Saturday, September 29, 2012

NOWHERE TO HIDE: CALLING FOR A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION OF BLM AS THEY SEND AT LEAST 1,700 WILD HORSES STRAIGHT TO -- WHERE?

    produced with DreamCatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary


For two decades many have known that somethings smells funny about the Bureau of Land Management ‘s “long-term holding” aspect of the wild horse program, and the foul odor isn’t coming from the horses.

The spiriting away of up to 11,000 captured wild horses yearly, who are rounded up and sent east into leased long-term holding pastures on private ranches behind locked gates where no private citizen is permitted to visit or verify unless a "public tour" has been arranged, has long aroused deep concern about the longterm holding program. Questions became suspicions about whether all the wild horses who arrived there were safely grazing away, living happily-ever-after, idyllic lives on rolling hills of green among their same-sex wild horse friends as BLM officials staunchly claim.

BLM’s Lili Thomas admitted that BLM did indeed sell wild horses straight out of longterm holding at a national public meeting in June 2010, stating they would not sort out and sell or adopt out an individual horse; rather, horses were sold by the truckload/trailer load to appropriate buyers.  Who would buy mature wild horses by the truckload, we asked?  BLM assured us buyers were appropriately screened. No answer was satisfactory or really made sense – until now.  

When I called BLM concerned about a shipment of wild horses intercepted on their way to slaughter in 2011, BLM'S Sally Spencer, Supervising Marketing Specialist in charge of BLM's adoption program, acknowledged she had approved that sale and told me we needed to have Congress change the law if we wanted to change how BLM does business.  Well, I'm writing to Congress to change the way Ms. Spencer does business for BLM.

Reading the article, the signs point to destination-slaughter:   Mr. President, Congress, Mr. Romney: Where are YOU with this?

This article reveals that the way Ms. Spencer has been conducting business for BLM is contrary to the public position BLM has consistently taken, i.e., that they do not sell horses to slaughter although they legally can do just that, which is why we need to press our Congressional representatives to change the law. 

I am personally sickened by the reality that Ms. Spencer, whose hand I have shaken, appears to be keeping her eyes wide shut to the virtually certain gruesome fate of at least 1,700 horses that we know about.

Even more eye-widening, most of these horses didn't even make it to longterm holding behind closed gates: these big, older horses were authorized by Ms. Spenser to be sold in trailer loads straight out of "short-term" pens, i.e., fresh off the range.  


IT IS TIME FOR A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION.   60 Minutes, Diane Sawyer, you want a story of intrigue and corruption evidently spanning decades?  Working with Wild Horse Education, journalist Dave Philipps has connected the dots, and we find that decades-old BLM duplicity and -- ?  We need a real investigation.


U P D A T E:  

Criticism  has been voiced by some about the timing of this story (since a parallel investigation into these issues was apparently ongoing), and it has confused some people.  I'm asked: "What should we do?"

Bring it back to the issue:  Look at the terrified, freshly captured horses in the photo above.
In the trap pen, lathered and steaming in below-freezing cold
From a practical reality position, the issue for us, the public, is clear:  the facts that we do have are now public, this story is now public, and we must not hesitate to voice our outrage and concern to our representatives.  We are responsible for the information we do have, which is not disputed, and debating about the story's timing is something we can and should do privately.  The facts are that while BLM is running out of places to put wild horses they keep removing, a pro-slaughter person (Calli Hendrickson) was appointed to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, and the public needs to be speaking up because the pro-slaughter forces are moving in.

We are calling for a Congressional investigation of BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program and Ms. Spencer's administrative leave immediately effective while she is investigated.  Even more troubling is BLM will likely say she was just doing her job as she approved the sales of  animals under the circumstances you are about to read in Dave Philipps' groundbreaking work, All the Missing Horses: What Happened to Wild Horses Tom Davis Bought from the BLM?

When you have finished reading and are ready to take action, click here to easily find your Senators' phone number and email address, and if you don't know who your representatives are, then click here to easily find your Congressional representatives and their phone and email information.

Read on...
All the Missing Horses: What Happened to the Wild Horses Tom Davis Bought From the Gov’t? 

A lone mustang who escaped the helicopters watches a Bureau of Land Management roundup in the Stone Cabin Valley in Nevada during the winter of 2012. (Dave Philipps)
The Bureau of Land Management faced a crisis this spring. 
The agency protects and manages herds of wild horses that still roam the American West, rounding up thousands of them each year to keep populations stable.
But by March, government pens and pastures were nearly full. Efforts to find new storage space had fallen flat. So had most attempts to persuade members of the public to adopt horses. Without a way to relieve the pressure, the agency faced a gridlock that would invite lawsuits and potentially cause long-term damage to the range. 
So the BLM did something it has done increasingly over the last few years. It turned to a little-known Colorado livestock hauler named Tom Davis who was willing to buy hundreds of horses at a time, sight unseen, for $10 a head. 

1 comment:

  1. This is disturbing,hardening,disgraceful, sickening and just plain heartbreaking. I'm speaking about our Reps - political leaders who we entrust to do good for the citizens here in our Nation. The lies that are told, one after the other is down right shameful. We The People should be demanding this to stop immediately, end it right now once in for all, the torturing of our horses. As compassionate people in the USA we need to stop having our beautiful horses brutally slaughter for other countries to have on their plate. If you choose to do nothening, your just as much the blame as the one's who are allowing this tragic event to continue. Please speakup, your action is needed now before it's to late and our wild horses are never to be seen ever again in America.

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