Alberta Wild Horses in Danger

Wild horses in Alberta you say? I’m sure some of you didn’t realize they still existed. They are in a constant struggle to survive, and their numbers are becoming weaker by the day. Their are no laws in Canada protecting this important part of our Western Canadian heritage.

In the United States, their is Federal law for the protection of wild horses. Even our often disagreed with neighbour to the south is doing something to protect a sacred part of their western heritage.

In 1971, the Free-Roaming Wild Horse, and Burro Act was created. The bylaw has a strong backbone as anyone caught breaking the law will have severe penalties placed upon there actions.

There are a multitude of groups who help the Americans protect their wild horses. They realize these Wild horses are a viable resource, and an integral part of there American heritage. Horses broke the land, hauled produce, and helped harvest our forests, and crops.

Cattle ranchers would have been nearly helpless without the horse, not to mention these beauties were the only form of transportation in those times. I’m sure horses saved many lives.

My grandmother had pneumonia as a child, but a Doctor was able to take a horse in the middle of a cold Manitoba blizzard to provide the medicinal treatments that saved her life. These pristine beauties deserve our thanks, not a bullet.

These horses delivered coal, and water to farm yards. Walk in any museum, and you will see that nearly every picture symbolizing early western life, shows a horse.

Wild horses present a great value to future generations, and should be recognized for their service to Canada. Do we not give great honour to veterans who provided freedom for the future. These horses went to war for us, and without them, civilization would not be the same.

Wild horses are a valuable piece of Alberta, and should have our protection, much like the grizzly bear, elk, deer, and sheep. We have forgotten about that four legged beauty who forded the survival of our ancestors when they first set foot on Canadian soil.

Columbus introduced these horses to North America in 1493, and by the late 1500’s, horses were a major part of plains life. In 1630, the first horse was brought into what is now Alberta, by the Blackfoot Indians, and by the 1800’s, horses were a common site.

John McDougal, a missionary, documents that horses were prayed upon by wolves in the areas between the North Saskatewan, and Oldman rivers. We are at fault for the drastic reduction of the wolf, and wild horse populations.

The governments only plan to save the caribou population was to kill off numerous wolves, but if their were enough wild horses, the wolves natural food source, the caribou population would no longer be in danger. Wolves are now forced to go outside their usual food sources to survive, and that’s causing a larger mess to our food chain.

Government officials approach the wild horses plight with apathy, and indifference. Some experts say that the wild horse takes away from the food sources of the deer, elk, and moose, but an expert on the subject has experienced something quite different in conducting research for his new book, “The Last Wild Mustangs.”

Renowned Photojournalist, and long time wild horse enthusiast “Patrice Halley, has seen barren slopes covered with hard crusted snow without a trace of another animal. Wild horses come in with their broad hooves, and break the frozen crusted snow, pawing for feed. The deer, and elk follow to get at the food they wouldn’t have been able to reach with their small hooves.

Watching a deer run into the safety of a herd of horses to escape a predator is also worth nothing, and that unselfish nature has been a part of the temperament of any horse throughout time. It’s clear horses have a high capacity for caring, and accept there role in society. A horse is no less a man’s best friend, than a dog is.

Wild horses are an important food source to wolves, who are growing in numbers so much that the government has requested over a hundred wolves to be shot to help with the caribou recovery plan.

The government states that wild horses are feral, strays, which don’t belong in the area, but history contradicts this.

If you would like to provide your support for these beautiful, strong animals, contact the Wild Horses of Alberta Society or visit their website at

In 1985, there were over a thousand Free-roaming horses in Alberta. Today, less than 300 remain.


One response to “Alberta Wild Horses in Danger

  1. compatriots!
    Status Update Wednesday, 02 September 2009 16:48

    The DC District Court Judge denied our request for a Temporary Restraining Order. We are not giving up on these horses though– KEEP CALLING YOUR SENATORS and CONGRESS PEOPLE, All MEDIA OUTLETS and tell your friends– this is another treasure being destroyed if we can’t stop this unneccessary, callous and massive roundup.

    We will do our best to keep you updated- the round up is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday Sept. 3 and over the next few days or week the BLM plans to remove over 70 horses– from older mares and stallions to young foals. Don’t give up.
    Who Has Been Hired to Round Up Cloud’s Herd? Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:28

    Dave Cattoor is a contractor hired by the BLM to perform wild horse round-ups. He and his wife and son run a business largely funded by the American taxpayer to harass and remove wild horses and burros. He was indicted by a federal grand jury and pled guilty to illegally hunting wild horses, aiding and abetting in 1992. He rounded up protected American mustangs, corralled into pens, loaded them into trucks, and hauled them to a slaughter house in Texas where they lost their lives. It was government theft and animal abuse. Among wild horse and burro advocates, he has a reputation of being cruel and inhumane. Photographs of newborn foals run to exhaustion, found hog tied on the range, horses and burros bleeding from their nostrils, broken legs and injured during exhausting gallops to captured pens are displayed on many wild horse and burro web sites.

    He is currently being investigated by the Department of Interior Inspector General for procurement fraud. It is known from federal contracting web sites that he has earned 13 million dollars since 2000 for which records are available. It is believed he has earned more than 21 million dollars since his conviction. Both he and his wife spoke separately before the Wild Horse and Advisory Board in 2009 and advocated for the continued use of helicopter round ups in an attempt to influence the boards recommendation to continue their lucrative contracting business. Federal law prohibits the use of contractors that have been convicted of a crime. Generally, a indictment would eliminate a contractor from consideration. However, Mr. Cattoor has been rewarded and made a millionaire many times over by the BLM despite the public outrage.

    Fully knowing the public’s concern about Mr. Dave Cattoor ‘s inhumane practices, the BLM Billings, Montana office have denied humane groups request to placed humane observers on the ground with full access during the Pryor round to ensure animals are treated humanely. Wild horses advocates have advised the BLM Billlings office as well as BLM officials in Washington DC that foals only day old and heavily pregnant mares are among those the contractor plans to run long distances for captured.

    Click Here for more information about Dave Cattoor

    Click Here to see a Helicopter Removal Pictorial
    Article from Honoring Freedom: The Ride to Save America’s Wild Horses Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:18

    American Indian Leaders and others concerned about BLM’s wild horse management gather for Ceremony to honor the land and pray for the safety of the horses

    Download PDF Here
    Legal Battle to Save Clouds herd Wednesday, 02 September 2009 12:37

    See Documents Who Has Been Hired to Round Up Cloud’s Herd Tuesday, 01 September 2009 15:02

    Click Here to visit The Cloud Foundations YouTube page.
    Congressman Raul Grijalva calls for BLM to stop Roundup Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00

    Congressman Raul Grijalva calls for BLM to stop Roundup not only of Cloud’s Herd but of all Wild Horses and Burros

    Download full PDF here!
    Crow Elder & Historian Speaks Against Roundup Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00

    Howard Boggess, Member of the Crow Tribe of Indians, Elder and Historian talks about the Pryor Wild Horses he’s known all his life. Mr. Boggess discusses what could happen if the roundup of Cloud’s herd goes forward on Sept. 4th. Everything that is against the law for me they are planning to do to these horses. This is a very sad thing as far as I’m concerned. The horses have lived here for over 200 years. Even under the harassment of the BLM they’ve survived since 1971.
    Keep calling Secretary of Interior Salazar, BLM Director Bob Abbey, the Billings BLM Office and President Obama.

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