02/26/2014 01:41 EST | Updated 02/26/2014 01:59 EST

Alberta Wild Horse Cull Protesters Arrested


Five people protesting Alberta's wild horse cull have been arrested by the RCMP.

The protesters had been camping on Crown land near Sundre, Alta., close to a roundup site where several horses had been corralled, reports CBC News.

Shannon Mann, one of the demonstrators who has been camped out since Feb. 16, told the Calgary Herald that RCMP took two men and three women into custody Tuesday night.

“One of the senior citizens arrested who walks with a walker, she was handled pretty roughly during her arrest," said Mann, who was not arrested.

Mona Jorgensen, with the group Save the Wildies, told Sun News she delivered lunch to the group earlier in the day and when she arrived RCMP were at the site asking the campers to move.

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“Nobody was tampering with the site,” Mann said, adding the arrested members were charged with mischief and released. "We actually weren't even that close to it. But they told us that us being in that vicinity would prevent horses from going into his trap."

The Calgary Herald reports up to 40 protesters have set up camp in the area, opposing the roundup of feral horses that was given the green light by the government earlier this year.

The protesters believe feral horse numbers in Alberta are being exaggerated and that a roundup – which allows licencees to keep the horses for personal use or sell them for slaughter – is unnecessary.

However, the Alberta government argues wild horse numbers have increased in recent years and that they are damaging southern Alberta's landscape.

According to Sun News, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development said two capture licenses have been issued, one more is pending and a total of 12 horses have been captured to date.

The capture is scheduled to end Saturday.

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