AVA submission to Inquiry into the proposed aerial shooting of brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park02 Feb 2024
The AVA provided a submission to this Inquiry with subject matter expertise consultation and in line with the AVA's policy Control of feral horses and other Equidae.
Summary of the AVA submission:
Feral horses have the capacity to negatively impact the environment, the welfare and sustainability of wildlife, the economy, and social amenity. As such there must be effective methods to control populations, and the AVA supports adoption of strategic feral horse management plans by National and State Park authorities.
The control programs must be based on scientific assessment and aim to minimise the welfare impact on target animals. Furthermore, they must employ the most humane and effective methods applicable under Australian conditions that will achieve the objectives of the program, and animal welfare should not be compromised by economic factors in the choice of control program.
The Feral Horse (Brumby) management issue in the Kosciusko National Park is a sizable and complex issue. The impact of the horses on the environment and the many threatened species affected by that environmental impact is justification for control. A model for assessing the relative humaneness of pest animal control methods has been developed to enable the evaluation of methods in use, and to select the most humane methods based on scientific evidence (Sharp and McLeod, 2012). According to this model, ground shooting of feral horses is the most humane method of control, followed by aerial shooting, then mustering and trapping.