Fresh allegations of wild horses going to slaughter

Wild horses in the Desatoya area.
Wild horses in the Desatoya area of Nevada.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) faces fresh allegations that federally protected wild horse have gone to slaughter. 

The latest allegations emerge as authorities continue an investigation sparked by a story published late last September which questioned the fate of 1700 wild horses.

That report explored the dealings of Tom Davis, 64, a livestock hauler and proponent of the horse meat industry who has purchased more than 1700 wild horses from the bureau since 2008 – amounting to roughly 70 per cent of all horses sold by the agency.

Late in October, Edwin Roberson, assistant director at the Bureau of Land Management, told KSL Television: ”I can confirm right now that the inspector general of the Department of Interior is investigating, (and) has an ongoing investigation into those allegations.”

No word has emerged yet to satisfactorily explain the fate of the horses bought by Davis for $US10 a head, and wild horse advocates have expressed fears the animals went to slaughter in Mexico.

Now, in what it is calling a citizen investigation, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation has released evidence it says exposes a Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse long-term holding contractor selling wild horses to an alleged “kill buyer”.

It alleges the horses probably went to slaughter.

Debbie Coffey, volunteer director of wild horse affairs with the federation, uncovered evidence purporting to show the contractor selling at least 34 federally protected wild horses.

“This evidence shows that the BLM is not protecting our wild horses and is allowing alleged kill buyers to purchase them,” explains R.T. Fitch, volunteer president of the federation.

“The public wants Congress to enforce the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act that they unanimously signed into law in 1971. A Congressional Investigation needs to happen now.”

The federation joined with Protect Mustangs to call for a freeze on roundups, access to documents at all holding facilities as needed, as well as an immediate Congressional investigation into the bureau and its contractors allegedly selling America’s iconic wild horses into the slaughter pipeline.

The executive director of Protect Mustangs, Anne Novak, said: “It’s time for a deep investigation – done by an entity outside the BLM – to bust these crimes against the American mustang and champion the public who were deceived by officials in charge of protecting our icons of freedom.

“The public is outraged. Protests are being planned as a result of the evidence.”

Coffey, with the help of Animal’s Angels, researched and released an in-depth article based on her inquiries. Evidence was obtained through South Dakota Brand Board Inspection records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Coffey continued: “The BLM leads the public to believe that captured wild horses are living out their lives grazing peacefully on long-term holding pastures, and claims they do not sell wild horses to slaughter, but at least one contracted middleman did sell BLM wild horses to an alleged kill buyer and the horses very likely met a horrific fate at a slaughterhouse.

“We want a freeze on roundups, immediate access to document all long-term holding facilities as needed and a Congressional investigation into all aspects of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.”

Coffey’s report, together with links, can be accessed here.

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17 thoughts on “Fresh allegations of wild horses going to slaughter

  • January 29, 2013 at 12:17 am

    What a betrayal of our wild horses and burros! It is time to investigate the back room dealings of the BLM and their “buyers” and to put a stop to the slaughter of wild horses. The slaughter of any horses should be stopped.

    • March 25, 2013 at 9:00 am

      How right you are

  • January 29, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Excellent reporting. The BLM utilizes the method ‘tell the lie over and over and eventually someone will believe it’. (take a look at their ‘Myth and Facts’ page.) Unfortunately the American public, in large part, listen because they believe in our government. The government would never lie to you!

    Compete inventories of all wild horses and burros both in captivity and on the range must be done so we get a number to hold them accountable for.

    The math needs to be done about the animals in holding…numbers sent there, numbers still there, and accountability for those who seem to have disappeared.

    Every link in the ‘Slaughtergate’ scandal needs to be brought to justice not just by firing them but by sending them to jail. They can have Michael Vick’s old cell.

    • March 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      T%he bastards doing the kill buys and sells need to be rounded up and slaughtered themselves. Sorry, but there isn’t any excuse for that. All they care about is the $$. I am sure there are some pigs around that would love a kill buyer steak. Sorry, but thats how I feel. If the federal agencies don’t care about the fate of the wild horses, then they are showing their true selves.

  • January 29, 2013 at 9:25 am

    THANK YOU for bringing this ugly corruption to the attention of the taxpaying public. The BLM Wild Horse and Burro program could best be described as GOVERNMENT FUNDED ANIMAL CRUELTY:
    Bureau of Land Management and DOI Missing $168 Billion Dollars; Taxpayers Have a Right to Know Where It Is!
    Legislators and government are asking for tax increases, while blaming taxpayers for frivolous spending habits. This discussion demonstrates why “Not” to raise taxes, and the fault being irresponsible conduct from our government agencies, and a cover-up of fees that either should have been charged to corporations and special interest groups; or was charged, collected, and then distributed illegally. Either way questionable and even illegal situations remain abundant within the Bureau of Land management..
    The estimated worth of the materials taken from Public Lands, what the actual fees charged should be, is explained in a current GAO Report to Legislators:
    “In summary, there were nearly 70 different types of leasable minerals extracted from federal lands and waters in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. . . For example, the volumes of the four most valuable of these minerals—oil, gas, natural gas liquids, and coal—are measured in barrels, million cubic feet (mcf), gallons, and tons, respectively. According to ONRR data, the total value of all leasable minerals extracted from federal and Indian land and sold in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 was $92.3 billion and $98.6 billion, respectively.”1
    Keep these ”total-value” figures in mind, explained further, and also keep in mind this is only one segment of many the Bureau of Land Management’s recklessly managed affairs, basically yet another form of Corporate Welfare, where the taxpayers receive nothing in returns. A scam that needs to cease immediately. In this case a $168.2 billion dollar scam, and this being the tip of the iceberg.
    Taxpayers and the general public, who use Public Lands for recreation, for example, pay many fees to do so, and at no discount. Yet large corporations and sheep and cattle ranchers pay next to nothing what so ever and recklessly damage our Public Lands while doing so.

    • February 6, 2013 at 4:56 am

      I can only say…If you believe in God…read the Bible…Romans…14:2-9…If you don’t believe in God…You can’t fight with a mjority and win…God is right…Blessed Trails

  • January 29, 2013 at 11:14 am
    Wild Horse Herds, Roundups, and Absurd Head Counts
    The Wild Horse Roundup issue in our Western United States is controversial and due to several reasons that, when scrutinized, simply does not meet the standards of a proper and legitimate decision making process. Especially to put to death, or send to slaughter Wild Horses — no matter how convoluted the ultimate process toward the slaughter — make no doubt the BLM is responsible. This article discusses one aspect of this henious situation, the BLM’s inappropriate and flawed head-count-procedure.
    The fact is this: Horse Roundups and Facilities Temporarily (corrals and ranchers of BLM friends and legislator’s friends) designed to hold horses from the unnecessary roundups cost taxpayers in excess of $92 million dollars a year. Add to this the Welfare Ranchers, paid also by tax dollars unnecessarily and for no need and out of date programs that do nothing for tax payers (i.e. Corporate Welfare), and in these same areas, and you have costs spiraling upward of $425 million dollars yearly. Very Extravagant! Very Unnecessary!
    Compare this to a mere $150,000 yearly budget to simply manage the horses appropriately, and we have America’s horses protected in a responsible manner – as they remain on our Public Lands.
    No Reason for a Round Up

    • February 3, 2013 at 6:33 am

      You nailed it!

  • January 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Horsetalk, thank you for spreading the word about the ongoing atrocities committed by the US against the wild horses. This country needs to be globally shamed for the theft, abuse and murder of living icons of beauty, truth and freedom that represent everything the USA will never be because it has not only betrayed its horses but betrayed its people, and has done it for decades.

  • January 31, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    If the BLM or others knew, are they being formally accused? Will they be punished if found guilty? If so, what is the punishment? Is Tom Davis one of the ones being charged with this awful crime to our wild Mustangs? He should pay his profits towards the upkeep of those in holding pens. He shouldn’t have profited from this!

  • March 22, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Ken Salazar needs to be brought up on charges. WE the people have paid this clueless politician’s salary for WAY too long. Wake up Obama, and see what your ‘boy’ has wrought!

  • March 22, 2013 at 5:29 am

    Another thing. If sanctuaries have found a way to administer birth control to their mares.. why can’t the Federal Government with all of their resources we contribute to? AND why not an even easier and yet very sensible fix? Adopt out all the fillies possible.. .. and send the males back out?! Over time, this cuts way down on foals born!

    • March 26, 2013 at 6:30 am

      The only problem with that, Nancy, is the impression we’re given about ‘foaling rates’ in the wild is that the estimates are based on the entire population, rather than the percentage of mares or jennies that may produce a foal.
      In natural herd societies, there are stallions that will never sire a foal, content to be bachelors or lieutenants their entire lives. But there are mares and jennies who will, for a variety of reasons, not produce a foal in a given year.
      There are reasons why Nature chooses to balance wild equine herds in an almost perfect 50-50 ratio; if the Powers would bother to understand wild herds or even count them with something approaching accuracy, the on-the-range crisis they’re always predicting might not even exist. And if that crisis isn’t valid, the plight of the animals in captivity likely also wouldn’t exist, either.
      Without actual viable range studies and visual documentation of herds in the wild – pictures or video captured during aerial flyovers – wild equine populations will continue to be based on ‘estimates’, ‘percentages’ and ‘population modeling’, and presented to the Public as fact.
      We need to do better.

  • March 26, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I am sure you are probably right. But I work in dog rescue and I can tell you all the NO KILL people are terribly wrong for not going to the root of the problem… too many puppies being born, not enough homes! I only know one person out of my probably 100 friends and acquaintances who are INTO horses, that have adopted a mustang. If adoptive homes are not plentiful and increasing every year, the birth rate is the most logical root of the problem of thousands of ‘unadopted’ horses in BLM facilities, no?


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