Controversial brumby debate reignited following Kosciuszko survey
The heated debate over brumby population control has been reignited after a Kosciuszko National Park survey revealed a drop in numbers.
The aerial survey was the first since the 2019 bushfires and has counted more than 14,000 brumbies in the park.
Despite these results reflecting 5,000 fewer than recorded in the previous survey, the NSW state government plans to push forward with population reduction.
NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean is preparing the government’s new management plan off the back of this survey and told Luke Grant community input will be considered.
“Using this data, we’re going to go out to the community with a plan of management, which we’ll put out in the public space our plans to reduce the horse numbers further or take them out of those areas.”
Mr Kean said the government has helped to trap and rehome 340 horses in an effort to take a “humane approach” but stressed he didn’t want to see “one animal protected over others.”
Press PLAY below to hear Matt Kean’s comments in full
Former National Party member for Monaro, Peter Cochran, later vehemently rejected Mr Kean’s data on-air, claiming the accounts were not accurate.
“He claimed twelve months ago there were 30,000 there, then it dropped to 25,000, then he’s claiming 14,000 is the most recent count,” he said.
“Where have the brumbies gone?
“I’m staggered by his ignorance of the national park.”
Mr Cochran, who rides across the land five days a week, said it the brumby population was at most 2,500 and was not nearly as damaging to the park as bushfires.
“They’re being duped by this whole issue of the brumbies,” he said. “It’s simply a decoy.”
He argued the park’s fauna was decimated by bushfires in 2003 and 2020 and the brumby population is not harmful.
“It has left the place completely decimated and this guy talks about brumbies.
“People need to seriously look at the management of this park over the past 50 years.”
Press PLAY below to hear Peter Cochran’s comments in full