Feral horse public safety initiative
HQPlantations is taking the lead to address the safety risk to road users from feral horse movement in close proximity to major thoroughfares through Tuan and Toolara State Forest areas.
The presence of feral horses in close proximity to roads have caused several recent collisions on Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Coast Roads that resulted in the immediate death of horses but fortunately resulted in no public injury.
HQPlantations has undertaken a low stress removal and rehoming program on the Fraser Coast and at Beerburrum for many years, and despite a number of recent challenges, this remains the preferred short-term management approach.
HQPlantations, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Gympie Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Defense, Biosecurity Queensland and other advisors are continuing to work on developing ethical, humane and viable long term strategies to reduce feral horse numbers where they pose a public road safety risk.
HQPlantations has also established a community reference group to ensure local communities are informed about the issues and their perspectives on horse welfare and expectations for public safety are shared with the management committee during the development of the plan.
Peak animal welfare organisations are also consulted on these strategies on an ongoing basis to ensure the controls are appropriate to the risk and that animal welfare is carefully managed.
Research indicates that a feral horse population of approximately 2,000 horses in present in Tuan, Toolara and adjacent state forests.
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