26 September 2023

Parks wins case against feral horses

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Parks Victoria has enjoyed a victory in Court over the running of wild horses in Alpine National Park.

Parks won its case against the Australian Brumby Alliance (ABA), claiming the feral horses were responsible for severe impact on the National Park and its horse control programs should be allowed to resume.

“The ABA had sought an injunction to stop Parks Victoria undertaking removal of feral horses from the Alpine National Park,” the Agency said.

“The question before the Court was whether the removal of horses by Parks Victoria challenged cultural heritage values associated with horses in the Alpine National Park,” it said.

“Parks Victoria has an obligation to reduce the abundance of feral horses in Victoria’s national parks as necessary to protect natural values and meet legislative obligations.”

It said the injunction had led to the suspension of the majority of its Alpine feral horse management operations.

“Trapping and rehoming programs that were previously implemented were put on hold, subsequently limiting the effectiveness in significantly reducing the feral horse population and environmental damage to the fragile wildlife, plants and habitats in the Victorian Alps.”

It said a comprehensive aerial survey across the Australian Alps found a significant increase in feral horse numbers during the period of the injunction, with estimates rising from 9,000 to 24,000 horses over five years.

Parks Victoria said the longer-term program of trapping and re-homing feral horses would continue.

It said that due to the high number of feral horses it would also undertake additional small-team operations to cull the population in high-conservation priority locations.

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