BRUMBY CULL: Curtis Islanders move to take action
RESIDENTS of Curtis Island's South End have lodged a complaint with the RSPCA over the culling of wild brumbies on Curtis Island last month.
The culling was conducted by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers, who shot the horses from a helicopter in what an Environment Department spokesperson said was an effort to protect native species like the flatback turtle.
The complaint was lodged after a resident photographed a dead brumby in the island's environmental management precinct.
The precinct is some distance from where residents believe the horses were shot, leading that resident to believe the animal would have died a slow, painful death.
Under national standard operating procedures for aerial culling, wounded animals should be found and killed as quickly as possible and ground crews used to do so in accessible areas.
Curtis Island resident John Abbott said he had been assured in the past the brumbies would not be targeted for culling.
He said last month's slaughter was cruel and unnecessary.
"I have spoken to other farmers who would have taken the horses and any remaining cattle," Mr Abbott said.
"So the decision to undertake the slaughter is both inexplicable and inexcusable."
Since the cull took place, outraged residents have formed a Facebook page (Save the Curtis Island Brumbies), spoken to Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher, written to Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch and started an online petition in an effort to save the island's remaining brumbies.
The petition calls for community consultation and the establishment of a management plan for the remaining brumbies, as well as an investigation into the circumstances surrounding last month's cull.
An RSPCA spokesman yesterday confirmed the organisation had received a complaint about the cull and forwarded it to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, which has similar powers to investigate.
A Department spokesperson said Biosecurity Queensland officers were currently assessing the complaint to determine whether a breach of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 had occurred and what action should be taken.
"All animal welfare complaints are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated," the spokesperson said.
"The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries cannot make any further comment while an investigation is underway."