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Wild Brumby Cull in Kosciuszko National Park

The New South Wales government has announced a plan to cull of 90% of the wild brumby population in the Kosciuszko National Park in southern New South Wales.

Centred around the NSW High Country, this national park covers almost 7,000 square kilometres of alpine and sub-alpine country. Australia’s highest peak (Kosciuszko) and town (Cabramurra) are in the area, along with plenty of 4WD tracks to see.

One of the most iconic scenes of Australia, etched into our national identity by poem and song, is the wild brumby, galloping along the wild and tree-less plains of the high country. This sight will become quite a rare occurence, as the culling program looks to dramatically reduce their numbers. Estimates peg around 6,000 brumbies inhabit the countryside, and the plan is to reduce this down to only 600.

brumbiesThe cull has been drawn up in a bid to protect the fragile country, ecosystems and endangered native animals against the introduced brumby. Many are arguing the need to cull the Brumby, and others are arguing the methods that have been tabled.

Trapping, mustering, fertility control and ground shooting are methods that have been highlighted, whilst aerial shooting, brumby running and roping have all been ruled out.

Peter Cochrane, one-time federal member for Monaro, has called the plan a ‘massacre’, and is calling on the government to use traditional methods and local manpower to manage brumby numbers.

“The traditional methods of roping and trapping could save the government, the taxpayer, a lot of money and would result in a greater amount of horses being rehomed,” said Mr Cochrane.

“Ground shooting is a new element that has been introduced and in the environment of Kosciuszko National Park it’s extremely difficult, but it’s also unnecessary.” The methodology in culling the brumbies [which] is nothing short of cruel.”

What do you think about the planned brumby cull? Do you think the cull is extreme or necessary?

121 Comments

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  • I drove along the snowy river road today. And I can clearly see nothing has been done about this problem. I think we should be all ashamed of ourselves for letting this problem go on. I do not understand why we continue to let feral animals rule our country. Today I seen feral cats, deer, pigs and although I didn’t see a brumby. Their shit was all along the road from Suggen Buggen, up the 4wd tracks to the top of Mt Meraak and all along the snowy river. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How can this happen?

  • KT May, I’ve rarely seen so many words used to convey such garbage. Learn to be concise, accurate and logical. Otherwise, get used to be irrelevant.

    As for the horses, about time.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  • I am a brumby supporter, and a liberal-economic-realist, and a ‘greenie’. I also support union-activities and workplace association rights where appropriate. I am not anti-cull for the sake of it.
    In my book there is nothing as beautiful, valuable, and useful as a brumby. It is purpose built by its genetic survival to exist in this country, both by climate-adaption and temperament. It reduces bushfire-fuel-loads, and it eats the introduced weed grasses in the park spread by those Humans who chose to destroy the park with their own ‘hard-hoofed’ boots, shoes, and lets not forget, I we are going to take the ‘hard-hoofed destruction’ argument to point, how about 4wds, motorbikes, mountain bikes, and camping vehicles and tent floors?? (These also bring further destruction and fire risk by their petro-chemical leakage risk, overspill – intentional or unintentional- of litter, toileting inappropriately, filthy nappies, plastic goods left behind, poisonous washing and personal products runoff, camping toilet refuse, food-waste and condiment dumping etc etc). All of which can kill or maim native ecosystems more efficiently and more irrepairably, and often do. (In addition, these are the same people who’s domestic cats, dogs, pigs and other animals are overspilled to create far more widespread damage than any amount of damage any brumby, or population of ever did). A great example of this is the comment posted by harry on May 7th 2016 mis-guided, and deluded attitutude is exemplified In the cull-supporting comments above which says:
    “We need to separate the issues here: We are talking about feral animals in a National Park, not an unwanted litter of kittens in suburbia.
    We are talking about conservation and preservation of sensitive ecosystems that has to support native animals that are sensitive to even minor disturbance and destruction of habitat.
    We are not talking about what is sustainable in a sensitive natural environment, not about domestic animals in paddocks that can be fed, rounded up and sold at will.”
    Well, Harry. I agree we need to separate and look at the issues properly. We ARE talking about the CULTURAL, &NATURAL heritage within a National Park, the sustainable PRESERVATION of which is the express purpose of the NPWS (yes, check it if you don’t believe me). The Brumby is an important cultural icon. One could argue that those who disagree can all be culled or ‘go back to where they came from’, even aboriginal persons descended at some point from either godwana, papua, Indonesia, and other places, and are therefore also an introduced species by over 60% primary originating heritage. If it is a first-in-best-dressed argument, then cull the people, as brumbies were in some of these places well before humans in the National park. If there are places that humans cant reach, but brumbies can (therefore denying trapping and relocating is do-able) then how can those same people say they have scientific EVIDENCE of the ACTUAL population numbers and damage, if they have never studied these areas?
    Finally, if you’ve ever dealt with horses appropriately, you will quickly realise that horses are never truly ‘domestic animals’ in the Disney sense as you infer, Harry, and neither are people. Yes, brumbies should be easier (because of their lack of human contact and herd-travel instinct) to bait in with food to round- for re-homing or re-sale, not harder. but it must be done properly, and I’ve yet to see anyone do that. (Though I’ve seen plenty of loud ya-hoo wannabe cowboys waving blue plastic at their heads, and and crashing noisy dangerous aluminium barriers- that would scare a human if his leg was caught in the same situation- crushing and cramming these horses into aluminium floored trucks and complaining that they are terrified… and these are the clowns running the so-called trap and relocate test-cases that the NPWS say are not viable, and if that’s the way they plan on doing it, I would agree, because you’ll only get them coming once to feed at human offered fodder in that case, but never again, and neither would I! (Well, you might avoid humans to if all they did was chase, shoot, and terrorize your family).
    When ACTUAL evidence of numbers, actual LOCATIONS of herds, AND actual method solution and sustainable removal are put forward by NPWS in the correct ACTUAL context in comparison to the damage done by all other ferals including pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, foxes, PEOPLE, and VEHICLES, then we should look at it maturely and responsibly for what it is. As yet, this has never occurred, and they have no intention of presenting the truth. none. Harry’s comment about “unwanted litter of kittens in suburbia” is exactly the perfect example of deluded idiocy and misunderstanding by the do-gooder well intended problem creators. Those box of kittens are the problem. then do not respect street names, or postcodes, or even neighbouring allotment boundaries. Disease, filthy people and vehicle damage, and feral animals do not just stay in Parks, just ask neighbouring communities farmers and land-managers. They do more damage than all brumbies put together (and these are the people calling against shooting and indiscriminate culling of brumbies!!). Ban domestic cat and rabbit ownership if you want to fix Australia, or be honest about the fact that a brumby cull proposal is just another political grandstanding destruction attempt to gain greens support because you know (as a ”major’ party) you will be kicked out at the next election without gaining under the table dishonest deals from minority (and greens) support.
    I am a supporter of a healthy social and economic Australian Position. I am a supporter of Kosciusko in its pristine state, but also a supporter of brumbies in their pristine state. What we need to do is preserve both. If that means humane removal and relocation, coupled with discriminatory stallion sterilisation of those breeding-stock unable to be relocated, (without culling insitu -which creates fear, disease, unacceptable collateral risks, and further promotion of civilian based fire-arms access in these and other areas, and complete loss of economic and social benefits available) then that is the correct way forward.
    How? The tourism base for Australiana experiences is proven and economically sustainable. It creates more sustainable and unique jobs in areas which have otherwise low-employment and population levels. Such employment also promotes positive social-skills, and psycho-social benefits, which translate to the general employment, youth unemployment, tourism, and even disability and correctional rehabilitation sectors well. But this alone will not work, it must be a co-ordinated effort, that involves firstly droving-out and relocation, in conjunction with no-harm dart sterilisation methods (of the remaining in-trappable stallions and colts). This method will help to trap the herds, as the sterile stallions left in the park will gather and herd the remaining horses, keeping them together to be located and trapped at a later date, rather that leaving rotting carcasses everywhere to pollute the pristine environment. Use nature to achieve the outcome, use that herding instinct.
    When cashed up middle-eastern, indo-chine and other countries and individuals are crying out for access to our (most superior quality) economic resources of feral horses and camels, goats, cattle, buffaloes and rabbits for a planet with a ridiculous protein food shortage, and economic imbalance, then why wouldn’t we export 80-90% of these creatures live to those who want them. You can add kangaroo meat to that too, if you insist on culling them, as NPWS does. If one good-looking entire is worth over two million dollars at the magic millions sales, we can put a very large hole in our country’s unemployment rate, economic mis-management deficit, and cross-generational, and cross cultural knowledge voids, just by seeing this as a humane ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, which is what it is. An in addition, the re-training and relocation preparation programs could be provided in rural and regional areas, which are struggling to survive from lack of population and economic stimulus. AND EXPORTS MEANS DOLLARS… THATS ALWAYS WHAT GOVT SAYS…
    So why is this not the plan? its less expensive that culling, as there is less expense on firearms and insurance, less risk, less poisoning and less disease from culling, and less bitching and moaning and divisive social dispute….
    If we gave 20c for every cane toad 75c for every rabbit and 1$ feral cat or dog or pig (dead or alive and pet-food able- non-toxic non-mix amitosis non-calcic ) and , $250 for each horse pony or donkey, and $275 per cattle of buffalo, we would soon have a pristine environment. The horses donkeys camels and cattle and buffaloes can be resold to countries who want them to refresh and restrengthen their domestic or natural stock. The catch being that registered or microchipped animals would incur a fine. (It works, that’s how china dealt with their rodent problem historically when British trading ships caused problems, and how Europe dealt with such problems also).
    Tell me exactly why this is such a hard concept to get people’s head around?
    It’s not robo-science (which deletes long-term jobs) its workable commonsense. PROVEN by hundreds of years of effective application across multiple generations and cultures. (if the governments were actually into jobs, growth, and economic and environmental sustainability and opportunity, their policies over all jurisdictions would adopt this, instead of pushing the opposite attitude and measures).
    Please productively criticise this, in adult and scientific discussion, so that we can actually create sustainable solutions for all.
    Please Constructively debate me with EVIDENCE not emotion.
    Kind Regards,
    Concerned citizen.

    • KT May, some very constructive comments. Send animals where they are needed. Discern with proper research what to do with the rest. Control the tourists, rubbish and damage. I too, have seen a pristine coastal environment in South Australia utterly trashed and destroyed beyond recognition in under 2 years after a tourist sign was installed. No facilities, no track, no loo, etc, just a ‘lookout’ sign. All the rabbits, pigs and foxes in the area could not compete with the intense level of damage and destruction of land, vegetation, soil and beach, and trashing with every kind of rubbish imaginable, by humans that I personally witnessed there. Just one example.

  • These beautiful brumbies are our heritage and helped build this counrty and they went to war with us, belong. They have lived peacefully for 180 years . Try the feral pigs and goats and deer. Wild dogs and cats. Do way more damage. 🐎🐎

  • Kudos to you Mr 4×4 what a great article. Our Brumbies our Heritage enjoyed by many from near and far, First i would like to say to Graham
    (About time. Should be 100% cull. I can never understand why people favour introduced feral animals, which horses are, over our native vegetation which supports native animals. I’ve heard it said that they are part of our history. Considering our history of 240 odd years that hardly counts in terms of the age of this continent…what does count is the destruction we have managed to inflict here in our ‘history’.
    Surely a world record and a lesson to all about how to destroy a continent in a short time.
    Get rid of them and the camels and buffaloes and any other feral animal we can. Let’s at least try to fix some of the damage we have done.)
    Horses do not eat native vegetation Graham infact how many native grazing animals do we have. horses are fussy with what they eat Grass and legume are their choice. I dont know if Graham has ever heard of the darwin theory where lawns did not survive without a manicure, Also Graham are you not native also How long is a piece of string Graham How long must one inhabit and area before they become local or part of the system do you not think in 240 years or so the eco system has adapted and repaired. How do we have anything left to preserve. Man has destroyed and caused extinction of much since taking control and has not learnt anything, The genetics of these horses is one of strength Stamina and survival of the fittest much like our forefathers, we did not ride any native animal to battle to protect this land we rode the horse , we built the land on the horse, we built the country on the horse and today even with the wheel and other advancement there still are many horses in the world.
    Graham did you know that bird like love the beetles, worms and seed in the manure of the horses. did you know Birds like the mane and tail hair for their nests, did you know frogs like laying their eggs in the pudge marks of the horses hooves, did you know the pug holes from the hooves make environmental pot holders just like you or i going to the store and buying a pot and placing manure in it and watering till the seed grows, Unfortunatly Graham you are like many others who have just wandered along in a daydream and missing all the advances in environmental scienc that infact make a healthier world. And before you says they spread the weeds , i say they can only spread what is already in the pristeen park Best wishes

  • Brumbies are a introduced, feral and a invasive species, culling is necessary to reduce their numbers just like any other feral, introduced or invasive species!

  • My opinion is that the animals are relocated. I am sure these animals can be domesticated, even exported. Its a crime to kill them off , as its not the fault of the animals that they wound up in the mountains.

  • Brumbies have been officially been identified with the Cultural Heritage of Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) which is of National Significance so sorry to the heritage connection nay-sayers but yes they have been listed as heritage like it or not.
    In 1977, 150 years after cattle and horses first settled in the mountains UNESCO listed the KNP as a biosphere reserve. This was at a time when some cattle still grazed and the brumbies were continuing to be managed and numbers controlled by the local mountain horsemen. Massive areas were then declared Wilderness which only demonstrates the pristine condition that the park AFTER 150 yrs of brumbies AND cattle was in so they must not cause too much damage. In other words the mountain horsemen were managing the brumby numbers and should be permitted to do so again but no they were kicked out 25 years ago by some over educated idiot greeny mates of Bob Carr. It is then the continuing mismanagement of NPWS that has caused the mess.
    There is not one species of plant or animal extinct after now 180 years of brumbies. If you look at specific scientific studies on individual endangered animals in the park (and not just NPWS biased reports by public servants) none of their decline is specifically attributed to brumbies.
    Why is there so much focus on brumbies impact? Why is brumby impacts weighted more heavily than other impacts?
    Why is the negligible impacts from brumbies deemed any worse or more important than the permanent impacts of developments, roads, powerlines, Snowy Scheme dams tunnels and roads, Ski Resorts with ski runs and ski lodges many run by the greeny walker groups wanting this slaughter hypocritically as their leaking sewerage systems goes into the alpine catchments or as their toilet paper is found all over the mountains where they go walkies.
    If it wasn’t for brumby tracks in some areas they wouldn’t know where to walk. One million visitors every year!
    Mountain bike and walking tracks, 4×4 tracks and fire trails, dams and bridges. Wombat holes in stream banks, rabbit holes etc etc.
    Not to mention the Super Fire that wiped out 80% of ALpine Ash and other plants that we will not see again in our lifetime because of the hottest fire in 60 years.
    The park should be an all natural ecosystem you say? whats the number one maintenance of native bushland?? That would be regular cool fire by lightening or 40,000 years of aboriginal fire sticks?? So why does NPWS spend hundreds of thousands of $$ every year to put these natural fires out?? and get double time$$ doing it!!! That’s not natural!
    Wake up Australia. You have all been had, by dictatorial media propaganda brainwashing and programming.
    Pigs and deer have exploded in population since 2003 fires and then there’s rabbit & dogs and cats!. eliminate them first, then we will think about the brumbies.
    Some people should do their homework before just believing the propaganda crap that’s driven down the throats of a naive public.

  • Yes lets get rid of them so we can make another ski run or build another big resort for our overseas tourist, that seems to be the way our politicans want to go. I am a regular visitor to the mountains and every time I go there I see more distruction of the wildness to fit these resorts ect. ( most of which belong to them or there mates ). But have a few horses there that thousands of Australian go to see and love, wow that’s a no no. Yes they need controlling, but lets do it properly, we don’t want another Guy Faulks.

    • Many people on this thread have spoken about the ‘damage done by the brumbies’. And some have compared it with the vastly greater level of damage they have seen done by pigs and rabbits. Has anyone ACTUALLY GONE OUT AND CHECKED to see WHAT SPECIES is causing WHAT damage TO what and HOW MUCH damage? Like, scientifically, as in proper observation of the evidence, data, natural forensics, common sense. Not just the baseless judgment: ‘oh there were damage and brumbies together in location x therefore the brumbies did it’. That’s totally botching up reality. I mean, if there were a car crash and you were driving by and stopped by the roadside, how would you like to be instantly accused of causing the accident and then arrested, just because you were right there? Get the facts. That’s the first point to go to before all the debating and decisions.

  • When you see the damage done by these horses it is a no brainer – they must be culled. Of course it should be done by people with skills to do this important role humanely.

  • I’m a little astounded. 1 in 4 Australians don’t even know horses are an introduced species. That’s how disconnected people are. I never thought any government would have the guts. They should have got the guns out after the 2003 bushfires while the numbers where still low. For decades, these arguments have all been heard before, votes weighed and measured. Successive state governments of either persuasions on both sides of the NSW/ Victorian border have tanked at taking lethal action on feral horses. What’s truly astounding is the NSW government has the intestinal fortitude to make an unpopular but essential decision. But will there be an indefinite deferral of any action – or will they start only to tank after a bit of bad press? Just wait til 60 Minutes does the story. Advisors will be demoted, public servants retired, cabinets re-shuffled. Where is the RSPCA in this debate? Are they silent? I suspect that they support lethal control by aerial shooting as the most humane and effective method of removing horses. I suspect they won’t risk being unpopular because they realise there is a poor understanding in the community about what constitutes good animal welfare outcomes. That silence is not a good outcome for the debate or the horses.

  • As far as I know David J, most of the informed people of the High Plains are against killing brumbies. Why do you think a person has to be at the immediate location to be informed and have an opinion or perhaps offer alternatives? What do you mean by backyard are you claiming to own the High Plains as your personal backyard? It’s 2016, we can be anywhere with technology.

  • I bet most of the people against this cull have never been within a cooee of the high plains. It is disgusting the damage that is happening. Imagine having a brumby in your back yard. Get a bid shovel, is all I can say.

  • Like every other feral animal in this country the human is to blame because they introduced them here so now its the animals fault. I agree that some ferals do need to be culled but start with the ones that are destroying our native fauna including cats, dogs, foxes and pigs. The grass that a horse eats will regenerate but you wipe out a colony of bandicoots then it is all over.

  • Take the time to do a little research an you will find that there are numerous hard working people who dedicate their properties, assets and time to rescue and re-home the Brumbies. Along with volunteers and private fund raising they are very successful. Perhaps instead of focusing on the bullet as the answer, a sensible approach that would gain national and international accolades would be Government and public support for those in the already established mission of Brumby rescue and re-homing.
    Support the Brumby rescuers with funding and resources; perhaps diverting authentic unemployed to participate in a rewarding project assisting the Brumby rescuers.
    I even had a thought that Australia’s Defence Veteran’s who are dealing with difficult times including homelessness could be approached to determine their interest in the rewarding challenge to assist Brumby rescue organisations.

    • Some great suggestions there, John!! I certainly hope someone takes a serious look at your ideas and puts them into action!!

  • Yes .. I do believe a cull is needed.
    Perhaps not down to 10 % but yes down to 20% of the herd.. this will actually make everything much better for environment and for the brumby

  • how about we do a human cull.they have stuffed up more than the brumbies.or an alternative would be to charge the brumbies a park fee.that should scare em off.

  • Why is it that when mankind creates a problem his answer is to kill? The Brumbies have been introduced/placed there by man and have done nothing except to do what comes naturally to them, so why should they have to pay the price for man’s mistakes. To all those that say they are destroying the environment, have a good hard look at what mankind is doing. Rounding them up and re-homing them should be the only option.

  • If the wild Brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park are considered to be such a problem and therefore need culling, I have an idea to solve 2 problems at the same time. Let’s round up all the paedophiles and set them loose in the Kosciuszko NP and the “shooters” can take care of 2 for the price of 1. Seriously folks, who has the right to decide who or what shall be given the privilege to walk this planet? I am sick and fed up with minority groups dictating our lives. Leave the horses alone and concentrate on the feral pigs, goats, cats and snouts in the troughs politicians!

  • Do not touch the Brumbies they cause NO harm, They do keep the undergroath down in places which can help greatly in forest fires.
    Just leave them be.

  • For all that say don’t cull the horses think about your reason why but first think about this ,do you use or have ever used fly spray have you never laid a cockroach bait or set a mouse trap & if yes your a hypocrite .
    We need to cull the horses humanely 100% to remove the problem altogether.
    We as humans need to stop threatening our native fauna & flora . I want to see a Pigmy Possum in the high country & if that means culling all feral animals to give them a chance so be it. If I want to see a horse I will go to a farm , it’s about horses for courses.
    Known fact Australians are the world record holders for mammal extinction so it’s about time we change this & let the cull happen.

  • Perhaps our conservation? masters could concentrate on the blackberries first.
    I was blessed by the sight of a day’s old foal that came up to me without any fear and tried to follow me as I left the quiet plain in VIc high country. you don’t often have the chance to see them in the wild.

  • To try to cover some of the misconceptions here – Brumbies have been previously trapped in Kosciuszko NP each year for several years and many have been domesticated and gone on to very successful homes. We have personally researched the numbers counts for the last several counts and can prove that the population is now down by 40% – not that NPWS will tell anyone. Their own people and report stated in 2001 that the Brumbies should be maintained at 3,000. If you have visited the park, as we have several times, you will note the health of the Brumbies and their environment. Brumbies at a level of 400 is extermination and is not genetically viable. And YES there is a program here in Australia, similar to the US Mustang Makeover, it is called the Australian Brumby Challenge and begins again in July. Brumbies are a drawcard to the Park and local businesses rely on this tourism of people wanting to see Brumbies. And what about fertility control as a management tool – a method that has been used for over 3o years in the USA by remote darting – it is more than a viable option but the NPWS refuse to acknowledge it. Get rid of them, shoot them, kill them all, no one cares – yes there are many of us that do care. If you do care, go to this page and have your say http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/protectsnowies/ Kathryn Massey, President Hunter Valley Brumby Association.

  • so I wonder how many of those against culling the FERAL horses enjoy fishing; you know where a happy and unsuspecting fish get dragged out of the water with one or a more sharp hooks lodged in it’s body or through it’s eye. It seems to be a very accepted pass time that no one bitches about too much about. Or how many are so happy to have a mouse or two in the kitchen that will not look at way to catch it; which usually means killing it by some means. And how many had a feed meat last week.
    It’s a sad fact that many domestic animals do so very well when they return to the wild from which they came from many generations ago. It’s also a sad fact that many wild [native] animals do too well for their own benefit because of new watering points and better feed provided by people. It’s also a sad fact that from time to time we need to cull these animals for any number of reasons.
    I like horses; wonderful animals that I have spend many hours/days/years on mustering, but these are wild animals which are harder and more expensive to domesticate and if they could be domesticated, where these animals go and what would be there uses?.
    Sorry; they need to be culled as humanly as possible.

  • too many politicians lets have a cull of them!
    Surly we can sell them to someone?
    the sight of a wild horse is unreal.

  • what about mining and logging; how destructive is that to our country ? how many native animals have become extinct because of those practices!!!
    just look around Sydney where thousands of acres of land has been cleared to put houses up’ or whole suburbs in Sydney where the beautiful old homes have been removed to put up unit blocks.
    how often do you see dumped rubbish in the bush? its there because of the outrageous prices the government imposes on people at the tip !!! but did you know that your rubbish is then shipped to queensland ‘ those huge trucks with the massive bin like container on the back has your rubbish in it!! the head of the EPA is behind it; go to the tip yourself you will see them loading it into trucks ; if its allready at the tip why take it else where? a lot of it also goes to china.
    did you know you can run a car on water ? check out Stanley meyer you can even buy kits to supplement your fuel and get from 30 to 50% better fuel economy.
    my point is this; there is allways another option we don’t need to kill those beautiful horses
    also please check out firestorm sparkplugs and coates rotary valve heads as well as HHO boosters .
    A PERSON WHO STANDS FOR NOTHING WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING

  • Man brought the horse here. Man let the horse go wild here. The horse is an animal that has had to survive by itself, and has. The horse is not responsible for it’s situation. Man is. The answer is, IF the horse is destroying the country that is so precious, then remove a quota of the horses and humanely process it into packed meat and send it to Africa where Gorillas, other apes and animals are hunted and sold as “game meat” in street markets. Run out of horses? Then re-invigorate the controlled processing of Camel products and do the same. Unlike the Home Insulation and School Revolution Building rorts, the Federal Government to supervise it properly, and pay, one and one only, severely scrutinised company to operate it as it’s sole works. All transport, local and overseas, to be organised by the Federal Government, and the products are Free In Store to those to whom it is sent! That is part of Australia’s Overseas Aid programme. Problem solved.
    Definitely no helicopter-shooting, cull/wounding-leave to die and rot cowboys!!

  • I am a local living in the Snow Mountains region and spend a lot of time bush walking off track in the KNP during summer, and cross country skiing and camping out in winter. It is when you get into the more remote parts of the National Park (not viewed from the fire trails or tracks) that you can appreciate the damage and destruction to the slow growing alpine flora that the brumbies (and the wild pigs) cause. There are some big mobs moving about and their numbers definitely need to be drastically reduced.
    Harry and Michael Harding’s comments are realistic and sum up the situation best without being farcical and emotive.
    Personally I don’t like the idea of shooting them and would prefer to see them trapped, rounded up or whatever other humane method that can be employed. However I also appreciate these alternative methods cost more money that an outright cull and will take time, something we do not have unless we are prepared to witness the ongoing damage to this beautiful National Park.
    Past dithering and deferral of pragmatic solutions to the increasing brumby numbers have left us in the current situation, we need to act now.

  • Along with many other people here, I cannot stomach the thought of culling these beautiful animals. Most other feral animals, not a problem with culling, but not the brumbies However, they are destructive and something needs to be done..
    Surely there are ways we can make this more of a win for all involved (including the horses).
    I’m sure there are enough people/businesses that can utilise the horses (work/breeding/racing or pet food for those that cannot be otherwise used) and can make enough money off them that they can afford to round them up without the NPWS paying for it to be done?
    While this is not so much a ‘win’ for the brumbies, at least they are not being carelessly (and expensively!) slaughtered. We can also keep their heritage alive.

  • To see the horses running free as you drive through the national park is very uplifting, there are many feral animals that have bred out of cotrol ie cant toads, that should be destroyed first. If the government has money to waste on destroying these beautiful animals that could be rehoused once captured, they should spend it on hospitals and schools which are much more important to our future. Maureen

  • The brumbies have no impact on such large area . I have ridden with them . This is scare mongering by the old grey beards stick carriers. What is being done about the foxes . Wild cats create havoc . Look to research done by the Australian wild life fund. Pigs dig up an area the size of a football field each per day. Spend your efforts and substantial government funds ( our funds) . Where it will do the most good. Get of the brumbies back.

  • I have ridden extensively in the Long Plain/Kiandra area of Northern KNP for over 30 years, and know these areas fairly well. In the mid 80’s and 90’s, when the Wilderness areas within the Park were being proclaimed , riders stopped from entering these areas, and then the ban on traditional brumby running and trapping within the Park, a wide cross section of horse groups and mountain locals repeatedly warned Park management and relevant politicians that without these traditional methods of keeping the brumby population under control the horses would soon breed to unsustainable numbers until they became a danger to themselves (by overgrazing their ranges) and that said numbers would cause unacceptable damage to the environment. Well, it’s happened, just as we all said it would, and now the horses must pay the price. Yes, I agree that numbers must now be reduced, for the sake of the horses as well as the land, but it should have never come to this in the first place. Brumby running and trapping isn’t perfect, but it did keep the horse population under control and would again, if reintroduced.
    I have read the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Management Plan, and understand that the methods of trapping and passive, non-stressful mustering have been decided upon as the chosen methods of removal, to be reviewed every 5 years. If enough horses are not captured and removed, I suppose aerial shooting will be back on the agenda. Hopefully not, as these culls are not as clean and clinical as we are led to believe, and animals are often left to die in agony, sometimes lingering for days.
    I am glad I have been able to see the mountain brumby running free. They are a stirring sight, and I had hoped that my Grandchildren would also see them. This is now doubtful. I proudly ride a mountain brumby. She was picked up as a starving orphan, approximately 2 weeks old. I reared her, trained her and broke her to saddle. She is now 8 years old, and one of the best bush horses I have ever owned. Quiet, tough, strong and reliable. These horses, when caught young enough, can and do make good horses for saddle or harness.
    While I agree that horse numbers must now be reduced, I would like to know what is being done about other introduced animals in the Park. When riding about we see foxes, pigs and the damage they cause, and whole hillsides that are honeycombed with rabbit holes. Shine a torch about at night and there are rabbits everywhere. These giant warrens on hillsides collapse, leaving large bare areas, damage I have often heard being attributed to horses.
    Like it or not, the mountain brumby is a part of our history, an icon of the High Country, an animal capable of stirring deep emotions, and should always be part of the Snowies.

    • Beautifully written. A very compelling, sensible and sound argument to cull humanely and leave a controlled herd to roam free. It is all part of the magic of the Snowy Mountains.
      Thank you, Sandra!!

  • leave them alone. I don’t believe there hurting anyone more or less then the other feral animals in the area like rabbits an kangaroos. People come from far an wide to see our wild brumby’s. I will be really sad to see them go. They have been there for year an are a part of our history. Leave them be.

    • Let them screw up the environment. As long as the tourists are happy. And kill all those feral kangaroos! Good idea!!

  • How about rounding them up like they use to, or have we lost this expertise with all the modern techniques we use today.
    The horses could then be either domesticated or those that, be sent to the slaughter house for pet food.

  • If those horse lovers want to re-home a brumby for “Race Horse Material” then I am sure NPWS would have no problem with them going in and getting as many of those feral brumbies that they want to take. Just do not expect the government to pay for it. The rest should be culled as they are a feral animal causing a lot of damage to the environment.

  • They are doing damage – Yes. Native – No, Simple really………….. or is it ?
    Part of heritage – Yes My grandfather was in the 7th Light Horse & I understand the horses came from there, I’m very proud of this. However I’m a conservationist with common sense & the custodian of 100 acres plus on the great north walk in the Hunter Valley so I believe I can look at from all sides.
    I’ve sent plenty of vermin to the next life but don’t think I could take the shot on a brumby. Surely in our current time we can come up with a better plan or use ?
    Then again if they were able to look at what we continue to do to our planet they would vote us off the island in a nanosecond.

  • Red Deer are feral ,they have overtaken a lot of country.
    Why then does it cost $150.00 to get a permit to shoot just one ?
    If they are classed as feral shouldn’t you be able to just eradicate them like the Brumby.

  • So typical of the national parks to take the easy way .just kill them. Let’s not do something constructive with them.what about all the other feral animals and invasive plants that do far more damage. They are obviously a bit too hard to shoot from a chopper. Hippocritical mongrels.

  • May 8, 2016
    Ellissnrs
    Oh I agree with your comment ,why listen to people who have lived and worked in the mountains all their lives when we can just ring the university and ask for an expert to come out and tell us about what causes the problems here in the bush .

  • Thank goodness we have professionals and experts employed to manage our fragile ecosystem based on scientific research and lots of experience and not emotive armchair experts via email.

  • The Aussie Brumby has been written into our culture by the great Australian poet ,Banjo Patterson .
    This majestic animal is part of our heritage and has even fought wars and remains in our folklore ,in the magnificent story in the “Charge Of The Light Horse Brigade” in the battles in the Middle East against the great nation of Turkey.
    Hundreds of these horses were left in the this warzone as they could not be bought home. I think as part of our heritage we should be respecting these noble animals not looking to kill them because they are eating the grass and keeping bushfires at bay .Sure we can cull out the old animals and the week and sick ,but lets keep the strong and the fit ones and let them roam in the their adopted homes where they have survived and helped man since we arrived in this great country.
    After all we pioneers deserve to have a culture and a proud history as well.

  • Unfortunately, culling these and other feral species causes many other problems, as highlighted by some of these posts. But for me, a managed token population could remain – nominally 5 % – whatever the population experts says is a minimum number to sustain the genetic pool. And same for the other feral across the continent. Committ more resources now & reap the benefits in the years ahead.

  • are they going to clean up the mess when they have finished’ if they cull that many horses wouldn’t that provide a lot of food for wild dogs ;cats; foxes and pigs.

  • I was going to comment on some previous posters….

    I grew up in the country and I think I have a grasp of the issues here. I’m also Australian and have camped in the Long Plain / Kiandra area and love the image of the Aussie horses and all the imagery that they provoke. They are an iconic image in the area and their historic significance is (my opinion) fantastic…. I challenge anyone to drive through Dead Horse Gap and see a single brumby in the distance surrounded by snow and not feel something. I don’t know how many still exist, if they have gotten out of control then unfortunately they probably need a cull. Like many have said, I hope that would be a humane cull or please move them on to a better purpose, may not be better for the horse but please don’t let them waste in a field.

    Calling for politicians to be culled is just stupid and counter productive to the real issue here. I’m pretty sure the NPWS staff are doing the best they can with no doubt limited funding.

    Goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, deer, pigs…… Not as high profile but probably more environmentally correct…..

  • I understand that the numbers maybe too high for the natural resources to sustain and that they are not indigenous so some of the indigenous flora and fauna will suffer because of the brumbies. However, I believe that the occupation of some areas by non indigenous animals is inevitable and that culling should be highly selective and most certainly not be as much as 90% of the population. The culling needs to be selective to ensure that the end result does not cause inbreeding and it needs to ensure that small family herds are maintained with good leaders in the form of experienced mares and strong stallions to lead, guide and educate the younger animals. It has to be done scientifically and then there is the matter of carcass disposal, if this is not done properly it can result in other problems.

  • The biggest feral animal destroying the environment by far is humans. We should be looking at ways to decrease their population ASAP. Tell that to the politicians with tax $ signs in their eyes!!

  • a couple of years ago in response to the claimed excessive brumby numbers a plan was devised to drive the horses below the snow line into a constructed funnel fenced area where the horses could be sorted without the need for inhumane aerial shooting etc. the plan was devised by and eventually supported by the parks people. however continuous interference by so called conservationists saw the plan fail as by the time this interference was overcome the weather season changed and it was impractical.
    surely this plan could be revisited by sensible responsible people and the problem left to the whims of those who have no realistic appreciation of bush husbandry. these animals have part of our heritage and deserve to be treated with respect. john

  • Humans have destroyed more vegetation and killed more native animals than a horse.
    Do you know the our national parks people have been trapping and poisoning horse for a long time, has any of the readers out there seen a horse with a steel rail imbedded into there chest . Parks are locking you out .
    Some of the horses that went to war came from this stock of horses a gave their lives to save the rider. Not happy about horse culls.l

  • On a 7 month road trip from Tassie to Cape York, my visit to Kosciusko National Park was the highlight of the whole trip! I spent my time in the region actively looking for the Brumbies, this took a while as the population didn’t seem that big. A local told us about the troughs that are filled with salt in winter to attract the Brumbies for capture. The region is such a beautiful part of our country and these animals just increase the beauty and attraction of the park.

  • Here is an idea, how about we cull past and present politicians at say one brumby to ten politicians? Now this would help our debt problem at the same time?
    Seriously wee have much bigger problems out there than the Brumby’s surely. What about cane toads, fire ants etc

  • These animals are a burden on the eco system and MAY have diseases that could possible be past to passing stock or native wild life. Generally the concept of ground shooting allows for a more precise shot placement rather than Ariel shooting,
    Herd control via breeding limitation is difficult to apply and monitor. It must not be forgotten that these animals according to the various applicable laws are of course required to be removed no matter Iconic they may be.
    It is normally the practice here in WA to remove as many in one go as possible; that could prove to be a bit heavy on the noise with that many dead animals left on the ground.
    Not an easy task which ever way you look at it; but they have to go, leaving additional animals is not a viable option if we want a natural landscape, that is why we drive out to these places after all.

  • Human-beings created the problem with unwanted horses set loose, and other horses escaping from properties. Now we have a real problem and there is no easy answer. I am a horse-lover and supporter of wild brumbies, BUT the numbers are getting out of hand in a National Park and something does need to be done. It may be more labour intensive, but round-ups are preferable, and NOT by air. Any mares with foals should not be slaughtered, any young horses could be offered up for re-homing, and the others sent for humane slaughter – as much as that breaks my heart. There are already far too many unwanted horses without adding the brumbies to that number. As I said, there is no easy answer and it is heart-breaking.

  • Wow, lots of comments, you have hit a nerve with this story, and so it should. Typical when numbers get out of hand kill em all, how about a proactive program from national parks to try and manage the brumby population rather than cull these animals try to catch them and if possible find them a home

  • My forefathers chased brumbies in the area’s which are National Parks,the horses were court and broken and were excellent work horses,this changed when the do-gooders got there way,I agree the horses have to be culled but not this way,If the traditional ways had been accepted we would not have this problem,go back to the problem we had with bush fires when the snow leases were closed to cattle grazing in spring,we cull the Kangaroo’s but we can’t touch the bats come to the North Coast and have a look at the damage , where is the logic

  • Culling is cruel, try it on humans and see what happens!
    The brumbies should be caught and those suitable should be broken and homes found for them, I for one would be happy to provide a home for one, my current horse has been lonely since his paddock mate died last year.

  • Quite a quandary isn’t it. As most of the comments here, they allude to the same thing, just where and at what point do you stop? Somebody has to make informed non-emotional decisions sometime about all of these issues. Let’s begin with Caaaaaaarrrrppppp. Jokes aside, somebody or something is always going to suffer as a result of environmental management. It is inevitable.

  • Are these politicians decendents of the same brain dead politicians who in 1918 ordered all the brave ANZACS to shoot all their horses after the war finished rather than bring them home, those horses were the heroes of world war 1, and these horses are their decendents………. SHAME……

  • How many of the nay sayers tolerate rats on their property and actually inside their house?
    Think of having a hundred wild black rats (not white pet rats) living in and around your house and then, with a clear conscience come back to the brumby problem.

    We need to separate the issues here: We are talking about feral animals in a National Park, not an unwanted litter of kittens in suburbia.
    We are talking about conservation and preservation of sensitive ecosystems that has to support native animals that are sensitive to even minor disturbance and destruction of habitat.
    We are not talking about what is sustainable in a sensitive natural environment, not about domestic animals in paddocks that can be fed, rounded up and sold at will.
    As for culling humans: while I know how you feel, you have probably already opposed the death penalty as well, so you will have to volunteer.
    Given the number of neglected and unwanted horses in Australia, trampling valuable agricultural land, I do not see too many volunteers queuing up to take more. If the control of the brumbies had been allowed much earlier, maybe 600 would have had to be put down, but every time it was put in the “too hard” basket.
    This is what happens when decisions are taken to appease people with opinions.
    Maybe start a website and sign up volunteers with the means to round up and transport the horses and each take their share home. I doubt there will be enough homes, let alone enough resources.

    Being stewards of our environment and offsetting the damage we do, sometimes requires us to try and undo some of the damage that has already been done and preventing it from continuing.
    Stop criticizing and blaming politicians and start learning about conservation of native fauna and flora.

    As beautiful as these brumbies are, it is my opinion that the current numbers are not sustainable in the Kosciuszko National Park and unfortunately the current proposal is the most efficient solution.

  • Why only 90%. They will breed up again. Do the lot. Take out the best to be used as domestic horses first. The cull then has to be done by professionals who know exactly what they are doing.

    Yes I know they are our heritage, blah, blah, blah. They aren’t really, they were nothing but beast of burden. When they could perform, they were put down.

    Do it once and do it right – now.

  • About time.

    But why stop at 90% and just brumbies. Target the pigs, goats, foxes, cats, dogs, rabbits, deer, camels and other feral species as well.

    As previously mentioned don’t forget the invasive plants.

  • how much could the tax payers save if we were cull our corrupt politicians ; judges ; lawyers : etc etc we could pay of the debt that they have got the public into .
    its funny how they up the taxes then give themselves a pay rise and backdate it a couple of years ‘ try giving yourself a payrise !!
    the public in this country have lost sight of the fact that they work for us we don’t work for them
    they aren’t paying for the destruction of these horses you are ! will we end up paying for our own destruction?

  • This is another way of politcians wasting time instead of doing what they where elected to do, unfortunately they haven’t got the brains to run this great country of ours so they come up with idiotic things to fill in their useless lives, there shoud be a criteria to become a representative of parliment, integrity, honesty, brains and plain commonsense, which is sorely lacking in 99 persent of our present crop, all they posses is big ego’s and very little up top, leave the brumbys alone and start earning the rediculous salaries they give themselves, they’re not worth a feed at McDonalds.

  • Allan A
    I agree with every post and namely with Simon Church post, I am a hunter, yes, OOOO a “Hunter”, I have gone out on my own time, spent my own money on staying out, getting out and getting back home in helping farmers with all types of feral species such as CATS, Foxes, Rabbits, Pigs etc, destroying our environment and economy.
    One must ask, as Australians, we have been dealing with the above for God Knows How Long and we still have not come up with an answer. “Max Northeast”, asked, and I’d would also like to know who did the count of, 6000? “Lyn”, made the point of, Perhaps we need to CULL our POLITIANS to save Australia and all it stands for before they DESTROY everything we know and identify with as AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN Can these ‘so called’ powers that be—not come up with a good idea to utilise these beautiful animals ??? or is that to hard???? and then, “Bill”, Do the horses keep grass down and provide fire break?

    Let’s call a spade a spade, like we did when I was a kid some 50 years ago Ok, IF YOU THE GOVERNMENT WANT TO CULL ANYTHING CULL THE IMMIGRANTS WHO WILL NOT OBAY THE LAW OF OUR LAND forget the pansy Court System and leave the horses alone.

  • Certainly cull if the numbers are correct. However I think the powers that rule could find a humane way eg re-house them. I have seen a CULL and it is disgusting and inhumane in that the animals are never killed outright and are left to die in absolute agony.

  • why is everything got to be dead my son is a hunter why not round them up
    and move them on who’s idea is .
    what would the man from snowy river think
    god bless Australia we either sell off or kill off.

  • The plan as it is offered is totally shortsighted. Wild Brumbies are feral, they are destructive, they need to go, but as usual the government is breathing stupid fumes again and seeing the opportunity.
    Australian Brumbies, with their Tajik warhorse DNA going back even further than their Waler roots, are considered some of the fastest, strongest bloodstock, highly sought after for an increasingly inbred international racing scene. Rope and ship them, back to the Chinese kinglings from whence they came in the 1400s (sorry to those of you who still think Captain Jimmy the Crook “discovered” Orstraya), and Arabian oil sheikhs, Texan squillionaires and royal horse bloodstock, and ten’s of millions of dollars of foreign capital can be injected into a depressed local economy. There us only so many wine, cheese and bloody pinot tourorists that can feed the economy .

    It’s not just racehorses, but working horses also. Put their rabbit like habits to good use.
    It sounds just like the incredibly stupid waste of culling the purest strongest genetic stock of our feral camels, when there were literally 40 countries that wanted them alive to import, where economic independence for the poor in war torn areas could be created by camel ownership (especially Horn of Africa and the Yemens), which creates peace building momentum, more effectively than special forces.

  • anonymous
    our politicians who are supposed to work for us should have asked the people if we wanted muslims Indians and Asians in this country ‘ I hear they have plans to allow 200million more Asians into Australia will your children or grandchildren wind up being an endangered people in this country?
    it never ceases to amaze me how a minority group like politicians treat the planet like its theirs with the view that they can do whatever they like ‘ whenever they want and to whomever they want .
    but at the end of the day its the peoples fault because they choose not to do something about it but continue to believe the lies that they force feed us .
    shame on our politicians shame on the media and shame on our police force for being so willing to be a lap dog for this corrupt GOVT ‘ it makes me wonder if they realise that our govt will do away with them when they no longer have a need of them!
    check out GENE SHARP and infowars.com.
    I don’t agree with the slaughter of wild horses but I do believe there is another way to go about this problem ‘ there is surely a lot of people who would love a couple of horses on there farm. I do however agree in that there is a lot of damage caused by other more destructive introduced animals like pigs and cane toads

  • Leave the horses alone,or round them up and sell them to people that need horses,that way you make money,To kill them is cruel and destructive all the government is doing is sucking up to the greenies.Isay lets shoot them and the bloody minded politicians ,It’s them bastards that ruin this country sitting in their government offices making laws about places they never go to.LEAVE THE HORSES ALONE///

  • Many of the emotive “leave the poor horses alone – they won’t hurt anyone” type comments prove that the authors have no idea at all.
    There is a dramatic problem caused by these (unfortunately beautiful) horses and the irreparable damage they do, causing erosion, devastating flora. I agree – cull to extinction all the cats; pigs; foxes; etc., but that’s no reason not to deal with the brumby problem.
    I am just distressed that so many of these posts are from people who know absolutely nothing.

  • I hate to think of these beautiful animal being just slaughtered I would like to see something more creative solution saught.

  • The brumbies are a problem. I have a mate who in his younger years with his father and brothers took cattle to the high country to summer graze. This kept the weeds under control as well as a few brumbies being caught, broken and taken Back to the flat to be used as stock horses. The summer grazing was stopped. The weeds took a firm hold. The brumbies had unrestricted breeding, and so prospered unhindered.
    If the government was serious all feral aminals cats, dogs, pigs and carp should be culled and the beautiful brumbies numbers reduced by trapping and removing and not just slautered and wasted.
    I trapped a feral Tom cat on a farm I once owned and it was the size of a small labradore dog. I can imagine the damage it caused to the native animals before I sent it to cat heaven.
    Peter.

  • Ummm So Mr Numb Thumbs… You said…

    “These animals are just the same as any other feral animal, be it goats, foxes, cats, rabbits, deer or camels.
    They are all destructive and should not be there. A cull is way overdue. ”

    I’d like to see you apply the same logic to the MOST destructive animal on the planet and see what you think then.

    Humans are pests. Full stop. We have no right to say what species lives and what species dies. Just remember who introduced every feral animal into this Country. Humans.

    Fixing our Fk ups by slaughtering a species is INSANE.

    We all need to wake up and rethink what the hell we are doing to this planet.

  • This is the best thing that can happen. It should have been done years ago. These animals ruin the very sensitive marshes of the high country and the endangered Cooraboree Frog is a prime example of a native species that is on the brink of extinction due to these feral animals. They don’t belong there and I’m disappointed they are not being exterminated completely.

  • I agree with almost every post, sadly we need horses as a result of our own invasion of a beautiful country we took over. If we are to cull introduced species then it should be 90% of pet, farm, racing and jump horses. The same rule should apply to all introduced plants, trees and food. Import only what canbe guaranteed not to harm native fauna and flora.
    I’m a migrant of many years and feel sadness for all native Australians and their wonderful country that is being destroyed.

  • Remove them totally and any other feral species (including plants) that are destroying our environment.
    The only proviso is that the animals are destroyed humanely.

  • Can these ‘so called’ powers that be—not come up with a good idea to utilise these beautiful animals ??? or is that to hard??????????????????????

  • They do not belong in the environment that was meant for soft footed native animals, sorry, yes they are beautiful animals but their numbers must be managed. One would hope that the people doing the culling are horse people and leave only the best stock to breed. The area they inhabit is rugged and would prohibit musters or getting carcasses out for meat, helicopter shooting would be the only financially viable method.
    Don`t think about how many horses will be killed, but rather how many native animals will be saved.

  • I am TOTALLY DISGUSTED with the moronic views of our polititians to JUST KILL everything that we/Australians had/have that is native to our country. Be it land, water, barrier reef, animals their answer to solve issues is to KILL———————————————————–
    Perhaps we need to CULL our POLITIANS to save Australia and all it stands for before they DESTROY everything we know and identify with as AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN

    Lyn

  • Another bright idea from our government who cant even manage themselves . Just muster them up for f sake move them on to somewhere else or sell there meat do it humainly .this gives people jobs… maybe the brumbies are gonna start culling us .

  • Yes it’s about time the parks were required to manage what they control. Feral animals have no place in that environment.
    forget the emotional claptrap. Horses, deer and pigs are destroying the habitat. Out high country plants did not evolve to cope with hard hoofed animals. You lose the plants that hold the soils and the moisture and create a drier environment that burns where it isn’t meant to burn. But hey don’t think about the science if it conflicts with “Iconic” or cute or even some wacky conspiracy theory

  • Having recently visited this wonderful area and seen the Brumbies (small numbers) it is a disgrace to think these great animals are to be destroyed. Let them roam free and let nature take its coarse on their future. I’d like to know who did the count. 6000?

  • This is disgusting and the NSW govermnet should be ashamed!
    A 90% cull is beyond extreme and there can be no justificaytion for this.

  • If their numbers are at such a level that the damage they do is becoming extreme. Get into em.
    They are hard hoofed animals, not native and they do significant damage as a result. All the empty head greenies wanted the cattle gone because of the damage they do, so why not the horses? The cattle were seasonal occupants and they were apparently a problem. The horses are there full time so they will definitely be a problem.
    Don’t get rid of them all, keep their numbers manageable as whichever way you fall they are iconic in the Australian landscape.

  • It is agreed that it would be better that the horses should not be there then who do we have suggesting action? The laconic kill the ferals, fuc* em all brigade who often consider themselves pragmatic conservationists or to the extreme of enjoying burning ants with a magnifying glass. The rose tinted glasses idealists who often drive everyone up the proverbial. Those that are just jaded by the seemingly ineptness of politicians, policy makers and probably online opinions such as this.

    Fact is, society continues to make a mess of this land through ignorance and populous demands like every other place on this planet. All we are left with is how to recognise and manage these issues. Good science lies at the heart of this process. We can all rant and rave on facebook, call each other names for wearing a certain hat or heart on our sleeve. Can I suggest rather than aggrandizing our opinions and the ‘need’ to be right or on the ‘winning’ side we focus on the horses?

    I have been involved in culling programs of various animals and as a human being, my experience is that it is soul destroying and often actually feels a little pointless. Hard realities often necessitate hard decisions BUT I really hope those formulating final policy consider their responsibility carefully. Personally. I hope science can offer a biological solution.

  • If they cannot be cheaply and easily trapped and then euthenaised with an injection , or sold on as meat humanely , then the numbers need to be reduced .
    Regretabble but necessary .
    I am a country person .

  • Round them up up and send them out to the stations that want them Why destroy them
    Australian Horses were some of the most sought after during the world wars
    Then we can go onto the Donkeys
    Then the feral Pigs,Rabbits cane toads,Etc
    When we fininsh with all of these lets us start on the feral Humans that want to destroy and damage anything that is not theirs.
    They Have no consideration for any one else at all
    Hang on,maybe we should start with them

  • Absolutely disgusting!!!! There is no need to do anything with the horses. There are other species such as humans that destroy ecosystems and animals etc, we should be culling them before the brumby. Bloody governments, probably want to develop the land and are using the brumby population as an excuse. When there are no more horses then what will you all do??

    • “When there are no more horses then what will you all do??”
      “There are other species such as humans that destroy ecosystems and animals etc, we should be culling them before the brumby. ” Seriously, you want the government to start culling humans?
      Getting rid of cats, pigs, dogs, camels, goats, etc., etc. would be a big help, too.
      Just because you think horses are acceptable does not change the fact that they are damaging the area severely.
      Personally, I think feral cats are the biggest menace. They have infiltrated the entire country and destroy untold amounts of wildlife every night, just for the fun of it.

  • This is very sad. But also required. Yes, too many emotive invoking going on. And sorry it is just because they’re pretty horses. At what point should they be culled then? 60000? 60000000? The NSW govt has not just made a snap decision, they have evidence of damage.
    Many locals (many arehorseriders) are up in arms. Some claiming there are far closer to 600. This is an utter lie. I am regularly up there. One area I always see mobs of 15-30. In another area I have seen more than 100 in a 5km stretch. And this is just next to tracks….very sad but they are overdue a cull.

  • Go ahead, get rid of the cats,dogs,pigs and all the other feral animals and give our native creatures and plants a chance. I was in the Cobberas area for the first time over Easter,saw only one horse, but there was heaps of horse poo everywhere I went so theremust be hundreds in that area too.

  • The wild dogs and foxes should be our focus not the Brumbys.
    These wild dogs and foxes have been
    diminishing Our native animals for years to the point that soon some may even become extinct from all their hunting.

  • YES,YES,YES, cull all of the feral animals then maybe our native animals will have a chance.We will only need to control the human population then, hmm wonder if thats possible.

  • These animals are just the same as any other feral animal, be it goats, foxes, cats, rabbits, deer or camels.
    They are all destructive and should not be there. A cull is way overdue. I am tired of the emotive rubbish like your own, “One of the most iconic scenes of Australia”. It is as iconic as a bunch of rabbits chewing their way through native grasses.
    Get rid of them.

  • About time. Should be 100% cull. I can never understand why people favour introduced feral animals, which horses are, over our native vegetation which supports native animals. I’ve heard it said that they are part of our history. Considering our history of 240 odd years that hardly counts in terms of the age of this continent…what does count is the destruction we have managed to inflict here in our ‘history’.
    Surely a world record and a lesson to all about how to destroy a continent in a short time.
    Get rid of them and the camels and buffaloes and any other feral animal we can. Let’s at least try to fix some of the damage we have done.

  • Please don’t allow this cruel practice to occur.
    The brumbies can be trapped humanly and relocated safely.

  • Culling any animal is cruel and extremely selfish. If any species needs to be culled it is humans. The most destructive species on the planet.