Managing wild horses in Kosciuszko

NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman today invited the community to have its say on the Draft Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park, now on public exhibition.

Brumbies, wild horses, in Kosciuszko National Park

Mr Speakman said while wild horses would always be part of the cultural heritage of Kosciuszko National Park, current numbers were unsustainable and the horses were damaging the park’s fragile alpine and subalpine environment.

“The draft plan outlines how the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) proposes to reduce the overall population of wild horses in the park using a range of humane and cost effective methods that will see numbers reduced from 6000 to approximately 3000 in the next five to 10 years,” Mr Speakman said.

The draft plan responds to the complex issue of wild horse management by proposing a range of humane control methods including trapping, rehoming, mustering, ground shooting, fertility control and fencing. Aerial shooting, ‘brumby running’ and ’roping’ have been ruled out.

The draft plan proposes reducing wild horse population numbers over the next 20 years to a permanent population of around 600, and identifies three locations in the park that could carry this smaller population with less environmental impact.

“Wild horse management is an emotive and complex issue. There are diverse opinions in the community and often deeply held views which polarise stakeholder groups,” Mr Speakman said.

“It is clear, however, that the broader community values the unique environmental values of Kosciuszko National Park and looks to NPWS to protect these values.

The Draft Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park and details on how to provide feedback can be found at the Protecting the Snowies web page.

The draft plan will be on public exhibition from 1 May 2016 to 8 July 2016 and during this time the community is encouraged to provide feedback.

NPWS will also host a series of open days in the Snowy Region. Please visit the Office of Environment and Heritage website for details.