Re-homing not enough to stop Kosciuszko’s feral horse crisis

A fenced off section of the Alpine National Park clearly shows the impacts of horse damage.

New plans to re-home a small number of horses out of Kosciuszko National Park will barely make a dint in the growing number of feral horses running rampant in the park.

“Feral horse numbers in Kosciuszko National Park have been allowed to explode under the direction of NSW deputy premier John Barilaro,” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said today.

The plan to restart horse trapping and re-homing was revealed by the NSW government on Monday when announcing the appointment of a community advisory panel under the highly controversial Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act.

There has been no feral horse trapping in the park since August 2017 despite the destruction of Kosciuszko National Park from feral horses and the growing risk to motorists and campers.

“The latest plan is too little too late,” Mr Cox said.

“Trapping and re-homing on its own will not stop the horse population from growing. The NSW Government needs to urgently remove large numbers of horses.

“Prior to the March state election, deputy premier Barilaro promised an ‘immediate’ 50% reduction of horse numbers in the park. We are still waiting.

“Trapping and transporting horses to abattoirs is recognised by animal welfare experts as one of the most humane population control methods available where transport is over short distances. Other options which meet animal welfare standards will also need to be deployed to reduce horse numbers.

“Re-homing a small number of feral horses from Kosciuszko National Park as the only control option is doomed to failure. It cannot keep pace with feral horses breeding up in the park.”

The Invasive Species Council joined leading conservation groups in November last year in calling for a boycott of the NSW Government’s call for nominations for the Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel. The groups warned the panel would value introduced feral horses over the best interests of Kosciuszko National Park and its native wildlife.

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