A cull of Australia’s wild horses is set to go ahead in Queensland.
Brumbies are found across Australia and there have been a number of slaughters in the past.
In October 2000, there was a public outcry after around 600 horses died during an aerial cull in Guy Fawkes National Park, New South Wales (NSW).
The Queensland action — which is not state wide — will take place in the Clemant State Forest.
A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman told H&H that over several years, the number of horses has increased in the forest and they pose an “immediate risk” to highway traffic.
He added that two people have recently died from collisions with horses, including a 15-year-old boy who was killed when the car he was in hit a dead horse last month (30 September).
“The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing undertakes regular programs to control [wild horse] numbers to sustainable and manageable levels in selected locations,” he told H&H.
“Planning for the control of feral horses in the Clemant State Forest and Paluma National Park in northern Queensland has now commenced.
“The Department is working to have the operation start as soon as possible, however we cannot definitively say at this point when control measures will commence.
“[The authority] prides itself on the humane removal of animals and a specialist vet will be appointed to oversee the removal program.”
He also said they will work “within strict guidelines” to ensure the cull is conducted humanely.
Jill Pickering, president of the Australian Brumby Alliance (ABA), told H&H that she has advised Queensland officials of a number of non-lethal alternatives to the cull.
These include fencing, speed awareness campaigns, trapping and rehoming as well as fertility control.
Meanwhile, New South Wales (NSW) is also reviewing its wild horse management programme for Kosciuszko National Park.
A draft wild horse management plan is being put together by an independent body and is due to be released in December.
This would then be on public exhibition for two months during January and February.
The final plan is expected to be released mid-2016.
“The ABA has put forward a range of non-lethal options in public forums, official meetings and formal submissions,” added Ms Pickering.
She added that the group is against aerial culls and wants scientific evidence to prove that Brumbies are not being wrongly blamed for damaging the environment.
“It is impossible to get a clean kill shot, when firing at a moving target from a moving platform,” she said.