Victorian Alps Wild Horse Management Plan
Friday 21 June, 2013
Increasing numbers of wild horses across the Victorian Alps has prompted the Victorian Government, Parks Victoria, farmers, conservation and community groups to work together to develop a plan to reduce numbers and the adverse effects wild horses are having on environmental values in the Victorian Alps. The first of a series of meetings with key interest groups was held in Omeo late last year.
A Roundtable Group has been established to assist Parks Victoria with the development of a Wild Horse Management Plan for the Victorian Alps. It includes members of the Alpine Brumby Management Association, Australian Trail Horse Riding Association, Friends of the Cobberas, High Country Tourism Industry, Monero-Ngarigo Traditional Owners, Mountain Cattleman’s Association of Victoria, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Victoria), Victorian Brumby Association and the Victorian National Parks Association.
“We all visited the Alpine National Park and saw the issues first hand. While there are different views about wild horses and how they should be managed, we all agreed that we have a major problem on our hands.” the Chairperson of the group Duncan Malcolm AM said.
“We have talked about the strong feelings people have about wild horses in the high country, and our environmental responsibility to ensure that the values of this special area are protected. We agreed that the welfare and humane treatment of horses must be a key part of the plan”.
“Over the next few months we will talk about difficult issues such as an acceptable size for horse populations in the Victorian Alps, methods of control: and what to do with removed wild horses. Our advice will be considered by Parks Victoria as they develop the plan,” Mr Malcolm said.
“Community input is critical to developing an effective plan for managing wild horses in the Victorian Alps and we are looking forward to working with the community,” Andrew Marshall, Regional Manager, Parks Victoria said.
“To kick off the process a number of background papers and information sheets are now available on the Parks Victoria website www.parks.vic.gov.au/alpshorseplan to inform discussion and debate. We’re inviting everyone to read the information, talk about it and send in their comments on issues they believe should be considered in the draft plan”.
“The first stage of community consultation will be 30 days. We will then prepare a draft plan, and the community will have a further 60 days to provide comment on the draft plan,” said Mr Marshall.
All submissions will be considered by the Roundtable Group who will then provide advice to Parks Victoria for the final plan.
“With the support of the Victorian community, the long-term aim of the plan is to protect the natural and cultural values of the Victorian Alps by managing the adverse effects of wild horses.”
It is expected that the final plan will be completed early in 2014.