Control occurs in accordance with the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan.
The plan came into force in November 2021. National Parks and Wildlife Service commenced on-ground implementation of the plan in February 2022. A summary of the outcome of control programs will be made publicly available every 6 months. To protect the safety of National Parks and Wildlife Service staff, contractors and visitors, and the welfare of wild horses, operational details about wild horse control will not be publicly released.
Control program outcomes
- As noted in the plan, ensuring optimal animal welfare outcomes is an important consideration. All control operations are implemented consistent with relevant Commonwealth and NSW animal welfare legislation, regulations, codes of practice and standard operating procedures.
- ‘Other deaths’ are deaths directly or indirectly related to the passive trapping or temporary holding of wild horses, for example, euthanasia of passively trapped horses with pre-existing injuries or illnesses that prevents transport under the Commonwealth transport standards.
2024 control program
The 2021 Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan was amended on 23 October 2023 to authorise aerial shooting as an approved control method for horses in Kosciuszko National Park.
The amendment means that National Parks and Wildlife Service may use aerial shooting, in addition to existing control methods such as trapping, rehoming, and ground shooting, to meet its legal obligation to reduce the horse population in Kosciuszko National Park to 3,000 by mid-2027. Other methods, including rehoming, will continue in 2024.
For the safety of visitors and staff, some sections of the park will be closed temporarily while aerial shooting of horses, pigs, deer and other feral animals is conducted. This is common practice for all feral animal aerial shooting operations across NSW national parks.
Major 2024 closure areas and dates
2021 Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan
This management plan has been prepared to meet the requirements of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 and is the current management plan. The plan was amended by the Minister for the Environment on 23 October 2023.