Seeking feral horse solutions

Having no personal stake in this issue, I am approaching this as a disinterested observer. The recent issue over the capture of feral horses in the West Country has me wondering about the subject in general.

Having no personal stake in this issue, I am approaching this as a disinterested observer. The recent issue over the capture of feral horses in the West Country has me wondering about the subject in general.

On the commute into Red Deer, we pass a couple of quarter sections that have a few dozen horses on them. One would have to infer that there is a very sizable population of ‘domesticated’ horses throughout the province.

Since it seems that there are a number of people rabidly against horses being used for meat, there has to be some reason behind so many people keeping horses for no apparent purpose.

In this age where the spectre of food shortages is predicted in the near future, it makes little sense to keep animals whose sole purpose is to mow pasture land to the nubs during the growing season, to then be fed hay throughout the winter.

Aside from being kept as glorified pets, very few horses are actually used for working purposes. Except for those who adhere to the ‘traditional’ cowboy lifestyle to preserve their heritage — or to thumb their noses at modern life — horses will never again become a ‘green’ alternative to wheeled transportation.

As to the issue of feral horses in the West Country, it would seem that this is a problem easily solved if you look at it logically and leave your emotions at the door.

I use the term feral rather than wild because these animals are not a native species. They were introduced to the area by man. Therefore, it is man’s issue to solve.

Since we seem to have counts of every species of animal, fish and bird in this province, it should be possible to determine what the optimal number is for a feral horse population that would restore the natural balance in the area. You have to remember that some predators and scavengers now depend upon the horse population for part of its survival.

The issue then becomes a matter of determining how many of these feral horses will have to be captured and relocated.

Most of the time it isn’t a problem for horse lovers to put their money where their mouth is, but in this instance it seems that few are willing to do so.

Surely their own pastures could hold a few more horses — problem solved.

As was suggested by one of the people involved in the issue, the feral horse herds could be a good tourist draw to the area. To offer tourists a chance to be a part of a conservation effort would provide financial capital and stewardship capital at the same time.

Jeff Hanson

Delburne

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Small group rallies with pro-immigration message

Group wanted to counter misinformation on United Nations migration agreement

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read