Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-N.M., House Subcommittee on Natural Resources ranking member, has penned a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke demanding answers about the Bureau of Land Management’s change to allow a buyer to purchase 24 wild horses or burros with no waiting period.
BLM instituted the policy change in a memo to field offices of May 24, but didn’t post the memo online until July.
Grijalva emphasizes that Congress has barred BLM from selling wild horses for purposes of commercial slaughter. He calls on Zinke to explain the reasoning behind the sale changes, as well as what steps are being taken to ensure wild horses and burros go to buyers that can adequately care for them and do not go to slaughter.
Under BLM’s previous policy, a single buyer could purchase no more than four wild horses or burros every six months without permission. Now, a buyer is allowed to purchase 24 without requesting special permission and the waiting period is eliminated — allowing one buyer to buy 8,760 wild horses in a calendar year.
Sale-eligible wild horses and burros are those that have been passed over for adoption three times or that are 10 years or older.
While BLM stresses that it’s against agency policy to sell to known kill buyers, asking no questions of buyers purchasing two dozen wild horses or burros at once opens wide a door to those that would truck them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. At this point, it’s unclear how many wild horses and burros may have already allowed to go to slaughter by the very agency tasked with their protection.
This yet another stealth maneuver on the part of BLM to lift sale restrictions without oversight and make it easier for those who wish to do so to dispose of federally protected wild horses and burros. These new instructions replace a policy put into place in 2012 that allowed an individual to buy only four horses ever six months in response to hundreds of wild horses being shipped to slaughter.
Click here to read: Grijalva letter to Zinke
Read the BLM memo changing the sale policy.
- Click to send a message to Congress
- Call your members of Congress at (202) 225-3121 (to find direct numbers, go to https://www.callmycongress.com).
Urge your senators to:
* Stand strong in Conference committee on the Senate’s language protecting wild horses and burros and on defunding horse slaughter, if the senator sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee (click for a list of members: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/about/members).
For senators *not* on the Senate Appropriations Committee: Ask them to tell members of the Conference committee that constituents do not want them to waiver either on protecting wild horses or defunding horse slaughter.
* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM policy increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;
* Support the SAFE Act (S. 1706) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter.
Urge your congressional representative to:
* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;
* Oppose the House version of the FY19 Interior Appropriations bill because it contains an amendment allowing for the mass sterilization of wild horses and burros; instead, ask your representative to support Senate language on wild horses being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;
* Oppose the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill because it does not include the horse slaughter inspection defund language; instead, ask your representative to support the Senate language being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;
* Support the SAFE Act (H.R. 113) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter;
* Support the Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 4040) to ban hauling horses on double-deck trailers under all circumstances.
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