Feral horses targeted with pest declaration

Date published: 26 September 2017

Feral horses are being targeted with the Townsville City Council today enacting powers to direct land holders – including the State and Commonwealth Governments – to take action against wild and escaped horses on their properties.

Two people died in 2015 in separate accidents on the highway north of Townsville after collisions with horses, thought to be coming from the neighbouring state forest areas.

Responding to increased sightings of horses on or near the Bruce Highway both north and south of Townsville, council today renewed the emergency declaration of feral horses as local pests.

Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said the declaration was directed towards all land owners including private property, state land and the council.

“Council has fast tracked reissuing this pest declaration in response to the unacceptable safety risk these animals pose to the public,” Cr Hill said.

“Council does not have power to go on to private property, however the pest declaration gives the council authority to direct the state and other land owners to take action to control feral horses.

“Every land holder including the state and council has a role to play to control numbers and stop horses getting on our roads.”

Cr Hill said council officers will be talking to land owners along the highway, especially around the Bluewater to Rollingstone area, about the local law change and what this means for them.

“This will be done in a cooperative approach in the same way the council works with land owners in the control of wild dogs,” she said.

“Council also recognises the importance to look after our own backyard.

“Our officers will utilise all available measures on land under council control wherever wild or escaped horses are reported.”