In January this year, I visited Kosciuszko National Park with the Snowy Mountains Sustainable Management Group. I travelled throughout two-thirds of Northern end of Kosciuszko, where the NSW Government claims there are over 12,511 brumbies. After a full day of searching, we found just 24 brumbies. If the Government’s claims about the number of brumbies were correct, I should have seen thousands.
Here’s the truth: the methodology used by the NSW Government to estimate populations of wild animals is seriously flawed, as demonstrated in the recent Inquiry into the Health and Wellbeing of Kangaroo and other Macropods in NSW. We have no idea how many brumbies there are in Kosciusko, and the numbers pushed by the Government are likely to be grossly exaggerated in the same way that the number of kangaroos we have are grossly exaggerated. Right now, the Government continue to cause stress and controversy by sending horses at Kosciusko national park to knackeries, rather than using scientifically sound methods to understand the true number of horses in in the national park and by failing to use other humane solutions.
And there are other solutions. We could be using humane methods like fertility control to reduce the number of horses in sensitive areas of the park, and we could be investing in genuine animal sanctuaries who will provide whole of life care for these animals. While the Government reject humane avenues and continue to take advantage of animal carers in the local community, horses continue to suffer horrific deaths, native animals remain at threat, and communities are stressed about animal cruelty.Read more