Jann Arden Friend of the Wildies

Pipestone Flyer

Jann Arden has lent her voice to the fight to end the capture season on Alberta’s wild horses. Arden joined veterinarian Dr. Judith Samson- French and rancher Darrell Glover to conduct a recount of the horses in the Williams Creek area this past Sunday. Unfortunately due to extreme turbulence the group was unable to conduct a proper count. The disagreement over horse numbers and the science used to approve this year’s capture season has been strongly questioned by horse advocates.

    Dr. Judith Samson – French, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award 2013 winner, is the highly respected veterinarian behind the Dogs With No Names program that successfully uses contraception to control feral dog populations. She would like to see contraception used to control wild horse numbers in Alberta as a humane and viable long term solution. Contraception has been used for successfully for years in the U.S. to control wild horse numbers. 

    Dr. Samson-French has been trying to contact Robin Campbell of the ESRD and Premier Redford to discuss a contraception plan for the wild horses and so far has received no response.

    The contraception PZP would be delivered via dart to the mares and would cost approximately $75 to administer the two initial doses needed to be effective. Dr. Samson – French has already consulted with Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick U.S. expert on the PZP vaccine. A contraception program could be ready for Alberta wild horses as early as this fall. Dr. Judith Samson- French has a Facebook page devoted to this issue.

    To raise money to implement this program 100 Duane Starr prints have been autographed by Jann Arden to be put up for sale on the Help Alberta Wildies Facebook page. “In the advent of a fertility control program being evaluated and approved, these proceeds will be put towards the vaccine program that we are currently working on for presentation to the ERSD. We have done a lot of work on this in the background and are making good progress collecting our data. Hopefully, we can get to the table with this in the very near future.”

    The best hope for the protection of the wild horses would be to have them declared a Heritage Animal. Canadian Wild Horses is working toward that goal. Petitions are available to sign on their Alberta’s Wild Horses. A Heritage Animal. Federal Petition Facebook page.

    This information is provided by Canadian Wild Horses and is an interesting point to ponder during this capture season and address’s the argument over wild or feral.

    “Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), which recommends species to the Species at Risk Act (SARA). COSEWIC deems a species ‘wild ‘ if it is native, has persisted in Canada for more than 50 years, and threatened by a 10% decline in population over 100 years occurs. Based on this criteria outlined by COSEWIC, free roaming horses are wild and threatened.”

    SARA , identifies stewardship as an important component to animal protection.

    If declared to be a Heritage Animal, Alberta’s wild horses would be protected. 

    This advocates for the wild horses are not going away anytime soon. Perhaps it’s time for the government to reach out and work with the advocacy groups to find a long term solution that everyone can live with and ensure that our free roaming horses are part of the Albertan landscape for generations to come.

    The Leduc Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer has been invited by Help Alberta Wildies to come down and see the Williams Creek area and its horse by air this Thursday conditions permitting.