The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must answer why they allowed hundreds of wild mustangs to be sold for slaughter over a four-year period. It has come to light that the BLM sold nearly 1,800 horses to Colorado rancher Tom Davis, between 2008 and 2012, who resold most of the horses for slaughter.
The BLM has rules in place preventing numerous horses to be sold to individual buyers, in order to prevent situations like this. Horses overseen by the BLM are supposed to be rehomed with suitable owners.
The Office of Inspector General, for the U.S. Department of the Interior released a report on October 23, 2015 informing the public of the results of their investigation. It was noted that the BLM paid $140,000 of taxpayer’s money to transport the horses, rounded up on public lands, to Davis during that time period, and that he profited from the sales to the tune of $150,000.
The report shows that Davis paid $10 per horse and would purchase them by the truckload – typically 35 horses at a time – and then send them to slaughter in Mexico.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell demanding that the BLM return the public funds, and gave the organization 30 days to explain why it did not follow its own policies to limit sales to individual buyers.