Feral horses trample endangered plant communities, destroy threatened species’ habitat and damage Aboriginal cultural heritage — and their numbers are increasing.
Tom Roberts, A break away! (1891) Art Gallery South Australia
Anthony Sharwood’s The Brumby Wars looks at the tension between environmental damage and sentimental attachment to Australia’s brumbies — and how Banjo Paterson’s poem feeds the myth.
Victoria’s plan has flaws, but it’s still likely to bring the feral horse problem under control, and will do a lot better than the very low benchmark set by NSW.
Compassionate conservationists believe no animal should be killed in the name of conservation. This idea is a death knell for Australia’s native species.
Introduced species are often targeted for culling in conservation, but killing charismatic animals like foxes can be controversial.
Feral horses are a growing problem for the NSW government.
Rapid action is needed to reduce feral horse numbers before they cause more damage to native species.
Feral horses have severely damaged the landscape in Kosciuszko National Park.
Feral horses are a clear point of division between parties in this weekend’s election. Labor has pledged to repeal the Coalition government’s bill to preserve large numbers of brumbies.
An 1870 news report said wild horses were “hated and shot by all”. What has changed since?
Brumbies have a devoted following among high country locals, despite the fact that they were despised by colonial settler farmers. Their mythical status today owes a lot to cultural figures such as Banjo Paterson.
Feral horse damage on the Australian Alps Walking Track, Bill Jones Hut, May 2018.
The ‘brumby bill’ which passed the NSW upper house late last night, is an embarrassing step backwards for the state.
A government plan to ‘dart’ wild horses with fertility control drugs ignores science and expert advice.
There is no way to effectively administer fertility control to thousands of horses scattered through a huge national park meaning population growth will only be limited as they run out of food
Research suggests there is no “safe number” of brumbies that will avoid harm to mountain ecosystems.
Failing to cull feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park may end up promoting environmental destruction while actually increasing the horses’ suffering.
Ongoing controversy around wild horses in Australia encompasses debate about their impact and their cultural meaning, argues Michael Adams.
Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
The cultural meanings of wild horses.
The Conversation 18.6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air explores how humans have related to horses over time and across the world, and asks: is it time to rethink how we 'manage' brumbies in the wild?
Feral horses in the eastern Alps.
Griff en/Wikimedia Commons
Victoria’s new plan to control feral horses aims to remove up to 400 a year from the eastern Alps. But without considering aerial culling, the plan seems unlikely to get to grips with the problem.
Wild horses, known as brumbies, in Australia.
From 30,000-year-old cave paintings to The Man From Snowy River, wild horses have always been part of human culture. As Australia debates what to do with ‘brumbies’ in mountain environments, it’s time to reconsider their place.