Home / Be The Change / Government Corruption / Federal Govt Caught Illegally Selling Captured Wild Horses to Be Processed as Meat

Federal Govt Caught Illegally Selling Captured Wild Horses to Be Processed as Meat


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the federal agency tasked with sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands, has been implicated in a scheme to illegally sell captured wild horses to a Colorado rancher, who then sold the animals for slaughter.

One of the BLM’s duties is to protect the herds of wild horses that roam freely in the Southwestern Unites States. However, an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior revealed that the BLM had sold approximately 1,800 wild horses to rancher Tom Davis, who then promptly sent the horses to be slaughtered in Mexico.

“Managers … failed to enforce [Bureau of Land Management] policy of limiting the sales of horses and ensuring that the horses went to good homes,” the report released late last month found.

The investigation also revealed ominous connections between Davis and the former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, but were unable to find conclusive proof of a conspiracy.

The BLM Office of Law Enforcement had investigated similar claims in June of 2012, but were unable to determine if the horses sold to Davis were ultimately being sent to slaughter, according to the Inspector General’s report.

According to a report by The Washington Post:

The Colorado rancher and livestock hauler admitted to investigators with the Interior Department Inspector General’s office that “probably close to all” of the horses were resold for slaughter and that he assumed they would be killed.

There was “only one place to go … to the kill plant,” Tom Davis of La Jara, Colo., told investigators, whose findings confirmed longstanding fears of animal welfare groups, wild-horse activists and officials with the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, which manages thousands of horses that roam wild in the West.

The report indicated that Davis illegally bought 1,794 wild horses between 2008 and 2012 for $10 a piece, with federal officials spending over $140,000 dollars to deliver the animals to him.

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This is a prime example of government math and subsequent absence of basic economic knowledge. They spend $140,000 to make $17,940, for a net loss of $122,060 — to slaughter wild horses.

The BLM administers over 245 million surface acres of public land, more than any other federal agency in the United States, with most of the land located in the 12 Western states, including Alaska.

These recent reports indicate blatant disregard for the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which stated that, “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

The BLM attempts to maintain a façade of being the protector of nature, justifying their actions by claiming they are preventing overpopulation and keeping herd numbers stable and manageable.

While the BLM masquerades as a protector of nature, in reality they have culled large populations of wild horses, virtually eradicating them from large swaths of public lands.

Since passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM has removed close to 300,000 of these majestic beasts from public lands designated as habitats for them by Congress, completely eliminating them from over 20 million acres of public lands.

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Revealing the depth of the systemic corruption, the Office of the Inspector General referred this case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office, which both declined civil and criminal prosecution of the case.

“It took more than three years for the [inspector general] to confirm what we’ve always known – that the [Bureau of Land Management] 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.  No one at the [bureau] 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.”

Everyone connected to the selling of wild horses to Davis claimed ignorance, thus no one has been held responsible. This case serves to highlight the massive levels of corruption and inefficiency within the U.S. bureaucracy.

Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPressNews and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.

  • if i were their grannies, i would keep my doors locked. sell anything and anyone.

  • Hi I am Anglina I am 17 years old I live in USA I love making new friends please Follow me I will Follow you Back and inbox You I promise

  • Usa feds SUCK.

  • about time,can’t just keep throwing millions at it. that could feed alot of mouths

  • They are NOT going to be prosecuted? WHY NOT?? What the hell did they misunderstand? How stupid, or should I use the word ‘corrupt’, are these government offices and employees. This must be followed through – these criminals brought to justice – their asses fired and should be replaced with intelligent people who care about their jobs and responsibilities to these these precious animals who in truth belong to all of us citizens. This can NOT be overlooked, swept under the carpet, left to be forgotten. This is a criminal act and is punishable by law! This needs to be investigated again and those responsible need to be punished. Don’t let them continue to work within our government system and draw their large pay checks. Please share this post to makes everyone aware of these wrong doings. Don’t let them sweep another dirty deed under the carpet of our government. They all work for us . . not to fill their own pockets with dirty money!

  • I suggest all of you so concerned about these exotic animals on the wild lands offer to adopt these horses and burros. The 1971 law is emotional legislation that does not protect wild lands but has a feel good purpose. These animals are not natural to the Americas. In some areas of the country they are destroying the natural setting for the indigenous animals and forcing them into extinction.. They are being sold because no one wants to adopt them.

    • Either are the Welfare Ranchers cattle and sheep..

    • Exactly.

    • Don’t forget those welfare farmers! Damn that Farm Aid!

    • Huh, so where do the family farmers and ranchers go Patrick?

    • Right Small farmers don’t get the big handouts, it is the corporate farms. These subsidies were supposed to end after the Depression.

    • You could stop all cattle grazing on public lands and not affect the supply of beef one bit. Less than 2% of our beef is raised on public lands.

    • Maybe if these horses were offered to the general population at $10 they would buy them..ya think ya retard?

    • When did a horse become an exotic animal?

    • Kevin Siever Your ignorance does not deserve and answer. However I will overlook your ignorance. It has and is done. Not enough buyers.

    • Deborah DeSouza Natural: Any animal or plant not indigenous to the area is exotic. Horses are from Asia, not here.

  • Sickos

  • What did people intend to do with these horses? NO ONE is willing to take them. They destroy the environment and cause other horses and large grazing mammals to die of starvation. People need to come off it on this one.

    • Are you kidding me!! They have been there before we ever were and I don’t think they caused environmental problems then. Now they are,You need to stop listening to propaganda that tries to justify the crappy things they do that are sooooo very wrong.

    • And by the way they are wild horse we shouldn’t be doing anything with them hence that they are wild and do not belong to anyone.

    • They aren’t wild. They are feral. Very few of these bands are actually true mustangs. I graduated from college with a degree in animal science and a minor in biology. Are you kidding? Just because they are beautiful doesn’t mean they aren’t harming the environment. The American evolved horse died out hundreds of years ago. The horses we have devolved from four breeds ALL originating elsewhere. Do your research.

    • And there is such a thing as a carrying capacity, or in laments terms the amount of animals a specific area can sustain without damage. The carrying capacity is DWARFED by the number of horses because people love to dump unwanted horses in the wild areas. They ARE NOT wild. And the blm has hundreds of starving horses stuck in pens because people force them to do round ups but NEVER ADOPT the horses that are rounded up. That’s right. You can adopt a blm mustang FOR FREE and people still WONT. So please, Grace me with your solution. Since the only road you seem open to is letting them all slowly starve all over the landscape!

    • Celeste Maloney-Wilding Well first I dont believe they are native to Nevada, they were brought here by the Spanish if memory serves. But I am interested in something that I wrestle with. As we humans continue over populate the planet taking up more and more space and deciding who lives and who dies, who’s lives are more important ours or the animals, well….is it talked about in your animal science classes. What if it was horses decided they needed to thin out our human herd?

    • It is discussed heavily actually. And I am as disgusted by the over population of humans as I am by the mishandling of our natural landscape and biomes. It’s hard to tell people to stop breeding though as most people view themselves above the biological mix of their environment. But the news hints on it all the time. We don’t have enough food. This is a clear indication as humans we have exceeded our own carrying capacity. You can have kids. But 19 kids and counting? Go fuck yourself. Every thing that evolved in this world evolved to fill a niche. Humans are a necessary part of the active landscape, but yes we have FAR exceeded that in terms of realistic ability. But this is why I don’t get upset at anti-vaccers, I don’t lose it when natural disasters strike, and I don’t intend to have children. The world needs to take back control. And I’m willing to allow it to happen. Most people aren’t. And it’s a shame.

    • We need a natural predator like flies need feces. That’s my personal philosophy.

    • Celeste Maloney-Wilding Well maybe you should have a child, we may be racing toward ‘Idiocracy’ at breakneck speed.

    • If I do, it’s just one. Id adopt or foster honestly before procreating myself. (I’m adopted so it’s close to home)

    • Celeste Maloney-Wilding all I can say is WOW. You may have degree’s but if you think killing thousands of horse is helping anything except someone making a lot of money feeding us horse meat, your an idiot. I’m sorry I usually am beyond nice but you need to wake up. There is nothing right about this at all. We as humans do more damage than any other species out there. We are the problem not a bunch of horses.

    • Lol. No sweetie, you’re the idiot. But that’s ok. I’ll be happy here with my degrees and laugh at your ridiculous. Again, still waiting on YOUR solution. Plus EATNG HORSE MEAT IS LEANER AND BETTER FOR YOU THAN ANY OTHER MEAT. It’s also better for the environment, by a lot. But again, please, what is YOUR solution?

    • And horse meat is illegal to purchase and eat in the USA because the FDA REFUSES to open slaughter houses where they properly inspect and ensure the meat for ANY consumption, even for animals.

    • I’d love to know why you somehow want to demonize a country that is trying to FEED it’s people. Which is more than the USA has ever done.

    • Please, think about the PRONGHORN DEER, that are almost EXTINCT because of the rampant horse populations.


    • Or should the government have just allowed them to starve?

    • Or should these people have just LEFT them in the WILD where you think they so desperately belong?

    • Or these guys?

    • How do YOU intend to find, round up, and FEED all of these horses back from the brink of starvation? THEN train them to be a good companion for ANYONE?

    • Making a point is one thing, but being arrogant and condescending while making the point takes the emphasis away from the message you are trying to get across and puts it on the manner in which you deliver it.

    • She called me names first sir. Read up. She didn’t want to believe my point, so I backed it up with evidence. Sorry science offends you.

    • Plus, we dropped this 3 hours ago, way to try and make a point about being the better person.

    • If you read the conversation between myself and Brian depicts exactly how friendly and non-offensive I can be in this discussion.

    • Celeste Maloney-Wilding sieve is a scam I used to work in the industry

    • So you dropped it hours ago. Do I have to be on your time schedule to comment on something you said or am I allowed to log into FB at my convenience and do it when I see it? Didn’t know there was a time limit on how long one has to comment on FB or is that just a self-enacted rule you go by when it suits you?

    • Nope, but I’m winning.

    • Cause you’re still thinking about me, and I only remember you when your comment appears.

    • And Kevin, I’m at a loss please explain. A sieve horse is a fake horse worn by people at rent faires….my only experience with the term.

    • Honestly, I’m being a dick just because I can, but theres really nothing I can say to the bleeding hearts here. Even providing scientific data that other animals are dying at the expense of ‘leaving’ the horses where they are. The misinformation that people believe they belong there is alarming. But that’s ok, probably voting for trump too.

    • LMFAO!

    • So now I understand, you love horse meat and could give two shits if they are slaughtered.Ok rehoming is not an option you seem to say,killing is the only way.No I don’t believe I am the idiot here. But I guess you have to have some kind of heart to see this is wrong. And your right no one is being a dick here except you.

    • …..I’ve rescued three BLM mustangs in my lifetime, owned multiple other horses, I have three rescue dogs in my home, a snake, and mice. Bitch please.

    • And it seems you believe that we are the only species here that is allowed evolve. Wow!

    • Omg, you are mentally handicapped.

    • I never said rehoming is NOT an option, the horse world as a WHOLE has not made any move to adopt the HUNDREDS of horses sitting in BLM pens. PLEASE YOUR SOLUTION INSTEAD OF JUST INSULTS?

    • I’ve taken three horses from them, trained them to be competitive jumpers and endurance horses, and gave them wonderful loving homes with people who have actually taken two of those horses to ENDURANCE CHAMPION TITLES. What have you done?

    • PS evolution is uncontrollable. It’s happening every moment, to every living thing, in every species, on every place in this earth. IF you think ANYONE believes they can CONTROL evolution or ALLOW evolution…you must also be a super huge fan of ancient aliens.

  • OMG I hate these people!

  • Illegal you say? The government NEVER does anything illegal! In fact, they are exempt from any law likewise constraining any citizen!

  • Who cares, it’s an animal just like a cow.

    • I are either a plant or an animal either way YOU are food

    • What..? A little bit of grammar goes a long way pal..

    • I think what he meant was that he is an animal just like a cow; and you are a vegetable

  • Billie Jo Kimbler

  • All life matters.

  • But bigger government is the only way to care for our environment!!!!!

  • bastards

  • I just would like to say that I am unfollowing The Free Thought Project.com because I can no longer bear to read all of the stupid, STUPID comments and bickering on these threads

  • where nuts…..