Hope Is Where the Heart Is - photos courtesy of Karen Ferguson, The Memory Keeper's Pocket and Ashton James, Brumbies and the High Country

The Memory Keeper's Pocket

Here at Brumbies Forever, we are driven by a single goal; to do our part in making the world a better place for all the wild horses of Australia! At Brumbies Forever we are taking action with urgency in order to raise public awareness about the positive effects of wild horses in the environment and all Brumby support matters. Please join us by supporting our efforts to make a measurable difference in the lives of these truly wonderful souls!


The fight to save the wild horses in Australia has been waging for many years. Previously horses have been removed from the national parks at up to more than 600 horses per year/per Park and despite the efforts of local rehoming organisations, most of these horses have ended up at slaughterhouses. Pregnant mares, stallions and foals are trucked away from their homes on a long and dangerous journey to be slaughtered for their meat. For Brumbies in NSW and Victoria, a trip to Queensland crammed into a truck without food or water for well over 20 hours is at the very least terrifying and at the worst, results in injuries and even death on arrival at the facility. One well known abattoir, Meramist in Queensland, which was recently investigated for extreme cruelty after an undercover investigation regularly receives Brumbies from all over Australia. Horses slaughtered here are destined for the overseas human consumption market and their meat will fetch a premium price per kilo in comparison to the price per kilo that they would otherwise fetch at a much closer local knackery, where the meat will end up as pet food. It is clear that there is no consideration given for the welfare of the horses and the unnecessarily long stressful journey to their death is overlooked in favour of profit.

The video below shows the barbaric cruelty inflicted on the horses that find themselves discarded at this facility

Meramist Abattoir video

Brumby support groups and locals have been attempting to stop the removal of Brumbies from the parks for a long time and in 2018, legislation was passed in NSW, to recognise the heritage value of these horses and this was supposed to help protect them. This was a very unpopular piece of legislation with the powerful anti-Brumby lobby, who have since been attempting to repeal this legislation. They are not happy to have any Brumbies remaining in the Parks.

The recent devastation by the fires in Australia has meant that the anti-Brumby lobbyist groups have been claiming that Brumbies will hamper the recovery of the area from fire damage. This claim has been made, in spite of them also claiming that the Brumbies do not frequent the worst fire hit areas and they claim therefore, that very few perished in the fires. A complete contradiction.

In Kosciuszko Park, senior advisors recommended the immediate removal of up to 4000 Brumbies as quickly as possible (this was the estimation of the amount of horses that are supposedly in the north of the Park but there are nowhere near this amount of horses in the area). Horses are currently being removed at a massive rate! Up to April 2021 a total of 484 horses have been removed. Thanks to the massive efforts of the sanctuaries and rehomers, so far 96% of these have been rehomed. But the trapping and removals are now continuing at a very fast rate and it is going to be a massive struggle to rehome them all. No help is given (financially or otherwise) to these people, by the local government. Those horses that are unable to be rehomed are being sent to slaughter. If there are therefore insufficient offers of rehoming, the horses will end up going to knackeries or an abattoir!!

In Victoria, ground shooting has been approved as the most effective method of control and recent legal action was successful in stalling the commencement of the cull until the new management plan is published. The draft plan is now published for submissions. The plan is to remove at least 530 Brumbies in the first year! Due to already very high numbers already coming out of Kosciuszko National Park and other National Forests and Parks, rehoming any more will prove to be extremely difficult and there have so far been very few offers to rehome from the Alpine National Park. So the plan will be to shoot these 530 Brumbies!! Ground shooting is the first proposal, but as they well know that it will be impossible to reach their targets quickly enough with this (as they would only achieve shooting one or two horses in a group before they all gallop off), they are then planning to use aerial shooting. It's a foregone conclusion that this will be the method used. So, preventing their culling will depend on submissions sent in about the draft plan. This draft plan is only open for submissions until 23rd April!! Attempts are also being made to get legislation similar to that in NSW for heritage recognition.

The anti-Brumby lobby are not only trying to get the 2018 Koskiuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act repealed, but they are also pushing for aerial shooting of the horses for a speedy total elimination! Some of us still remember the horrendous slaughter of wild horses by aerial shooting in the Guy Fawkes National Park in the year 2000. Heartbreaking video footage and photographs of this incident, can never be forgotten! Men in helicopters with rifles chasing and shooting at wild horses who were galloping flat-out terrified for their lives. Horses were shot multiple times resulting in horrific injuries and many died a long and painful death. The aerial cull was conducted by National Parks and Wildlife Service. The results of this cull provoked such public outrage, that aerial shooting of Brumbies (Wild Horses) in NSW was banned - a ban that stands today. The RSPCA brought charges against NPWS alleging cruelty to animals; however these charges were dropped, in favour of a guilty plea by NPWS. This is also in the new draft management plan for Parks Victoria!

Guy Fawkes Video
Further details of aerial culling

The anti Brumby lobby in Australia is well established and extremely well funded. And in fact the discrimination applies to all non-native animals, who are literally considered an invasive species and are all condemned to death on this basis. The vindictive nature of these people seems to, certainly where the Brumbies are concerned, have become a real hatred. Probably because of the amount of public support that the Brumbies have. Mass slaughter of all non-native animals in the national parks seems to be a major agenda, in spite of the massive destruction in these parks by humans, building ski resorts, roads and dams and allowing four-wheel-drive vehicles and quad bikes to cause massive damage.

Wild horses are mostly referred to as feral horses by those who wish to see them gone, because the word 'feral' makes them sound more worthless. They are blamed for the destruction of the habitat of some of the native species and destroying important moss areas and banks of the streams. It is crucial to remember that these parks are also home to a massive population of wild deer, boar and rabbits who are shown to be devastating contributors to the environmental damage which is systematically blamed on the Brumbies.They have become the scapegoat because they are an easier target. For further details please see the page - The Blame Game

Interesting studies throughout Europe have been successful in using horses for rewilding, resulting in a much enriched environment and in many countries horses are now considered a keystone species. In recent research, they were found to be effective in conserving the permafrost therefore staving off global warming. These important reports and studies by environmentalists and ecologists that have been produced in support of the wild horses continue to be dismissed. For further details please see the page - Brumbies and the Environment

Another extremely important issue is the argument over the population of horses in the Parks. Population estimates are made using computer software, rather than 'head counts'. This method of estimation has produced ludicrous figures of population increases that are more than twice the scientific accepted maximum population increase for wild horses. When calculations are done using figures from earlier surveys, with a realistic maximum increase and accounting for the large amount of removals done annually the figures are drastically different. For full details please see the page - The population and numbers issue

© Brumbies Forever 2020