There are approximately 900 wild horses in Alberta spread out over thousands of square kilometres of terrain in the Rocky mountain foothills. Despite the fact that Alberta’s wild horse numbers are very low and spread out over an enormous range of largely fragmented and disturbed habitat, private interests and the Alberta government have long claimed that the horses are causing irreparable damage to natural ecosystems. No compelling scientific evidence has ever been produced to substantiate their damage claims.
Zoocheck has been a champion for animals both in the wild and those in captivity. Their mission to establish protections for Alberta horses has been a decades-long battle. Recently they had commissioned an independent scientific study of the range areas to determine if any of the government’s claims can be substantiated.
Wayne McCrory, a range ecologist, published his report in 2015 which concluded that Alberta’s free-roaming horse management policies lack adequate scientific data.
Growing up in the city I’ve been somewhat removed from the wildlife that makes up much of the Canadian landscape. Thankfully I’ve been awarded a great privilege to travel, visit and film some of the most majestic beings that exist in the world. These experiences have opened my eyes to the issues that threaten their safety. As a Canadian, I’m proud to lend my voice to those who have none, and I hope that these stories can reach others like me who may not understand what’s at stake just yet.
Since the release of the film in 2019, the government of Alberta has postponed its efforts to count the remaining wild horses. Counting is a necessary step for arranging a cull, which means no horses will be rounded up in 2020.
“Its visuals and messaging are powerful and poetical and I hope it brings a lot of support for Zoocheck’s efforts”
- Wayne McCrory