THE Victorian government is ignoring talented riders by not allowing brumbies to be roped or mustered under its latest wild horses plan.
That's the view of member for Benambra Bill Tilley who wants those methods of capture to be reintroduced.
"Let's allow the traditional roping and mustering and let's manage the brumbies," he said.
The feral horse action plan for Alpine National Park released in November rejects roping on health and safety grounds and states there are limited sites where mustering can occur humanely and effectively and there are no plans to use it.
Mr Tilley said those stances failed to acknowledge high country equine expertise.
"There are people in Victoria, from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters, fathers to daughters that are more than skilled," he said.
"You see these people competing in the Man from Snowy River challenge.
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"Yes it's inherently risky but it shouldn't be for a bureaucrat to make those decisions and be so risk averse that they don't understand the horse, the method and these people."
Mr Tilley also critcised the plan for allowing aerial culling of brumbies to continue, saying it would be banned under a Coalition government because it was a cruel, lazy and costly way to tackle feral horse numbers.
He also questioned the methodology used to count brumbies and noted there had been no survey of numbers done in the wake of the Black Summer fires.
A government figure said there was more data pending.
"Population surveys scheduled for 2020 were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and were carried out in late 2021 using helicopters," she said.
"Results of the recent surveys will be released in 2022."
The representative said earlier approaches were insufficient.
"Conservation threats and pressure in the Alpine National Park have been exacerbated in recent years by damage from feral animals, extensive habitat loss from the Black Summer bushfires, the accelerated impacts of climate change and the limited progress of previous feral horse management methods," she said.
The government declined to state how many brumbies had been shot dead this summer and how many were expected to be culled before winter.
Mr Tilley said it had been reported to him that 40 brumbies were slaughtered in one area of the eastern alps in the weeks before Christmas.
He said a horseman told of him finding a dead brumby last year and seeing wild dog pups jump out of the carcass.
"We do believe brumby numbers need to be controlled but it's how control them," Mr Tilley said.
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