Brumbies may be declared pests in north Queensland due to accidents on Bruce Highway
Brumbies are causing problems on the Bruce Highway north of Townsville by wandering onto the road and causing accidents. ()
In an effort to stop brumbies roaming on to the Bruce Highway and causing accidents, the wild animals may be declared a pest species under Townsville’s animal management act.
Early last month a man died when his motorbike hit a horse on the Bruce Highway at Bluewater.
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper held a roundtable meeting this week to find solutions to the wild horse problem.
He wants council to declare brumbies a pest animal in Townsville’s division one area so they can be handled under the Animal Management Plan.
“The National Parks guys have been terrific. They know what they need to do,” Mr Harper said.
“There’s been some recent fencing upgrades along that boundary to stop the incidents of brumbies entering that northern corridor.
“There is more work to do in this space, there’s no doubt about it.”
Townsville Division One Councillor Sue Blom said council will consider the proposal.
“It’s become a problem for the people in division one because we’ve just lost one of our family members out there. It doesn’t really matter whose problem it is, it needs to be solved,” she said.
Councillor Blom said council staff are now investigating how the brumbies could be managed and who will pay.
“There’s been about 200 horses identified on the State Forest land,” she said.
“Council owns and the ratepayers own a lot of land up through that corridor and we have no clue how many are on our land.
“I had a report yesterday of 11 of them walking down Bluewater Drive in one group. That’s not the State Government’s responsibility.
“But the way our local laws policy reads at the moment, we can capture domestic animals, and impound them but when it comes to these wild horses, it’s a very grey area for us.”
Councillor Blom said some of the horses may be family pets which run with the brumbies during the day.
“Some people are concerned that their horses get out during the day and possibly they run with these groups, and they’re concerned that their family pets may end up getting euthanased,” she said.
“So what council would do would be capture them, pen them, work out who owns what and that’s when a decision would be made on those that don’t have owners.”
Public consultation sessions are planned for the future and local residents are advised to attend.