Glad to see some sensible responses from other horse lovers above. Been biting my tongue on FB over this one. Can you outline the 'Management Plan' you mentioned
? I haven't seen anything 'all parties' have ever agreed to, and if there are indeed more humane and effective alternatives, I'm all for them! But it's obvious previously agreed management tactics weren't
effective(apparently numbers have more than quadrupled in recent years despite drought) & probable it's come to this, that they now urgently needed to be dealt with due to the recent fires.
As should be obvious to anyone who's read anything much I've written here, I'm very much a lover of horses & very much against cruelty, in any manner. I'm also very concerned & passionate about the environment, and feral horses(& pigs, camels, goats, bunnies, buffalo, etc, etc) do indeed damage our ecosystems seriously, and need to be managed in order to prevent that damage. I'd much rather see them (humanely) shot than rounded up to live in little, crowded pens eternally as the activists have caused to happen in the US. I also don't want to see the sort of terrible deaths that happened, of horses starving to death in Barmah NP a year ago, because there were just way too many horses. Or, for that matter, to see somewhere like Barmah as decimated as when I went there, not long before that.
If there is indeed facility for them to be rounded up and taken to private property and be managed there, this sounds like a good option. But perhaps it's a bit of a 'pipe dream', as, reminded to us from Banjo, it's darn hard to round up horses 'if once they gain the shelter of those hills'. Not to mention, who's going to be giving up their property, who's going to be feeding & managing these 100's of horses? And for how long are they prepared to do that...? Possibly that proposal wasn't even suggested until the Parks authority had already been forced to make these plans. Unfortunately, most 'brumby activists' only seem to want to get in a righteous rage, tell romantic stories about the 'heritage' of the brumbies & how they 'belong' here, including incorrect stories such as making out they were common first world war mounts(That was Walers & station horses mostly) & that they do no environmental damage. Many 'animal rights' activists don't want them managed at all, believing that they deserve to be 'wild & free' - they don't want to actually save them, manage them, do anything to protect the environment from them...
Aerial culling is not humane, as it involves chasing/scaring the animals to the point of exhaustion & injury in many cases & there's no way to be sure of a clean head shot/quick death. I do believe, after the Guy Fawkes National Park 'massacre' years ago, that was ruled out as an option. But likewise, I don't understand why they are planning(have started?) night shooting, as this would also lead to more horses who were shot inexpertly & to likely suffer till morning when it could be seen they weren't dealt with effectively. My guess is that people who don't understand equine behaviour think it's less likely for them to bolt at night, OR it is a tactic to minimise interference of protesters.
So.... I don't have the answers. But there are many considerations that are overlooked in all the hoo-ha from the 'brumby lovers'.