Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Kosciuszko Feral Horse Mismanagement Divides Two Governments

Two environment groups today condemned the NSW Government for failing to control feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park, that failure has led the ACT Government to construct a horse fence on the NSW border in Namadgi National Park in order to exclude NSW feral horses from entering the ACT. The fence cuts the Bimberi wilderness in half, and flies in the face of cooperative management.

"At a time when other countries are removing fences between their borders to permit the migration of native animals, the ACT Government is building a fence along its border cutting the Bimberi Wilderness in two, " said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

"The ACT is being forced to build this fence due to the failure of NSW to control its feral horse populations in northern Kosciuszko National Park. This is a ludicrous example of how an ineffective feral horse control program in one state is impacting on one of Australia’s most precious and sensitive areas," Mr Muir said.

"NSW National Parks and Wildlife have been irresponsible in letting feral horse numbers increase in Kosciuszko. The NSW Government’s proposal to allow feral horse herds to roam across the park under a policy of so-called 'acceptable levels of environmental impact' has absolutely no scientific basis," said Mr Andrew Cox, executive officer of the National Parks Association of NSW.

"The fence will also act as a barrier to the essential need for native fauna to move freely across the landscape, particularly after fire. According to the ACT Government, two sections of the fence have already been constructed at Murrays Gap and Jacks Flat to fence out feral horses and more sections of fence are planned," said Mr Cox. "We believe that the actions by the ACT Government signal a breakdown in the Australian Alps Cooperative Management Program established between NSW, ACT and Victoria to avoid conflict in park management programs on issues like feral horses", Mr Cox said.

"We support ACT's goal to keep Namadgi National Park feral horse free, but that requires cooperation from NSW National Parks Service. NSW needs to put in place an effective and humane horse eradication program, not force the ACT Government to build a horse fence that harms and restricts native wildlife", he said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 9550 3615 (ah); 

Andrew Cox (02) 9299 0000 (wk) or 0438 588 040 (mob)