2014 Alberta Wild Horse Cull is Over

Wild Horses of Alberta Society

Many of Canada’s cattlemen have the same agenda as many of our American cattlemen do – kill the wild horses because they want that land. The fact that Jason Bradley sits on Alberta’s feral horse committee and profits off their capture makes ones head spin. ~ HfH

From: Horse-Canada.com
By: Liz Brown

Wild Horses of Alberta Society

Wild Horses of Alberta Society

Arrests and sit-in protests peppered the feral horse capture season this year as the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resources Development (ESRD) issued three capture permits in January, allowing for the removal of up to 196 feral horses from an area west of Sundre.

“We were disappointed that the decision to have a capture season was made for this winter,” says Bob Henderson, founder of the Wild Horse of Alberta Society (WHOAS). “We had expressed our concerns to the ESRD that there was a very high foal mortality rate in 2012 and 2013, up to 70 per cent not surviving for various reasons. Then with this winter hitting wild horse country the way it did, we felt that nature was doing a good job of managing wild horse numbers.”

Shannon Mann, founder of backyardactivist.com, in coordination with the group Help Alberta Wildies, organized a two-week protest from February 16 to February 28 near one of the capture pens to observe the removal of the horses.

The group was interfering with the lawful removal of the horses as they spread hay to lure the animals away from the capture pens, according to Jason Bradley, a rancher who was issued a horse capture permit. Police arrested five of the protestors and charged them with mischief, alleging they ignored orders to stay away from the capture site.

Bradley says that people were tampering with the capture pens, placing hay close to the capture pens to lure horses away, and that some of the protestors admitted to him that they were physically chasing horses away from the pens.

“Everything we did was fully within the law,” says Mann, who herself was not arrested and who denies that anyone in her group tampered with the pens.

“Nobody did anything to directly affect the capture. It’s all perception. They told us to move because camping within the vicinity would keep the horses away from the capture pen.”

Both Henderson and Mann were particularly upset that three captured mares were sent for slaughter when people from their groups offered to buy them from the permit holders. “It seemed to be done out of spite,” says Mann.

Bradley, a professional grazier, argues the horse capture is necessary to maintain the health of his range. “It’s part of a management strategy and a need to effect healthy range management practices,” he says.

He adds that the ESRD have documented damage to the health of his range due to wild horse grazing. However, Mann argues the capture is motivated by economic interests more than range health interests.

“They (the ranchers) feel the horses are competing for grasslands with their cattle,” she says. “If this was about range health the cattle shouldn’t be there either. If you want to call a spade a spade, this is about money and the cattle ranchers having a lot of power.”

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • V.Fisher

    Jason Bradley baited his capture pens with hay, so everyone thought it was fair to bait the horses away with hay. Can’t have one rule for the trapper, and one rule for everyone else. Also, when the RCMP were asked where the no-go zone was, they received 3 entirely different answers as the RCMP were making it up as they went along. No definitive answer was given, so when the 5 people started walking around the camping site to make sure all things were picked up, they were thrown face down in the snow and cuffed. One of those people was a frail 69 yr. old woman using a walker. I’d also like it to be known that Jason Bradley has opened up a gate to the ranch he manages, plowed a trail into this private property and baited it with hay to try and entice the wild horses onto it. This is illegal, and while a number of people have complained to the RCMP and the Provincial Government, ESRD, absolutely nothing has been done about it. Bradley continues to leave his capture pen up, although the general public has been told that it was to be removed within 48 hrs. Seems there is one law for friends of ESRD and one for people trying to see that the wild horses remain wild and free on public lands where they have lived for hundreds of years. Have you heard a similar story somewhere before USA?

    March 10, 2014
  • Callie83

    Same approach as the BLM, get them in the worst weather so they will die.

    March 10, 2014