The RDOS has joined with the PIB and District of Summerland to develop a plan to manage wild horses.

The RDOS has joined with the PIB and District of Summerland to develop a plan to manage wild horses.

Work begins to rein in wild horses near Penticton

Controlling herd size likely to include rounding up some horses for slaughtering and sterilizing a portion of mares that remain

Nearly 600 wild horses were counted on Penticton Indian Band lands in March during an aerial survey that’s expected to underpin development of a new plan to manage the animals’ numbers.

Wild horses have been a frequent cause for concern for motorists, homeowners and agriculturalists on the West Bench and neighbouring areas from Kaleden to Summerland, but coming up with a strategy to control them has been difficult due to issues arising from ownership of the animals and the lands on which they range.

Now the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has joined with the PIB and District of Summerland to help develop a long-range management plan to finally address the problem.

“This issue has not happened overnight, nor is it going to be resolved overnight, so I think we’re taking careful steps that need to be done,” project co-ordinator Zoe Kirk told the RDOS board on Thursday.

Dolly Kruger, the PIB councillor assigned to the initiative, said a crucial first step is quantifying the size of the problem.

She told the board a count conducted in 2009 identified 217 horses that belonged to 16 different people, while in March an aerial survey spotted 558 animals.

Options to manage herd sizes range from rounding up animals for slaughter — last done in 2009 —  to sterilizing them, then erecting fencing to keep them out of populated areas.

Kruger suggested the most prudent course of action would see one or two round-ups of horses for slaughter, followed by regular sterilization of mares using dart guns that deliver contraceptive drugs.

She said simply selling the horses would be difficult.

“Because there are so many studs out there and because there is so much inbreeding going on out there right now… they’re not healthy,” Kruger explained.

She estimated the RDOS and PIB have spent a combined $57,000 to manage the horse problem since 2009, and her group is committed to finding a cost-effective, permanent fix.

“At our council table, that’s what we see and that’s what we feel: that we’ve moved this forward more than it’s ever been moved forward before.”

Although it was noted the work is heavily dependent upon the availability of grant money, Michael Brydon, the RDOS director for West Bench, said that shouldn’t stop development of a management strategy.

“I don’t think it’s a show-stopper, in the sense that we have to come up with some sort of plan and then say, ‘How are we going to fund it?” he said.

Members of the project team expect to spend the summer conducting research and meeting with community and government officials, followed by production of a draft plan in the fall and implementation in early 2015 if everything goes as hoped.


Just Posted

Wade Cudmore, seen here with his mother Kathy Richardson, had his first court appearance in relation to first degree murder charges in the deaths of Erick and Carlo Fryer Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Kathy Richardson/Facebook)
Man charged in Naramata double homicide appears in Penticton court

Wade Cudmore appeared for the first time in relation to first degree murder charges

(John Arendt - Black Press)
Penticton wants to give you money to make something fun happen in the city

City launches community grant program to help post-COVID recovery

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

With high temperatures forecasted for the week and into the next, Interior Health is offering some tips on how to keep yourself safe from heat-related illness. (Pixabay)
Interior Health offers safety tips as temperatures soar

‘Too much heat can be harmful to your health’

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
5-storeys still too tall for Penticton’s downtown, votes city council

Vote against new development leaves one councillor questioning validity of city’s zoning restrictions

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

Council members and witnesses from the Hupacasath First Nation, left, and Tseshaht First Nation, right, prepare to raise their respective flags in front of Port Alberni City Hall on Monday, June 21, 2021. The flags will permanently fly as part of the city’s reconciliation work. See more coverage from the flag raising ceremony on page A5. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Vancouver Island First Nations flags to fly permanently at city hall

Addition of flags are one Port Alberni response to reconciliation

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Access to justice and residential schools in Canada

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

Mayla Janzen and Ashley Hoppichler, with her daughters Lily and Sophia, are bringing a Friday evening market to Polson Park, starting July 2. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Entrepreneurs craft up Vernon night market

Friday evening Polson Park event to take place throughout the summer

Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian and Tina William lead the Every Child Matters March in Enderby Monday, June 21. (Lyndsey Leon photo)
Hundreds march with Splatsin in Enderby for #215

300 orange-shirt wearing people of all backgrounds turned out in support

Most Read