Victorian feral horse action plan leaves NSW in the cold

Media Release |

The Victorian Government is striding ahead to protect its part of the Australian Alps with the release today of its new feral horse strategic action plan for public comment.

“Victorian Government plans to use all humane methods possible to limit the spread and damage of feral horses in the Australian Alps are in stark contrast to the NSW Government, which is failing dismally to stop the spread of feral horses on their side of the border,” Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said today.

“The newly-proposed Victorian measures, which include trapping and rehoming as well as lethal culling in high priority conservation areas of the park, provide a sensible and balanced approach to reducing feral horse numbers in the Australian Alps.

“The proposed plan follows best practice guidelines for feral animal control and comes after decades of community consultation and trial and error.

“Between 2018 and 2021 only 140 horses were removed from the Victorian Alps through trapping and roping, which allowed horse numbers to escalate, making a new plan of attack necessary.”

The release of the Victorian draft action plan follows in the footsteps of the ACT Government, which has a strong no-tolerance policy towards feral horses, and leaves NSW, which is still operating under an outdated horse management plan from 2008, in the dark ages.

“Both the Victorian and ACT governments have been forced to revise their horse management plans to deal with an escalation in feral horse numbers caused by inadequate control measures across the Australian Alps,” Mr Cox said.

“All three state governments, Victoria, NSW and the ACT, share management of the Australian Alps, so NSW needs to stop dragging its feet on feral horse management and release its own updated horse management plan, which was promised more than a year ago, to the public.

“Feral horse control has remained stagnant in Victoria over the past few years, despite Parks Victoria winning several legal battles giving it the green light to proceed with stronger measures.”

The Victorian Government’s draft feral horse action plan is on public exhibition for the next four weeks. We encourage everyone who cares about this special part of the world to support the Victorian Government by making a submission.

Victoria’s new feral horse action plan is strides ahead of NSW when it comes to protecting the Australian Alps from growing feral horse impacts.

Photo credit: Victorian Alps-Tommy Miller-Flickr | CC BY 2.0

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