Alberta horse allies watch over cull, some sleeping in cars overnight

Our friends at Help Alberta Wildies (HAW) continue to watch over their wild horses. If you missed the Wild Horse & Burro Radio show with Gail Fagan of HAW, you can listen to the archived show HERE.


cpt106183285_high  photo:  Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Wild horses graze on the Eden Valley Reserve, Alta., on Aug. 25, 2011.

Providing a watchful eye – from capture to the Innisfail Auction Market – that’s the goal a group of Albertans during this year’s wild horse cull.

Alberta’s Environmental and Sustainable Resource Development department (ESRD) held the 2015 capturing season last month. The focus this year, according to their FAQ page was on “young males, considered the most appropriate for adoption.”

The ESRD said on its page it hires independent wranglers to lure ponies into baited corrals – which is where a group of horse-allies keep a watchful eye on the process.

Tucked away in the brush, a hand full of passionate activists with the group “Help Alberta Wildies,” camped out in cars to observe and document as 33 wild horses were captured in the Ghost River area west of Calgary.

“We were able to discover four of the capture sites this year,” said Shannon Mann, a backyard activist who works with Help Alberta Wildies. “As soon as we found them we went out to monitor.”

Mann had camped out in the frigid weather during the last cull, and said the temperature was a nice change, but what she and others saw while on their stake-outs was troubling.

Counting horses, inspecting structures used to corral them and even watching as wranglers rope horses into submission, Mann said they don’t interfere with the process, but feels her presence and watchful eye keeps the ESRD accountable.

Only 14 horses went to auction, the rest were snapped up by the Wild Horses of Alberta Society to adopt.

Mann said according to her numbers there were discrepancies in how many horses were captured and sold. Although the auction reported horses went to loving homes, when she attended the sale she saw ponies left out – adding although the market might have said so, it was not a “Walt Disney ending.”


    • If you read the Calgary Sun dated February 16, 2014, that talks about this issue, you would break down and cry if you read the comments on Disqus. I do not know if you can view it online if you live in the US. There are also other articles in the Calgary Sun from that month, which talk about this issue. Again, most of the comments on Disqus are quite nasty, in relation to this issue of saving the wildies. I hope these horses can be saved.


      • The horrible comments are from weirdos and people with attachment to slaughter. Sickening of course. They are attempting to manipulate comments to anonymously send horses to die. I back traced a couple comments with ties to a specific commentor in the US who is in the Proslaughter group in the US. They manipulate the comment section to confuse the newcomers and to apparently upset people into backing off of stopping slaughter. Instead of being upset by comments I CHALLENGE anyone in Disqus with high doses of the truth. The comments usually drop off and the viewers not in the wordfight then get All the facts . Dont back away and revoil with horror but instead assertively post the challenging facts. Trolls and proslaughter only can stay in a word fight for a little while then they fall apart. Keep fighting for the horses


  1. I hope these feral horses can be saved from slaughter. I am an Albertan, originally from a farm. We did not have horses. However, I have many relatives who still have farms. One of them had horses on his farm. He inherited the farm from his parents. They were either his and/or his neighbour’s horses. Such magnificent animals. Suprisingly, many people in Alberta also support the slaughter of these horses. They were making very nasty comments in the Calgary Sun Disqus comments page. They were mocking people’s efforts to save these horses. An Alberta celebrity, Jann Arden was severly mocked on this newspaper for her effort to try and save these wildies. This was a year ago. A certain percentage of Albertans, like myself, want these horses left alone. They are not bothering anyone or harming anything. Industrial activity and unregulated development is causing way more damage than these horses ever are.


  2. From FIELD & STREAM

    The New Dangerous Ignorance of American Public Lands

    Who would buy them? China would almost certainly be first in line. Chinese
    investors have just purchased 5 percent of all the arable land in the Ukraine,
    to help feed their insatiable population of 1.344 billion people and rising.
    The Chinese are also investing heavily in Canada’s “undervalued” farmlands in
    Alberta and Saskatchewan, despite laws (as we have in Iowa and other Midwestern
    states) to prevent foreign nations from acquiring lands critical to national
    food security. Perhaps the Chinese will be outbid by the Saudis, who are buying up land and associated water all over the world right now.

    I’ve followed this debate for over a decade now, and I’ve never seen this issue addressed. I believe the American people would shut it down if they knew the larger agendas at play here.

    Since 1872, when President U.S. Grant signed the bill establishing the park
    that would become Yellowstone, there has been relentless opposition, from a very
    few, very powerful individuals and groups, to the very idea of American public
    lands. Men like Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell (who spent years
    living among Native American tribes from the Pawnee to the Blackfeet and was
    the driving force behind the creation of Glacier National Park) fought against
    these powers to establish our system of public lands. Only we can decide
    whether that system will endure, if the freedom it provides is enough to fight
    for it.

    History has a terrible way of repeating
    itself, when people do not pay attention


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