Craig Downer, author and wildlife ecologist, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed. 11/2/16)


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Nov. 2, 2016

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.


Craig Downer (photo by Rona Aguilar)

Our guest tonight is Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist and author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy.”  Craig is the Founder of The Andean Tapir Fund, the Wild Horse & Burro Fund, and has a website called The Wild Horse Conspiracy.  Craig will be talking about his observations of Herd Management Areas, the Brumbies (wild horses in Australia), the Wildies (wild horses in Canada), the fertility drug PZP and many interesting stories about the history of wild horses in the American West.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us:, or call 320-281-0585

Continue reading

Mae Lee Sun & Craig Downer on the culling of Australia’s brumbies (wild horses) on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 9/21/16)



Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Sept. 21, 2016

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST in the U.S.A.

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.


There have been many horrific aerial cullings of brumbies (wild horses) in Australia, where shooters in helicopters have shot and left many brumbies suffering before death. The New South Wales government plans to wipe out 90% of the Snowy Mountains brumby population over the next two decades.


Our guests tonight are:

mae-lee-trooper-33-reducedMAE LEE SUN, co-author of the 2013 release, “Brumby: A celebration of Australia’s wild horses” by Exisle Publications. She is a freelance journalist/photographer, editor, writer and animal welfare advocate and her articles and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and literary journals. Mae Lee has worked in the United States and abroad since 1995 and is currently in Australia. Mae Lee’s blog is the Wild Horse Journal.





screen-shot-2014-12-12-at-9-04-58-am CRAIG DOWNER is a wildlife ecologist and the author of the book “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” Website:

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us:, or call 320-281-0585 Continue reading

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.

Australian town plans to remove brumbies for crossing roads

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.

by Paula Tapiolas
The State Government estimates up to 200 brumbies are running in a corridor in the Northern Beaches and it wants the council to declare them a pest species to stop any more fatalities on the roads.

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.

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