Horse seminar to explore Brumby options

October 20, 2009


A seminar to discuss the control of Australia's wild horses is planned for next month. © Save The Brumbies

A seminar to explore new ways of controlling Australia's increasing wild horse populations will be held in Brisbane next month.

The purpose of the November 24 gathering is to enable key players in the wild horse environment to explain their position on Brumby issues and gain an understanding of what could be done to humanely control numbers.

The seminar, organised by the Australian Brumby Alliance, will feature speakers from the Government, the scientific community and horse rescue groups.

"Brumbies continue to be shot throughout Australia," said Jill Pickering, president of the alliance, which was formed in 2008.

"But the policy of 'Shoot - do nothing - then Shoot again' does not work and is totally unacceptable," she said.

"To break the shooting cycle we need to expand the use of non-lethal methods, such as fertility control and re-homing charities, to control numbers."

Participants will also learn about recent developments in multi-year vaccines that make fertility control a promising tool for the future.

"In order to develop the skill and understanding needed, we have to begin Australian trials on existing vaccines and their application methods," continued Pickering. "We can then use that knowledge to progress control methods that can suit, not just horse populations, but other animals across Australia.

"We accept that there is a long hard road ahead but this seminar is an important starting point and I think all parties realise exactly that."

In the United States, the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signalled this month that he wanted to see more aggressive use of long-term birth control in a bid to better control wild horse numbers across the western rangelands.