Domestic Horses Being Dumped on Public Lands, Hurting Wildhorse Habitat

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More and more horse owners are abandoning their animals and leaving them to fend for themselves. But this activity is illegal.

The abandonment, according to wildlife officials, is taking a toll on the wild horse population. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages up to 150 wild horses on public lands designated for their protection. Recently the BLM has seen an increase in the abandonment of domestic horses on these lands, which is illegal.

Mel Lloyd with the BLM says the domestic horses can cause some serious damage. Lloyd says, "A domesticated horse can introduce disease to the wild horse herd which could create, cause catastrophic die off."

Lloyd suggests if you can't keep your horse try to find a new owner or humanly euthanize the horse. Lloyd says a horse can live for 30 years and new owners must consider every variable before getting a horse.

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