Canadian Wild Horses at center of controversy

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Cross-posted from

Written by Christa Lesté-Lasserre

A Canadian logging company wants the number of free-roaming horses in Alberta reduced, but a Canadian wild horse advocacy group argues that the company’s complaints against the horses are unfounded.

Sundre Forest Products’ spokesperson Tom Daniels said the herds have grown too numerous for the area, are destroying young seedling trees, and are sometimes even aggressive toward forest workers, CBC News Canada reported.

But Bob Henderson, president of the Wild Horses of Alberta Society, based in Olds, Alberta, said the horses are causing no harm and are living harmoniously with nature.

“The information being put out by the logging conglomerates is basically a fabrication based on lack of facts or scientific evidence,” Henderson said.

He said the number of free-roaming horses–550 according to his estimates–is well within the limits of the million-acre-plus grazing area capacity.

The claims that the horses are aggressive are also questionable, according to Henderson. “In my years of spending time with the wild horses I have never found one that could even remotely be called ferocious,” he said, adding that stallions often “bluff”–by snorting, blowing, and starting to charge before stopping–to protect their herds.

Sundre Forest Products could not be reached for comment. It is unknown what, if any, action will be taken on the situation. Read full report >>

2 thoughts on “Canadian Wild Horses at center of controversy”

  1. What this biased logging company conveniently fails to mention are grazing and browsing wildlife populations in Alberta: Elk (26,000) , Mule Deer (200,000), Whitetail (150,000), and Moose (118,00o). I don’t know how many are in this specific area, but my my guess is: a lot.

    “Anecdotally, just from what we see out there, we know horses are browsing the tops of our seedlings,” he said. “Anecdotal” evidence doesn’t equal science. From what I’ve read, horses don’t particularly like to eat conifers, but Elk and deer dine on them regularly, especially in early spring. And deer are notorious for stripping growing conifers in Winter and early Spring,

    “The horses are also a potential traffic hazard (as are the wildlife), as well as a problem for employees, he added.” The quote from the linked article is: “We’ve had staff threatened by A HORSE while they were out working in the field.” A HORSE, as in ONE! (Bad edit. Reporter, do thy homework!) BTW, I hope they never encounter a Mama Moose!

    And all of the above have hooves (Moose have huge hooves, and Elk have big ones as well.). Off-roaders (including hunters) run over and snap young trees in all seasons. Hundreds of hunters tramp through Alberta. I bet they’ve stepped on more than one sapling!

    Wildlife and humans make significant contributions to habitat distruction. Wild horses continue to get the blame, because they’re an easy target … literally!


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