Aussie state allows aerial shooting to slash feral horses in national park

Aerial shooting has been authorized to control the ballooning wild horse population in Australia's Kosciuszko National Park, according to the state government of New South Wales (NSW) on Friday.

The NSW government announced in a statement that the amendment added aerial culling to the existing control tactics, such as ground shooting, and trapping and rehoming, which would allow the state's National Parks and Wildlife Service to slash the brumby number to 3,000 by mid-2027.

Wild horses in New South Wales state of Australia. /CFP
Wild horses in New South Wales state of Australia. /CFP

Wild horses in New South Wales state of Australia. /CFP

In 2018, feral horses were identified as a major threat to the habitats of more than 30 species, including southern and northern corroboree frogs, Alpine she-oak skinks, and broad-toothed rats.

A survey in November 2022 indicated that the estimated population of wild horses in the Kosciuszko National Park reached 18,814.

"There are simply too many wild horses in Kosciuszko National Park. Threatened native species are in danger of extinction, and the entire ecosystem is under threat. We must take action," said Penny Sharpe, NSW's minister for the environment.

The minister noted that after all the options were carefully considered, aerial culling delivers the best possible animal welfare outcomes when the measure is carried out by highly trained personnel in accordance with rigorous standards.

The NSW government received 11,002 submissions from individuals and organizations between August 8 and September 11, of which 87 percent commented on the aerial shooting.

Among these aerial shooting-related submissions, 82 percent expressed support for the control method being included in the park's wild horse management plan.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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