SPARKS, Nev. — A federal advisory panel meeting in Nevada is trying to decide whether to back a proposal to relocate thousands of wild horses from Western rangeland after U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ruled out euthanizing some of the mustangs to control their growing population.

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management maintains as many as 25,000 of the horses need to be removed from public lands because of what the agency views as an over population of the animals suffering from a lack of forage.

Dozens of wild horse advocates who want the animals to remain in their natural habitat are scheduled to testify Monday before the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board during a daylong hearing in Sparks.