Horse News

BLM’s new policy to sell wild horses & burros by the truckloads again

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

After the BLM got caught selling almost 1,800 wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis, the BLM issued an Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2014-132, to limit the sales of wild horses or burros to 4 per person during a 6 month time period.  If anyone wanted to buy 5 or more wild horses or burros, the BLM’s Assistant Director, Resources and Planning, had to give approval.

On May 24, 2018, the BLM issued IM 2018-066, now allowing 24 wild horses or burros to be purchased at a time.  There is now no time period specified that a purchaser has to wait before buying another 24 wild horses or burros.  When wild horses & burros are sold, there is instant “titling.”  The buyer receives a title to the animal, and these wild horses & burros instantly become private property and lose their protections, and risk being sold into the slaughter pipeline.  Kristin Bail, the BLM’s current Assistant Director of Resources and Planning signed this IM.  Holle Waddell is the Branch Chief , Wild Horse & Burro Off-Range.

Both the 2014 IM and this 2018 IM have provisions that are troubling.  For one thing, per the Guidance attachment, if the BLM can’t read a freezemark number, they just give the horse or burro a new freezemark number.  Each BLM facility has an inventory that includes the freezemark number and signalment key (description) of each horse or burro, and they should be able to figure out the freezemark number of the horse.  The BLM can’t even keep track of all the horses and burros as it is, without issuing 2 freezemark numbers to 1 horse or burro.

It also seems like BLM employees, their family members and contractors are encouraged to buy wild horses.  Does anyone remember what happened during the Del Rio Investigations in the 90’s?   Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press reporter, Martha Mendoza, wrote an article back in 1995 about BLM staffers selling thousands of wild horses and burros to slaughterhouses for $400 to $500 each and keeping the money.  And high-level BLM officials tried to cover it up and intimidated whistle-blowers.

We don’t want history to repeat itself.

Thanks to advocate Cindy MacDonald, who maintains the American Herds blogspot, you can read about the Del Rio Investigations here:

For your convenience, we are posting IM 2018-066 and the attachments below (click on each page to enlarge):







9 replies »


    Protesters object to plans to round up 50 wild horses outside Gardnerville (video)
    by Claire Cudahy
    July 17, 2018

    On Tuesday members of the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates and the American Wild Horse Campaign delivered around 170,000 petition signatures from people “across the world,” according the groups’ press release, to BLM State Director Michael Courtney.

    This came less than a week after 300 residents packed into the Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department to discuss the decision to round up the herd. With “no additional information or comment” to add,
    BLM staff did not attend the meeting, according to an email from the agency to the Advocates.

    This is Washington telling the local BLM what they have to do,” said Walker. “They have some discretionary power. They could come to the table and they have done some compromising with us, but there is more that needs to be done.”



    Kurt Hildebrand, The Record-Courier

    With federal officials a no-show at Thursday’s meeting in Fish Springs, residents are discussing bringing their opposition to a plan to round up wild horses in the Pine Nuts to them.
    This is the first meeting they’ve refused to attend,” she said. “This is just the first step. We need to keep our eye on the ball and make noise.”

    Carlo Luri represented Christopher Bently, whose ranch is a grazing permit holder.
    “We own 42,000 acres and five of the grazing permits here in the Carson Valley,” he said. “People think cattlemen, the grazers, are always anti-horse, but that isn’t always true.”

    Bently has worked with the advocates for the past five years to set up watering troughs that keep the horses out of the neighborhoods.

    “We know first-hand what a cherished resource the wild horses are both to our residents and our visitors,” Luri said. “We want to protect them for future generations.”
    He said Bently fully supports keeping the horses in Fish Springs.

    “We’d like to go on the record in opposition to any plan to round-up the wild horses,” he said. “The practice is inhumane and makes no sense from a fiscal standpoint. We stand with the majority of Nevadans and the majority of the Carson Valley to oppose wild horse roundups and advocate for the continuance of humane, successful and cost-effective, volunteer-led, birth control program.”



    National support for Fish Springs herd
    Kurt Hildebrand
    July 10, 2018

    Support for the Fish Springs wild horse herd came in from across the country this week.
    Writers from as far away as the deep south wrote The R-C in support of keeping the herd from being rounded up.

    Amy Ash said she hails from Georgia, but still felt a kinship with the horses living in the Pine Nut Mountains of Nevada.

    “These animals don’t deserve to be ripped away from their families to be slaughtered or to be forced into being gentled so that humans can make a buck off of them,” she said. “We have to draw a line somewhere to maintain some sort of humanity during these times because we’re losing it more and more each day.”


  4. “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”
    Horses to Slaughter – Anatomy of a coverup within the Wild Horse & Burro Program
    Cindy MacDonald’s blog “AmericanHerds” will tell you the historical facts and give you the data to support those facts.


  5. This is corrupt and indefensible when at the same time they make adoptions next to impossible (see Carol Walker’s latest articles), shut down volunteer programs that were actually working (GEMS/TIPS), and require private adopters to jump through all sorts of hoops to “earn” actual title over a year after taking possession of a formerly wild horse. This is not about the horses at all, but a cynical view of our citizens and our country. Wake up everyone, and vote your conscience in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I propose BLM decision makers be voted in by the people because they manage the publics lands and animals! It is time they represent what we want and what’s best for our wild animals and lands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They already are, they are called Congress. The Dept. of Interior is directed by Congress, whose members are elected by citizens who actually make the effort to vote. Please do!


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.