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Culling Alberta’s wild horses is the right decision, Premier says

Horses near Sundre, Alta., are too populous, the province says, but culling is at odds with local heritage, opponents argue.

John Ulan/The Globe and Mail

Alberta's Premier is defending the government's decision to cull its wild horse population.

Alison Redford said Wednesday that the horses are feral animals that have an impact on pasture land.

"I understand that people that do have concerns and can get quite emotional about this," Redford told reporters at a school announcement in Lethbridge.

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"But at the end of the day, the decisions that are made have to be made in the context of the best possible use of our resources, our land management."

Critics have said they worry many of the horses will end up in slaughterhouses or die during the roundup, and want the government to cancel the plan immediately.

The Opposition Wildrose Party said there isn't enough scientific evidence to support a cull.

Alberta Environment has issued a licence to capture up to 200 feral horses in the central Alberta area around Sundre.

The government has said the horse population there increased to 980 last year from 778 the year before.

The roundup is being allowed until March 1.

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