Control of unwanted horses … shot from helicopters

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

brumbyAnimal 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.

As someone who witnessed the aftermath of an aerial cull on Frazier Downs near Broome, that killed over 600 horses, any thoughts of doing the same here is nothing short of immoral and unethical, probably even illegal. The RSPCA failed to take action for the Frazier Downs tragedy where horses were shot in the guts, legs, many aborted, and foals left to die. Others had the skin on their legs shredded by fences when running in terror.
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.

The indigenous community at Lake Gregory have been lied to, bribed, cajoled and a lot more over this issue, and the NGO’s such as KLC, ILT, IPA have been as unhelpful as all the Government Departments. Inhumane treatment of the horses seems to be the desired result.
UPDATE, Today, 27th November:

alert; just heard that there is a Brumby cull happening in the Kimberley. Waiting now to hear more. Any info available anyone???
alert; just heard that there is a Brumby cull happening in the Kimberley. Waiting now to hear more. Any info available anyone???
  • 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 and dept of agg. let him the contract
  • Elizabeth Lovegrove thanks Leighton, I’ll try to contact 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 years
    Check 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

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
This entry was posted in Broome/Kimberley, Environment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Control of unwanted horses … shot from helicopters

  1. Pingback: Australia needs to change their policy to kill wild horses (graphic images) | Protect Mustangs™

  2. Pingback: Kimberley wild horses shot from helicopters, many injured and left to die … | pindanpost

  3. Pingback: Horse Stories: Jimminy ~ Orphan of an Aerial Cull | Australian Horse Welfare and Rescue News

  4. Stewart Mack says:

    Please can we have thirty horses for the Fitzroy valley junior stockmans club we are running a natural horsemanship training clinic during the month of march 2014 including a hot shoe clinic for the people in the Fitzroy valley this clinic will enable us to train horse’s to a standard suitable for young people yours sincerely Stewart mack 0437441189 on behalf of the people in Fitzroy crossing young and old Thankyou

  5. Falcon says:

    Even if culling is really need, carcasses must be eaten by humans or fed to tigers in zoos or pet dogs! It is evil to kill animals and waste their meat!

  6. Wade says:

    shit maybe it is time for a human cull seeing we humans cause far more damage to the whole planet just made humans in charge ??? gutless humans that soot any animal have no heart leave the brumby’s alone they are not doing anything wrong I agree Falcon if they do kill yes removal of deceased should be collected and used as feed for lions tigers and pet food not let to rot

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