BLM winter wild-horse roundup in NV opposed

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RENO, Nev. (AP) -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to stage a winter roundup of wild horses from the range north of Reno after a similar gather in the same area resulted in the deaths of more than 100 mustangs last year.

Horse defenders who unsuccessfully sued to halt the earlier roundup before it began in January 2010 are criticizing the agency's latest plans to remove about 1,300 mustangs in the Tri-State-Calico Complex beginning in December.

They say winter roundups expose horses to the risk of respiratory illness, and the use of helicopters to drive horses to corrals is inhumane.

But BLM officials say the winter is a better time to gather horses in such rocky terrain, and herds need to be thinned because of an overpopulation of the animals.

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