Rehoming a feral horse
Parks Victoria will continue to meet community demand in providing captured horses to rehoming locations that comply with standards for animal welfare.
If you are genuinely interested in taking on ownership of a feral horse that Parks Victoria has safely removed from the park, you will be asked to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) application which details a set of criteria required to rehome a feral horse.
Please be aware that this program is not for everyone, the feral horses removed from the parks are wild animals. You need to demonstrate the skills and capacity to properly care for these animals to be accepted into the program. You will need to be prepared to train and care for the horse/s should you choose to accept ownership of them.
Frequently asked questions
Why is Parks Victoria seeking community participation in feral horse rehoming?Feedback received during the extensive consultation on feral horse management approaches across Victoria indicated that people would like to see more feral horses captured and rehomed.
We welcome the participation of people who have the skills and capacity to accept suitable feral horses once captured. Parks Victoria will trap feral horses for rehoming to the extent that appropriate rehoming recipients have been secured.
What is required to be a suitable rehoming recipient?
You need to be able to demonstrate that you have adequate skills and facilities to care for horses and provide this information in your Expression of Interest (EOI) application. Parks Victoria will review and consider your application, however, if you cannot meet the requirements outlined in the application form you will not be accepted to rehome captured horses. In addition to proving you have adequate skills to care for horses, suitable applicants must meet the following criteria:
- You or your organisation’s principal officer or Director must be aged 18 years or over
- You must not have committed any offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
- You must have access to a suitable property and containment facilities for the number of horses being sought
- Parks Victoria will transport horses within five hours of travel time from where trapping operations are due to occur. If your property is located more than five hours away additional requirements will apply
- You must consent to a site inspection of the property by a Parks Victoria officer, contractor and/or veterinarian
How will I know when I will receive a feral horse?Parks Victoria will inform registered participants as early as possible about potential delivery of horses. Trapping of feral horses that can be made available for rehoming is dependent on several factors including access to trapping areas, and seasonal weather conditions. For example, some areas are only accessible outside of winter when track conditions are suitable for vehicles.
People who have submitted an EOI and are accepted to participate in the rehoming program will be placed on a register and advised when trapping is due to commence over the coming weeks, so they can be prepared to accept horses should any become available.
At this time applicants will be asked to reconfirm their availability to receive a horse.
Applicants who have committed to receiving a horse will be notified on the commencement of trapping and on the day horses are trapped, and whether there is a suitable horse available for them.
What should I do if I can no longer rehome a feral horse?Applicants must notify Parks Victoria if they are no longer able or willing to accept horses for rehoming. Applicants who have confirmed ability to rehome horses but do not accept individuals once trapped may not be eligible to remain on the register.
What happens to horses that aren’t suitable for rehoming?
Horses will only be trapped when appropriate rehoming recipients have been secured prior to any trapping activities and where horses can be transported safely and humanely, in accordance with relevant codes and standard operating procedures. Horses will only be trapped in areas where transport from the trap site can be done safely and humanely.
Transporting horses from the trap site will involve long periods over very rough roads, increasing the risks of jarring and injuries from slips and falls. Parks Victoria cannot justify the use of trapping to capture horses for knackeries or abattoirs, given the combined impacts of loading, transport over long and potentially rough journeys, lairage and slaughter.
If horses are found to be in poor health or otherwise unsuitable for rehoming (for example old horses may be difficult to rehome) horses may be put down humanely at the trap yard under strict conditions.
How can I apply to rehome a feral horse?
If would like to register your interest for rehoming a feral horse, please download and complete the Expression of Interest Form (MS Word).