Post Fire Cull Will Target Deer and Not Brumbies - Whats the Real Agenda?
Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will not be culling horses, even though new research looking at the impact of feral horses in Australia's alpine parks system has concluded that aerial culling is needed to ensure the survival of native ecosystems.
Deer, on the other hand, are not so lucky as they only have hunters in their corner and not noisy pro-horse groups. Deer are currently being culled in areas where horses are potentially doing more damage. You have to question the motives of the government leaving feral horses in areas where they have declared deer a huge risk to the ecosystem.
The Australian reported Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has clarified that a government cull of pest animals in fire-affected areas will not include wild horses.
The department on Monday notified residents via the VicEmergency website it would begin aerial shooting operations that day
in the fire-affected Mount Buffalo and Alpine national parks.
“The aerial shooting operation will be targeting pest predators and large pest herbivores in priority fire-affected areas as a necessary, urgent action to give native plants and animals the best chance of survival after the fires," the notification said.
The department did not provide a response to questions late on Monday about how many wild horses were likely to be killed in the operation, or whether a quota had been set, but on Tuesday a spokesman clarified that no horses would be targeted.
Victoria's policy on wild horses contrasts with that of the NSW government, which in 2018 overturned a planned cull intended to reduce the number of horses in the Kosciuszko National Park by 90 per cent over 20 years.
Instead, NSW Nationals leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced the prohibition of culling, citing the “cultural significance” of brumbies.
In their VicEmergency statement, DELWP said the aerial shooting would only be carried out in areas closed to the public.