A. As used in this section:
(1) “public land” does not include federal land controlled by the bureau of land management, the forest service or state trust land controlled by the state land office;
(2) “range” means the amount of land necessary to sustain a herd of wild horses, which does not exceed its known territorial limits;
(3) “Spanish colonial horse” means a wild horse that is descended from horses of the Spanish colonial period; and
(4) “wild horse” means an unclaimed horse on public land that is not an estray.
B. A wild horse that is captured on public land shall have its conformation, history and deoxyribonucleic acid tested to determine if it is a Spanish colonial horse. If it is a Spanish colonial horse, the wild horse shall be relocated to a state or private wild horse preserve created and maintained for the purpose of protecting Spanish colonial horses. If it is not a Spanish colonial horse, it shall be returned to the public land, relocated to a public or private wild horse preserve or put up for adoption by the agency on whose land the wild horse was captured.
C. If the mammal division of the museum of southwestern biology at the university of New Mexico determines that a wild horse herd exceeds the number of horses that is necessary for preserving the genetic stock of the herd and for preserving and maintaining the range, it may cause control of the wild horse population through the use of birth control and may cause excess horses to be:
(1) humanely captured and relocated to other public land or to a public or private wild horse preserve;
(2) adopted by a qualified person for private maintenance; or
(3) euthanized; provided that this option applies only to wild horses that are determined by a veterinarian to be crippled or otherwise unhealthy.
Added by L. 2007, Ch. 216, § 1, eff. June 15, 2007.