BLM explains how they count strikes against wild horses

Wild mustang weanling in holding. (Photos © Anne Novak, all rights reserved.)

Native Wild horses can loose their federally protected status and be sold of by the truckloads after getting 3 strikes

We are sharing our email with BLM officials in the Washington D.C. office to educate and create awareness of how the 3-Strikes system works. We believe in transparency. After 3-Strikes even a yearling can be sold to anyone signing the dotted line who agrees they will not sell any horses to slaughter, etc. Of course we all know kill buyers aren’t the most honest people on the planet . . .

Here is the email stream:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: 3-strikes questions
From: “Collins, Deborah A” <>
Date: Mon, October 22, 2012 12:02 pm
To: Anne protectmustangs
Cc: “Gorey, Tom” , “Spencer, Sally J”
<>, “Lewis, Bridget L” <>,
BLM_WO_Wild_Horse <>
Hi Anne.When Congress amended the 1971 Act to add a sale category for excess animals, they defined a sale animal as:(
1) In general. Any excess animal or the remains of an excess animal shall be sold if-

(A) the excess animals is more than 10 years old; or(B) the excess animal has been offered unsuccessfully for adoption at least 3 times.The BLM then developed a policy that currently defines an adoption attempt to meet the following criteria:(A) Adoption Event: Either a Satellite or an INTERNET adoption.i. Satellite Adoption: Organized event that is advertised and held at a location other than a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or contract holding, preparation or training facility.

ii. Internet Adoption: Animals offered for adoption through the National Internet adoption site administered by the Eastern States Office (ESO).

Currently, if an animal is in a short-term holding corral, like PVC, it is not earning any strikes unless it is offered at a specific adoption. I believe Tom has answered the remainder of your questions. Thank you.

Debbie Collins
Bureau of Land Management
National Wild Horse & Burro Marketing and
Information Center Coordinator
(405)790-1056 = Desk
(918)625-5292 = Cell

From: Gorey, Tom
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 9:36 AM
To: Anne protectmustangs
Cc: Spencer, Sally J; Collins, Deborah A; Lewis, Bridget L
Subject: RE: 3-strikes questions

Wild horses and burros over the age of 10 are sale-eligible. Those younger that are passed over for adoption at least three times become eligible for sale. (See our Sales Program page at

Adoption events count as a “pass over.” I will let Sally or Debbie answer the “pass over” question re: Palomino Valley Center and Internet adoptions.

The number of horses in long-term holding (33,623) can be found at our Quick Facts Website at

The number of horses adopted in Fiscal Year 2012 (2,598), which ended Oct. 1, 2012, can also be found at the Quick Facts site. The number of horses and burros sold in FY 2012 was 391.

From: anne  []
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 8:02 AM
To: Gorey, Tom
Subject: 3-strikes questions

Dear Mr. Gorey,

Kindly explain in detail how the 3-Strike system works at BLM with regards to wild horses of all ages and those 11 and over.

Do facility adoption venues such as Palomino Vally Center count? Do Internet adoptions count? Do adoption events also count?

How many wild horses are currently at LTH? How many wild horses have been adopted this year? How many wild horses have been sold this year?

Where can people buy 3-Strikes yearlings and two year olds?

Thank you for your kind assistance.

Anne Novak

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
P.O. Box 5661
Berkeley, California 94705

Twitter @TheAnneNovak & @ProtectMustangs

Protect Mustangs on YouTube
Protect Mustangs in the News
Donate to help Protect Mustangs

Protect Mustangs is a nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.