It is Springtime, when new life fills the Alpine National Park with joy and excitement. Wild horses inhabit the park, and currently mares are pregnant, have given birth or about to, they are incredibly vulnerable. There are foals in the National Park who are innocent, weeks old and suckling of their mother who is about to be shot in the head by contract shooters hired by Parks Victoria.
Parks Victoria today announced via email that they will commence shooting of horses in the Alpine National Park. They gave no details of the shoot, the method, how many, what the evidence was, nor was there any community consultation period.
Standard Operating Procedure for Shooting of Feral Horses states:
(Aerial shooting) To minimise the animal welfare implications of leaving dependent foals to die a slow death from starvation, it is preferable not to run aerial shooting programs when mares have dependent young at foot.i
(Ground Shooting) The optimal period for ground shooting is during dry seasons or droughts, when many groups of horses are forced to congregate around areas with limited access to water and feed.ii
Parks Victoria will shoot during Spring time when mares have foals at foot in direct contravention of the Standard Operating Procedures.
Parks Victoria have routinely operated under a code of secrecy and flawed information to justify their killing campaigns. The CSIRO states: Contemporary horse management requires full public transparency.iii Parks Victoria rely on information to justify their reasons for killing wild horses, however, the result of FOI requests by the ABA have proven that these documents do not exist.
- ABA requested (late 2020) under PV’s FOI process Location details of each high conservation priority location and criteria that PV used to define each highconservation priority location including classifications of each species expected to benefit from shooting feral horses in these areas
PV FOI Reply…
No documents were found as requested
- ABA requested (late 2020) under PV’s FOI process Copies of PV annual end of year reports as stated in their 2018-2021 plan their commitment to end of year reports late 2020.
PV FOI Reply…
No documents were found as requested.
- ABA requested (late 2020) under PV’s FOI process A copy of the pre shooting baseline data that Parks Victoria will use to compare with the post shooting data to assess the effectiveness of the shooting of feral horses considered essential to be conducted in these sensitive areas Parks Victoria have identified. Such pre and post shooting data is essential for Parks Victoria’s quality control measures and provide accountability to this taxpayer funded shooting exercise.
PV FOI Reply...
After making enquiries, there are no such documents meeting the terms of your request in
Parks Victoria is a state funded agency who uses tax payer money to conduct these killings. Ministerial oversight is needed to justify the expenditure of tax-payer dollars, yet PVcontinue to evade scrutiny and transparency and operate as a state funded killing entity.
The ABA is asking everyone to hold Parks Victoria to account for their actions and to #StopTheShoot. To justify their reasons for the shoot, to provide details and to work with local Brumby support groups to increase rehoming options.
Quote attributed to Jill Pickering, President of the ABA
The ABA has long been advocating for Parks Victoria to work with Brumby support
agencies to find humane and long-lasting rehoming options for the Brumbies.