Wild Horses rounded up by federal agency Bureau of Land Management. Google image.nded up by federal government agency, Bureau of Land Management. Google image.

Feds rein in sales of wild horses

Wild Horses rounded up by federal agency Bureau of Land Management. Google image.nded up by federal government agency, Bureau of Land Management. Google image.
Wild Horses rounded up by federal agency Bureau of Land Management. Google image.


CARSON CITY, Nev. –- Sales of wild horses and burros will be restricted under new rules announced Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after an investigation into the sale of more than 1,700 horses to a Colorado livestock hauler who supports the horse meat industry.

“It is a response to that inquiry, which is being conducted right now by the Office of the Inspector General of the Interior Department,” said Tom Gorey, BLM spokesman for the wild horse program in Washington, D.C.

Wild horse advocates said the rules amount to “window dressing” and won’t keep large numbers of mustangs out of the hands of so-called kill buyers.

The inspector general is investigating what became of 1,777 horses sold since 2009 to Tom Davis. Wild horse advocates fear the animals were taken to Mexico for slaughter.

“He’s the biggest buyer among all of our buyers over the years,” Gorey said of Davis. Since 2005, when the BLM first allowed people to buy horses in bulk as opposed to adopting them, the agency has sold 5,400 animals, Gorey said.

Gorey said the inspector general is “looking into all aspects of the sales to Davis, including the whereabouts of the horses.”

He said it’s unknown when the investigation will be finished.

Under the new rules, sales of wild mustangs and burros will be limited to no more than four within a six-month period unless prior approval is obtained from a BLM assistant director.

Buyers also must describe where they intend to keep the animals.

Requiring BLM approval for large sales won’t protect mustangs, said Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

Roy said it is “outrageous” to put the decision of who gets more than four horses “in the hands of the very same BLM managers who were exposed as being responsible” for wild horses ending up with buyers like Davis. She added the new policy allows the BLM “to look the other way after six months.”

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9 thoughts on “Feds rein in sales of wild horses”

  1. another disburbing component to this proposal is that BLM will no longer deliver the semi loads of SA horses to the buyer..What is the purpose of this proposal.???.to get the BLM off of the hook…If their contractor delivers the load, then there is a direct line to tie them to knowledge of the location of the horses, and a witness, the driver, in a court of law this is a technacality to get them off the hook…I had to provide driving instructions to DC on the location of where my semi load of SA horses was to be delivered..No one seems to be asking the tough questions about this new proposal and that is unnerving..We are the last line of defense for these SA horses..there is nothing in this proposal that stops them from going directly to slaughter as they do now…a 6 month holding period means nothing to the slaughter buyers ..because the BLM has not added enforcement procedures..My suggestion is that animal angels approve large sales..not the BLM in DC..they are aware of who the slaughter buyers are…that is what they do…track the slaughter pipeline


  2. “…unless prior approval is obtained” is the real telling phrase here— so now all the KBs need is approval from an assistant director–nothing has changed–and the horses are not safe. It’s just soft words–like “gather” . And don’t forget–BLM removes the horses from their ranges–and “processes” them–odd/revealing/scary choice of word. No trust here.


  3. They have been sending these horses to slaughter for years, what they say and what they do behind closed doors none of us will ever know. This new “law” is just a smokescreen they hope to pacify the public with and shut everybody up.


  4. Um, appears Salazar was “caught with his pants down” (excuse pun:), exposed big time & threatening to punch-out the reporter! For, given his past total disregard for the law, I would imagine he would have continued to allow the BLM to blatantly sell to his known kill buyer neighbor, Davis…& others. You know, in your face, doing as SalaCzar pleases. And I have little faith in the Inspector General of the Interior Dept. having seen them in *inaction with Salazar at a Congressional hearing & knowing the connection! A very small gain for the wild horses but another mini-step for their welfare & freedom. At least this Davis incident brought media attention to the devastating, brutal plight of the wild horses & burros, all horses, & new &/or increased awareness of the horse slaughter pipeline & agonizing hell of horse slaughter. Thank you, Vivian.


  5. Its WAY PAST TIME for this to have happened and the only reason it did is because they GOT CAUGHT. It is GREAT news.


  6. surprise….this is NO different than the policy that was already in place in 2011 when I bought a semi load of adobe town stallions and mares in order to keep the Ag buyer..Tom Davis..from getting ALL the adobe town SA horses..the BLM is counting on the fact that so few actually know what their policys are..I bhad to jump thru hoops alot more difficult than what they are proposing in 2011..however..Tom Davis did not have to prove or show where exactly those adobes were going.how do I know..???I brought it up to Sally in DC..when I expressed my concerns to her..that this ag deal sounded like a slaughter bound sale


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