RENO - Wild-horse advocates are criticizing a government roundup of mustangs north of Reno, contending it was deliberately conducted without advance public notice to avoid protests.
Bureau of Land Management officials acknowledge the gather was staged earlier this month without the standard advance notice, but say that was due to an internal communication mixup.
The roundup of 217 horses and burros along the Nevada-California border ended a day before a BLM advisory board in Sparks ignored advocates' request for a moratorium on such gathers. Activists say the roundups are inhumane and unnecessary.
BLM officials say the roundup had been scheduled to take place next summer, but was moved up and conducted Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 after another roundup couldn't be conducted.