More Than 1,000 Horses In Australia To Be Killed After Shooting Cull Given Green Light
A large number of wild horses in Australia are to be killed after a shooting cull was given the green light.
Victoria Supreme Court ruled the cull could go ahead, with the intention of it protecting Victoria’s biodiversity.
The Australian state boasts thousands of wild brumby horses who rely on the landscape’s grasses as a source of food. It’s believed the number of brumbies in the Australian Alps has gone from 9,000 to 24,000 over five years.
In 2018, it plans were made to remove 1,200 of the horses over the course of three years.
In a statement from Parks Victoria, in May this year, Matthew Jackson, the CEO, explained the reasoning behind the agency’s decision to kill the horses.
The Victorian Government is committed to protecting Victoria’s biodiversity, ensuring it is healthy, valued and actively cared for.
Parks Victoria has a legal and moral obligation to protect the native species that are at risk of extinction from the impacts of feral horses and other pest animals.
The conservation of Alpine National Park is key to this. Native alpine plants and animals which are found nowhere else on the planet are not equipped to deal with the weight, grazing, hard hooves or trampling of feral horses.
Jackson added that while the country’s bushfires had a devastating affect on its biodiversity, it’s been ‘severely damaged by feral horses’ as well.
The statement continued:
By removing large invasive herbivores from the sensitive landscape, Parks Victoria is providing a greater chance of survival for native species. Feral horse management is one component of an integrated approach to reducing the impacts of introduced animals in the Alpine National Park.
Parks Victoria regularly undertakes programs to manage deer, pigs and other non-native species, complementing feral horse management.
All feral horse management operations are thoroughly planned, carried out by highly qualified and experienced professionals under strict conditions, ensuring the operations are safe, effective, humane and in accordance with all relevant legislation, codes of practice and standard operating procedures.
Despite the decision being given the go-ahead by Victoria’s Supreme Court, Omeo cattleman Philip Maguire plans to appeal it after already trying to stop the cull.
Maguire had argued that Parks Victoria failed to consult with the community on its decision to kill the wild horses, but the court ruled the agency wasn’t required to do so.
Justice Stephen Moore said Maguire did not have the standing to bring the proceeding and dismissed the case, but Maguire’s lawyer is now seeking an injunction, The Guardian reports.
The local cattleman has already saved several horses and has said his land has the capacity for 150 of them.
Parks Victoria has said no horses will be killed before June 9 this year, but Maguire hopes to further halt the cull by now taking the matter to the Court of Appeals. It’s believed the matter with return to court on Friday, June 5.
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CreditsParks Victoria and 4 others