Lawmaker demands answers after horses were slaughtered

Lawmaker demands answers after horses were slaughtered
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A House Republican wants to know how 1,800 healthy horses under government control ended up being sold for slaughter.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior Sally JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellNational parks pay the price for Trump's Independence Day spectacle Overnight Energy: Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone | UN report offers dire climate warning | Trump expected to lift ethanol restrictions Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone MORE after the department’s inspector general found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.

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The BLM manages the U.S. wild horses and though it can sell excess horses to third parties in certain circumstances, the bureau's internal guidelines prohibit the sale to slaughterers by requiring buyers to provide good homes and humane care to the animals.

Buchanan said it’s unacceptable that $140,000 of taxpayer money was used to transport the horses to the buyer, who earned more than $150,000 in profits.   

“These are funds that properly belong to the American public,” he said.

Buchanan said he’s giving the department 30 days to answer how it plans to recover the taxpayers’ money, as well as the buyer’s profits funds and explain why federal and state prosecutors failed to take action.

“BLM must be held accountable for breaking the law,” he said.