Mass aerial slaughter of wild horses! In the 1980s, this horrific practice - carried out under the pretext that horses were not indigenous species ‒ was not only tolerated by the Australian government, but actually sanctioned by it.
In 1987 and 1988, a number of Australian and international organisations such as Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) exposed to the world the gruesome culling of the brumbies from helicopters. These organisations filed complaints with the International Court of Justice for Animal Rights. Media coverage of the trial unleashed an international wave of protest, ultimately leading to the banning of such massacres.
Following the crisis, FFW purchased Bonrook Station, a vast former cattle ranch in northern Australia. And so the Franz Weber Territory was born ‒ a protected natural paradise spanning over 500 square kilometres of tropical bush landscape. The foundation’s property remains the only sanctuary for Australia's brumbies to date. It is also a conservation area for numerous rare, indigenous species.
Preserving and maintaining this unique example of animal protection ‒ the only one of its kind in Australia ‒ is one of the most costly and most fascinating tasks of FFW.