The issue of shooting heritage listed brumbies in the Kosciusko National Park has once again been brought to the forefront of the New South Wales government’s agenda, sparking outrage from those who remember the horrific events of 20 years ago. In 2000, members of the SOS-NEWS team were assigned to investigate the government-sanctioned slaughter of hundreds of brumbies in a national park. Shocking evidence emerged of brutal killings, with horses sustaining gunshot wounds to the jaw, abdomen, and legs. The inhumane culling was covered up by the RSPCA, who assisted government officials in downplaying the severity of the situation.
Interviews with RAAF gunship pilots and experienced aerial shooters in Far North Queensland confirmed that accurately killing an animal with a single shot from a moving helicopter is nearly impossible, even for the most skilled marksmen. The massacre in the Guy Fawkes National Park in New South Wales resulted in 226 documented cases of animal cruelty, although the RSPCA later retracted this number to just one case in order to silence witnesses and protect the government from public outcry. The indiscriminate slaughter of the brumbies sparked widespread outrage and calls for the inhumane shooting to be stopped.
Today, the shooting of heritage listed brumbies in the Kosciusko National Park has resumed, reigniting the public’s concern for the welfare of these iconic horses. The government’s indifference to the suffering of the brumbies and the complicity of the RSPCA in covering up the brutality of the culling has only added to the outrage. The video produced by SOS-NEWS serves as a chilling reminder of the atrocities committed against these animals and the urgent need for action to prevent further harm.
The archives of SOS-NEWS, which ceased publication in 2015, have now been made available to the public through Cairns News. The plight of the brumbies in New South Wales is not an isolated incident, as graziers on Cape York Peninsula have reported similar oppression by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Biosecurity Australia. Unlawful shooting operations targeting branded and unbranded cattle on Aboriginal-controlled land have been ongoing for several years, resulting in widespread suffering and loss for the landowners.
The parallels between the shooting of brumbies in New South Wales and the plight of cattle in Queensland highlight a broader issue of government-sanctioned animal cruelty. The callous disregard for the welfare of these animals and the lack of accountability for those responsible has sparked outrage and demands for justice. It is essential for the public to stay informed and advocate for the protection of these vulnerable animals, as their suffering cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.