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NCC applauds Minister Sharpe for evidence-based approach to feral horses

7th August 2023 

NCC applauds Minister Sharpe for evidence-based approach to feral horses 

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC), the state’s leading environmental advocacy organisation, has welcomed today’s announcement that the NSW Government will seek feedback on a plan to “allow aerial shooting as an additional option for the control of wild horses alongside the existing methods such as trapping and rehoming, and ground shooting.” 

“It’s great to see the Minister recognise and respond to the manifest failure of the previous Liberal National government when it comes to feral horses, and the devastating impact this has had on alpine ecosystems and Indigenous heritage,” NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford said today.  

“Based on the best available evidence, ground and aerial shooting represent the most humane and effective population control methods."  

“Both the RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association support the humane culling of feral horses, and note that fertility control and trapping and rehoming are not viable options for feral horse population reduction due to the size and geographic spread of the current population in the Alps.” Mumford said.  

In her press release today, Minister Sharpe noted “under the current Plan, the NSW Government is legally required to reduce the wild horse population to 3,000 in 32 per cent of the park by 30 June 2027. However, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will not be able to meet that target using only the existing control methods.” 

Statement attributable to Jacqui Mumford, NCC CEO.  

Feral horse numbers are out of control and have grown rapidly since the previous government ended evidence based control actions, with recent estimates suggesting the population has surged from 7,500 in 2013/14 to over 24,000 across the Australian Alps.” 

“The scale of ecological destruction that feral horses have on the habitats and water catchments in the Australian Alps cannot be overstated. Feral horses are listed as impacting at least 25 threatened alpine flora and 14 threatened alpine fauna species, including the iconic corroboree frog, the broad toothed rat and rare alpine orchids.”   

“By trampling and grazing on sensitive alpine ecosystems these introduced animals cause soil compaction, the erosion of streambanks, sphagnum bogs, wetland and grasssland destruction.”   

“We also wish to highlight the important need to repair and restore these native habitats that have been decimated by past policy failures, and facing even further challenges brought about by climate change.”  

Statement ends 

Media contact: Clancy Barnard 
E: [email protected]  Ph: 0438 869 332 
Note: NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford is available for comment on request 

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