Some horse advocates buck at new plan to save wild mustangs

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Animal welfare groups have reached a milestone agreement with ranching interests that they say would save wild mustangs from slaughter but the compromise has opened a nasty split among horse protection advocates.

The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say their proposal is backed by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

It would eliminate the threat of slaughter for thousands of free-roaming horses primarily by spending millions of dollars on expanding fertility controls on the range.

As part of the deal, they're willing to drop long-held opposition to controversial roundups of the animals. The American Wild Horse Campaign and Friends of Animals contend the plan will reduce wild herds to extinction levels.

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