The Penticton Indian Band First Nations RCMP are investigating after horse fencing had been cut.
“While the Penticton Indian Band continues to try and find ways to help with resolving the ongoing issue of the free roaming horses, we have now received reports from our PIB Guardian Program that certain sections of the fences along the former Game Farm lands are being deliberately cut,” said PIB administration in a statement.
The first report of the fence being cut was received over a week ago and was thought to be a situation where a small horse may have become entangled in the fence, said the PIB.
Since then we have received four separate reports of the fence being cut at different locations on the fenceline of the former game farm which is on PIB lands.
This matter has now been turned over to the Penticton Indian Band First Nations RCMP who have started an active file. “These irresponsible and senseless acts once again puts the public safety at risk as well as the horses themselves. Anyone caught on these PIB lands deliberately carrying out these irresponsible acts will be charged accordingly,” said PIB in a statement.
On Monday at 5 p.m., people were being warned that wild horses were seen along Highway 97 in Kaleden again. Last week, a horse was seen dead in a ditch at the turn off from Highway 97 onto Highway 3A.
In recent weeks, wild horses have been seen near the Petro Can in Kaleden as well as along Highway 97 between Summerland and Penticton.
The PIB issued a news release on Jan. 7 to reiterate that the free-roaming horses belong to individual members of the band, not the band as an organization.
“We recognize that the issue of free-roaming feral horses has been a contentious and frustrating topic for many years and recognize that the horses not only cause damage to properties but creates a serious safety threat along the roadways and highways,” reads the release. “The Penticton Band Administration have been receiving complaint calls from our own community members expressing their same concerns and frustration.”
The band is planning to bring forward a new bylaw that would further address the horses in the next few months.
Anyone who may have witnessed or may have information on the individual(s) responsible for the fence cutting are asked to please contact PIB Chief Administrative Officer at 250-493-0048.