Victorian Feral Horse Plan - Science over Emotion

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Christine Mendoza on Unsplash

The Victorian Government has taken science over fairy tales and released a feral horse control plan that will utilize a full suite of control measures to ensure horses are removed from the park. 

Unfortunately licenced hunters will not get a look in and the carcasses will not be utilised to any extent. 

The Invasive Species Council reported the Victorian Government today released a plan for controlling feral horses in the Alpine National Park that, if implemented, will help protect native Australian wildlife and ecosystems for future generations.

“The Victorian Government’s new plan to reduce destructive feral horse numbers in the Alpine National Park will see horses removed entirely from the Bogong High Plains and a significant reduction in the eastern Alps population,” Invasive Species Council conservation director James Trezise said.

“Australia has the largest population of feral horses in the world. Our native ecosystems did not evolve with hard-hoofed animals such as feral horses, which degrade and destroy sensitive habitats.

“It is vital feral horses are removed from sensitive alpine wetlands, including areas along the Bogong High Plains, and this plan aims to do just that.

“Victoria and the ACT are leading the way on the management of feral horses in the Australian Alps. In contrast, the NSW Government has proposed to retain a large population of feral horses in Kosciuszko, including along the Victorian border. This is simply exporting the problem south and is a major concern.

“We need consistent and strong feral animal management across the Australian Alps, horse, deer and pig numbers need to be brought down to help save our native wildlife.”

The plan, while expressing a preference for trapping and rehoming of feral horses, also sets out a full suite of control measures to reduce the number of horses in the high country.

Feral Horse Supporters Up In Arms

Brumby Action Group spokeswoman Marilyn Nuske said it had received four reports from people in Victoria’s Suggan Buggan region near the NSW border that the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning would use a helicopter to begin aerial culling of horses within days.

“One of them works up in that area and one is a DELWP employee who has seen a directive, which is part of their feral management plan” Ms Nuske said. “They’re shooting feral pigs, goats and on the list they have put brumbies.

“They said the intention was to use a helicopter and they’re, moving up into the region after Tuesday (following the Melbourne Cup).”

Upper House MP for Western Victoria Bev McArthur said Ms D’Ambrosio needed to confirm that brumbies were about to be shot.

“This is serious. There is real fear that this barbaric action is about to happen with an apparent approval given for Parks Victoria to aerial shoot after the long weekend,” Mrs McArthur said.

“Not only is this wrong, and counter to evidence about the brumby damage, but the timing is appalling.

It would be nice to have Bev McArthur's opinion to why the feral horse cull is any different to the pig, deer, dog and goat culls that regularly take place in the name of saving the park.

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