The Invasive Species Council strongly support the use of aerial shooting, when undertaken by highly trained professionals using standard protocols, as one of the available control methods for feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.
With good planning, adequate resources, appropriate methods and consistent control, significant reduction of feral horses from Kosciuszko National Park is still possible. However, every year that control is delayed or deferred will increase the number of animals required to be removed and the cost of an effective control program.
It is abundantly clear that with currently available control techniques the current management plan is off-track to reach the target of 3,000 horses by June 2027. While there has been an encouraging increase in the rate of removals since the commencement of a new management plan in February 2022, it is still below the population growth rate and far below levels required to rapidly reduce the population in this time frame.
This lack of progress will continue to be the case while resources are inadequate to the scale of the task, aerial shooting is not being utilised and so-called passive methods such as rehoming or fertility control are being promoted as alternatives.
Aerial shooting, when undertaken by highly trained professionals using standard protocols, is a safe, humane, effective and essential tool for feral animal control. It is routinely used across the state by both the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Local Land Services to protect our wildlife from the impacts of feral animals.