14 March, 2021
Bringing 3000 brumbies to the Central West
MORE THAN 3000 Brumbies are being trapped as part of the NSW Government’s plan to cut feral horse numbers in the Kosciuszko National Park, with 30 of these heritage horses waiting to be rehomed in the Central West now.
Paul Johnston and Moreen Levin run a privately funded venture in Central Queensland called Clearview Brumby Rescue, driven by a passion to preserve our history and to rescue and rehome brumbies being removed from state and national parks.
Mr and Ms Levin are endeavoring to rehome these heritage horses to forever homes, rather than them being sent to be slaughtered.
“There is nothing from the government, no grant, no public donations or profit from this, nothing,” Ms Levin said.
“They are trapping the Brumby in the high country and I have an estimate that they want to remove from the national parks and are trapping them now.
“In the last three years they trapped [the brumbies] to reduce them.
“The tracking program would normally last from six to eight weeks.
“Last year, they did not stop. They went right up to way up to Christmas, from August to Christmas.
“They tried to work the way through past Christmas and then resume now and they intend now to stop this year.”
The Central West and all Australian horse lovers are asked to make the call to take one or more of these brumbies to help save them from a bitter end.
“We need people that can take one, two, three whatever you can,” Ms Levin said.
“I have got a couple of local trainers that will take 10 at a time to help train them if people want, we just need to do whatever we can to save them right now.
“The horses date back to the war time of Australia, the light horses that were brought here all came home [to Australia] from wars and headed home to Central Queensland and across the country.
“They opened them up in a high country and the men used to spell their horses plus breed them out in the mountains.”
Ms Levin said these heritage horses are testament to the notion of survival of the fittest.
“They braved the decade of war then decades more of bitter winters and droughts and now we are trapping them and trucking them to the doggers or worse,” she said.
Ms Levin and others had the brumbies’ genetics tested and the horses breeding lines dated back over two hundred years.
“We bought genetic tests for the first lots of the horses; I can tell you these horses are some of the oldest breeds in the world,” she said.
“That they all come to an end and they might be extinct soon if we don’t do this.”
Trapping and removal of these horses has reached approximately 400 since this last trapping season began.
Debate over the fate of the feral horses in one of Australia's biggest national parks is likely to intensify in coming weeks as the government develops a new management plan.
The protection for heritage horses is vital with trapping numbers set to benchmark to 3000, as soon as possible.
The ecology data supplied by the National Parks and Wildlife Service said the park may hold up to 14,000 brumbies and counting at present.
While the tally was down 25 per cent from the previous survey, any population drop was likely to be temporary once breeding picked up in the wake of drought and bushfires.
Invasive Species Council by Frontier Economics calculated that the Australian economy could be $50 million better off annually if numbers were dropped at the increased trapping rates.
Ms Levin is trying to save and preserve the breed that is valuable to horse breeding lines in Australia and possibly worldwide.
“From today’s point of view in the breeding world, they have got the strongest genetics,” she said.
“They have not been inbred neither breed, they have had a chance to develop a natural way of evolving “They are blank canvases, so anybody who wants a horse that is a blank canvas, for them to be able to work with, we have got stallions that were brought out of the wild checked and in halter and leading within 24 hours.
“We already been breaking them in and handling them within 24 hours.
“[They are] absolutely magic. They have the strongest feet, they are tough fantastic stock horses, really, really beautiful horses, treated with respect and treated with kindness, in from the wild.
“They are extremely intelligent because they have been taught from the moment they were born how to survive with generations of other wild horses.
“So far, it's working out to cost us about $500 a head to transport them in 30 lots.
“To transport them to Central Queensland it is about $8000 per truck plus the fuel, we are trying to keep costs down as best we can to make this happen.
Rehomed brumbies or also known as “Australian heritage horses” being handled and broken in less than a day.
Ms Levin is asking for the people of the Central West to reach out to help with the cost of delivery or to rehome the brumbies as a matter of urgency.
“100 kilometers, 200 kilometers, 600 kilometers, whatever it takes but we want to try to get them homed in groups in areas where we can make the trip a circle to keep the fuel costs down,” she said.
“We are just farmers from Thangool who have to take time off the farm to drive, load and deliver these beautiful creatures to get them saved.
“We need people to get involved or take them who understand that the brumbies are a part of our Australian wartime heritage, not feral menaces or pieces of meat.
“People can jump on to our Facebook page and there is a place that they can donate.
“We have got the transport fund, whatever money we raise there we can add to the transport cost, and we pass it back to people per head who can take the brumbies.
“If there [is] any grey nomads or Central West good Samaritans who will help caravan these lovely horses, please give us a hand and give a future to the legacy of Australia's heritage horses.”
To get involved visit Clearview Brumby Rescue Qld on Facebook or call Moreen Levin Ph: 0428 115 128.
Clearview Brumby Rescue are calling on the Central West to help re-home wild stallions, mares and foals.