Wild horse allies: BLM panel stacked against them

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Wild horse protection advocates are accusing the federal Bureau of Land Management of stacking a public advisory board with friends of cattle ranchers at the expense mustangs. And they say they are worried the panel is becoming increasingly sympathetic to the idea of slaughtering excess animals in overpopulated herds on U.S. lands in the West.

BLM spokesman Tom Gorey denies the charges. He told The Associated Press the horse defenders are resorting to dishonest scare tactics to help push their “anti-management agenda by any means possible.”

Leaders of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign say their fears are valid based on recent BLM appointments to a nine-member advisory board. Twice in nine months the agency has replaced opponents of selling captured horses for slaughter with proponents of the idea.