Horse News

Possible end to birth control program for wild horses could trigger cull in Alberta

as published on Global News

“The government is talking massive culling, that’s the word right now,”

Alberta’s Wild Horses ~ courtesy of the Calgary Herald

They roam the Eastern slopes in the Foothills of Alberta and many argue wild horses are part of the province’s landscape and deserve to be there, enjoying their freedom. Others say they’re a threat to the ecosystem and need to be controlled.

Now, five years after a plan was implemented to manage the populations from a distance, the future of the creatures is up in the air.

In 2014, the province of Alberta allowed a cull of feral horses and several were captured. Some were adopted, others were auctioned off and sent to slaughter. It triggered widespread protests, so a compromise was made: a birth control pilot program was arranged.

Bob Henderson, president of the Wild Horses of Alberta Society signed a memorandum of understanding with the province to administer contraception to the horses.

Over the past five years, through volunteers and private fundraising, the Wild Horses of Alberta Society tracked the horses through challenging terrain near Sundre, Alta., and darted wild mares, injecting them with a contraceptive vaccine. But they need more manpower and financial support to administer more. Just under 90 horses have gotten the vaccine, which wears off over time.

“The government is talking massive culling, that’s the word right now,” Henderson said. “So I could see them reverting back to 2013/2014 when they rounded up 200 head of horses and most went up for slaughter.”

At the end of September, the society’s contraception program expires. Jason Nixon, the minister of environment and parks, said no decision has been made.

“We are in a stage where we are renegotiating the contraception program and our wild horse experts in the department and other agencies are in conversations,” Nixon said.

Those working to protect the horses are developing more scientific research to prove they deserve to be saved.

11 replies »

  1. PZP has never stopped captures. Immediately after the MOU was signed the Government issued a capture of 60 horses. Throughout the MOU, horses were captured on private land. In the U.S., where PZP is used extensively, massive roundups are occurring. Not only is it pointless to inject our wildies with PZP, it is dangerous. PZP causes many problems, including selecting for weak immune systems, and infertility, yet WHOAS has kept all the scientific studies on the drawbacks of PZP hidden from those they solicit donations from. A true horse advocate would fight for the horses, instead of pandering to a Government that has never provided any proof the horses are overpopulated, or damaging the land. According to the Statutes and Regulations the Government is bound by, horses can only be removed if the rangeland is damaged. Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses Society took legal action against the Alberta Government for failing to follow their Statutes and that decision is expected any day. With that decision in hand, AFRHS would effectively stop any capture. AFRHS will be having numerous conversations with the Alberta Government, either across the table, or through the Courts. We will fight for our voiceless wildies.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There is plenty of support in the UK and the U.S. It is a new day and things they are a changing…whether the old guard likes it or not.

    UK: ‘Save a fox, hunt a Tory’ – Thousands march against May’s fox hunting ban decision

    Around 2,000 people marched through central London, Monday, to protest British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to push for a free vote on whether to repeal the ban on fox hunting, should she win next week’s general election.

    Liked by 1 person

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