MEDIA RELEASE 5 April 2019 |
Real action to control feral horses in Barmah National Park, Victoria’s greatest River Red Gum protected area, is very welcome.
“It is now eight years since the horses in the Barmah forest and wetlands were officially recognised by Victorian law as causing damage to plants, animals and the wetlands of the Barmah Forest” said Phil Ingamells for the Victorian National Parks Association.
“Endangered animals like the Broad-shelled Turtle, which lays its eggs close to the water’s edge, and the Murray River Turtle, which lays its eggs in streambank holes, are both significantly harmed by the trampling of heavy, hard-hooved horses.” said Mr Ingamells.
“There are over 20 plants and animals listed as threatened by Barmah’s horses. These are wetlands of international significance, and deserve vigilant, well-informed management.”
The recent drought has also seriously affected the welfare of the horses themselves, with many dying of starvation. “The Australian wild is no place for a domestic animal like the horse.” said Mr Ingamells.
“Efforts to keep these horses in the Barmah forest are not helpful to the horses or the park.”
“With climate change upon us, and an increasing number of invasive plants and animals in our parks, it is time to seriously invest in our capacity to restore Victoria’s great natural heritage. The removal of Barmah’s horse population is an important step in that direction.”