Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Interior secretary limits wild-horse sales after probe suggests a big buyer was selling them for slaughter

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, left, said he will tighten rules on wild-horse sales by limiting the number people can buy and making it easier to prosecute those who sell mustangs for slaughter, Dave Philipps of ProPublica reports. Salazar told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he was responding to a September ProPublica investigation that "questioned the fate of animals sold to Tom Davis," Philipps writes.

Davis, a livestock hauler in southern Colorado's San Luis Valley, has bought more than 1,700 horses through the federal wild-horse program since 2009 and sold 70 percent of them. He said he sold the animals to "good homes," but wild-horse advocates fear he sold them to Mexican slaughterhouses. Davis later told Colorado officials that he shipped horses out of state, in violation of inspection laws, and the case has been turned in for prosecution.

People who buy wild horses from the federal government sign contracts saying they won't sell them for slaughter. Salazar is changing that language to say buyers can face prosecution for any "material misrepresentations" or for selling them to middlemen who sell them to slaughterhouses. The new rules say that people can only buy five wild horses every six months, with larger orders requiring signed approval from the Bureau of Land Management's deputy director.

Salazar said the rule changes should prevent wild horse from ending up at slaughterhouses, but he acknowledged that "Fundamental fixes to the wild horse program, which has been dogged by controversy and mounting costs, have so far eluded his agency," Philipps reports. Salazar oversees the BLM, which cares for most of the 35,000 wild horses on public lands in the West. They are protected from capture or slaughter. (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very sad to imagine all these beautiful, innocent animals being sent to a slaughterhouse.