BLM May be Investigating Colorado Killer Buyer Incident

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management is in all likelihood investigating allegations that a Colorado kill buyer catering to the equine slaughter industry has bought and taken scores of wild horses to slaughter.

Asked if the BLM has an active investigation underway on the matter of killer buyer Tom Davis buying horses and allegedly selling them to slaughter, chief Washington spokesman Tom Gorey told Horseback, “I can’t comment on that.”

The “no comment” from the highly placed BLM source indicates something is in the works since an outright denial would have sufficed to end the questioning. When told Horseback was going to publish our assumption that an investigation is underway, Gorey had no further response.

National attention focused on Colorado’s Tom Davis after a Pro Publica article by Dave Phillips, a freelance writer. According to reports, the writer spent months on the story in the field as well as working with longtime respected wild horse advocates such as Reno’s Laura Leigh. The result was the story which alleges that as many as 1,700 federally protected wild horses and burros bought at fire sale prices likely went to slaughter.

Commenting earlier on the Phillips article, Gorey told Horseback, “The Pro Publica/Denver Post article on Tom Davis, it should be noted, does not provide any evidence that wild horses sold to Davis have gone to slaughter. The BLM will investigate any credible claims that horses sold by the agency have gone to slaughter.”

The Denver Post, as well as other media outlets in the West has taking an active interest in the Davis story.

Gorey was asked last week if the agency would investigate Davis. At that time, he did not issue the telling “no comment.”

Gorey then went on to say, “Our law enforcement personnel will make that determination on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “The overriding goal in such matters is to prevent horses from going to slaughter.”

BLM does indeed have a policy which states horses sold off its massive feedlots are not to be sent to slaughter, however, critics claim federal bureaucrats are desperate to thin the hordes of horses being held in massive pastures at taxpayer expense and pay scant attention to a buyer’s background in the horse business, including longtime killer buyers such as Davis, who was widely quoted regarding the quality of horsemeat as food for humans.

“Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearly colt,” he told Phillips in his story. “What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant.”

About 60 wild horses were sold to a Utah killer buyer earlier this year with scant scrutiny from BLM sales personnel. Two men were arrested and indicted.

32 comments for “BLM May be Investigating Colorado Killer Buyer Incident

  1. Joe
    October 15, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Breaking News

    The Eu is accepting our American horses again because they are not full of BUTE
    and residues like Dr. Marini, EWA, RT Fitch, Jerry Finch, Animals’ Angels
    want to make everyone believe. Nice try everyone.. Thanks for the space

  2. October 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    The article by Phillips perpetrated some of the old damaging myths about the wild horses, such as that there were only 17000 of them at the passage of the act and also the hysterical and non-objective notion that there is an overpopulation of the wild horses when all the opposite is there: there is an dangerous underpopulation of the horses. It was poor journalism and it seems to have blown the lid on a long term investigation that would have put the culprits in jail. This is such a shame for a brief flash in the pan!

    • Ldg
      October 11, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Does anyone remember the horses found on the kill buyer’s truck in November of last year? One has pled to a fine and probation and the other one was still in talks as to his punishment last time I read. We all thought something would come of that and nothing did … and if Davis had been caught delivering LTH horses in person to the pens in Presidio then still nothing would have changed where it really matters.

      The real problem is Sally Spencer and the way she operates the sales of LTH horses, which is perfectly legal per the Burns amendment (just against their stated policy).

      BTW, I was told by the BLM early in the year that sale of LTH holding horses had stopped until Spencer could re-write the sales agreement to make it harder to sell them to slaughter. Talk about the chief fox watching the hen house. However, I read that Davis still bought horses through the first quarter, facilitated by Spencer, and how many hundreds more until this story broke?

      We are naive to think that catching Davis will do anything to stop Spencer from continuing to sell horses down the river and then pro-claiming her naivete in such a bald-faced, chill-inducing fashion. We need to FOIA every movement of every trailer in and out of LTH at least since the major roundups began under Salazar. I bet we will find more missing horses than the ones we are discussing here.

  3. Louie Cocroft
    October 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    From the Cloud Foundation:

    Candidate Call-In for
    Mustangs & Burros
    Dear Friends of America’s Wild Horses and Burros;

    Are you willing to join me in calling and emailing everyday until election day to push for true protection of our wild horses and burros on their legally designated homes on America’s western ranges?

    If so, pledge to call every day from now until
    Election Day on Nov. 6th:
    White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111.
    Governor Romney Line: (857) 288-3500.

    Cloud remains wild and free,
    but many mustangs are not.

    Tell the person who answers at the White House or the Governor’s office that wild horse and burro preservation is an issue that makes a difference in how you vote. What is the President’s/Governor’s position on protecting them?

    Get 10 friends to do the same or get permission via email from 10 friends who will allow you to make the calls for them. Do this each and every day until the election.
    Thousands of voices in this final election homestretch can make a difference and the candidates know it.

    The freedom of thousands of wild horses is currently in jeopardy.

    Please make those calls for Wild Horse Freedom. Thanks!

    Happy Trails!

    • Joe
      October 10, 2012 at 6:23 am

      What is happening with the BLM horses is only a small part of what our current
      President and what his cabinet members are doing. I would think everyone was aware of
      the BLM horses being sold to someone in Mexico. It looks very suspicious that the President and his admininstration would not watch the destination of the BLM horses unless they supported the sales into Mexico even if it means going to slaughter for human consumption. Why would they not support it when they are giving food stamps to feed the Mexican people.
      Our Secretary of Ag. Tom Vilsack admits that he has had at least 30 meetings with Mexico to enroll the Mexican people on the USDA Food Stamp Program. Here is a small part of the letter.

      Thanks to a formal request from Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the USDA admits that they have been aggressively courting our friends south of the border and encouraging them to sign up to get our food stamps.
      Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack admits in a written response that the USDA has met with the Mexican government 30 times to recruit non-citizens to enroll in the SNAP program.
      “I share the goal stated in your letter,” Vilsack concluded in his letter to Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. Read article BELOW

  4. October 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Interview with journalist Dave Philipps on DemocracyNow

    • admin
      October 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      I rest my case. This story has legs, as we say in the business.

      The Editor

      • Janet Schultz
        October 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        What legs? This story is like spitting in the wind. Sure do hope this guy isn’t working the front for business interests in the back. Or maybe if he screams the sky is falling enough, we’ll all just believe him. That’s not how it works and that’s not how we make those responsible for breaking the law accountable. How dare anyone suggest that those of us who ask for substantiated charges be characterized as wanting “it” (whatever “it” is) to fail.

        So it all boils down to an anti-climatic bit of yellow journalism. As badly as some of us want this to be enough – the real world demands more. And so do we. Unfortunately, the names of very important herds were mixed up in this piece of toilet paper reporting and I for one demand to see some facts coming out because this isn’t the first time this “advocate” has alluded to some conspiracy but failed to back it up.

        And in the meantime, during this swirl horses are being rounded up, and sent all over the United States. As one of our most respected advocate leaders asks – please call those running for office and talk to the offices – tell them how much we want the horses and burros protected and the policies that need work. While you are at it, tell them you want the slaughter of American horses banned.

  5. Michelle Freshteh Brown
    October 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Firstly, thank you horseback magazine for keeping us up to date with all the true facts ! Also your replies to everyone that are full of information what’s really happening with the BLM, the felonies against them and court results. I would like to add, I believe a completely unattached company of auditors and investigators needs to be placed within the department of interior, firstly investigating the BLM, the amount of mustangs and burros that ‘go missing’ are slaughtered or homed !! each horse gets a number anyway and should be treated as one, not bulk, like the kill buyers. With this happening the whole round ups can be legally audited, with power to get rid of contractors like Sun J and fetch in more capable, caring, people that will put in correct regulations on how round ups should be operated. The only way for change to happen is to get in completely unattached to the USA government auditors, but with the power to change, on site, at point, anything that’s wrong.

  6. Louie Cocroft
    October 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Rather than me write about it, I’ve received an interesting interview. This interview takes place between a BLM Special Agent, and a BLM contractor and informant. The Special Agent and his material was then rejected by BLM Officials as being contrary to their ongoing policy, and then covered up.
    The Special Agent threatened within several disciplinary functions, administered by other BLM authorities as well as their legal department. Essentially, the interview transcript, thought to be the only copy, was destroyed by BLM legal department Attorneys. The Special Agent did keep a copy for himself. This is a patchwork of pertinent items taken from the actual interview.

    The Interview:
    Agent: Let’s say you run 65 head in down here. You’ve got the BLM guy up on the mesa somewhere and he is watching with binoculars, you go and tell him there’s 50 head. Is that the way it works?
    Informant: Right.
    Agent: When in fact there is 65? What happens to the other 15 head?
    Informant: The horses will be taken down to load out. Fifty head will be left there. The excess horses will be transported immediately out of there.
    ***Satellite Ranches (Journalist note: Paid for by taxpayer money and under false pretense, fraud)
    Agent: What do you do with them then?
    Informant: They’ll go to satellite ranches around the country.
    Agent: Explain to me, satellite ranch.
    Informant: Well, a satellite ranch is a number of ranches throughout the different areas that we catch horses that we distribute horses to, and it’s just holding pins. They are paid so much money to just hold these horses for a certain time period until we come and pick them up again. Depending on what we want done with them, or where those horses are going, some of the horses may be hot-branded with different distributors’ brands, or the horses will just be transported as slick.
    Agent: Slick, no brand at all?
    Informant: No brand at all.
    Agent: Where would they go, the slick?
    Informant: Well, they’ll – most of them will go to a distributor somewhere and in a time period be hot-branded, or some of them may just be distributed out as slicks, and let the general public . . . Some of them, if they’re decent stock, will go to regular cattle ranches. Most of them, over a time period, will go to killers, you know. They’ll be sold to somebody and they’ll find out, well, this son-of-a-bitch ain’t worth a shit, so they go down the road.
    Agent: What was the largest amount stolen – horses you saw stolen from the BLM at one time or another?
    Informant: Around 60, 70 head.
    Agent: How much would a contractor (***i.e. Journalist note: Contracted with the BLM) get for these 60, 70 head of horses?
    Informant: Oh, he’ll get anywhere from $300 to $500 a horse (***1997 price), depending on their size and what the horse looks like. If he’s a well-built horse, he’s going to get more. If he’s a scrawny old nag, he ain’t going to get as much.
    Agent: Have you ever personally drove any of those horses to a satellite ranch?
    Informant: More than once.
    Agent: How does that work? You don’t do it during working hours; how does it work?
    Informant: It depends. Sometimes we do it during working hours, you know. If they’re paid to be gone, that’s when we go. Most of the time its been at night, you know, after the counts been jimmied around, those horses are moved. And you strictly drove down there to a certain location, open a gate and dump those horses out in a bunch of other horses.
    Agent: At the satellite ranch?
    Informant: At the satellite ranch.
    Agent: The BLM guy . . . take them to the satellite ranch, and then be back by the next morning –
    Informant: Yes, sir.
    Agent: Business as usual?
    Informant: Business as usual. . .
    Agent: Do you think the BLM is aware of what’s going on with this thing, with the jimmy and the count?
    Informant: I know some of them are.
    Agent: Some on the inside – like the people that are supposed to be watching you guys, or the gather crew knows about it, you think?
    Informant: Sure. Some of those guys are truck drivers, and they inform as to different guys that want horses. They supply names and addresses and stuff, and they receive a small percentage of the sale price for that information.
    (***Journalists note: any time money is expressed as changing hands, that precisely, or eventually, comes out of the taxpayers pockets)
    Agent: So they’re Brokers, actually? They’ll give the contractors names to take stolen horses to?
    Informant: Sure.
    Agent: You told me that you observed the contractor pay the BLM agent with a check – a check for him. Is that correct?
    Informant: Well, we just removed the horses when they was gone. He was to be gone for a certain amount of time. When he was gone, we loaded up and those horses were gone.
    Agent: Do you think this is – is this a big money deal?
    Informant: We’re well paid.
    Agent: I’m talking about for the contractor. Is there a lot of money in this for the contractor?
    Informant: He’s making a lot of money.
    Agent: Is this a pretty good organization? This sounds like something that’s pretty well planned out, it’s a big organization?
    Informant: Well, its very well set up, you know. There’s nobody that participates in it that isn’t well known and don’t know what’s going on.

    Agent: Do you feel like there’s people inside the BLM that know about this practice, that are a part of this practice?


    [***We skip over Black-Booking and other illegal activities and bogus counts for a later article]
    Agent: Tell me about the mind-set of the cowboy. How does this work in your guy’s mind? I mean, do you feel like it’s stealing? Do you feel like the BLM condones it, or what?
    Journalists note: This will demonstrate there is not only abuse toward horses, but also the mind-set or intellectual level of the people who have been manipulated and chosen to carry-out the actual theft. The mind set and behavior toward abusive circumstances that are indeed involved here, and the cowboys involved, have been taken advantage of in several different psychological circumstances. Leadership from officials, or ranch owners toward their hired help, is definitely a prominent and obvious factor within this entire subject. In another words, those that know better, but are willing to sacrifice ethics and even break the law for money, within their organized efforts to rip off the taxpayer, has been allowed up to this point by many authorities.)
    Informant: Well, it’s not actually stealing in our way of looking at it. It’s just a way of life, you know. It’s been a common practice for numbers and numbers of years, you know. There’s never been any paperwork ever required. If we wanted to trade horses, move horses, you know, it’s just a way of life, you know. . . You’ve got ranchers out there that are paying the permit fees on grazing, and then they have a bunch of wild horses move in, you know, they’re loosing money because they are paying for that grass. These wild horses come in and are eating up their grass, so they’re pissed off. It’s our job to disburse those horses, you know, so we do our best to get rid of as many as we can. I don’t really consider it stealing.
    *** An HMA, or designated Horse Management Area, the area discussed here, serves as the legal and legislative aspect that Wild Horses are the priority, the ranchers leasing an abundant amount of land, in this case, has never had an under abundance of grass for grazing their stock, which is secondary anyway, on an HMA land according to Law. There are simply not enough Wild Horses to overgaze the amount of land in dicussion here.

  7. Louie Cocroft
    October 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    And then there are the wildfires. Here, the pictures tell the story:
    Twin Peaks Rush Creek Wild Fire Report: Where are All the Wild Horses and Burros?

    Report by Grandma Greg©all rights reserved (Full 42 page comprehensive report available )
    Photos by Craig Downer

    “Over and over we kept thinking about the Bureau of Land Management’s population reports claiming that more than 952 wild horses and 192 wild burros are currently living in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area. There is significant evidence that the population is much smaller. Since the 2010 roundup, we have made many trips into the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area and our trips have found very few horses and burros remain in this vast area. It is apparent that the BLM has overestimated the population of wild horses and burros that remain since the 2010 roundup. Our observations are consistent with an independent aerial survey completed in 2010 after the roundup, which estimated only 84-265 wild horses and a small population of burros remained in Twin Peaks. The few that remain here in the nearly 800,000 acre Twin Peaks Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Area are special and have the right to stay here and be protected as is specified under the law.”

    “We drove to one of the largest water sources on the HMA. The springs were in excellent condition but since this is one of the few lush watering areas for many miles and because we arrived in the evening (normally the most active wildlife watering time of day), the stillness and lack of animals was very noticeable. Although there were some animal tracks and lots of cattle feces, with the exception of some small fish in the pond area, we witnessed no wildlife, heard no sounds of birds or insects or rodents scampering; all the normal things a person would expect to encounter in this remote watering hole during the evening. It was noticeable to the point of being eerie and indicated to a person experienced in nature to believe that the surrounding fire had caused far more damage than the obvious blackened sage and juniper and grass and that in fact, many animals had perished in the fire. The silence spoke volumes.”

    “Photo of “three cat cliff”. One of the BLM employees said “I always see those 3 cats [mountain lions] on that rock mountain – every time I’ve been in here … but not now”. The other BLM employee stopped him from saying more. This led us to believe there was other fire related information and discoveries that they had observed, but didn’t want us to know. One reason this caught my attention is because BLM normally states that the wild horses and burros have no natural predators on the herd management areas although scientific research shows that mountain lions are a significant predator for wild horses and burros “

    “One black stallion and two mares – one bay mare w/blaze and one palomino mare – all three in good health and “mid” age but both mares looked like they had swollen udders but no foals. Quoting from a Wild Horse and Burro expert, “Full udders and no foals mean dead foals – either they could not keep up if the mares were in a panic and fleeing the fire or predators got them due to loss of small game due to the fire” – we may never know for sure”

    “One of many livestock fences off Rye Patch Road that could have trapped wild horses and burros and livestock during the fire. When the fire started, the Eagle Lake (Twin Peaks) BLM office was notified of the known wild horses and the potential for them to be trapped by the numerous livestock fences in this area and we were told that this information would be passed on to the fire crews and “they can and will cut fences”. THEY DID NOT.”

    “We continued on Shinn Ranch Rd. to get as close as possible to epicenter of fire as shown to us by BLM. Two BLM employees were doing grass evaluations and taking notes. One had a “Rush Fire” map that I asked about and he said I could not have one and would not show it to me – assume it had fire progression and other information on it to assist the BLM with post-fire observation and data collection … but why was I not allowed to even see it? “

  8. Louie Cocroft
    October 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    The buck stops at the top and ALL in administrative positions are complicit:

    More and more outright Felony situations
    The highlights of current violation foreshadow previous investigations – ALL FELONIES:

    BLM Management personnel have authorized the transportation of wild horses to group adopters at the expense of the government;

    BLM management personnel have authorized the fee waiver and/or fee reduction of wild horses without delegated authority;

    BLM management failed to inspect and prepare written reports for group adopter facilities and property prior to receiving adopted wild horses;

    BLM personnel publicly and openly promoted the commercial us of wild horses, i.e., bucking stock and slaughter house;

    BLM personnel in concurrence with BLM management, entered false information regarding the wild horse documents into BLM DPS-8000 (i.e. or current updated facility) data base;

    BLM personnel through their government positions, arranged for special privileges and allowances pertaining to wild horse adoptions;

    BLM personnel and management knowingly converted to the use of another, wild horses belonging to the United States;

    Many, many more “lack of document” charges, especially in regard to the Wild Horse Herd Counts and the financial income and expenditures mandatory at each BLM facility, were not completed, lost, or unavailable for confirmation – in order to appropriate funding for each facility;

    Several more listings expressed concern toward illegal activity, and lack of following directorial and mandated training and compliance of Inspectors, Wranglers, and Field Level Administrators of the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

  9. October 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    the spellcheck is bizarre on this … connections are bad so excuse the typos.

  10. October 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    There has been significant pressure that the agency do something internal (i.e. like what occurred in Utah) from other branches go government, safe to venture? I do believe we will see more on this issue as more information becomes confirmed.
    This aint over.
    Yes Barbara Leonard… keep writing, calling etc. Don’t let this opportunity fade because it appears that certain “pro-horse” people almost want it to fail. Isn’t it odd?

  11. Kelly O'Brien
    October 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “May be investigated”? It needs to be definitely being investigated. 1700 horses, businesses (BLM) should have ‘bill of sale’ for each and every mustang that went to him. If he’s sold or sent to slaughter ANY of the mustangs, he should be hit with a stiff financial penalty as well as jail time!! This is total BS, and BLM shame on you for NOT looking deeper into this situation BEFORE it became an issue. All I am seeing is the BLM shifting paperwork and horses around and who knows where they’re actually at….are there any case workers at all that check the actual ownership and rules regarding the buying and selling of our mustangs? Probably not, of course the biggest excuse is…”we aren’t funded enough to hire people to do this”. We need some definite changes happening with the BLM when it comes to ownership of horses and ownership of the current situations now happening on our ranges and roundups today. The BLM and pro-horse slaughter do not need to appear in the same sentence EVER!! BLM …..wake up and smell the coffee, get this done the right way!!

  12. Barbara Leonard
    October 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Somebody besides the BLM better be investigating this, or it will get buried just like any other investigation into the BLM. Everybody keep emailing DOJ & FBI to investigate this.

    • October 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Animals’ Angels was investigating this for a long, long time. The reporter released the story before the investigation was final. The result is there is no proof to the information in the article. To some, headlines are more important than getting proof and being able to do something with the proof.

      Investigations should be left to the professionals. They know when to release information. It’s a shame because the proof would have been huge in proving what we have known since the 90s. We’ve brought this up to the BLM on numerous occasions and they never find anything. We can but they never can.

      Now that the KB knows he was being investigated, he’ll just go further underground or be replaced with another KB. They are expert at navigating around laws and regs and all this reporter did was tip him off by not getting the proof before going public.

      • admin
        October 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

        We strongly disagree with the comments of the highly respected vice president of the Equine Welfare Alliance. There is no substitute, no comparison, nothing quite like the sunshine of a good investigative story in the press. Certainly we agree with sound investigations such as those we consistently publish that are done by Animals Angels. However, we stand with Mr. Phillips in breaking a story that has received much more broad attention than a report that would be almost certainly ignored by BLM and likely end up abandoned in a file.

        The Editor

        • October 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

          I gave info to Animals Angels over two years ago. They since told me they had no funding or other investigations trumped this one. They said they would contact me when it started.

          I gave them all kinds of info from the ground and it was not acted on.

          Information is information. I shared a whole lot more with Philipps and I pray he stays fired up enough to stick with these issues. I have shared a whole lot more with a few other journalists that are still digging.

          This journalist, Philipps, grabbed the story and now more journalists are contacting us looking for other stories on this issue. I have never seen competing journalists wanting to cover wild horse issues, usually it is a challenge to get anything printed.

          As far as “headline” being more important? I can name several “advocates” that circulate “headline” in a fashion that puts Philipps to shame.

          As far as these KB’s hiding? You’re kidding me. They act as if they are above the law and will continue to do so… as they always do. Nothing has hindered the investigations we are working on no matter the stories others “break” for headlines…

          So are we done airing “dirty laundry” and can we begin to encourage the kind of journalism that gets these issues into a public sphere beyond the advocate circles?

          • admin
            October 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

            We agree with you totally, Laura. The information gained through field work and investigations absolutely must be made public. It is just wrong for activists to hoard this information. Politicians and bureaucrats hate negative publicity. They know it eventually costs them their jobs. And believe me, sunshine always gets them in the end. I think I can speak with some authority on that subject. The scalps on my journalistic belt include the head librarian of the first med school west of the Mississippi, two college presidents, and a governor of Texas. Sunshine cures all. These “public servants” would have remained in office had stories embarrassing to them not been broken.

            The Editor

          • Nona
            October 13, 2012 at 12:27 am

            In light of the news circulating today about U.S. borders not allowing horses to cross to enter slaughter facilities, I wonder if the BLM will still want to remove so many horses off the range. They won’t be able to send them over the borders like they have been doing.

        • October 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

          Yes, it has received broad attention but there is no proof. It is not an investigative story because there is no proof provided. it is hearsay without proof.

          We are all very careful to have to proof in hand before going public. Yes, we have given proof in the past with horses showing up at slaughter plants with freeze brands but don’t have the evidence as to how the horses got there.

          It would have been evidence that could also have been used with EU since they prohibit all wild equidae meat except zebra meat.

          AA was close to having that proof. That would have blown this wide open. When they release something, it is rock solid as to what is being exposed.

          • admin
            October 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

            There was proof enough for anybody with common sense or a journalist in Davis’ statement. Give me a break.

            The Editor

          • October 10, 2012 at 12:12 am

            This ran through legal at ProPublica and they were very satisfied with the “proof.” Philipps is a Pulitzer nominee.

            The further investigations we are doing hasn’t been hurt by the stories others have put out for “headlines.” Or by the bashing of every single effort I make…
            We just keep them going… and don’t waste the breath bashing back.

            KB’s don’t change and are doing what they always do, right now… and we can still catch them doing what they always do.

            If the EU is not accepting US horses because of the possibility of bute and the EU only takes Zebra as wild equid … I’m not sure of your point there. If they are passing off horses as Zebra that is a whole different conversation and most likely not limited to wild horses.

            Did you read that AA contacted me two years ago, and again on another occasion, and I was told they had other investigations that trumped this one? Last anyone ever spoke to me.

            I shared what I knew and helped a journalist dig (the only one that actually shared what he found and asked for more). I did my job out here. And this story has hit venues we never hit because it has credibility.

            I’m done here.

  13. Janet Schultz
    October 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    What is wrong with you? Isn’t it enough you got “something” – now let’s sit back and wait for them to do their job. You’re not the only one who urged them to look intop this. There are plenty of people who knew the horses involved. This is a very important critical investgation.

    Now go find something else to mess with? How about that First Amendment case settling? Any news there?

    • October 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Hey, Jan, I think you think I”m Laura Leigh – I’m not involved in any First Amendment case and I’m not “mess[ing]” with anything. And, no, I’m not going to sit back and wait for BLM to do something they haven’t said they are doing. This just plays into BLM’s hands and attempts to give credence to a story that simply validates BLM’s policies without question. It may mean headlines for some people but it’s a disaster for the horses.

  14. October 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Steve, why give BLM a pass by assuming they are investigating? From the BLM quotes in the Phillips’ article, it would appear BLM doesn’t believe Davis is doing anything wrong – and doesn’t really care. the unfortunate thing about the PHillips’ article is that the author failed to question BLM’s insistence the roundups are necessary and that slaughter is virtually a necessity so they allow Davis to take all these horses with a wink and a nod. I really see this article as more BLM propaganda, that BLM used it to float the idea of slaughter for wild horses and burros particularly given the assumptions made in the article that roundups are necessary and maybe so is slaughter and the fact the author failed to wait and complete the investigation and find real proof that the horses are going to slaughter.

    The facts are that these roundups are not necessary. We actually don’t know the numbers of wild horses and burros left but there appear to be far fewer than BLM would like everyone to believe. There is no question it is the use of public lands for cattle grazing and development that has destroyed habitat, not the few wild horses out there. It’s time to return to talking about these issues, not this BLM propaganda.

  15. grandmagregg
    October 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    So should we, could we assume that all BLM holding facility managers and office staff at Litchfield, Cannon City, Fallon, Palomino Valley, Burns, Gunnison, Salt Lake, Rock Springs, and Teterville (where the known sales to Davis were arranged) be questioned and investigated … as well as the Washington D.C. WH&B managers and BLM sales marketing officials and decision makers?

    • Lisa L.
      October 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

      Gosh, GG, that ‘sounds’ like a logical approach in an investigation, doesn’t it?

      In-house investigations within the BLM have not exactly been barn-burners; more often than not, they fizzle down like post-fire safety sparklers, barely generating anything of use, and certainly nothing punitive. Excuses are always made, guilty parties (if even identified as such) skate away with some kind of lame warning a five-year-old would snicker at, and it can be expected that, for the nanosecond these accusations and attendent inquiries garner media attention, the behaviors that caused the ‘hard look’ are reined in – ’til next time.

      Every decade since passage of the Act has produced a scandal involving the Bureau and sneaky, barely disguised methods of sending wild equines to the Great Pasture in the Sky. Because otherwise, in the mind of the agency charged with their welfare and protection, these animals have no other worth. For every agent within the Bureau who works this Program because of a genuine affinity for wild equines, there are two dozen others higher in rank or seniority who hold wild horses and burros in utter contempt. It’s evident in the text of many Environmental Assessments, in the lack of progress in adopting, application and enforcement of a true protocol for humane handling standards, in discounting Public opinion, expertise or alternatives to warehousing nearly 50,000 animals on the Public’s dime. Animals vulnerable to exploitation because, really, aside from a handful of unintelligent and overemotional advocates, who cares what happens to them now?

  16. Kathy Skees
    October 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    The BLM already knows what is happening an investigation would be a farce. They need to admit that they knew what was going on and own up to it. Since this is a corrupt government agency that will never happen. The BLM is well aware of what happens to the horses that are sold Tom Davis are taken to slaughter. They do not and have never cared what happens to the wild horses of the west. Ken Salazar needs to be removed from office, he could care less about the wild horses in our country. The fact that this form of animal cruelty occurs in the United States in the year 2012 in a sad statement about our government. The removal and systemic abuse, torture and mismanagement of the wild horse in this country MUST STOP!!! Sincerely, Kathy Skees

    • Cecilia
      October 10, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Agree 100% This Ken Salazar has to GO!

  17. October 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you for keeping tabs on this important story. There is an assumption that each horse that leaves the US is recorded at our borders in some type of accurate fashion. It is a misnomer. This piece shows not only BLM’s relationship with Davis, it shows Davis’ long standing relationship with Chavez (his book is dedicated to Chavez). This piece also shows BLM’s failure to investigate Davis themselves after concerns were forwarded to them by the public, a negligence of a stated duty, if boot an outright illegal act.

    When you compare the incident in Utah that you note at the end of your article with BLM’s engagement of Davis (significant ties to Salazar) the implications of this piece gain in significance.

    Thank you Steven for this article.

Comments are closed.