It has taken some time but it has taken some time to integrate our wildhorsesofalberta.ca site with facebook so you will now notice both sites will have the same information posted. Pardon as we iron out the kinks
On Saturday the presentation put together by Dr Judith Samson-French on PZP contraception for your Wild Horses, was presented in Judith’s absence by Lori Rogers from the Calgary Zoo. It was a good turnout of folks who are truly interested in the preservation and humane treatment of these horses on Alberta’s Eastern slopes.
I thought it might be nice to post a few highlights from the presentation so that all of our followers will have a better understanding of the process and be able to share that knowledge with others.
1) PZP is an “Immuno Vaccine”, which unlike other contraceptives used in animals that are actually “hormonal”, does NOT change the normal reproductive cycling of mares who are injected, and does NOT affective the social behaviour of the herd. (Mares will still cycle, stallions will still breed them)
2) PZP creates a layer of protein that encompasses the egg in the inoculated mare, which is very tough and virtually impossible for the sperm of the stallion to penetrate and fertilize. It is 95% effective.
3) Contraceptive is administered by means of a dart that is delivered remotely – either by long range rifle, shorter range pistols, blow guns or through the use of stick poles. The best method of delivery has yet to be determined as obviously, to deliver by anything other than the long range rifle, the administrator would need to be in very close proximity.
4) Once darted, the contraceptive effects are reversible.
5)There are no ill side effects. An inoculated mare will continue to come into season and her eggs will be susceptible to fertilization the following year. She can be safely inoculated up to 3 times, 3 years in a row.
6) PZP is safe to give to pregnant mares and will not affect her foal.
7) The cost of administering a dose of PZP for one mare, 3 doses over 3 years is a total of $120.00. That is not a type-o. It is “One hundred and twenty dollars”. Total. That includes factoring in the cost of the dart guns, the PZP, the adjutant to add to the PZP, the dart and the government permit required to administer the drug. This will all be privately funded as WHOAS has already committed to purchasing the dart guns and medication, and HAW (Help Alberta Wildies) is also doing fund raising to help with the cost of the PZP.
All this said – we are still waiting for the ESRD to acknowledge that is is a very viable, affordable and effective solution to managing the herds – if – and this is a VERY important “IF” – management is even deemed necessary.
Please – keep writing your MLA asking for accurate and consistent counts of your wild horses. Asking for answers to some very important questions that as of now they do not have answers to:
How many horses are truly living now on the Eastern Slopes west of Sundre? How many horses can the hectares of land out there support? What are the dynamics of the herds that are out there? How many Stallions? How many mares? How many Foals and what are their ages? What is the reproductive status of these herds?
Without answers to these questions – there can be no realistic, scientific or honest management. In fact – there can be no reason to even consider management at all.
Don’t stop writing – don’t stop talking. The time to help these horses is NOW.
Below is a list of photography websites that are helping to record the Wild Horses of Alberta. The intent is not to promote one site over another but to help consolidate all the sites. If you know of any others feel free to comment with the link.
It should be noted that Facebook sites have not been included as not everyone has Facebook.
http://larrysemchuk.photoshelter.com/ – Larry Semchuk
http://www.wildhorsedigital.com/ – Bob Henderson
http://www.duanestarrphotography.com/ – Duane Starr
http://www.wildlife-expressions.com/ – Gilles Korent
http://www.michelekingphotography.com/home/ – Michelle King
http://www.maureenennsstudioltd.com/ – Maureen Enns
http://www.susanarmstrongphotography.com/ – Susan Armstrong
The Three Girls in a Truck
http://www.mstevensphotography.ca/ – Mark Stevens
Supporters of the free-roaming wild horses of Alberta have held a couple of rallies so far this month attempting to get their voices heard about the current capture season and overall protecting the wild horses. There are two more rallies coming:
The next Rally will be held in Calgary, Alberta at McDougall Centre, – 455-6th St SW, this Saturday February 15th, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Another Rally will take place in Red Deer, Alberta at Red Deer City Hall – 914-48th Ave, Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1:00pm.
Come Rally with us and make our voice HEARD. The one and only goal of our effort is to save the Wild Horses of Alberta.
This time why are we rallying?
We are concerned that NO count has been conducted since ……March of 2013 by ESRD after the flooding and record snow fall. We NEED an official recount!!!
We are concerned that scientific methods of population control are not being considered a viable solution.
We need answers regarding the steering committee and the interests that make decisions. We believe there to be a great conflict of interest here.
I believe we have been fair in the questions we have asked and we have a right to answers!
Our bottom line is: STOP THE CULL, COUNT THE HORSES!!!!!
Join in the rallies if you can. Continue to email and write the Premier. Especially contact your local MLA expressing your concerns and ask for honest answers and not just a vocalization of what ESRD wants them to say. Don’t give up the fight.
As of today there has been no decision as to whether to hold a wild horse capture season. Licenses to horse trappers could be available anytime now by order of our Environment Minister, Diana McQueen. WHOAS has a foreboding feeling that this will happen.
We need your help now. Write a letter to Minister McQueen and to Premier Allison Redford, telling them that despite a couple of meetings with other stakeholders, there is still no scientific evidence that our free-roaming wild horses are negatively impacting the ecosystem of our eastern slopes.
Through your letter writing and email efforts to the government officials, you can help make a change. There was no capture season last year. Let them know you and your family and friends insist there is not another one this winter.
Do your part to save our wild horses now and for future generations. The future of our wild horses is at stake. Here are the contact addresses:
Premier Allison Redford
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Minister of Environment & Sustainable Resource Development
204 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Here is a sample letter you can use. Print or copy it, sign and mail it.
Dear Ms. McQueen,
As an Albertan and Canadian, I am distraught to learn that you could issue horse capture permits with the intent of removing several hundred head of our wild, free-roaming horses this coming winter. I find this appalling.
These beautiful animals have lived in small family herds for generations. They have been an integral part of Alberta’s heritage, its history and culture. I believe they deserve to live and be part of the whole ecosystem as it exists today in our Alberta foothills.
I understand that your department undertook a count of the horses last March and that 853 were reported in the vast area of the foothills from Kananaskis up to Hinton. I have also heard that the ESRD could issue up to 300 permits for the 2013-2014 season which would eradicate up to 30% of the wild horse population. Despite stakeholder meetings this fall, there seems to be no interest on your part to undertake any scientific research to determine how these wild horses fit into the whole ecosystem or determine what numbers could be sustained in this vast area. Why has this not been done?
I urge you to stop any further capture season. As the Premier has said in the past, “Albertans deserve to know that the species that call this province home today will still be here for future generations.”
Remember the Wild Horses of Alberta Annual General Meeting will be held tonight at 7:00 PM at the Sundre Museum.