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Horse slaughter in America: Feds illegally rounded up thousands of wild horses and handed them over to be destroyed for profit

Horse slaughter

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(NaturalNews) Agencies of the federal government are increasingly operating as independent entities, creating their own set of rules or ignoring existing ones as Congress shirks its oversight role and the White House refuses to engage.

The latest outrage involves the slaughter of hundreds of wild horses thanks to blatant disregard by the Bureau of Land Management. This is the same agency that sent hundreds of armed agents to essentially collect a fine from a Nevada rancher who was in his 70s, and the same agency that sells out American taxpayer interests.

The Washington Times reports that the BLM, which is tasked with protecting wild horses and the lands upon which they graze, sold 1,794 federally protected wild horses at a profit to a rancher in Colorado, who summarily sent them to slaughter.

According to a new report from the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General, rancher Tom Davis bought the horses via the agency's Wild Horse and Burro Program (WH&B) between 2009 and 2012, then wrongfully sent them off to be slaughtered. BLM falls under the Department of Interior.

Nobody bothered to check why the buyer purchased so many horses

The Washington Times noted that according to those allegations and additional news reports, Davis also had trucking and farming connections with President Obama's former Interior secretary, Ken Salazar.

"We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B. BLM also failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered," investigators said in the OIG report.

Davis admitted to investigators that most of the horses he bought through the BLM wound up at the slaughterhouse. He also said that "in selling so many loads of horses, BLM had to know that the horses would end up" there, the report said.

In addition to the sales being outside the rules, they also cost taxpayers about $140,000 to deliver truckloads of horses to Davis. The OIG report found he paid $10 a piece for the horses, or less than $18,000 overall, and pocketed as much as $154,000 in profits after selling them for slaughter.

In negligent fashion, BLM officials never once attempted to verify the information that Davis provided regarding his intentions for the horses he purchased, even though he was buying them at an unusually high rate, investigators said in their report. Moreover, the federal agency did not stop selling him horses even after receiving reports that he was indeed selling them for slaughter.

Predictably, the OIG will not look into ties between Davis and Salazar, the Times reported.

No responsibility

The paper further noted that as usual, the American citizen will likely be punished while Salazar skates and no one from BLM will likely be disciplined or charged with being an accessory to any crime:

The investigation was referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney's Office, which declined civil and criminal prosecution, according to the report.

"It took more than three years for the OIG to confirm what we've always known – that the BLM sold 1,795 federally-protected wild horses to a known kill buyer who sold them to slaughter," Suzanne Roy, Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), said, according to the Times. "Unfortunately, there will be no justice for these mustangs, who suffered a brutal death in Mexican slaughter plants. No one at the BLM is being held accountable for this betrayal, and Tom Davis is not being prosecuted for violating his contractual obligation to not sell the horses for slaughter."

In response to the OIG report, the Times said that BLM officials are taking the issue very seriously, adding that they have taken preventive measures (such as enforcing existing rules?) to make sure that horses sold by the agency do not end up at a slaughterhouse.

Given the fact that the federal government embodies inertia and inefficiency, there is no reason to take the BLM at its word.

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