The Bureau of Land Management rounded up a horse herd that had roamed for decades on federal land in northwest Wyoming and handed the horses over to Wyoming officials.

They, in turn, sold the herd to the highest bidder, a Canadian slaughterhouse.

Wild horse advocates are incensed, saying they should have had a chance to intercede in the March roundup and auction. But the BLM says that the horses were abandoned, not wild, and that it publicized the sale beforehand.

"It would take very little to do this in a more effective way so that horses are not just sent off to slaughter indiscriminately," said Paula Todd King, of The Cloud Foundation, a Colorado-based advocacy group.

According to the BLM, the Wyoming horses weren't officially wild and protected by the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act, the federal law for maintaining many of the horse herds, some of which have roamed free in the West since the days of Spanish explorers more than 300 years ago.

The BLM bans wild horses from being sold for slaughter. Anybody who adopts a wild horse from the BLM must agree to provide it a home.

The horses in the Bighorn Basin's sagebrush hills descended from stray rodeo horses owned by Andy Gifford, a rancher and rodeo livestock contractor, in the 1970s, BLM spokeswoman Sarah Beckwith said.

Gifford had claimed the horses as his but never rounded them up before he died in 2009. That, plus the fact that the horses never interbred with wild horses, officially classified them as strays.

"Nobody had a permit to have these horses grazing on public lands," Beckwith said.

King questions that policy. "How long does a horse have to live wild and free before it's considered wild?" she said.

Area ranchers and farmers had long complained that  the herd grazed down pastures and damaged cattle rangeland.

On March 18 and March 19, a BLM contractor rounded up the 41 horses and handed them over to Wyoming officials. Within hours, the horses were sold for $1,640 to Bouvry Exports, a slaughterhouse based in Calgary, Alberta.

The BLM follows state laws for handling stray livestock, Beckwith said, and it had no option but to hand over the horses to the Wyoming Livestock Board. The state took three bids for the horses, state Brand Commissioner Lee Romsa said.

Bouvry Exports shipped the horses out of state, Romsa said. Phone messages for Bouvry Exports weren't immediately returned.

BLM officials had printed notices about the upcoming roundup in local newspapers and posted notices in local post offices.

The roundup wasn't unprecedented. Last summer, a federal judge allowed an American Indian tribe to sell 149 mustangs over the objection of critics, who claimed that the unbranded animals were federally protected wild horses.

The mustangs were among more than 400 on U.S. Forest Service land along the Nevada-Oregon line that the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe claimed belonged to them.

In the end, King said, more than 160 were sold to people who planned to take them to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, but local residents and rescue groups raised money to buy 150 of the horses to spare them.

The BLM rounds up stray livestock perhaps three or four times a year in the West. Usually they are cattle or sheep. Impoundments of large numbers of stray horses are far less frequent, said Robert Bolton, a senior rangeland management specialist for the BLM.

"That's a pretty sizable number, and they have been out there a long time," Bolton said of the Wyoming herd. "Normally, most of our impounds have been in the low numbers."

(47) comments

dd ric

It's good Cliven Bundy and his posse weren't there saying that those horses were his. ddric


They forgot to tell us there were 3 foals the Cloud foundation was able to save their mom's were sold to slaughter.


It was four foals, which is even worse. Thank you, picachu!


That's right there were four. Your welcome.


Sad just sad wonder if babies were born then the mothers were killed because of overload of human population would that be legal? I think not. Animals have FEELINGS.


I so agree that animals have feelings, unfortunately there are so many greedy jack wagons out there that think their poop don't stink and they can get away with murder. So unfortunate. Just like the dolphins and whales situation. The world is getting more and more greedy and humans have less interest in preserving and conserving. Geee, I wonder why the world is reeking havoc. Mother nature is speaking, so we need to listen to what she has to say.

Susan carter
Susan carter

Too bad Cliven Bundy was not claiming them as his own. They would still be on the range and not ground into burger meat. Seems the Ranchers are telling BLM what to do and how to do it, As for the Mc Dermitt horses, they were un-branded (just like the 41) and run off BLM land onto tribal land by BLM helicopters, in the preceeding days. BLM is on a concerted mission to rid the West of the last free-roaming Wild Horses.

Kool Kat

Attn Susan, I agree ... Cliven has the Feds scared of doing things they shouldn't be doing


First of all you can't believe anything that BLM or any branch of the Federal Government tells you. Their story is never the true story. And nothing they do is for the benefit of "We The People" who they took an oath to serve. Here lately, the BLM has been on a major land and animal grab.
There is no reason these horses could not have been found homes.
Yes, it is too bad these horses weren't on Clive Bundy's land. We need more people like him and all of his good supporters. Especially, The Oath Keepers.
People in Wyoming had best wake up, as the Feds will be coming after your land and animals next.
People had best be doing some research into Agenda 21 and wake up to what's really going on before it's entirely too late.
There's going to be a lot more land, horse and cattle thief by the Feds.

Morgan Griffith
Morgan Griffith

Bundy and his henchmen caused wild horses to be rounded up in Utah as part of his retaliation against the BLM's actions. BLM should have moved against him about 19 years ago and not let 20 years of payments go unclaimed. More and more ranchers are coming out in criticism of Bundy and his freeloading ways.


"Bundy and his henchmen caused wild horses to be rounded up in Utah as part of his retaliation against the BLM's actions."

Wow. Zero credibility. It doesn't matter what Bundy may or may not have done with a wild and crazy statement like that. Reality check: They were feral horses.


These are FERAL horses. They are far worse on the land than any cow ever is. Horses haze and attack deer, and Antelope out of an area where as cows do not. GOOD RIDDANCE to the feral horses. Now to get rid of the BLM. Soylent Green anyone?


You must be a rancher. Remove the cattle off of Blm land.


I am NOT a rancher. At least ranchers pay a fee even if it is small. All feral horses do is destroy the land and provide no good to anyone.


What part of the Cliven Bundy episode have you been missing LVHS77?


harry reid is a traitor and a liar. the blaze is anti-cattle anti-rancher pro BLM


Thank you, piachu.


The BLM makes things up as they go. This round up never should have happened. There were four orphaned foals. There was no auction. The horses were sold to Bouvry outright. I have not purchased any beef since the disaster in Fallon Nevada last August, so that's about nine months of business so far that the cattle industry has lost due to the mis-treatment of our nation's horses. Smarten up, cattlemen! You are losing customers.


These were FERAL horses. They should ALL be removed and disposed of. They destroy hunting. I am a hunter.


Allen - yeah right, you're a real hunter, probably as long as it doesn't take you too far from your truck or 4-wheeler.
your comments might be valid if horses existed in numbers anywhere near those of cattle but we already know that facts don't matter to you when there's a good rant to make.
you're always carping about people on social services on these thread but you support welfare ranchers. you must be either a rancher or a socialist.


whatever I don't own a 4 wheeler. As well I walk to my hunting area. I walk farther than I would bet you do. This about (wild) horses not 4 wheelers. I am not a Rancher, no am I a Socialist.


No, these were not "feral horses," LVHS77. If you disagree, please provide DNA evidence that I am wrong.

Additionally, it's the cattle that are destroying the land, so why aren't you against cattle? Is it because you are a welfare rancher cattleman/cattleperson?




I could careless if they are FERAL horses AND the fact that you are a hunter! People like you and your way of thinking are the problem. I have nothing against hunters as long as they are respectful and are mindful as to WHAT they hunt. AND they/YOU respect/obey our laws! You could care less if there is only one left on the face of this earth. And you would HAVE to have it! BS! They (wild/horses/mustangs) should be able to live a normal free life as you and I do. For crying out loud they were here before most of us speaking right now. Would you like someone coming after you, hunting you until you are extinct?! Yeah, didn't think so. SO quit being so dam anal, hurtful and aggressive LVHS77.


Clive Bundy didn't pay fees for 20 years LVH77.

Kool Kat

Attn picachu, according to the County where Bundy lives, and from news reporters (reporting on Hannity - Fox News) Bundy has been paying the County the fees. And under the Amendment X clause, it is State of Nevada land, not Federally owned.
But, Federally "MANAGED" Lands the BLM is the manager of the such lands that are in question. What is most shocking of all is, there was one a confirmation of an order to "shoot to kill" that has since been lifted, since BLM has backed off.
Therefore I'd say, all lands out west should become State Managed since the Federal Government can not contain itself. These cowboys on the range and their cowgirls were completely "unarmed". This would have been "total - unfettered murder" had they gone through with this?
I think Government needs its wings clipped and removed from State lands, since they had not till now attempted to collect "grazing fees". And collect their share from the County in Nevada.


I doubt that Bundy was unarmed. Look at the Militia that showed up. Here's Bundy unarmed militia right from channel 8 news in Nevada..


Bundy said "he tried to pay the fees he owes to the County." He did not pay them.

Bundy has been to court twice and lost both times. The BLM has been trying to get him to pay grazing fees over the past 20 years. That's why they've been back and forth in court.

Regarding the ownership of the land Bundy uses to graze his cattle:

In 1848, the United States, following the Mexican-American war, purchased the land of what is now the southwestern part of the country from Mexico and paid $15 million. Present day Nevada and California were a part of that purchase along with Utah, most of Arizona, and the western portions of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico .

These purchases and claims by the people of the United States of western lands established federal ownership of those lands.

How did Nevada differ in the Amount of Lands Acquired from the Federal Public Lands?

Upon admission states were given two sections of public land in each township for schools. Nevada, however, did not want those scattered "desert" lands. (Who could blame them?)

Instead Nevada petitioned Congress to trade those sections for 1 million acres of land anywhere in the state. Congress ultimately granted Nevada a choice of any 2 million acres of un-appropriated lands. Nevada selected 2 million acres of the best land (near or with water) and promptly sold all of it to private uses.

The land belongs to the Federal Government which in turn belongs to all of the US citizens.

Kool Kat

Attn tntmac, that's the point ... under the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, lands from within that sovereign state can not be owned by anyone else, other than the People and the State Government.
Therefore the misconception that Government "owns" land in Nevada is plain unconstitutional to have it that way. As Article 4 Section three of the US Constitution clearly point to that.
Section. 3.
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
Again, only the State Legislature and the Congress can allow for another "State within a State". And in this case here, the federal Government has never been invite to "own sections of Nevada, and even Wyoming" for that matter.
The quote you just gave me is nothing but, hearsay and rhetorical nonsense that goes against the US Constitution. As there are no other clauses within the Constitution on doing what is claimed.


Simple solution Put hunting seasons on horses Just one would fill my freezer nicely. Then the state would make money without taxes


What it all comes down too is "We The People" have no vote or say with anything anymore..OMG the Cattle have more pull and say as to what and how our "Public Lands" are used and managed by the Federal Government that we elected into office.By the People And For The People when..If the majority vote said Stop Killing Our Wild Horses and all others that we vote for..My thinking..Those Non-Wild Horse's were on "Public Land" so much for that..Not wild because your definition's were not met by said Horses. Well I swear That is how I feel about the BLM and the job they are doing "Managing" "Public Lands". And I want to say thank you those of you who truly have the best interest of our wild life in your heart and hands.Please keep up the fight with us.And you are the only ones on the "Front Lines" that can honestly say whats up...Ranchers/Cattle should be held accountable for the over grazing and said destruction of land.Do they no longer have to survey allotted lands before they move Cattle upon it.Do they have a Ratio of number of Cattle to allotted acreage of land.that would not allow the over "grazing/destruction".Are they held accountable..Stupid question. Wild Horse's are...All I have left to say is BLM you are lousey at managing Our Public Lands..FGWs and Forestry should be held accountable also.Those of you that take your job to heart and are there for our Wild Life/Lands I Thank You.


the horses were here before the cows. The buffalo were here before the cows. It is a sad state of affairs when you took the land away from the Indian tribes now you are KILLING INNOCENT ANIMALS. THERE IS NO JUSTICE ANY LONGER.


Hunt the horses. put them in the freezer, cook them, and then eat them.


After raising cattle a good portion of my life, I've seen the damage and destruction that cattle can do to land. The over-graze areas where the grass is better. They stomp and trample grasses that other animals will eat, such as Elk and Antelope. Any where there is a creek, river, or small pond, cattle will completely ruin, as they congregate in such areas at certain times of the day when they are chewing their cuds. And they will stand in the water, and poop and urinate in the water, making it unsuitable for anything else to drink. And then in turn, they will still drink that tainted water. Yummy, how's your appetite for beef now?
I also had horses for a good many years, and I can honestly tell you, the damage that they do is little to nothing, compared to the damage that cattle do. This is why cattle need so many, many acres to live on. The more acres they are given, the more damage they do. I've given up eating beef completely. Even if ranchers 'claim' that the beef they raise is grass-fed, once they are sold, they end up in feed yards, where they are fed hormones, antibiotics, chicken litter mixed with molasses so that the cattle will eat it. How's your appetite for beef now?
So, I say, get rid of the cattle off the wild horse's ranges, and get them mustangs back on their ranges where they belong. I would someday like to go and see them, ranging wild and free, as they were meant to be.


the game and fish is needing revenue the governor's going to tap into the rainy day account or some account to help fund the game and fish I say yes hunting season revenues 4 the game and fish from the horses and by the way maybe downsize the multi-million dollar game and fish facility in Jackson Hole Wyoming


Why can't we American's stand up for what America stands for. FREEDOM! The freedom to be free including these beautiful and majestic wild mustangs/horses that have been roaming and running free for many years if not decades in our country not to be sold to other countries to be slaughtered! Such ignorance and pure greed! No heart or feelings!


The title is misleading - BLM agents did not sell the horses.

BLM agents herded a large group of wild horses in WY before ceding control of the majestic animals to state authorities.

At that point, Wyoming officials sold them off to a slaughterhouse in Canada.

WY could have held an auction and let people bid on them. :-(


It was the Wyoming Livestock Board who sold them directly to slaughter, and they should contact the slaughter house and get the horses back to save face, help the horses, and the slaughter house could make some extra money in the meantime.


Legitimate horse protection groups (and members of the Wyoming press) have called
Bouvry Exports Calgary Ltd, PO Box 2024, Fort Macleod, AB T0L 0Z0 at 403-553-4431. The Cloud Foundation received a blunt "NO... These horses are headed to slaughter," and investigative reporters have not had phone calls returned. The killer buyer is not going to play nice when so much profit is involved. Once title is passed, they do not have to turn these poor horses back.

Just this morning, I wrote an e-mail to the Cody BLM Field Office, the Wyoming Livestock Board, and numerous individuals in horse protection circles asking them to create a memorandum of understanding, where communication from the agencies involved would include direct notification to horse rescue groups that these horses will be gathered, processed, and available on a certain date at a specific location. Public Notice involves the posting of the intent to gather, processing for a health certificate on each horse (including a Coggins, I assume), and an auction. While it seems that the killer buyers were informed of the availability of these horses, the horse protection groups were not. I live in Cody and never read public notices either in the post office or the Cody Enterprise. Perhaps I should, but I also think there have to be amended notification procedures.

Yes... the Wyoming Livestock Board and the Cody BLM could have made provisions for saving these horses from the captive bolt, but there was no will to do so. I guess we shall have to use both public relations, to stir up the public, and legal or legislative means to change the system. Contact the Wyoming Livestock Board, the Wyoming BLM State Office... both in Cheyenne... as well as your delegates to the Wyoming Legislature. A quick search on the Internet will give you contact information. Let all of them know your disapproval and disappointment. Homes were available for ALL 41 horses.

This has happened before in Wyoming, and it will happen again unless the public uses its outrage to turn policies and laws around. I recommend peaceful interaction and friendly persuasion.


Disgusting. Slaughterhouses should be prohibited from bidding process.


BLM you are a bunch of sick idiots. You guys need to be rounded up, & sold off to be slaves, then slaughtered yourselves.




Can the states declare the District of Columbia common property? The states must reassert sovereignty except in specifically constitutional matters. The Federal Bureaucracy must be abolished if freedom is to survive. Pray and stand!


SIGN PETITIONS TO STOP THE BLM THAT IS HOW WE STOP THIS! They are MURDERING America's Horses for Fracking and destroy our water thanks to Cheney's antics in the White house and letting the Ranchers use the land for nothing until its totally poisoned form Fracking. Wake UP people and stand your ground or it will be happening in your back yard next....


Our history and the Spanish and Native American history is steeped in the introduction of the horse to the plains of Wyoming. The horse is an important part of the western landscape. We must preserve our heritage. Keep these creatures wild and free.


This is not right, it is acting like God, and He would not destroy our wild horses. What the People want is not listened to and what we say is ignored. These horses are our legacy, our heritage, our special, historical, beautiful, natural, lovely God given gift for people to enjoy. They visit from all over the country and world to see these equines in the wild. How can the BLM, The State, and anyone in charge of this, send these precious horses to slaughter? It is unconscionable and the ones that do this have no interity, love or ability to discern the right thing to do. I am appalled at this and will fight them as long as I can, and spread the news to the world.


BLM is a worthless entity. Management isn't key here...devastating the habitat of our wild creatures is. The history of the lineage of these incredible is something every animal lover should know...having been brought to this land by Spanish explorers and referred to as "mustengos" (forever free, wild) but were it not that would they have less a right to exist than not? It is horrendous to say the least that the Burea of 'Land Management' continues to round up these magnificent creatures, many of which die or are put down because of the cruel method of roundups. When will commonsense of man prevail. Humans do not own this planet...we are here to do no harm, and yet we are devastating our planet and our wild creatures are being slaughtered because of the greed of man!

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