Brumby issue rears its head

THE issue of wild brumby control in the National Park is back on the agenda with a review of the Kosciuszko Horse Management Plan of 2008 currently underway.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro has reiterated his position against the aerial culling of what he says is a national icon, drawing praise from culling opponents.

"Kosciuszko National Park exists to protect the unique environment, that unique environment includes the wild brumbies," Mr Barilaro said.

"If the number of wild horses is excessive, as stated by National Parks, then non-lethal means of managing their numbers should be implemented."

The Snowy Mountains Bush Users Group (SMBUG) President Peter Cochran has praised Mr Barilaro for defending the Snowy Mountains Brumby from aerial culling.

"In 2001 the ALP Carr Government was responsible for the slaughter of over 600 Brumbies in Guy Fawkes National Park using helicopters and automatic gunfire. The result was international outrage and a claim by the Minister Bob Debus that aerial culling would not happen again, despite the fact that he was the Minister responsible for the Department which carried out the atrocity," Mr Cochran said.

"In reviewing the current wild horse management plan the NPWS and past Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker stated that all means of culling including aerial culling, was 'on the table'. It is a great relief for those who campaign to preserve the Brumby, that John Barilaro has had the political courage to make a definitive statement opposing the barbaric method of aerial culling."

Mr Barilaro said brumbies were 'cultural icons' and allowing them to be slaughtered was unacceptable and inhumane.

"There are kinder ways to control wild horse numbers such as programs that break brumbies in and offer them for sale; I cannot accept that anyone that calls themselves conservationists would condone an aerial culling program."

Mr Barilaro said he will continue to urge the NSW Government to support his stance. "I look forward to discussing this issue in depth with the Environment Minister Rob Stokes," he said.

Mr Cochran said the SMBUG would continue to campaign to protect the Snowy Mountains Brumby and call on other State and Federal Members of Parliament to publicly state opposition to the culling.

A public meeting on wild brumbies will be held in Jindabyne next week. The meeting is being organised by the Snowy Mountains Brumby Sustainability and Management Group.

Supporters will have the opportunity to hear and endorse two resolutions that will be directed to the Premier of New South Wales.

They are calling for the State Government to enact legislation to ban aerial culling of the brumby in NSW and for the State Government suspend, immediately, all brumby bait/lure,trapping and handling campaigns currently implemented across Kosciuszko National Park.

The meeting is to be held on July 12, 1pm at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel.

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