The Central Land Council: Humane management of feral horse needed

Posted: Mon, November 25, 2013

Feral horses perish and strain resources across central Australia during dry times.

The Central Land Council (CLC) says a feral animal cull recently conducted in the Yuendumu area was necessary on both humanitarian and environmental grounds.


The cull focused predominantly on a build-up of feral horses that were suffering under terrible circumstances arising from the prolonged dry conditions across Central Australia. As a result horses had been moving into the Yuendumu community in search of water, damaging essential community infrastructure and threatening the safety of children and other community members.

The CLC takes animal welfare issues very seriously and with the continuation of these conditions has been actively involved in formulating immediate actions and longer term strategies with affected communities and traditional owners to ensure these important issues are addressed.

At Yuendumu the CLC collaborated with relevant stakeholders, including traditional owners, community members, representatives from the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Northern Territory Police, the Department of Land Resource Management and the Central Desert Shire, to gain agreement on a destocking strategy to prevent further animal suffering and alleviate community concerns.

The CLC is always extremely concerned about the terrible impact that out-of-control feral animal populations can have on communities and country, and the distressing animal welfare issues that often come with it.

"Aboriginal people in many of these remote communities have their own history with these animals," CLC Director David Ross said. "Any decisions about how to deal with such situations can be very difficult. Nobody wants to see animals suffering and the CLC will only support culling operations that are conducted in the most professional and humane way possible," Mr. Ross said.

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