WHOAS Position on the Permit Holders

I’ve been in front of my computer all day responding to emails and giving feedback about the capture season. You should know that the permit holders are legally able to undertake the capture of the wild horses under their licence.

Although WHOAS does not agree at all with this and does have a better management plan, the permit holders have the right to partake in this.

The fight for the wild horses is not with them; it is with the Redford government and the ESRD. They are the ones who continue to ignore the citizens of Alberta, the majority of whom are wanting to see the wild horses remain on the land, free from harassment. We are also upset in the manner that they handled the implementation of this capture season and the permits they issued.


18 thoughts on “WHOAS Position on the Permit Holders

  1. Anonymous

    The plight of the wild horses just sounds so wrong! Maybe Medicine River Wildlife Center or even PETA could give some advice on media coverage for the cull. Not exactly their area but both groups have some powerful media connections. This government makes so many stupid, ill-informed decisions! and yet another one deserves public attention. No one should profit from the capture and slaughter of these animals, why couldn’t land be appropriated for a reserve, their ancestors are heritage animals? If this has to happen truly the media & supporters should be involved in a big way to draw public attention.


  2. Darrell Glover

    Mis-information seems to be something that ESRD specializes in. Such as the EIA red herring they introduced and stating to the public that horses have no natural predators. They have tried to set up smoke screens to cover their intentions for permitting this year’s capture season, and intentionally withheld requested information from the public until the permits were actually issued. My personal opinion is that ESRD counts from last March are not reflecting current numbers as I have personally been flying the Williams Creek valley for several years and specifically, the last few weeks, … and our last count of visible horses was 61. Considering I might have missed 20 or 30 more, … they will be capturing 25% of 169 horses from their last year’s count. This is going to have a severe impact on these valley herds. Unbelievable !!


  3. John Austin

    Keely and everyone else, there is someone trying to organize protests, she goes by Free Spirit Sanctuary on Facebook, please check it out.
    this capture news is very disturbing to me and thousands of other Canadians who are not even in Alberta. The ESRD is not listening to people, only stake holders!


  4. Sabine

    Can we start a petition with one of the many organizations out there
    and collect signatures to send to the AB Government?
    This is again our great government doing whatever they want and ignore the citizens. This has to stop!


  5. Lisa

    I never post messages but felt strongly that this ‘culling’ of free roaming horses is wrong. I would render my protest on a petition if there is one that exists.


  6. This story breaks my heart, how tragic for these majestic creatures. I have always loved horses since i was a little girl, although i never had the pleasure or honor of owning one. Maybe the world needs to know how Redford deals with such beautiful creatures. I have visited Alberta in the past and one reason that i wanted to see Alberta was because of the wild animals, roaming free and protected, in future i will now take my travels elsewhere and advise everyone i know to do the same.


  7. ESRD first raised the red herring (apologies to herrings!) about the Swamp Fever issue, and then retreated when posed with the distinct possibility that the Red Deer River Ranch and Jason Bradley (one of the capture permit holders)might go into lockdown/isolation status in consequence.

    ESRD also alleged they had not decided about capture permits whilst having issued them and decided on a cull in the Sundre area.

    The amount of wild horses in the Sundre area, currently verified by three independent individuals from a very recent aerial survey indicates the amount of wild horses to be less than one tenth of what both ESRD and the government minister allege is the true amount.

    The wild horses from published and ongoing research graze in a highly selective manner (unlike domestic horses who will overgraze an area due to being in an enclosed pasture/space)and will not overgraze; scientific research in fact suggests just the opposite, that their careful selective grazing improves eco-diversity and wild grasses. Wild horses deal with predators – cougar, wolf, grizzly amongst other prey others – and self manage their own population breeding. In a winter like this one, mortality rate will be higher for starters.

    To stress an already under stress wild animal struggling to survive during this harsh winter (and these horses are wild, generations wild and their behavior is akin more to mule deer than domestic equines)is not ethical. Throw into the pot would you consider ‘trapping’ or capturing wild deer/elk, then coercing into stock trailers to auctions and slaughterhouses, can you imagine the adrenalin and fear and panic humans are inducing?


  8. Della W

    The Government of Alta must realize nobody owns wildlife. We own as much claim to the wild horses, as they do to us. Canada’s wilderness is like a partnership. We are all beholding to one another. The wild horses of Alta have a lot to give. If you fail to see the beauty in life, you have failed to live.
    I commend you Bob for your tireless work.

    Della, from Winnipeg, MB


  9. Roxie

    Hi I have been trying to find information on how one might go about donating private land for wild horses .I understand this is done in the states but not sure if it is or can be done here in Canada . I tried to find a contact email here but could not see one . so writing in the comment section . we are in MB wondering if there is any protection here or if we have wild horses at all. we do have land know people who also have land. If someone could email me any info that would be great. Our dd lives in golden BC so I sent her your link the petition to sign. Thanks a bunch.


  10. Donna Freeman

    Yes, I saw Global News too! I am sad by what I am hearing with the capturing and I disagree, leave these wild horses alone, they belong here in Alberta. Maybe time to vote for a different government that will listen to these majestic horses. Let me see……how long does Redford have? I certainly will not vote for her in the next election. Alberta seems to be going down! There have to be another way to protect these wild horses…..
    Thankyou for your hard work Bob.


  11. Judy Van Dusen

    I am amazed that the government has ignored all letters/emails from concerned citizens concerning the wild horse capture. How can a public official justify this ? At the very least a response should be given. It seems to me the people in question who have decided to do this are very ill informed. Horses have the same natural predators in the wild as the Elk and deer populations. There are so few of them to impact on the environment. The government should have to prove to the general population what studies were done and by whom, proving that this indeed had to be done. These are elected officials that have a responsibility to the general public. Sounds to me like the whole wild horse population will be wiped out if this goes ahead. Very sad state of affairs. I live in Ontario and am sickened by what I am reading about the Alberta government. The wild horse should be protected. There are so few of them left. I don’t know where the government is getting their numbers, probably just making them up. It is all about money.


  12. Pete and June Burrows

    Bob Henderson Thankyou so much for all your work at trying to save our Wild horses you are much appreciated. Also is there a member ship that you buy to join WHOAS. ? Have been buying the calendars for the past 6 years and almost missed out this year but did get one. Thanks again and Best Wishes to you and yours for 2014. June


  13. Bud MacKenzie

    I was just informed of the govt decision to cull or issue permits to capture, destroy, mess with the wild horse population. I was instantly enraged. I am a hunter, I also understand that sometimes a species ‘is a nuisance’. It’s only a nuisance because we, man woman and child are encroaching on their land. This enrages me so much that I cannot put my thoughts into words. What right does the Redford govt have for displacing, culling, 25% of a herd which consists of a couple hundred. We don’t displace, or cull the Redford govt when they become a nuisance. Leave the horses alone. Is it possible to purchase the permit just to purchase them, and leave the horses right where they are.


  14. Silvia

    This is very sad and truly outrageous. We are so lucky to be one of the countries that still has wild horses. If they claim that the cattle don’t have enough grass because of our wild horses, maybe we breed too many cattle. And why are the farmers not feeding their cattle and keeping them away from our wilderness? This has been an especially tough winter for our wildlife and we must protect them. The government, as always, is purely interested in making profit and gaining convenience.
    Thank you, Bob, for all you do!!!!!


  15. ANONymous

    There IS a petition now! Supporters are growing by the minute:


    Please sign and circulate.

    This has also made the New Zealand news, Feb. 1/14:


    PETA, The Humane Society International (HSI) have been notified, also.

    Are there any Twitter accts out there to follow or organize?

    Thank you all for caring, you are not alone.


  16. Big Buck

    I would like to also thank all of those who came out, and stood up to protect the horses. It is such a shame to see Big Red sit back and support a cull.At the end of the day it all back fired and by the looks of the stats we will have the Wild Rose Party in very very soon. Cheers to everyone and thank you. A special thanks to those who had to eat mashed potatoes and pork. I make a great BBQ if anyone is ever interested. Be nice to see some of our tax paying dollars going to protecting our native animals other than being spent on flights.


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