More than 10,000 wild horses will be removed from Kosciuszko National Park within six years under a new management plan introduced by the NSW government.
The outgoing Monaro MP and former Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro used his speech of honor on Wednesday to reveal that the plan had been finalized, which would see the number of horses in the park reduced from more than 14,000 to 3,000 by 2027.
An original management plan for the southern NSW National Park proposed reducing the number of horses to 600, but was met with fierce opposition from Mr Barilaro, who said the region needed to preserve the animals’ heritage.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the new plan would reduce the amount of land the horses occupy to 32 percent and the animals would have to be removed from about 21 percent of the region.
The horses will either be shot, sent to crates or rehoused after being caught in passive traps, according to the government. Shooting from the air is excluded.
Kean said the plan had been delivered after consultation with experts, native stakeholders and 4,000 public submissions.
“Today, we are releasing a plan that will finally provide protection for the numerous endangered species and range of important alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems that call Kosciuszko National Park home,” Mr Kean said.
Environmentalists have long argued for a significant reduction in wild horses in the park because they destroy local habitats and damage local waterways.
Sir. Barilaro said he believed the plan had the right balance between protecting the park and preserving its heritage value.