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THE TRUTH #19 – The sale of wild horses to American Mustang Germany: Discrepancies in a Decision Memorandum by Dean Bolstad, BLM’s Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program
On Feb. 23, 2017, BLM Wild Horse & Burro Division Chief Dean Bolstad sent a Decision Memorandum for the Assistant Director, Resources and Planning, to request approval to sell 26 sale-eligible wild horses to American Mustang Germany, to be used in one of Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Mustang Makeover Events in Germany.
The first discrepancy is simple: in the Subject line, and again in the first and second paragraphs, Bolstad states that 26 wild horses were to be sold. Steve Tryon approved the sale of 26 wild horses on the memorandum. But the Bills of Sale to American Mustang Germany, authorized by Sally Spencer, only indicate that 21 wild horses were sold to American Mustang Germany. What about the other 5 wild horses? Will they be sold to American Mustang Germany in the future?
The second discrepancy is: In the first paragraph under Background, Bolstad noted (about Silke Strussione, the founder of American Mustang Germany) “In the past year, she has arranged for nine adoption and six sales of horses to Germany. The adopted horses will remain in Georgia until they are sold to Silke Strussione and then they will be exported to Germany.”
Bolstad stated that Strussione arranged for “six sale horses to Germany.” However, BLM Sale logs provided to Wild Horse Freedom Federation during this time period indicate that Silke Strussione only bought 4 wild horses from the BLM the prior year. There were no prior sales to American Mustang Germany – the 21 wild horses sold to American Mustang Germany were pending the approval of this memorandum.
If Mustang Heritage Foundation, or their TIP trainer, is acting as a third party and selling wild horses to go overseas, that is an issue that needs to be addressed. They are receiving taxpayer dollars.
All BLM Bills of Sale, Adoption Agreements and Private Maintenance and Care Agreements should be revised to contain language stating that wild horses & burros may not ever be sold to or shipped out of the country (reason below).
The third discrepancy is that Bolstad states “All horses that arrive in Germany are required to have German papers and a chip implanted. The owner decides if their horse can be slaughtered or not when they get their papers and chip. Strussione will sign the horses up as ‘no slaughter horses.’ The papers and chip will designate each horse as a no slaughter animal. The slaughter facilities are not allowed to accept horses without their paperwork and also scan the implanted chip.”
Since Bolstad stated that “The owner decides if their horse can be slaughtered or not when they get their papers and chip, what if American Mustang Germany sells the horse to someone, and then that person, in turns sells the horse to someone else? It seems that new owners may not “sign the horses up as no slaughter horses.” And when the horse is older, could it be sold online or at an auction and end up going to slaughter?
Bolstad was included in prior email discussions about selling wild horses & burros overseas, and top level BLM employees agreed that the BLM has no oversight once horses & burros are sold overseas. Examples of what was stated in the 2011 emails between BLM employees are:
“The idea is if we sell horses to over seas recipients knowing we have no authority as to how they are treated or dealt with it is the same as selling without limitation and we are not allowed to do that under the omnibus…
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