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Fw: (BC) Wild horses reported shot dead

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  • Cynthia Hendrick
    ... From: jim robertson Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 07:41:15 +0000
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2005
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: jim robertson
      Date: Wed, 04 May 2005 07:41:15 +0000


      http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=e1821751-cffe-4fce-a56f-34275caa7145

      WESTCOAST NEWS
      Wild horses reported shot dead
      RCMP investigating reports that stallion, five mares killed recently

      Nicholas Read
      Vancouver Sun


      May 3, 2005


      BRITTANY TRIANGLE - Chilcotin RCMP are investigating a claim that up to
      six of B.C.'s last remaining wild horses have been shot to death.

      The horses, which live in the Brittany Triangle region of the Chilcotin,
      are thought by some biologists to be the province's only extant links
      with a time -- about 8,000 years ago -- when wild horses were part of
      North America's natural landscape.

      David Williams of Friends of the Nemaiah Valley, a conservation group
      dedicated to preserving the horses, said Monday that he has received
      reports from locals in the area that a stallion and a herd of mares were
      shot to death last week.

      Witnesses to the incident refused to speak to The Vancouver Sun, but
      they told Williams that one of the mares was discovered dead with her
      two-week-old colt standing over her starving.

      "We have heard that wild horses are being shot in the Tatla area [west
      of Williams Lake in the west Chilcotin]," Williams said in a phone
      interview. "At this point, nothing's been confirmed, but the RCMP are
      looking into it."

      Alexis Creek RCMP confirmed they are investigating the incident, but
      nobody was available to comment.

      Alexis Creek is about 100 kilometres from where the horses were said to
      have been killed.

      The 155,000-hectare Brittany Triangle is at the centre of a court case
      involving the local Xeni Gwet'in nation, which is claiming aboriginal
      title to the region, about 150 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake.
      About 700 horses are said to live in the region.

      The province wants to issue logging rights to the Brittany so area
      companies can salvage stands of lodgepole pine, many of which have been
      infested by the pine mountain beetle.

      But the Xeni Gwet'in are suing Victoria for title to the triangle and
      the right to continue traditional activities such as hunting, trapping
      and the capture of wild horses.

      Xeni Gwet'in Chief Roger Williams says if his nation, in conjunction
      with five other Chilcotin bands, wins the case, the Brittany will be
      left untouched.

      Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection officials in Williams Lake
      were looking into the incident Monday.

      However, because the ministry doesn't regard the horses as wild, merely
      feral, it doesn't offer them any protection.

      Williams says by taking that position the ministry is condoning the
      horses' shooting.

      "This attitude seeps down to the locals and feeds this kind of activity.
      There is no protection for the horses. It's open season on them."

      He added that while six dead horses is not a threat to their population,
      it is still serious "because if there's no protection for the horses,
      it's the kind of thing that can spread."

      © The Vancouver Sun 2005
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