Horse News

Anger at Plans to Cull Australia’s Wild Brumbies (Wild Horses)

By Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney and published on the New Zealand Herald

“The war on wild horses and burros is global in it’s sickening scope!”~R.T.

Authorities in Australia are planning a controversial cull of more than 5000 wild horses to effectively wipe out the Snowy Mountains brumbies, a breed descended from animals brought over by the British colonists.

Snowy Mountain BrumbiesIn a move described by critics as “horrific”, the state Government of New South Wales announced plans to reduce the population of brumbies in the region, south-west of Sydney, by 90 per cent.

The cull will involve ground shooting, trapping, mustering and fertility control but will avoid methods regarded as excessively cruel, such as aerial shooting.

Mark Speakman, the state’s Environment Minister, said the brumbies had been endangering native flora and fauna and damaging sensitive waterways.

“Horses are an introduced species that are competing with Australia’s native animals and flora and their numbers are out of control,” he said.

Australia is believed to have between 400,000 and one million brumbies, making up the largest population of wild horses in the world.

Known for their intelligence and calm temperament, they have survived in vastly different landscapes, including the Outback and bushland.

They were deployed as cavalry mounts in the Boer War and World War I and II.

But the brumbies of the Snowy Mountains have developed a near-mythical status, particularly since featuring in The Man From Snowy River, a famous 19th century poem by Banjo Paterson which was adapted into a 1982 movie starring Kirk Douglas.

Save the Brumbies, an organisation which supports Australians keeping the horses domestically, said the proposal to shoot thousands of animals from the ground was “absolutely horrific”.

“They are our culture, they are an icon and they deserve to have protection and above all they deserve to have humane handling,” Jan Carter, the organisation’s president, told ABC News.

“We have independent reports… that they do not cause the damage that they are accused of.”

A plan outlining the cull was released at the weekend and will be open to public submissions until July 8.

Numerous culls have been conducted across Australia in recent years and have often provoked angry public responses. In New South Wales, aerial shooting was banned after 600 horses were shot in 2000 in a three-day cull.

Most scientists and conservationists have supported humane and limited culls of brumbies, saying they cause serious damage to vegetation.

Dr Graeme Worboys, from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, argued last year that the brumbies should be removed from parks where authorities were trying to protect native species.

“They compact the wetlands, they pug the marshy areas, they destroy the stream banks and cause erosion,” he said.

9 replies »

  1. Sounds to me like the bom has been talking to them.. Evil horrible humans. SAVE THE BRUMBIES!!!!


    • Sounds to me like the blm has been talking to them.. Evil horrible humans. SAVE THE BRUMBIES!!!!


  2. Does seem as if the wild horse is being targeted as the only possible answer to any environmental destruction! We KNOW its not true here in the US – so are the horses actually the only species to blame in Australia?


  3. I would like to address my comment to Mark Speakman, the state’s Environment Minister . IT. Seems that in Your Country, within Your knowledge,You let the Nazis take over .”The Cull,To distroy an Icon, the Wild Horses of Your Country.”.This Will be known in the world as the most uncivilized, the most Cruel act ever , done in Your Country. I, my family, my friends, my suroundings, we will avoid Your Country, unless the Cull.the capturing, the distroying of the Wild Horses Will be STOPPED, ” Do Not act as the NAZIS, Do Not make this à SHAME. for Your country.The Wild Horses , They should be à treasure, an Icon, à Symbol, à Pride. STOP the Cull !!! With my respect, Solvejg P. Zaferes-Sluyter.


  4. I remember reading about the horses being shot from helicopters claiming at the time the tribes in the area were complaining that the horses were doing damage to their area. All of it was made up BS and now they want to do it all over again they have been rounding these animals up for years to ship to slaughter. At the time the slaughter trucks had a long drive which took many hours to get to the slaughter plant from where the horses were rounded up over bad roads. I haven’t really seen any mention about the wild horses in that country since 2000 when so many of them were killed. After that I saw elephants shot and killed from the air just like the horses have been because the tribes complained about to many of them and they were eating their crops this was in one of the countries in Africa. There was one video of a female elephant shot down leaving her calf without its mother and now all these years later elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory one every 15 minutes. They are headed for extinction in numerous areas of Africa just like the wild horses in the U.S. and if the roundups in Australia isn’t stopped they will go the same way. Since Australia was founded they have pushed to near extinction close to every wild animal that had existed there for thousands of years if not much longer.


  5. Australian Brumby Alliance, 14-February-2016

    Click to access 1.3-Wild-Horse-Ancestors97.pdf

    In Australia, Brumbies of similar type and breed will, over generations, become smaller and stockier in a mountainous environment than if they lived in plains/desert environment. Although food supply may be a factor, the ability to survive in these different environments is more to the point. In dessert areas, horses may need to
    travel long distances for food and water and the ease of the terrain may encourage the development of longer legs. In forested mountain terrain, food may be more abundant but a smaller size will facilitate mobility and hence survival.

    The ABA considers a Brumby horse to
    ….a wild horse that survives in an unrestrained, untamed state in a natural
    herd structure whereby natural selection decrees the type that survives in that
    environment. With this in mind, there are many populations of wild horses around the

    In more recent times, horses (and other animals) have been deliberately returned to the wild.

    The concept of rewilding and conservation grazing have gained increasing acceptance as a way of bringing land back into balance with nature.

    Rewilding is large-scale conservation aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and core wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species. Rewilding projects may require ecological restoration or wilderness engineering, particularly to restore connectivity between fragmented protected areas, and reintroduction of predators where extirpated.


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