MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 30 May 2018 |
The Andrews government must show leadership and stand firm on protecting our precious Alpine National Park from the feral horse threat, in the face of backward steps by the NSW Government.
The Victorian National Parks Association joined with NSW conservation groups to welcome a pledge from NSW Labor opposition that it would vote against NSW government legislation which seeks to protect damaging feral horses in the Kosciuszko National Park. NSW Labor opposition has committed to repealing the bill if elected in 2019.
“The ill-thought-through NSW Government wild horse bill is a conservation policy disaster. It ignores years of science and work done on both sides of the border which highlight the serious threats to our unique alpine plants, wetlands and water quality”.
Victoria’s Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has shown real leadership on this issue. A draft Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan was developed in Victoria after extensive consultation, and it now needs a final tick of approval from the Minister, so we can get it done”.
“Extensive scientific studies show that horses damage the many peat beds and wetlands that should be feeding clear water into our rivers and streams all year long. They also threaten a number of rare alpine plants and animals,” said VNPA spokesperson Phil Ingamells.
Victoria’s Alpine National Park (which adjoins Kosciuszko National Park in NSW) protects some 575 rare and threatened plants and animals, many of which have been slowly recovering from decades of cattle grazing. The cattle are gone, but horses, deer, pigs, and goats are now increasingly damaging one of the most important protected conservation reserves in Australia.
Under the Victorian Government’s Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan, efforts will be made to re-home as many horses as possible. It is important to remember that horses are domestic animals, and often suffer greatly during bushfires, drought or heavy snow.
They belong in paddocks, not parks.