BLM End Runs Congress to Sell Wild Horses to Slaughter
Response by Laura Leigh, President, Wild Horse Education
In May, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued IM 2018-066, a directive to increase the number of wild horses sold under it’s “sale authority” program, after inquiries into dropping holding inventory numbers. In 2016 BLM press releases cited over 60,000 wild horses in holding and by 2017 that number had dropped to 45,000 with no explanation offered.
The BLM sale program sells, not adopts, wild horses for as little as $5.00 a piece. In 2016 the BLM National Wild Horse Advisory Board voted unanimously to “fast track” captured wild horses into a status where they could be sold off.
This year the BLM has been trucking wild horses all over the country in what they have pushed through social media as “adoptions,” when many of them have been sale events. An adopted wild horse is considered federal property until title transfers a year after the adoption. A sale horse has title transferring immediately and that horse can enter the slaughter pipeline. In recent months there are dozens of wild horses appearing at “kill lot” auctions being featured by various rescues nationwide.
Congress has repeatedly denied funding to be used to sell horses to kill buyers, including in the 2018 Appropriations.
“This appears to be nothing more than a federal agency continuing to thumb it’s nose at Congress,” stated Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education. “In April BLM handed Congress a report on it’s entire wild horse program. The report was 25 pages long. When BLM does a single roundup the paper trail is longer than 25 pages. Ryan Zinke’s, (Secretary of the Interior) BLM obviously has no respect for Congress, the law or the wishes of the American public.”
In 2012 Wild Horse Education assisted Pulitzer Prize write Dave Philipps with an investigation into the BLM sale program. The investigation showed that nearly 1800 wild horses had been sold to a single kill buyer that was family friend with the former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. When questioned by Philipps at a campaign rally the former secretary threatened to “punch him in the face.” Three years later the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) admitted all allegations were true. The BLM changed it’s sale policy to only allow 4 wild horses to be sold to one buyer.
In 2018 it appears BLM is making violating the law it’s new policy.
See more at: http://WildHorseEducation