Watchdog: Feds looked the other way as horses were slaughtered

Oct. 26, 2015 - "The solution to wild horse management is not selling horses and burros for slaughter," said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. "It's time for BLM to stop rounding up wild horses, stop stockpiling them in holding facilities and start managing them humanely."

Animal rights activists are up in arms after a government watchdog report found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold more than 1,700 horses to Colorado rancher Tom Davis, who turned around and sold them for slaughter.

The BLM broke federal law and its own policies with the sale, according to the inspector general report.

“It took more than three years for the [inspector general] 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,” Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, there will be no justice for these mustangs, who suffered a brutal death in Mexican slaughter plants,” she added. "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 inspector general referred the case to the U.S. and state attorney’s offices in Colorado, both of which declined to prosecute Davis.

The inspector general report said the BLM looked the other way after it found out Davis may have been selling the horses for slaughter, according to the report.

"The solution to wild horse management is not selling horses and burros for slaughter," Roy said. "It's time for BLM to stop rounding up wild horses, stop stockpiling them in holding facilities and start managing them humanely."

Originally published in The Hill Oct. 26, 2015

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