This article is from Australia ~ HfH
From: Canberra Times
By: John Thistleton
A drover’s daughter is challenging the core of Australia’s horse-riding heritage, saying Banjo Paterson’s Man from Snowy River was penned when people accepted cruelty to horses.
Dianne Thompson has culled a line from the poem to rekindle a decades-long debate about the impact of horses on the sources of the Murray, Snowy and Murrumbidgee rivers in Kosciuszko National Park.
But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot
He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur
Ms Thompson said people should put aside the romance around the man from Snowy River, who whipped his horse chasing a monetary reward.
”Times have changed,” she said. “Feral horse numbers are out of control and real damage is being done.”
Rather than relying on the mythology of the poem to protect wild horses, they should be shot, as wild horses are in the ACT’s Namadgi National Park, because of damage they cause to water catchments.
A conservationist and National Parks Association ACT member, Ms Thompson’s ancestors were early settlers in Gippsland and her father a drover in Western Australia. Her heritage was as relevant as the one claimed by the horse lobby.
Ms Thompson says passive trapping is ineffective and stresses horses.
“Can you imagine stress for horses, big wild animals that have not had much to do with humans,” she said. “If you get them into a yard, they must be separated out, then you have to truck them from the mountain area to goodness knows where.
“Then put them into a yard. People pick them over and they get trucked off again to an abattoir and euthanased.’’