Culling is the killing of a species of animal in order to reduce the population because their numbers cannot be sustained at the high levels of which they become. This form of control has caused quite controversy in Australia. There are two types of culling used in Australia; aerial culling, and horse-back culling. Aerial Culling is when the shooters go into the area that has feral horse problems in helicopters and find the horses and shoot them. This is ideal for the terrain that is inaccessible by vehicle, horse-back, or by foot. This practice has been banned in New South Wales due to reports from the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups that this method of control is inhumane.
Horse-back Culling is when professional shooters go into the terrain, hunt the feral horses and shoot them. This is not as effective as aerial culling due to the labour of having to get to the destination on horse, having to carry your weapon, chasing the feral horses, and getting back home as well as carrying food and water for the people and horses.
Mustering is when a group of feral horses is collected into a group and captured or ‘rounded- up’ and directed to one area. These then are captured, tamed or slaughtered and sold. Helicopters are used for mustering, as are vehicles, horse-back riders and camel-back riders. Horse meat is used in canned pet food and is also used as meat in eastern European countries. Horse hooves are also used in the production of glue.
These forms of control are the most humane way to control feral horses. We do not have the technology or the money to develop another more ‘humane’ method to control feral horses.
Ask yourself, which is more humane, witnessing the starvation and dehydration deaths of thousands of innocent feral horses that, even though they are feral, can feel pain; or to shoot hundreds of feral horses to reduce the number, quickly and painlessly? Feral horses are eating out the Australian terrain and not just killing themselves, they are also causing the death of thousands of native marsupials and mammals due to starvation and dehydration from the lack of food and water.