Did you know that anytime November 1st, the Government of Alberta can issue capture licenses to horse trappers? Did you know that 99% of the horses captured go to slaughter, and are sold for their meat?
Alberta has more cowboys than any other province in Canada. And apparently, many Albertans hate horses.
The Past and Present of the wild horse in Alberta:
- Around 1630 the first horse was brought back into what is now Alberta by the Blackfoot Indians. Through wars with other bands, these horses began to roam free throughout the prairies in ever increasing numbers.
- The Cree, from the foothills and north, the Kotenai, from south-eastern British Columbia also began to obtain horses through raids on the Blackfoot or capture of the wild horses. By the 1800 hundreds horses were a common sight and important part of the Native culture and that of the White man coming to explore and settle in this area.
- John McDougal, a missionary, in his journals, dated in the 1850’s, documents wild horses and moose being preyed upon by wolves in the areas between the North Saskatchewan and Oldman Rivers. The North West Mounted Police, upon coming to this area to bring law and order, estimated there were thousands of wild horses in the areas that they settled.
- The horse became an important animal in helping settle and open this province. Canada’s entire western culture and heritage focuses around horses and the chores that they performed for us. The horse broke the land, hauled produce and helped harvest forests and crops. They helped the ranchers in the operation of their cattle ranches. They were an important part of the everyday life of the early Albertans being the only means of transportation.
- As late as the 1950’s, horses were still being used in various parts of the province in the same fashion. In more remote areas, coal and water would be distributed to farms by horse drawn wagon.
- Any museum depicting early life in Alberta will include horses in almost every aspect and or picture. They are a fundamental part of Canada’s western heritage, and of the heritage of the First Nations people. First Nations elders and the old timers who settled in this area, they will tell you stories of there always being horses running free and wild in this part of Alberta.
- As late as 1985, there were estimated to be over a thousand free roaming wild horses in the foothills of Alberta. Today less than 300 hundred remain.
- Contradicting history, the government now describes wild horses as feral, stray animals, which do not don’t belong in this area.
- They may have been so at one time, but over the centuries, these horses have adapted to survive their environment. Their physique is unique to them: their hooves are large to carry them over the muskeg and to help them paw through the snow for feed. Their legs are short and thick for strength which carries them swiftly through deadfalls. Their bodies are short, stocky and very muscled for strength and endurance. This allows them to travel up and down steep hills and through forests with ease and grace. Their nose which we call, roman, is to assist them in their forage for food in the under brush and through the snow. This did not happen overnight. In nature these physiological changes in animals to suit their habitat, take long periods of time.
- If you study these horses and watch the way they interact as a family group, the way they flee predators and the way that they blend into ecological system in these foothills, you can have no doubt that they are truly wild animals.
- To watch how a stallion will sacrifice himself to protect his herd, to watch the older mares take care of injured herd member or the foals of herd, one can’t help be kept in awe of this. These horses are fighting a desperate battle for survival.
They are still being chased for sport, shot and killed for bear or wolf bait or for no reason at all. They are snared, roped , corralled and sent to slaughter. These last wild horses are on the run for their lives. We can help.
Stop the Cull of the Wild horses of Alberta Petition | GoPetition
Please take the time to educate yourself on this issue. Some links are included here, and there are many more to be found:
And please, tell Alberta that genocide is not alright. Stop the Cull of the Wild horses of Alberta Petition | GoPetition