A federal “adopt-a-horse” program that is supposed to protect wild horses and burros is actually sending some of them to the slaughterhouse, a federal appeals court said in San Francisco in upholding restrictions on the program. The Bureau of Land Management “renders the adoption process a farce” by failing to screen out prospective owners whose intention is killing the horses for use as pet food, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said. The 3-0 decision prohibits the BLM from transferring title of any wild horse or burro to a person who is known to intend commercial exploitation. The ruling was hailed by animal-rights organizations who filed the suit. “We were determined from the start that the blood money of these national treasures, as the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act defined these animals, should not end in the hands of already amply paid profiteers,” said writer Cleveland Amory, founder of the Fund for Animals.