Horse News

Would BLM Sell Wild Horses to Slaughter? You betcha.

SOURCE:  PPJ Gazette

By Debbie Coffey ~ Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation ~  Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved.

In memory of the late Dr. Patricia Haight, who worked hard for the Conquistador Program, I decided to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request based on some records she managed to obtain via her FOIA request.

Eye to the Soul by Terry FitchPatricia Haight’s FOIA response included teleconference notes between a “team” of BLM employees who talked about slaughtering wild horses, among other things.  Cindy McDonald (American Herds blog) posted Haight’s FOIA documents (including the BLM’s discussion of alternative management options) in her library.

On the “Myths and Facts” page on BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program website, #2 states:

Myth #2: The BLM is selling or sending wild horses to slaughter.
Fact: This charge is absolutely false. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and the BLM does not and has not sold or sent horses or burros to slaughter. Consequently, as the Government Accountability Office noted in a report issued in October 2008, the BLM is not in compliance with a December 2004 amendment (the so-called Burns Amendment to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act) that directs the Bureau to sell excess horses or burros “without limitation” to any willing buyer.

In a 2008 e-mail, Sally Spencer, the BLM’s Supervisory Marketing Specialist, WAS NEGOTIATING TO SELL 10,000 WILD HORSES to someone in Canada.  Who would buy 10,000 horses? And what for?  Certainly not to be used in movies or to graze on oil fields.

In this 2008 e-mail, Sally Spencer states:

“It was a pleasure to talk with you yesterday.  The horses that would be the easiest to get to Canada are the 10,000 sale-eligible horses (more than 10 years of age).  We recently sent a load of horses to Saskatchewan from a start point close to one of the Long Term Holding Pastures in Kansas.  A load is around 36 animals.  The total transportation cost was about $5,000.  Also you asked me about the cost of the horses in Long Term Holding.  We have estimated that the cost to care for the 10,000 sale eligible horses for the rest of their lives on Long Term Holding Pastures will be approximately $22 Million.

There are still details to be worked out, however please let me know if you are interested in purchasing any of the horses and if so, when you would be ready for them.

Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you in the future.  Sally”

Also, added in a hand written sentence below this (so there’s no telling when this part was written – in 2008 or when it had to be released in a FOIA request) is “Have $ from sale of horses be used to spare other 20,000 animals?”

Obviously, if the other 20,000 horses were to be “spared” (not killed), the person who wrote this knew that 10,000 horses would NOT be “spared” (and would be killed).

From the cheery tone of this e-mail, Spencer seemed to be selling horses to slaughter as easily as selling Tupperware.

To see the copy of Sally Spencer’s e-mail, click HERE.

So, would the BLM sell wild horses to slaughter? You betcha.  The cover letter I received from the Washington FOIA office informed me that this sale “never came to fruition,” but no documents were enclosed as proof that it didn’t come to “fruition.”  (And, you know I’ll ask for proof.)

Is this another example of how the BLM “cares deeply” about the well-being of the wild horses?

To learn more:


And a huge thank you to Cindy McDonald, who’s retired but keeps a wealth of information for wild horse & burro advocates on her American Herds blog site.

21 replies »


    Bureau of Land Management and DOI Missing $168 Billion Dollars; Taxpayers Have a Right to Know Where It Is!

    It becomes quite obvious where the budget cuts should be made. It is also quite obvious that the DOI and the BLM are too large, and have indeed become a monopoly not for the American Public, but for lobby groups and special interest groups, and at taxpayer expense, wildlife expense, and the ruination of our Public Land environments and ecosystems!

    This is a problem not just for Legislators, but for Americans. This problem must be resolved in order for America to continue as a Democracy, and the overall Public interest to not be ignored any longer. The reality is American’s Rights have been replaced by short term profits received by corporations and conducted by criminals within our government agencies. We as Americans are being led to believe, by these same government entities, that everything is okay — But it is NOT OKAY!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Louie I would LOVE to have permission to copy this post to my facebook wall. May I do so?

      It hits the nail right smack on the head!


    • Its time for the FBI, OIG (Office of Inspector General), IRS, & INTERPOL (they’re selling our horses to foreign countries) to seriously investigate this situation with the BLM – & put a hold on all activities until the investigations are complete – the BLM should not be immune to a vigorous investigation & convictions – not surprised that there’s billions missing – they’ve obviously embezzled it, either directly or “indirectly” by the way they mismanage everything in this program & funnel funds to places we don’t know about – definitely organized (or not so organized) crime. Can anybody say “RICO”?

      Liked by 1 person


    Click to access 10_10_12_Olmstead_memo.pdf

    The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has lost sight of its mission in a quest to maximize fossil energy and other resource exploitation on public wild lands, according to the retirement message sent by a career natural resource specialist and posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The sobering message depicts cascading natural system failures due to unchecked oil and gas drilling and related cumulative damage to public lands and waters.

    Stan Olmstead started his career in natural resource management inside public agencies 44 years ago, with stints in the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. For the past 20 years he has been a Natural Resource Specialist and an Environmental Scientist in BLM’s Vernal Field Office in eastern Utah, near the Colorado border. On September 28th, his final day of federal service, he sent a memo entitled “Last Formal Comment” to all BLM employees throughout Utah.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Click to access 1997_war_of_attrition.pdf

    War of Attrition — Sabotage of the Endangered Series Act by the U.S. Department of Interior (December 1997)

    The U.S. Department of the Interior consistently ignores its own scientists’ recommendations to list species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). To stall discussion and shift the burden, the Department of the Interior is waiting for Congressional approval for a reauthorization bill that would greatly weaken the act.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is very bad news fir the horses but we’ve known it all along (at least i did). How many times had i been expressly tills that mustangs were nit slaughter eligible? And yet my gut told me differently. So it finally comes out in writing. thanks Debbie fir that confirmation that my intuition was correct. Thanks RT for posting this. So now what do we do?…aside from cry, complain, or pray? Something drastic has to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. BLM cares about the wild horses? “There will always be wild horses” quote from Joan Guilfoyle on NBC. Tom Davis. The guy that USFWS is contracting that account for 202 of the 262 horses he took.

    May I politely say BALONEY they don’t. The numbers still don’t add up. The public is marginalized at hearings. Joan Guilfoyle waved Jetara Sehart off with Miss Robin’s petition (some 250 THOUSAND signatures)off. Ms. Guilfoyle also blew me off.

    Guess what shelter there trying at PVC? They moved one of the shelters that covered the hay–into the pens. A step to be sure. It’s called trying to appease the public. As soon as we go away they will move that shelter right back over the hay,

    May I also point out that Sheldon which is starting today–has some of the WORST history of abuse known to man. While USFWS is conducting this roundup they are under the direction of DOI. THE VERY SAME AGENCY THAT OVERSEES BLM!

    At some point I hope the younger generation gets SUPER SICK AND TIRED of all the crap and status quo in Washington. I don’t usually promote war but I don’t know how else WE THE PEOPLE are going to back this country. It’s time to clean Washington, it’s time to clean house on lobbying. Fracking has to go. It’s hurting Mother Earth in ways that we don’t have any idea on.

    Deb a most timely and excellent article. While I did know about that discussion on selling wild horses to Canada I didn’t know some of the followup. And yeah, anyone that knows you KNOWS you are going FOIA EVERYTHING! BLM should be scared! Very scared cause with you on the job–you’ll out everyone of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a question, Margaret.

      Why are Sheldon wild equines allowed to be called feral and not subject to the protection (disastrous as that may be) of the 1971 Act?

      Anyone know?

      I miss Cindy MacDonald…BOY!!!! She knew her stuff.


  6. I forgot to add that BLM is running out of money to fund this refuge thing in Las Vegas. This is for the desert tortoise. The turtles are on the ENDANGERED species list. If homes aren’t found for all of them by all of them this time next year–they may kill them.

    I don’t know. These people just want to kill kill kill. The bloodlust is truly something I don’t understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree with everyone’s input… So now we are focused on Syria, so once again the innocent wild horses & burros (plus horses being sent to slaughter) will be put on the back burner… Thank goodness that a few of our reps. in government truly care,,, Personally, I think that the innocent ones will be killed,,, and just who will have to answer for their extinction….The BLM??? & our Government?? They do not give a damn & this makes me feel very angry & hopeless… There is always some other issue here that minimizes what happens to our beloved animals in danger of extinction & cruel, inhumane treatment…UGH!! What about our Thoroughbreds off the Track…just to name a few.. and New Holland & Camelot??? & The Amish Drafts & other breeds who are sent to slaughter after they have been forced to work extremely hard!! UGH!! Again!! Just had to vent here!! Sorry… I just feel very helpless for the beloved equines who deserve to be honored & treated with respect…

      Liked by 1 person

    • The major issue with the desert tortoise is that the DOI IDIOT TROLLS were given money to manage a protected species in exchange for GIVING THE LAND EATING DEVELOPERS THE RIGHT TO DEVELOP!!!!!!

      And now DOI is claiming poor…just like the wild equines and every other excuse they use to remove….NOT PROTECT THE WILD EQUINES.

      And it isn’t about “may” murder them…they WILL. The story I read said nothing about new homes…again…sound familiar? They are extorting the American Public for monies (aka hostage taking) and Congress lets them do it!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just another creature for them to destroy! I’ve signed the petition against having them “euthanized”. It sure does seem like any living creature’s life is endangered if they happen to cross paths with the FWS or BLM. And I don’t understand it either…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. San Diego Zoo International is part of the management of the desert tortoise sanctuary and they sent out a press release after the AP’s article to say that the tortoises are fine and not to be killed and the animals are fine. It is against the law to remove an endangered species individual from its home range and this is an example of maneuvering around a strict law, yes, for developers. Please call SanDiego Zoo Int. and ask for PR and they will tell you why that article got out and what the truth is. AP did not pick up their press release to counter what an AP reporter had said which was not true.


  8. Margaret, you certainly can post anything that I have posted….all is from published works and should be shared. Circulate it as fast as you can. You might want to click on to the links, as I’ve only posted excerpts of articles.


  9. Denise, here is one of Cindy MaDonald’s articles on the Sheldon Refuge.

    Hunting for Horses?

    An Executive Order was issued by President Bush on August 18, 2007, that directed federal land agencies to work with state governments, state and federal wildlife agencies, and consult with a Sporting Conservation Council, which includes such heavy hitters as the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International, for the sole intent of establishing a preference in all management actions that will prioritize big game hunting opportunities at the expense of all other uses on federal lands.

    Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER, a nationwide association of government workers in natural resources agencies was quoted as saying, “This is political meddling posing as a conservation policy and reads like it was written by a lobbysist”. (1)

    The controversial and historic Sheldon Refuge wild horses and burros are being targeted for unfair management practices in favor of valuable “native” hunting species. Refuge managers state the need to protect big game species as the priority, citing the Refuge’s primary purpose was established to protect and preserve pronghorn antelope. However, a lot has changed since the 1930’s when national pronghorn estimates hovered around 26,000. (7) Today, Nevada’s pronghorn population is estimated at 23,500, the highest ever recorded (8) and in 2002, the nationwide pronghorn population was estimated at over 600,000. (9)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I did see the round up results myself first hand last year 2012 when Joe and I were traveling down Socorro Rd in Socorro Tex. I have written about this before, but I’m sure
    not everyone knows or has seen this first hand, I was saddened for the whole day and
    have never forgotten, when we passed by the USDA holding pen at 10800 Socorro Rd.
    I couldn’t help but notice the small cyclone fenced area with the slaughter wagon in the back and the USDA sign on the wire fence, and the great amount of horses, old, young,
    foals still with their mommas, jammed into this small pen at least 140 to 200 animals, standing in the muck and waste that comes from a filthy dirty pen, with no water let alone
    food, and noticing the “fumigation” pen up above the animals, a ramp of metal I guess,
    the whole scene was completely there for anyone of us taxpayers and concerned folks to
    see, that this was a slaughter holding pen, when we got to our destination there in Texas
    I asked Joes friend what the ramp was for and he told me that that was the “fumigation”
    area for the horses, wow, how shocking and cruel and we are all paying for this cruel
    behavior to continue and paying for it to continue, has Sally Jewell, stepped in to help,
    no, just as Ken salazar did, she is condoning this cruel uncivilized behavior and I
    am tired of waiting for her to “step in sally” because I know she’s never going to, I hope
    all of us concerned taxpayers, can help find a solid peaceful and quick solution to this,
    uncivilized and cruel behavior, as I know these animals have a true value and their past
    history proves to us what they have done for our society already, my son is handicapped
    pretty badly, and he came around during some horse therapy at the hospital where he
    was staying when he was very young, his autism lightened up and he became responsive
    and he “came out of his shell”, I would wish that our president and others harry reid, who
    is ignoring the bill that comes up every year to vote down the funding of inspectors, so that the slaughter people will not be able to function because of lack of funding, but mr reid never even brings this up on the floor of the Senate, come on folks when it’s time
    to vote, remember that harry reid doesn’t care and I have heard he is friends with the
    slaughter people like ken salzar’s friend tom davis, big time kill buyer, don’t reelect these
    people if they can’t be civilized and care what we voters don’t want, and have to pay for
    besides, and I hope Mr. Obama will help us in our cause, if he would’nt mind!!!!!! All who love and care for animals should be acknowledged and not left helpless to correct this
    grave injustice to these intelligent and sensitive animals.


  11. Tricia, did you take any photos of this incident? I have not heard of this event before… any idea if they were on a BLM site or if they were privately owned, or?
    Am I understanding you correctly that these horses were gassed? Or were they being treated with insecticide, then loaded into trailers?

    I came to this site looking for info on the horses the BLM has in holding in South Dakota, hoping to learn how (or if) they survived the blizzard. I can’t find anything. Does anyone have reliable information?


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