A Utah congressman has introduced legislation to allow Western states and American Indian tribes to take over management of wild horses and burros from the federal government.

Rep. Chris Stewart says the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has failed to properly manage horses and burros in the West, and states should have the ability to manage them because each state faces unique challenges.

The Republican lawmaker says an overpopulation of wild horses is pushing cattle off the range and leading to destruction of important habitat for native species.

But Anne Novak of the group called Protect Mustangs criticized the legislation, saying it would lead to states and tribes killing the animals or selling them off for slaughter for human consumption.

She also says cattle, not horses, are overrunning the range.