The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has labeled an article claiming the agency plans to slaughter more than 40,000 wild horses as fake news.

A Jan. 30 article published by the website Native Indigenous American alleges that the Department of the Interior voted Jan. 27 to slaughter 67% of the wild horses remaining in the United States. The article alleges that the decision was a made following a congressional hearing during which beef industry representatives testified that the wild horses were “overpopulated and unhealthy.” The article also said the beef industry representatives “maintained that the only way to solve this population crisis humanely was the slaughter of 44,000 horses currently corralled by the BLM and to surgically sterilize all remaining wild horses, effectively eliminating the entire country’s population of wild horses.”

The article alleges the BLM would sell the horses to middlemen who would then sell them for processing in Canada and Mexico.

In response, Tom Gorey, BLM senior public affairs specialist, told The Horse the article was “fake news.”

“The agency’s policy is to not sell or send wild horses or burros to slaughter and there has been no congressional direction to the contrary,” he said.

Gorey said that during a September 2016 meeting, members of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, an independent group composed of members of the public, recommended the BLM sell wild horses and burros without limitation and apply euthanasia to off-range horses and burros for which there is no adoption or sales demand.

“The BLM announced after that meeting that it would continue to place off-range horses in good homes and that it would not apply euthanasia to healthy wild horses or burros,” Gorey said.

No one at Native Indigenous American was available for comment.