The Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Horse advocates are protesting plans by a state agency to remove up to 100 abandoned horses from the range in northern Nevada after a rash of vehicle accidents.

Nevada Department of Agriculture officials began removing horses on Friday after more than 30 recent collisions involving horses and vehicles on three rural highways in Lyon and Storey counties located roughly around Silver Springs and Virginia City.

They blame the problem on stray horses coming down from the Virginia Range in search of forage and water.

But critics are calling for the department to reinstate cooperative agreements with nonprofit horse groups to control the animals' movements and to prevent horses from going to the slaughterhouse.

A protest rally is scheduled Tuesday in Carson City.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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