The HVBA has just concluded a two year investigation into an event known as the Brumby or Wild Horse Catch as part of some Stockman's Challenge events. Competitors have 3 minutes in which to chase, catch and attempt to lead the Brumby while on horseback.
The regulation on these events is low and the scope very wide, ranging from small events held as part of local shows to large events such as the “Man from Snowy River Festival” in Victoria, “King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge and Bush Festival” in NSW and the Lower Lakes Challenge in South Australia.
Events operating under the guide of the Australian Stockman’s Challenge Association (ASCA) are held to the high welfare standards of that organisation. Those which operate outside of this organisation are still bound by the Rodeo Code of Practice, but are subject to little scrutiny, particularly with regards to the Brumby/Wild Horse Catch events often held as the final in the Challenge. This event is not condoned by the Australian Stockman's Challenge Association or the National Rodeo Federation.
Some of the Brumbies used in these events are captured specifically for the catch, and are not part of a management plan. They are then sent to slaughter after the event. These events are highly stressful for Brumbies, and we have witnessed them being chased while injured and heavily pregnant. It is not only the Brumbies that suffer during this event, the competitor's horses also suffer injuries and are terrified when forced in to being repeatedly kicked and bitten by the frightened Brumbies.
The HVBA has sent a full report to all State and Federal Ministers calling on an immediate amendment to legislation prohibiting Brumby/Wild Horse Catch events. This is the first time an organisation has challenged the welfare issues in to this event. We have also started a petition and electronic signatures are now being accepted in to the Upper House. Please help us make change for the Brumbies and have your voice heard bysigning and sharing this petition far and wide, thankyou!
It's dangerous for everyone
The HVBA works hard to protect the welfare of Brumbies across Australia. We believe managers, rehomers, owners and everyone in between should uphold the highest animals welfare standards when interacting with Brumbies. Above everything else, the HVBA believes that every Brumby has the right to a life free of pain, fear and suffering. We also believe that, when the time comes, they have the right to a death free of pain,fear and suffering as well. These two statements provide direction for everything we do, and all decision we must make regarding animal welfare. Including some difficult decisions that have had to be made regarding sick or injured Brumbies at our Sanctuary.
Sometimes our views are considered difficult by park managers, such as our belief that Aerial Culling can never be considered a humane management option. Sometimes our views are unpopular with other Brumby enthusiasts, such as our belief that both Brumby Running and Brumby/Wild Horse Catch Events are inhumae, outdated and provide no benefit to the Brumbies or the community. But our dedication to high animal welfare means that we will stand up for the rights of the Brumbies even if it makes us unpopular. Please see below for more details of our views on contentious Brumby welfare issues.
It's cruel to the ridden horse
"Every Brumby deserves the right to a life, and a death, free of pain, fear and suffering."
- Madison Young, Vice President
It's cruel to the Brumby
Hunter Valley Brumby Association
Brumby Management Options.
There are many options available to land managers when it comes to creating a Brumby Management Plan and choosing the right combination of these methods is vital to the success of the program. The HVBA believes in the continued existence of free roaming, sustainable Brumby populations, and recognises that to achieve this, some management of the population will most likely be required.
The HVBA believes;
- All Brumby management should be humane and scientifically based.
- Passive trapping is the most humane form of Brumby removal.
- Aerial culling is always inhumane and usually environmentally irresponsible due to the carcasses left behind.
- Fertility control should be considered in conjunction with other methods.
- Animal Welfare should dictate a management program, not budget.
- Brumby Running is outdated, cruel and ineffective.
- A multifaceted approach has a higher likelyhood of achieving both environmental and welfare objectives than a lone control method.