Federal Probe Raises Questions About 47 Siezed BLM Horses Going Out of Holding Pens to Alleged Slaughter Ring

By Steven Long

Chute Photo by Laura Leigh, Chase Photo by Terry Fitch,  

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The secretive federal Bureau of Land Management has long kept the doors of the giant taxpayer funded pastures where thousands of wild horses are warehoused, well, closed.

But while the doors were closed to press and public, they may have been wide open to a well known Utah killer buyer who was caught hauling 47 older wild horses allegedly to slaughter in Mexico or Canada.

The investigation includes BLM enforcement agents, the FBI, several state agencies, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in possibly two or more states.

Multiple individuals are targets of the probe. Department of Transportation registration for a cattle truck shown in video by Salt Lake television station KSL was traced by respected animal welfare investigators Animals Angels to Willard, Utah based DK Ranches owned by alleged killer buyer Dennis Kunz.

“There have been suspicions of BLM involvement in the trafficking of wild horse to slaughter since the early 1990s when a formal Grand Jury probe was instigated” said documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens whose three PBS ”Nature” specials on an iconic horse named Cloud have captivated millions.  “The Cloud Foundation has been asking for full public access to all facilities where mustangs are being warehoused for years.”

Kathrens remembers the earlier probe well, but believes chicanery from higher up brought the investigation to a halt.

“Before the first witness could testify in the hearing in a Del Rio, Texas courtroom, the plug was pulled and the investigation findings were never released,” Kathrens told Horseback Online.  “Implicated in the investigation are people still employed by the BLM.

In fact one employee with the Wild Horse and Burro Program is in charge of the facilities for the Agency. I have no idea whether there is a any link to these same employees or not.”

“Wild Horse and Burro advocates have always fostered a nagging suspicion that our national icons were being shuttled out the back door of long term holding to slaughter, and this incident validates that fear,” said longtime wild horse advocate and author R.T. Fitch, president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  

“But the larger question is why did the BLM intervene and what makes this incident different from the possible hundreds before it, something doesn’t add up,” he said.

“Wild horse and burro advocates have long felt that horses from BLM holding facilities were ending up in slaughter but the secretive nature of the agency and its refusal to provide any accounting or access to its long term holding facilities has made these suspicions all but impossible to confirm or disprove,” said John Holland, president of the Chicago based Equine Welfare Alliance.  ”The shock among advocates in this case was not that it happened, but that the BLM suddenly decided to take enforcement action. It would be nice to think this is a new direction under Joan Guilfoyle, the BLM’s recently named director of the Wild Horse and Burro program, but we are told she does not take over until September. However, seeing the comments of Utah’s BLM director Gus War in the wake of the seizure was like a breath of fresh air, and we applaud them.”

Tom Gorey, Chief Washington spokesman for the BLM, was unavailable for comment Saturday.

It is unknown if anybody has been charged in the alleged BLM slaughter ring, or if any agency employees are suspects.

Jerry Finch is the founder and driving force of Habitat for Horses, a Hitchcock, Texas based rescue that has handled some of the most difficult seizures in recent history.

“For the BLM to suddenly be concerned about America’s horses going to slaughter is laughable,” he told Horseback Magazine late Saturday.  ”Since former Senator Burns gave them the out to dump horse by the truckloads, they have been disappearing by the hundreds, if not by the thousands. That this truckload was stopped means that someone broke the silence of corruption and squealed.”

Since Horseback Magazine began investigations into practices of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program, unconfirmed reports have repeatedly reached the magazine claiming the sighting of 18 wheel cattle trucks hauling horses from BLM facilities in the dead of night. The agency has steadfastly denied horses are being taken from pastures and sent to slaughter.

However, BLM branded horses are sometimes spotted in USDA holding pastures and at slaughterhouses carrying the BLM brand.

“The BLM refuses to give the public an accurate accounting of the horses they have captured or to allow anyone but their own to see these supposed holding areas except on a very limited basis. Why? What is the BLM hiding?” Finch asked.  ”People are being paid a per horse rate to care and feed these animals. If the horses aren’t there, then where is the money going?”

Gorey states that the BLM does not send horses to slaughter.

However, the agency doesn’t keep track of its horses after they are sold, critics say.

It is estimated that there are app. 30,000 horses of all ages housed under lock and key on private property that the agency refuses to grant access to on a routine basis.

The reason, “the horses are on private land,” Gorey has repeatedly stated citing the federal privacy act. According to the BLM, 10,755 wild horses were removed from public lands and placed in giant holding pastures in 2010.

Ranchers in western states frequently call the Mustangs, “the cockroaches of the west” and view them as a nuisance.

The agency has refused to allow an independent audit of the number of horses held privately by ranchers at taxpayer expense, despite the fact that BLM controls app. 243 million acres of mostly vacant land where the horses could be housed for free. The horses compete for grazing land with more than 1 million cattle that inhabit leased pastures at the fire sale rate of $1.35 per cow and calf per month.

The horses seized in Utah are over the age BLM offers for adoption. When such horses are sold, buyers agree not to sell them to slaughter, the BLM says.

The wife of the owner of the cattle truck which carried the horses told Utah reporters for the Deseret News and KSL-TV, “We are known for buying slaughter horses,” she said, “but it was just our truck that was being used.” The woman claimed the horses were Texas bound but not destined for slaughter, despite the fact that Mexican slaughter houses are just across the U.S. Mexico border from El Paso.

Finch, like many others, believes the BLM would rid western lands of all wild horses.

“The next move by the BLM will surely be a cry that they can no longer afford to support all the wild horses they have taken and to ask Congress to add an amendment to allow them to sell horses without restriction. That should make the non-thinking horse haters in Congress squeal in delight.”

 ”Bottom line, older wild horses should never be removed from their homes on the range and caring BLM employees have said as much to me,” Kathrens said. “Older mustangs are particularly vulnerable, not just because they have trouble adapting to incarceration, but because they are not attractive as adoption animals, making them targets for sale and potential purchase by killer buyers. Are unscrupulous government employees and private contractors involved in the current trafficking case? Until that question can be answered, there should be an immediate halt to round up operations and the subsequent hauling of wild horses to holding facilities where the public is denied access.”

Kathrens is calling for a federal tracking system to document the whereabouts of every wild horse under BLM control. “BLM needs to prove the whereabouts of every animal they have removed, particularly these older animals who have been rounded up in the last few years. If we can track an orange from the time it leaves the grove to the time it is sold at the grocery store, BLM can certainly implement a tracking structure for these federally protected mustangs.

Until they can implement this kind of tracking, no wild horses should be removed from the safety of their ranges.”

61 comments for “Federal Probe Raises Questions About 47 Siezed BLM Horses Going Out of Holding Pens to Alleged Slaughter Ring

  1. julie
    August 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I think they were headed to the Morton horse slaughter feedlot. That is why they were being hauled in a double decker trailer.

  2. August 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    There ya go! I agree 100% with julie! And you ask, “why did the blm intervene on this one?” Sheeze…it’s just another one of them “bones” they are throwing to us!!! The blm HATE us! We are honing in on them and their lies and illegalities, and we, little by little, are finally getting the rest of the world to know about their sneakiness, lying, AND WE ARE GIVING THEM A HORRIBLY BAD NAME! And all of these lawsuits going on against the blm. In my opinion, the blm has done this only so it will BE ON RECORD they INTERVENED and SAVED their own horses. And it probably cost them a pretty penny to pay all involved in this scam! They are hoping NOW, after this little fiasco, that horse advocates and just plain horse-loving people will stop believeing all the terrible things said and written about them (the blm scum thugs). Thats what I think anyway. And I also KNOW that THAT AIN’T GONNA WORK!! Because WE HERE ALL KNOW what lying POS the blm are…and that their only goal in life is to get rid of all the wild horses and burros.

    • Jeannie Loves Horses
      August 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      I beleive the ony reason they are claiming, CLAIMING they intervened is because someone told them the truck was BUSTED, so therefore to LOOK good and , there they BE, the Bureau of Liars…..

  3. Marge
    August 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    BLM doesn’t ship them to slaughter, technically.
    There is a loophole called “sale authority” that allows bulk sales to dealers. The dealers ship them.

    “Sale authority” needs to be repealed.

    • Betty Kelly
      August 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Marge….Sale authority LOOPHOLE NV US Senate Harry Reid. An old comment of mine:

      10-30-2009 Reid is nothing but a corporate Democratic special interest phony. Reid is responsible for destroying the 1971 Fed. Wild Horse/Burro Protection Act (Dec. 2004 rider) that now allows BLM (aka corporate public lands livestock industry) to massively remove WHBs from their legal home ranges and off to slaughter they go (one way or another). BLM (public lands livestock industry) is in such a “drug” frenzy to rid us of our American Heritage, they are castrating the stallions without any anesthesia and shipping them off ASAP. BARBARIC!!! The Public Lands Livestock Industry costs Americans 1/2 to 1 billion dollars annually to maintain their private corporate cowboy life styles, all the while stealing OUR public lands (and water) as their “private” lands for massive livestock grazing, mining and other profitable purposes.

      Screw Reid, but not “the horse we rode in on!” There is a sign in a pasture with cows down the road from me that says “DUMP REID”. I agree, as well as others. We have supported this sweet and charming Democratic Corporate special interest thug long enough. Dumping him is over due. Harry can take his son, Rory (running for NV Gov-more of the same…was defeated), with him back to Searchlight NV. Maybe they both can find high paying lobbyist jobs within their corporate SLC LDS church, etc. (The Utah Cattoor family has done well on the bloody backs of WHBs thru the years.) Much like the Washington D.C. ”C” Street non-profit Christian House CULT and its chosen ones, which includes former NV U.S. Senator John Ensign among others, etc.

      Also President Obama is touted as a smart person (Using Bush standards, that’s not hard to do), but he has ZERO IQ when it comes to what is happening to America’s Wild Horses/Burros and tragically he doesn’t appear to care. A previous family horseback riding trip in Montana apparently made him an expert…Yeah…just like Palin knows all about Russia as she can see it from her porch mentality. He has turned out to be a real weenie that to me is comparable to him sitting in the bleachers while enjoying a dog fighting event. A pathetic big disappointment to many, like me, who voted and supported him!!!!!

      These precious creatures are North American Re-Introduced Native Species, by evolutionary and Mitochondrial DNA evidence (Fazio/Kirkpatrick, Ph.D’s) that are being methodically destroyed by corporate greed and power at taxpayer’s expense. North America is their home of evolutionary origin! Moveon needs to do their home work for the truth, but that may be too complicated and too much work for you??? (Oh well, please forgive me for my ranting, but I care deeply for these special ones.)

      Betty Kelly, Carson City NV 89704

      • D. Verret
        August 7, 2011 at 2:30 am

        Whoa, Nellie!!!!

        Ms. Kelly that was an awesome post. But who to get over Reid? The last opponent was a nutbag. Sharon Angle is a looneytoon that would wipe out the wild equines just as Reid, only without subtle means and her loud, stupid mouth.

        Who can clean house in NV? Will the voters turn out? Between the 2 party system, how can an honest, caring individual become a candidate in such a corrupt primary system? And the money spent is a sin!

        • August 7, 2011 at 6:30 am

          sad but true.. But we have a chance now with Bill S1176. get involved..get it passed, even if it hair-lips Reid. Do it now and we can move on to another problem.

      • August 7, 2011 at 5:11 am

        Betty, I really agree with so much that you said, and been a long time supporter of the Mustangs and Anti-slaughter bills. I worked for 3 years to get the Texas legislature to ban horse slaughter for human consumption.

        But, I do defend Pres. Obama, because I think that he has had so much on his plate, that we have a difficult time being priority. And he has made progress on some of the other issues that I care about.
        If I’m not mistaken, Ken Salazar is a hold over from Bush days…and I think he should have been gone when the debacle of the MMS (overseer of GULF OIL Drilling) being in bed with the same Oil Companies that they were supposed to be regulating was exposed. And I think the BLM (also under Ken’s INTERIOR) is exactly the same..in the Pockets of the Ranchers and Miners, and Oil Companies. the ones with money and trips and jobs if things go their way.
        I am also a member of Moveon but I haven’t seen the BLM issue with them. If you think that we can, I am certainly willing to try to get their attention.
        And on the Harry Reid deal… I guess I don’t really like him, but I could not have supported Sharon what’s her name, whose husband was a retiree of the BLM… On the payroll so to speak. I think it would have been pan to fire!
        Let’s try to focus on this possible opportunity to force the corrupt BLM and the ineffective and loser Ken Salazar, and the Cattoor family out of our business with the Mustangs and Burros once and for all. They have been a bit on the run, and I think this could just push our point of view to the forefront. I am just more hopeful than ever!

        • LGriffith
          August 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm

          Salazar is an Obama appointee. And Salazar has been very effective at coming up with a plan for reducing the numbers of wild horses on the range. I would say that is the one (and only) thing he has been effective at.

          Mine safety (no) Oil and gas regulations (no) Rid the ranges of wild horse that compete with forage with his cattle buddy’s livestock (yes).

      • Margaret Farnsworth
        August 8, 2011 at 11:22 pm

        In response to Betty Kelly – My heart is with the wild horses and I wish we could make the powers that be wake up and realize how important they are to save and protect, but politically, you need a reality check. You obviously didn’t do YOUR homework when you voted for Obama, and your Palin comment was inaccurate – the excerpt you refer to was from Saturday Nite Live by an actress who was making fun of Sarah. She’s a lot more intelligent than you realize and would be the first in line to make sure the wild horses of our country would be protected!

    • August 8, 2011 at 5:59 am

      Outstanding response, Betty! Could not have been said better. You’re welcome to join us at Celebrate the Horse Network on Facebook if you’d like:
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/CelebrateTheHorseNetwork?ap=1

  4. Betty Kelly
    August 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    8-6-2011 I’m almost speechless with sadness. They’re making room for planned captures, i.e., Triple B (Elko NV area) BLM fiasco!

    Betty in Carson City (Washoe Valley) NV

    • Janet Ferguson
      August 7, 2011 at 12:42 am

      You are in the midst of Reid Country. I can tell you are not “lovin’ it.” Congress tried to repeal the Sale Authority of Burns/Reid of 2004. Immediately they sent legislation forward to repeal it. But it never made it at the time. . . this type of repealing legislation should have been reintroduced with each new Congress. . .

      • August 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

        The bill (S1176)in the Congress now may once and for all end any American horses from being sent to slaughter here or in another country, and at the same time get the Mustangs the land and life that is really the one that was supposed to be theirs from 1971 legislation. Lets use this information to our benefit. Everyone.. Post on the FB pages of Senators and Representatives. Also fax story to their office,then call the office and ask for the aide who handles environmental and/or animal or BLM questions. it is easy and effective.

        • LGriffith
          August 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

          Just have to remind everyone that getting S. 1176 passed will not stop the current situation with horses being sold to slaughter. It will only break the stalemate we have had in the Senate for the past five years on this issue.

          We will still have to get a companion bill introduced in the House (where there currently has been nothing introduced) and voted on … and the House will be a lot harder with its current conservative leadership and Tea Party influences.

  5. barb3000
    August 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    I don’t believe there are many mustangs left except for the ones that are being rounded up on a monthly basis. There is not 30,000 or more in BLM holding. This is why the adoption offices are spread out in different states so no one can get a accurate count and since the BLM refuses to allow anyone access to the larger holdings because I don’t believe the ranches exist at all. The only horses you see are the few in holding pens where the BLM runs the adoptions. You never see very large groups of the mustangs anywhere and that is because they are not there and have never been there. This is why in the EU super markets you would see packages of horse meat labeled as grass fed wild horse meat. I wonder too just where is the millions of taxpayer dollars going that is supposed to be taking care of these horses? Just how many BLM bureaucrats bank accounts is these millions being funneled into?

    • Jeannie Loves Horses
      August 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      It has alway’s bothered me that they will not come forth with the exact locations of all the LTH…..Yes, I am sure that the BLM have been letting them slip out the back door…IF they had nothing to hide they would furnish the where abouts. Bureau of Liars

  6. Lynn Van Gilder
    August 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Shut this murdering, lying, dishonest agency BLM down. There should be an investigation of the BLM for criminal activities, illegal use of taxpayers money, CRUELTY to animals, etc Bastards all of them!

    • August 7, 2011 at 12:49 am

      I second THAT!

    • D. Verret
      August 7, 2011 at 2:33 am

      They should have been shutdown after the drug/brinery scandal and for sure after the Gulf Disaster…but these trolls are in the pockets of energy, mining and big Ag, ergo Congress.

  7. August 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    This news just tears me apart——these b——s!!!!!!!! Is there nothing more we can do?????

  8. Janet Schultz
    August 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    My heart is breaking – this is the first I have read they were loaded on double decker. My God, where else would they have been heading? You don’t load 47 horses and expect them to arrive in good shape off a double decker. Does anyone? And then all I can see and feel is the confusion and fear of the horses.

    Thank you to all – especially Animals Angels – for your work.

    We have got to redouble our work to stop double decker transport and slaughter.

  9. August 7, 2011 at 12:49 am

    If there is ANY honesty at all anywhere in DC, there will be an investigation that either proves our wild horses are where BLM says they are, or that they are NOT where BLM says they are. If there is NOT a full investigation – open to public – the horses are NOT where they should be – count on it. And that will also prove there is not any honesty left in DC – which is what I’m really afraid of.

  10. grrace
    August 7, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Why can’t we get an audit of the LongTerm Holding Pens? Say, throught the ASPCA or Humane Society? Has anyone gotten a rejection in writing? Does anyone know?

    • August 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

      yes it has been requested and sued for several times.. BLM is holding the reins to the local courts through mostly Republican judge appointments…and probably a few buddies of Reid. But this will be new ammunition.
      Best FB page for Day to Day report of BLM roundup etc., suits ongoing etc. Support her and the Animal Angels with any penny that you can.
      http://artandhorseslauraleigh.wordpress.com/

  11. Jude
    August 7, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Wonder if this was just a ploy to see if they are being watched and then blew the whistle on themselves?
    Why is it that FEDERAL COURTS have not allowed the disclosure of these holding pens or ranches where they are housed where the public CAN OBSERVE THEIR WELFARE?? This whole agency stinks of rotten to the core and IT NEEDS TO BE DISMANTLED~~~

  12. August 7, 2011 at 1:48 am

    It was two years ago this month that EWA dove into the wild horses issues with Ginger. At the end of the month, through the beginning of September when the Pryor mountain round-up began, literally millions of calls were made to legislators and the white house asking for a halt to the round-up. Two months later, we issued the letter asking for a moratorium until the program could be fixed and sent registered letters to the white house and DOI. To date, we have yet to receive a response. Congressman Grijalva sent a letter during the last congressional session that yielded no response. Grijalva sent another letter at the end of last month and I’m willing to bet there will be no response.

    The long term holding is on private land so they can keep the public out. They do not want to have to account for anything to anyone. They are a rouge agency and they like things just the way they are. No accountability, no accurate data and are only beholden to special interests, particularly the welfare ranchers.

    I would like the president, Salazar and Abbey to tell us what they will say when our American heritage is gone from the ranges and their children and grandchildren ask, why didn’t you do something. We have reached that point. If we don’t do something now, the wild Mustangs and Burros are history.

    And in light of the recent lawsuit brought forth by the WY Rock Springs Grazing Assoc, I think it’s time that we bring forth federal legislation to eliminate all subsidies to the welfare ranchers grazing on public lands. After all, if $70M is such a burden to the taxpayers for wild horses, eliminating HUNDREDS of millions of dollars of welfare to private business should make everyone happy.

    • August 7, 2011 at 6:47 am

      Let’s Go Vicki.. This is a new and good opportunity to push for a light to be shown on the whole Dept. of Interior. Indian Affairs..screwed up! Off Shore Drilling..was badly screwed up..perhaps getting better with transparency, and then We have the BLM thieves, pirates, and greedy SOBs.
      I wish we could get the attention of the President, but realistically, I don’t see this as priority 1, unless we have an investigation through the Congress that shows their wrongdoing!

    • August 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I have started “mentioning” in my various comments around that the Public Lands Parasite Grazing Program not only costs far more than the Wild Horse & Burro Program, but also that the parasite ranchers are responsible for most of the cost or the WH&B program! It’s WAY past time for this welfare program to end. Check this:http://www.publiclandsranching.org/book.htm

      • D. Verret
        August 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

        The extraction for energy and extraction are far worse than public livestock grazing. The wild equines could care less. They get whacked for both of those enterprises.

        Check out the foreign lease holders for extraction (if you can follow the money of shell companies, layers of LLCs and product); no other country in the world allows this kind of rape.

    • Mar Wargo
      August 8, 2011 at 4:57 am

      We do need to start writing legislation. This will aid us. It will unite us and bring a variety of concerns to hand. There is no time to waste.

  13. August 7, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Ooops, that should have been rogue agency….

  14. Bonnie Kohleriter
    August 7, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Why were the horses traveling from Utah to Texas? There are no corrals or long-term pastures in Texas. Why is the public not able to go into the Indian Lakes Corrals in Fallon, Nevada, where a large
    number of our horses are, though the contract says weekly public visits will be available? Why does the public and even the OIG only
    have open to them the same limited number of long-term pastures and not all of them? Why were the horses at Ridgecrest in CA not branded in January, 2011, though they had been there for a long time? Why
    were lame horses at the Kansas Facility told to me by staff transported to Montana? Why has an electronic system not been developed to follow the lives of our wild horses in captivity? Many people recently have applied for government subsidized eco-
    sanctuaries wherein a minimum of 200 horses will need to be taken.
    Does that mean our wild horses in semi-privatized holdings won’t be
    available to be seen. And then what may be done with them? I some-
    times fear the mares may be used in these “sanctuaries” as part of slaughter horse producing farms which would delight our Ms. Wallis. New to the plight of our wild horses and burros I have seen more abuse and fraud connected with these animals at the behest of the BLM than my mind could have ever imagined. That makes me sad when I think about what their ancestors historically
    gave to us; and when I think about that my government was charged to protect them and manage them, but instead brutalized and destroyed them. I have to add that as many bad people as there are in the BLM there are also many good people to whom I have spoken.

  15. August 7, 2011 at 3:10 am

    If you watch many of the videos of the capture and transport of the wild horses and then the slaughter truck in 2 videos the trucks were identical even to the states they were registered in. Our Govrment is out of money. They can stop wasteful spending by halting the round ups, releasing the horses. Too idealistic but the BLM and the US Government isn’t accountable for our Country’s finances and peoples welfare how can they be trusted with horses.BLM is a fraud with people getting rich on wasteful spending and killing off our Mustangs.

  16. equusprimus
    August 7, 2011 at 3:23 am

    This is a very convenient PR tactic – divert attention…..

    …from the foal killing happening at the roundup;
    …from BLM abuse of roping, slamming, throwing foals by the tail into trailers;
    …from the lack of observer access there;
    …from relentless hazing by a macho helicopter pilot of every horse stampeded in;
    …from bad PR re their now-shelved extermination plan to geld/spay all wild horses in WY;
    …from the fact they continue to be sued by advocates with no pause.

    Notice that this is a FIRST for this agency, this projected protection of our American icon. Might fool some into thinking they actually take their job seriously, about protecting wild horses and burros, huh? Well don’t be fooled…. This FIRST “catch” of dirty business now self-promoted as “BLM, the Lifesavers!” comes at a convenient time, doesn’t it?

    One doesn’t have to speculate much to imagine how many other loads going to slaughter they knew about over the years but conveniently shut their eyes as they collected their $25/head from the kill buyer. Nor does one have to imagine wildly to consider they probably have “inside” operatives who are profiting off the blood of these federally protected animals just like they did back in 1997 – read all about that episode here: http://www.peer.org/pubs/whitepapers/1997_horses_to_slaughter.pdf — BLM got away with it that time but advocates are NOT going away this time.

    Covert operations by BLM is nothing new — look how they planned here,
    weekly for about a year, jetting off to different locations on the taxpayers dime to keep the planning team happy as they planned how they could kill off all the “excess” wild horses they have collected into their “sanctuary” holding pastures: http://farmwars.info/?p=3222 Footnote: BLM “lead”, Gus Warr, figured prominently in this wild horse death planning exercise, kinda ironic, isn’t it?

    We advocates have all “known” for years they are selling them to slaughter out of holding pens/pastures — OR WORSE — notwithstanding their protestations otherwise. We are also pretty adept at discerning the real agenda behind BLM actions. Watching BLM’s moves is like watching a very bad movie with a plot written by talentless novices and acted by hacks — so transparent in it’s immaturity, stonewalling, grandstanding and greed and so evil are the poorly hidden intentions.

    BLM can run but they can’t hide. They can promote themselves as saviors but promotion doesn’t negate facts and we will not stop watching. Like they say, “Eventually, even the blind chicken finds the corn” so no matter how skilled or unskilled BLM is in playing out their drama, no matter how skilled advocates are in observing, the truth WILL be revealed for all to see, eventually. I’m betting there is a LOT more BLM dirt to be uncovered!

  17. sonora
    August 7, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Can we not fly some choppers of our own over these supposedly private areas and get a look see for ourselves. I am sure there must be enough red-blooded American veteran pilots who would be willing perhaps? Harrison Ford and how many other high profiles fly and have their own planes?

    • August 7, 2011 at 6:49 am

      Money..We have to raise, or borrow money!

    • lara
      August 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      this sounds like an idea, but the cost of renting a helicopter is a LOT. perhaps if enough celebrities are made aware of the situation, it could be a popular cause for them to donate to. obviously letter-writing campaigns to politicians are not effective.

  18. Nancy Babcock
    August 7, 2011 at 3:41 am

    The pl;ace that REALLY needs to have our comments is the KSL.com article: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=960&sid=16686555&comments=true&page=2

    For whatever reason, I can’t create an account there to get logged on so I can post–but obviously all the pro-cattle/anti-wild horse people are not having the same problem. The comments are so misinformed and the pro-wild horse people are so outnumbered that it gives a false impression of the public’s view in general.

    Please, if you can get logged onto that site and post, it would help in setting the record straight yet one more time. Thanks.

    • August 7, 2011 at 6:50 am

      They are conveniently not taking more comments!

  19. EEM KELLER
    August 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

    THIS NEEDS TO STOP IMMEDIATLY. WHO DOES BLM THINK IT IS BEING SECRETIVE ABOUT THESE HORSES BEING TAKEN OFF THE RANGE AND THEN SOLD FOR FOOD. THIS SOUNDS LIKE A GOVERNMENT COVER UP NOW. IN THE DARK OF NIGHT SNEAKING THESE HORSES OUT AND SELLING THEM OFF TO SLAUGHTER.BLM HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE DOING. THIS IS ABUSE AND FINED HEAVILY IF IT WERE ANYONE OTHER GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL ANYWHERE ELSE. SOMEONE NEEDS TO BRING A LAWSUIT OUT AGAINST THOSE RESPONSIBLE. LAST TIME I SAW ANY ONE SELLING HORSE MEAT TO SLAUGHTER WAS AGAINST THE LAW.I DON’T CARE WHERE THEY WERE GOING, THEY WERE IN THE US GOING OUT OF THE COUNTRY ISN’T THAT CONSIDERED HORSENAPPING. THEY USE TO SHOOT OR HANG PEOPLE FOR THAT YRS AND YRS. AGO. I THINK THAT LAW NEEDS TO BE ENFORCED EVEN TO THE BLM, AFTER ALL THEY ARE A GOVERNMENT BASED OFFICE, DOING WRONG AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW AND ALONG WITH THOSE DOING THE HAULING AS THEY ARE EQUAL LAW BREAKERS AND KNOWINGLY HAULING THESE ANIMALS TO SLAUGHTER HOUSES. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL NO MORE AND GOD HELP US ALL.I LOVE HORSES

  20. August 7, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Now..everyone is mad and sad and outraged.. Please do something about it now.. We have the ability to stop this by making sure that Bill S1176 passes this year. No more USA slaughter, no more transporting for slaughter…no more possibilities for the BLM to make these maneuvers. Search on FB. I must belong to 6 groups that are WORKING…NOT JUST WHINING…TO GET THIS BILL PASSED. And while you are at it, get a copy of the Letter that Congressman Grijalva wrote to Ken Salazar, and the BLM. It was co-signed by 67 other Congress Representatives. Horse Advocates worked tirelessly to get it co-signed and into the forefront of politics. Copy it and send it to your Senator and Representatives along with the report of this latest horror!. Thanks to all. Get Involved..We can Win!

  21. Kimberly
    August 7, 2011 at 6:58 am

    We need to start from the ground up: start electing senators/governors/state reps that will commit to saving these horses… I agree that the BLM has turned the protection/management of the herds into a money-making business. Cattle Ranchers need to be put in their place, they are merely ‘renting’ the PUBLIC lands for the cattle to graze and if the BLM feels that there are too many animals for the land to support, then they need to cut back on the cattle allowed and stop evicting/relocating/killing the horses who are the legal inhabitants of the land!

    • D. Verret
      August 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Yep! Gotta get out there and VOTE. Gotta get out there and educate everyone you meet. Gotta get out there and help reasonable incumbents and candidates. The American Public has had it with Washington and state houses….look at the recall elections in Wisconsin. This is an opportunity to clean house EVERYWHERE in the US. VOTE! Remember Reid didn’t win by a large margin, but the choices were basically between the devil and the deep blue sea….no choices really. And the 2 party and primary systems love it that way. Gotta be grassroots folks that make the change happen. The parties won’t do it because special interest controls the money to get “elected”…oxymoron if I ever heard one.

    • August 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      It would be nice to vote only for legislators who commit to saving the horses, but there aren’t any. At least not around here. You can only vote for those that choose to run, and the choices around here are slim to none.

      • admin
        August 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

        Over the years we at Horseback Magazine have seen a lot of hand wringing by advocates about anti wild horse politicians, yet we’ve yet to see one of them run for office.

        The Editor

        • D. Verret
          August 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

          Sorry, but few candidates speak openly about whacking wildlife and business that pollute. They lie, they say what they think their potential constituents want to hear (constituent problem, not candidate’s). A voter has to extrapolate a candidate’s position on many issues and then there is no telling what would happen once they get in. Few successful candidates tell it like is upfront.

          I would say Angle and Reid are anti-wild equine. Actions speak louder than words; legislation, private pursuits (not all livestockers want to whack wolves and wild equines), platforms, experience and associations. It is up to the voter to figure this out. I would bet both of those persons are big Farm Bureau supporters/panderers and belong to some association that is overtly and covertly anti-wild equine.

          And most of the heavy Ag Hag states at fed, state and local level are anti-wild equine…..Sue Wallis is one and so is Lummis….and they ARE IN OFFICE!

          • August 8, 2011 at 12:41 am

            I haven’t even been able to get an answer out of mine one way or the other. I’ve emailed, faxed, called, you name it.

            It’s just not an issue in Indiana and the candidates just know what DOI/BLM tell them.

        • August 8, 2011 at 12:38 am

          Here in Indiana the candidates know nothing about the situation and care less – ALL OF THEM.

          Right now we have nothing but Tea Party anyway. Disgusting.

          • D. Verret
            August 8, 2011 at 3:03 am

            Oh YES THEY DO KNOW!

            Indiana is a big ag state…Farm Bureau has gotten to those reps.

            If a rep doesn’t reply after a thoughtful, fact based constituent email, fax or letter…there is your answer.

        • Janet Ferguson
          August 8, 2011 at 2:29 am

          What is that supposed to mean? That’s a low blow, Admin.
          Have a good day.

  22. August 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    As Vice-President of the Spanish Mustang Foundation we are committed to preserving and educating the public on the contribution these horses ancestors have made to America. Why is it impossible to give these horses a sanctuary where they can live out their lives in peace and harmony with humans. How can we as a people live with ourselves while the BLM mismanage the preservation of the wild horse.
    Congress needs to write better laws to protect one of our nations treasures.
    Muriel Fariello
    V.P. Spanish Mustang Foundation

    • Mar Wargo
      August 8, 2011 at 5:57 am

      We need to author more wild horse law, we are the ones who are involved and care. Then have it promoted in the house and senate by those who will help us in order to win our vote and support.
      We are capable of taking this to the next level; planning to preserve and restore our wild horses and burros and leave BLM in their own dust. We don’t need BLM.

  23. Leo
    August 7, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I know for a fact that these horses are being crossed across to Mexico , I live in Odessa Tx and last year , november or december I was driving on the interstate here and I saw 3 18wheeler trucks full of wild horses. These trucks were going on interstate 20 towards El Paso Tx which is 4 hours from here. I drove along these trucks for a few miles watching the horses, they were all pressed together in the truck , they could barely move, and I noticed the long manes and tails on the horses. Those horses were definately wild horses that were being roundup during the last months of last year. ONE CURIOUS FACT IS THAT THE HORSES WERE BEING HAULED AT NIGHT!!!! AS IF THEY WERE TRYING TO HIDE SOMETHING.

    • D. Verret
      August 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      KBs always haul at night (for several reasons).

      I went through that same highway.

      If you can’t prove that these were mustangs by virtue of paperwork or freezebrand….you can’t say they were mustangs. But I appreciate your attentiveness and deductive reasoning. In the long run, you are probably right; in a litigative sense…you don’t have evidence for the courts.

      BTW…that corridor from Dallas to El Paseo is creepy.

      • August 8, 2011 at 12:48 am

        I’m sure it is! I lived in Dallas when Dallas Crown in Kaufman and Beltex in Ft. Worth were still operating. We were less than 50 miles from both of them. It was horrible. Almost every day another horse stolen. Went to Dallas Crown helping friends look for their stolen horses. Let’s just say that, if anything, the pictures and videos are on the mild side compared to seeing the real thing.

        It makes me want to scream when I see that crap about how much better regulated the US plants were, how much more humane. BULL! I try to tell them, but….

  24. Debbie
    August 8, 2011 at 2:44 am

    This is a travisty and typical of a runaway government. I am amazed that the government has so little compassion and so little brains!

  25. August 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    If the BLM can’t ‘document’ where their horses go, then I think we should all very quietly purchase what mustangs we can, put them in a trailer (about a ‘family’ at a time), drive to some National Forest and ….ooopps…..leave the trailer door open.

    • D. Verret
      August 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      They (DOI/USDA) are repeatedly uncooperative with individuals or orgs that want to preserve the wild equines. Just ask Madeliene Pickens and others that are trying to buy entire roundup wild equines….AND, the wild equines frequently get “processed” (aka castrated)prior to sale…..IOW, they won’t either direct sale or transfer entire roundup populations to preservationists. But we know now know they do to LTH contractors (remember?…private land! private land…can’t check on them) and backdoor KBs.

      p.s. DOI and USDA don’t want any paper trail….they want them GONE, BABY GONE!!!!!!

  26. Craig Downer
    August 10, 2011 at 12:21 am

    This is just the tip of the iceberg that gets noticed. What a blackeye on America!

  27. Nigel Kingsley-Lewis
    August 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

    fairly obvious why the BLM is involved The Fbi started to investigate perhaps due to all the talk on the blogosphere, More likly due to where you have corrupt officials on the boarder letting horses out you have the same people letting illegal’s and drugs in. Once the FBI are involved the BLM has to act surprised and join in the investigation or risk getting investigated themselves, Hope it is not too long before some of the BLM get their collar felt.

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