Wild horses must be saved

Sustainable Resources and Development Minister Diana McQueen is undecided on issuing cull permits to trappers to further remove Alberta’s wild horses from the western foothills and Eastern Slopes of the Alberta Rocky Mountains.

Sustainable Resources and Development Minister Diana McQueen is undecided on issuing cull permits to trappers to further remove Alberta’s wild horses from the western foothills and Eastern Slopes of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. Once the decision is made, the permits issued to trappers will be as early as Nov. 1, with the trapping season starting on Dec. 15.

In the past two winter seasons, over 350 head have been captured and sent to slaughter. This is an indiscriminate cull, taking foals, pregnant mares and stud horses. These permits are issued to trappers who construct catch pens and bate the traps with hay and salt to lure the horses in. Once they are captured, they are herded into trailers and taken to the kill floors.

Wild Horses of Alberta Society (WHOAS), a non-profit organization actively engaged in a plight to conserve the wild horses of Alberta, was able to buy a few head from these trappers, eventually offering them for adoption. But due to limited facilities, relying on members and donations, resources are limited.

Estimates from Office of Sustainable Resources and Development state there are fewer than 770 head left in the wild. We are not certain how these numbers are calculated as there never has been an official study on population numbers. Taking into consideration foal mortality, due to Alberta spring weather and predators, it will take years for these numbers to replenish.

The hardest hit area last winter was the Panther River, Ghost Reserve Area. Where there once were great bands of horses free roaming in this area, only a few horses remain. This has impacted tourism to the area many times over. Tourists consisting of Albertans, people from other provinces, and visitors from several countries from around the world have come to the area to expecting to view the wild horses, only to leave disappointed.

They travel in private vehicles, tour buses, take a trail ride into the backcountry, book accommodations at a local outfitters etc. This has huge effects on the local economy and will do so for years to come. Please write or call the minister of Tourism, Christine Cusanelli, and let her know how important wild horses are for tourism and the Alberta economy.

Wild horses have been a part of the West Country of Alberta dating back to the 1800s and with natural selective breeding, they have created a gene pool distinct to only Alberta.

Were you aware that these horses were captured during the First World War, taken to Europe and served as mounts for the military. Does this not say something for their ruggedness and hardiness?

These same wild horses are an integral and natural part of the ecosystem, assisting in the control of wild fires, grazing the cut blocks, a natural food source for the grizzly (protected species), black bear and wolves. Support from Albertans and Canadians is required to prevent the cull of 2012-2013 and to bring forward a motion to create an Alberta Heritage Species Act. We urge you to contact McQueen, Cusanelli or your local member of the legislative assembly to stop this potential slaughter.

Currently the government considers these animals a feral species, even though this species is unique to Alberta. Please urge MLAs to have their status changed. The wild horses of Sable Island are a protected species and recently the government of Saskatchewan brought in legislation to protect their wild ponies. And the Newfoundland pony is protected though legislation. Why is the government of Alberta so lagging in this recognition and protection of our native free roaming wild horses?

Wayne Krejci, Shelby MacKenzie

Members of WHOAS

Innisfail

Just Posted

A representative for the office of Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu says the new Red Deer drug treatment court is expected to be operational by the middle of 2022. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer drug treatment court expected to be up and running no later than mid-2022

The Government of Alberta expects the new Red Deer drug treatment court… Continue reading

Environment Canada says rain Tuesday evening will turn to snow. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Expect wet snow Tuesday night central Alberta

Heavy wet snow could accumlate with the potential for broken tree branches

FILE - In this Thursday, April 29, 2021 file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, west Germany. A report by the International Energy Agency on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 says immediate action is needed to reshape the world’s energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050. This includes ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Energy agency: End new fossil fuel supply investments

IEA report sets out 400 steps to transform how energy is produced, transported and used

A man inspects the rubble of destroyed commercial building and Gaza health care clinic following an Israeli airstrike on the upper floors of a commercial building near the Health Ministry in Gaza City, on Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Strike from Gaza kills 2 as Israel topples 6-story building

Latest attack from Gaza on Tuesday hits packaging plant

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A review by the national spy watchdog has found inconsistencies when it comes to federal efforts to ensure information sharing with foreign agencies does not result in torture. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Spy watchdog calls for changes to ensure information-sharing does not lead to torture

Differences in federal departments stances when dealing with the same foreign agency creates concern

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie makes a comeback this summer

Last year, summer earnings were $176 million, down 96% from 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Most Read