January 25, 2016 8:59 pm
Updated: January 25, 2016 10:58 pm

Lack of evidence to support wild horse cull in Alberta: report

WATCH ABOVE: Wildlife protection group, Zoocheck, says the governments own internal documents say feral horses are not damaging the environment. Tony Tighe reports.


Animal rights organization Zoocheck released a report Monday that cites a lack of scientific evidence to back up claims that wild horse culls are necessary.

The release states its 1.5-year investigation looked into the “Alberta government’s assertions that wild horses are overpopulating the landscape and causing ecological damage” but after reviewing all of the materials, Zoocheck could find little proof to back the claims up.

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In the report, Zoocheck points to mainly anecdotal evidence and is asking for the provincial government to review its position.

This controversial policy includes a capture program to reduce the number of wild horses in the province.

READ MORE: Wild horses auctioned off to a home instead of the slaughterhouse

The current NDP government has yet to define its position on this policy, but Environment Minister Shannon Phillips did send Global News this statement in response to the Zoocheck report:

“The Department of Environment and Parks is exploring options for managing the wild horse population this year that do not include an auction. That work is still ongoing. Our government has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wild Horses of Alberta Society to test two horse population management strategies, adoption and mare contraception. This, along with other research conducted by our department, will inform the development of a long-term feral horse strategy that will maintain ecological values on the landscape, accommodate existing commitments, and allow a continued feral horse population.

The department of Environment and Parks will continue monitoring the effectiveness of these programs and continue working co-operatively with stakeholders towards long-term horse population management strategies.”


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