Investigation Confirms BLM Sale of 1,794 Wild Horses to Slaughter

The Cloud Foundation presses BLM to focus on keeping horses on the range

Washington, DC – October 25, 2015 – After 3 years of waiting for the Office of the Inspector General to complete an investigation of Colorado rancher and livestock hauler, Tom Davis, their report has finally been completed and confirms what The Cloud Foundation (TCF) has been saying publicly since October of 2012. The report states, “During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses he purchased from BLM went to slaughter.” The report also states that between 2008 and 2012 BLM spent more than $140,000 in taxpayer dollars transporting wild horses to Davis who admits to paying only $10.00 for each horse.

BLM’s performance in this deadly incident is completely unacceptable. Who is being held accountable here?” asks Paula Todd King, TCF Director of Communications. “It appears everyone gets off—BLM, Davis, the Vet, the Brand Inspector and everyone involved.”

The Report states: “We referred this investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, who declined both civil and criminal prosecution. The State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office also declined to file charges against Davis. We referred the public health issue concerning a USDA-certified veterinarian signing IHCs without inspecting the horses (false statements) to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico. The District of New Mexico formally declined prosecution.”

 

The OIG report also indicates that BLM law enforcement officers who looked into the background of Tom Davis “found no evidence of Davis selling the horses to slaughter.”

 

“This is surprising as Davis is well known in Southern Colorado and it is common knowledge that he buys horses for the purpose of selling them for slaughter,” states Ginger Kathrens, TCF Executive Director and producer of the Cloud films for PBS.  “The law enforcement folks dropped the ball leaving wild horses and the American public to pay the ultimate price.” 

 

“What is also shocking is Colorado’s failure to follow through with the prosecution of Tom Davis,” addedAnn Evans, a founding Board Member of TCF, “and that New Mexico too has turned a blind eye to the wrong-doing of the veterinarian who falsified documents, an action clearly out of compliance with his New Mexico State Veterinary License.”

 

BLM believes they have eliminated the possibility of this crime being repeated by limiting the number of wild horses that can be purchased at any one time. But what does it say about how we go forward if no one is held responsible for the suffering that occurred to animals that only wanted to live their lives in freedom with their families?” continues Kathrens.  “The best way to avoid a repeat of this tragedy is to keep wild horses on the range where they want to be, and where they are clearly the safest.”

 

The Colorado non-profit believes that field darting with the safe, reversible fertility control drug PZP will keep mustang populations at zero population growth and eliminate the need for removals.TCF has offered to work with the BLM to implement those fertility control plans to preserve genetically viable herds in the wild and reduce the cost of managing wild horses in less than humane holding facilities.

“Misstatements and untruths must stop,” adds King, “including covering up the inhumane treatment of wild horses by helicopter contractors during roundups, failure to provide adequate shelter to thousands of wild horses already in captivity, sterilizing vibrant, healthy herds of wild horses on the range, and skewing environmental analyses that blame wild horses for range damage caused by livestock grazing and energy development.

It is past time for BLM to turn the ship around and fulfill their responsibility to the American public to manage healthy herds of wild horses on public lands in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way,” Kathrens concludes.

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Links:

Investigative Report of Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Buyer

OIG Report – Oct. 23, 2015 

Federal Report: Colorado Wild Horse Buyer Sold Mustangs for Slaughter, The Denver Post, Oct. 23, 2015

The Case of the Missing Mustangs; What Happened to 1700 Wild Horses? NBC News, May 14, 2013 

Ginger Kathrens, Salt Lake City Press Conference,  Oct. 2012

Fate of Wild Horses in Hands of BLM, Colorado Buyer, Sept. 30, 2012

Using Science to Improve theBLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward

Media Contact:

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.

Oregon Wild Horse Herd Next on BLM Chopping Block BLM aims choppers at American mustangs and young foals

Portland, OR (August 18, 2010)—The Stinkingwater wild horse herd of Southeastern Oregon is slated for a near complete removal in a summer helicopter roundup scheduled to begin today. Concerned citizens in Oregon and across the country have been calling for a stop to this unnecessary and costly action. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes to roundup all 214 wild horses and young foals they claim live in the area and release back only 40, leaving 20 stallions and 20 mares. At least one mare with a less than two-week-old foal are in danger from this roundup. Horses will be pushed over miles of rugged country criss-crossed with barbed wire fences in this roundup planned to last five days.

“The range is beautiful with abundant water and forage but it is managed as a cattle ranch- not as a wild horse range”, explains Cloud Foundation Associate Director, Makendra Silverman, who visited the range last week in a Herd-Watch capacity. “I found a less than one-week old foal and named him Pluto, assuming he is the last foal of the season. Running Pluto over these sharp volcanic rocks and rough terrain even a mile could be fatal.”

Although outnumbered 20:1 by privately-owned livestock in Stinkingwater, BLM has determined that only 40 wild horses may live on this 133 square-mile range. Minimal genetically-viable levels are set at 150-200 adult horses. Not one Oregon herd, including the famous Kiger mustangs, have herd levels set above 150.

“We’ve seen this again and again,” explains Cloud Foundation Director, Ginger Kathrens. “BLM sets their ridiculously low “appropriate” management levels at non-viable numbers and then turns around and zeros out the entire wild horse or burro herd for being ‘too small to manage’—the American public wants our wild herds preserved, not destroyed.”
Advocates fear that deaths will occur in Stinkingwater as a helicopter runs panicked horses and foals through a maze of barbed-wire fences.

“In 1990 the Government Accountability Office Report underscored that wild horse removals did not significantly improve range conditions,” explains Kathrens. “The report pointed to cattle as the culprit as they vastly outnumber horses on BLM-managed public lands and reported that wild horse removals are not linked to range conditions, noting the lack of data provided by BLM. Oregon has lost over half of the original wild horse and burro herds designated for protection in 1971.”

“I hope that I might return to find Pluto and his family safe in Stinkingwater- enjoying the precious freedom granted to them by Congress but so often dismissed by the BLM” concludes Silverman.

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Links of interest:

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Special http://bit.ly/stampede2ext

Makendra’s blog post “a visit to Stinkingwater” http://bit.ly/VisitSW

Wild Horse Roundup Begins in California http://bit.ly/cuUZQN

PR Firm Hired for the Destruction of America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds http://bit.ly/czf3HB

‘Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses’ http://bit.ly/9Wvh58

Wild Horse and Burro Act http://bit.ly/a7hOeS

Mestengo. Mustang. Misfit. America’s Disappearing Wild Horses http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/resources/wild.html

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues http://bit.ly/awFbwm

Fact Sheet on Wild Herds & The Salazar Plan http://bit.ly/bfdX1y

Short-link to this release online: http://bit.ly/stinkingwater

Short-link to photos available for download: http://bit.ly/SWphotos

Past Cloud Foundation press releases http://bit.ly/TCFpress

Photos online here- also video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation makendra@thecloudfoundation.org, 719-633-3842

The Cloud Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905 – 719-633-3842
http://www.thecloudfoundation.org

BAD NEWS…Judge lifts TRO

July 16, 2010

Bulletin

A Nevada federal judge has declared the Bureau of Land Management ban on public and media observers of its wild horse roundups unconstitutional, yet has lifted an injunction stopping a “gather” near Elko after at least 12 horses died of heat stroke. Judge Larry Hicks ruled the roundup my proceed in high summer heat. For more details go to www.horsebackmagazine.com.

The Mustang Conspiracy?

This is a very interesting video regarding the connection among the BLM, Big Oil & Gas and the Mustang Round ups.  Although Reach Out to Horses can’t verify all the information, this 2 part video certainly confirms much of what we’ve been hearing.

Watch the video and decide for yourself.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/mustangconspiracy/

It’s time to stop the cruelty, corruption and greed, and save our treasured horses once and for all.

The Cloud Foundation Takes Action with Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses

For Immediate Release – April 29th, 2010

The Cloud Foundation Takes Action with Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses

47% of wild horse and burro herds have been zeroed out by BLM since 1971

Colorado Springs, CO (April 29, 2010)—Today the Cloud Foundation launches Herd-Watch, an innovative volunteer program to monitor wild horse and burro herds as well as roundups across the West. The iconic horses and burros are currently being managed to virtual extinction, contrary to the. From this day on, Herd-Watch will: watchdog America’s wild horses and burros, provide increased public visibility, monitor the range conditions and the mustang, burro and livestock numbers as well as keep tabs on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plans for “management” of each treasured American Herd.

“The more the public knows about our wild herds, the more deeply they will care about their preservation. Through Herd-Watch we will educate and inform the public while protecting an American treasure,” explains Project Manager Laura Leigh of Nevada. “Herd-Watch is an exciting and interactive new development facilitating improved protections for our wild herds and, we hope, an improved dialogue with both the BLM and Forest Service.”

A central database will keep tabs on each of America’s remaining 180 herds on public lands in ten Western States and their ranges. According to BLM, in 1971 339 wild herds were designated for protection. Since then the BLM and Forest Service have zeroed out 159 herds, including 12 in Nevada just last year. Volunteer teams will log and catalog data, photos and information following their visits to the range. The Cloud Foundation hopes that BLM and Forest Service officials will welcome the increased interest and monitoring of wild herds at no cost to taxpayers.

Interested members of the public are encouraged to visit http://www.thecloudfoundation.org to volunteer, donate and learn more.

“Herd-Watch will remove our wild herds from the ranks of the anonymous. Through the work of dedicated volunteers, the public will learn about each amazing herd of wild horses and burros and what can be done to preserve them for all time, as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” states Ginger Kathrens, Cloud Foundation Executive Director and Emmy award-winning producer whose Cloud documentaries have educated a world public about the rich lives of wild horses.
1971 Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act
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Links of interest:

Herd-Watch http://bit.ly/9Wvh58

Roundup Schedule- updated February 2010 http://bit.ly/bOhwdk

Wild Horses: Management or Stampede to Extinction? Reno Gazette Sunday Special by Frank X. Mullen. http://bit.ly/9rGFwV

American Herds – “What’s Left?” http://americanherds.blogspot.com/2009/12/whats-left.html

American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/

Disappointment Valley… A Modern Day Western Trailer- excellent sample of interviews regarding the issues http://bit.ly/awFbwm

Photos, video and interviews available from:
The Cloud Foundation
news@thecloudfoundation.org

719-633-3842 ~ http://www.thecloudfoundation.org

The Cloud Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of wild horses and burros on our Western public lands with a focus on protecting Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains of Montana.
107 S. 7th St. – Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Animal Communication with Anna Twinney

Step inside the amazing world of Animal Communication in this 3-part excerpt from her popular Animal Communication Workshop in Maui. Join Founder of Reach Out to Horses, Anna Twinney, as she gives you a glimpse into this powerful tool.

Check out all our videos on the Reach Out to Horses YouTube Channel

Watch Anna’s Mustang, Excalibur’s third day under saddle!

Get a sneak preview of the new TLC DVD from the Reach Out to Natural Horsemanship DVD series.  Join Anna and her Mustang, Excalibur, as they share a piece of the Trust-based Leadership and Compassionate Communication from the Holistic Horsemanship Course at the Colorado Horse Rescue in 2008. Join Excalibur as he takes the saddle for the 3rd consecutive day and Anna does some ground-driving with him to get him comfortable with the saddle.

Check out all our videos on the Reach Out to Horses YouTube Channel