President Trump's budget calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured in the West without requiring that buyers guarantee those horses won't be slaughtered, NBC News reported.
Animal advocates say that this change in policy would gut almost 50 years of protections for wild horses.
The same advocates claim that the Trump administration also wants to help livestock keepers who don't want the wild horses competing for forage.
"This is simply a way to placate a very well-funded and vocal livestock lobby," said Laura Leigh, the president of the nonprofit protection group Wild Horse Education.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and other interested parties have been lobbying the Bureau of Land Management for years to sell wild horses for slaughter to free up space in corrals for other animals.
The BLM's wild horse budget has more than doubled from $36.2 million in 2008 to $80.4 million in 2017.
Gut education? COOL!— Matthew Gellert (@MatthewGellert) May 25, 2017
Gut medicare? COOL!
Gut healthcare? COOL!
Gut welfare? COOL!
Literally gut horses? COOL!
Help people? NAH!
Some are less than thrilled.