Indian Band clarifies Ownership of Free Roaming horses
The Penticton Indian Band has once again been referenced in recent media releases as the owners of the free roaming horses which have been reported to be along the highway corridors north and south of Penticton. To be clear, “the Penticton Band are not owners of the horses and the Penticton Band does not own horses”. The horses are owned by members of the Penticton Band and are the responsibility of the horse owners.
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. The Penticton Band Administration have been receiving complaint calls from our own community members expressing their same concerns and frustration.
The Penticton Band Administration continues to reach out to the horse owners and remind them to be responsible for their animals, however there are other factors beyond their control which contribute to this ongoing issue:
- Currently cattleguards continue to become packed with snow which renders them useless in keeping animals contained.
- We have continuous reports of fences being cut where off road vehicles / motorcycles illegally enter on to reserves lands and trespass for their enjoyment.
- We have recently been made aware that there are horses on reserve lands that do not belong to band members which have been illegally turned loose by non-band members. We will work to confirm this and identify the owners.
The Penticton Band interest remains with keeping everyone (including the horses) safe however we cannot be held responsible for animals owned by community members. We currently have a draft Animal Control and Range Use By-Law which we hope to bring forward to the community early in this new year. In the meantime we will continue to reach out and contact the owners when calls or complaints are received.