16 U.S. Code § 1333 - Powers and duties of Secretary
All wild free-roaming horses and burros are hereby declared to be under the jurisdiction of the Secretary for the purpose of management and protection in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The Secretary is authorized and directed to protect and manage wild free-roaming horses and burros as components of the public lands, and he may designate and maintain specific ranges on public lands as sanctuaries for their protection and preservation, where the Secretary after consultation with the wildlife agency of the State wherein any such range is proposed and with the Advisory Board established in section 1337 of this title deems such action desirable. The Secretary shall manage wild free-roaming horses and burros in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands. He shall consider the recommendations of qualified scientists in the field of biology and ecology, some of whom shall be independent of both Federal and State agencies and may include members of the Advisory Board established in section 1337 of this title. All management activities shall be at the minimal feasible level and shall be carried out in consultation with the wildlife agency of the State wherein such lands are located in order to protect the natural ecological balance of all wildlife species which inhabit such lands, particularly endangered wildlife species. Any adjustments in forage allocations on any such lands shall take into consideration the needs of other wildlife species which inhabit such lands.
Where excess animals have been transferred to a qualified individual for adoption and private maintenance pursuant to this chapter and the Secretary determines that such individual has provided humane conditions, treatment and care for such animal or animals for a period of one year, the Secretary is authorized upon application by the transferee to grant title to not more than four animals to the transferee at the end of the one-year period.
 So in original. Probably should be subsection “(c)”.
Section 1902 of title 43, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), was in the original “section 2 of the Public Range Lands Improvement Act of 1978” (classified to 43 U.S.C. 1901) and was changed to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
2004—Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 108–447, § 142(a)(1), substituted “this section” for “this section;
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 108–447, § 142(a)(2), added subsec. (e).
1978—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–514 substituted provisions for: maintaining current inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros; listing the purpose of the inventory and determinations to be made in consultation with persons of scientific expertise and special knowledge; immediate removal of excess animals from the range on the basis of information from various sources so as to achieve appropriate management levels; order and priority of removal; and research study to be reported to Congress for prior authorization of humane destruction of old, sick, or lame animals and capture and removal of additional excess animals for private maintenance under humane conditions and care, now incorporated in subsec. (b)(2)(A) and (B).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–514 substituted provision for grant of title to limited number of excess animals adopted for requisite period for prior authorization of humane destruction of wild free-roaming horses and burros as an act of mercy or to prevent overpopulation only when necessary to preserve and maintain the habitat in a suitable condition for continued use.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 95–514 substituted provisions relating to circumstances and conditions operating to take wild free-roaming horses and burros or their remains from the purview of this chapter for prior declaration that nothing in the chapter shall preclude the customary disposal of the remains of a deceased wild free-roaming horse or burro, including those in the authorized possession of private parties, and prohibition of sale for any consideration, directly or indirectly, of the remains, or any part thereof, now incorporated in cl. (5).
Advisory boards in existence on Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period following Jan. 5, 1973, unless, in the case of a board established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such board is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a board established by the Congress, its duration is otherwise provided by law. See sections 3(2) and 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.