“ONE OF THE THINGS I CHERISH ABOUT TRAVELLING THROUGHOUT BRITISH COLUMBIA AS A CHILD WAS SEEING THE WILD HORSES BUCKING AND FROLICKING IN THE FIELDS AS WE DROVE BY. IN THE OKANAGAN THERE WAS A PARTICULAR SPOT THAT WARMED MY HEART BECAUSE THE WILDIE POPULATION WAS ENORMOUS – SOMETHING I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO SHARE WITH MY CHILDREN. WHEN WE PASS THE SPOT NOW, ALL I CAN DO IS VERBALLY SHARE A MEMORY AS THE FIELDS ARE EMPTY – MY CHILDREN FEEL ROBBED AND I DON’T BLAME THEM. AND NOW, IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IN ALBERTA UNDER THE AUSPICES OF ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT! – which leads me to the question, “WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO SUSTAIN? GREED?!”
*A HUGE thank you to Susan Armstrong a Nature Photographer in Calgary Alberta who believes education is key to conservation! Susan’s goal is to spread awareness through her images for the preservation and conservation of the animals that share our world.
BACKGROUND: The Alberta government department known as ESRD (Environment and Sustainable Resource Development) manages wild horses living in Alberta, Canada, on Crown Land, by initiating annual culls under the Horse Capture Regulation.
Classiﬁed as Feral (free roaming, of modern domesticated ancestry), the Alberta Wildies (wild horses) fall under the Stray Animal Act. It has been estimated that up to 300 horses may be affected.
Even with only about 850 wild horses left, the Alberta Government is planning to issue trapping licenses which for almost every horse means – KILLING. To prevent this SLAUGHTER we are asking for your support.
The Alberta government department known as ESRD (Environment and Sustainable Resource Development) manages wild horses living in Alberta, Canada, on Crown Land, by initiating annual culls under the Horse Capture Regulation. Classiﬁed as Feral (free roaming, of modern domesticated ancestry), the Alberta Wildies (wild horses) fall under the Stray Animal Act. It has been estimated that up to 300 horses may be affected.
An icon of the Canadian west, the Alberta Wildies played an important role in the settlement of this country. They helped the First Nations in many ways as well as the RCMP. During the great World War, many Alberta Wildies were rounded up to serve alongside our Military, and never returned home. Portrayed in numerous movies, books, songs, paintings, photography and TV, they are a beloved and important part of our history, past, present and future.
Herd numbers are kept in check naturally by Mother nature with predators like wolves, cougars, bears and the harsh weather conditions of the foothills of Alberta.
Today however, a more formidable predator threatens the very survival of the Wildie. It is not Mother nature, it is the threat posed by corporate greed, the consequence of which could mean the end of rare and important blood lines within these wild, heritage horses.
Ecological Studies have shown that range land health is negatively affected by many factors including cattle grazing, shrub encroachment, resource extraction, and human interference yet those interest groups target the Wildies. With a motive to cull that is largely inﬂuenced by industry, ESRD issues capture licenses to trappers who set up and bait capture pens to lure in the Wildies.
Trappers are trusted to use humane capture and transport techniques and to be selective in which horses they capture. The majority of the Wildies are then transported to the Fort Macleod Alberta slaughterhouse. ESRD does not stipulate nor monitor the treatment and use of the Wildies once they are captured. This raises further concerns, questions and accountability around the process.
This is a very urgent matter. Despite the low number of existing Wildies, ESRD receives complaints from competing interest groups including large cattle ranchers (who pay for free range grazing), forestry, oil and gas industries. An annual aerial count by ESRD determines the number of horses to be culled. In March 2013, ESRD counted roughly 853 Wildies in an 8500 sq km area, approximately twice the size of PEI. That is about one Wildie every 10 square km.
The Wild Heritage Horses of Alberta need your help ASAP. The cull has many disrupting factors that can devastate herds caught up in the capture programs. Family units are separated, negatively affecting the natural balance, strength and density of herds. This jeopardizes their very survival. Herds are more vulnerable to Mother Nature (wolves,cougars, bears) with fewer members.
Heading into our harsh winter, this yearʼs ratio between adults and young is already low and foals are at high risk of not surviving. Only the strongest survive in the Canadian Wilderness. During the cull season, many of the mares are in foal at this same time of the year. It is believed that there are blood lines in the Heritage Horses, dating back to the Spanish Barb, or even ancient blood lines. If those rare blood lines are removed indiscriminately in a cull, they will be lost forever.
Please help stop the cull now and prevent these majestic icons of our heritage from being sent indiscriminately to slaughter.
When you click on the link below, your message will be sent to the Government of Alberta.
Everyone has a voice in matters such as these; Albertans, Canadians, citizens of the world – so please use it to stop this abuse of our history and environment!
* If you would like to read more about horse slaughter in Canada please click here – after you sign the above petition please!