Fisheries and Land Resources
September 13, 2018

Crown Land Provided for Newfoundland Pony Preservation

The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has issued a 50-year agricultural lease for approximately 10 hectares of Crown land near Hopeall, Trinity Bay, to the Newfoundland Pony Society to ensure the continued preservation and care of this important and unique species. The society will use the land for protection, pasture and breeding, and to create a Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park.

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, was joined by the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister of Service NL and MHA for Placentia - St. Mary’s, along with representatives of the Newfoundland Pony Society to make the announcement near Hopeall today.

The Newfoundland Pony is a unique breed of equine native to Newfoundland and Labrador, and is historically important as a versatile and hardy working animal. The breed arose as a result of interbreeding between pony breeds imported mainly from the British Isles by early settlers.

The Newfoundland Pony population has plummeted from 13,000 animals in the 1960s to fewer than 400 today, but through the work of groups like the Newfoundland Pony Society, this important animal has been saved from extinction. For more information, please see the backgrounder below

Quotes
“The Newfoundland Pony is part of our shared heritage, and was essential to our ancestors’ very existence as they used this special animal to work the land and sea. Issuing title to this property to the Newfoundland Pony Society will help ensure the continued preservation of this significant and special breed by providing land for protection, pasture and breeding in the newly established Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

“This unique and wonderful animal holds a special place in the hearts and heritage of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and I am pleased that Hopeall, Trinity Bay will play an important role in the continued growth of our Newfoundland Pony population.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL and MHA for Placentia - St. Mary’s

“This hardy, good-tempered, loyal and hardworking pony interbred naturally on the common lands around our communities over the centuries to create a unique and special breed. We are pleased to work with the Provincial Government to continue the preservation of the Newfoundland Pony and to ensure that it can thrive and prosper in the province where it evolved.”
Jack Harris
President, Newfoundland Pony Society

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Learn More

Newfoundland Pony Societyexternal link icon

Newfoundland Pony Registryexternal link icon

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNLexternal link icon and @FLR_GovNLexternal link icon

Media contacts
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637-2923, 640-6409
connieboland@gov.nl.ca

Janice Greene
Government Members Office
709-227-1304
JaniceGreene@gov.nl.ca

Jack Harris
Newfoundland Pony Society
709-727-7089
president@newfoundlandpony.com

BACKGROUNDER

With the transition to mechanization in the 1960s and 1970s, many Newfoundland Ponies were sent outside the province to be slaughtered for meat. Loss of habitat for natural pasture due to new rules prohibiting roaming animals was also an important factor in their decline, causing the number of Newfoundland Ponies to drop dramatically to the verge of extinction in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Since that time organizations such as Newfoundland Pony Care Inc., the Newfoundland Pony Society, the Canadian Farms Animal Care Trust, and the Andrew Ferguson Fraser Equine Trust have worked to save the Newfoundland Pony from extinction by establishing sanctuaries, starting protected breeding units, and by fundraising and assisting with the care of ponies whose owners could not afford them.

On December 19, 1996, the Provincial Government introduced the Heritage Animal Act to recognize and protect the Newfoundland Pony. The Newfoundland Pony Society is responsible for preserving, protecting and maintaining a registry of Newfoundland Ponies.

2018 09 13                              11:05 a.m.