Council backs moves to overturn NSW feral horse protection law

The Invasive Species Council is backing this week’s push in the NSW Parliament to overturn the Berejiklian Government’s decision entrenching destructive feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.

The council is calling on people who live in NSW to contact their local MP and ask them to ‘Reclaim Kosci’ by overturning the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 and to put in place effective and humane feral horse control methods.

“Overturning the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act – which should be called the Kosciuszko Destruction Act – is essential for protecting our fragile alpine region,” said the council’s feral horse campaigner Richard Swain.

Yesterday, the NSW Greens gave notice that they will introduce a Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Repeal Bill to the NSW Parliament. It follows the release earlier this month of shocking images showing feral horses littering the Snowy River in Kosciuszko National Park. The horses were clearly malnourished and starving as a result of the drought before they died.

“Leaving feral horses to run wild in the park with no effective population control is environmental vandalism,” Mr Swain said.

“Unless the horse act is overturned, Kosciuszko will become increasingly battered, and will start to look more like a horse paddock than a national park. That’s bad for Kosciuszko, bad for tourism and bad for local businesses that rely on the park.

“Uncontrolled feral horses will push threatened species like the critically endangered corroboree frog, the endangered alpine she-oak skink and the vulnerable broad-toothed rat closer to extinction.”

The Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 overrides the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act and does not allow any effective population control of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.

“The NSW Government is prioritising a feral animal over the globally significant values of Kosciuszko National Park and its many threatened and unique species and ecosystems,” Mr Swain said.

“We urge all parties to support the repeal bill – it is vital if we are to give Kosciuszko’s fragile ecosystems and waterways a chance to recover from the impacts of feral horses.”

The Labor Opposition has committed to repealing the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act if elected in 2019. The party has launched a six-point plan to protect the park.

The Invasive Species Council is calling on the NSW Government to repeal the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 and to put in place humane and effective feral horse control methods.

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