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US vows to improve protections for wild horse adoptions

FILE - In this March 10, 2021, file photo, two Salt River wild horses kick up dust as they...
FILE - In this March 10, 2021, file photo, two Salt River wild horses kick up dust as they arrive at a site for emergency feeding run by the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group near Coon Bluff in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa, Ariz. Federal land managers say they're stepping up protections to guard against the illegal resale of wild horses and burros adopted from the government for slaughter after they've been captured on U.S. lands but mustang protection advocates say the Bureau of Land Management needs to do more. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)(Sue Ogrocki | AP)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 2:15 PM MDT
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RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. officials who are trying to adopt out wild horses captured on public land say they are tightening protections to guard against the illegal resale of animals for slaughter.

Advocates say the government needs to do more, including ending incentive payments for adoptions.

The Bureau of Land Management said in announcing the changes that the agency is committed to the health and safety of adopted wild horses and burros.

It says it intends to begin making additional inspections after adoptions, improve screening of potential adopters and other measures.

The bureau says an estimated 86,000 wild horses and burros living in 10 Western states is three times as many as public lands can sustain. Advocates dispute that.

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