The draft plan for the management of wild horses in the Kosciuszko National Park has been released for public comment.
Nationals Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the release of the draft plan marks a significant step forward in striking the right balance between recognising the cultural heritage values of the wild horses while protecting the unique environment of the park.
“From The Man from Snowy River to the integral role that the Snowy Mountains bush horses played in the Australian Light Horse campaign during World War I, there is nothing more synonymous with the Australian outdoor lifestyle than the Brumby,” Mr Barilaro said.
“When I introduced the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 to NSW Parliament, I envisaged finding a balance between preserving the sensitive areas of the park and letting our heritage horses roam free in areas environmentally suited for them. I am confident that this draft plan achieves that.
“This draft plan takes on board both the views of the Scientific Advisory Panel and the Community Advisory Panel, with all elements of this document agreed to by the two parties.
“This is an issue that is close to the hearts of many, and it is extremely important that we not only find a way forward, but the right way forward, so please provide your feedback.”
Across the Kosciuszko National Park, the plan provides for three broad zones:
- Areas in which wild horses will continue to occupy – 32% of the Park
- Areas from which wild horses will be removed – 21% of the Park
- Areas which are currently free of horses and which will be kept free – 47% of the Park
The areas in which horses may continue to occur are those areas with the strongest links to wild horse heritage values and are areas with links to historic pastoralism, brumby running and include wild horses derived from historic pastoral populations (e.g., the Kiandra greys).
The removal and exclusion of wild horses from designated areas, and the reduction in the overall population, will provide effective protection from the impacts of wild horses for many threatened species.
Animal welfare, in line with the highest national standards, will remain the priority when deciding what animal management technique is employed.
No passive trapping will occur while the plan is on exhibition for public comment.
Annual surveys of the wild horse population will help monitor progress toward the targets in the plan.
The draft plan was prepared by the National Parks and Wildlife Service with advice from the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Community and Scientific Advisory Panels, as well as advice from aboriginal stakeholders.
The draft plan is open for public comment until Tuesday, 2 November 2021.
To view the plan and make a submission visit: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/get-involved/have-your-say