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Horse advocates fear slaughter of NV mustangs

RENO, Nev.—State agriculture officials have discussed ways to muster support for the slaughter of stray horses in Nevada, and the discussions stirred protests among advocates for the free-roaming animals.

Wild horse supporters plan a rally at the state Capitol on Friday to urge Gov. Brian Sandoval to call off next week’s scheduled auction of 41 wild mustangs they fear will end up at a slaughterhouse.

“The people who frequent these auctions are kill buyers,” said Carrol Abel, director of the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. “There is no reason these horses need to go out and be exposed to the slaughterhouse line.”

Newly disclosed state records show members of the state Board of Agriculture have discussed ways to build public support for slaughtering stray horses that roam the foothills southeast of Reno.

The board discussions more than a year ago were prompted by concerns about the safety of motorists on state highways where the animals increasingly are struck and killed.

Nevada is home to about half of all free-roaming horses in the West.

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By SCOTT SONNER Associated PressAssociated Press