The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has wisely decided to scrap large-scale adoptions of wild horses rounded up from Western rangelands.

Since the mid-1970s, the bureau has offered individual horses for "adoption" on payment of $125. But large-scale adoptions began only four years ago.The trouble with giving away scores of horses in single transactions is the potential for abuses like sending horses to slaughterhouses.

Although halting large-scale give-aways is welcome, it makes it even more urgent that the bureau find better ways to handle these horses. Current law requires the BLM to keep horses that have been rounded up in government- owned pens while they await adoption. That costs about $7 million.

Expanding the regular adoption program is essential. For too long, BLM pinched pennies in advertising this program.