The damage feral horse populations are causing to the Alpine regions of NSW, VIC and Act is undebatable. The NSW Government is still dragging the chain by not disclosing its updated strategy for the management of wild horse populations across alpine regions of NSW.
As millions are spent on non horse culling operations the brumby populations are going unchecked as they devistate delicate apline regions.
On top of this the Sydney Morning Herald has published an article that “Hundreds of feral horses were released into the Kosciuszko National Park over the past year, sparking criticism that government policy is undoing the benefits of programs to rein in the habitat-damaging animals”.
One-third of the feral horses trapped in the park since July have been released back into the wild by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
“Significantly, 279 mostly mares and foals were released from traps and allowed to continue breeding. There are an estimated 20,000 horses in the Australian Alps, and 14,000 in Kosciuszko alone. Twenty years ago, the figure was about 1500”.
Parks Victoria considerground shooting as the most humane, safe and effective method available and an acceptable technique for the removal of individual, or small groups of horses from a location, but only when performed by skilled operators who hold the appropriate licenses and accreditation. Parks Victoria only use highly accredited and qualified professional shooters to ensure high welfare outcomes.
Former federal environment minister Peter Garrett is calling on governments to drastically reduce feral horses in the Kosciuszko National Park, after a population boom there due to abundant grass following a severe drought.
“It’s really important to get as many horses as we can off these grounds in a humane way,” he said.
“There’s been a gaping abrogation of responsibility that’s allowed the debate to become a false choice between tens of thousands of feral horses and the health of the park.”
There is a huge double standard whenthe majority of feral animals can be removed by recreational hunters that possess valid firearms and, in some cases, game licence. If pigs were to be released from a trap back into the park, I am sure there would be hell to pay.