The annual round-up of Dulmen wild ponies on the Duke of Croy's Merfelder Bruch estate, NorthRhine Westphalia, Germany CREDIT: KRISTEL RICHARD/NPL / REX FEATURES

The annual round-up of Dulmen wild ponies on the Duke of Croy’s Merfelder Bruch estate, NorthRhine Westphalia, Germany CREDIT: KRISTEL RICHARD/NPL / REX FEATURES

45000 Wild Horses To Be Killed By BLM

According to media reports Wednesday, an advisory board to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) suggested that the agency should euthanize about 45,000 wild horses and burros that are currently captive in holding facilities, and animal rights groups are condemning the recommendation.

Groups including the Humane Society of the United States and In Defense of Animals say accepting the recommendation would betray the BLM’s responsibility to the horses, reports the Huff Post.

“They have a commitment to these animals,” Gillian Lyons, the HSUS’s Wild Horse and Burro Program manager, told The Huffington Post. “They took them off the range.”

According to Fox News:

Under the terms of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM manages, protects and controls wild horses and burros. The law authorizes the agency to move wild horses and burros off ranges to sustain the health of public lands. In addition to the off-range animals, the bureau estimates that more than 67,000 wild horses and burros are roaming on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.

The Humane Society of the United States says there is a more humane way to managed the wild horse population.

Holly Hazard, the group’s senior vice president of programs and innovations, said: “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care.

“The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mismanagement.”

The Bureau has not yet made a formal response to the board’s recommendation, although, in a statement, it said that it will continue to care and seek good homes for animals that have been removed from the range. “What this means is that we will continue with our current policy, which is not to sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter,” it said.