Groups claim that horses in western US should be treated and protected like elk or antelope.
1.5 million years ago, the modern species of horse - equus caballus - roamed the land of North America. 10,000 years ago, they died out and what exists now is decended from domesticated European stock. Animal rights groups believe the longevity of this species' prior existence in North America means that horses are native to this country. The US Bureau of Land Management disagrees and their fight is coming before the US federal court.
"The wild horses of the American west should be considered a native species as fully deserving of protection as elk or antelope, even though they are the descendants of domestic livestock introduced by European settlers."