The Bureau of Land Management, the agency tasked with protecting wild horses and cattle and their grazing lands, sold 1,794 federally-protected wild horses to a Colorado rancher who sent them to slaughter, a new report confirmed.

Between 2009 and 2012, rancher Tom Davis purchased the horses through the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Program (WH&B) and wrongfully sent them to slaughter, according to the report from the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General. According to the allegations and news reports, Mr. Davis also had farming and trucking connections with former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

“We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B. BLM also failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered,” investigators wrote in the report.

Mr. Davis admitted that most of the horses that he purchased through the BLM went to slaughter.

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