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September 30, 2023

Inquiry into aerial shooting of brumbies in Kosciusczko announced

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An Upper House inquiry has been established to inquire into the proposed aerial shooting of brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park and surrounding areas.

The Hon Emma Hurst MLC, Chair of the Animal Welfare Committee, said the inquiry would examine the justification for proposed aerial shooting of brumbies in the park, giving consideration to urgency, and the accuracy of the estimated brumby population.

Wild brumbies fighting at Mt Kosciuszko National Park. Photo Judith Deland via ABC.

‘In particular, the committee will investigate the animal welfare concerns associated with aerial shooting and the human safety concerns if Kosciuszko National Park is to remain open during operations,’ Ms Hurst said.

‘In addition, the committee will consider the impact of previous aerial shooting operations in New South Wales and the availability of alternatives to aerial shooting.

The committee welcomes submissions from interested individuals and stakeholders, including community groups, government bodies and members of the community.

The closing date for submissions is 13 October 2023, with committee activity to follow later in the year.

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  1. Those horses are playing, not fighting. Shame these people have no idea about the habits of horses, a d the actually very low population remaining after droughts, fires and floods.

    The horses cause little damage, especially compared to the cast populations of feral pigs, deer, cats, etc., That is not being dealt with in this appallingly inhumane way.

    Shooting is a cruel and ineffective waste of public money. It rarely kills the horses, but leaves them to die in agony for hours or days.

    • Deluded on so many levels. You obviously do not work in or understand the fields of ecology, environmental management, threatened species recovery or feral control.
      1 Those horse are fighting. Horses do not bare their teeth attempting to bite each other whilst “playing”.
      2 The populations size is demonstrably huge (16,000 – 20,000), with replicated population counts & estimates (using internationally accepted accurate methodology for calculating wild animal populations) regularly reaching similar numbers. The methodology has been proven scores of times, both for horses in Australia, & wild populations of dozens of species. Even Barilaro acknowledges population numbers are out of control, unsustainable & need reducing.
      3 The level of proven environment impacts & serious damage is equally huge & irrefutable.
      4 All feral animals are managed & routinely culled in national parks. Pigs, deer, goats, donkeys & camels are routinely shot from a helicopter which has been demonstrated & proved to be the most cost effective, efficient & humane method of culling. Cats are the most difficult & have flourished because of the effectiveness of dingo & fox removal.
      5 There are at least 11 National Parks in NSW where feral horse population has dramatically increased since the ban of aerial shooting in 2002, with the demonstrated population increases ranging from 7 to 16-fold across those parks.
      6 The Independent Inquiry after the Guy Fawkes horse aerial shooting operation in 2001-02 with the involvement of the RSPCA found ONE instance where a horse suffered & did not die almost immediately. That was the fault of the shooter not following protocols. Across Australia, over 25,000 feral horses are culled annually by conservation agencies, over 23,000 are shot from a helicopter.

      The fact is they are feral animals, running wild in national parks for which they have no place, no predators, no population controls, are causing unaccepting adverse impacts to several threatened species. They are the only feral animal officially protected in any national park or conservation reserve anywhere in the world.


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