The Victorian Government is seeking public submissions to its draft management plan for the Alpine National Park. Submissions will close on 25 August 2014.
Below is an excerpt from a Weekly Times article on Brumbies in the Victorian Alps. For the full story and the link to their online poll go to:
“Should brumbies be culled? – Have Your Say in the form below
A draft management plan, ¬quietly released by Parks Victoria last month, issues a dire warning on the number of feral horses, relying on aerial surveys which tracked a 20 per cent opulation jump each year between 2003-09 despite trapping efforts. It estimates that in April 2012 there were up to 10,900 horses in the eastern Victorian Alps, and that about 1500 to 1900 horses would need to be removed annually for five years to bring the population back to a 2001 level of about 5000.
“It is recognised that many people have an attachment to the horses of the alpine area and do not wish to see their complete removal,” the report says. “Aerial shooting is considered by some technical experts and stakeholders to be the most humane and cost-effective technique where control over extensive areas of rugged terrain is required.”
Victorian Environment Minster Ryan Smith declined to rule out the use of aerial culling, despite previously saying it was not being considered, and it has the support of the RSPCA and many local land users. Alpine shire council mayor Peter Roper said the state government needed to consider culling and lead a community discussion on its potential benefits.
“When we start talking about culling feral horses, everyone gets their back up because it’s a horse,” he said. “A feral animal is a feral animal is a feral animal. “We don’t really like to do this but if we’re going to save this piece of land we’ve got to do something about it.”
The Victorian National Parks Association, which has led the campaign against a return to -alpine cattle grazing, supports culling. “A range of methods will have to be employed to remove or at least radically reduce the population,” spokesman Philip Ingamells said.
“In remoter areas, that must include shooting as the most humane way to deal with the problem. Doing nothing doesn’t help the park or the horses.”
The Parks Victoria plan has ruled out fertility control and exclusion fencing as impractical and too expensive.
Public submissions on the plan can be made until August 25.”