Local woman would use them for therapy roles
By Bronwyn Herbert and Hannah Ross / 14th July 2021
A 29-year-old woman has set her sights on rescuing more than a dozen brumbies that run wild through a North Coast national park.
Samantha Ross — from Halfway Creek, a mid-point between Coffs Harbour and Grafton — has grown up with wild horses roaming around her family’s property.
“I once had a foal turn up on my doorstep,” she said.
“Our property backs onto a national park, and they roam our community, and they just live among all the properties.”
Ms Ross said it was distressing to hear that the animals were now set to be trapped, rehoused or euthanased, as part of a state government feral animal management plan.
“We received a letter from Local Land Services saying the brumbies are a biosecurity risk, and if there are any horses we could take them in.
“It was pretty much saying they are getting rid of the brumby population,” she said.
Samantha Ross has set up a horse therapy program on their family property, targeting children with needs.
“I have already taken in a brumby before, he’s ended up a therapy horse, which is pretty amazing.”
“He’s working with youth and helping kids with autism, ADHD, anxiety and depression.
“I really think I could use these brumbies on our property to give back to the community.”
Landholders in the area have been told to lock up their horses so they are not mistaken for members of the feral herd of horses.
Local Land Services’ invasive pests team leader Dean Chamberlain said any horse that was captured would be considered to be wild, but locals would have an opportunity to take the animals in.
“We will look at trapping them, and putting them through rescue organisations, then there is a possibility they may be euthanased, but certainly our first priority is to trap and remove them.”
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Quote: “A shire council’s stance against shooting wild horses in much of Victoria’s alpine region remains in place, despite a new push by some councillors endorsing a cull.” Source: East Gippsland Shire Council refuses to back brumbies cull after special vote, 18 May 2021.