Wild Horses and Cattle Being Sold for Slaughter

Kristi Harris, Reporter

There is suspicion that over 1,000 wild horses (mustangs) and burros (donkeys) were illegally sold for slaughter by a program that is supposed to help horses. This issue has been going on for a few years now and there has been a lot of criticism about it.

For three years the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has been investigating the disappearance of over 1,000 horses from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM.) As the range runs out of room for the horses, the BLM takes them in and provides all their necessities until they can find permanent homes for them.

In October of 2012, BLM illegally sold 1,700 horses to Tom Davis, a livestock hauler in Colorado. The BLM has a policy to ensure the horses go to safe homes, which they did not follow. The buyer also has to sign a contract that specifically states they will not sell the horses for slaughter; Davis did the opposite. He promised he was buying them as part of a tax write­off for wealthy friends and that he would get them to a safe home. Once he purchased the horses, he sold most of them to a slaughterhouse in Mexico. “Davis opined that in selling him so many loads of horses, BLM had to know that the horses would end up at a slaughterhouse,” says the investigators. (USA Today)

Laura Leigh, founder of the Nevada based Advocacy group Wild Horse Education (NAWHE) says, “The BLM says it protects wild horses, but when they are selling to a guy like this you have to wonder.” The BLM insists that they took their normal precautions when selling horses. They obviously didn’t do a very thorough check on Davis who is a lifelong advocate of horse slaughter and is seeking investors for a slaughterhouse of this own. Also, after BLM was informed that Davis was selling them for slaughter, they continued to sell to him.

After all this, there is no justice being done for these poor mustangs. The BLM is not being held accountable for the deaths of these horses. Davis is not being prosecuted for not following the laws stated in his contract. The reason for this is BLM claimed that they changed their policies. If anything, they should be the ones working against Davis not along side him.