Increased Scrutiny for BLM Mustang Sales

The changes respond to reports that an individual purchased numerous mustangs, then sold them for slaughter.

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Single buyer purchases of five or more wild horses or burros from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over a six-month period will come under tougher agency scrutiny if proposed changes to BLM mustang and burro sales contract are approved.

BLM Spokesman Tom Gorey said that proposed draft language would amend the agency’s sales contract to require that sales of five or more wild horses or burros during a six month period by a single buyer will require authorization of the BLM’s Assistant Director for Renewable resources. The changes remain pending under review, he said.

Gorey said that the changes respond to recent reports that since 2009, Colorado-based livestock hauler Tom Davis purchased more than 1,700 mustangs from the BLM, then sold the animals for slaughter in Mexico. The current BLM mustang and burro contract forbids buyers from knowingly selling or giving away animals for processing into commercial products; those who do sell or otherwise transfer horses for processing face federal charges.

"It’s a definite fact that (Davis) bought 1,777 horses from our agency," Gorey said. "In all we sold 5,400 horses since 2005, and he has been our biggest buyer

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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