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An open letter to Minister Barilaro on feral horses in Kosciusko National Park


Dear Beagle readers,

I wish to share with you a letter I have sent to Minister Barilaro.

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Minister Barilaro,

I found your announcement regarding the protection of feral horses in Kosciusko National Park(KNP) jaw dropping.

How anyone could ignore the physical and scientific evidence of environmental destruction caused by these hard hooved, introduced species is beyond comprehension.

As a nation, we value our National Parks and unique species of fauna, flora and ecosystems - that’s why we ‘protect’ them.

To actually ‘protect’ an introduced species responsible for their destruction is insane.

My questions resulting from comments you have made in the media:

* Part of the HISTORY and CULTURE of high country graziers was to CULL feral horses by SHOOTING when numbers grew and/or they became a nuisance.

Why have you not recognised the HISTORICAL or CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE of this practice?

* In the 13 years between 2002 and 2015, the practice of trapping and rehoming feral horses has proved to be extremely costly, traumatic for the animals and totally ineffective as a management practice – only 18% being rehomed, the rest going to knackeries or abattoirs.

Have you made yourself familiar with the FACTS? If so, what non lethal method of disposal do you intend to use with ‘trapped’ animals that no one wants?

* Fertility control was found to be only viable in the longer term, once numbers were reduced. However, recent investigations/studies have found that it IS NOT a VIABLE OPTION for WILD HORSES as it requires follow up treatment.

So now we know that REHOMING and FERTILITY CONTROL are INEFFECTIVE, how do you intend to manage the growing population of feral horses in KNP?

* Why is shooting a cruel form of culling feral horses and not for any other feral animal?

Aerial shooting of remnant cattle and buffalo with brucellosis(in the thousands), in the ‘70’s and 80’s, as well as 300,000 plus donkeys, and the ongoing aerial shooting of camels in central Australia, is considered the most effective and humane method of control for these feral species. Not to mention ‘fluffy’ the rabbit that has been shot in the billions. Remember,hunting/shooting is considered by a few as an ENJOYABLE FAMILY SPORT, and is a legal activity in Australia.

* You have stated, “we will identify those areas in the park where brumbies can roam without causing significant environmental harm.” Any “environmental harm” is not allowed in N Parks, that’s why they are classified as N Parks. Do you not understand the regulations of N Parks?

* You have also stated, “brumbies are part of the landscape” – they are not. They are a threat to our native species.

* As ‘fencing’ off areas has been rejected, how do you propose to keep these feral horses out of “sensitive areas”?

* WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE SUBMISSIONS ON THE DRAFT WILD HORSE MANAGEMENT PLAN????

- Were they ever read by anyone?

- If so, what did they indicate? Submissions in Victoria displayed 80% support for culling. I can’t imagine NSW would be so drastically different.

- Who gave you the right/power to ignore/bin submissions that were sought by your government?

* When will you start to think for yourself, rather than being Mr Cochrane’s ventriloquist dummy?

KNP is home to a unique ecosystem found nowhere else in the world. Feral horses/wild horses/brumbies are destroying it. They are most certainly NOT part of it, as you claim. Once destroyed, this ecosystem is gone forever.

Currently, Australia is responsible for the most mammal extinctions in the world.

Your proposed legislation, Mr Barilaro, can only enhance this reputation.

Is this to be your ministerial legacy?

Yours Sincerely,

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley, 2537

#Opinion #State #LocalStateFederal

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