May 12, 2007

Latest news: Time running out for Kaimanawa wild horses


A family group of wild kaimanawa horses 'at home' in the Kaimanawa Ranges in February 2007. Up to 150 of the wild herd will be mustered out of the ranges in late May.
Photo: Bethany Judson.

Up to 120 Kaimanawa horses face the prospect of slaughter, with just 30 homes found for the estimated 150 horses to be taken from the volcanic plateau before the end of the month.

The muster has been delayed by authorities in a bid to give welfare organisations a chance to find more homes.

However, it will proceed on May 24 and 25, and people interested in adopting need to contact the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust (KWHWT) as soon as possible.

The cost for taking a kaimanawa from this year's muster has been set at $200 for the first horse and $170 for subsequent horses. This cost includes initial property check, transport from the muster site to a central pickup point and membership and registration of the horse with KWHWT. A gelding rebate of $75 is also available to new owners who take colts.

"The Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust has so far approved homes for 30 of the 150 horses coming out of the Kaimanawa Ranges in this year's muster," said KWHWT Chairman Elder Jenks. "That leaves a lot of horses still needing caring homes with suitably experienced new owners.

"Any mustered horses which do not find homes will go to the slaughterhouse and be turned into pet food. That is a tragic and unnecessary end for animals that are unique to New Zealand and treasured by many as a national icon."

Mr Jenks encouraged anyone who has ever considered taking a kaimanawa to contact The Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust urgently.

"Trust members would be delighted to offer prospective new owners any help, support and advice they need as they apply to 'take a walk on the wild side' with a kaimanawa."