The following comes from ABC Rural and is written by Alexandra Blucher and Bill Brown. At the end of their article you will also find links to the arguments FOR and AGAINST culling, culling methods and summary of the damage caused by brumbies.

Brumbies roam the Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Coleen O'Brien
Brumbies roam the Kosciuszko National Park. Photo: Coleen O’Brien

Wild horses are out of control in the Australian Alps according to conservationists, and doing irreparable damage to the fragile alpine environment.

However, brumby advocates dispute the claims and say alpine horses are part of an iconic bush heritage that must be protected.

It’s a divisive debate and passions always run high.

Aerial surveys of the wild horse population in the Australian Alps, including Kosciuszko National Park between 2003 and 2009, indicate an increase in brumby numbers, from just under 2, 500 to over 7,500 horses.

With recent good seasons and an estimated population growth of between eight to 20 per cent every year, NSW National Parks are projecting that a conservative estimate, would put the current horse numbers in the alps at over 10,000, with over 7000 in Kosciuszko National Park.

Conservationists say environmental destruction in Kosciuszko National Park is at crisis point, with threatened native animal and plant species at risk. They want the population to be aerially culled.

Advocates for these wild horses of the high country reject the population estimates, the claims of lasting environmental damage, and say they will vehemently fight any move towards aerial culling.

Government review puts brumbies back in the spotlight

A review of the Kosciuszko Horse Management plan is currently underway after the NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, called for it to be examined last year.

As a part of the review, a consultation process is underway to bring the polarised community together to decide how the wild horse population in Kosciuszko National Park will be managed.

The discussions are expected to be far from harmonious with the facts about horse numbers, the extent of environmental damage and the best approach to management, all in dispute.

Another round of aerial surveys is expected to be completed in April.

The Government initiated consultation process will put the divisive issues firmly back on the public agenda.