Ranchers want slaughter program restarted as wild horse population soars

Photo: Bob Henderson

Photo: Bob Henderson

By Bryan Weismiller, Calgary Herald May 6, 2013

Alberta’s surging wild horse population has ranchers pushing the province to lift the temporary suspension of its selective slaughter program.

The latest count shows a 25 per cent year-over-year increase in the animals since public outcry halted the annual cull last year.

“It’s concerning,” said Sundre-area cattle rancher Jim Bowhay, who fears feral horses will overrun neighbouring pastures and invade his rangeland.

Bowhay already estimates paying up to $30,000 a year in extra costs related to wildlife grazing on grass intended for his livestock.

“Give it two or three years,” Bowhay said. “They grow in a hurry.

“That’s our livelihood, it ups our cost of production — it makes it tough.”

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  1. Allison · ·

    This is ridiculous. The wildlife were there first. We stole their land. How are horses more destructive than deer or other species? I think it’s a good thing the wild horse population is on the rise. Most of our wildlife in Canada is going extinct. You don’t own the grass in the forests ranchers!! Let the horses eat!! I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t trample an electric fence to get on your land so why don’t you just secure your property?!

    1. Thank you Allison, I agree 400 percent. 🙂

  2. Heather · ·

    so true Donna, ranchers want all the land for their use only and are not willing to even try and find an alternative solution…they want the quickest, easiest solution.

    1. I agree Heather, I truly like the sterilization program, also round-up a few for taming and training and sale them. Mustangs a the perfect horse for trail riding.These horses are hardy and smart. There is NO reason on God’s green earth these beautiful animals need to be slaughtered. I’m totally sickened by the helicopter round-up of a foal they ran them to death, what big men they are to harm a baby horse.

  3. lindabadham · ·


  4. By the way it’s not really the ranchers land, it belongs to the natives…….

  5. I don’t care what the rancher want, this is the reason why we have the 1971 “Wild horse and burrow” act. Which I voted for, same crap different decade. Those horses don’t belong to the ranchers or the government to sell for meat. Other countries need to learn to eat snake instead of the Americas horse. I’m sick of these money hungry and evil men slaughtering innocence animals. The government , which by the way are being supported by the tax payers say NO! If there is a population that needs to be thinned round up some and train them and sell to people who want a horse to ride, NOT to eat. It’s simple. Europe wants our horses, because they have eaten all of theirs.

  6. Population control would be a giant step in the right and proper direction. This is the way all folks should be thinking so that we can save our Wild Horse Herds in N. America and make sure every horse and burro who is born is going to have quality of life. Horse slaughter is ugly and says nothing good about those societies that support this barbaric behavior.

  7. Dennis Davey · ·

    Mary, what an excellent idea. Instead of supporting that barbaric butcher C.Bouvry in Alberta, why not do the humane thing and implement sterilization?
    Maybe it is because it takes a lot of money to run a campaign for premier and Bouvry has very deep pockets with the profits from slaughtering Horses.

  8. Mary Croft · ·

    Why doesn’t the government implement a selective sterilization program? (Maybe even on the ranchers?!)
    Why do all wildlife problems end up being resolved by killing?

    1. Thank you Mary, you have made my day. I too believe that this is the way to solve the issue at hand for both domestic and wild horses and burros.

    2. Mary, because men and some women want to take the easy way out, not to mention there a little stupid too.

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