Horse News

6,000 Brumbies being “culled” in aerial shooting spree in Australia

Wild Horse Freedom Federation asks you to write to the Prime Minister of Australia here, and to (politely) tell the Hon. Tony Abbott that the world is watching and views this cull as being barbaric, not “humane.”  Ask him to put an immediate stop to the cull of brumbies in Kimberly.

Brumbies are free-roaming feral horses of Australia.

The same language and supposed excuse, killing wild/feral horses to “protect” the environment, is being used in Australia, just as it is being used here in the U.S.A.  And, powerful “special interests,” like coal and uranium mining, onshore oil and gas exploration granted by the Kimberly Land Council, and pastoral stations (to name just a few) are greedily using up more than a fair share of available water and resources, just like here in the U.S.A.   Why the push to get rid of free-roaming horses?  Is it to distract people from the REAL destruction of lands by other uses?

Libby Lovegrove of Wild Horse Kimberly stated that the population estimation of Brumbies was wildly overestimated (just like the BLM overestimates wild horse populations here).

Thanks to for covering this issue and for starting a petition (please be sure to sign this petition and pass it along to others).  –  Debbie Coffey


Feral horse cull commences in the central Kimberly

By  Belinda Varischetti   and  Babs McHugh

An aerial cull of thousands of feral horses using helicopters equipped with ar15 optics has started on two Indigenous pastoral leases in the central Kimberley.

The Kimberley Rangeland Biosecurity Group says there are about 6,000 feral horses on Lake Gregory and Billiluna stations.  However, the Pastoralists and Graziers Association believes the number is closer to 9,000.


PHOTO:  An aerial cull of feral horses in Kimberly has begun.  (Photo by Central Land Council shows dead horses found near Docker River in the Northern Territory.)

The Aboriginal Lands Trust says the horses must be removed to protect the local environment, to comply with legal obligations and to mitigate animal welfare and public health issues.

The RSPCA is also supporting the aerial cull.

Clinton Wolf is the chair of the Aboriginal Lands Trust.

“What I am firm on is the number in relation to the aerial count and that was 6,000 horses,” he said.

“The logistics is basically that the RSPCA is heavily involved, we’ve got two veterinarians there, I believe that there is two helicopters involved and that’s the standard way of doing culls in Western Australia on pastoral leases and we’ve just tried to make sure that we’ve followed to the letter the exact requirements for best practice aerial culling which we believe and we’ve been told by a variety of experts is the most humane way of dealing with the feral horse population.”

Mr Wolf says the traditional owners want the feral horse numbers under control for business and personal safety considerations.

“Build a fence one day and the next day it’s not there because a huge herd of wild horses has run right through the middle of it. You can see the distress in their eyes and they’ve had a connection with these horses for 120 years.

“When you see them say we’ve had enough and sure we want a few horses out here because we want to maintain that connection, but you can’t have six to seven thousand horses running around and what is concerning them also is when there was no water around, the horses were coming into the community.

“And you’ve got two or three year old kids walking around and we’re not saying wild horses are aggressive or anything like that, but when you’ve got a wild animal that suddenly takes flight over a vehicle going past and takes off and runs over the top of a child, is anyone going to turn around and say ‘well, we should put up with that’, because quite clearly we shouldn’t.

“We’ve got a feeling that if we get on top of the bulk of them, we’ve already had discussions with Kimberley land Council rangers who are saying that as part of their duty statement that they’re prepared to participate moving forward so that we absolutely keep a handle on this.”

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy has backed the cull of the brumbies at Lake Gregory “as long as it’s humanely conducted”.

The AWC owns more than 800,000 acres in the Kimberley, most of it former pastoral stations.

The land is being rehabilitated and cleared of feral animals to help build up numbers of endangered species.

Chief executive Atticus Fleming says the brumbies don’t belong there.

“Feral horses do have a significant impact on the environment, they are driving the decline in our wildlife, along with other feral herbivores.

“So action does need to be taken. It needs to be done humanely, but we need to remove them from the Australian environment.”

Mr Fleming says the option of rounding up and breaking in the brumbies wouldn’t be practical in the vast Kimberley

46 replies »

  1. I would love to send a “polite” comment, however, who are we to condemn others for doing the very same thing we’re allowing to happen, right here, in our own backyard!! For us to protest what they’re doing, is being completely hypocritical. We can’t even seem to stop, or slow down even, our own government, from doing horrible things to our wild American mustangs & burros. We can’t even stop horse slaughter from rearing it’s ugly, demonic head once again on American soil! We need to do what I’ve thought & said the entire time, we must get physical, & we must assert ourselves, & become a true force to be reckoned with, for the sakes of all American equines! Words are NOT strong enough!


    • I agree in part, we do need to do more here – but, since we’re in the US & not Australia, signing petitions can & does help – because it lets them know he world is watching & not buying their false excuses -the same ones being used in the US. It has to start somewhere. And, horse advocates are not “allowing it to happen…here” – the bad guys are fighting back &, unfortunately, that takes a lot of time & effort to stop them – BUT, I do agree whole-heartedly that we need to be more proactive!


  2. This outta make Sue Wallis and Dave D wet their shorts with joy! These people r masochists, sorry, I cannot be polite today. This shooting horses from above is like opening a prison of serial killers and giving them a major city to plunder!


  3. There has to be another way to do this. It is not being humanely done by any means. The picture of the Brumbies laying dead was heartbreaking. Do something instead of ariel shooting-this is so wrong


  4. Is it really necessary to move into the animals backyard & them say “we should/shouldn’t put up with that?” Knock it off & EVOLVE already! Leave the horses & the land alone. Try building UP instead of OUT, you short-sighted, irresponsible cretins. We are here to be STEWARDS, that means taking CARE of things, not KILLING THEM.
    BTW… in complete agreement with idalupine. If children saw this photo & then heard it was done FOR them… they’d NEVER get over the trauma & guilt.


  5. How horrific! Cancelling my plans to visit Australia. Forget about my tourist $’s. This is SO inhumane. It’s absolutely stomach-wrenching. Bad karma.


  6. That’s BS about the horses running over children. The parents ought to be taking care of them –not turn the kids loose. Killing these poor horses is an atrocity.


    • also Noted.. It Looks Like There Are Alot Of Foals Dead In That Picture. invasive Species ..Sheep And Cattle… kill Them Off Too..


  7. I see the almighty dollar rules your country as well as ours in the US. Stop killing the wildlife and learn to co exist. Theres a need to change our energy resources and implement the sun in solar energy and get rid of the need for fuels. Havent the multi millionaires made enough? Let them invest in solar powered energy and save the planet. For your children and theirs this needs to happen before there is nothing left on our planet. For every life you take be that of an animal as well. you will be held acountable by whatever God and religion you follow. Stop the needless killing of defenseless animals. Please . There are plenty of relocation programs and sanctuarys. Start a new one if you have to. I know of an island in New Zealand where many of your endangered species exist. Soon your horses will need their own island it seems.


    • Why must every animal or so it seems, be killed just because they’re ferral. Start looking after them in a humane way, make peace with them and those who kill. Some hunting and shooting from the air is totally disgusting. I will not be visiting your country, but will pray for your souls and the animals who deserve better.


  8. This all sounds very familiar, doesn’t it. One can’t help but notice a pattern.
    These are comments from a previous article….maybe there is no connection at all….but then again…one can’t help but wonder. WHY is there such a push to remove Horses and Burros from public lands?

    November 2, 2013 @ 11:04 AM
    If an “IUCN” expert decided that the horse did not originate in a place where it is found, those horses and burros are condemned as alien, invasive species just as wild horse and burro herds in the United States have been through the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity Article 8 (h). Unlike most of the English speaking nations, the U.S. did not sign the treaty at the time. It was not signed until June 4, 19
    93 when President Bill Clinton made the U.S. signatories to the treaty which went into force at the end of 1993. When the Senate did not ratify this treaty, President Clinton got his IUCN Al Gore supported scientist to get his fellow IUCNers together in Rome in 1996 where the updated the 1972 signed 1979 updated International Plant Protection Convention. One of the three purposes of the treaty was to align UN CBD Article 8 (h) with the IPPC’s mission to protect plants from invasive plant and animal pests of plants. This treaty went into effect on October 2, 2005. The same year, the Burns amendment went into effect. Policy papers on the killing of wild horses under any circumstances raise the ire of public opinion and get animal rights groups to muster their forces. Therefore, the use of slaughter (which is traditionally associated with the harvesting of meat for food) to eradicate wild horses was yet one more stealth, sneaky way that the Clinton-Gore-IUCN/UNEP-wealthy multinational energy and extraction industries—came up with make lands set aside for the American people so we could enjoy our wonderful wild horses—unavailable for human use.


  9. HoofHugs
    November 2, 2013 @ 11:06 AM
    Google the International Invasive Species Compendium, enter Equus caballus into the search engine, and see the places where the horse is considered an alien, invasive species.
    The goal to get rid of horses and burros is not limited to the U. S. it is world wide. In fact the IUCN’s Species Survival Working Group does not include Equus caballus, but it includes other species of Equus.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Australia has been doing culls like this on other animals as well. They hire hunters to kill kangaroos that get into the crops, they also kill kangaroos to be used in dog food. They tried aerial culls a few years ago on these horses and there was so much trouble over it that it was stopped. They were also trapping them and sending them to slaughter but it was such a long distance to the slaughter plants that had to be driven that I don’t know if they are still doing it. Keep in mind that this is a huge isolated area that used to have sheep stations consisting of thousands of acres. I don’t know if the sheep stations {sheep ranches}are still there either. Another thing that they can legally stand on too is the fact horses are not native to Australia. There has never been any horse fossils found there at all, which they will use to justify their right to kill them.


    Join the international outcry to Stop Killing the Brumbies!
    Please tell your friends about the important Thunderclap that will shout out to Stop the massacre!!! We have 10 days left to get a total of 250 people on board to make a wave of thunder shouting out “Stop Killing the Brumbies!”
    Help save the wild horses in Australia by clicking here:


      • You can click on the petition by clicking on the word petition in the last sentence of my comment above the article. When you see words that are bold within copy, and you click on them, it may take you to the link.


  12. This is not only completely horrific and Barbaric, but to use Children for an excuse is unforgivable……….. I also ask God to step in and stop this massacre, the photo above is gut wrenching horror !!!!!!!! How dare anyone think that they have the right to do this to those innocent Mustangs ………… I am mortified !!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Arlene, in between my waves of disbelief, I was wondering if there are any legitimate studies comparing how many young Australian children are killed by stampeding wild horses with those killed by automobiles. It’s well known horses will almost without exception try NOT to run over people of any size. Can’t say that about cars, or the people who drive them.


  13. the World Is A Terrible PlaceFor Horses. Australia, Down Under, Is Equivalent Of Hell On Earth Fir Those Of Us Who Do Love These Creatures. Hell, We Can’t Even Stop Them From Murdering the Horses In This Country…What Good Are We Going To Do In Other Countries……. Let’s Concentrate On The Safe Act First To Try To save Our Own..Them Worry About Other Countries Once We Succeed Here.


    Its with deep sadness this topic is in the news again To Australians across the country the thought of animals suffering is heartbreaking and the thought of preserving our earth for generations to come is foremost in our minds, well for some of us preservation of what is Australia, , The Stockmans Hall of Fame , the monuments for the Lighthorse, Cobb and co, the childs travel to school , the milk the baker and the mail, world engineering wonders such as the great murray irrigation system built by man and his horse, the Pioneers of the Never Never Land in Northern territory, I can go on and on with all the services the equine world have given to the making of our Country ! but will that make a difference to most ? No i dont think so!!
    Our government and environmentalist have for too long built a path of degradation and destruction by onesided analysis of the earth and its inhabitants, I dont say they are wrong in everything But and I say BUT ! Many scientific Studies that are not funded by governments across the world are showing the benefits of grazing animals in the environment, Something they dont want you to Know, Charles Darwin said it in the 1800,s let your lawns go for a year without cutting the grass and see what desirable plants are left from the raging weeds left unkempt,
    We all know drought is something Australians face every year or two, management of cattle and wild horses over a period of time would have avoided the issues we see today, it is fact once the horses are gone more cattle will grace the plains of Northern Territory. Rotting carcasses will pollute the land when the rains come, water holes and creeks will be polluted, other feral animals will gorge on the feast, and multiply with the abundance of food.
    So today in a modern world in the Northern territory as I type 10,000 horses and camels are being aerial culled to so called end their suffering, racing animals shot from a moving platform till they lie still on the earth, how many bullets does it take??? as many as needed to fall the animal, back, leg, neck, gut anywhere the bullet hits as the animals duck and weave running for their lives, Mares heavily in foal, babies, whole mobs fleeing the shots from the sky, many fall and die weeks later from injuries sustained and non fatal shots, The people in control will tell us they check each animal is in fact dead , and most of us say great they do a second check !! when in reality they have already said the terrain is inaccessible by land hence aerial culling Needed !!!! So i ask in all honesty how do they check the animal is pain free and has died from the bullets..
    We have for the past three years asked for positive management a plan put in place that benefits all sectors, a plan that sees aerial slaughter of any living thing ceased forever in Australia, The tasks of mass slaughter every few years shows the methods are outdated and cruel, this needs to be done with foresight for all and the welfare of our Heritage Horses be the very binding reason for respect as given by our founders and Fore fathers


    • I went to the scene of the cull and spoke with the indigenous traditional owners who are very angry that their horses have been shot down I took a photo of a beautiful grey mar e who had been shot in the neck and died slowly. Her stallion was still walking around visibly upset I filmed him too I got the Kimberley media group to film the meeting for TV. This film will be ready in the new year. The whole trip took 3 days . Lake Gregory is a 2000 km round trip and the rains made river crossings dangerous. But the rains also mean that remaining horses have dispersed and will be safe for now . Our fight to save these beautiful horses will continue We will also expose the corrupt dealings of those who organized it using tax payers money to fund private investors . The issue of cruelty against wild horses in Australia must be kept in the public eye. Thank you to everyone who is helping. Libby at


  15. Here or there it is a disgrace on our humanity what we are doing to these horses. That we treat other species with such disregard will come to be our downfall. Respect and compassion are the only ways out of all of this, and those two things are sorely lacking in the men and women of our governments. There is nothing humane about culling in anyway. It is a fallacy to believe otherwise and shameful in committing the act. How this atrocity is ever ended…….?


    • Try try try to to justify plain out and out senseless murder of the innocent Mustangs , there is no justification for murder ……….. no excuses , plain ole Bloodlust !!!!! The photo above just tears me up …. I cannot bare to look at it anymore… Its a horror that some of us have become !!offered many ways to keep down population if it were a problem to begin with, the horses are the riches part of our History all good and pure, it is only despicable humans interfere when it all turns to a unimaginable death and horror….. To me it shows they are nothing but the lowest form of human garbage…………….note they murder only what they cannot understand, and envy, it is a form of sick jealousy and shows they are brainless and cowards to the core…………………. the mustangs and horses are a beauty that stands before us only asking to be understood that they they are a gift to us ,,,,,,, capable of many many wonderful things……………………………….i am ashamed sickened and apauled at what some have become……….


  16. We’ve offered PZP fertility control, passive trapping by REAL experts and rehomimg for free as well as training programs in horsemanship for the locals. This IS what locals wanted. The spokesmen are speaking for themselves and their own interests. They want a CATTLE STATION. All humane alternatives were dismissed by those with other agendas. The environmental stuff is rubbish, independent reports have proven horses are part of the local ecology, for generations now, they create fire breaks, assist weed control. Independent reports have counted only 600 horses. In a few months when all has gone quiet, beef cattle will fill the land where horses were and we’ll have another barren landscape care of the Cattle industry in the Kimberley. I wonder how much of the profit from the cattle will flow into the actual Aboriginal community? Not much I’d say, shareholders are pretty demanding. Another Aboriginal community duped again. You know it’s no wonder we have so many deaths around the world by crazed gun men. If we accept the gluttonous bloodshed and the disrespect that has been shown to life up in the Kimberley, how can we ever prevent the same from happening to our children in their schools, to tourists on holidays, to shoppers out with their friends and family for the day?


  17. Humans are consuming the whole planet leaving no space for animals and plants. We can’t leave the last wild animals in peace because we must take their territory as if it was ours. Yes, do shoot everything, and destroy everything – we are the lords of the earth!


  18. If we are allowing the use of culling on brumbies that are taking up precious resources etc then why the f*** is my tax paying for useless no good murdering raping scum to live their life in jail taking up precious resources when they haven’t done anything right but these brumbies have done nothing wrong?? I’d much rather shoot the scum and put my tax money into rounding up these horses and trying to find places for them, at least give them a chance. Horses have served man for so long it’s the least we can do.


  19. the are greedygutses par exellence , they ;might be nicley dressed but not welcome in my home ever, I hate what they do, they dont check and horses die in agony wasted,maybe all that feel like I do should put money together to make a difference and if one of us is lucky enaugh we might be able to buy property so they run free, and if they truly worried about no,s desexing comes to mind, gelding , once you get grass eaters away , you have firefuel growing its being seen so often but they are too stupid to make a connection, I like plants being a greenfinger, but if it means safety in the woods.,bush , I prefer the cattleman grazing their stock!therir logic when out of their heads!


  20. I certainly thought humanity or mankind would take the high ground regarding this subject. I certainly believe that Australia is now a third world country with this mentality! Shame on the politicians and those who put profit over preservation and/or conservation. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!


  21. This shooting horses from above is like opening a prison of serial killers and giving them a major city to plunder! Please leave those poor horse alone. Do you want people to think of you as criminals from the penal colony.


  22. This is such a biased lopsided treatment of the brumbies! I visited them last year this time and saw the mortal remains of those shot near Lake Gregory. Now I areas where they have greatly gutted the brumby populations, they are having enormous out-of-control fires that are annihilating so many of the native species of plants and animals as well. The horses can actually help many of the anciently evolved species by building soils and seeding native plants in an enhanced wild-horse-containing ecosystem. But some people just want a target and to blame them rather than having the patience to live in harmony with such highly evolved animals, individuals like us and who have done so much for humanity, been our faithful companions over the generations, through thick and through thin. And now to be treated so spitefully and without a view as to how we could all live together and share the world. Australia has been terribly altered in the less than 3 centuries that European people began colonizing there and the horses could greatly help to restore harmony. Look at all the multitude of ruminants Europeans have imposed on the Australian ecosystem, the cattle, sheep, deer. Horses offset this lopsided situation. For more information on how read my book recently updated and further perfected: The Wild Horse Conspiracy, available on amazon do com or through my website by the same name as my book.


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