Feral horse carcasses rotting in Central Australian waterhole to be moved
A mass brumby death was discovered in a remote location near Santa Teresa. (Source: Facebook/Ralph Turner)
Appeals are being made to the Northern Territory Government to stump up $200,000 for a feral animal management plan, with more emergency culls expected amid soaring temperatures.
- Almost 100 rotting horse carcasses will be shifted
- Traditional owners have voted to allow more horse culls
- The Central Land Council wants funding to develop better management plans
Yesterday, a community south-east of Alice Springs voted to shift almost 100 horse carcasses from a nearby waterhole, to a location 20 kilometres away where they would not pose a biohazard risk.
The Ltyentye Apurte traditional owners and nearby council members decided to “let the sun do its work” rather than bury or burn the bodies.
Meanwhile, traditional owners from four Aboriginal lands trusts west of Alice Springs gave permission to cull more feral horses in the area, which had previously been opposed by some of their constituents.
At a meeting, Ntaria (Hermannsburg) traditional owners instructed the Central Land Council to organise an aerial cull to alleviate the suffering of other feral horses near the remote community.
The cull is scheduled to take place next week on land controlled by the Ntaria, Rodna, Roulpmaulpma and Ltalaltuma Aboriginal land trusts.
It will take place in a 3,182 square kilometre area and is expected to cost at least $19,000, with CLC staff providing ground support to the Parks and Wildlife Service.
Traditional owners were concerned about the poor condition of the horses and the impact on native animals, country and infrastructure.
They decided the cull should go ahead as soon as possible to minimise further suffering.
The CLC said more emergency culls were likely on Aboriginal land, following weeks of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.
“Horses and other feral animals are dying of thirst and hunger because water sources are depleted and overpopulation has led to erosion and vegetation loss,” it said.
The stakeholders also agreed to work together on a long-term management plan to attempt to avoid mass feral animal deaths in the future.
Last year, the CLC sought additional resources to help traditional owners in the Ltyentye Apurte, Ntaria, Tennant Creek and Ti Tree regions to develop “Healthy Country” management plans.
“It expects the NT Government to honour its commitment to contribute $200,000 towards these plans, which would be developed with the relevant traditional owners,” the Central Land Council said in a statement.
“The plans would help Aboriginal rangers to manage feral animal numbers and enable traditional owners to muster and sell healthy animals.”