Call for an end to mustang roundups

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Call for an end to mustang roundups

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A review of the U.S. government's management of wild horses, released today, calls for the an end to the practice of mustang roundups. KUNR's Will Stone has that story.

The independent review was conducted over a two year period by a panel of 14 scientists at the request of the Bureau of Land Management.

The panel concludes that rounding up mustangs to protect public rangeland in the West is doomed to financial, social and political failure. That's because the intention of the program, which is to ease ecological damage and reduce the size of overpopulated herds, will have the opposite effect in the long run. The study says roundups ultimately serve to perpetuate population growth. Instead, researchers suggest the BLM focus on fertility control to keep horse numbers in check.

According to recent numbers about 50,000 wild horses are being housed in government corrals and pastures, while about 31,000 wild horses remain in the wild - and about half of those are in Nevada .

BLM announced in March that budget cuts had forced it to scale back weekend operations at its largest wild-horse adoption facility in the country - the Palomino Valley National Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center about 20 miles north of Reno. With Reno Public Radio News, I'm Will Stone.