Plea for horse cull to avoid 'catastrophe'

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
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If wild horses can't drag the State Government into action on stations held by the Aboriginal Lands Trust, the pastoralists fear nothing will.

Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Rob Gillam said Lands Minister Brendon Grylls should order an immediate cull of thousands of horses on Lake Gregory and Billiluna to avoid an economic, environmental and animal welfare catastrophe.

Mr Gillam said it was an unfortunate situation but the problem had spiralled out of control and all pastoral leaseholders had legal obligations to uphold.

He said the horses were causing environmental damage through overgrazing and were at risk of becoming stuck in boggy ground to suffer slow and agonising deaths.

ALT chairman Clinton Wolf backed the claim.

"To put the problem into perspective, last year at Balgo 200 horses got stranded in a dam that was virtually all mud and died an horrific death," Mr Wolf said.

"We are talking about the possibility of that happening again times 50 if there are 10,000 horses out there."

The fate of the horses on Lake Gregory and Billiluna stations has been a hot topic for years with animal welfare groups, including Wild Horses Kimberley, opposed to a cull.

Kimberley Wild Horses co-ordinator Libby Lovegrove said there were alternatives to a cull, including darting mares with infertility drugs, gelding stallions and allowing horse rescue groups to remove some animals.

Ms Lovegrove accused the ALT and PGA of wildly inflating the numbers of horses on the stations and said her group would alert horse rescue groups around the world to help stop a cull.

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