UPDATE: Horse capture protestors released after arrest

CALGARY – Five protestors arrested in connection to Alberta’s controversial horse capture have been released.

They were taken into custody on Tuesday at a site near Sundre where protesters have gathered in an attempt to stop the capture of feral horses.

Retired rancher Darrell Glover says he travelled to the area to help some friends pack up their camp site.

“We chatted with the RCMP at the time and asked how close we were allowed to get to the site,” says Glover. “We didn’t get a satisfactory answer as to how close we could get.”

“The five of us when back up to the site, that’s when the RCMP showed up immediately and arrested us all,” adds Glover. “They basically came in, grabbed us all, put us in handcuffs in their vehicles and told us that we were going to be charged with mischief.”

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RCMP say they did warn the protestors that they would be committing mischief if they were to proceed to the site, but say the group went on despite the warning.

Once they were able to make a phone call, Glover says they called the number for legal aid but it went straight to voicemail.

There are accusations one of the protesters, a senior who uses canes to walk, was handled roughly at the time of her arrest.

The five people facing charges are expected back in court on March 31st.

Animal rights advocates across the country have been speaking out against the province’s decision to distribute permits allowing the capture of wild horses.

Activists say many of the animals are sold for meat.

The province defends the practice, however, saying the feral horses are not native to Alberta, and are competing with other wildlife for food.

The capture is scheduled to end on Saturday.

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