Colorado rancher and livestock hauler Tom Davis spent close to $18,000 to purchase approximately 1,800 horses from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program from 2008 to 2012, telling the BLM that the horses would be sold to families as pets. Instead, he sent nearly all of them to Mexico to be slaughtered, making a hefty profit of over $150,000.
In addition, the BLM spent over $140,000 in taxpayer dollars delivering the horses to Davis and did not follow the law or their own policies while managing the animals. Specifically, the agency failed to limit horse sales and ensure that horses went to good homes in order to prevent an individual such as Davis from selling them off to slaughter.
Unfortunately, the decision whether to prosecute Davis rested with the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and the Conejos County District Attorney’s Office; they declined to do so. They have also decided not to prosecute the veterinarian who submitted false statements certifying the health of the horses, enabling Davis to carry out his operation.
After facilitating such a sickening miscarriage of justice, the BLM announced that it will now limit horse sales to a maximum of four horses over a six-month period to a single buyer.