The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the federal agency which has taken over much of the land throughout the Southwestern United States, has been caught illegally selling wild horses that is was tasked with protecting to a Colorado Rancher who then sent them to slaughter.
One of BLMs duties is to protect the herds of wild horses that roam throughout the Southwestern United States. But according to BLM records, the agency has been illegally selling these wild horses to a Colorado rancher for $10 a head. This rancher, Tom Davis, then sells these wild horses to slaughter houses in Mexico for a huge profit.
The U.S. Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General, which released the report Friday, concluded that between 2008 and 2012 the BLM illegally sold 1,794 wild horses to a known horse slaughtering advocate, Rancher Tom Davis.
“During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses that he purchased through WH&B ultimately went to slaughter. We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B,” the report said, noting that the BLM did not follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring horses sold were not slaughtered.
The BLM’s long history of abusing their power throughout the Southwest
This is not the first time the Bureau of Land Management has abused its power; sadly, it’s also not the first time that they’ve killed animals on land which they are supposed to protect. Ironically, this is the same agency that sent armed snippers to point their weapons at American Citizens in Nevada in 2014, when they illegally raided the Bundy Ranch in order to supposedly protect these same wild horses. During that raid, the agency slaughtered a number of Bundy’s cattle out in the Nevada Desert.
In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, declaring that, “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
As part of that Act, the BLM was tasked with protecting and managing wild horses and burros. But instead of protecting these wild animals, the agency has almost completely eradicated them from much of the public land that Congress designated as habitat for these animals. Since 1971, BLM has removed almost 300,000 of these wild animals from western public lands, and has completely eliminated wild horses and burros from over 20 million acres of public land.