Justice Stephen O’Meara of the Supreme Court of Victoria Wednesday dismissed a case brought by the Australian Brumby Alliance (ABA) against Parks Victoria (PV) to stop the “inhumane killing” of brumby horses. PV is the government agency responsible for “managing a diverse estate of more than 4 million hectares including 3,000 land and marine parks and reserves” in Victoria, Australia.The ABA commenced proceedings against PV in September 2022, alleging that PV’s culling of brumbies fails to comply with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The court heard arguments in December. The ABA urged PV to stop shooting brumbies and return to trapping them for domestic life instead. PV asserts that the National Parks Act of 1975 gives it “clear legal obligations to protect and manage Victoria’s national environment. The act mandates that PV “exterminate or control exotic fauna in the park.” PV also asserts that it “complies with a range of Government policies and decisions.”In response to the ruling, ABA President Jill Pickering stated:Parks Victoria choose cruelty not compassion, for our valued, sentient Brumbies who have been rehomed for many years. Instead of rehoming Brumbies, PV began shooting 100s of our sentient Barmah, Bogong and East Vic/Alps Brumbies with impunity. However today, the Court’s decision allows PV to continue the inhumane killing of Brumbies instead of causing PV to re-consider Rehoming and Fertility Control, which the ABA has called for as humane options to control Brumby populations for over the past 14 years.The ABA is “taking legal advice” on whether it will appeal the court’s decision.
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