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Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull

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1 Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:06 am

Fowler

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Reading about this today and I'm not sure I buy the reasoning. I think you'd need a desperate food situation for the horses to be affecting the food available to other animals. Even if they were, 200 horses would be a spit in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. It's not even like they are an introduced invasive species. They occupy a niche that was left vacant when North America lost it's native horses. All in all, I'm not buying it.

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2 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:16 am

Echo 1

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I don't buy the reasoning either.

3 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:04 am

lady leghorn


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Neither do I. Sounds like a money grab somewhere, for somebody.  Suspect 

4 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:53 pm

authenticfarm

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Get ready for the unpopular opinion ...

These aren't "wild" horses - these are low-value horses that escaped, weren't worth enough for anyone to bother to catch them, and then they continued on reproducing. A more accurate name for them would be free-ranging domestic horses.

There are several areas in Alberta where these free-ranging domestic horses are a major problem, not only because the pasture could be better used by cattle or other livestock, but because they cause motor vehicle accidents when they free range onto highways.

These herds regularly get new additions from some communities, where, when the people can no longer afford to feed their animals, get tired of feeding them, or when feed is scarce, they throw open the gates and let the horses fend for themselves.

Some of the free-ranging domestic horse herds west of Cochrane, Alberta include horses with brands on them. "Wild," eh?

Yes, free-ranging domestic horses are a problem, and I see no issue with these non-native animals being removed. If there were free-ranging domestic cattle herds causing a problem, no one would have an issue with that cull. Same with sheep, goats, or chickens. North Americans can have unrealistic ideas when it comes to horses, because cheval is not commonly consumed here, and because horses are generally considered to be pets. However, meat is meat, and if there's a market for it and unwanted/problem animals like this to fill it, then it all makes sense to me.

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5 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:39 pm

appway

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authenticfarm wrote:Get ready for the unpopular opinion ...

These aren't "wild" horses - these are low-value horses that escaped, weren't worth enough for anyone to bother to catch them, and then they continued on reproducing. A more accurate name for them would be free-ranging domestic horses.

There are several areas in Alberta where these free-ranging domestic horses are a major problem, not only because the pasture could be better used by cattle or other livestock, but because they cause motor vehicle accidents when they free range onto highways.

These herds regularly get new additions from some communities, where, when the people can no longer afford to feed their animals, get tired of feeding them, or when feed is scarce, they throw open the gates and let the horses fend for themselves.

Some of the free-ranging domestic horse herds west of Cochrane, Alberta include horses with brands on them. "Wild," eh?

Yes, free-ranging domestic horses are a problem, and I see no issue with these non-native animals being removed. If there were free-ranging domestic cattle herds causing a problem, no one would have an issue with that cull. Same with sheep, goats, or chickens. North Americans can have unrealistic ideas when it comes to horses, because cheval is not commonly consumed here, and because horses are generally considered to be pets. However, meat is meat, and if there's a market for it and unwanted/problem animals like this to fill it, then it all makes sense to me.

And thats all I am going to say even tho they are not my words they make alot of Sense
Oh I fibbed one more thing I have eaten and I like horse meat
Okay thats all

6 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:17 pm

Fowler

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I don't disagree with everything but I would say that, just because they are feral doesn't not make them a junk animal (in ecological terms). They occupy a niche which was left open when North America lost it's resident horses. Our ecosystem is incomplete and has been for a good long time. A number of species are still missing. For example, we used to have a cheetah type predator (Pronghorns didn't get that fast without a reason). Something happened in the ancient past that removed a lot of species. My point is just that they do serve a purpose even if they are a reintroduction.

7 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:50 pm

lady leghorn


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There's just something about eating a horse, that makes it really hard to think about. The other types of livestock, most people understand about butchering

to eat, but looking into a horses eye, would make it darn difficult to butcher them. Just something about horses that most of our culture, isn't used to thinking

about. If the farmers are so worried about them eating their feed, then ask some of these farmers for big rounds of hay. You see so much sitting on farms

going rotten. Then give them some sort of birth control. I'd rather see them, than bears, wolves, or cougars.

8 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:13 pm

authenticfarm

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lady leghorn wrote:There's just something about eating a horse, that makes it really hard to think about.   The other types of livestock, most people understand about butchering

to eat, but looking into a horses eye, would make it darn difficult to butcher them.  Just something about horses that most of our culture, isn't used to thinking

about.   If the farmers are so worried about them eating their feed, then ask some of these farmers for big rounds of hay.   You see so much sitting on farms

going rotten.   Then give them some sort of birth control.  I'd rather see them, than bears, wolves, or cougars.  

Why should the farmers be the ones who have to pay to feed them? Let the animal rights activists put their money where their mouths are and buy truckloads of hay and some equipment to feed these animals all winter. The farmers aren't the ones wanting to save these pests.

Who will pay for "birth control" - which would involve a massive cost in rounding up all the horses, and then gelding the studs and/or giving mares hysterectomies? Not to mention the couple of weeks of housing and handling those now-altered animals to give them antibiotics and ensure they don't get infections and die. The facility they would need to build to even think about tackling that job would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Does anyone say "give the deer birth control!" when there's a big deer cull announced? No.

You have to think realistically. A cull is the best option.

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9 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:27 pm

lady leghorn


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No the farmers shouldn't have to pay for their feed, but they could donate a lot of these big round bales that they leave to go rotten in their farm yards? Never

have understood that. You don't see that in B.C. Yes I'm sure the people that want to save the horses would donate money for birth control or gelding.

Spaying mares is extremely expensive.

But if a lot of these horses are cast offs, WHY do people keep breeding horses? There simply are not enough homes for them. When we had the minis, us and

a lot of other people quit breeding for that exact reason. Out here they don't seem to get it??? The back yard breeders I mean, why raise something that is

worth nothing? Guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Smile

10 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:50 pm

authenticfarm

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lady leghorn wrote:No the farmers shouldn't have to pay for their feed, but they could donate a lot of these big round bales that they leave to go rotten in their farm yards?  Never

have understood that.  You don't see that in B.C.  

We have some of those "rotting bales" that you speak of. They are leftover from the previous year, and they are fed out first before the current year's crop. Roll off the outside layer and they're fine inside. A responsible farmer carries over quite a bit of feed from a previous year, in case there is a drought the following year. We may have truly rotten straw bales around, but never hay. I could see how a non-farmer could misunderstand how things are done, though.

lady leghorn wrote:  Yes I'm sure the people that want to save the horses would donate money for birth control or gelding.  

Spaying mares is extremely expensive.  

But if a lot of these horses are cast offs, WHY do people keep breeding horses?   There simply are not enough homes for them.  When we had the minis, us and

a lot of other people quit breeding for that exact reason.  Out here they don't seem to get it???  The back yard breeders I mean,  why raise something that is

worth nothing?     Guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one.  Smile


Therein lies the root of the problem. Irresponsible breeding is a huge problem with all domestic species.

For myself, I never breed or hatch something that I am not financially and environmentally (in terms of space and housing) able to keep for THE REST OF ITS LIFE. I haven't found very many people who think like I do, though.

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11 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:23 pm

lady leghorn


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I definitely agree with you on the breeding. If you are breeding cattle, or meat rabbits, etc. then it's worth it, can be eaten, no problem.

But in the spring we drive by so many small farms ( big ones too) and most all of the mares are in foal or have a foal at foot. Why? How's going to buy that

foal? Horses are darned expensive to raise up to riding age. Then the training etc.  affraid 

12 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:38 pm

heda gobbler

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I hate seeing ads for 8 year old stallions that have had no training, no pedigree, just sat in the pasture for years. Not even bother to geld. What future does he have?

Here it is still the tradition on some ranches when you reach this time of year especially and are low on hay you let the horses out to fend for themselves and feed the cows which are more preferred eating and a more reliable source of income.

If the horses fending for themselves meet up with a feral herd they likely won't come home in the spring. There are always people out looking for their missing horses in the spring.

The last horses native to North America were killed off 10,000 years ago by early humans. Killed for food. Quite a long time to be without horses and lots of other grazing animals have occupied that niche. Bison included.

And once a cow really loves you it is just as hard to think of eating her as it is a horse.

Or a sow who smiles when she sees you coming, even if you don't have a bucket!

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13 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:45 pm

lady leghorn


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Heda....I know what you mean about the cows big brown eyes. I love cows. I still have a horn that had to be removed by the vet, off of my pet cow yrs ago.

Just can't part with Mom cow's horn. I loved that cow.  Embarassed 

Haven't had the big sized pigs, so haven't seen the smiling, but I don't doubt you at all. Animals have such neat personalities ( at least some).

I feel sorry for those pasture pets too. Way too many, people really need to quit breeding horses so much.

14 Re: Opinions On Alberta's Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:13 pm

newbe enthusiast

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I know for a fact that not all these horses are going to be killed. I know a rancher in the area who acquired a ticket for 50 of these animals (which he gets every 5 years or so) and plans on capture and training them. He has successfully trained and re-homed over 300 since he started the program.

15 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:43 pm

Schipperkesue

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Perhaps the Alberta government is missing out on a stellar opportunity to create a soon to be traditional moneymaking festival as well as keep the numbers of wild horses controlled.

Look here...

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16 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:15 am

Fowler

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heda gobbler wrote:

The last horses native to North America were killed off 10,000 years ago by early humans. Killed for food.  Quite a long time to be without horses and lots of other grazing animals have occupied that niche.  Bison included.


Different theories on how North America lost so many large species. Some now claim a meteor impact (would explain the loss of megafauna in other parts of the world).

This guy thinks the bison expoded (population-wise, not literally).

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Although there is overlap, I do not believe they occupy the exact same niche. I'm sure I read somewhere that their grazing was actually complimentary to each other.

17 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:10 am

Echo 1

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Horse slaughter is always an emotional issue...ALWAYS! Does a horse have more right to life than a cow, sheep, chicken or pig? I guess not but for me it is the way it is handled that gives me cause for deep concern. The captive bolt system used to stun/kill cattle for slaughter is often not effective for horses. Horses can be hauled for a maximum of 53 hours in a crowded cattle liner, no water, no food and heaven help them if they fall on the slippery manure and urine covered floor. I'm sure this may apply to other types of animals as well and in my mind it is equally wrong! We need to respect the animals we consume. That respect MUST carry through from birth to death. We get our beef from a local farmer, grass fed and free range.....happy cattle! Yes I am sure of this, I have been out to his farm MANY times and know which exactly animal is going to wind up on my plate. I guess you could say we have a relationship with this man, I trust him. As for Chickens.... well we have started to raise those ourselves. I know the eggs on my plate and the chicken dinner I consume were well treated! Still working on finding a source for pork products. There was an earlier thread on the forum that spoke of treating the animals we eat with respect, giving them the best life possible and making the end of that life as stress free as we can.

18 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:43 am

pigglet


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Echo, I agree.
When we had to put down our old horses (31 & 29), '''I''' ( cried from Edmonton to Fort McLeod, and back) hauled them to Fort McLeod, and lead them on the floor. No way were they going to be shipped in a container and beat up. Two of my friends came down with me and felt sorry for my tears, but could not understand why it hurt me so much. They were our friends, and they were part of the family. I agree ALL animals should be treated with dignity.

19 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:53 am

authenticfarm

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When I had to put down my old horse, I called the vet and booked a day, I had my husband dig a big hole with a borrowed back hoe in a nice spot where the horse liked to hang out, I held the shank while my horse received the injection, and my brother in law buried him for me afterwards while I fell apart. It was the best death I could give him.

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20 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:18 pm

lady leghorn


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It's never easy is it. I have had to hold that lead 3 different times. Very upsetting. But had to be done in all 3 of the situations. No suffering for the horses,

just us.  Crying or Very sad 

21 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:00 pm

pigglet


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Ours was middle of winter and frozen ground, wished I could have buried them. We wanted to give them one more year, but they were just not making it, this was the best we could do.

22 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:21 pm

heda gobbler

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Better than being torn apart by wolves or cougars, the "natural" way many old animals die here.

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23 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:36 pm

Echo 1

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I too have said goodbye to 3 horses. 2 were put to sleep by our vet and buried here on our home place. My first horse was put to sleep and his remains taken to the rendering plant, we rented then and were not able to bury him. However we say goodbye it must be done with compassion and respect!

24 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:20 pm

Buff

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Here somemore info on the wild horse cull

25 Re: Opinions on an Alberta Feral Horse Cull on Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:54 pm

Buff

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Here's some more info on what's going on in the horse industry 
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