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Protecting Kosciuszko's wild horses from culling

Published: 21 May 2018

Proposed laws to recognise and protect the heritage value and cultural significance of the Snowy Mountains brumby will be introduced into the NSW Parliament in late May 2018.

Dubbed the ‘Brumbies Bill’, the proposed laws require the Minister for the Environment to prepare a heritage management plan for the brumby, which will identify areas within the Kosciuszko National Park where populations will be maintained, and set rules around brumby management.

Other proposed changes include:

  • future plans of management for Kosciuszko National Park to recognise the cultural significance of the brumby
  • the establishment of a Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel to advise the Minister of appropriate management approaches for the brumby
  • a research and monitoring program that scientifically informs future wild horse management plans
  • a brumby count to gain a more accurate assessment of brumby numbers and where they range
  • a marketing campaign to promote re-homing and adoption of brumbies that need to be removed from the park.

Following a two-year study that found the environmental impacts of the horse riding on set tracks were minimal, Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton has already approved horse riding in four national parks – Kosciuszko, Deua, Monga, and Mummel Gulf. Final arrangements should be ready by December 2018 when the formal consultation process and amended plans of management are complete.

NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the proposed laws will finally end years of speculation around the culling of one of Australia’s national icons.

“Wild brumbies have been roaming the Australian alps for almost 200 years and are part of the cultural fabric and folklore of the high country,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The heritage management plan will specifically prohibit lethal culling of the brumby, aerial or otherwise, and will identify those areas in the park where brumbies can roam without causing significant environmental harm,” Mr Barilaro said.

“If brumbies are found in highly-sensitive alpine areas of Kosciuszko National Park, resources will be allocated towards relocation first, followed by re-homing, should population numbers grow too high.

“Kosciuszko National Park exists to protect the unique environment of the Snowy Mountains, and that unique environment includes wild brumbies,” he said.

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