Thursday, September 15, 2016

BLM says it will not heed advisory council's recommendation to kill 45,000 wild horses

The Bureau of Land Management says it will not kill 45,000 wild horses, as recommended by a BLM advisory board Friday. The board recommended euthanizing up to 45,000 wild horses and burros held in captivity if the animals could not be adopted. After uproar from animal-rights activists, BLM announced that "the agency will 'continue its current policy of caring for unadopted or unsold wild horses and burros' and will 'not sell or send any animals to slaughter'," Alex Dobuzinskis of Reuters reports.

Gorey said BLM spends "nearly $50 million a year in upkeep for captured horses and burros," Dobuzinskis writes. About 67,000 of these animals "roam the U.S., mostly in Nevada and California, according to government estimates. Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals."

Critics say numbers are overestimated, Dobuzinskis reports. "The Humane Society alleges the bureau spends so much paying private contractors to hold the animals that it cannot afford to expand its program to administer birth control to the animals on the range, which it contends would be more effective for population control than round-ups." (Read more)

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