W5 Exposé Reveals Lack of Independent Scientific Wildlife Management Plan For Wild Horses

Robert Keith Spaith Sculpture
Breakaway bronze statue of wild horses by Robert Keith Spaith in Calgary International Airport terminal

In the first of a two part exposé by investigative journalists from W5,  it was revealed that Alberta’s previous Progressive Conservative government did not commission its own studies of wild horse populations,  preferring instead to take ranchers’ analysis at face-value.  When independent wildlife biologists and animal advocates sought to review that evidence through freedom-of-information requests, the government and ranchers’ association denied access.

In studies that have suggested that there is damage to grasslands,  these findings were observed in areas where access is shared by both horses and cattle,  which are being grazed in orders of magnitude over that of horses in Alberta.

From the W5 article “Born Free”:

“There are now, by the government’s admittedly limited count, around 700 left to roam free in the province, 200 fewer than this time last year. A tough winter and the occasional predator took most of them, while government-licensed trappers took 50. Some of those were sent to a no-kill auction in Innisfail. The government doesn’t know what happened to the rest, as it doesn’t track the horses’ well-being after they’re captured.

The capture and cull has been happening regularly in Alberta, almost every year as the number of wild horses fluctuates.

Ranchers, particularly in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Central Alberta, collect evidence they then turn over to the government, which they claim shows wild horses are over-eating the grazing grasslands needed for domesticated cattle. But the reports are not routinely released to the public……”

One thought on “W5 Exposé Reveals Lack of Independent Scientific Wildlife Management Plan For Wild Horses”

  1. Our AB gov’t should be ashamed of themselves and should indeed be sued……better still and rightly so, – put in prison; the ones responsible for these heinous crimes against these glorious animals. We love to advertise our WILD AB horses running FREE through Tourism AB and yet have killed – butchered off so many that only around 700 of these majestic animals remain. The AB ranchers responsible for contributing to make this happen, should be ashamed; for contributing to their deaths. Finally you have been exposed through W5 on the fools you look to be and far worse than that as you are responsible for the deaths of PREGNANT MARES and horrific crimes against these most beautiful animals. The horse is considered SACRED in aboriginal culture and other cultures and we exploit the horse through Stampede but who is stepping up to the plate to make this wrong, right. Grateful for many Alberta and Canadian activists and ZOO CHECK Canada that work hard to save many animals around the globe. Lets keep working on this and indeed this awful Alberta government should pay for what they have done. You showed your true colours on W5!
    Thank you to all the volunteers and activists out there working hard to save the remaining Alberta Wild horses!

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