Protesters to stop the culling of brumbies were on the steps of Parliament last week. ​

By Max Davies

Brumby activist across Victoria are calling for a change, with the State Government intending to eradicate hundreds of wild horses in the Alpine and Barmah national parks.

About 500 brumbies currently live in the Barmah Forest, with a government tender approving the eradication of about 400 from the area, with similar plans prepared for brumby populations in Victoria’s high country.

The plans were authorised by Parks Victoria and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio in conjunction with the State Government, as well as approved by the RSPCA.

Activist Renee Neubauer said the plans would not bring the improvements to the environment as claimed.

“Twelve years ago [authorities] removed wild cattle populations from Barmah and there’s been almost no improvement in forest conditions,” she said.

“We don’t see how removing the horses that have been there for the last 200 years would drastically improve everything.”

Ms Neubauer was part of a peaceful rally outside Ms D’Ambrosio’s electorate office in Mill Park in December, featured in the Whittlesea Review.

Since then, several similar rallies have aimed to draw the attention of Ms D’Ambrosio and the government, including a major protest outside parliament on Wednesday.

Ms Neubauer, along with other groups and individuals, has been unsuccessful in contacting Ms D’Ambrosio on all occasions, with the minister not present at her Mill Park office.

Neither Ms D’Ambrosio nor the State Government responded to the Review’s request for comment by deadline.

Ms Neubauer said brumby groups were calling for a range of changes to the government’s handling of the issue.

“We would like to see some attempt made to talk with locals, people willing to rehome the horses, and brumby groups for a better solution,” she said.

“We’d also like to see more transparency on how they count the horse populations, as well as greater honesty regarding the exaggeration of damages that the horses cause to the environment.”

Under the plans, shooters would work covertly to shoot wild horses in the Victoria’s high country and Barmah State Forest. Hunting dogs would then be used to locate wounded brumbies, and chainsaws would be used to remove the carcasses from public view.

Last week, a Brumby group in Barmah found 25 horses had already been shot in the Barmah forest. Neither Parks Victoria nor the State Government has revealed who is responsible for the shootings.

Ms Neubauer said she would continue to make weekly visits to either Ms D’Ambrosio’s electorate office in Mill Park or her ministerial office in East Melbourne in an attempt to speak with the minister in the lead up to the state election.

“Anyone who wants to join on the weekly visit is more than welcome,” Ms Neubauer said.

“It’s a big call for this state to just say to eradicate any animal and the more people involved the better.

“There’s no kind of legislation offering any public consultation at the moment, and we would like to see a stop to these kinds of plans for animals in the future.”

Activist Renee Neubauer and Nillumbik Shire councillor Richard Stockman were unsuccessful in delivering a letter regarding the plans to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio’s electorate office in Mill Park at a rally last month. ​

11 COMMENTS

  1. The Andrews government is failing the environment sadly … all gloss no evidence according to the Victorian Auditor Generals Report https://www.audit.vic.gov.au/report/protecting-victorias-biodiversity/?section=
    Big FAIL to Minister LilyDAmbrosioMP who likes to kill innocent animals without knowing why. Lily is a fake and the auditor General is spot on! Horses must NOT be cruelly shot as the suffering will be barbaric..the public are being lied to about a great deal by the ALP in Victoria

  2. Thank you do much for this factual article. It is so good to have a newspaper who will publish the facts and the wishes of so many people who do not want to see this barbaric slaughter of our Brumbies. You are nuch appreciated.

  3. Brumby Action Group next planned Rally dates:
    16 July 2022 at 1pm Alexandra Gardens Melbourne, a beautiful grassed area opposite the Arts Centre often used for Concerts. Speakers from Brumby Groups, Members of Parliament and performers.
    1 August 2022 a Silent Vigil to be held on the steps of Parliament. Protesters to carry photos of Brumbies on what is a day of birth and regeneration for horses.
    The Andrews Government plan to start slaughtering Brumbies on this day.
    Please join us and visit for more information

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/281286786262689/?ref=share

  4. The Rally of 8 June was to address the planned destruction of Victorian Brumbies including Bogong High Plains Brumbies and Eastern Alps Brumbies and to focus upon the need for introduction of Legislation for Brumbies in Victoria.
    About 400 people attended the Rally, including representatives from Barmah Brumby Preservation Group, Dean Marsland who represented Brumbies in Bogong High Plains and Eastern Alps, interstate visitors from New South Wales from Snowy Mountains Brumby Action Group attended to support Victorian Brumbies.
    Entertainment in between speeches from Members of Parliament was Trevor Best a multi award winning singer songwriter from Corryong, Graeme and Deb Padgett and the Wild Orchids, a well known Melbourne duo.
    Speches were delivered by James Newbury MP, Peter Walsh MP, Wendy Lovell MP, Bev M Arthur MP and Bill Tilley.
    Marilyn Nuske
    Brumby Action Group Incorporated.
    The next Brumby Action Group Rally is 16 July. We hope to a hieve 1,000 Brumby supporters.

  5. Thank you Max Davies for your article and letting your readers know the facts and the way this covert plan is being hidden. As there’s many groups in this battle it’s easy to be confused who is what where and when. I am not representing any group other than the original Barmah Brumby Hay Angel’s . I am not an administrator on any other brumby group as mentioned . Huge congratulations to Ms Nuske and her crew on the rally .Brumby Action Group isn’t the organiser for the weekly sit in outside Minister D Ambrosio’s office.
    I wholeheartedly support and commend any group that supports hosting rallies and Barmah Brumby Hay Angels will always attend any event – we have some 170 years of combined brumby knowledge and connections to the Barmah Brumbies with Kaye and Gerry Moor . Would like to make it clear that the re homer Barmah Brumby Preservation Group has some 90 spots to take these brumbies and offer them safety from bullets . But Parks Victoria isn’t honouring their own plan to trap first and shoot last .
    Again thank you North Central Review , Richard Stockman, Wendy Lovell MP, Bev McArthur MP, Peter Walsh MP, James NewburyMP, Bill Tilley MP, and all the supporters who are fighting this with all of us .
    More details on the brumbies and he Government Plans to eradicate can be found here https://linktr.ee/barmahbrumbyhayangels?utm_source=linktree_profile_share&ltsid=dadec396-7b36-4f73-9c7b-26568ecf461f
    Thank you
    Renée
    Berny
    Kaye
    Gerry

  6. Keep us fully informed, we will publish progress and encourage our many supporters to get behind actions. We are in Northern NSW and have taken many horses from NSW side of KNP.
    We are involved with horses in our area and rehome as many as we can. Due to distance and cost of transport, taking horses from Victoria is not an ongoing option for us. We have posted a news flash on our website regarding the tragic and senseless situation in Victoria, at least in NSW we have better outcomes.

  7. Brumby Action Group, a not for profit incorporated association, founded by a former Diamond Creek resident and Lawyer, are in fact lobbying for the introduction of The Victorian Heritage Brumby Bill, a Bill that will recognise the Heritage value of Brumbies and protect that value and see the end of cruel management plans in all 3 Victorian National Parks.
    The Rally saw over 400 people attending and another is taking place on 16 July. We encourage readers to contact brumbyactiongroup@gmail.com if they would like details or join Brumby Action Group on facebook. The events have no connection with Ms Neubauer.

    • Details to contact Brumby Action Group. We commend the public, including Ms Neubauer, being involved in and initiating local action, however the issue is a very complex matter.
      Our Lawyers spent several years drafting a Bill for Legislation and working closely with opposition MP which led to a recent announcement by the opposition they will stop brumbies being shot if elected.
      Talks are continuing.

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