Horses and colts running wild on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation in Arizona USA near Indian Wells
Virginia Star/ Getty Images
September 14, 2016 11:45 PM EDT

Thanks to widespread public uproar, a planned government cull has been called off and thousands of wild North American Horses face a reprieve.

Without natural predators, the number of wild horses, mostly in California and Nevada, is growing exponentially, with current estimates at around 67,000. However, according to Reuters, the government’s ideal number would be 27,000.

In order to limit overgrazing of land set aside for cattle, as well as controlling costs including maintaining corrals and pasturelands, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board had recommended euthanizing many of the 45,000 corralled horses, or sending them to slaughter.

However, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in a statement that it will “continue its current policy of caring for unadopted or unsold wild horses and burros” and will “not sell or send any animals to slaughter.”


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