Pres. Trump budget would allow sale of wild horses for slaughter

FILE - In this July 13, 2008 file photo a livestock helicopter pilot rounds up wild horses from the Fox & Lake Herd Management Area from the range in Washoe County, Nev., near the town on Empire, Nev. Wild horse advocates say President Trump's new budget proposal would undermine protection of an icon of the American West in place for nearly a half century and could send up sending thousands of free-roaming mustangs to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico. (AP Photo/Brad Horn, File)

PALOMINO VALLEY, Nev. (AP) – President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the West without a guarantee from buyers that the animals won’t be resold for slaughter.

Wild horse advocates say the change would gut nearly a half-century of protection for wild horses and could send thousands of free-roaming mustangs to foreign slaughterhouses for processing as food.

They say the Trump administration is kowtowing to livestock interests who don’t want the region’s estimated 59,000 mustangs competing for precious forage across more than 40,000 square miles of rangeland in 10 states managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Trump’s budget anticipates the savings would come through a reduction in the cost of containing and feeding the animals. The savings also would include cutbacks involving roundups and contraception programs.

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