Local News

Anger at news a herd of wild brumbies will be culled at Singleton Army Base

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A herd of wild brumbies on the Singleton Army Base will be culled next week.

Around 150 wild horses are on the base and on the 18th and 19th December an aerial shoot could see them there no longer.

The Hunter Valley Brumby Association said the plan is inhumane.

They were tipped off about the impending cull and it was confirmed to them by the Department of Defence that it would be going ahead.

Kath Massey, the President of the Brumby Association said brumbies have been on the base longer than the base has even been there.

“They have been out on the base since approximately the 1930s, long before it was a base so they’ve been there for as long as anybody can remember,”

“This has just basically been a knee-jerk reaction by the Department of Defence and BGIS.”

Kath also disputes the fact that the government are reportedly undertaking the cull for the animal's welfare as they believe there isn’t enough food or water for them while we are in a drought.

“They are doing this not under the guise of the drought as they are claiming but because it is an appropriate or convenient time because the opportunity is there because of the lack of activities on the base the week before Christmas,” she said.

She said the now the decision lies on the hands of Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne who she hopes will bend to public pressure.

“The aerial culling itself is inhumane but to do it in the middle of summer when there are young fouls at foot and heavily pregnant mares it’s just a welfare disaster and I don’t think the Minister wants this on his hands,”

“We know its Commonwealth land so yes legally they can do it.”

Cathy said that “hopefully commonsense does prevail”.

Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon has received numerous calls to his office about the cull but he had not been briefed on the plan either.

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen has also weighed in on the situation and is urging the Federal Government to change its mind.

“I think it’s disgusting and there is no need for it whatsoever.”

“Australia was built on the back of the horse. We are right on the doorstep of the horse capital of Australia and here we have the Federal Government through Defence aerial culling and shooting these beautiful animals,”

“I’m sure if they worked with the Brumby Association and other groups they could be relocated quite successfully and I think it is potentially very cruel and it’s disgusting and they should not be doing it at all and I’m calling on them to stop it.”

“We as a State Government recently put a bill in place through parliament to protect the Snowy Mountains brumbies and that’s there for a reason, they are to be protected on the basis of they are part of the culture and the history of Australia,” said Michael Johnsen.

Image credit: Hunter Valley Brumby Association Facebook page