An inquiry has gone out to the Bureau of Land Management by a house republican into the sale and the now-confirmed slaughter of nearly 1,800 wild horses. According to the source story written by Lydia Wheeler of The Hill on Nov. 12, Rep. Vern Buchanan [Republican-Florida], a letter was posted to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. Buchanan is seeking an explanation into why the BLM did not limit wild horse sales to a particular buyer, followed up on the welfare of the horses, and determined that the horses did not go to slaughter. In short, Buchanan wants to know why BLM “failed to follow its own policy.”
It is the Bureau of Land Management that has been charged with the management of our United States wild horses. Under specific circumstances, BLM may sell some of these horses [and burros] but its own regulations clearly prohibit slaughter sales. It is stipulated that sales be made in limited quantities to good homes where the horses will receive excellent care and humane treatment.
Based on the recent complete release of the Inspector General’s report, BLM permitted Tom Davis of Colorado, livestock hauler, to purchase 1,794 horses for $10 each over a period of time starting in 2008, ending in 2012. Davis sold these horses to Mexican slaughterhouses, reaping substantial profit for each animal. BLM’s mandate makes slaughter of healthy wild horses illegal and it in no way can be involved in the sale of horses to any individual “who then sells the animals for slaughter.
In his letter to Secretary Jewell, Buchanan also takes BLM to task about the $140,000 of taxpayer money spent for the transport of the horses purchased by Davis, who reaped more than the stated $150,000 in profits. Buchanan specified that these funds rightfully belong to the American public. He further states about BLM,
It is unacceptable that BLM’s disregard of the law resulted in the use of taxpayer funds to facilitate the inhumane slaughter of iconic American wildlife.
Buchanan has been an acknowledged champion in the long-standing fight against animal cruelty. The Humane Society has identified and recognized Rep. Buchanan as a “Legislative Leader” in the efforts concerning animal welfare issues.
It was Buchanan that introduced the bipartisan SAFE Act (H.R. 1942) in April of 2015. In part, SAFE strives to permanently forbid the killing of horses for human consumption in America. The SAFE Act concerns the transporting to slaughter, the killing of horses for their meat, and the sale of horse meat for human consumption.
According to Buchanan’s timeframe, he is giving BLM 30 days’ response time. For the complete text of Buchanan’s letter, please see attached image. He seeks recovery of monies and the profits made by Davis. He further wants an explanation why federal and state prosecutors failed to take action.