Snowy Mountains Brumby Kill shows dead horses in Kosciuszko National Park
The grisly discovery of dozens of dead horse carcasses across Kosciuszko National Park has sparked an unlikely alliance between horse trainers and animal rights activists across Australia.
Even more troubling, many horses have been killed while drinking, meaning they have fallen into waterways leading to dams for human consumption.
At least 70 horses, so-called brumbies, were brutally slaughtered in the vast Snowy Plains right in the national park.
And the number is expected to increase.
An angry local resident found a dead horse, cut off its head and brought it to the Department of Wildlife’s headquarters in Jindabyne in front of stunned visitors.
He dumped it there.
“Police are now involved,” the Department of Wildlife media spokesman said.
The Brumby culling has become a controversial topic on social media.
So far, 70 horses have been found dead on the Snowy Plain — some in waterways that were contaminating people’s drinking water
“Is this the humane killing of wild horses that we were promised?” asked leading racehorse trainer Richard Freedman on Twitter.
He was sickened by what he saw, and many others joined in the chorus of disapproval.
“Apparently these were shots from the ground and not from the air, which is less accurate,” he continued.
“Did this story make it to ABC News? I suppose they are too busy furthering their dearest causes to worry about this cruelty.”
Of those already photographed, all have gunshot wounds to the head or neck, and in some cases multiple shots fired make for a grisly sight. But it’s the pregnant mares that worry the most.
When a pregnant, fragile mare is shot shortly afterwards, she aborts the baby.
It’s heartbreaking and disgusting.
Peter Cochran, a region resident who took photos when he saw the destruction, told AboutRegional magazine: “It’s bloody awful, the result of a supposedly humane culling in a subalpine – non-alpine – area and some others.” One of those horses would have died a slow, agonizing death, which is probably why they had to be shot twice.”
“And I don’t know of any group of horses that stand still after a shot has been fired. So I’m assuming this is the result of horses being shot elsewhere and crammed in one spot,” he reasoned.
Banjo Paterson would turn in his grave when the great Australian poet gave a revered voice to the Brumby through his classic poetry. Clancy from the overflow And The man from Snowy River.
One of the many dead in Kosciuszko National Park – a four-month-old foal
This colt was shot in the stomach and died in the KNP
Winter has arrived in the Snow Plains and the snow will soon freeze these dead carcasses, leaving a reminder in the landscape that Spring is coming.
Former Monaro MP, Deputy Prime Minister of New South Wales and leader of the National Party John Barilaro introduced the “Brumby Bill” to the New South Wales Parliament in 2018, a move he believed would drive the brumbies wild would protect by humane killing.
It was estimated that there were 14,500 feral Brumbies in 2018, and a slow but humane and systematic culling decided to bring that number down to just 3,000 in the national park, particularly in areas known as Brumby Territory.
But despite initial attempts to reduce numbers, numbers have increased and in 2022 the population is estimated to be over 18,000 animals now roaming wild and free.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service says the culling is necessary.
“The removal of feral horses is in line with established animal welfare requirements and taking into account advice from authorities such as the RSPCA,” said a statement on the RSPCA’s website.
“The National Parks and Wildlife Service will continue to prioritize the passive trapping and housing of animals when it results in the highest welfare outcomes.”
“Where this is not practical, the draft plan provides for a number of other options, including ground shots under strict conditions that ensure the highest animal welfare standards are met.”
Locals like Cochran say… so what?
“If there were a sea of horses, you would notice them,” he said. “But you have to go a long way to see brumbies up there unless you go to Currango Plan and Tantangara where there are crowds but I think they’re being withheld for propaganda purposes,” he said.
“If a pastor needs to be shown the brumbies in large numbers, they’ll take them there.”
“But no one listens to truth or common sense, and science is corrupted by politics.”
Yet another legally slaughtered Brumby on Snowy Plain
Cochran was a Member of Parliament for Monaro for many years, but now runs a horse-riding business in the snowy area.
“I’ve always said it’s outrageous that they’re being eradicated for the nonsense that they’re destroying the environment – when you see how many other species are destroying the park up there – foxes, pigs, deer – it’s incomprehensible ‘ that the horses are to be blamed.’ he said.
“And you don’t have to go far to see the damage Snowy 2.0 is doing, but no word is wasted on that.”
Monaro MP Steve Whan said in the same AboutRegional article that he was in favor of reducing the number of feral horses in the KNP.
“I don’t mind shooting from the air, it’s practiced on a lot of animals, including deer and pigs.” But we don’t do that at this point.
“So at this point we are implementing the previous government’s plan, which actually calls for ground firing,” he said.
Whan said the shooters employed by NPWS had to meet extremely high criteria for the accuracy of their kills.
This could be questioned as activists note that some of the horses had multiple gunshot wounds.