(Article changed on February 5, 2013 at 16:39)
By Debbie Coffey
wild horses bearing a BLM 'No Brand" brand, head for slaughter by ThisCantBeHappening
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to convince the public that the BLM does not sell wild horses to slaughter, but the Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained proof that a BLM Long Term Holding contractor sold wild horses directly to kill buyer Joe Simon, who is well known for sending horses to slaughter, and who owns JS Ranch ("Farms") in Perkins, Oklahoma.
To give a little background, the BLM uses lame excuses to remove wild horses from their federally protected Herd Management Areas while letting other "uses" take over. For instance, BLM claims wild horses cause "degradation" to the range, but then allows oil and gas drilling (and fracking) on the same land, which does far more damage. The BLM uses helicopters to round up the wild horses, then puts the horses in short-term holding facilities, maintenance facilities, and ultimately, ships horses to same-sex long-term holding pastures, where the public is led to believe the horses will spend the rest of their lives.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has actually rounded up so many wild horses off of public lands that were designated as the horses' federally Protected Herd Management areas, to make way for oil & gas drilling, mining and other "uses," that the BLM now has more wild horses in same-sex holding facilities than are on public lands.
The BLM's Wild Horse & Burro Program is facing mounting costs, too. The BLM is requesting over $44.5 million for short and long-term holding facilities in the 2013 President's Budget. The BLM is using a loophole created by the Burns Amendment to sell/give wild horses to people who then sell the horses in a pipeline to slaughter. The BLM states that they don't sell wild horses to slaughter, but the reality is that the agency turns a blind eye to obvious signs on documents they see, as the wild horses are being sold to slaughter.
Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for such a long-term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.
Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, "owner" Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with "BLM tattoos" to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.
It is important to note that state brand boards do not "recognize" BLM freezemarks (which BLM puts on the left side of wild horses' necks after they are captured) as official "brands," so the state brand board inspectors may completely ignore the BLM freezemarks and instead, record that wild horses have "no brand."
It is also important to note that if someone buys a wild horse from the BLM, they can then put their own brand on the horse, and state brand board inspectors may then note only the new brand in their records (since it is "recognized") and not the BLM freezemark (which they don't "recognize"), but which would identify a horse as a wild horse on public records. State brand inspectors can thus eliminate any traces of wild horses on their official records.
On the Spur Livestock 11/8/2008 sale (besides the fact that 34 horses with "BLM tattoos" were sold), the words "Freeze brand" are written under the brand symbol for the other 36 horses in this sale (a total of 70 horses). The words "Freeze Brand" aren't written under this brand symbol on any other Local Ownership Inspection Certificates, or under any other brand symbols.
Another important detail stands out. In looking at over three years of Local Ownership Inspection Certificates of horses by Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Spur Livestock, this sale of 70 horses seems to be the largest sale of horses.
Looking at the fact that Spur Livestock claimed itself to be the "owner" of the wild horses on this South Dakota State Brand Board Local Ownership Inspection Certificate, did Spur Livestock claim to own the wild horses that the BLM warehouses on this property? Or were these horses the wild horses that Jim Reeves bought from the BLM?
BLM Sales records obtained through a Freedom in Information Act (FOIA) request indicate Jim Reeves bought 72 wild horses (2 truckloads) from the BLM about one and two months before he sold the 34 BLM wild horses with BLM freezebrands and 36 branded horses directly to Joe Simon.
On 9/9/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 geldings, ages 11-13, from the Canon City Maintenance Facility (prison) in Colorado.