KAIMANAWA WILD HORSES COME UNDER FIRE
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1996:
New Zealand conservation minister Denis Marshall on May 14 lifted the 1981 protection
order safeguarding the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Range, a primary training area for the
New Zealand Army, and ordained that 1,000 resident wild horses are to be shot or sold. “Five
hundred wild horses have a stay of execution for three years,” horse advocate Ellen Lee posted
to the AR-News e-mail list, “while their impact is assessed. If anyone can find suitable
land, another 300 can be moved to it, but the DoC will not fund any part of this, and it would
be almost impossibly expensive. At the end of three years,” she continued, “either the relocated
herd or the remnant on Army land will be exterminated, or both,” depending on the
DoC findings. “The final toll may be the entire herd. The shooting is to be ground-based.
Entire bands will be killed and buried by DoC contractors; left where they fall if shot by
sportsmen; or butchered. Commercial and private hunters are now free to kill the horses for
meat, which is why the protection order was made in the first place. The DOC denies that the
horses are covered by the Animal Protection Act,” the only New Zealand anti-cruelty law.
“The scenario is almost the worst possible,” Lee concluded: “unsupervised blood sport enthusiasts
given government blessing to exterminate all horses over a 50,000 hectare range.”
Lee (>>email@example.com<<) said she had no idea what could now be done about it.