful mustangs. Each of these older horses have knowledge within them that is irreplaceable. Start another Freedom Fund Herd with these mustangs so they can pass their knowledge to the young horses. We can’t let some kill buyer get these horses. Madeliene please help them, you are one of the few in our country that could really help them to stay alive and pass their seed down to a new generation. Mustangs can live to their 30s and 40s and still reproduce. I beg of you to help these mustangs they deserve to have their families and their freedom. Even if its on 2 million acres of private land.


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