Battle for the Brumbies - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 70 Old 05-17-2020, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Battle for the Brumbies

The Victorian brumbies are under threat and the battle lines have been drawn

These horses have roamed the high country of Victoria and New South Wales for over 150 years.
The descendants of these brumbies were captured and sent to war with our soldiers. They were in the last great cavalry charge at Beersheeba and they were forsaken by our government of the day and refused passage home.

A Management Plan was created and agreed to by all parties for the management of these wild horses.
Victorian government has now decided that it does not have to abide by the Management Plan it created and is going to shoot the brumbies forthwith. One operation has been postponed due to weather whilst the other is due to begin on Monday 18 May.

Someone has offered to get a group of experienced mountain riders to round up the brumbies (think Man From Snowy River) and move them to his property, and according to the Management Plan the brumbies are supposed to be rehomed where possible, yet the shooters are in position to begin Monday.
There is a group of people congregating in the area to try to stop the shooting whilst efforts are being made to start moving the brumbies to safety.

Many of us would love to go help but covid-19 has the borders closed and movement restricted which is extremely useful for Victoria Parks agenda.

If you are interested in following the brumbies progress there are many online locations, please look for them.

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Last edited by horselovinguy; 05-17-2020 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Faebook references are not permitted on this forum
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post #2 of 70 Old 05-17-2020, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by makin tracks View Post

Many of us would love to go help but covid-19 has the borders closed and movement restricted which is extremely useful for Victoria Parks agenda.

If you are interested in following the brumbies progress there are many online locations, please look for them.
Well now —- isn’t that very convenient for the politicians who planned this event against the Brumbies

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post #3 of 70 Old 05-17-2020, 11:53 AM
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As with anything the countryside needs to be managed.

Horses, camels and swine are not native to Australia and need to have the numbers kept manageable. How this is done should be humane.

Not sure that shooting any stock from a helicopter is that.
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post #4 of 70 Old 05-17-2020, 12:11 PM
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"The planned culling of brumbies in Victoria’s high country is being labelled a blow to Australia’s heritage, but environmentalists say the measure is key to preserving a sensitive ecosystem.

On Monday, the government aims to deploy small ground-based teams of professional shooters into conservation sites, where they will use thermal imaging and silencers to begin removing the horses....

...During this time Parks Victoria conducted a survey which found horse numbers had grown from 9,000 to 24,000 over five years."
"A survey for the NSW and Victorian governments found the feral horse population in Australia’s alpine parks had more than doubled over five years, with conservationists blaming a lack of management of feral horses in NSW for the soaring numbers.

In the aftermath of the bushfire crisis it has become more urgent to control feral pest populations, which pose an even greater threat to species after fire.

The Victorian government had originally planned to trap and rehome horses where possible and to humanely euthanise those it could not rehome.

It now plans to introduce ground shooting as one of its control measures. The parks have been burnt, and culling was already being used to manage feral pigs, deer and goats after the fires.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Parks Victoria said the legal action had meant the agency had been forced to suspend the majority of its work to control feral horse populations over the past 18 months.

It said trapping and rehoming programs had been put on hold, making it difficult for the agency to reduce the damage horses were causing to “fragile wildlife, plants and habitats in the Victorian Alps”."

The case was brought by the Australian Brumby Alliance against the Victorian Government in 2018. Since then, the strategic management plan for feral horses has been shelved, allowing feral horse numbers to increase without control.

In the northern area of Kosciuszko National Park numbers jumped from an estimated 3,255 in 2014 to 15,687 in 2019, in the absence of any management....

...The ruling acknowledged Parks Victoria’s strategic plan to control feral horses was consistent with legal obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the federal EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation) Act and the state’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act."
Sounds reasonable to me.

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post #5 of 70 Old 05-17-2020, 12:32 PM
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This is an emotive issue but as an Australian passionate about equine welfare I must ask you: would you rather 24000 brumbies starve to death, or a few be shot so the others can survive? Our climate is extremely harsh and horses are not native to it; they damage the land and over time, they deplete the resources available to them and our native animals. What happens when there's no food? What happens next time there's a drought? Who feeds them so they won't starve? Who gives them water so they won't die of thirst?

I would prefer to see them rounded up and homed before killing them, but there are more horses in Australia than there are good homes for them, and unhandled horses of ANY breed are hard to home. There aren't nearly enough people with the time, experience, resources and facilities to take on herds of unhandled horses, handle them, break them to saddle, and home them. And when working with wild horses, there will ALWAYS be a few that simply want nothing to do with humans and our shenanigans. A few that just remain wild.

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post #6 of 70 Old 05-17-2020, 10:40 PM
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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 @makin tracks ? 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'.
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post #7 of 70 Old 05-18-2020, 05:53 AM
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I just mentioned to my husband 'I wonder if there are a few less brumby activists...' He said 'No. It's been put off till 1st June while they consider some cattlemen's claim' - he didn't recall any further details tho. Maybe it's the one about them all being rounded up & taken to private properties.

He also said he saw some pics, a place we have camped before, at the headwaters of the Murray River, was beautiful & fragile snow grass area, with the springs that feed the beginning of the Murray... currently just a muddy quagmire because of the horses. Deer(also feral) apparently have been doing a lot of damage up there too...
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Last edited by loosie; 05-18-2020 at 06:04 AM.
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post #8 of 70 Old 05-18-2020, 07:46 AM
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How many is the government planning to or want to destroy?. what are they going to do with the carcass's (bodies). ?

Why is there no mention of other large invasive animals to be culled along with the horses? Like camels and deer?

At night, with suppressors on the rifles and IR scopes. Slaughter houses would be more humane. They would more than likely target heart, lung areas more than trying to get a brain shot. As those areas are a much larger target.

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post #9 of 70 Old 05-18-2020, 08:13 AM
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I think that if I were an Australian native, I would want to see the wild horses gone along with all of the other transplants. Possibly, on someone's private property if some want to see them there. Horses in the Australian land were brought there and have never resided there until brought. Here, in the U.S., I feel a little differently about it. There is a whole different political agenda around it. Money talks.

Horses evolved into the modern horse in N. America. For whatever reason, Equus Caballus became extinct here only after some traveled across the Bering Straight. My guess it was a mixture of climatic changes and homo sapien combined. I can somewhat go along with the idea that maybe they should not be wild in the U.S. because the ecosystem is different now than it was then, but if that is the case, then ALL domesticated free roaming transplanted animals should be removed from said ecosystem unless on someones private property. Allow only native wild animals to roam free on public land.

Bottom line is, you can't have it both ways. Get the horses off because they are transplants ruining the ecosystem but my transplanted animals that also ruin the ecosystem get to stay. Just doesn't make sense to me. If you are going to have an argument, it has to be sensible.
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Last edited by LoriF; 05-18-2020 at 08:22 AM.
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post #10 of 70 Old 05-18-2020, 09:38 AM
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"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." - @loosie

They are using professionals with thermal imaging and silencers. Probably something like this with hogs:

Animals have not evolved to hide their thermal image! Also - not a hunter myself, but I'm told a good shot to the lungs is a relatively fast kill. Certainly faster than what wild predators or starvation give! In some ways it is probably easier than hunting in daylight. It is easier to spot the animals and I think the animals settle faster after a shot because they can't see/hear what happened.
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