Agency cites ‘staggering’ cost of reining in US wild horses

New Mexico

FILE – In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, wild horses roam the Jack Morrow Hills area of the Red Desert in remote Sweetwater County, Wyo. Federal land managers say it will take 20 years and cost more than $1 billion over the first six years alone to slash wild horse populations to sustainable levels necessary to protect U.S. range land. (Alan Rogers/The Casper Star-Tribune via AP, File)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Federal land managers say it will take two decades and cost more than $1 billion over the first six years alone to slash wild horse populations to sustainable levels on U.S. rangeland.

The Bureau of Land Management’s latest plans envision capturing 200,000 mustangs over the next two decades.

It also calls for new regulations allowing the sterilization of horses roaming federal lands for the first time.

It stops short of repeating past requests to ease prohibitions on the resale of excess horses for slaughter.

But horse defenders say that’s clearly the intention of painting such a dire picture of the challenges ahead.

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