Ed Roberson, assistant director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), said today at a meeting of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board that an investigation is being conducted into the sales by the agency to a known killbuyer are being investigated.
"I can confirm right now that the inspector general of the Department of Interior is investigating," said Roberson. Roberson declined further comment on the matter to KSL in Utah.
On September 28th journalist Dave Philipps broke the story on his investigation in ProPublica. The investigation revealed BLM sold a Colorado killbuyer named Tom Davis at least 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009, for $10.00 each. The government then paid shipping costs to deliver horses to Davis.
"When you or I can't go to a long-term facility and adopt a horse but you could buy a truckload, sight unseen for $10.00 you have to ask yourself seriously who does that?" said Lisa LeBlanc volunteer for Wild Horse Education (WHE) an advocate group that assisted in the investigation,"and a red flag does not go up for BLM when they sell someone almost two-thoudsand horses? Not likely."
Currently BLM claims it does not sell to killbuyers, carefully screens those that purchase and has them sign a written agreement that the horses should not be sold for slaughter.
In 2004 Senator Conrad Burns added a rider to an omnibus spending bill right before Thanksgiving recess. Many Senators did not know the rider making the sale of wild horses to slaughter legal was added to the document they signed.
Since that time public outrage has BLM claiming that it does not sell to slaughter. Congress added a stipulation to the budget that they would use no funding to ship horses to slaughter.
Why BLM sold Davis as many horses as they did and ask no questions remains a mystery. Why the agency used tax-payer dollars to ship horses to Davis is a mystery.
When will this investigation provide the answers? "No comment" from BLM at this time.