Opponents of wild horse cull in the Kimberley say some have been left to die slowly

As seen on Australia’s Yahoo News and ABC (Australian Broadcast Company)

Opponents of a cull of thousands of wild horses in Western Australia say they have evidence the animals are not being killed humanely.


Aerial slaughter kills thousands of Brumbies (wild horses) in Australia. Copyrighted photo.

Aerial slaughter kills thousands of Brumbies (wild horses) in Australia. Copyrighted photo.


Over the past week, more than 7,000 brumbies have been shot dead in the remote East Kimberley, using rifles fired from mustering helicopters.

Traditional owners, the RSPCA, and local graziers admit brumby numbers are out of control and have endorsed the cull because the horses are destroying native habitat near the WA/Northern Territory.

The Aboriginal Lands Trust undertook the cull on two stations with Aboriginal pastoral leases.

It is being overseen by veterinarian Jordan Hampton.

“You have two people in a small mustering helicopter and the shooter has a high-calibre semi-automatic weapon,” he said.

“They’re called SLRs, they’re similar to military rifles that were used in the Vietnam war.”

Dr Hampton is monitoring animal welfare during the operation.

“The helicopter pilot gets the shooter side on as close as he can to the animal, and then there’s our policy of repeat shooting,” he said.

“It’s known as mandatory overkill; each animal is shot more than once to ensure that it is indeed dead.”

RSPCA supports cull as little food or water for horses

The RSPCA is supporting the cull, saying it is inhumane to let the horses live because there is not enough food and water.

It says it demanded the brumbies be killed instantly through an accurately-fired shot, through the head or thorax.

But Libby Lovegrove, from activist group Wild Horses Kimberley, says she has evidence that has not happened.

“The photos, there’s one there of a horse that’s been shot in the shoulder and he’s been left to die, you can see the blood running down his leg,” she said.

Ms Lovegrove says the photos were taken by one of the stations’ employees on the October 30.

Shot but left to bleed to death like many brumbies from the aerial massacre

Shot but left to bleed to death like many brumbies from the aerial massacre. Copyright protected.

In one photo, a brumby is standing in a paddock and Ms Lovegrove says the horse is bleeding from a bullet wound on its left fore quarter.

“That bullet would’ve gone into its shoulder,” she said.

“Eventually it probably would either bleed to death slowly in the 40 degree heat or it would just carry that wound around with it, and it would be in tremendous pain.

“The other photographs are of a mare and a young colt, they all looked to be in terrific condition but they’ve both been shot, one of them in the wrong place.

“My major concern is when they shoot the mares, the foals that are left there have no way of surviving, they die slowly, it’s pretty terrible.”

Vet admits some horses still alive after being shot

In a statement, the Aboriginal Lands Trust and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs say they are confident the operation was conducted as professionally and humanely as possible.

Dr Hampton, who examined 452 of the 7,000 dead horses, admitted some were still alive after being shot.

“That’s part of the assessment and also the potential for the animal to show signs of having had a protracted death,” he said.

“We found animals alive associated with approximately one per cent of all the animals that were targeted.”

Wild Horses Kimberley says the brumbies should not be shot, but instead mustered and gelded.

But Dr Chris Pollitt, a veterinarian and feral horse researcher, says that is not viable and brumbies wreck the environment.

“Like looking at the surface of Mars, there was absolutely no natural pasture and it really did look red and barren,” he said.

And, he rejected the prospect of gelding.

“When you have extensive populations, difficult terrains, it’s not just as simple as you think,” he said.

RSPCA says it is pushing for a long-term strategy to control horse numbers and has requested that the photos in question be sent to them.

Ms Lovegrove wants the killing of the horses to get international attention.

“I’m in touch with the Mustang people in America because in the States now they’re passing laws to save their Mustangs,” she said.



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Could the Brumby killers have broken the law?

No consultation claim over horse kill

Brad Thompson, The West Australian October 31, 2013, 4:54 am
No consultation claim over horse kill
Horses at Balgo that died in the mud last year. Picture: Supplied

Experienced pastoralists and the RSPCA have backed a mass cull of thousands of feral horses on two Kimberley stations despite claims from the Aboriginal manager of one of the properties that he was not consulted.

Bililunna manager Mark Gordon wrote to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls last week pleading with them to prevent the cull.

The letter was signed by Mr Gordon and eight others who said they were traditional owners who had not been consulted and were opposed to aerial shooting of horses on their land.

The Aboriginal Lands Trust and the Kimberley Land Council yesterday rejected the claim, saying the cull had been discussed with traditional owners on several occasions and unanimously supported.

The ALT and the KLC said the cull was necessary to prevent an animal welfare disaster, for the economic viability of the stations and for the ALT to meet its legal obligations to control feral animals. The ALT had received breach notices from the Pastoral Lands Board and was in danger of forfeiting the valuable leases.

“At least we have a way forward to build economic sustainability for communities on those two properties,” ALT’s chairman Clinton Wolf said.

Haydn Sale, who runs nearby Yougawalla Station, said the ALT had no choice after investigating other options. “They were facing absolute disaster, thousands and thousands of horses stuck dying in the lake as it dried up,” he said.

The cull started at Lake Gregory on Monday and there were unconfirmed reports from Kimberley Wild Horses yesterday that about 3000 horses had been shot.

Mr Gordon agreed urgent action was needed as the lake dried up but said he wanted to muster the horses to create employment. He said some would be kept for breeding, others gelded and old or sick horses put down.

The RSPCA and Mr Sale said mustering and trucking wild horses exposed them to a high risk of stress and injury.


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Are they killing thousands of wild horses to frack northwestern Australia?

Photo James Marvin Phelps / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo James Marvin Phelps / Foter.com / CC BY-NC


“The global public is outraged that  Australia would condone mass killings of wild horses. Are they killing off thousands of horses so they can frack the land for oil and natural gas? We ask that the heinous killings cease immediately.” ~Anne Novak, Executive Director of Protect Mustangs.


Killing wild horses for Fracking?


An aerial cull of wild horses is taking place in the Kimberley

As seen on ABC Australia

The Aboriginal Lands Trust has begun an aerial cull of thousands of feral horses in the Kimberley.

A survey of Lake Gregory and the Billiluna Pastoral Station two months ago found about 6,000 feral horses.

The Trust says the animals are a risk to the environment and public health, and to comply with the law they have to go.

The Trust says an aerial cull is the most humane way to do that and has employed shooters in helicopters.

A plan to cull feral horses in the same area in 2010 was abandoned after a backlash from animal welfare advocates.

The state Opposition’s Lisa Baker has called for the cull to stop immediately.

“There’s babies, there’s foals whose mothers are shot who starved to death,” she said.

“This is not a civilised way of managing a population of horses.”

Ms Baker says traditional owners want to manage feral horse populations in other ways.

“They’re really cognisant of the fact that some of them will need to be euthanised, put down, whatever, but there is many opportunities for tourism, for breaking the horses in, and for using them more productively,” she said.

The Aboriginal Lands Trust says traditional owners have been consulted.

The area’s former Indigenous Protected Area co-ordinator, Wade Freeman, says other options were considered and ruled out.

“Too costly and not humane at all,” he said.

“We even tried the option of darting and putting horses to sleep but when you’re looking at numbers of up to 10,000 it’s just not viable.”

Links of interest™:

Petition: Stop Killing the Brumbies!    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/258/184/025/stop-killing-the-brumbies/

Original Article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-30/aerial-cull-of-horses-to-take-place-in-the-kimberley/5057208

The Canning Basin in Australia’s isolated Kimberley may be one of the largest unconventional natural gas finds outside the United States. http://grenatec.com/canning-basin-natural-gas-and-australias-kimberley/

Aerial cull in Kimberley region of Australia http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/10/31/aerial-horse-cull-kimberley-region-australia/#axzz2jEuPty9A

Mixed news to Canning Basin decision: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-09/mixed-news-to-canning-basin-decision/4678898 “Shale gas fracking can’t be divorced from the risk of serious water contamination and serious air pollution.”

Western Australia introduces Canning Basin Development Bill: http://www.lngworldnews.com/western-australia-introduces-canning-basin-development-bill/

Canning Basin Bill marks new chapter of gas development: http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/5183/canning-basin-bill-marks-new-chapter-of-gas-develo.aspx

Oilex expands onshore Canning Basin oil and gas acreage: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/49061/oilex-expands-onshore-canning-basin-oil-and-gas-acreage-49061.html

Oilex gets 2 blocks in Canning Basin: http://www.naturalgasasia.com/oilsex-expands-in-canning-basin-in-western-australia “According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Canning Basin has the largest unconventional hydrocarbon potential in Australia.”

Key Petroleum: Canning Basin focus to unlock shareholder value: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/30893/key-petroleum-canning-basin-focus-to-unlock-shareholder-value-30893.html

Hydraulic Fracturing in Australia’s Northern Territory Protect Mustangs Hydraulic_Fracturing_in_Australia_draft

Land Rights Controversy: The Case of the Australian Aborigines Protect Mustangs UP149.001.00009.00011.archival

Agreements, treaties, negotiated settlements project http://www.atns.net.au/default.asp


Petroleum Prospectivity of the Eastern Canning Basin, WA BRUMBY Canning_Prospectivity_Report_Final_Updated_July06

GASLAND 2:  www.Gaslandthemovie.com

GASLAND 2 in Australia: