12th November 2018

“Even when the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party condemns aerial shooting of horses along with the Nationals and every other party, the Greens condone this brutal Rambo type slaughter of animals” says Animal Justice Party MLC Mark Pearson.

The Greens have introduced a bill into the Legislative Council to repeal the limited protections for brumbies that were only recently legislated in the Kosciusko Wild Horse Heritage Bill. Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann refers to  claims from scientists that brumbies are the cause of harm to native fish and frogs in the KNP alpine area, as a reason to resort to the most brutal and cruel form of slaughter; “aerial culling.”   “Aerial culling” is the shooting of horses from helicopters. Evidence from investigations into the 2000 Guy Fawkes National Park massacre of brumbies showed that terrified horses were injured and left to suffer and die over a period of many days. We must never return to aerial killing.

The AJP supports the brumby protections contained in the Kosciusko Wild Horse Heritage Act and seeks a strengthening of the provisions of the Act to specifically exclude lethal controls of any kind in the management of the brumby populations. The AJP considers immuno-contraceptive darting to be the most humane and effective management tool for brumbies in the alpine regions of the park.  It is also entirely possible to fence off sensitive areas to prevent brumby access as these areas are only small in size.

The AJP’s position regarding claims of environmental damage is that we consider that the main damage caused to the KNP occurred during the construction of the Snowy River Hydro Scheme and during its ongoing operations as well as the increasing impact of human activities in the expanding ski resorts. There is also the environmental damage caused by the recreational fishing of introduced brown and rainbow trout which for some reason, the Greens are not demanding that they be ‘culled’ to extinction.

The AJP, unlike the Greens, do not seek to penalise animals for their mere existence.   We recognise that after generations of survival and adaptation along the entire Great Dividing Range, the brumbies cannot be nor should they be, hunted to extinction. Where harm to the environment and/or animals is a genuine concern, we advocate non-lethal controls.