The horse slaughter matter concerning Tom Davis, a professed horse meat advocate, has once again hit the media, this time for the Investigative Report by the Bureau of Land Management [BLM] titled “Wild Horse Buyer” dated Oct. 23. The media has been all over this story since Oct. 24 – Davis has always denied selling the wild horses to Mexican slaughter. Anyone with any sense at all knew what Davis was up to, despite all his denials. Years have passed and Davis has gone about his business unscathed. It is puzzling why even his connections to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar have not been investigated.
During the years 2009 through 2012, Davis bought a confirmed 1,795 federally-protected wild horses from the BLM, the agency responsible for the protection of America’s wild horses. Davis purchased the horses through BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program [WH&B] at the ridiculous throw-away price of $10 each animal, possibly less. Despite Davis insisting, back then, that the animals were being adopted out, he illegally sent them to Mexico for slaughter, a fact now confirmed by the just-released report. Outraged animal advocates who surmised and spoke out about Davis’ shady dealings had simply been ignored.
Since then, Davis has admitted that most of the horses purchased from the Bureau of Land Management did, in fact, go to slaughter. Davis told the report’s investigators that “in selling so many loads of horses, BLM had to know that the horses would end up at the slaughterhouse.”
Davis’ wrongful sales cost U.S. taxpayers $140,000 just to deliver the numerous truckloads of wild horses, about 30 animals per truck, and the cost to Davis per horse was $10 each [he actually paid less than $18,000 total]. Davis then sent the doomed horses to slaughter, making at least $154,000 profits. The travesty is that this went on for several years and was not stopped, despite the outcry of many advocates and the public. Refer to two stories by this author: Tom Davis – we want the details of the missing 1,700 horses and Tom Davis found homes for 1,700 wild horses: Really?
In the report, investigators stated,
We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B. BLM also failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.
No one at BLM ever verified any information supplied by Davis. No one checked out what intentions Davis had for nearly 2,000 horses. No one stopped supplying horses to Davis even when it became apparent through reports and outrage that horses were in the slaughter pipeline. No one investigated Davis’ relationship to Secretary Salazar. And, when the investigation was brought to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado and its Conejos County District Attorney’s Office, no one gave further inquiry why civil and criminal prosecution was declined.
According to director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Suzanne Roy:
It took more than three years for the OIG to confirm what we’ve always known – that the BLM sold 1,795 federally-protected wild horses to a known kill buyer who sold them to slaughter. Unfortunately, there will be no justice for these mustangs, who suffered a brutal death in Mexican slaughter plants. No one at the BLM is being held accountable for this betrayal, and Tom Davis is not being prosecuted for violating his contractual obligation to not sell the horses for slaughter.
The question remains what exactly is being done by the BLM now? Should BLM simply be permitted to state, as it did, that it has “taken preventive measures to ensure horses sold by the agency do not end up at slaughterhouses” in the future? And should the advocates and public trust in BLM’s statement that the “agency no longer has any business relationship with Davis” be taken on blind faith? Based on all the roundups and constant assault on the wild horses in all of the various locations, what should the public believe?
Perhaps the public should be asking why is it that Davis was never prosecuted? Is it not plausible that Davis should make restitution of his illegal profits as compensation for his illegal horse slaughter activities and the brutal deaths?
Also see YouTube nongraphic but informative video “Slaughtering Wild Horses”
Updated by author to add current video about the Davis report on Oct. 26, 2015 3:02 p.m.