EDITORIAL: West Hants wild horses deserve fighting chance

Carole Morris-Underhill
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These are two of the feral horses that evolved from Ralph Morash's herd. (Submitted photo)

A Hants County community is struggling to find a humane way to address a herd of wild horses that have been roaming free for years.

The herd, currently located on a Wentworth Road property owned by Fundy Gypsum, began with two horses owned by Ralph Morash. After about 40 years, there's now as many as 20 horses wandering where and when they please.

Several folks living in Sweets Corner are concerned the feral horses could spread disease, cause traffic accidents, or, worse, trample someone to death.

These complaints are not new. The neighbours of Morash's herd of feral horses have been vocal in the past, expressing their concerns to the municipality. Although the horses have been interbreeding and roaming free for a few decades, it's only been in recent years that the fencing has fallen into disrepair and the animals have been crossing onto neighbouring properties and causing damage.

The Municipality of West Hants is finally putting its foot down, directing Morash to repair the fences or relocate the animals. The alternative is having the horses destroyed. That's a fate the wild horses do not deserve.

Thankfully, a group of passionate people are devising a plan to see to it that the beautiful horses are relocated onto another parcel of land, one owned by Morash, in the spring. It's an ambitious project, as the land would not only require new fencing, but the group will require considerable help rounding up the feral horses.

The group, which has a Facebook page, also proposes gelding the stallions, which would prevent unsustainable population growth for the herd. A fundraising campaign has been launched to help offset the costs.

It should be noted that the 75-year-old man diligently farms his land every year to ensure there's enough feed for the wild herd. He is known for his generosity and kind heart. He's the type of person who will take in an injured animal and nurse it back to health or purchase a healthy animal to prevent it from being slaughtered. To see such compassion come forward to help relocate this herd is a fitting tribute.

It's a worthwhile endeavour, and one that has garnered much attention since the plight of Morash's wild horses made the news this month.

As long as interest remains in helping these horses, and care is provided as the years wear on, the herd could very well become a way of attracting people to West Hants. Few places have known feral horse herds. We do. Let's work to preserve it.

 

RELATED STORY: Horse lovers making plans to relocate West Hants’ wild herd

 

Organizations: Municipality of West Hants

Geographic location: West Hants, Hants County, Wentworth Road Sweets Corner

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