What happened to the 1,730 wild horses the federal government sold to Tom Davis, who operates a horse slaughter business and said "what's wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant?"
That's a question Interior Secretary Ken Salazar must answer. Meanwhile, he must order an emergency halt to the roundup program.
A recent ProPublica investigation revealed the Bureau of Land Management held weekly secret meetings to consider eliminating thousands of wild horses.
Then a new plan: sell them to Tom Davis.
What exactly happened to these horses? And why does the BLM keep selling horses, for as little as $10, to Davis and other buyers?
Tell Secretary Salazar to place an emergency stop to the sale, roundup and removal of wild horses until a humane and transparent management program that guarantees the safety of these American icons is implemented.
I am outraged to learn your agency has illegally sold federally-protected wild horses to a livestock hauler who sells horses to slaughter.
A recent ProPublica article revealed that, since you became Secretary in 2009 the BLM has sold over 1,700 captured mustangs to your neighbor and business associate, Tom Davis.
Davis, a known kill buyer who purchases horses and ships them to slaughter houses in Mexico, claimed that he was purchasing BLM horses "to use in movies" in Mexico. That is just one of many outrageous stories that Davis told to BLM employees who looked the other way and sold federally-protected wild horses for as little as $10 a piece.
Thousands of wild horses gathered by the BLM are unaccounted for, and I am deeply concerned that these horses have met with the same horrible fate in Mexican slaughter plants.
A spokesperson for the USDA confirmed that veterinarians in her agency "sometimes see wild horses bearing the BLM brand in slaughter export pens."
And a BLM corral manager told ProPublica that the decision to sell horses "happens in Washington. We are just peons. We do what we are told."
I am writing to request that you, in your role as Secretary of the Interior, place an emergency halt to the BLM program pending a full investigation. It's your responsibility to ensure that this program is law abiding and matches the standard of humane treatment that Americans demand for our cherished wild horses. Evidence presented by ProPublica suggests that laws have been broken and wild horses have suffered and met with horrific deaths. This is unacceptable.
Please do the right thing by the mustangs and the American public by bringing reform and transparency to this broken federal program.
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