Ford lends hand to wild mustangs

April 8, 2006

Ford Motor Company, that gave us the famous Mustang sports car, is lending its support to a campaign to help older wild horses being held in captivity.

Ford is offering up to $US200,000 in a campaign to boost the number of older wild horses being adopted into new homes.

The company will pay approved horse rescue groups $US100 for each older horse bought through the US Bureau of Land Management.

The bureau oversees the wild horses that still roam the West.

It has an adoption scheme for horses aged under 10, having found that few people are interested in taking on horses over that age.

The bureau has more than 8000 older wild horses for sale, each costing about $500 a year to care for.

A spokesman for the bureau said the Ford money would help reduce the agency's cost and is expected to provide better homes for the horses.

It hopes the money will help persuade some sanctuaries already considering buying some of the wild horses, but they acknowledge the money will go only a small way towards the cost of caring for a horse.

The bureau regularly rounds up wild horses in a bid to keep the population stable, reduce the risk of overgrazing and foot shortages, and to protect sensitive areas. It has a total of 26,000 horses in captivity.

Ford's involvement came about when it was discovered a man from Oklahoma bought some horses under false pretences and then intended to send them on to slaughter, which is forbidden. Ford intervened and bought the 52 horses to save them.