Wild horses looking fat and furry along the Red Deer River west of Sundre, Alberta, on January 11, 2012. MIKE DREW/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY
RCMP say a wild horse found dead west of Sundre appears to have been shot — the first one since 2009 to have possibly died that way.
Wayne Chicoine of Red Deer said he was stalking the wild horses with his camera last Friday when he came upon the dead bay mare off a lease road just north of Hwy. 584.
“There was a fresh blood trail of about 50 yards and fresh tracks — it looked like it happened a day before,” said Chicoine, adding he’s found several dead wild horses in the area over the past decade.
“I don’t think it’s right.”
Mounties are treating the horse’s demise as suspicious and are awaiting a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
There doesn’t appear to be any link between previous horse shootings and this one, said Cpl. Ryan Hodge of Sundre RCMP.
“There’s no suggestion of that in the least — the last confirmed horse shooting was in 2009,” he said.
A roundup of wild horses in the area has recently wound down after trapping about a dozen of only 200 animals the province had planned to capture to minimize the animals’ environmental impact.
While she’s happy to see the end of this year’s roundup, animal radvocate Anita Virginillo said all measurs must be taken to punish the culprit in the latest horse slaying.
“It’s horrible — I hope they find who’s responsible and use the full extent of the law,” said Virginillo of the Lethbridge Animal Rights Effort .
IN THE HANDS OF KILL BUYERS! When horses are purchased at auction by buyers intending to kill them, they're hauled away in double- decker tractor trailers where they are beaten and often blinded with baseball bats to mollify them. After crossing the border into Mexico, the animals are stabbed on each side-an act to tenderize their meat-and immobilized. Workers, then saw the horses legs off, at the knee and hang them to bleed out-all while the horses are ALIVE! (This is an excerpt, from an article written by Missy Diaz, crediting Victoria Mc Cullough and Sen. Joe Abruzzo for bringing awareness of horse slaughter, to Florida. In 2010 Florida Legislation unanimously passed the Horse Protection Bill, making it a felony to slaughter horses for personal or commercial use.)