Coalition vows to end brumby shooting in Victoria if it wins state election

“The time has come to take action and ensure the [brumby] the numbers are controlled and the damage they cause is mitigated,” he said.

Ruchel said shooting brumbies was one of the only human ways to reduce their populations. The association argued that trapping and rounding up feral horses was not effective due to the difficult terrain of the high country.

A pro-brumby protest at Parliament in Melbourne in 2020.Credit:Josh Robenstone

According to the association, there were around 5,000 brumbies in the eastern alpine region of the state in 2019 and around 800 in Barmah National Park.

Australian Brumby Association president Jill Pickering insists it is possible to maintain manageable wild horse populations without killing them. She said that in small numbers, brumbies could live alongside native wildlife.

“We have pictures of frogs spawning in the Alps in hoof prints because they collect water,” she said. “We’re not saying never touch brumbies. We say don’t eliminate them.

Pickering said it was wonderful to see the horses in the wild.

“It’s exhilarating. I admire them. They survived without humans for 200 years.

Pickering said volunteers from brumby groups were willing to rehome some feral horses, while fertility control methods were also an option.

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Sarah Legge, honorary professor of wildlife conservation at the Australian National University, said brumbies were not well adapted to the Australian landscape and often starved to death in the wild.

“They don’t have predators, so there’s no regulation other than lack of food,” she said.

Legge said she had no problem culling the animals to protect native species, insisting that even shooting them from the air could be done humanely.

“They are overgrazed. They damage fragile ecosystems.

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