Recognise and Protect Brumbies with Heritage Brumby Legislation

Recognise and Protect Brumbies with Heritage Brumby Legislation

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WE DEMAND an immediate and independent count of all brumbies within the Alpine National Park and the Barmah Forest. There has been no count undertaken since the wildfires of 2019 in the Alpine Park and nobody knows how many Brumbies were killed during the wildfires.   

Bushfires of 2003 reportedly reduced Brumby populations by 41% and wildfires of 2019 were more ferocious than any previously seen bushfires.

Locals to the Barmah area dispute Parks Victoria claims of 550 plus Brumbies living in Barmah,  and say it is more likely there are only 200 Brumbies that are living in Forest.This has been verified by locals.

Parks Victoria cannot move forward with any decision to change the present Alpine Park Management Plan without first engaging in Community Consultation, as stated in the present Plan. Any Plans to dramatically change the Plan for example introduction of lethal control are opposed by the Public who have said they do not want any Brumbies in Victorian National Parks shot.  

A re-count of both Barmah and the Alpine National Park must be undertaken using up to date drone technology and cameras with independent parties present. The last counts in both areas are incorrect and must be updated before any action takes place.

The Cultural and Heritage Value of Brumbies  Brumbies are an integral part of Australia’s social history and hold important cultural and heritage value for all Australians.  Brumbies have been part of our environment for 140 to 200 years.  Today’s Brumbies are ancestors of the same founding stock of Brumbies that were used during the two World War 1.  Genetic sampling has been taking place since 2014 with Australian Brumbies being included in the World Wild Horse Data base, undertaken by the university of Texas with Dr Gus Cothran at the helm. To date DNA sampling has established a DNA line individual to the Barmah Horses and Barmah National park with over 80 samples tested.

The Australian Brumby is a much-loved iconic figure and has been immortalized in Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby books, recorded in many poems, films, songs, artwork and folklore since colonization.

To ensure the survival of our Brumbies it is crucial that plans to exterminate ALL Brumbies in the Bogong High plains, Barmah and the Eastern Alps be replaced by managing sustainable Brumby populations in these 3 areas that Brumbies have inhabited for 140-200 years, long before their homelands were declared national parks.

Extensive work has been conducted on horses in NSW and Victoria, DNA testing has shown that Brumbies have a robust, healthy genetic makeup. With this in mind we must not forget the sheer cruelty of  the “Guy Fawkes massacre” and the more recent loss of Brumbies at Singleton Army Base when an entire blood line was wiped out in one day.

Brumbies contribute positively to the flora in areas where they live As large Herbivores they contribute in a positive way to the National Park floor which is unacknowledged by Parks Victoria, foraging on growth that reduces fire hazards, reintroducing seeds. Their presence is in fact complimentary to some native species and Brumbies have lived symbiotically with native wildlife for nearly 200 years. 

Good Management requires Brumby populations be -   formally recognised for their direct links to original settler founding stock, and   their essential contribution to early settlement survival, and as army remounts,

enshrined in Australia’s history, which in turn informs Australians today how they evolved to current generations, and inspire strong aesthetic values for films, poems, paintings, and tourism.

acknowledged within all community and scientific management groups who ought work together to identify the appropriate numbers for each of the three Victorian Locations. 

address conservation concerns raised by all first nation groups of sacred sites within all National Parks.

Too much of any population, animals or humans  will eventually cause damage, and to date the Brumbies have been used as the easily seen target to blame and eradicate. Eradication of our Brumbies is socially and culturally irresponsible and potentially cruel.

Brumbies and Tourism Brumbies are a significant tourist attraction for both the Alpine region and  Barmah Forest/Wetlands, attracting tourists to Victoria’s alpine regions and Barmah Forest with many local horse and adventure activities and trail operators and local businesses dependent on Brumbies remaining in the wild in Alpine and Barmah regions.88% of Australians support Conservation The recent Lonegan survey found that 88% of Victorians would support efforts to preserve a small herd of Brumbies living in the wild.    82% of Victorians believe that Brumbies are an important part of Australia’s history worthy of preservation and that 84% of Victorians support further research into the impact upon the environment by other wild animals, extreme weather events and humans.

Flawed Research 

Research thus far relied on by the Victorian Government does not fully assess ALL impacts, both positive and negative, and fails to differentiate impacts from other introduced species, focusing instead on Brumbies.   Reports relied on do not prove that Brumbies irrevocably damage the environment, and policies based on flawed research are a highly questionable drain on taxpayers’ money with significant and alarming potential for tragic loss of Australia’s Cultural heritage.

In order to conserve our Brumbies it is vital that Brumby research accurately reflect the dynamics of Brumby populations and how they interact in the environment.

In order to preserve and conserve a viable Brumby population in the key areas of Victoria

The enactment of  Legislation to protect Victorian Brumbies the  “Victorian Brumby Heritage Act” (Vic)  to “recognise the heritage value of sustainable wild horse populations within the Barmah, Alpine National Park and surrounding area of the Bogong High Plains, and to protect that heritage.”


Current proposals for Brumbies living within all Victorian National Parks be immediately shelved, pending the appointment of one community and one scientific advisory panel, and that these two advisory groups include experts from key representative Brumby organisations to advise and participate in the development and implementation of a Conservation plan for each of the three Victorian Brumby populations.


Photo Credit:  Paul McIver.