“Recent efforts to maintain horses in Kosciuszko National Park by the Bush Users Group, (BUGs for short), are completely over the top. BUGs have produced a form letter that claims National Parks' use environmental degradation as a ‘lame excuse' to justify its new draft horse management plan”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
“The BUGs form letter states that National Parks and Wildlife ‘have had to resort to the lame excuse of environmental impacts in an attempt to justify their proposed [horse management] actions. … Surely any alleged brumby impact could not be considered to be of a serious or irreversible detrimental nature.'
“Encouraging the public to support these aspersions as a form of submission on the draft horse plan is hitting below the belt. Public servants cannot adequately defend themselves against such attacks”, Mr Muir said.
“The well researched National Parks and Wildlife draft horse management plan presents strong evidence that uncontrolled horse populations do degrade the park”, he said.
“The draft horse management plan is out for public comment until December 21st, and anyone can read it and make up their own mind on horse damage by going tohttp://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/knp_horse_mgmtplan ,” Mr Muir said.
“BUGs have offered little evidence that feral horse populations do only minor and temporary damage to the park. The group's agenda seeks to put an exotic animal, horses, before the needs of the park's native flora and fauna. Their vision makes as much sense as calling on farmers to breed up rabbits instead of stock”, he said.
“BUGs vision of sustained levels of feral horses would make Kosciuszko National Park a glorified horse farm. More horses on park would also increase the risk of vehicle to horse collisions”, Mr Muir said.
“National Parks and Wildlife should work toward reducing horse populations in the park by the quickest and most humane method. It's a bit of a long stretch for BUGs to call for national parks to become some sort of wild horse dude ranch. BUGs participated on the community steering group that oversaw development of the draft horse plan. They have had a fair go”, said Mr Muir.
For more info contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob)