101 East

The bitter dispute over wild horses in Australia

In Australia, a battle is raging over whether wild horses are a national icon or feral pests. 101 East investigates.

In the high mountain plains of Australia’s Snowy Mountains, thousands of wild horses graze the Alpine wilderness.

They have inspired poetry, books and films, creating an epic myth about these intelligent creatures and their place in Australian culture.

But today, they are at the heart of a bitter battle.

Ecologists want the “brumbies” gone, saying they are trampling a pristine environment, polluting waterways and destroying the habitat of endangered native animals. But horse activists are lobbying hard to keep them, arguing that their community’s lifestyle and cultural identity are under threat.

101 East reveals the bitter clash over whether Australia’s wild horses are a national icon, or feral pests.