BLM stresses importance "compassion" during wild horse roundups

February 01, 2013

The federal agency that protects wild horses is emphasizing the importance of treating the animals with care during roundups. 

Since the 1970s, U.S. law has required the Bureau of Land Management to treat wild horses humanely when culling overpopulated herds on public land. But in recent years, the BLM has been criticized for alleged abuses during roundups of wild mustangs.

Now, the agency has sent out new policy directives stressing the importance of treating wild horses on federal lands in the West with compassion and concern. The series of memos is aimed at protecting free-roaming horses and burros by increasing reporting from horse roundups and improving oversight.

One new guideline says helicopter contractors conducting roundups must be careful not to separate newborn animals from their mothers.

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