Proposal to euthanize wild horses spurs debate

July 7, 2008 7:12:39 AM PDT
Animal rights groups are battling against ranchers and the government over a proposal to start euthanizing wild horses.

An estimated 33,000 wild horses are roaming around in 10 western states. The government tries to keep the population from overburdening available water and forage by rounding some of them up for adoption. But not enough of the horses are being adopted, sending the cost of that program higher and higher.

Some animal rights activists accuse the government of reckless management. Others say a feasible alternative exists. The Let 'Em Run Foundation horse advocacy group wants the government to try birth control, or offer tax breaks to large landowners willing to let the horses run on their property.