Critics vow to sue Nevada over free-roaming horses

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Critics of Nevada's new plan to cede state ownership of nearly 3,000 free-roaming horses to private hands intend to file a lawsuit to block what they say is an illegal move that ultimately would send the animals to slaughter.

Nevada's Agriculture Department published a request for proposals Tuesday from people willing to take ownership of the Virginia Range herd that roams a 500-square mile area southeast of Reno.

Director Jim Barbee says the department's intent is to find an owner who will work to keep the horses on the range.

But Deniz Bolbol of the American Wild Horse Campaign says that's realistically impossible because no private entity can obtain the necessary liability insurance.

She told The Associated Press Thursday her group intends to sue the state before the request-for-proposal period closes April 16.

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