Wild horse population crashes after devastating drought and bushfires – but a brumby cull could still take place to stop them destroyi
Wild horse population crashes after devastating drought and bushfires – but a brumby cull could still take place to stop them destroying national parks
- Population of wild horses has dropped dramatically after horror bushfire season
- Around 5,000 brumbies in New South Wales’ Kosciuszko National Park are dead
- Brumby group warns more horses will die, but government says it will rehome
A destructive bushfire season and drought killed thousands of wild horses in the last year, but even more may need to be culled.
The brumby population in Kosciuszko National Park dropped from 19,000 to 14,000 due to natural disasters, according to a National Parks and Wildlife survey.
New South Wales Environment Minister Matt Kean said there were ‘still too many’ horses and argued they should be trapped and rehomed, but a brumby lobby group warned many would end up in an abattoir.
A destructive bushfire season and drought killed thousands of wild horses in the last year, but even more may need to be culled. Pictured: A wild horse rests in a patch of Snow Gums in the Long Plains area of the Kosciuszko National Park on August 24, 2020
Bushfires, drought killed thousands of Brumbies, but more need to go says NSW government
Wild horses threaten the Snowy Mountains natural environment as they trample alpine ecosystems, erode waterways and destroy habitats for threatened species.
In NSW, wild horses are trapped and rehomed as a priority, but any horses that are not rehomed are euthanised.
Wild horse advocacy group Australian Brumbies Alliance (ABA) President Jillian Pickering told Daily Mail Australia it isn’t realistic to expect many horses can actually be saved.
‘The goal of rehoming brumby numbers above 200 annually cannot be achieved in a safe and humane manner, leaving many to be killed,’ Miss Pickering said.
Brumbies in NSW that cannot be rehomed after being trapped are euthanised. Pictured: feral horses grazing in the Kosciuszko National Park in January 2020, just after the bushfires
Miss Pickering believes the brumbies should be desexed and there should be more support for rehoming groups.
She said the population should be at least 4,000, but Deputy Premier John Barilaro put the number as low as 600.
‘There are parts of the park that should have zero horses,’ the Monaro MP, whose electorate includes Mount Kosciuszko, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Kean said the government needed to get a balance between ‘protecting the Snowies and retaining the heritage value of these wild horses.’
Nearly 1,000 horses from Kosciuszko National Park have been re-homed in the last eight years.
From July to October 2020, 92 per cent of the 193 horses trapped were taken in by individuals and rescue groups.
14 were sent to the knackery and one died in a trapping accident.
The government is working on a wild horse heritage management plan, with a draft to be released in the first quarter of the year.
A brumby lobby group warns there are too many horses and they can’t all be rehomed (Pictured, brumby and Eastern Grey kangaroo in Kosciuszko National Park on August 24)