Wild horse numbers present an ecological and fiscal crisis in the West, according to government officials. The Trump administration recently discussed whether lethal measures were necessary to control population sizes. What’s the fate of these beauties? They may have escaped death for now.
Federal officials estimate there are 90,000 wild horses in roughly 10 western states. This is more than three times the appropriate levels. Furthermore, nearly 18,000 foals are born each year. Currently, 50,000 wild horses are in corrals. They cost around $50 million a year to care for.
With numbers soaring, these wild horses are overpopulating rangelands. They don’t have many natural predators. Native wildlife and cattle owners are struggling to co-exist with the large herds.
In previous times, wild horses were sent to slaughter, often for dog food. Nowadays, only the sick or injured are euthanized. Congress met to discuss controlling population sizes. It appears that euthanizing and slaughter are not on the table.
These horses may have dodged slaughter this time, but something does need to happen in order to control population sizes. Check out the Mustang Heritage Foundation to see how you can help.
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