Posted on 05/26/11 in , No Comments

Over the last ten years various Australian governments have carried out aerial killing of thousands of heritage brumbies, the AJP opposes this practice, do you?

Heritage Brumbies Policy

The heritage brumby’s ancestry can be traced back to the seven horses that came out on the First Fleet ships with the convicts and early settlers. The descendents of these horses were specifically used as war horses in the First and Second World Wars and the Boer War, as well as in the gold rush days and as police horses.

Their use as war horses is testament to their good temperament, sure footedness and resilience. Horses from the Northern Tablelands of NSW were captured and bred for the remount trade and were known as Walers. The brumbies roaming free today can be linked back to those early bloodlines.

Over the last ten years various Australian governments have carried out aerial killing of thousands of heritage brumbies, supposedly to protect the environment from the hoofs of these herd animals.  The AJP opposes this practice on the grounds that it is inhumane, un-Australian, and that the environmental benefit of their removal is not being adequately monitored and reported on.

During aerial killing the brumbies flee in fright.  Many foals fall and break their legs trying to keep up with the adult horses; wounded pregnant mares may give birth prematurely and then die, leaving their foals to die of starvation or predation and many horses are wounded and left to bleed or starve to death. This is barbaric and inhumane.

The rotting carcasses of the slaughtered brumbies attract and increase the population of introduced species such as foxes, and encourage weed growth.  While the horses are furiously chased by helicopters their thundering feet lift the soil and the helicopter rotors blow the topsoil away.  Brumbies have been an important part of our ecosystem as they are sensitive to the whereabouts of water during drought and by digging with their hoofs create waterholes for native animals that would otherwise risk dehydration and death. The digestive system of the brumbie, unlike those of sheep and cattle, does not destroy the seeds of plants so they are able to contribute to the regeneration of plant species across vast areas. In addition, the waste from horses sustains many bugs, birds and insects that scavenge worms, seeds and undigested fodder.

Brumbies deserve much more freedom and respect than our governments are allowing them. The horses that are threatened are descendants of the great steeds revered by our soldiers in overseas combat and have a long history of involvement in making this country what it is today. They have helped to work the land, carry children to school, deliver milk, bread and mail and provide general transport in rural areas of the country. Wild horses have also been the saviours of other animals adversely affected by icy conditions by helping them to gain access to water.

It is vital to conserve our wild horse breeds as a counterbalance to continued inbreeding of domestic horses. This alone is a valid reason for governments to introduce sustainable, creative, long-term support programs for these intelligent and beautiful animals that have served us so generously and so well.