A federal agency's proposal to use helicopters to gather hundreds of wild horses in northwestern New Mexico has drawn criticism from animal advocates who are urging the government to use gentler tactics.
The Bureau of Land Management office plans to round up more than 270 wild horses off the Jicarilla/Carracas Mesa area near Navajo Dam.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the federal agency's preferred option includes using helicopters.
Over the last few years, the Carson National Forest has rounded up the horses by baiting them with hay and trapping them in hidden corrals.
The federal agency says that method hasn't been effective enough.
Wild horse advocates say helicopters frighten the horses and injure more of them during a gather than no-chase methods like bait-and-trap.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.