February 19, 2014

Jann lends voice to Alberta’s Wild Horse Capture Plan

Calgary songstress Jann Arden is adding her voice to the list of opponents of a wild horse capture plan.

The Juno award-winning artist joined Olds rancher Darrell Glover in his airplane Sunday, along with veterinarian Dr. Judith Samson-French, to stage their own recount of the wild horse population in the Williams Creek area.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development announced it would grant permits for the capture of 200 wild horses to help control the population and lessen the impact on the land.

Opponents have held rallies to voice their concerns about the program, including the worry most of the horses will end up in slaughterhouses.

They also are demanding an official recount of the horses, claiming the numbers cited by the province are skewed.

And though turbulence prevented Glover, Arden, and Samson-French from conducting a proper count from the air Sunday, the singer’s eyes were opened.

“What I saw looking over that land, the thousands and thousands and thousands of acres, nothing is being ruined,” she said.

They saw about 50 horses.

An animal advocate, Arden said she is now part of the coalition of opponents, which include ranchers, vets and equestrians, who are hoping the government looks instead at contraception as an alternative to trapping, if the population needs controlling.

“As an Albertan, when I see Albertans waving these flags talking about what proud horseman they are and the Calgary Stampeders running a horse up and down every time there is a touchdown, and then we have the Stampede itself and the rodeo and everyone is so proud about our heritage and the horses and to turn around and do this to them, this is our treatment towards them?”

She said the prospect of people trapping horses to slaughter them for money is “new heights of being disgusting.” ESRD has said it will continue to look at contraception as an option and will be going out in March for an annual count of feral horses.

Glover hopes to try another recount in the coming days.


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