PALOMINO VALLEY, Nev. — President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the West without the current requirement that buyers guarantee 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 — an icon of the American West — 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.
The budget proposal marks the latest skirmish in the decades-old controversy pitting ranchers and rural communities against groups that want to protect the horses from Colorado to California.
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