House bill to protect wild horses

March 3, 2009 6:32:25 AM PST
A House committee is considering a bill to ban the slaughter of wild horses.

The bill by Democratic Reps. Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Raul Grijalva of Arizona would ban the killing of healthy horses and burros that roam public lands, as well as set aside more land for the animals.

About 33,000 wild horses and burros roam in 10 Western states. The animals are managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The agency says it is considering euthanasia as a way to stem escalating costs of keeping animals gathered from the open range.

The wife of oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, Madeleine Pickens, is scheduled to testify Tuesday on her plan to create a wild horse sanctuary in the West.

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