The New South Wales government has announced a plan to cull of 90% of the wild brumby population in the Kosciuszko National Park in southern New South Wales.

Centred around the NSW High Country, this national park covers almost 7,000 square kilometres of alpine and sub-alpine country. Australia’s highest peak (Kosciuszko) and town (Cabramurra) are in the area, along with plenty of 4WD tracks to see.

One of the most iconic scenes of Australia, etched into our national identity by poem and song, is the wild brumby, galloping along the wild and tree-less plains of the high country. This sight will become quite a rare occurence, as the culling program looks to dramatically reduce their numbers. Estimates peg around 6,000 brumbies inhabit the countryside, and the plan is to reduce this down to only 600.

brumbiesThe cull has been drawn up in a bid to protect the fragile country, ecosystems and endangered native animals against the introduced brumby. Many are arguing the need to cull the Brumby, and others are arguing the methods that have been tabled.

Trapping, mustering, fertility control and ground shooting are methods that have been highlighted, whilst aerial shooting, brumby running and roping have all been ruled out.

Peter Cochrane, one-time federal member for Monaro, has called the plan a ‘massacre’, and is calling on the government to use traditional methods and local manpower to manage brumby numbers.

“The traditional methods of roping and trapping could save the government, the taxpayer, a lot of money and would result in a greater amount of horses being rehomed,” said Mr Cochrane.

“Ground shooting is a new element that has been introduced and in the environment of Kosciuszko National Park it’s extremely difficult, but it’s also unnecessary.” The methodology in culling the brumbies [which] is nothing short of cruel.”

What do you think about the planned brumby cull? Do you think the cull is extreme or necessary?