Another cull proposed?
To cull or not to cull: Lake Gregory’s feral horses
From Facebook a few months ago: Wednesday, 21 March 2012 10:00
Animal welfare action groups believe the horses to be worthy of preservation due to their fine breeding and historical place in northern pastoral history. Image: Yaruman5THE fate of feral horses (Equus caballus) in the Kimberley Lake Gregory (Paruku) region hangs in the balance of mixed opinion.
While preserving the wetlands and associated wildlife is paramount, horse welfare groups wish to preserve the Arabian type station horses that have occupied the area for decades.
Paraku is the most significant freshwater lake in the Kimberley, home to 70 species of waterbirds and 175 aquatic species. Over 100,000 birds visit the wetlands with 60,000 estimated at Mulan Lake at any one time.
The Department of Environment and Conservation 2009 report on the ‘Lake Gregory (Paruku) Wetland System’ notes the importance of removing feral horses from the lake.
Feral horses in the Paruku region cause wetland soil erosion, damage native flora, destroy nests and homes of wildlife, complete for food and water with native animals and spread introduced weeds.
They can roam areas of up to 50 kilometres, grazing continuously and carry exotic diseases such as Equine Flu and Tick Fever that may infect pastoral animals.
However Wild Horse Kimberley (WHK) action group believe damage to the lake is caused by cattle and camels.
They claim horses travel in straight lines creating natural fire-breaks and grazing keeps grasses down—reducing fuel load.
WHK oppose inhumane methods of culling such as aerial shooting – leaving horses maimed and dying for days.
In Dec 2010 the then Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Dr Kim Hames, in consultation with the Mulan community and horse welfare groups, stopped a mass aerial cull in favour of a more humane approach.
Currently the Rangers at the Kimberley Land Council are working to limit any environmental damage.
The five-year management plan includes keeping some of the horses for an economic enterprise to bring money into the community such as eco-tourism and create training programs in horsemanship for young indigenous people.
Support for fencing the lake has also been discussed during a meeting between interest groups and Aboriginal Land’s Trust.
Animal welfare action groups believe the horses to be worthy of preservation due to their fine breeding and historical place in northern pastoral history.
They argue that there is ample feed for the horses and that they present little disturbance to the lake.
Feral horses are declared under the Agricultural & Related Resources Protection Act (1976). Category A5 states ‘landowners must reduce/control numbers within an infestation on their land.’
My first comments on this item, thanks to Vicki Manly for bringing this topic up.
Fencing the lake and providing appropriate watering points would enable control of stock including cattle. I have been lobbying for this to happen for at least 7 years, but always ends up falling on deaf ears.
Leighton Bullen the last contract they let out was to colin laurietsen who shot the prenti downs horses he was the former manager of prenti downs wouldnt surprise me if he isnt involved again he has a helicopter and 2 other mates who join him
Leighton Bullen dont forget he will try to bullshit you about it but remember he has shot at least 640 in the last 2/3 yearsCheck out this carnage below, warning, these pics may cause distress … this material may be used to help prevent another massacre, there are plenty of possible homes available should the need arise I expect