What do wild horses mean to you?

by Catherine Russell, over 3 years ago
Thank you for your contribution to this discussion. You can still view the material and the discussion. While this discussion is closed, new discussions will continue to open until 30 November 2014.

This topic was suggested by HVBA Vice President through our open forum calling for topics of interest.  

When only a few hundred wild horses roamed the mountains they were immortalised by Banjo Paterson in 'The Man from Snowy River'. Today the wild horses mean different things to different people. 

What do they mean to you? With thanks to the Guardian Australia, Peter Cochran shares what the wild horses mean to him and the men and women of the high country. 

THIS DISCUSSION WAS OPEN FOR 14 DAYS AND CLOSED ON 28 SEPTEMBER.

Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Admin - 2 things..Please do tell why the comments section of the Cannibal Brumby conversation was closed down within only 3 days? Possibly the ANU were embarrased by their researchers? There was only 47 comments on it and there are over 80 comments on this page and over 70 on the other. Its a bit too convenient to just close it down without scrutiny. This consultation site is biased and nothing but a farce in the first place. Many of the pro brumby people actually live in the bush and not in the city or towns and hence some of the older generation particularly do not even have computers not to mention internet reception where they live. NOTE: I have allowed some other contributors to use my username because they have no access themselves. It these people who have the intimate knowledge of the mountains and the brumbies and who have live here for generations to see the cycles of brumbies and other issues, but are never heard. NPWS this is a disgrace.
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Donna over 3 years ago
I'm not sure why they chose to close that discussion Mountain Man, but I'm sure glad they did!! It should never have been given enough credibility to be part of the discussion in the first place, the entire tale was ridiculous from start to finish and an embarrassment to us as Australians. My money's on NPWS realising the story was more trouble than it was worth.
Catherine Russell over 3 years ago
Thank you Mountain Man for your contribution and for enabling others to participate. NPWS intended to keep the comments section of The Conversation open for at least 14 days however the response was significant in a short period and the tone of the forum challenging to moderate. There were some valuable points put forward through this forum but NPWS believed that in in the interest of keeping the online consultation effective and respectful early closure of the forum was required. This is complex discussion and we remind participants are reminded of the online engagement guidelines and that every comment and perspective is valuable and attacking comments directed towards others are not acceptable.NPWS does not endorse or defend the The Conversation article but presented it as a perspective in the discussion about the management of wild horses in the National Park and this perspective is one which has been widely publicised. All comments and insights through these forums refuting, disputing and endorsing comments, articles, management approaches and aspects of the plan will be collated against the aspects of the Wild Horse Management Plan to which those comments relate and this community feedback will help shape the new draft of the Wild Horse Management Plan which will be placed on public exhibition next year for further consultation. There are other opportunities for involvement in this initial phase of consultation and further detail is avaliable on this site in Information Sheet #4 http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/protectsnowies/140550Snowies4.pdf
Natives_rule over 3 years ago
Wild or feral horses mean to me degradation and destruction of the alpine environment and piles of horse poo everywhere. I vist KNP regularly as I love this park but camping and hiking here is getting less and less enjoyable. Camping in Long Plain last year we could hear horses constantly and the camping area and local streams were trampled and churned. Feral horses are not the only problem in this park, there are certainly other feral pests that also need managing. I would like to see less horses as they are a large hoofed animal that are in very large numbers and the lack of control and management of this species over the last 5 years is causing irreparable damage to the environment. And I think aerial culling is probably the best way to do this based on research and humane considerations.
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Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Natives_RuleI would be very interested to hear about your 'research and humane considerations' regarding aerial culling.
Sierra over 3 years ago
Natives_rule...There is absolutely nothing "humane" about aerial culling.Culling is done for financial reasons, not "humane" reasons.Perhaps if you spent a day on the ground with these horses as they lay suffering to die long, slow, painful deaths, you may have a different view of what is "humane"
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Natives_rule over 3 years ago
Thousands of animals are killed every day in Australia for a variety of reasons, as a food source being the main one. Is killing animals for our use/control humane? Probably not. I'm sure animals going to abattoirs are terrified but most of us still go and buy meat. Many feral animals such as rabbits, foxes and pigs are controlled by poisoning which I think is inhumane. Poisoning does result in a long slow painful death all of the time. Aerial or on ground shooting is a better choice than slow deaths by poisoning or starvation. Do you have evidence that after an aerial cull all animals shot will die a slow, painful death? I doubt it. In the ACT where I live, culling of kangaroos happens yearly. I don't agree with this but I understand that the research and evidence suggest that control via shooting is the best option for managing this species in endangered grassland ecosystems. I suspect the occasional animal doesn't die immediately and pouch young are also killed. It doesn't make me happy but humans are generally not all that 'humane' in their approaches to using and controlling animals. I support conservation of our unique flora and fauna and the overall fragile alpine environment and this requires control of feral species such as horses.
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HVBA Vice President over 3 years ago
I think you have answered part of your own question there. The reason that culling of the kangaroos is considered humane is because they are in a grassland. SOP states that aerial culling should not be used where visibility is low because of the difficulty in getting a clean shot and impossibility of follow up if they miss. Most animals are farmed very humanely as the farmers care about them, and abattoirs are regulated quite well in Australia so although its not ideal, its better than trying to use a control method in a way that is completely at odds with best practice of that method and still deeming it humane.
Antony Vc over 3 years ago
I grew up with and love horses, but they're not a part of our natural environment. They were introduced and are vertebrate pests in the high country, just like deer, pigs, rabbits, and wild dogs. They cause damage to our environment and are clearly not suited to it (evidenced by recent and historic deaths by starvation in the alpine areas). We are the custodians of our native flora and fauna, we've introduced pests and we therefore have a responsibility to control them and their damage. Effective and humane culling should be implemented. This should include carefully controlled and monitored (ie learning from past mistakes) aerial culling that ensures a quick and minimal pain death, minimal animal stress and is practical and cost effective for the land manager
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Sierra over 3 years ago
Antony...I agreed with most of what you said until you got to "This should include carefully controlled and monitored (ie learning from past mistakes) aerial culling that ensures a quick and minimal pain death, minimal animal stress and is practical and cost effective for the land manager"Anyone who thinks these culls ensure a "quick and minimal pain death" has been reading too many fairy stories provided by the unspeakable groups that provide that "service". There is no magic 'crack-shot' swat team flying effortlessly through the skies getting one to the brain 100% of the time so the horses don't know what hit them.The cold hard EVIL reality is that the brumbies are more often than not hit, but only injured and the hostile terrain and dangers prevents any human intervention (ie: Dr Harry is not on hand to give a suffering horse a green needle if the whole swat team thing didn't work out)Foals are left to die alongside their suffering mothers. Horrendous injuries are the norm. It's absolute carnage.Ensuring a quick & minimal pain death is the absolute LAST thing these culls provide.
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
We had been custodians of our mountains for 150 years when it became a National Park and then look what happened.Effective culling should be implemented alright but I think that it is a 2 legged species that needs to be the target.
Nicki Munro over 3 years ago
Brumbies may have been a part of our heritage, and so continue to elicit an emotional connection, but our heritage also includes rabbits, foxes, women as second-class citizens, destruction of aboriginal heritage and people... Heritage is not an excuse for hanging onto what is wrong. Brumbies are causing unprecedented destruction to our precious alpine environment. They have been there for a small blip in the great history of the alps. They do not 'belong' there, they were left there, uncared for. What about the welfare of the hundreds of species that DO belong there, that are being displaced/damaged by the horses?I grew up with horses and love them, and I love the old films of the Man from Snowy River, but that's not any excuse for leaving horses in the alps to destroy the alpine environment, and starve to death when times get lean. On animal welfare grounds alone, we should implement culling immediately. Culling is proven to be the most humane and cost-effective strategy available. If people want horses, then put one in your own paddock, not in the bush.
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HVBA Vice President over 3 years ago
Hi Nicki,Again I'd love to see the evidence of this "unprecedented destruction" that you speak of. Still no one can provide it for me. While I agree that the welfare of the hundreds of other species in the KNP is important, we should never abuse one animal for the sake of another. We should treat both as humanely as we can. I do not believe that Aerial Culling can be humane, but I know some do, however in this situation it is definitely not. The document here http://laptop.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/publications/pubs/hor002-aerial-shooting-feral-horses.pdf explains when aerial culling is appropriate - "Aerial shooting can be a humane method of destroying feral horses when it is carried out by experienced and skilled shooters and pilots; the animal can be clearly seen and is within range; the correct firearm, ammunition and shot placement is used; and wounded animals are promptly located and killed." Unfortunately in an environment such as Kozi the problem lays with the animal being "clearly seen" and "wounded animals" being "promptly located and killed". We know from the population counts how difficult it is to track horses in Kozi, thats why the Standard Error in those counts is so ridiculously high, they do not know if they have seen that horse before or if that one disappeared never to be seen again and every horse they are seeing is a new one. They also can't see the horses well because the trees are so thick, this is why they use the method of for every horse they see they assume there are 5 they cannot. If this is the case, Aerial Culling is not going to be particularly effective. Another interesting document is the Standard Operating Procedure for Aerial Culling of Horses http://www.feral.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/HOR002_aerial_shooting.pdf this states that "Aerial shooting should NOT be done if the nature of the terrain reduces accuracy resulting in too many wounding shots and prevents the humane and prompt despatch of wounded animals." and that "if done inexpertly, shooting CAN result in wounding that can cause considerable PAIN and suffering". On the other hand this document also includes this little gem of a statement "Sensitive livestock such as deer, ostriches and domestic HORSES are easily frightened by gunshots, helicopter noise, wind and so on and might injure themselves by running into fences and other obstacles. Avoid shooting in areas where these livestock are or organise their removal from the area before the shooting program." How is this possible that a document stating that Aerial Culling of horses is humane can also state that you need to be careful not to terrorise horses while you're aerial culling. Do they think that Brumbies are not horses? As for cost effective, I am yet to see a costing on Aerial Culling, but I know it is not as cheap as everyone thinks because hiring a helicopter is extremely expensive! To summarise, we can do better! Culling is not the answer, start thinking outside the box so we can tackle this issue with decency rather than extreme brutality and laziness.
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Nicki Munro over 3 years ago
Capturing terrified horses in yards and trucking them to abattoirs where they are killed anyway is not perfectly humane either. And VERY few horses are re-homed. I don't suggest we stop this method. But as a control technique it clearly doesn't work. Horse numbers have escalated in recent years, as has their damage. The studies demonstrating damage are numerous and compelling. We don't need to wait for more evidence and more degredation before we act. Reducing their numbers now, also reduces how many need to be killed in future. National Parks employ very skilled operators. If better methods can be suggested, then I'm sure we will all listen.
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HVBA Vice President over 3 years ago
Still no evidence of these "numeruos and compelling" studies into the damage. No method is perfect, but at least some of the horses trapped in the yards get to go on to live long and amazing lives. This cannot be said for those that are culled. I'm asking for more suggestions for better methods, I have given mine on another thread.
Sierra over 3 years ago
NickiHere's just one better method...from Australia...used overseas...but not used in Australia...http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/mar/03/dartmoor-ponies-contraceptive-jab-devon
Donna over 3 years ago
As with the HVBA VP, I'd also love to see the proof of this unprecedented destruction! Thus far we've been provided with ample innuendo and a few pictures of supposed damage caused to waterways, surely such unprecedented destruction has been documented sufficiently enough to provide more concrete evidence?? There are no studies showing culling to be the most humane and cost effective method - as with so many aspects of managing these horses, any such data is heavily biased toward their eradication and as such is not reliable enough to be used as a basis for continuing the practice or its efficacy.
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
'On animal welfare grounds alone, we should implement culling immediately.' There is no welfare problem, the brumbies are generally fat and healthy. The few brumbies that died above Thredbo this winter is very uncommon. Again...The local horsemen requested to go and catch those horses that were up in those areas before winter, but were not permitted by NPWS to do so. Its sooo frustrating as we could have easily saved those poor brumbies The local horsemen also agree that the Alpine areas should be kept horse free and have offered over and over to remove any horses going into the horse free areas ( respectfully and humanely and for free and they would have all been rehomed!) but again we are not permitted to do so. NPWS would prefer it seems, to use these poor horses as an example for their scaremongering and propaganda. Culling is Not proven at all as the most humane or cost affective strategy at all. The brumbies were here for over 100 years before it was ever a National Park. they should have existing use rights.
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
NickiOn what welfare grounds?? Still no body answers my questions?? Except for the few horses that died because they were caught in the snow recently near Thredbo - you know, the cannibal ones - the rest of the brumbies are fat and healthy so there are no welfare grounds at all. and yes I can state that as i ride amongst them regularly. What did NPWS do for the last 170 years that the brumbies were here? How much did it cost then? Humanely? again please qualify the evidence.
jrw over 3 years ago
To me Feral Horses are an introduced problem for our natural resources. I would very much like it if NPWS could be allowed to undertake an organised cull to rapidly and, hopefully, permanantly reduce numbers in the Park. I don't think arguments along the lines of 'there's other problems, don't look at this one' hold water - I think Parks should manage all the problems. Keep on managing foxes, dogs, deer, pigs, broom, whatever.To me they are a large, occasionally dangerous, creature of mass disturbance.Please get them out of the Park by the most effient method possible.
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HVBA Vice President over 3 years ago
I love how you say most efficient method possible, rather than the most humane. Another example of what happens when the term Feral is applied to something, people forget all sense of decency, panic and call for the quickest method possible without thinking about the animal welfare issues. This is why 1080 is still available, anyone whose dog has accidentally taken a bait knows just how cruel a death it is, but when applied to the Feral foxed apparently this is acceptable. You are entitled to your opinions on removal of the horses, I too want them to be managed even if we disagree on the level of impacts they are having, but please, can't we at least agree that this should be done to the highest possible welfare standards.PS. The horses are not dangerous if you leave them alone. Sounds like you may have had a bad experience, this is why we need educational signage in the Park telling people how to behave if they see wild horses.
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jrw over 3 years ago
Hi HVBA VC.I have not lost any decency, am not in panic at all. I am not viewing this as an animal welfare issue although I understand that is important to others, youself included. As with foxes, wild dogs, etc yes, it's a pity that 1080 is so horrible but it's an issue I can live with (ie, find acceptable) in the context of conservation in our National Parks. My view is that 'humane methods' are failing us, and are at too high a financial cost. I do not share the view that trapping, transporting and breaking in an animal is that 'humane' - I certainly wouldn't want it done to another human - especially when the reality is many are sent to be killed in a knackery for pet meat and other products. If there was an actual, in place, viable end use at low cost for the existing feral horses trapped out of KNP, we would be getting somewhere, but there currently doesn't seem to be, let alone for the numbers that would be required to lead to an actual depletion of numbers in the Park quickly.
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Bio-Brumby over 3 years ago
Hi Jrw, I find it sad that some people can view using 1080 as decent. The reference to humans - maybe something similar does happen to humans, such as arresting, relocating and prison rehabilitation. Regards, Bio-Brumby
Sierra over 3 years ago
Jrw...The U.K and U.S.A have many proven 'humane methods'...the trick for Australia is in APPLYING them.These methods have not "failed us" - they have not been implemented!As for financial costs...it ain't free to organise a cull - helpcopters and the "staff" don't come cheap!Perhaps if the collective money spent on aerial culling over the last however many years had been spent on contraception or other proven methods, we would not be having this discussion now?It seems there is always funding to go in and do a cull...but there is never funding to find a long term, sustainable solution.
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jrw over 3 years ago
Sierra, culling would be a long term sustainable solution.Which methods do you think we shuld be importing from the UK or the USA. It owuld be good to know.Do you have a breakdown on how much has been spent on aerial culling vs other methods, especially in KNP or the Alpine NP's overall?
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Donna over 3 years ago
Culling, as defined in the SOP, is NOT considered a long term sustainable solution, in fact the very opposite. It is a method used under a specific set of circumstances as one part of management, not as a solution.
Themba over 3 years ago
I'm sorry but are you saying that because the horses have been labelled "feral" that it doesn't matter what method is used to remove them as long as it doesn't cost much?? It really interests me to hear just how much empathy today's society appears to have for anything but themselves. So happy to hear also that you are ok with the thought of the horrible consequences of using 1080 is something you can live with, its easy to accept something if it isn't happening to yourself or something you love (ie. your dog).The cost of removing the horses via an organised cull would not be as financially efficient as you seem to believe. You appear to be forgetting about the hiring of helicopters, experience pilots, experienced shooters, the ammunition, VERY expensive aviation fuel and the cost of follow ups to ensure the horse are in fact dead and the removal of the carcasses so it doesn't assist in the proliferation of other animals such as pigs and foxes. Not sure how you believe this would be cheaper than passive trapping and re-homing of the horses... Very disappointing to hear that people are ok with cruelty if it means a cheaper cost!
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jrw over 3 years ago
No, I'n not saying 'it doesn't matter what method is used'. I'm not advocating for machete wielding morons to trap and kill them on site for example - it 'could' happen, but seems a poor way to do it. I'm not advocating biological control, because there is way too great chance that would spread to the horse population outside the Parks, which would devastate many more horses, and their owners. I'm discussing, within the range of currently proposed options, what I think is the least worst way of protecting the Parks.The costs you describe are exactly what is included in the costs of an organised cull. I understand that this is cheaper, because when all the actual costs of trapping (traps, labour, management, transport, killing, whatever else is involved) are compared with the actual costs of aerial cull (as you have outlined) the per horse costs are lower with the aerial cull methods. Again, if you can demonstrate a set of comprehensive figures from some real world applications recently in Oz, which show some major difference, I'd be very happy to change my mind , ask some questions, etc. I'm comfortable with no carcass retrieval, given the costs involved and limited benefits in a conservation sense. Yes, I understand many people find dead things 'icky'.Why the desperate need of so many people to trap feral horses so they can be killed later and turned into pet food? Themba, are you offering to take 600 to 2000 unbroken horses every year for the next few years?I have plenty of empathy for many things, including animals. I acknowledge these are hard decisions and that there are a range of social or community factors that people take into account that are different to mine. If you could acknowledge that without labelling others negatively that would be nice. Thanks.
Donna over 3 years ago
"A large, occasionally dangerous, creature of mass destruction". If that is not the definition of man kind, i don't know what is. And yet, it's "our park"?! Hypocrisy at its worst.
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jrw over 3 years ago
Hi Donna, thank you for your comment.The correct quote of my post would be "a large, occasionally dangerous, creature of mass disturbance" rather than 'destruction'. No need for hyperbole. I see no reason to allow continued damage by feral horses, simply becuse humans can damage natural areas. This seems to be allowing two impacts because one cannot bear to manage one of the impacts (or either). I am not being hypocritical, I am recognising the impacts of one animal, and suporting one way of dealing with those impacts, while recognising that for many this is a difficult or confronting method.
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
JrwI have asked this question many times before but it is never answered. Why is it that after 170 years that the brumbies have been here that it is only a problem now? please do tellHow could the park be declared after 120 years of brumbies? and cattle?How could pristine wilderness be automaticly declared (without public consultation I might add) after 150 years of brumbies? and cattle?No there has not been any restoration works needed because of them in the Pilot Wilderness or Byadbo ever!It cannot be because there are more hooves on the ground now because there were in fact tens of thousands of cattle in the mountains along with the brumbies before the National park existed.CAN THE GREEN EXPERTS ON THIS PAGE PLEASE ANSWER? Admin?? anyone?
youngconservationist over 3 years ago
I have to say I don’t fully understand why a feral animal that some people find beautiful is allowed to utilize and damage our national parks, whereas other feral (rabbits, foxes) and even native (the dingo) animals are persecuted. Personally I find foxes beautiful, but I know they have no place in National Parks because of the known damage they cause. The same is s true of horses, and you could reasonably argue that around water holes the damage horses do is worse than that of foxes!Ten years ago when I first visited Blue Water Holes in Kosciusko National Park I was shocked to see horses roaming around, and I was even more shocked to find almost nothing was being done about it. National Parks are not free range stable for horse enthusiasts. If you like horses buy one for your farm, but don’t insist they roam the small areas of Australia that has been set aside to protect our natural heritage for future generations. If my children cannot experience the beauty of Kosciusko National Park because a special interest group cried the loudest I will be ashamed, and disappointed I did not do more to help.
Sue over 3 years ago
My family and friends have been camping and horse riding in the Snowy mountains for a great many years. Everyone is always excited if we spot any wild horses they are a huge part of our folklore, our culture and our heritage...they should be there for our children and our grandchildren and for generations to come. The brumbies make great ponies, most people understand that the numbers need to be monitored and kept under control, but brumby sightings have greatly diminished over the years, and aerial culling is nothing but evil.....how about expending a bit more effort into all the noxious weeds, the blackberries are rampant. What about the wild pigs that had rooted up huge expanses of land the last time we were at Long plain and what about the rabbits that are littering our beautiful mountains with hundreds and hundreds of burrows. The wild horses seem to be having far less impact than these interlopers!
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Zelig over 3 years ago
Sue wild horses are no more part of our folklore heritage and culture than the tens of thousands of wild cameles that roam central Australia wreaking huge environmental damage, not the tens of thousands of goats munching their way through inland areas, nor the water buffalo causing huge damage in Arnhem Land. These are all animals that played their part in the development of Australia, but as wild or feral populations are nothing but a huge threat to the sustainability of our eco-systems. These eco-systems are not just of sentimental or heritage value. They provide us with food and water through on-going agriculture and pastoralism. National parks play a key role in maintaining healthy natural systems and bio-diversity. If we value and love this land we have to give up on sentimentality and take a long term view. We have a responsibility to future generations to keep this land in as good a condition as possible. Removing feral horses from national parks is one part of this responsibility.
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Sue over 3 years ago
That's your opinion, and you are entitled to it , as I am to mine and I beg to disagree with yours. I am not saying that the numbers of wild horses should not be controlled, but I am of the opinion that it would be a shame if the horses were eradicated from the parks altogether...they are a part of our culture and folklore, and they are a tourist attraction. Like I said , us riders have seen major damage caused by feral pigs and rabbits, masses of blackberries . Take a look at the mountains where the fires burnt through...so much for looking after the land, biodiversity and sustainability of our Eco systems...so much undergrowth and fuel that the land will take years and years to regenerate. And I will never agree with aerial culling .
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Zelig, "wild horses are no more part of our folklore heritage and culture" what an absurd statement! which offends me greatly! I have never heard of a sports team named after a camel or goat by the way. Nor are the other introduced animals included on our ten dollar note. The heritage and culture of " the Silver Brumby" and especially "The Man from Snowy River" of which brumbies play a major role and part of that package - is celebrated all over Australia at different events and festivals every year. Not to mention the movies, TV shows and Arena spectaculars.... They chose "our" heritage as the quintessential identity to introduce Australia's culture to the rest of the world at the opening of the 2000 Olympics. Its OK to exploit our heritage but not to support in its demise. And yet you have the audacity to state that our heritage which includes the Snowy Mountains Brumbies are not a part of our folklore?? What planet are you from?You are right that "all animals that played their part in the development of Australia" BUT it was only horses that played a much much bigger role in the development of the whole of "MANKIND" for nearly 10,000 years!! ONLY Horses and not any other Feral, introduced or exotic animal has partnered humans for all this time and still do today. Since humans could walk upright, horses were man's partner for cultivation, farming and transport and then of course wars. Surely horses have earned a little more respect than camels or goats even from you!"a huge threat to the sustainability of our eco-systems"??? again, where are you reading this garbage? the brumbies have lived here for over 170 years...over 100 years before becoming a National Park and long before the Snowy Scheme and much longer before wilderness declaration. The mountains were obviously still pristine with sustainable eco-systems mantaining healthy bio-diversity after brumbies. You need to come up with something better than what you read out of NPWS and greenie propaganda which mostly comes from public servants who have read it in a text book so it must be right. We have a responsibility to future generations all right, and with the way the park has been managed in the past 50 years is anything to go by, our future will only go up in smoke...again!
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Natives_rule over 3 years ago
There is evidence/ scientific research about the damage feral horses are doing:http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/574128/Information-Sheet-2-Environmental-Impact-of-Wild-Horses.pdfhttp://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/574127/Information-Sheet-1-Wild-Horse-Ecology.pdfhttp://invasives.org.au/feral-animal-control/80000-feral-horses-for-australian-alps/I suspect that unless it agrees with your point of view it will always be greenie propaganda. The above is actually backed up be scientific studies rather than emotion or because you ride horses.
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Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Natives_RuleWhat scientific studies?? The links you shared are written by bureacrats! Even the "Brumbies are Cannibals" people stated:'There are substantial knowledge gaps regarding horse impacts on the natural environment. A recent Hot Topic released by the Ecological Society of Australia notes there are NO PEER REVIEWED PAPERS !!examining horse impacts on native species in Australia. 'Please tell us all what the difference is now as opposed to the management of the horses for the prior 170 odd years?? they were never a problem a decade ago.
Natives_rule over 3 years ago
I agree with you Zelig. I would like to see feral horses removed from KNP. I am devastated over the damage I have been seeing each time I visit. Piles of horse poo, destroyed and churned up streams and grassy areas churned and flattened. It is unpleasant to hike or camp in many areas now.
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Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Removed by moderator - the comment contained bad language. Please refer to the moderation rules.
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Natives_rule I will re submit my comment without the bad word. Are you also devastated by the millions of dollars spent on steel walkways for tourists or the main roads that lead to your resort areas? How about the dams and tunnels that were built by the Snowy Scheme or the ski lifts, lodges and their sewer systems that run into the creeks? or the roads that get you there. What about the used toilet paper scattered along the walking tracks by bushwalkers (often even on the side of the road). ...I think it was pretty devasting when huts that my great grandfathers built have been destroyed by vandals and then by fires. and then theres the mountain ash forests that were destoyed that we will never see again in our life time...I could also mention how devastating it was to watch and be surrounded by the most intense bush fire in Australia's history that fried not only more than half the brumby population but millions of other animals. Everywhere we looked our beloved mountains that we have called home since the early 1800's were infernos and the n only to listen to some local NPWS staff bragging about how their Section 44 pay packets were paying for a new car or a new kitchen. The parks workers getting double or triple time supposedly fighting fires and sat on their butt, whilst farmers and other mountain people had to drop everything (no work/no pay for many for 6 weeks) to protect their properties as the park workers kept fanning the flames. ...but Im sorry... you dont like horse poo. :(
Sierra over 3 years ago
Zelig...You mentioned "long term view"...aerial culling is a quick-fix (only ordered when things get out of control) with ZERO long term view.Long term views don't just address the immediate problem (i.e: too many horses) to me, a long term view should address the issues, the species and how to solve the problem. And at least in a civilised nation such as ours, should also include being humane and compassionate. "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."Mahatma Gandhi
sbm over 3 years ago
While I am not a local, just another greenie sydneysider, I feel I have a strong connection to Kosciuszko. I have an annual parks pass and have spent time living in Thredbo in the past.The thing that makes me saddest when in the Snowy Mountains region, is seeing the impact of feral animals and invasive weeds, in particular pigs, feral dogs, and deer. And yes, horses. I used to never see deer in the park but now it seems I see them every trip.After thinking about it, I have to say I honesly don't know if there is a sustainable place for free-roaming horses in the park. I think NPWS should listen to the people who have spent the most time studying the ecology of the park. Certainly we should not shy away from humane relocation or culling, if horses are out of hand. Last weekend I was near Cootapatamba hut, where there was a notice that a trapped, sick & dying horse had had to be put down by NPWS near the hut. I appreciate the love people have for these animals, but to me it seems the life of a feral horse must usually be short and horrible, compared to a horse that has been fed, cared-for and loved. Dead Horse Gap is named for the number of horses that die of exposure there over winter. Is it really more humane to leave the horses in the park uncontrolled?
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Mountain Man over 3 years ago
SbmThere is so much more to this than what NPWS will tell you. Its been a long long time since horses have died near Dead Horse or on the Main range. They died from starving to death after being caught in the snow but these areas have generally been horse free for a long time. They have started going to those areas now because their lower bush areas below the snowline are being encroached by dense scrub getting thicker and thicker ever since the 2003 and 2006 fires hence they are now being pushed out. Its not because the population is increasing!! That is rubbish. You just have to look at the scrub along the Alpine Way, it was not that thick before the fires. The local horsemen requested to go and catch those horses that were up in those areas before winter, but were not permitted by NPWS to do so. Its sooo frustrating as we could have easily saved those poor brumbies :(The local horsemen also agree that the Alpine areas should be kept horse free and have offered over and over to remove any horses going into the horse free areas ( respectfully and humanely and for free and they would have all been rehomed!) but again we are not permitted to do so. NPWS would prefer it seems, to use these poor horses as an example for their scaremongering and propaganda.No brumby advocates that I know believe that the horses should be left in the park uncontrolled. We all agree that they need to be managed. Our families have been doing just that for over 150 years but we have been prohibited from doing so for the past 20+ years hence this last decade NPWS are wondering now what to do. It was the local horsemen who showed NPWS how to passively trap the brumbies in the first place as our grandfathers taught us and have offered to do it for free but again we are not allowed they would prefer to pay their own contractors and then complain about the cost!You should think that well over 150 years of wild horse management experience in these mountains would have a liiiittle bit of influence, but we are shunned and ignored because city bureaucrats and academics insist they know better. And it should be remembered that no one has a monopoly on who loves and cares for the mountains more. We are the last people on earth who want to see the environment OR the brumbies harmed.
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sbm over 3 years ago
Thanks for the reply Mountain Man. I didn't know traditional ways were used for trapping.Do you know how many horses are in the park or when the last survey was done? (genuine question I don't know!) How many horses do you think you could trap and relocate to new homes in a season if you had free reign?
Natives_rule over 3 years ago
There is a recent article in the conversation about feral horses dying at Dead Horse Gap from starvation so your first sentence is incorrect. I just don't see how local horseman can control the large numbers of feral horses in the park.
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Mountain Man over 3 years ago
NativePlease re read my comment. It has been a long time since horses died at Dead Horse but it was known to happen particularly in the old days when it really snowed. This year was the first time for many years that horses were that high up and the local horsemen were told about those few horses that were near Thredbo at the time and they offered to go and get them before it snowed but were not allowed to. Ask yourself how come the brumbies were not a problem for the past 150 odd years? why now?SbmA draft of the official count done in May was released the other day. They say the numbers could be as low as 3800 or up to 8000 and please note that for the first time they have also included Byadbo wilderness area this time in the count which should increase the numbers even more but they have not. These figures are nothing like the anti horse people have been spruking in their fear campaigns of 14,000+. 305 clusters of horses were counted with an average of 6 horses in each cluster only adds up to 1830 so they throw in a few more for good luck I think. ;)
Sierra over 3 years ago
To me when I think about wild horses in Australia, I feel helpless and I feel "shame". To think of the utterly inhumane aerial culling that takes place, when many other proven options are available, makes me feel ashamed to be Australian. The "quick-fix" do-you-want-fries-with-that mentality is disgusting.There is no doubt that numbers need to be managed, however horses are sentient beings with highly developed social intelligence that differentiates them from other animals and they deserve a more visionary and long-term solution. Even more frustrating is that one of the "other options" being used overseas is in fact a product from Australia that gets exported overseas to curb over population of horses.Yet we don't use it here?Why can Australians create one of the solutions, but not apply it to our own problem?http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/mar/03/dartmoor-ponies-contraceptive-jab-devon
Mel over 3 years ago
Wild horses are an amazing concept no matter where in the world they are. Brumbies in the snows- a romantic part of Australian heritage that should be embraced. People would be willing to see horses in the wild. We're not talking about goats or rabbits here. Horses are different and iconic. Embrace them, make them a tourist attraction via helicopter, horseback or other suitable vehicle. As for numbers- it is currently illegal for people to 'rescue' horses from the snowy but its ok to shoot them down? Why- Let people once a year round them up and take some away for breaking in. Brumbies are not useless animals, they are hardy and make great riding horses. This also could become a tourist attraction. The snowies aren't just about skiing!
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lsloane over 3 years ago
completely agree. i don't go to the snowys to ski, i go there in the hopes of seeing the beautiful brumbies i have read about and loved my whole life, and for other activities too such as bush walking and horse riding on properties. and yes brumbies do make for excellent riding horses as they are hard footed and know the country better then a TB and even we do. there are more humane ways to go about reducing numbers then aerial culling.
Dekenai over 3 years ago
and folks it is the story of the Waler----they are very closely interlinked, the same in many cases. If it wasn't for the horses and bullocks, this country wouldn't have progressed. Have a look at a map of Australia-----fold it out on you kitchen table, and wonder. We lag behind every other country in protecting and identifying with our iconic horse. Do we turn our back on the brumby?They belong and it is our challenge to manage them as a sustainable entity.
Dekenai over 3 years ago
succinctly put Peter. It is about management, they belong there, as we belong there.
HVBA Vice President over 3 years ago
Firstly, Thank you to Admin for opening up this discussion for me, I really appreciate it!I usually try to keep things purely factual and unemotional because people always complain that emotions is all the Brumby advocates have got. This topic, however, is emotional, I've realized the further I get into this consultation period the more personal saving these horses has become. Since I was a child I have always wanted to own a Brumby. I dreamed of meeting a wild horse and taming it and eventually being able to ride this beautiful creature but I never thought that this would be something I could actually do. While I have not yet found the Brumby for me, I would own every single one if that was feasible. To me they represent the perfect horse, a triumph of nature that has brought all the things people try to breed for into one stunning package. Ask what I would do if I won the lotto and my answer is buy a massive property and fill it with Brumbies. In the absence of such luck, I am satisfied with working with the HVBA to rehome as many of these truly amazing horses as I can. As I have become more involved with the HVBA I have learnt more and more about these horses. I have met Brumbies from 7 different regions around Australia sometimes in the wild and sometimes in training and the Kozi Brumbies are something special. We have had such a mixed bag to work with, young fillies and colts, older bachelor stallions, herd stallions, pregnant mares. Trapped from all over the park, and they are all so fantastic to work with. They are sensible, calm and curious. They are cheeky and vocal, calling out to you when you walk in the paddock and often chatting among themselves. They are smart and playful and wonderful. I've always loved the Brumbies, loved the stories and seeing them in the wild, but its not until you start to work with them that you really understand how unique they are. When you stand in the yard with a wild stallion that is so much bigger than you, that could kill you without any effort, and all it does is stand and look at you with curiosity, you get a deep respect for these animals. When you stand in a yard with a yearling that has lost its family and everything it has known and it turns to you for guidance because it is just a lost little baby, you gain compassion, and a sadness grows because you know that this management program has to happen, and it will be incredibly hard to adjust to a domestic life but it is better than what has happened to its mum. When an unhandled mare walks up to sniff you in the paddock, you realise just how trusting they are. When you see a stallion, so devastated from having his mares taken from him that he has completely shut down, and you can walk up behind him and touch him and he won't even notice, you realise the bonds they create with their family. Then you get a chance to train them, and the intelligence shines though so clearly when in one session they pick up a lesson that has taken you months to teach your thoroughbred. These are not poorly conformed, inbred horses. They never have any health issues, their movement is to die for and their feet are perfect from the day they arrive. It so hard to understand why anyone would want to shoot a horse at all, let alone one with all these attributes. They did not ask to be in the Snowies, but they are there. They must be managed for welfare reasons as much as anything, but we can do better than shooting them from a terrifyingly loud helicopter and leaving them and their foals to die a painfully slow death because follow up could not be completed in such rough terrain. They are so easy to train, why don't we do more of this. Why is it that the focus of this management plan is not to help the excess horses relocate to a more appropriate environment, but to kill them because some people have decided with very limited evidence that they are causing damage to their environment. The Kozi Brumbies have stolen my heart and now they are like a puzzle that I am trying to solve; how can I save the lives of more of these wonderful horses, while at the same time achieve the environmental objectives of a national park. Its a difficult task, but one that I believe we could achieve if we would only try.
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lsloane over 3 years ago
couldn't agree more.
Themba over 3 years ago
Very well said. Thank you for giving the Brumbies a voice. I think it is very important for people to understand they are intelligent, living, breathing entities that feel pain and sadness and have family groups they depend on. It is very easy to label an animal feral and disassociate yourself from it so it doesn't matter what happens to it.
KWebster over 3 years ago
The Australian Brumby is more than just a "Wild Horse", they are a part of our cultural identity and form part of what Australia is- a nation built upon the back of a horse long before the steam engine. The ancestors of our brumbies took our children to school, ploughed our fields and carried our soldiers to war. On a personal level in my experience Brumbies are very trainable, hard working and easy to maintain horses. Brumbies for me put the enjoyment back into horse ownership and create a bond with their owner that cannot be described. Having a brumby is having a soul mate in every meaning of the term, they form such strong bonds and trust you so much I have no doubt my brumby would follow me through the hills of hell. It is such a waste that more of these wonderful horses cannot be trained and rehomed please note that I have not used the term rehabillitated as there is nothing wrong with them in the first place and as they don't have any "people" issues they are much more easily trained than a domestic horse requiring rehabillitation.For me Brumbies are not a feral pest but an Australian Native. I understand that they need to be managed however I feel there are much better and more humane ways than shooting them out of a helicopter to die slowly and painfully or not to die at all but suffer painful wounds until they heal.
Mountain Man over 3 years ago
Here in the Snowy Mountains the Brumbies are not just an integral part of the high country's natural environment; they reflect our history, our ancestors and our folklore… a heritage that gives us a sense of belonging as well as our quintessentially Australian identity that is celebrated by most. When over 120 years of mountain grazing ended, the mountain people’s world changed dramatically. The brumbies became sacred as they were the last link to the heritage that they treasured. The brumbies are not just a symbol of freedom, to many they identify with the underdog, that never say die determination that we Aussies take pride in.The brumbies are renowned for their hardiness and their sure footedness. Some fools may say they are worthless and cannot be tamed but we here in the Snowy know that with good husbandry they can make excellent riding horses, pack horses, children’s ponies, pets and companions.It is emotional as horses were the most powerful ally of all humankind for nearly 10,000 years as they helped us spread to all continents of the globe with our language and culture and then most importantly partnering us in the farming revolution a major threashold of human history. We evolved with horses, they are a part of our psyche..We are now seeing in this century for the very first time ever in human history, that horses will not be utilized as a necessity. They are no longer needed for the mainstay of transport, fieldwork, or war. This partnership is possibly the most taken for granted relationship ever in human history.The horse has been by our side as it carried us into war and died for us over and over for thousands of years. From Alexander the Great to Australia’s own Light Horsemen riding our brumbies, there is a profound bond, a trust and a partnership forged by man with these proud creatures. If we think about it long enough, we realize there is no other species on earth that has been and still is inter-connected with human-beings in the way horses are. After such a history we think they have earned the right to be recognized and treated differently from other introduced animals. It is treachery that they are classified alongside feral pigs, deer and rabbits. Surely they have earned their wild places in the world.We believe it is vitally important to maintain sustainable brumby populations in the Snowy Mountains, as the mountains have long been their home. They have earned the right to run free to carry on their now unique genetics found nowhere else in the world and that domestic horses can not hold. In the past 50 years, rightly or wrongly, the people of the Snowy had their cattle & livelihood taken from the mountains, their towns & homes demolished and flooded and much of their history lost, and then the Snowy River Riders were prohibited from even riding in their beloved mountains with the brumbies where their forefathers AND foremothers lived and died. Once the brumbies are gone there will be little if anything left to demonstrate that our Snowy Mountain history since white settlement even existed. Our heritage seems to be important enough and is nationally recognized and celebrated when it is deemed suitable to exploit for entertainment purposes such as the Opening of the Sydney Olympics and Snowy River Spectaculars, Festivals and the several films. Our Australian $10 note even wears the badge of honor. We are the last people on earth to want to harm our beloved mountains and we take offence at the allegations by extremist anti horse people.Similar to our indigenous friends, we too, have a profound and unique culture and history in the mountains and we also belong. Our heritage also deserves preservation as well as celebration and our brumbies are very much a part of that heritage package. Whilst we acknowledge that we do not have 40,000 years of important indigenous history, we can still nurture the proud young heritage that we can call ours and not at the expense of the other. It may be only 200 years but it is all we have - and it along with our brumbies are important to us.
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Donna over 3 years ago
Beautifully said!
Bio-Brumby over 3 years ago
Hi Admin, How long is this topic staying open? Thanks for putting the topic on the Chat list. Cheers, Bio-Brumby
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Jen over 3 years ago
I read on the site that the forum would be open for discussion until November 30, 2014
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nicole over 3 years ago
Hi Jen, the whole site will be open until 30 November, but individual topics are open for a specified time. Please note we may re-open some discussions between now and 30 November. I hope this clarifies things.
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Jen over 3 years ago
Cheers for that! I'm glad I had that specified otherwise I would have been in for a shock when it all disappeared.
nicole over 3 years ago
Hi Bio-Brumby, sorry for that oversight. This topic will be open until 28 September.
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Bio-Brumby over 3 years ago
Hi Admin3, Thanks for the closing time posting, cheers, Bio-Brumby
Jen over 3 years ago
I just want to note that I'm going to avoid putting forward any argument and just respond to the question asked. As a science graduate, as well as a Brumby-lover, I'm going to deliberately put aside my scientific self to focus purely on the emotional, which is obviously where this question is targeted by stating "What do wild horses mean to you?"So here it is:There is something magical about a horse, and even more-so a wild horse. To me, the wild horse symbolises freedom. Since this particular forum is focusing on the wild horses of The Snowies, I feel more comfortable referring to them as Brumbies. The term Brumby has a completely different significance altogether due to it personalising the horses, and somewhat making them feel 'Australian'. The Snowy Brumbies to me are the spirit of the High Country. They represent the deep cultural heritage that exists in the area dating from first white settlement over 150 years ago. They are a living heritage, a living link between the local stockmen ancestries and their connection to the land. To me they have just as much cultural heritage value as the old remnant stone huts that still stand throughout the park. I am someone who was born and raised in the city (well... Wollongong), so all my snowy experiences have been based on yearly visits since a young age (and a lot more often in the past decade). My whole life I have always associated the Brumby as 'belonging' in the Snowy Mountains, and it's not because I have personal ancestral heritage (which I don't) but because of the social and cultural constructions of the Australian Snowy Mountains landscape that have always existed. The stories of Elyne Mitchell have been a massive part of my life in shaping my views. She was an environmentalist and passionate lover of the Snowy Mountains landscape, as well as someone who shared and encouraged the romanticism of the Brumbies roaming the area. To me, the Brumbies are not a pest, they are part of the alpine environment and have earned their place in the area.
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lsloane over 3 years ago
completely agree.
Brumbies are our Heritage over 3 years ago
Well for me it's pretty simple, Brumbies are an iconic part of our heritage, no more, no less than the high country that is their home. Knowing that they can live their lives freely up there is important to me. They are beautiful, majestic animals who have adapted to live in a harsh environment, not unlike the people in this great nation of ours.My wife and I have 6 re-homed Brumbies, 4 from KNP AND 2 from the Bogongs. We were not horse people, but because of the gentle kind nature of these horses we have 3 under saddle, and one more on the way.I recognise we need to protect sensitive areas of KNP, and that can be done through the use of exclusion zones, leaving the Brumbies to live in the rest of the park.There is much talk about PZP being an option to control numbers. It is used overseas, but not considered here because it is too expensive, too hard, too .... Hopefully it's not a case of the dreaded NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome, so we won't use it. Surely we can research the data from those countries who use it to gauge it's success. The research would have to be balanced by looking at all the results, both positive and negative by a team involving all stakeholders.If KNP finds PZP too hard, go with exclusion zones and let Mother Nature show you how she has managed the numbers for many, many decades.Brumbies symbolise Freedom, Beauty, Strength and Family (they exhibit strong family values in the herd)
GCNaturalHorsemanship over 3 years ago
Brumbies changed my life- literally! I was going to be a school teacher, I've completed my degree and don't regret doing so but I now have no intention to teach in a school as the new opportunities for a career that I have discovered since adopting my first Brumby from the Victorian Brumby Assocaition in 2010 are endless and inspiring, not just for the potential to earn a living working with horses, but for the ability to make a difference and help save these horses and the natural environment which I also value. I took on a Brumby for fun, but now training Brumbies is my passion, my career and really my life. I presented at Equitana Sydney 2013 an education session on Brumbies- sharing my experiences of re-homing and training Brumbies- something I would not have been able to achieve so early in my career as a horse trainer had it not been for the experiences I have had with Brumbies. I then helped run and also competed in the first 'Australia Brumby Challenge' (see www.australianbrumbychallenge.com.au) which further highlighted the beauty, willingness, train-ability and talent that these wild horses posses. I have trained many Brumbies now which I have then sold on to wonderful new homes, mostly as children's ponies but also to nervous adults or riders returning to riding and wanting something safe which they can enjoy. As well as this I have then been able to build my business and now train horses for clients full time, as well as teaching private lessons and clinics. This is now my life/passion/career as a horse trainer- all thanks to that first beautiful wild stallion, 'VBA BOND', who let me be his friend and showed me how to work with a wild horse. I am humbled every day by the trust that these Brumbies put in me, and every little achievement is valued. These horses are smart, respectful, brave and willing, once they trust you they will attempt anything for you! If words are not enough see here the journey of 'VBA Bond' from wild to amazing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ__4wMrJls&list=UUXtHKabgW1gD54OfdtmEwBw&index=120 And then more recently preparing for Equitana Sydney 2013 with "VBA Smokey", trick training, working at liberty and riding bridles-less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuJNW3zTnf0&list=UUXtHKabgW1gD54OfdtmEwBwI share this not to promote myself as a trainer but to share how trainable and amazing these Brumbies are! Its more them than me, they have given me the ability to do what I do but without them I wouldn't have found this path that I am now on with my life. Cheers,Georgia Bates.
The longer we wait... over 3 years ago
It's always changing for me to be honest. I used to see these horses as the most magical, beautiful, 'right' creatures on the planet, right up there with dolphins in waves and eagles on updrafts. Now I see them more like I see litters of kittens to stray cat or boats of full of children and scared adults fleeing hellish places. I have been horse obsessed from toddler age and been lucky to have great horses in my life -- and some shockers but I remember them fondly too. I fought the brumby learning curve in the early stages, but now I see these horses as displaced monuments to colonisation for good and bad. Yes they brought all the good things a strong horse gives humans and to me, I think yes they brought all the pain and stomping damage western civilisation has brought to Australia. Dramatic of me I know. I just so wish they'd stop breeding and encroaching on more lands. I love these horses but am heartbroken they were put (and left) where they have become a threat and pest. They're more than a horse and they're less than a horse. They've been set on an unfair path in my view and I do so hate that more and more are born each year because it's not a path they should tread.
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BrumbiesRock over 3 years ago
I actually do think numbers need to be managed, should be kept out of the very sensitive areas where they have not traditionally been and prevented from populating the sensitive areas they are not currently in. However, the NP's cover a huge area and there are vast swathes of that area which are perfect for the brumbies and where there would be little or no negative impact and only a good impact. I have photos of areas of the park where brumbies live and you can clearly see the introduced grasses have been cropped and healthy native grasses thriving in the back ground.The environment has adapted over many years to having the brumbies living there, remember they were there before the areas was designated NP, removing them all now would be equally as bad as an out of control population.I am a great believer in protecting the environment, I find it very sad but unsurprising that people are up in arms about brumbies in the NP's when the damage humans are inflicting on the entire planet with deforestation, mining, housing estates, industrial estates etc seems o.k. as it is us who benefit. Likewise, it's ok for us to ski, hike, ride bikes, 4WD, put in roads, buildings, resorts in the NP's as it's for our pleasure but heaven forbid we should share with the brumbies as they do damage
BrumbiesRock over 3 years ago
To me they mean everything that is good and noble about our heritage, they mean our lives. Without the horses that came over on the first fleet there is little doubt that those early settlers would not have survived. Horses have been vital to our survival, through farming, transport, war etc. we owe them so much more.The Brumbies belong in the National Parks, it is their home and there is nothing better than to be out in the park and see a mob of Brumbies running wild and free.I know so many people who want to visit the parks purely to catch a glimpse of these beautiful animals
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The longer we wait... over 3 years ago
I think you have to win the screen name prize!
Donna over 3 years ago
Australia. They represent everything synonymous with our country, everything we identify with as Australians. Our tenacity, our strength, our fighting spirit and the great love we have for the land we all call home; these are all things we share with our wild horses. Traits we proudly claim as our own, native to us. Therein lies my belief they are as deserving of being called native as we ourselves are; they worked alongside the ancestors we admire and credit in history books as being instrumental in building our country, they not only carried our soldiers to war but did so in a way that saw them become as legendary as the Anzac's who called them mate, and throughout the history of this country they've been with us every step of the way, literally.Spending the last few weeks reading old newspaper articles concerning brumbies has served to strengthen my conviction and reinforce my belief they deserve to be recognised for their contribution and intrinsic value to our country; I found very few articles detailing any impacts caused other than encroachment on farmland, but continue to find articles regaling them for the traits I've already mentioned along with their beauty and freedom, their roguish but calm natures believed to be so similar to that of our own countrymen, and their status as an enigmatic icon of our drovers and rodeo riders of times past. The stories tell of their fine conformation, the sires who were in some areas expensive imported escapees who contributed to the brumbies we see today. Even 'letters to the editor' from people concerned about their place in our history and their value being overlooked, expressing fears of "a future without brumbies", and articles about "the last of the brumbies" telling tales of how they were all but 'extinct' in NSW between 1900 and 1920 and waxing lyrical in their reminiscing of them. They are the descendants of the horses who worked this land, delivered our milk and mail, carried our grandparents to school and our granddads home from the pub. And for myself and many others, their contribution cannot be forgotten or dismissed as invalid. It cannot be overlooked that their present position is due to none other than our forefathers, the same people who used and valued them for their notoriously good nature, sure footedness, stamina and endurance are the ones responsible for their subsequent 'feral' status. As the ones to inherit their legacy, will we conduct ourselves any better, with more loyalty, compassion and foresight? Or will we continue to shirk our responsibility, ignore the debt they're owed and continue to blame them for a situation they had no more say in than the wars they had to face? Aside from their cultural and historical significance to me, they truly are a horse like no other. Like so many, I am now 'owned' by my brumby girls; they seek my presence when frightened or uncertain, choose to be with me in acres of paddock rather than on their own and demonstrate a depth of intelligence and spirit rarely found in animal/human interactions. Their nature is unlike that of any horse I've ever owned and something noticeable to even a novice on first meeting. Their empathy is astounding, their body language a lesson in itself and their sense of family so strong that once they accept you, you're theirs for life. In the wild, they offer opportunities on a scientific and educational level but more importantly, they are as free as nature intended them to be. To see them run through the bush, across the landscape, is indescribable. By their very nature they are the stuff of poetry, song and legend, admired and immortalised in print and on screen, leaving an indelible and undeniable mark on our country.
Sharlone over 3 years ago
Brumbies to me possess the wild & free spirit that I have always loved. They are a part of Australia's history & without them Australia would not be what it is today. My whole life since I first watched The Man from Snowy River & reading the Silver Brumby I have dreamt of owning a brumby, to develop a bond with it & train it for riding. Since working with brumbies I have learnt so much about horses, they have taught me patience & that I would trust a brumby with my 4 year old daugthter but not a domestic horse.
Themba over 3 years ago
For me they are a valuable link with a disappearing past that should be preserved for future generations. I would hate for future generations to miss the chance to see our heritage and the chance to see horses living in the wild and behaving as they should. So many people just see horses grazing in a paddock and think that's all there is to them without understanding what complex and intelligent creatures they are.Without the horses running free in the wild we would also miss out on valuable data on their social structures and behavior that enables us to better the lives of domestic horses. The wild horses have had tough lives and still survived through drought, bush fires, heavy snow and being hunted, they deserve to be allowed to live out their lives in peace. I would find it very hard to believe they have not contributed in some positive way to the park. The park wouldn't be the great attraction it is today without them.They are also a very valuable and viable tourist resource for the park that should be developed further to bring more income into the region.
Rellebabe over 3 years ago
I too have read brumby stories and so have my children when they were growing up. The brumbies are a part of our heritage; they symbolise beauty, free spirit, trustworthy and protective. The aerial culling of brumbies is not the answer, other solutions are out there. Human kind has been more destructive to our planet - what if someone other than us decides to cull humans? I am sure we would not like it.
efj over 3 years ago
Brumbies to me have been a huge opportunity to learn about horses and Australia's wild horse population. They are incredible horses to work with and observe. A Brumby in the wild represents a horse in its true nature.
BushHorse over 3 years ago
For me brumbies represent Australian history and freedom. As lots of people, I grew up reading brumby stories and watching movies about them. The first time I witnessed a brumby group galloping through the bush is a memory I will never forget. For me brumbies hold a significant place in my heart and their beauty captivates me. Brumbies also symbolise the days of the working stockmen and the high country cattlemen, when the high country was a home and livelihood to many people. I have seen all the work the brumby associations do with them and the wonderful horses they turn out to be. A brumby will never just be a riding horse, you can see the look of freedom and trust in their eyes once you have formed a bond and you know you have a best mate for life.
lsloane over 3 years ago
to me the brumbies symbolise freedom and beauty, and they are apart of australian history. i grew up reading the silver brumby series and have always loved the brumbies and the high country, so an australia without them would be wrong. i have spoken to high country folk and they too agree the numbers need to be brought down, but not by killing the brumbies but by catching the young colts to stop excess breeding and turning them into riding horses. that is an excellent solution as they make for hard working horses and i should know i have ridden one. to see the brumby numbers eventuate to nothing would be terrible. i cant imagine my life without them/