BLM claims selling wild horses to kill buyer Tom Davis was selling them to a “good home”

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2017

On the Bureau of Land Management’s new website, on the Program Data page for the Wild Horse & Burro Program (under the Wild Horse and Burro Sales to Private Care tab), the BLM claims “It has been and remains the policy of the BLM, despite the unrestricted sales authority of the Burns Amendment, NOT to sell or send any wild horses or burros to slaughterhouses or to “kill buyers.”

The BLM claims “Wild Horses and Burros Sold to Good Homes” but then includes a total of 402 wild horses and burros sold in Fiscal Year 2012. (In this 402 total, 320 were horses and 82 were burros.)

BLM sale logs obtained by us in Freedom of Information Act requests indicate that in Fiscal Year 2012, the BLM sold 239 wild horses (almost 80% of the 320 horses that were sold) to kill buyer Tom Davis of La Jara, CO.  Many, if not all, of these wild horses went to slaughter in Mexico.

Does this look like a “good home” to you?

BLM states it has a policy not to sell wild horses and burros to kill buyers, but:

  1. On 1/11/12, Lester T. Duke (BLM Burns, Oregon) sent an email to BLM’s Bea Wade, regarding 50 sale authority horses, noting that a “large portion”of the mares were “possibly pregnant.” Lester asked if they should ship to long term holding or hold them at the corrals for sale. Bea responded that she forwarded the email to Sally Spencer. After a couple of more emails regarding this, Sally finally sent email on 2/23/12 that Tom Davis would purchase the horses, starting with the load of mares from Burns, Oregon. (About a week later, BLM sold Tom Davis 32 horses from the Burns, Oregon corrals.   19 of these horses were mares)
  2. On 4/19/12, Deanna Masterson, Public Affairs specialist for the BLM Colorado state office, sent an “Early Alert” email to “WO BLM/DOI Officials” (Jeff Krause, Leigh Espy, Helen Hankins, Steven Hall, Tom Gorey and Sally Spencer) that “The Colorado Department of Agriculture notified the BLM Colorado State Office of a Colorado Open Records request from David Phillips, a freelance journalist, for brand inspection and transfer paperwork for horses the BLM sold to Tom Davis of La Jara, Colorado. Phillips indicated he suspected Davis of selling these horses for slaughter to Mexico.”
  3. On 4/24/12, the BLM, alerted that Tom Davis was suspected of selling horses for slaughter, still sells 106 wild horses to Tom Davis.
  4. On 5/17/12, Sally Spencer sent out an email, marked “High” importance, to 21 people (Joe Stratton, Roger Oyler, Amy Dumas, Fran Ackley, Karen Malloy, Christopher Robbins, Jared Bybee, Robert Mitchell, Alan Shepherd, Rob Sharp, Robert Hopper, Gus Warr, June Wendlandt, Joan Guilfoyle, Mary D’Aversa, Dean Bolstadt, Jeff Krause, Tom Gorey, Debbie Collins, Lili Thomas, Bea Wade) and BLM_WO_260 WHB Communications, telling them a reporter was calling about Tom Davis. Spencer asked Joe Stratton to send out a message to all facility managers and the state leads to send a message out to all WHB Specialists that if they were asked “specifics” about a purchaser, they shouldn’t respond for privacy issues…”

If BLM personnel were so convinced that they sold the wild horses and burros to a “good home,” why all of the urgency and secrecy?

If the BLM truly believes these horses were sold to a “good home,” why isn’t Tom Davis’ photo featured on the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program page on the BLM’s new website, instead of the photo of the young blonde girl? After all, the BLM sold Tom Davis 1,794 wild horses and burros from 2008-2012.

If the BLM thinks they’re fooling us, they’re only fooling themselves.

All documents referenced above can be seen HERE.

Dept. of Justice refuses to take any action against Spur Livestock, BLM contractors who sold wild horses to kill buyer

By Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. Of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation   Copyright 2015                   All Rights Reserved.

In this case, there was NO justice.  Wild Horse Freedom Federation did an investigation and found that a BLM long term holding contractor, Spur Livestock, sold wild horses to well known kill buyer Joe Simon.  R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, publicly presented an official government document with proof of this to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board at their meeting.  Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, was present.

However, the Department of Justice (DoJ) only issued a letter of declination.  A declination decision is generally viewed to mean that the DoJ , in the exercise of its prosecutorial discretion, declines to prosecute or bring an enforcement action.  

So, the issue of a current BLM contractor selling wild horses to a kill buyer, most likely for slaughter, was just swept under the rug.


Also, the 36 horses with the U freezemark were BLM sale authority horses. So, Spur Livestock sold 70 wild horses to well known kill buyer Joe Simon.


On the BLM FROM THE PUBLIC page for the National Wild Horse & Burro Program, it states this:

Question:  What is the BLM’s response to allegations regarding wild horse sales to a South Dakota long-term pasture contractor, known as Spur Livestock, in 2008? (Updated September 2014)

Answer: The BLM cares deeply about the well-being of wild horses and burros, both on and off the range, and takes seriously all accusations of the slaughter of wild horses or burros.  These accusations were thoroughly investigated and the case was presented ot the U. S. Department of Justice who issued a letter of declination. The case has been closed.”
But, this contradicts the BLM’s answer to the question about the 1700 wild horses sold to Tom Davis (see below), in which the BLM states “Anybody that is found to have violated the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act should be held accountable.”
In fact, Spur Livestock, owned by Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson, continues to be under contract with the BLM.   It seems that the only thing the BLM cares deeply about is covering up the actions of its corrupt Wild Horse & Burro Program.
In furthering proof of BLM’s lack of transparency, the BLM didn’t post the actual declination letter so that the public could read the details.  The BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program should provide the public with information on all cases that it has brought to the attention of the DoJ, noting the reasons not to investigate or pursue prosecution, along with the rationale for those decisions.
As many of you know, the Department of Justice represents and defends the Bureau of Land Management in courts when wild horse advocacy groups and advocates file lawsuits against the BLM for it’s actions.
And, we’re all still sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the answer to this question:
Question:  What is the BLM’s reaction to allegations regarding horse sales to Tom Davis of Colorado, as reported by Pro Publica?
Answer: The BLM condemns any sale of wild horses for slaughter.  We care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and it has been (and remains) the policy of the BLM not to sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter.  We take seriously all accusations of the slaughter of wild horses or burros.  The Office of the Inspector General at the Department of the Interior has initiated an investigation into the situation and will work in conjunction with the State of Colorado throughout its investigation.  We look forward to the results of that inquiry.  Anybody that is found to have violated the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act should be held accountable.”
Anyone who violates the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act should absolutely be held accountable.  But they aren’t, and the BLM continues to spin public opinion with propaganda.

Slaughter-horse hauler’s sentencing delayed


Reported by Nancy Amons


A man who made his living shipping horses to slaughter in Mexico was in court Friday, but his punishment was delayed because of a hidden infusion of money.

This would have been the final chapter in the saga of Dorian Ayache, but there was a snag in his sentencing.

Ayache did not want to talk about his criminal case Friday, and he won’t learn his fate until January.

Ayache was the slaughter-horse hauler whose trucks overturned twice on the interstate, killing several horses.

Federal regulators cited Ayache for a long list of safety violations and for continuing to haul horses under a new company name, even after he’d been shut down by the government.

It turned out that most of the charges against Ayache couldn’t be criminally prosecuted. The case against him was falling apart.

Ayache appeared to be facing very little jail time, possibly even probation.

But Friday, Judge Aleta Trauger took a tougher stance. She was angry after learning Ayache inherited $300,000, but didn’t use any of the money to pay his fines.

Ayache owes the government about $36,000.

The federal prosecutor now wants Ayache to serve three months in prison. But because of the new information, the case was continued.

Trauger had some strong words for Ayache, saying even though the only charge that still stuck was a minor violation, she would consider his entire history.

“He is highly regulated by the government and he could care less what the government tells him to do,” Trauger said.

Slaughter Horse Shipper Indicted on Federal Charges

Source: Reported by Nancy Amons of WSMV

“Dorian Ayache has been indicted on a long list of federal charges…”

Click on Image to visit video, pics and comment

Click on Image to view video, pics and comment

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The man behind the Lebanon trucking company shuttered last year by the federal government after two interstate mishaps involving trailers loaded with horses headed to slaughter is in trouble again.

Dorian Ayache has been indicted on a long list of federal charges, including continuing to truck horses to slaughterhouses along the Mexican border even after his trucking company was shut down, and trying to destroy evidence.

Also charged is the owner of a second company, Theresa Vincent, who the government says continued the trucking operation, just under a new name.

Ayache first came to the Channel 4 I-Team’s attention in early 2012 when a load of horses he was hauling to slaughter tipped over on the interstate in Williamson County, killing three horses.

Then, it happened again a few months later, when another load of horses Ayache was sending to the meat packing plant overturned in south Nashville.

Both times, federal regulators cited his rigs and drivers for safety violations, and the U.S. Department of Transportation shut Ayache’s business down.

But as the I-Team reported in August 2012, we found Ayache continuing to operate under a new company name: Teri’s Farm.

Now, both Ayache and Vincent, the owner of Teri’s Farm, have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Investigators say Ayache continued to truck horses after the D.O.T. ordered him not to and then allegedly erased a series of emails in an attempt to cover it up.

Vincent is accused of lying to the grand jury, saying she hadn’t had phone contact with Ayache when she allegedly had.

There’s a third company involved in all this, too. According to the indictment, after the feds shut down Ayache’s Three Angels Farms and then Teri’s Farm, the investigators say Ayache continued to operate under a third name.

Click (HERE) to view video, pics and to comment

Colorado DA Opens Up Wild Horse Slaughter Probe

Salazar Crony Suspected of Shipping BLM Wild Horses to Slaughter Plants

Salazar’s Buddy Sinks Deeper into Slaughtered Wild Horse Mess

Colorado District Attorney David Mahonee said said in an interview for the Pueblo Chieftain on Thursday that he had opened an investigation into whether Tom Davis, who buys large quantities of wild horses from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), had illegally shipped the animals across the state line.

Mahonee, who had just returned from vacation, declined to discuss the details of the case against Tom Davis with reporter Matt Hildner, adding that he had yet to receive all of the information from the state Division of Brand Inspection.

State Brand Commissioner Chris Whitney said his office is asking local prosecutors to charge Davis for failing to comply with a state law that requires a brand inspection before shipping livestock out of state.

Davis had admitted in previous press interviews that he had purchased over 1,700 wild horses from the BLM and could not produce evidence of where they went or were currently located.

Of added concerns are that Davis is a neighbor to Ken Salazar, secretary of the Department of Interior, and reported to be a family friend. (Salazar oversees the BLM wild horse & burro program and recently threatened personal violence against a reporter on the Davis case.)

Whitney said he interviewed Davis Nov. 6 and confirmed the violation.

Penalties could range from misdemeanor fines to felony jail time.

What Happened to Horse Slaughter?

by Jerry Finch ~ founder/president of Habitat for Horses

“HfH will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses…”

Known Facts:

Right off from “Slaughterhouse” Sue’s website

Since around noon on Friday, October 12, the majority of horses in the US have finally been safe – at least from the threat of slaughter. Both the Canadian and Mexican plants received orders from the EU (European Union) that they will not accept meat from US horses.

Although rumors are flying all over, we do not know the real reason nor do we know if this is a temporary or permanent stay of execution. The EU should issue a statement early in the morning on Monday, October 15. The important word here is “should.”

Mexico is still slaughtering US horses for the Russian market. While that is only a small percentage of the former number of horses slaughtered, a few horses are still being accepted at the border and trucked to the slaughterhouse.

There is absolutely no way that the Russian market is big enough to accept the number of horses caught in the slaughter pipeline. The demand for US horses in Russia is simply not that great, plus many other countries are more than willing to step in should the EU slaughterhouses in Mexico close. Mexico also has a market for horsemeat, but they have around 4 million of their own horses that are quite capable of supplying enough for their market demands.

No one knows for certain, but best estimates are that between 5,000 to 7,000 US horses are now stuck in the pipeline while everyone waits for word from the EU. Everyone, including killer buyers and feedlots, were caught totally by surprise. We are receiving reports from feedlots, holding pens and auction houses that loose (slaughter) horses are being held.

Important fact – in every state, it is against the law to deny equine food, water and care. It is against the law to turn horses loose or to abandon them. In every state, the person in “care, custody and control” is the person who will be charged with the criminal act if any of these events occur. If you witness such an event – CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT!

Don’t waste time contacting Habitat for Horses or your local horse rescue. You are the witness, make the call. If they need assistance, any number of equine organizations are willing to step in, but know that equine rescues cannot step in and take charge of any horse without legal action being taken first.

Habitat for Horses will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses. They bought into making blood money off the bodies of dead horses and we will not relieve their financial disaster by sticking donated money in their pockets. Any money we receive will be spent buying hay, transporting and finding places for the horses. If we find any horse being denied feed or water by any auction house, feed lot or killer buyer, we will inform law enforcement and ask that charges be filed against them.

Please be aware and cautious when donating your money to any organization. In this situation, there will be a lot of scam artist popping up with heartbreaking stories of pipeline horses that “must be saved.” I cannot recommend enough that you deal only with equine organizations recognized, approved and accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the only organization for accreditation of equine organizations in the United States.

These GFAS approved organizations, with the help of the ASPCA and HSUS, can and will do everything in our power to aid and assist all equine caught in the pipeline. If this is the complete end of the slaughter of US horses for the EU market, it is a day of celebration. It is also a worst case scenario where once again, those that care have to step in and clean up the mess made by those who created it.

I hope everyone pays close attention to the reactions of the breed associations, mainly the AQHA and their brother organizations, the Farm Bureaus, the Cattlemen’s Association, the horse racing industry and all those who have so strongly promoted horse slaughter to see how quickly they step in with their millions of dollars and offer assistance.

Mass breeding will have to stop or the dollar value of registered horses will drop to zero. None of them will be able to use horse slaughter to cull their horse herds. While the next few years will be difficult for the horse industry, if they act as they should, the end result will be a slow increase in the value of all horses.

Another guaranteed reaction will come from the BLM and King Salazar, because their plans to slaughter 45,000 now captive wild horses was just erased from the option list.

There is a scene from “Casablanca” that so well portrays what is happening to horse slaughter in America right now. Rick’s “American” bar was just closed by the Germans.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

Croupier: Your winnings, sir. 

Captain Renault: Oh, thank you very much.

To all those who promote horse slaughter – why would you act surprised when you knew that practically every US horse is filled with prohibited drugs? We told you, the EU told you, the scientists told you, yet you ignored every warning and continued to sell and promote the selling of cancer causing, drug tainted horsemeat.

I would hope that the US Government is totally and completely embarrassed, once again, by the lack of any concern for food safety for any food product exported from the US. We lived through the horror of mad cow disease, with the known cause permitted by the our government. Yet you once again failed, horribly, to live up to any acceptable standard of food safety – and other countries have to step in and correct the situation.

When are we ever going reach a level of self control in our government when the words “A Product of the USA” actually means something to the rest of the world?

Stay tuned…

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Protest to Stop Wild Horse & Burro Roundups and Sales to Kill Buyers

Press Release from Protect Mustangs

American public outraged at cruel ‘management’

Wild Horses in BLM Holding, waiting to be sold to slaughter? ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

WASHINGTON (October 6, 2012)–Protect Mustangs announced on Facebook Friday their call for nationwide protests to stop the roundups and stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from selling federally protected indigenous wild horses to kill buyers.

“We are calling for peaceful protests as well as candlelight vigils so no more wild horses will die from roundups, be tortured by the helicopters or sold to kill buyers for delicacy meat abroad,” states Anne Novak, executive director for California based Protect Mustangs “The public is outraged.”

Last week ProPublica exposed the BLM selling at least 1,700 federally protected wild horses to known pro-slaughter buyer, Tom Davis, and the public is furious. The BLM is charged with managing and protecting wild horses–not selling them for $10 a head to a pro-slaughter middle man to reduce the numbers in holding due to years of fiscally irresponsible roundups.

“Members of the public who are active in their communities must let their friends, family and neighbors know they can contact Congress if they don’t like their tax dollars used to fund cruel roundups,” says Tami Hottes, Protect Mustangs’ outreach coordinator for the Midwest and South. “People are upset to learn about the BLM selling all those historic wild horses to a guy like Tom Davis. It’s disgusting.”

This week the Antelope roundup, in northeastern Nevada, started under the pretense of saving the wild horses from a drought stricken area.

“We are concerned the BLM is jumping on the drought opportunity to zero out herds for industrialization of public land–especially massive energy projects that could pollute the water,” explains Novak. “Our indigenous wild horses are environmental barometers. If they die from drinking the water then that’s a red flag something is poisoning the water out there.”

Novak continues,”If there is a real problem on the range then bring them aid in the field–don’t round them up and warehouse them at taxpayer expense. It won’t cost much to bring them hay and water for a few months to get them through a difficult time.”

In watching videos from the roundup it should be pointed out that these wild horses were actually in excellent shape and there is no sign they have been suffering from lack of water or forage this summer. They are efficient browsers.

Even though the BLM announced last spring they would bait trap, they are not keeping their word to the American public. The BLM continues with cruel helicopter roundups.

The contractor has been criticized in the past for deadly incidents that could have been prevented. Despite objections from advocates and members of the public, the BLM continues to hire the contractor.

At the Antelope roundup advocates from The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) recorded videos showing healthy horses stampeded into traps, foals terrorized by choppers and a terrified stallion jumping out of the capture corral breaking his leg and running away. He was then euthanized by the BLM.

During the roundup wild horses were traumatized with whips and a wild mare broke her neck and died in transport.

If these historic wild horses had not been rounded up surely they would be alive with their families roaming in the West.

Outraged members of the public are calling BLM officials requesting the roundups stop. Officials downplay the cruelty and trauma, claiming these were rare incidents and touting that roundups, also known as “gathers”, only have a 1% death rate.

“We disagree with their whittled down death rate,” states Novak. “For years we have caught the BLM avoiding the correct death count and misleading Congress about the true number of horses painfully dying in roundups. During winter 2010 more than 180 wild horses died or were euthanized as a result of the roundup but the BLM tried to rewrite the numbers.”

The federal agency, funded by Congress to manage wild horses and burros, attributes the gross majority of roundup deaths to pre-existing conditions when they are obviously roundup related. If the horses weren’t rounded up they surely would not have died at that time.

The BLM often kills indigenous wild horses for being “old” and claims it was a pre-existing condition. They also kill baby horses claiming they have leg deformities. The foals can’t tolerate being stampeded for many miles on their undeveloped baby feet and legs and suffer severe injuries and are euthanized. BLM resists taking responsibility for their heinous actions.

At roundups since 2009, advocates as well as members of the press and public have been pushed back from the trap site and the holding corrals. It appears the BLM wants to hide the cruel roundups and injured animals from public view.

“The Wild Horse and Burro Program avoids transparency because of their disgusting secrets,” states Novak. “The public has a right to know what’s happening at roundups and afterwards. The public wants to know how many federally protected wild horses have been sold to the slaughter middle men since 2005.”

In 2004, a stealth rider known as the Burns amendment was attached to the Congressional Appropriations Bill to allow unlimited sales of captive wild horses over the age of ten or those who have been presented at adoption venues (live or Internet) three times–even pregnant mares and one-year-olds called yearlings.

The recent ProPublica article, written by Dave Phillips, highlights a corrupt program and interviews a pro-slaughter middle man. According to ProPublica, ‘Tom Davis buys 100s of mustangs at a time, sight unseen, for $10 a head. BLM has sold him more than 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009.

“Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt,” he says.

“. . . but BLM’s Sally Spencer said it would be unfair for BLM to look more closely at him based on the volume of his purchases. “It’s no good to just stir up rumors,” she said.’

In 1997 Associated Press investigative journalist, Martha Mendoza, uncovered BLM’s internal corruption wherein adopted wild horses were quickly being sold to slaughter even by BLM employees who adopted them.

‘A multimillion-dollar federal program created to save the lives of wild horses instead is channeling them by the thousands to slaughterhouses where they are chopped into cuts of meat.

Among those profiting from the slaughter are employees of the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that administers the program.’

Mendoza’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) research and the story she exposed, forced the adoption program to change their protocol and only give title to the mustangs after one year to prevent the wild horses from being sold into the slaughter pipeline.

Today the BLM sends America’s living treasures to slaughter by selling them to the middle men who sell them to slaughter. Protect Mustangs asks Congress for a freeze on roundups, a freeze on sales and a full investigation into the ‘sale authority program’ since 2005.

The roundups ramped up in 2009 with the stimulus package push for the New Energy Frontier on public land and a new mandate to wipe out the wild herds of the West known as The Salazar Plan.

Despite nationwide protests in 2009-10 against the Secretary of the Interior’s plan, the majority of wild horses and burros were ripped from their family bands, taken off their land and the stallions were sterilized. President Obama ignored public outcry and Congress eventually fell for the BLM pleas for funding to ‘help the wild horses’.

In 2010, 54 members of Congress joined Congressman Raul Grijalva requesting a moratorium on roundups and a National Academy of Science (NAS) investigation into the broken program. Somehow the BLM has taken charge of the NAS investigation now called a “study” and is feeding the NAS the information instead of the Academy conducting independent research.

Today more than 52,000 wild horses and burros are living in captivity–mostly in the Midwest as specified in the Salazar Plan. Last year the controversial Wild Horse and Burro Program cost the American taxpayer 78 million dollars. Next year the cost will increase.

Protect Mustangs requests that Congress work with advocates to find a way to return wild horses to their wild lands in the West–to create biodiversity on the range–a win-win for wild horses, livestock, landowners, tourism and energy development on the New Energy Frontier. Their presence also helps greatly to reduce wildfires.

“Shrinking the numbers of wild horses left on public land today could be dangerous,” explains Kerry Becklund, director of outreach for Protect Mustangs. “Giving already small herds fertility control will ruin genetic viability and could create inbreeding.”

The BLM’s reproduction rates don’t account much for mortality within the herd. Often foals don’t live to be two years old but the BLM spin on population has them multiplying like rabbits.

Studies show predators such as mountain lions and coyotes reduce the wild horse foal population. Last summer several young foals were killed by coyotes at a BLM holding facility near Sparks, Nevada. Even so, the BLM hides the truth about predators reducing the population and continues to repeat they have no natural predators despite the fact they do.

“Show me a real independent headcount before we talk about fertility control,”says Novak. “There aren’t enough wild horses left on the range any more. The truth is that the BLM will continue to roundup wild horses to treat them with fertility control. Roundups have been deadly so far. Roundups are NOT the answer. Biodiversity is the answer.”

Novak continues, “More than 52,000 indigenous wild horses have been captured and are warehoused in government holding. Selling ‘excess’ wild horses to kill-buyers is a heinous act and must stop now as well as the gluttony of roundups”