Dear Ms. Berardo:

Thank you for contacting me about the “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009” (S. 727). I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

In 2007, the only three horse-slaughter plants in the country were closed, ending the domestic slaughter of horses for human consumption. Unfortunately, these closures led to an increase in exports to Mexico and Canada of horses meant for slaughter. These countries have slaughter policies that are much less humane than our own. Accordingly, the “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009” would effectively ban the shipment, transport, or purchase of horses or horse flesh for the purpose of human consumption. I am pleased to inform you that I am an original cosponsor of this legislation.

The “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009” has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. While I am not a member of this Committee, please be assured that I will continue to support this legislation as it moves through the legislative process.

Thank you again for contacting me.


Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the euthanasia of wild horses. I appreciate your taking the time to write.

I understand your concerns and opposition to the euthanasia of wild horses on public lands. It is my understanding that private individuals have come forward to help the BLM with the adoption process and my staff has contacted the BLM to raise these concerns. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently proposed a plan to relocate many of the horses and burros to the Eastern part of the United States, and I assure you that I am monitoring the situation as it progresses. I strongly support the adoption of wild horses as a method of regulating their populations on public lands, and your comments are helpful as we evaluate this issue in the Senate. I would also like to encourage you to make your comments known directly to the BLM. To leave a comment with the BLM and to learn more about the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, please visit,

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of issues of importance to you and your community.


United States Senator

Phone:  (202) 224-5521
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Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator


Dear Mr. Cisco Aka Mustang Jack 

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern for the

 Bureau of Land Management’s proposal regarding wild horses. 

 Your opinion is very important to me, and I appreciate the

opportunity to respond to you on this critical matter.

As you may know, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

 manages the number of wild horses and burros in BLM-managed lands.

  As such, they gather thousands of these horses and burros and offer

them for adoption or sale.  A recent study by the Government

Accountability Office (GAO) reported that there are limited

options for dealing with the un-adopted and unsold animals

and that the cost of maintaining these animals has increased significantly. 

 However, I am concerned about any plan to slaughter healthy horses

simply for management purposes. Please be assured that I will

continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to protect 

wild horses from needless slaughter. You will be pleased to know

that I am a proud Cosponsor of S. 727, which would have amend

 the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting,

moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling,

or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for

 human consumption. I look forward to continuing to fight for

 animal rights and advocate for their humane treatment as I have

 done continuously throughout my tenure in Congress. Again,

thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  Please do not hesitate

 to contact me if I may be of more assistance.  I invite you to visit my

website ( to learn of other important issues

to New Jersey. 

Dear Senator Menendez,
I want to thank you for replying to my email and addressing my
concerns for the wild horse situation. In your return email to me,
dated January 3, 2010, you have expressed some very valid points
 regarding humane treatment of the horses while under BLM care.
However Sir, I believe that you failed to recognize the
importance of the BLM’s insistent unnecessary over managing of
wild horse herds. The answer to preventing the stockpiling of
Americas iconic equine, is not to keep rounding them up and
 exacerbating the problem. That in turn only increases the cost to
tax payers and creates an even bigger paradox of finding a
 solution for the problem which you so have mentioned.
The Bureau of Land Management has continuously neglected
to provide the American public with sufficient scientific methods
 that determine that the wild horses have and are exceeding their 
Appropriate Management Levels. (AML).
As you may know each wild horse band has it’s  own set of issues 
regarding their impact on their respective ecosystems. The BLM has 
negligently used the same standardized methods for determining
  Animal Unit Months (AUM) vs Appropriate Management Levels
(AML). There is no clear science to their (BLM) nomenclature and
they continue to deceive the American public by posting unverifiable
 census reports.
The number of wild horses and burros that the BLM reports are 
continuously contradicting from one month to the next. 
Wild horse advocates believe that the entire management program
should be suspended so that an accurate census of the wild horse and
 burro population can be conducted to determine their true numbers.
The census should not only apply to the horses on the rangelands 
but it should also apply for all the horses that are claimed to be in
 the dozens of BLM holding facilities. 
The one and most important question that the American public
 would like to know most of all is, where are the 33,000 horses
that are supposed to be still in BLM long term holding? Numerous
emails and phone calls have been made by the American public imploring
 the BLM to account for ALL wild horse and burros by a show of
 good faith and provide accurate records of their care.
The BLM must be encouraged to allow the American public
to select and dispatch a legitimate auditing panel of experts to
 assist the BLM in taking an inventory of all horses and burros
 held on and in, private and public property. 
We wild and domestic horse advocates appreciate your support and
will continue to fight for the fair treatment of horses on and off the ranges.
Thank you again for your support and for replying to my email.
                                                                                          Tony Cisco
                                                                           Wild Horse Advocate and Analyst




“I believe that my investigation was obstructed all along by persons within the BLM because 

they did not want to be embarrassed,” the prosecutor, Alia Ludlum, wrote in a memo last 

summer. “I think there is a terrible problem with the program and with government agents 

placing themselves above the law.” 

Mrs. Ludlum’s memo is among thousands of pages of grand jury documents in the case 

obtained by The Associated Press. Those documents also show that the grand jury foreman was 

incensed that federal officials were blocking the investigation and that his requests to indict them 

were ignored. 

Mrs. Ludlum, 35, formerly an assistant U.S. attorney, is now a federal magistrate judge at the 

courthouse in Del Rio, which serves West Texas. She refused to be interviewed for this story, but 

she acknowledged the authenticity of documents obtained by the AP. 

Spokesmen for the Departments of Justice and the Interior denied that their agencies had done 

anything wrong, but they refused to answer questions. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who 

oversees the BLM and by law is responsible for protecting wild horses, refused to be 


Wild horses and burros, which compete with domestic cattle for forage, have been protected 

by federal law for 25 years. The BLM decides how many animals can survive on public lands, 

rounds up the excess animals and lets people adopt them for about $125 apiece. After a year, an 

adopter can receive a title to an animal, if the BLM finds the animal is receiving proper care. 

The law says it is a crime to kill a wild horse or burro taken from public land. It prohibits 

anyone who adopts one of the animals from selling it for slaughter. 

Mrs. Ludlum wanted to indict BLM officials for allowing horses to be slaughtered. 

Recent AP investigations have found that thousands of the horses are eventually sold for 

slaughter, and that the whereabouts of tens of thousands of adopted but never titled animals are 

unknown. The BLM has attacked the AP’s reports, saying its investigations show that slaughter 

“is occurring to a far, far lesser degree than was alleged.” 

Although Mr. Babbitt refused to speak, the last person to serve as his chief at BLM said Mr. 

Babbitt has known all about problems in the wild horse program for a long time. 

Jim Baca, who quit as BLM director in 1994 after a falling out with Mr. Babbitt, said in an 

interview that he discovered the program was in turmoil and wanted to take steps to correct it. 

He said Mr. Babbitt told him to back off. 

“The orders were: ‘Don’t make waves, we’ve got enough problems,”‘ Mr. Baca said, adding 

that his efforts to shake up the program went nowhere. 

“Babbitt thought it might cause problems and he didn’t want any controversy, he didn’t want to 

make anybody unhappy, and so this program just festered,” Mr. Baca said. “When they wanted 

me to leave BLM, that was one of the reasons they gave me: ‘Why the hell are you raising 

problems about horses?”‘ 

At the time, Mr. Babbitt attributed Mr. Baca’s departure to “different approaches to 

management style and consensus-building.” Meanwhile, the federal investigation in Texas had 


Records show that the grand jury saw evidence and heard testimony that: 

 BLM agents placed 550 horses with dozens of people who were told they could do as they 

wished with the animals after a year, including sell them for slaughter to make money, which is 

against the law. 

 The BLM ignored its own regulations and gave the Choctaw Indian Nation 29 newly born, 

unbranded colts to sell so the tribe could raise cash to pay the BLM for a mass adoption of 115 

wild horses, which is against the law. 

 A Texas BLM compliance officer, Don Galloway, arranged to keep 36 horses for himself and 

told two undercover investigators he planned to sell them for slaughter, which is against the law. 

 BLM managers pressured employees not to talk to investigators. In one case, a BLM district 

manager tipped off the subject of a search warrant that law enforcement agents were about to 

visit his house, which is against the law. 

 BLM officials falsified adoption documents and falsified computer records of brand 

identification numbers used to track adopted animals, which is against the law. 

“We want these charges filed and we want to be notified of what was done, regardless of who 

these people are, please, ma’am,” the grand jury foreman told Mrs. Ludlum, according to 


When the BLM in Washington realized the case was pointing in its direction, agency Law 

Enforcement Chief Walter Johnson wrote a letter to the Interior Department’s internal watchdog, 

the inspector general, to register his concern. 

“As the investigation continued, the scope and complexity … increased to include scores of 

individuals including allegations against private citizens, and middle and upper management of 

the BLM,” he wrote. 

Mr. Johnson also sought assistance from the FBI’s public corruption unit. FBI officials refused 

to comment. 

The Del Rio case was shut down in July 1996. 

The whole affair had begun with an affable old cowboy as its central character: Mr. Galloway. 

Federal law restricts horse adoptions to four per person, per year. With his managers’ support, 

Mr. Galloway was approving adoptions of more than 100 horses at a time by having one person 

gather signatures from family, friends and neighbors. 

Using this technique, Mr. Galloway had placed more than 5,000 horses with adopters over 

about seven years. His work was commended by his superiors. 

“I was doing my job, I was moving horses. I followed the law,” Mr. Galloway said in a 

telephone interview from his home in Colleyville, Texas. 

People within the program carefully skirted the issue of what would eventually happen to the 

horses, Mr. Galloway said. “Intent. That’s the big word. I didn’t know anybody’s intent.” 

Mr. Galloway figures nearly all the horses he found homes for have been slaughtered by now. 

“We’d wear out a new car looking for those horses and not find but 10,” he said. 

Bill Sharp, who worked for the BLM with Mr. Galloway before retiring in 1994, denies any 

wrongdoing but acknowledged in an interview: “If I really was worried about intent then I 

probably wouldn’t have adopted out any horses, because I believe 90 percent of these horses go 

to slaughter.” 

Mr. Sharp said they were working under the direction of Steve Henke, now a BLM district 

manager in Taos, N.M. Mr. Henke refused to comment. 

In 1992, Mr. Galloway arranged an unusual adoption — for himself. He placed 36 horses on a 

Texas ranch. The ranch owner’s daughter said her father told her Mr. Galloway planned to “keep 

them on our ranch and then sell them for 60 cents a pound for slaughter.” 

Mr. Galloway denied he planned to kill the horses. However, an investigator said in a sworn 

affidavit that Mr. Galloway told undercover agents he intended to “get rid of all of them in a 

year, probably to the killer (slaughterhouse buyer).” 

This evidence, which surfaced in 1992, later launched Mrs. Ludlum’s case, which quickly 

broadened when investigators learned Mr. Galloway’s supervisor, Mr. Henke, had alerted him 

that agents were en route to his house. 

“You didn’t clean out your files?” an investigator later asked Mr. Galloway. 

“Well, a little bit,” he replied, according to a grand jury transcript. 

Mr. Henke and Mr. Sharp pleaded with Mr. Galloway to keep quiet or “a lot of people would 

lose their jobs,” according to an agent’s summary of the case. 

Evidence emerged that Mr. Henke had three stallions killed at a BLM sanctuary in 1992 and 

faked information on a horse adoption form to make it appear the horses were adopted by 

Choctaw Indians. He then ordered staffers to enter false information into the department’s 

computer database of horse records. 

Mr. Henke later said the horses had to be killed because they were breeding, had undescended 

testicles and could not be castrated easily. “Since my involvement with the program, I may be 

guilty of poor judgment, but I have never knowingly done or approved any 

illegal activity for personal gain,” he said in a memo. 

As investigators probed more deeply, they found hundreds of discrepancies 

between BLM computer records and the brand numbers of horses the BLM 

had on hand. At one point, a top BLM manager tried to obtain investigators’ 

records to update the BLM’s computer so it would match the records held by 


Mrs. Ludlum began assembling evidence for a grand jury in 1994. Within 

months, attorneys from the Justice Department became directly involved. 

They met in Washington to discuss the case. They flew to West Texas to 

interview people, study testimony and talk to Mrs. Ludlum. 

“The rumor is spreading throughout the BLM that DOJ was called in to shut 

the case down,” Mrs. Ludlum wrote in a memo after one meeting. 

Mrs. Ludlum became especially concerned that one attorney in the Justice Department’s 

Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, S. Jonathan Blackmer, wanted her 

to limit the scope of her case. She worried in a memo that Mr. Blackmer’s section chief, James C. 

Kilbourne, wanted to “solve problems” with Anne H. Shields, then deputy solicitor at the 

Department of the Interior. 

Ms. Shields had previously worked with Mr. Blackmer and Mr. Kilbourne in the natural 

resources division at Justice. She had left Justice to join Mr. Babbitt’s new administration at 

Interior. Mr. Babbitt promoted her to be his chief of staff in 1995. 

“Something smells fishy,” Mrs. Ludlum wrote to her boss. “I am sure that ‘stuff’ is happening 

in Washington concerning my case that I surely don’t know and can never hope to know.” 

“I just don’t understand how 36 horses could cause such overwhelming governmental distress 

unless there are lots of problems and we are not supposed to find out what the problems are or to 

solve the problems. I don’t like what is happening.” 

Mr. Blackmer, Mr. Kilbourne and Ms. Shields refused to comment. 

In 1995, Mrs. Ludlum’s grand jury issued subpoenas intended to inventory more than 1,200 

horses at a BLM sanctuary in Bartlesville, Okla. They were on the trail of discrepancies between 

horse brands recorded in the BLM’s computer and the horses actually on the range. 

Then an Interior Department lawyer in New Mexico, Grant Vaughn, wrote a letter telling the 

prosecutor that his agency could not comply with the subpoenas. 

Then a lawyer from the Interior Department in Washington, who worked for Ms. Shields, 

became directly involved. 

Solicitor Tim Elliott said that while his involvement in such cases is rare, his supervisors 

wanted him to help establish who was in charge of the Del Rio probe and to clarify the adoption 


“While I was there we did not talk about any of the specifics of the case, who were targets, 

who was under investigation,” he said in an interview. 

However, in letters to Justice Department officials obtained by the AP, Mr. Elliott argued that 

subpoenas should be dropped and he declared which BLM law enforcement agents would be 

allowed to assist with the case and which ones would not. 

The investigator chosen by the BLM, Greg Assmus, re-interviewed witnesses and violated 

instructions from the prosecutor. “I will not deal with agents I do not trust,” the prosecutor 


Mr. Assmus refused to comment. 

At one point Mr. Galloway, still the main target of the investigation, was paid by the BLM to 

round up the very horses he’d earlier threatened to have slaughtered. 

In January last year, Mrs. Ludlum’s boss, acting U.S. Attorney Jim DeAtley, pressed Mrs. 

Ludlum to bring charges within 30 days. Then, in February, he said to wait while a Justice 

Department lawyer in Washington, Charles Brooks, prepared an analysis of the case. Mr. Brooks’ 

memo, calling the case weak, came in April. 

Mr. Brooks challenged Mrs. Ludlum. 

He acknowledged that her investigation had uncovered long-standing problems with the horse 

adoption program and a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to slaughter. 

However, Mr. Brooks said, it had already been decided a year earlier — at a meeting of Justice 

Department, Interior Department and BLM officials — that the Texas criminal investigation 

would be limited to Mr. Galloway and not “other possibly fraudulent adoptions and the 

widespread irregularities in the management of the horse adoption program.” 

The case against Mr. Galloway alone should be dropped, Mr. Brooks argued. “While the loose 

procedures here might be typical of what is happening in the adoption program everywhere, the 

particular facts here make this a poor case to make this point.” 

Mrs. Ludlum was angry. 

“It is obvious that Charles and or his bosses do not want the case prosecuted, period, and will 

come up with any excuses to make it go away,” Mrs. Ludlum argued in a memo to her boss. 

Mr. Brooks refused to comment. 

The U.S. attorney in San Antonio ordered the case closed in July. Several U.S. attorneys from 

around the country said that it is very rare for Washington officials to pressure local prosecutors 

to close any case. 

Justice Department spokesman Bill Brooks would not discuss the Del Rio matter, saying only: 

“Any notion that Justice tried to quash a case is just not true. When we have evidence that 

supports bringing a case, we bring one.” 

Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility began a review of 

the way its attorneys behaved in the case after one BLM agent who worked on the investigation, 

John Brenna, complained there were conflicts of interest. Justice Department officials refused to 

release records of that inquiry, saying the case is still open. 

“If you have ineffective enforcement and prosecutions, it’s as if there is no law,” said Steve 

Sederwall, a retired BLM agent who also worked on the Texas case. 

Earlier news reports about the Del Rio investigation, based on occasional leaks, have 

understated its size. It also was not unique. Other records obtained by the AP show that criminal 

investigations involving horse adoptions have been dropped across the country: 

 In Nevada, cases were dropped against two defendants suspected of shooting some 600 

mustangs. Prosecutors said they “underestimated the difficulty” of prosecuting. 

 In Oklahoma, prosecutors dropped a case against an adopter of 18 horses and burros, even 

though he had told inspectors he planned to “fatten ’em up, slaughter or sell ’em for rodeo.” 

 In Alabama, a case was shut down even though a family there sold eight horses for slaughter 

just days after receiving titles on their pledge that they’d be used for pleasure riding. Why no 

prosecution? In the midst of the probe, officials say, a BLM representative offered them more 


And with the closure of the Del Rio case, the slaughter continues. 

The Choctaw Indian Nation claimed title to its wild horses a few months ago. Jack Ferguson, 

who handles tribal herds, said he sold about a dozen of them to be killed. 

“We honored our part of the bargain,” he said. “We didn’t dispose of them until we had title.” 

Associated Press national writer Christopher Sullivan and News Data Editor Drew 

Sullivan contributed to this report. 



3 responses to “CONGRESS

  1. I would post a comment, but I’m speechless. Is there anyone at all that we can trust?

    • When it comes to money no. There is money in horse slaughter, mining, and drilling . I trust none of them, since I found out about horse slaughter and what’s happening to our wild. There is self interest people in our Gov. and it seems that Obama don’t care. He put Salazar in charge and he is a breeder and rancher. That said it all to me.

  2. this is a fact from the blm own homepage:

    Out of the 12,000 Wild Mustangs rounded up and “incarcerated” last year Y2010;

    out of 12.000…ONLY 400 MUSTANGS WERE ADOPTED ! A FARCE

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