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SALT LAKE CITY -- Federal officials say they will round up thousands of wild horses and burros across six Western states starting Monday.

The roundups will take place through February on drought-stricken range lands in Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

Contractors for the Bureau of Land Management will use helicopters plus bait- and water-trapping methods to corral a total of 3,500 wild horses and burros.

Other horses will be given birth control injections and returned to the range lands.

The government is already holding 47,000 wild horses, most of them on green pasture in the Midwest.

Government officials insist they don't send horses to slaughterhouses, contrary to popular belief.

With only a small number put up for adoption, officials say, most horses are kept until their final days in permanent corrals.

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