Wild horses freely roam the slopes of Mount Moffatt, in central Queensland, Australia. But these horses are in danger.
Recently, the Queensland Government has ordered the slaughter of these brumbies, free-roaming feral horses, at Murder Springs, and more than 4,000 have already been killed. The government plans to shoot a total of 10,000 brumbies which would make it one of the world’s largest animal culls.
Animal rights group around the world are outraged over the government’s move and have protested, but the government has decided to continue with their plan to kill all of the horses at Murder Springs and three other parts of the state during the next three years.
Jan Carter, coordinator of Save The Brumbies group, said, “I am ashamed to call myself an Australian. I am just totally sickened by what has been going on. Those poor animals are dying in agony from bullets that don’t always kill immediately, yet there are no plans to look at alternative methods of keeping their numbers down. I know that more than 4,000 horses have been killed recently and there are many thousands more which will be gunned down as they roam.”
One Australian newspaper stated that the government seems more concerned over how the public is reacting to the cullings instead of the horses’ suffering. They added that the government is trying to hide the killings from the press and animal rights groups.
Queensland’s Sustainability Minister Andrew McNamara said the reason for these cullings is that the horse population must be managed “in consideration of the welfare of both the horses and the native wildlife in the park”. He added that the overpopulation of these horses is causing erosion, destroying freshwater springs, damaging Aboriginal culture sites, and they compete with native wildlife for food.
But some animal activists argue that the government can use infertility drugs to help with the overpopulation or that the horses can be rounded up and relocated to areas where they cannot damage wildlife.
One activist said, “There has to be a better way of keeping the numbers down and protecting the habitat and we say it is by creating sanctuaries where these horses can be trained and given out to pony clubs or put to other tasks. They make wonderful pets and are brilliant workers.”
“And they try to tell us this is the most humane way of culling them,” she said. “I’m afraid we’ve become a heartless society in which the cruel death of horses is treated so matter-of-factly.”
Source: Daily Mail