Sunday, November 08, 2015

Wild horses sold by BLM may have gone to N.M. ‘kill buyer’

Some of the nearly 1,800 wild horses a Colorado rancher bought from the Bureau of Land Management and sold for slaughter — contrary to federal law — may have gone through a New Mexico livestock broker in Los Lunas who already has been in legal trouble for violating state livestock rules. An Oct. 23 Department of the Interior report by the Office of Inspector General found thousands of horses were shipped by Southwest Livestock Auction in Los Lunas to slaughterhouses in Mexico. Some of those horses might have been BLM wild horses sold for $10 each to a La Jara, Colo., rancher named Tom Davis. According to the federal investigation, first reported last week by The Washington Post, Davis purchased 1,794 BLM horses between 2008 and 2012. He told investigators recently that he was sure most of those animals went to slaughter, though it is illegal under a federal law to sell wild horses for meat. Davis told investigators he was friends with a “kill buyer” — Dennis V. Chavez, who has owned Southwest Livestock for 20 years. Chavez faced state charges in 2013 for what appeared to be poor conditions of some horses found at his facility. His operation — and potential lapses in state livestock inspection procedures — could face new scrutiny due to issues that have come to light during the federal probe...more

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